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Question
Posted by: John | 2007/08/08

Why are we so violent?

CS, I don't know if this a psych question or if it is more suited to a sociologist but I find that these days I am getting more and more depressed about how violent our criminals are.

When I was younger, round about the time Noah was applying varnish to the ark, I seem to recall that we had distinct types of criminals: car thieves, thieves that broke into cars to steal radios, street corner thugs that mugged one and so forth.

These days criminals seem capable and willing to do anything. A housebreaking will start with burglary, if there are women in the house this will escalate to rape, if there are men then torture is added to the list and murder is finally committed.

Even child abusers now murder their victims and it seems to me that our whole society is violent beyond belief, as if our criminals don't when to stop committing a crime.

Why is this so - what has happened in our society that hijackers are synonymous with murderers? Why is that we had the despicable necklace method of murder? Why are South Africans so violent? So often people are murdered for cell phones, for R20 or for no apparent reason. Why is that we have so many peadophiles? There was a time when family murder/suicides were happening every week.

Its depressing to think that we are living in an age when we, as human beings, can launch rockets to Mars, build computers that perform miracles on our desk tops every day, when we have people like Stephen Hawking, the late Stephen Gould - that we can walk down to street and be murdered for R20.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It is a psychological question, J. We do indeed seem to have developed an unduly vicious and violent society. The distinction I would draw from the bad old days, is that generally then, criminals used no more violence than they considered necessary to achieve their criminal aim. So the burglar would try to avoid a confrontation with you, and preferred an empty house ; and if he met you, would be likely to shove you aside and escape --- he would not dally for an hour or more to rape and torture and kill. But of course in those days there was reasonably effective policing, so the longer a crook hung around, the greater his chances of being caught --- now he can stay all weekend, if he pleases, at remarkably little risk. And if a burglar in mid-rape happens to get shot by a householder, its likely that the house-owner will be arrested for murder before anyone gets charged with burglary. <br>I wonder what the effect would be if the odds were rebalanced more in favour of the victim than the perp ? If it was made totally clear that ANYONE who broke into a house or attacked someone could expect to get shot or harmed and that this would be considered self-defense and not a crime ? If perhaps had to repay cash and services to the victims and the community ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Crimsonkc | 2007/08/09

How did u guys get from crime to some island?

Reply to Crimsonkc
Posted by: Shae | 2007/08/08

If only i could ol' wise and articulate friend...................if only i could ...........i definitely would!

Perhaps if we both learnt to practice the ancient sumo art of ............mental projection (?), we could wish ourselves anywhere!

Reply to Shae
Posted by: John | 2007/08/08

I've always had the dream of a gorgeous woman (check, thats you), a gently swaying palm frond (check), the slow lapping of the gentle wave on the soft white sand, the squaking of a seagull and total confusion as to what the time is.

Sigh. Shae, take me there. Now.

Reply to John
Posted by: Shae | 2007/08/08

-1 top
+1 sunblock

Now all we need is a couple of caymen Island ice tea's and some boogie boards.

Ah yes, the hot sun and cool sea.........life is tough aint it!

Reply to Shae
Posted by: John | 2007/08/08

O you wicked woman, you!! The Caymens......how I wish!!

Shall we go to the topless beach or to....hell, why am I asking?

Wait, lemme get the sunblock....

Reply to John
Posted by: Shae | 2007/08/08

John, you arrange the passports, i'll see to our gear.

Caymen Isle............. here we come.

Reply to Shae
Posted by: John | 2007/08/08

Hi Maria

Slow indeed. My boss has grossly underestimated me so I have these rather easy deadlines. I'm way ahead, hence my plopping around in the CS pool today.

Sometimes I think I like the Afghani way of revenge: a rapist is handed to the victims family for a week. If he survives, then he is sentenced to life in prison.

Roll on 3:30.....

Reply to John
Posted by: Maria | 2007/08/08

Hi John. Slow day at the office? ;)

I like the way CS thinks - criminals making restitution to victims. Apart from the fact that the victim might get something back I also think the criminal is more likely to reform and gain selfrespect if he is busy with something useful than just sitting idly in jail.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Just me | 2007/08/08

Hi John,

I’m ONLY 40yrs old…But I too remember ..as a teenager…a different type of crime to the ones being committed now…Even the drugs etc were not as rife as it is now..

The type of drug too…was different. My opinion….The death sentence should never have been taken away. The sentences for crimes being committed today are not severe enough… The new laws being passed for eg….12 yr olds can now have sex/abortions etc…??? Helllooooo?? But then again…If its law…does not mean its RIGHT…hey?

Anyways…..my two pence worth…

Cheers

Reply to Just me

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