An old answer to causes of violence.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RunningOnMT, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    Sometimes the truth is almost too obvious or simple to be recognized. In the aftermath of killing sprees such as the one in Alabama people ask "Why are we as a society becoming so violent?"

    I think the answer was acknowledged several decades ago but nothing has been done about it, maybe because it seems too simplistic to be true. The simple fact is we as a society are becoming desensitized to violence due to our over exposure to it on television and in movies.

    When one is sitting idly doing nothing but focussing on a screen for hours at a time they are extremely receptive to the material they are being fed. It is almost like hypnosis. The watcher is drawn into the violent actions being displayed becoming a party to it. It doesn't matter whether there are good guys and bad guys and who the audience identifies with. Violence is violence and constant exposure to it alters the minds natural inhibitions against it, making a violent response to a scenario seem more appropriate in various situations.

    Violence on TV was discussed as long ago as when I was a child, and yet the only change if any is that it has gotten worse, more brutal. Consider the advent of the computer and video game platforms. That adds a yet stronger dimension to the problem by placing the player in the role of committing the brutal acts. It doesn't matter if it is fantasy. The mind acts as if the situations are real. Interview after interview with serial killers reveals one basic fact. Their first murder was the hardest. They become easier with each victim. Imagine then what happens to a young child or teenagers mind after months or years of daily exposure of this sort.

    The same is true about societies views on sexual conduct. Tell me our moral standards in general haven't been influenced by Hollywood. Some of course argue the art imitates life. The truth is, life is dictated by art (if you can call it that). At least that is the case when there is constant exposure to it. Our values are shaped by what we expose ourselves to.

    "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

    Philippians 4:8

    Am I advocating censorship? Absolutely not. I am advocating good judgement and personal responsibility. The problem with the socialist society in which we are living is that as government does more and more people rely more and more on the government to do everything for them, and they lose the ability to think and choose for themselves. It's not governments role to decide what content your children are exposed to, it's YOUR role. This lack of responsibility for ones actions is another factor contributing to violent crime. The question is always asked "Why did this happen?" The litany of reasons then follows. "Oh, he had a bad childhood", "He was abused", "His mother died when he was three", and on and on. In most of these cases the person never learned to accept personal responsibility for his actions or in what he chose to expose himself to. This fact molded his character and his values. And of course all of the given reasons may contribute to why a person does what they do. But those are reasons others may observe, not excuses the individual can use. Just my opinion.
  2. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    Before TV, the culprit was "rock 'n roll". Before that, it was 'comic books'. Before that, it was movies, and before that, well . . . you get the drift. A motion picture 'code' is passed, a 'comic book' code is passed, air 'codes' are passed, and each was promoted as a 'cure' to what was ailing society at the moment. Hasn't anyone ever noticed that it's always something other than us? Someone did, a while back. . . . . much as Pogo said in his melancholy statement, long ago. Pretty smart critter, that Pogo.
  3. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Violence on TV isn't the cause of violent humans; it's quite the opposite. It is because we are naturally violent creatures that violence on TV appeals to us. Cain killed Abel, and it's been keenly part of our existence ever since.
  4. Just One Shot

    Just One Shot Member

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    I watch alot of action type / war movies but I don't have the urge to kill anyone.

    Actually, it's my view that people are more violent because human life has no value in the eyes of those who do these evil acts.

    Where does life get it's value? Scrpiture tells us that man was made in God's image.

    God gives value to life and since we've allowed God to be removed from various sectors of society such as schools, government, etc., people don't understand that life is precious.

    I mean if there is no God then there is no one to answer to and anything goes!
  5. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    people don't understand that life is precious.
    Our 'supreme' court as said that is isn't. (R vs W)
  6. chris_tessmer

    chris_tessmer New Member

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    thats what i was gonna say but you beat me to it. that is exactly spot on.
  7. chris_tessmer

    chris_tessmer New Member

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    i was never forced to any religion, i was taught all about god when i was a kid and i never believed. i have lived my entire life without any god and i know that life is extremely precious and i am in no way violent at all...other than shootin a coon or woodchuck now and then. my parents never restricted me from watching violent movies or tv shows (the news is probably the most violent show on tv) and i have never been in trouble with the law and i did very well in school. so i cant say that the lack of god has anything to do with it. i studied different religions in college and those are some of the most violent, horrific stories i have ever heard...rape, murder, incest are all in the books of religion.


    there is one thing that people should answer to before god and thats law, even in a world without god we will always have laws and people must abide by the law before the abide by god, sometimes doing what god says is breaking the law.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  8. Just One Shot

    Just One Shot Member

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    Ok, so you didn't believe, that's your freedom of choice but I believe on some level that the fact that you were taught about God did leave an impression on you whether or not you recognized it.

    Let me ask you this; Why is life precious? What guides your decision? What do you base your idea about life on?
  9. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

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    I agree with runningONMT with his analysis. The environments we are exposed to have an influence on how we behave and react. Now not everyone is going to go bananas and go off the deep end. But there will always be a portion of our society that will behave badly and a smaller portion from these that will commit terrible acts of violence against others.

    Now some say it is not the exposure to TV, games, and music that is influencing the behaviors and will point to the absence of God in the schools and goverment. But this thinking only makes the exposure to violence in the media more viable since they claim the lack of exposure of something has influence over behaviors. You can't have it both ways. To be exposed to a positive environment has influence and say that exposure to a negative environment has no influence is laughable. Both are saying the same thing.
  10. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    It is an over simplification to take my point as meaning that TV and movies cause violence. My point was that the over exposure to media violence particularly to the young causes them to be desensitized to violent acts which effects natural inhibitions against such acts.

    I never proposed censorship or even ratings as a "cure" for violence. Yes violence has been with us a long time. But can anyone deny the heinousness of the acts committed today are getting worse?

    I will not accept "Oh, I watch violent movies all the time and I'm not violent" as evidence my premise is invalid. But by all means live in denial if you want to continue allowing your children to watch violent programs and movies without guilt.
  11. chris_tessmer

    chris_tessmer New Member

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    thats a good point, i was taught about god..not told that he is there and that is that, it may be splitting hairs but i think there is a big difference. kids should be shown all the evidence on all gods and then choose for themselves.


    why is life precious? because it is short and it can be taken away so easily at any moment.

    what guides my decisions? i do, my goals guide me, along with family and friends and my environment...many things guide me.

    what do i base my idea about life on? i dont know. i dont waste my time thinking about why im here or how i got here, all i know is that im here and not for very long so im going to enjoy it while it lasts with the one that i love.

    and please dont take offense to anything i say, i have total respect for everyones beliefs and i dont mean to criticize, im just tryin to say what i think. because the truth is i could be wrong, there could be a god..i just dont find it believable.
  12. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    Good thread ROMT,

    In my thinking, you can go back to when prayer was taken out of school, R vs W, giving false religions equal status / recognition, moral relativity, Dr. Spock (Don't spank your kids Dr Spock, not the Vulcan :D) all add up to a loss of our moral compass.

    If you teach kids there is no God (evolution only), and tell them it's okay to abort their babies, are we not telling them that life is not valuable and worthless? Then what's the big deal about shooting that guy that makes fun of me?

    What about the kid yesterday that killed his Dad because Dad told him he couldn't ride his ATV?? Are you kidding me??

    Click here then scroll down to read this story

    Psalm 139:14
    I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

    Jeremiah 1:5
    Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.


    Romans 1:17-30 Explains it pretty good.
    17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  13. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    I don't know if we're getting any more violent. I just read a book called "Wisconsin death march" set in the late 1800's. It's mostly stories from newspapers in that era. Times were tough & there was lots of work for the undertakers. Murders, suicides & lots of what we have today. There were lots of people who were described as "being caught up in a religious ferver" before they killed others or themselves. Another cause was being despondent over their circumstances. Lots of gruesome stuff back then.
    A common way to commit suicide was by drinking carbolic acid. Reading about how folks killed themselves & others back then I see a big difference in the way the killing is done. I don't think many people today would use those more barbaric means. People today wouldn't be able to kill a chicken much less a person with their bare hands. Not many ax murderers today.

    Not that a few aren't grabbing a gun & killing lots of folks. Just read a minute ago that another high school "gunman" in Germany has killed 15 & himself.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  14. Just One Shot

    Just One Shot Member

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    My son and I have both played violent video games and watched many violent movies together since he was young. He is now 24 and he's only been in one fight in his life and that was to defend himself from a bully.

    I am not trying to discredit your statement in it's entirety. I may have been too vague in my response since I'm at work and posting in my free time. What I am trying to convey is that people left alone without guidance, can and may be negatively influenced by their environment.

    When a person is young (in most cases) they are taught by their parents to interact with others and act in according to their parents guidlines. Without such guidance it's a crap shoot as to how that child will turn out.

    I also believe that depending on the relationship a person has with their parents, there will be many who despise their parents rules and regulations. As a result they will rebel by living a counter productive lifestyle getting involved with drugs and other self destructive behavior which brings pain and heart ache to the parents and ruin to the person who is rebelling.

    It's the same way with God. When a person rejects God then they have no inclination to live by His directives and commandments. As a result some view life as a meaningless existance and come to the conclusion that since there is no God, there will be no judgement so what difference does it make if they take a life?

    So a blanket statement like we as a society are becoming desensitized to violence due to our over exposure to it on television and in movies is just too black and white. Many factors are involved with a person's voilent acts and in many cases it starts and ends with their beliefs in God.
  15. Just One Shot

    Just One Shot Member

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    No offense takin. I find it refreshing when adults can discuss such matters without becoming irate and overly emotional.

    Do you realize that with your statement: "what guides my decisions? I do, my goals guide me," you have essentially set yourself up as your own god?

    My goal is not to attack you but to get you to ask yourself some questions, questions that will make you curious and desire to seek after truth.

    Let me ask you this, Is there evil in the world? If so, what qualifies it as such?

    Darkness is described as the absence of light. Evil is similar in that, evil is the absence of good.

    If there is good and evil then there has to be something that gives a standard by which both are judged. That standard is the one true God.

    Scripture tells us in Luke 11:9 And I say unto you: ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10. For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    My prayer for you is that you would seek God with an open heart and an open mind.

    Just think of it this way, how sad is it if this earthly existance is all life had to offer.

    :)
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  16. chris_tessmer

    chris_tessmer New Member

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    trust me, you didnt just say anything that ive never heard before or thought myself. but what you said just makes me believe more that there is no god. the only thing that i get out of that is god is an answer for the unexplained or the unknown because we are affraid of what is unknown. people need someone or something to turn to when things cannot be explained or when times get tough, and that thing is god. and yes it is extremely sad that this life is the only life i believe we live but life is sad, thats just how it is. i am very open minded, i said i could be wrong and if i am wrong and i wind up and the pearly gates when i die then i will beg for forgiveness and except whatever fate god has for me. it may sound weird or sad or maybe even ignorant but thats what i believe and not much will change my mind.

    side note.
    and i have been curious and looked for the truth, thats i studied all kinds of religion in college. i took philosophy, mythology, asian, roman, greek...you name it and i studied it and the only thing i could come up with is what i said before, man created god to explain the unknown. just look at the 5 proofs of god by aquinas, all can be very easily ripped apart.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  17. 4EvrLearning

    4EvrLearning New Member

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    Ecclesiastes says: "There's nothing new under the sun."

    At the risk of being redundant, I'll put in my 2 cents...wish I had time for .04 :)

    There is NO race of mankind that is immune to human nature and its effects...which, since the Fall of man, has been driven by selfishness and pride. Just by thinking through the outcome of total, unrestrained selfishness in a person's life, we can see how violence can come about. The potential scenarios for the playing out of our selfishness are almost innumerable...but I believe that's the common cause.

    "I want ___." "You didn't do ___ for me." "You owe me ___." "I have a right to have ___."

    Add to our inherent selfishness the many and varied mental problems we are dealing with, whether it's Autism, depression, residuals of drug use/abuse, alcoholism--the list is quite long--then you have quite a dangerous brew for violence.

    Another factor is lack of respect for authority...lack of respect for "absolutes"...weakened family structures...compromised education...diminishing morality...again, this list goes on...

    I think it was JustOneShot who said that there is no one answer, and I have to agree...but I DO believe the root of mankind's ability to commit such heinous acts against others goes back to Genesis 3. Thankfully, that wasn't the end of the story :)
  18. Artemus

    Artemus New Member

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    First of all,I am new here.This is my second day looking into this forum and I must say I am impressed.My take on all this violence is that the only reason we are hearing more of it is because of all the different medias we have now.I also think it is because our population is growing in leaps and bounds.
    I would not be shocked if we find out that there has always been a certain percentage of nut jobs and bad people.I really think that the percentage is fairly constant.Being attacked is really a numbers thing that grows if you purposely expose yourself to certain situations.Then again,I could be totally wrong.lol
  19. 38 special

    38 special New Member

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    Could be there's just alot more people on earth would have to calculate murders/population ratio today and compare with previous years maybe its not that much more.The population sure isnt going down overall.
    I do believe (in general) that basic good manners and morals are way down in this country. As far as what's on TV-it is definitely crap and it has really degenerated There is almost nothing on worth watching. The violence is so stupid,and overdone its not worth watching .How many times can you watch 1 man beat the living sh** out of 100 men break their bones smash out all their teeth etc.(and notice how the people that get beat are usually backwoods boys and the "hero" is nobody you would ever consider a hero. Then you got the other scum bag shows with perverts,and people who are supposed to be cool who are the very bottom of the barrel. THere actually might be some connection to VIolence and watching the movies or TV. I suppose you could get so enraged by how foul and unreal the shows are and how sick this country has become that you might want to do something violent.
  20. bcj1755

    bcj1755 New Member

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    I grew up with a gun in the house. I come from a military family. I watched violent TV shows and movies as a kid and I even played with GI Joes. I now own my own firearms. I'm not going out looking for people to shoot. I think it mainly has to do with how the child was raised by their parents (or in my case grandparents). I was raised to help people, to work for what I have and to earn my own money, not to steal, cheat, or lie, and that it's wrong to walk up to someone and kill them for no good reason.
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