How do you feel about vengeance?

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Belinda
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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Belinda » March 21st, 2016, 4:49 am

Greta wrote:
Then there is human-style vengeance, which can extend the "lashing out" over extended periods, so it involves time, memory and premeditation. In evolutionary terms, the point of revenge is to nullify an identified threat. Obviously it's better for survival to stay on the case of hunting down a danger to the community than to simply fend of their threat in the moment and then forget about it.

So that's how we got here. The blind fury that leads people into so much strife is an evolutionary mechanism to keep us motivated to take a longer term approach to threats. We have many such features and it's the role of civilised society to bring these impulses under control so we behave like "proper human beings", rather than simpler animals unable to control their impulses.

Of course, not all of us are evenly developed, and not always able to control our emotions. When it comes to being wronged, ideally it's an issue of justice rather than vengeance. Where justice is clearly not done, and the situation is extreme such as harm done to one's child, then few would judge a grieving parent for dispensing rough justice to the perp. Only a few other situations will evoke the same understanding to a person acting as a vigilante. Generally the expectation is to allow due process.
I agree with "role of civilised society" as Greta says. Justice is not necessarily the prerogative of civilised society the laws of which are invariably deficient in justice to some degree or other.

I just want to enlarge upon "the role of civilised society" especially "civilised" in Greta's context of evolutionary change. Humans have evolved to be different from other animals because the abilities of humans are not bound up with physical strength of individuals , or huge litters of offspring. The strength of humans is in exploiting the rest of nature . In order better to exploit the rest of nature humans have become civilised into tribes, nations, and wider affiliations such as international trade and even, now, international laws. The role of cultures of beliefs and practices and the peculiarly human ability to store and retrieve cultural memories is a huge cause of the human species' ability to exploit the rest of nature.

Where culture is at, in this era, is in promoting the ability to reason instead of simply reacting. That is why reactionary people are sometimes described as 'dinosaurs'; because they are being accused of simplistic reactions instead of thoughtful reasoning.
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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Boots » March 21st, 2016, 7:17 am

Mo_reese wrote:What I hear you saying is that if subjected to bullying, find a bigger bully and exact vengeance. If the bully believes in your philosophy, they will then find a bigger bully and seek their vengeance. That's what's happening in the middle east. You say the point of vengeance is to remedy the effects of harm. It isn't a remedy. And what level of vengeance would you recommend? Do equal harm or double the harm? A young kid broke into a man's garage for a smoke and got shot dead. Do you think that vengeance was justified? Maybe the shooter should have held the family of the boy accountable and exacted harm on them. These things really happen because people rationalize that they can met out the harm if they believe they were harmed. Back to the wild west.
I'm saying that it is very often the case that a bully will not be dealt with by the appointed authorities. The bully then continues to bully whomever he/she can get away with bullying. The bully will not bully those whom he/she does not 'get away' with bullying.

Vengeance is "punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong." But, even more than that, for me, it is a way of ensuring that the injury or wrong will not continue in the future.

Your examples are inflated. Are you saying there is never a time for vengeance?

-- Updated March 21st, 2016, 7:20 am to add the following --
LuckyR wrote:
Belinda wrote:LuckyR wrote:


(Nested quote removed.)


One person's norm is usually a social norm by which I mean that what the person does is usually what that person's peer group leaders, religious superiors, bosses, or political masters have decreed is the norm. This behaviour may or may not coincide with the social norm of the wider society, and may even be blatantly illegal.

The wider society in the cases of Lucky and me (US and UK) decrees 1. rape is bad 2. sentencing weighted against black people is bad 3. violent aggression as retaliation is bad. In the USA and in the UK all of those are illegal .

However there are subcultures in the wider society that heave with beliefs and practices that are contrary to the above and some of those are very difficult to contain by laws. In the US for instance I understand that black slave consciousness is alive and shows itself as silly and transient euphemisms, and sometimes outright unfairness and even
violence. Skin pigmentation together with facial features and even hair styles, social class, level of education, religious affiliation, gender, and ancestry, all of them mark divisions in the wider society to the effect that as well as the law of the land and the received morality there are constantly-jostling subcultures e.g. African Americans, 'Hispanics', Jews, Original Americans, American Africans, American Irish, White Northern European Americans, all mixed up together with gender and age variants which the super -culture and the subcultures themselves arrange in a hierarchy of stereotypes.

The real and practical effect is one of unfairness which the law can only partly address. Some subcultures e.g. gangs and some religious cults, are blatantly criminal subcultures which actually support rape etc. Subcultures exist within all societies except those very small and stable ones in which traditional values are unquestioned.

True there are social loners who break moral and state laws, but the great majority of law breakers do so because of their implicit allegiance to some alternative code and culture of belief. There is a great need to articulate the existence and perspectives of subcultures within larger societies as otherwise there can be little advance towards that fairness which underlies the laws of any democratic nation.
Very well said. There is certainly a depth to this nuance of the greater subject, as you demonstrated.

Bringing it full circle back to the topic, I think that most would agree that the known imbalances in the societal application of the Law is a "work in progress" and bears a certain amount of understanding and patience in the sense that almost everyone does NOT feel either compelled or even allowed to apply vengeance to compensate for the imbalances in the actual application of the Law. In other words the imperfections do not rise to the level of injustice or lack of justice where crossing the line into vengeance is defensible.

-- Updated March 19th, 2016, 11:32 am to add the following --
Boots wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


Very well said. I had just such an incident occur to my daughter when she was younger. An older boy touched her inappropriately on her way home from school. No witnesses. She was terrified. I did not even bother to go to the administration having had the experience of he said/she said before (a bit of a rough school). I went into the school at lunch time, had my daughter point out the boy in the busy hallway, and proceeded to 'school' him. Upshot being he never bothered my daughter again and did his best to completely avoid her. I say he's a rapist in the making.
Wow, I am impressed. I don't doubt that your commentary is completely accurate, but I would have set up some defensive positions should my actions be questioned. Good on you, sir. Your daughter is extremely well served.
Thank you. Perhaps I should have done so, but my dander was up and I didn't give a lot of thought to any fallout.

-- Updated March 21st, 2016, 7:22 am to add the following --
Wilson wrote:
Mo_reese wrote:What I hear you saying is that if subjected to bullying, find a bigger bully and exact vengeance. If the bully believes in your philosophy, they will then find a bigger bully and seek their vengeance. That's what's happening in the middle east. You say the point of vengeance is to remedy the effects of harm. It isn't a remedy. And what level of vengeance would you recommend? Do equal harm or double the harm? A young kid broke into a man's garage for a smoke and got shot dead. Do you think that vengeance was justified? Maybe the shooter should have held the family of the boy accountable and exacted harm on them. These things really happen because people rationalize that they can met out the harm if they believe they were harmed. Back to the wild west.
My view is that there is no such thing as absolute right and wrong. Each of us has his own criteria and will decide for himself whether an action was justified or not. You seem to feel that there must be hard and fast rules to follow, never seek vengeance, otherwise chaos and brutality. By my standards some vengeance is laudatory, some is excessive, and it's on a case-by-case basis. I don't know if Boots used physical violence, threats, or intimidation in response to his daughter's problem, but since the perp survived the encounter and the problem was solved, how can anyone feel that it was the wrong thing to do? That's the problem with rule-based morality (as opposed to morality based on empathy and conscience) - there are too many exceptions for any rule to apply 100% of the time.
I did not lay a hand on the young fellow. I didn't have to. But, I would not hesitate to do so if required. That sort of person needs to know they will be stopped.

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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Belinda » March 22nd, 2016, 3:52 am

Boots wrote:
I did not lay a hand on the young fellow. I didn't have to. But, I would not hesitate to do so if required. That sort of person needs to know they will be stopped.
Boots intended his action to make his daughter safe, and it worked, so it was not vengeance. A similar episode when I was a small girl at school was that a boy a few years older than I formed the habit of twisting my wrist each afternoon. My mother went to the school gate, got me to indicate the boy, and then she went to the boy and told him that her little girl needed a strong big boy to escort her safely on her way home and would he do this. He actually did so for some days and I still remember the kindly way he talked to me about the comics I read as he walked beside me.
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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Boots » March 22nd, 2016, 8:12 am

Belinda wrote:Boots wrote:
I did not lay a hand on the young fellow. I didn't have to. But, I would not hesitate to do so if required. That sort of person needs to know they will be stopped.
Boots intended his action to make his daughter safe, and it worked, so it was not vengeance. A similar episode when I was a small girl at school was that a boy a few years older than I formed the habit of twisting my wrist each afternoon. My mother went to the school gate, got me to indicate the boy, and then she went to the boy and told him that her little girl needed a strong big boy to escort her safely on her way home and would he do this. He actually did so for some days and I still remember the kindly way he talked to me about the comics I read as he walked beside me.
"Vengeance is "punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong."

Perhaps it is in our perception of the word, but I in no way encouraged any further contact between this boy and my daughter, nor would I. And I'm afraid I was not nearly as nice to him as your mother was to the boy who liked to twist your wrist. I think the difference here may be that I have little trust in an individual who would behave that way to begin and would steer anyone I cared about 180 degrees away from them. I 'put the fear of god' into the little sh@t and would probably vomit in my own mouth if I tried to be nice to him. I think of that sort of thing as vengeance, but thanks for seeing me in a morally higher light.

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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Belinda » March 22nd, 2016, 8:35 am

Boots, I guess that my mother took the best approach because sadistic bullying is often perverted sexuality. My mother sort of showed the boy the correct sexual attitude for a big strong boy of which previously he had simply been ignorant. The boy implicated in the case that you described was perhaps set in his ways and could not have learned to discipline himself other than by your deterrence strategy. In your particular example the school was obviously failing to stop bullying and you took the only and right recourse. My mother would I am sure have been a she-wolf in that case in defence of her child. She would have kicked up a terrible row with the headmaster too.
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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Boots » March 23rd, 2016, 10:55 am

Belinda wrote:Boots, I guess that my mother took the best approach because sadistic bullying is often perverted sexuality. My mother sort of showed the boy the correct sexual attitude for a big strong boy of which previously he had simply been ignorant. The boy implicated in the case that you described was perhaps set in his ways and could not have learned to discipline himself other than by your deterrence strategy. In your particular example the school was obviously failing to stop bullying and you took the only and right recourse. My mother would I am sure have been a she-wolf in that case in defence of her child. She would have kicked up a terrible row with the headmaster too.
Perhaps.

I think the difference between your mother's action and mine is that she both took on the 'teaching' of this boy and trusted that he would not continue to hurt you. I would not be that generous.

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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by BrandonU » May 1st, 2016, 2:55 pm

"How can someone "play off compassion" when we defend people from victimizers and make the victimizers repay the damages? How does not causing extra damage out of an desire for vengeance stop people from playing off compassion?"

I think they can play off of compassion by paying for the damages but not really caring about what they've done and essentially not learn a lesson. They will repeat the same process over and over simply because it benefits them. Just because they were caught once does not mean they will learn a lesson from "penance", they will simply see it as an easy way out of consequences.

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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Belinda » May 3rd, 2016, 5:50 am

BrandonU wrote:
I think they can play off of compassion by paying for the damages but not really caring about what they've done and essentially not learn a lesson. They will repeat the same process over and over simply because it benefits them. Just because they were caught once does not mean they will learn a lesson from "penance", they will simply see it as an easy way out of consequences.

Aren't many people who can't extend compassion either brain-damaged or themselves victims of bad learning environments?

I'm not saying such people should be molly- coddled but that they should be rehabilitated if possible or if this is impossible that they be restrained as necessary and somewhat apologetically.

-- Updated Tue May 03, 2016 4:55 am to add the following --
BrandonU wrote:"How can someone "play off compassion" when we defend people from victimizers and make the victimizers repay the damages? How does not causing extra damage out of an desire for vengeance stop people from playing off compassion?"

I think they can play off of compassion by paying for the damages but not really caring about what they've done and essentially not learn a lesson. They will repeat the same process over and over simply because it benefits them. Just because they were caught once does not mean they will learn a lesson from "penance", they will simply see it as an easy way out of consequences.
As means of social control vengeance is effective only between disparate groups of people who are not civilised into a larger society. In such cases vengeance results in vendetta. It was to oust the vendetta system in Arabia and especially as vendetta hindered trading that Muhammad introduced Islam, which was very successful.
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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Leon » May 19th, 2016, 3:31 pm

Did someone already mention the tit-for-tat strategy? Richard Dawkins has described this strategy.

Vengeance as tit-for-tat might prove to be a good strategy. Whenever the opponent fails to cooperate punish, whenever the opponent starts to cooperate forgive and forget immediately, and start cooperating too.

And always start cooperating (there are discussions about that, you might first want to know what strength the opponent has, you should however not discriminate between weak and strong parties, but if there's an inbalance in power the strategy might fail)

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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Blake 789 » May 27th, 2016, 1:04 pm

Our justice system is the civilized form of a vengeance system. In the old days if someone murdered your brother you would just murder them but we have moved past that.

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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Louismenard » July 3rd, 2016, 2:16 pm

Vengeance might be regarded as something "bad" or "wrong" by a majority, but for Nietzsche it is a real value, and not being able to do it is a sort of weakness really... Vengeance, for Nietzsche, is a true value.

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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Belinda » July 21st, 2016, 4:03 am

Louis Menard wrote:
Vengeance, for Nietzsche, is a true value.


Giles Fraser writing in The Guardian:
For quite a lot of Christian theology has little place for forgiveness. The evangelical doctrine of penal substitution, for instance, argues that human beings are saved through a process whereby the violence that is due to human beings (because of human disobedience) is instead discharged upon Jesus: thus, the cross. He "pays the price of sin". This nasty and pernicious theology is built around the idea of a holy lynching and forgiveness plays little part. Of course, Jesus himself taught that religion ought to be reconstructed around the idea of forgiveness rather than blood sacrifice. Even so, penal substitution simply perpetuates the grim ideology that blood is able to wash away blood. Clearly, this was the way in which the Christian George Bush responded to 9/11. This sort of Christianity – if Christianity it is – I have no wish whatsoever to defend.
Nietzsche did not take violence seriously enough, argues Giles Fraser, presenting evidence from the life of this philosopher.
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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by Socrates Tea » August 14th, 2016, 8:44 pm

What about the golden rule.

"learn to play the golden rule like a violin, and you will find happiness in this life and the next."

In regard to vengeance, what if we used the golden rule in that too...as in, "We assume you are keeping the golden rule, so we must do you you as you have done to others."

that's the basis of public justice, which is the only safe justice because it carries with it the protection of the general will, "in many counsellors there is safety."

that's moral vengeance - otherwise known as justice - and when it becomes a collective habit...well...

As for, "do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you, because their tastes may be different." - I would dare you to forfeit, publically, openly, loudly, your golden rule protection for ten years, and then, if you are still alive, we will see...

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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by LuckyR » September 4th, 2016, 9:57 pm

Socrates Tea wrote:What about the golden rule.

"learn to play the golden rule like a violin, and you will find happiness in this life and the next."

In regard to vengeance, what if we used the golden rule in that too...as in, "We assume you are keeping the golden rule, so we must do you you as you have done to others."

that's the basis of public justice, which is the only safe justice because it carries with it the protection of the general will, "in many counsellors there is safety."

that's moral vengeance - otherwise known as justice - and when it becomes a collective habit...well...

As for, "do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you, because their tastes may be different." - I would dare you to forfeit, publically, openly, loudly, your golden rule protection for ten years, and then, if you are still alive, we will see...
The Golden Rule assumes too much to be a useful guide for anything but the most overly simplified of situations. For example, the thief who doesn't believe in punishment for criminals. No, we need to delve a lot deeper than the golden rule.
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Re: How do you feel about vengeance?

Post by TSBU » September 7th, 2016, 1:16 pm

When I think about vengeance I think about the "Vorcha" in mass effect.

If I have to keep myself safe, I don't like to inflict pain to change other people mind, I prefer to destroy their capacity to disturb me. Pain isn't the best for that (vengeance is about pain), some people never learn, and they like violence, they feel "in their territory" when it comes to violence, they search it.

If I have to change a person with violence and pain, that means that the person isn't very smart, he can't understand why is it better to live and let live. It's boring and nearly always a waste of time, since there will allways be people like that.

Now, if someone can inflict pain, and have a mind ready for that, I may wait till that person do something, to give a chance and to make sure that I can explain why I've done what I've done. Then I see natural and logical to destroy that person, with a plan, because I know what I gain, not guided by a feeling of vengeance.

I've never do that, because it's difficult to disturb me enough, and there are too many people like that (or too few the other way) to choose specifically one. I would do it if someone gets obsesed with me etc.

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