Moral Cruelty: Ameaning and the Justification of Harm
The overarching purpose of Moral Cruelty is to identify and sensitize the reader to the existence of "moral sadism." As it stands, every act of overt violence, from Bosnia to Columbine, is immediately followed by a discourse of cliches. The acts of violence are attributed to the media, song lyrics, availability of guns, racism, persistent poverty, and so on. Although such influences are surely involved, the tendency of assigning "the cause" to external agents leads us away from asking ourselves, "Is it possible that I contribute to the escalation of violence in ways that I currently cannot see? Is it possible that I interact in ways that have effects that I do not understand?" It is the authors' contention that what we as individuals perceive as "normal" modes of interaction conceal hidden contributions to cruelty."
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actions activation aggression Alice Miller Ameaning ameaningful moral systems ameaningful reasoning ameaningful thinking anxiety argued assumptions attention automatic awareness basis become belief systems Chapter child childrearing cognitive context create crucible culture death defined Derrick Jensen developmental Elie Wiesel emotional engagement evil example existential experience feel freedom Fromm goal happiness harm human implicit independent moral reasoning individual inherent internalized justified cruelty Koch language learning lives Martin Buber meaning meaningful moral reasoning moral codes moral cruelty morally cruel behavior motivated myth narcissism nationalism one's organization organizational Osama bin Laden ourselves parents patriotism perception person perspective Plummer produce provides psychological question reality relationship religion religious response result role rules sadism self-deception self-esteem sense sensory adaptation shared Simone Weil singular measure social group stimuli story structure teacher Terror management theory toxic Trang Bang truth understand violence Walter Wink wealth Wink workers workplace zebras