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Desensitization to Violence and Death

Disquisition
Posts: 391
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8/6/2013 12:09:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
1. Has the media (in all forms per se) desensitized kids to gory violence, to the point that if they witnessed death firsthand it wouldn't have an emotional effect on them?

2. Is this desensitization beneficial or adverse in sense that it may have damaging/irreversible effects on kids; causing them to act more aggressively in life situations and towards other people?

For the first question, I certainly and really we can all undeniably agree that as a nation we all have become desensitized to violence to some extent via the media. However, I believe the fault lies on the parents who don"t teach their children the difference between fictional violence and the consequences of killing someone or acting violently in real life, not the media. Furthermore, unless someone is mentally ill, I think that witnessing a friend or close family member die before our eyes would elicit an emotional response regardless of the amount of desensitization we are exposed to.

For the second question, I feel as though moderate, not excessive desensitization to violence is beneficial to children because it allows them to understand their temporal existence and hopefully they will choose to make the most out of their time on earth. I made that statement with the hope that their parents would have already taught them about morality, so they wouldn"t (for the lack of a better term) Yolo every moment. However, it is understandable that children born to immoral/improvised situations may be more likely to act aggressively to the onslaught of constant desensitization, because they haven"t been appropriately taught what"s right or wrong.

I also want to comment on why people are so suddenly shocked at kid"s apathy towards violent engagements since they have been a part of humanity since the beginning of time (heck since Cain killed Abel). In retrospect, just look at all the gladiator matches in Rome in which I know children went to watch or the constant bloodshed kids had to go through during WWI, WWII, American Civil war".etc. I understand that past generations didn"t have such a readily available access to violence but they certainly weren"t strangers to it.
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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8/6/2013 1:16:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
No one is desensitized to violence by the entertainment media to any non-trivial extent. The entertainment media makes violence fun. You could show someone R rated cop-dramas and horror movies for months. But if you took that same person and showed them a video of someone actually killing another person or footage from a slaughterhouse, that same "desensitized" person wouldn't appear so desensitized at all.

We'd be better served by the media if it occasionally brought us into contact with real violence. As it is, people have a conception of violence that is very at odds with reality. This has consequences.
Consider how abstractly the news will report on a drone strike that kills several people. It's very easy for a news consumer to read something like that and not become emotional. However, if we had a visceral understanding of what violence really was, and how it was experienced by the victims, the ramifications to our geopolitical policies would be immense.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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8/6/2013 1:23:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Sorry, I just can't let this slid: The story of Cain killed Abel emerged out of the Middle East several thousands of years ago. Homosapiens have existed as a species for at least 100,000 years. And that's to say nothing of our precursors.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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8/6/2013 2:14:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think that was a whole pile of nonsense to be honest. I definitely think the violence in video games and movies is wrong, regardless of what parents should (I agree) be teaching their kids. The attraction to such games is a delusional sense of control they grant you over the violence in the world and this, I think, stifles more genuine and humane attempts at control.

Further, kids aren't that dumb, as much as you'd like to believe they are. The lies they tell, for example, are generally for the same sort of delusionary purposes and oftentimes just probatory - to see if an adult will think wrong what's in between the lines, say. They're just afraid, small and unlearned, unsure of themselves in every sense, and the vast majority of adults offer absolutely no solace here and so they'll resort to these petty means of control.

Kids should be made aware of what they're doing at the least. I made my brother aware and he's stopped playing violent video games, and I think he'll be the better for it to be honest. I think such things are definitely having a rather negative impact on society, and that if you think that you are playing violent video games or watching violent movies for any other reason but to delude yourself, that you are a fool or a murderous psychopath.