How can normal people exterminate human beings without feeling?

Author: Castin ,

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  • Castin
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    Uh, "without feeling" is modifying exterminate, not human beings.

    Every now and then I am reminded of the horrifying reality of the Holocaust, rather than holding it as a historical fact in my mind, and it kind of smacks me in the face all over again. I read the transcripts where the Nazis were first meeting to discuss the Final Solution as clinically as a business matter. I think about the many Nazis who had to be part of the genocide machine, who otherwise would've been normal individuals. I think of the people who had to look men, women, and children in the face and then pull the figurative lever that gassed them. And then went home and had dinner with their families.

    How is it thinkable? How do so many people from what we might have called a civilized society come to behave like psychopaths?

    Interested in your answers. Mine usually include mob mentality and dehumanizing the victim. Basically I think the Nazis are a cautionary tale about what can happen anywhere we let hate have complete power.
  • Polytheist-Witch
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    Because they were not the ones turning the gas on for one. Same as politicians who send kids to war or the guy who thought to give small pox blankets Native Americans. You honestly have to view those people as not human. How they do that I don't know. Those types of people are always around. They just don't have the ability to be more out in the open as those guys did. 
  • Buddamoose
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    Mine usually include mob mentality and dehumanizing the victim. Basically I think the Nazis are a cautionary tale about what can happen anywhere we let hate have complete power. 

    Its a cautionary tale against anyone having complete power fmpov. The important lesson to be learned is not that Nazi's were vastly different from a normal person, but that they were normal people, and any person placed within that situation/ atmosphere would be likely to succumb to supporting those things, not unlikely. 

    Because they were not the ones turning the gas on for one.
    Indeed, leadership was not necessarily turning on the gas and carrying out genocide. It was average joes who were. 

    Same as politicians who send kids to war or the guy who thought to give small pox blankets Native Americans. 
     
    I'm gonna stop you here. "Who thought to give Native Americans smallpox blankets" 

    Microbiology and the study of deadly diseases therein wasn't even an existent concept. This is absurd attribution of intention to that which such intention was not even rationally possible at the time because there was no knowledge of things like germs, natural immunities, etc. 


    I read the transcripts where the Nazis were first meeting to discuss the Final Solution 

    Yes, and if you read that, and place it into the context of their platform itself. You realize peoples of Jewish faith were not targeted because they were necessarily Jewish, they were targeted because Jews were the top 1% of wealth holders in Germany at the time and held vastly disproportionate wealth. 

    Nazi leadership, particularly Hitler, did not actually view Jews as subhuman. He viewed them as quite human, but nonetheless nefarious by consequence of holding vastly disproportionate wealth, and by consequence the power that entails. 

    It was Bourgeois v Proletariat thinking. Just so happens Jews were literally the bourgeois in Germany 🤔. And within that lens, certain nations were held as bourgeois(US, UK, France, etc.) while certain countries were held as proletariat(Germany, Italy, Russia, etc.). 

    Basically, take Marxism, remove the anarchist aspect, sprinkle it with some nationalism, and *poof* you got yourself a Facist 🤔

  • Buddamoose
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    That Facists went full out into the realm of genetics is no surprise either. In the Communist Manifesto preamble Marx pretty much right off the bat states,  "The history of all hitherto existing society, is the history of class struggles."[1]

    Hitherto existing society" is a reference to evidence that came out at that time that suggested pre-inception of the various European governances that Nordic tribes lived peacefully and communitarily.[1]. This is important because the theory of evolution was just beginning to be understood. And this would suggest "greed" and "altruism" had a basis in genetics/ethnic groups. 

    Note, Nordics are known for blonde hair, blue eyes, etc. They are the "Aryans" Nazi's referred to as the "master race"

    Are you starting to see, given that the whole idea of, "lets kill all the greedy initially and indefinitely until there are no more greedy people left, or any that will feasibly appear" that is itself based off of the belief that greed is not in itself an intrinsic human behavior, and rather, certain people possess the capacity, certain do not. Would consequentially start making more genetic differentiations? 🤔

    Of course, these are absurd eugenic conclusions as weve come to realize. But at both points in time, there wasnt a deep enough understanding to hold such conclusions as absurd. That being, eugenics as a means to selective breed out intrinsic human behaviors 🤔
  • Buddamoose
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    Are you seeing why, when you view good/evil through the respective lenses of poor/rich. And hold these are traits that can be eliminated from human behaviors through eugenic type practices(genocide can be done in the name of eugenics after all), why perhaps maybe Nazi's presented Nords as the master race given present evidence that suggested Nordic tribes lived in a manner that adhered to marxist doctrine? 

    Why would they not be viewed as such by consequence of such evidence being present? Such evidence essentially declared Nordic tribes were naturally, without interference, Marxists before Marx wrote his manifesto. And if, as the manifesto states, the perfect existence is one in which society as a whole strictly adheres to the doctrine, why would an ethnic group that evidence(now refuted) suggests lived naturally by that doctrine, would not be viewed as consequentially superior to those who did not? 

  • Buddamoose
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    Mob mentality and scapegoating does as you pointed out play a huge role. I feel you arent critically examining the "how" and "why" that scapegoating occurs in specific circumstances though. 

    If you want to know , for example, the likelihood of people today, succumbing to Nazi doctrine if placed in the past. You need only observe that one of the, if not most, crucial basis for this scapegoating, is still being done today(rich v poor). 

    You probably look at anti-Semitism and see racism. While ignoring the anti-Semitism is there largely because of the wealth and influence possessed by the ethnic group overall.

    Wealth that is vastly disproportionate in relation to other ethnic groups. Seriously, listen to an anti-semite. This point of disproportionate wealth and by consequence, influence, is brought up within the first couple minutes, usually immediately.

    They're still Marxists by nature, they just took the next logical step and pinpointed the ethnic/religious group that holds the most disproportionate wealth, not just in the US, but globally 🤔. Nazi's did the same, but had the added benefit of not yet refuted evidence that suggested nords were natural communists, and thus superior to any other group genetically .

  • Buddamoose
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    It doesnt take much to get people to kill others without feeling. You just need to paint their existence as necessarily evil. The conclusion of elimination will be made with or without making it oneself, plenty of others will carry that torch 🤔
  • Buddamoose
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    To hold someone as necessarily evil by their very existence isnt "dehumanizing" its still humanizing because otherwise dispositions on good and evil would be irrelevant. 🤔
  • ethang5
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    --> @Buddamoose
    How do you personally feel about Jews?
  • Castin
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    --> @Buddamoose
    I understand economics has historically played a role in antisemitism, but the wealthy only make up a tiny percentage of Jews. The Nazis knew that.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Selection_Birkenau_ramp.jpg Most of the people in this picture were sent to the gas chamber. They were not rich. They held no power. It would have been absurd to say they're on the "bourgeois" side. They were killed just for being Jewish.
  • Polytheist-Witch
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    --> @Buddamoose
    Microbiology and the study of deadly diseases therein wasn't even an existent concept. This is absurd attribution of intention to that which such intention was not even rationally possible at the time because there was no knowledge of things like germs, natural immunities, etc. 

    So it's your opinion even thought it's a fact that people didn't know small pox was contagious and it killed Native Americans who has contracted it and giving blankets used by people with it wouldn't spread. Cause you think they had to be that stupid. It's not the plague or the Middle Ages. 
  • secularmerlin
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    --> @Castin


    Unfortunately casten very little seems to have changed. The very fact that the genocides and crimes against humanity enumerated in the article are not in general as well known to the public as the holocaust speaks volumes about our ability to dehumanize others and to ignore that which we find upsetting.
  • XLAV
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    Propaganda by painting their enemies as evil or a threat. If you've convinced them well enough they'll be glad in doing it and ironically its the one who's doing the convincing.
  • Castin
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    --> @Buddamoose @ethang5
    How do you personally feel about Jews?
    I'm kind of interested in the answer to this question as well, moose.
  • Castin
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    --> @secularmerlin
    Do you have any thoughts in response to the OP?
  • Castin
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    --> @XLAV
    Propaganda by painting their enemies as evil or a threat. If you've convinced them well enough they'll be glad in doing it and ironically its the one who's doing the convincing.
    I'm not sure I understand that last sentence.
  • Buddamoose
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    --> @Castin
    I think they're a storied people who have a culture and ethic that breeds intense success. Thats not something to be hateful, envious, or covetous about. That's something to celebrate and be like, "what can we all do, that this culture does that leads to this kind of overall success" 🤔

    Pretty sure you expect me to come out and be like, "omg they're evil" no lmao. I'm not covetous in nature, success to me is to be celebrated, not painted as evil 👏👏

  • Buddamoose
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    Like for example culturally the Jewish faith/ethnicity has always been strong on the family unit, education, and working hella hard. Data these days has only come to illustrate exactly how beneficial these things are to success both present, future, and posterity 👍
  • Buddamoose
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    My whole previous point about the thought process that lead to the Holocaust, is that its not hard to follow. And really, its wouldn't probably be that hard to accomplish today cause people haven't exactly drastically changed 🤔
  • Buddamoose
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    --> @Castin
    Like it appears XLAV said as well, you dont have to even convince people such and such group needs to die. You just need to paint their existence as necessarily evil and watch as people do the work for you 🤔

  • Castin
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    --> @Buddamoose
    Not at all. Your posts just made me unclear on where you personally stand, and I was curious. I certainly didn't expect you to say they're evil.
  • Buddamoose
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    --> @Castin
    Lol yeah,  my first posts were super rambly and not very clear statements 😂😂. 


  • Castin
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    Well help me out a little here. Were you saying the Nazis exterminated Jews because they were wealthy, not because they were Jewish?
  • XLAV
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    --> @Castin
    What I meant is, the leaders who convince other people who's evil are also the one's who convinced themselves what they're doing is good. 

    For example the Nazis. The leaders of the holocaust were the most passionate on their goal and they convinced themselves that what they are doing is for the greater good. 
  • XLAV
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    But in reality though, a wise man once told me,

    "It's tempting to see your enemies as evil, but there's good and evil on both sides of every war ever fought." - Jorah Mormont