Example Of Essay On Humanity And Inhumanity
In his book, Glover argues that people have a tendency to speak of torture and cruelty as the most common types of inhumanity. The author condemns the manner in which individuals participate in inflicting dreadful torment to the ‘enemies’ in the war, claiming that enmity is unnecessary. In an experiment conducted by Zimbardo, students were subjected to playing character roles of guards and prisoners. Surprisingly, the psychologist had to halt the experiment since the guards treated the prisoners ruthlessly and harshly. The author claimed that human beings are delighted when pain is inflicted on others and he condemns this behavior. The paper will provide insight into the theory of moral resources as conversed in chapter one and apply it in explaining the moral psychology of the waging war, war as a trap and tribalism and nationalism.
Human nature illustrates how cruelty excites the dark side of human nature. The author uses the theory of human resources to indicate how moral resources assist individuals in restraining their cruelty. The acts of cruelty activate the urge to respond since human beings have idiosyncratic psychological responses. According to Glover, “acts of cruelty may arouse our repulsion and thereby, we may respond to some mean fraud with contempt as courage or generosity may win our respect or admiration” (p.39). The author depicts how human beings respond in two ways, either with respect or sympathy. In most instances, people can feel the ones that are tortured and sympathize with them. Glover suggests, “Man is under obligation to acknowledge, in a practical way, the dignity of humanity in every other human being” (p.40).
The psychology of the waging war indicates that human thoughts created by images of other sufferings may prompt to distinct psychological responses. It is easier to inflict death upon the enemies in wars because cruelty makes people lose the sense of humanity. For instance, the American soldiers released cluster bombs to innocent Iraqi civilians when they were attacking their leader. This illustrates how anger can destroy sympathy in waging wars. The theory of moral resources is responsible for the psychology of the waging war. The acts of cruelty observed in waging wars made Glover ask, “How can people have done these things?’ when he was criticizing inhuman acts subjected to human beings (p.55).
Nonetheless, there exists a mindset that depicts the emergence of ‘tribal’ wars both in the local regions and in a more complex situation like the world wars. Since time immemorial, the psychology of wars has made civilians support their soldiers in war, and this has resulted in mass atrocities. For example, the murder of Stalin and Hitler cannot be directly associated with wars. Their deaths can be linked to psychological weakness of human beings vengeance.
Throughout the book, Glover demonstrates the idiosyncratic patterns of cruelty and heartlessness that have been common from the past to the present. Glover claims, ‘‘we need to look hard and clearly at some monsters inside us,'' not to develop pessimism in us but as ''part of the project of caging and taming them'' (p.28).The author believes that human nature comprises of both destructive instincts and “moral resources.” Therefore, our expectation of the future is influenced by the struggles among these instincts that exist in our countless minds. People should ensure that they respect human rights to eliminate punishment inflicted to innocent individuals.
Glover, J. (2000). Humanity: A moral history of the twentieth century. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
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