The necessity of cruelty

HTHBAA             HTHBAA             HTHBAA          HTHBAA                  HTHBAAH

HTHBAA is a concept, maybe a good one, maybe not.  But I cannot think of anyway for a humane person to reject it, to consider it wrong despite the practical implications that some would say make it impractical or too idealistic in as world that by its nature is cruel  to some extent.  The answer I have that I have thought about for many year now is this, that the world, the natural world, is looked upon from particular perspectives, there can be detected cruelty in nature.  I do not think that cruelty of the human kind, is of nature, is a necessarily natural and inextinguishable aspect of basic human character.  Cruelty is  a choice and, as a choice, permanent only if the choice is made by human beings to make it so.

I do think that the cruelty we see in the actions of many, in the actions individuals take and in the actions organizations such as corporations and governments make is by choice and cruelty is rarely of necessity though it can be seen to be if the choice is made to see it that way.  For example, it does seem at times that it is necessary to meet cruelty with acts of cruelty, the overthrow of dictators, for instance, the incarceration of the violent and vicious.  The cure for the cruelty is very often more cruelty and the more cruelty is made a regular part of how we conduct ourselves on this earth as human beings, the more cruelty there will be, a good amount of it excused away as normal and natural.

We killed bin laden, we killed Gaddafi, we got rid of Hitler by a war that was extremely cruel to millions and millions of people beyond those treated so brutally by the Nazis.  Should we look at the causes, the reasoning that led to the actions of these people who needed to be put down?  What was going on in the places where these people arose to take power and use it to brutalize others?  Each had followings, human beings who for some reason or other saw the righteousness of the causes they led.  Were those who followed responding to what they believed to be their own cruel treatment by others?  And their leaders, did they believe that they were fighting the cruel and, if not that, knew that they could use what their followers believed to be cruel treatment of themselves to recruit them?

Is it that cruel causes are reactions to real or perceived cruel treatment by others?  And if this is so, then shouldn’t a humane society seek out with great vigor the root causes of the cruelty?  In doing so we will find what must not be allowed and what must be and we should spend the time doing so because it is the way to discover humane answers to the eradication of cruelty, the essential step toward creating for ourselves a humane world.

By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

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