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Why is it "bad" to be cruel?

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    (Original post by Alpharius)
    I'm cruel if I have to be. Ever heard of having to be cruel to be kind?

    My cousin wanted to be a proffesional footballer. Lots of talent, but absolutely no focus. I told him he wasn't good enough to make it.

    I'm glad to say he's now in a very good professional acadamy.

    Same thing happens in the army. Instructors there aren't gentle with you, they constantly make you feel like crap, all to get a response out of you. A friend of mine told me he almost failed his Marine training. The instructors told him to keep on marching, he said he couldn't. They said; "then quit." He's a Royal Marine now.

    Cruelty for cruelty's sake is of course wrong. Sometimes its useful.
    Wrong according to whom? And why?
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    (Original post by ilovedesifems)
    Empathy is not universal, but to deny it doesn't exist in human affairs is silly.

    Are you going to post some trendy relativistic bull****, or otherwise pronouce yourself a sociopath and disagree?
    I find it confusing that you attack me for defending your post against multiple posters seeking to dismiss it without discussion.

    Perhaps it's bad to be cruel because it negatively affects your ability to create threads which don't descend into being needlessly insulting.
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    (Original post by ilovedesifems)
    Wrong according to whom? And why?
    According to me. Because I said so.
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    (Original post by ilovedesifems)
    That's just PC rhetoric.
    PC rhetoric?
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    Nietzsche makes a case for being cruel sometimes. In a nutshell, he thinks that its natural for humans to be cruel, and that if we try and suppress our need to inflict cruelty, it can manifest in unhealthy ways. For example, as cruelty towards oneself, which in turn generates self-hatred stops one from flourishing. On a larger scale, and especially in egalitarian, democratic cultures, almost everyone ends up being cruel to themselves, which one could argue is worse for everyone.
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    (Original post by Chumbaniya)
    For a philosophy forum, seeing the first three posters implicitly assume the truth of the Golden Rule in an attempt to quash further discussion, when this is in effect the very thing that is being questioned, isn't greatly encouraging.
    He who has the gold makes the rules? What?
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    (Original post by ilovedesifems)
    Wrong according to whom? And why?
    We've established that. You agreed.

    Sixth form philosophy is so dull.
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    (Original post by Kibalchich)
    He who has the gold makes the rules? What?
    I'm not sure whether you're being sarcastic, but here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

    It's typically better to look up Wikipedia articles yourself though. If something is clearly capitalised in a post it's likely you'll be able to find out about it independently.
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    OP needs to read up on Buddha and Jesus.

    We're not cruel because we don't want others to be cruel us. It's as simple as that.

    EDIT: Holy ****, you pretty much proved this in the second post. :|
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    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    It's also interesting how children seem to have a far lesser understanding that their actions affect other people in a good or a bad way, which leads me to think that empathy relies quite heavily on experience and intelligence (by intelligence I mean basic human intelligence that other animals don't have, without which you won't be able to reason that other people are able to feel the same things as you).
    Empathy is emotional, not intellectual.

    Children are also under-developed emotionally.

    It is perfectly rational to have zero empathy in the modern world because communities no longer exist.

    Animals are perfectly capable of the reasoning you describe and of empathy.
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    (Original post by Chumbaniya)
    For a philosophy forum, seeing the first three posters implicitly assume the truth of the Golden Rule in an attempt to quash further discussion, when this is in effect the very thing that is being questioned, isn't greatly encouraging.


    The OP was not questioning the Golden rule, as you have suggested, but rather why being cruel was bad. Well, to answer that question, I would suggest the OP consulted a dictionary. The phrase "being cruel', used in ordinary language, already assumes injustice. Ie ''The teacher squirmed with delight as the boy wrote his lines. Even the faculty thought him a cruel disciplinarian." The word implicitly assumes something bad is being done, regardless of whether we think the golden rule should apply or not.

    Discussing whether the Golden rule is always a just rule would however be a much more worthwhile question.
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    (Original post by Blutooth)
    Well, I don't really know what the OP is asking. The phrase "being cruel', used in ordinary language, already assumes injustice.

    Eg.
    ''The teacher squirmed with delight as the boy wrote his lines. Even the faculty thought him a cruel disciplinarian."


    The OP was not questioning the Golden rule, as you have said, but that would prove to be a more engaging question.
    I agree the wording of the post title is odd, since 'cruel' carries strong connotations of immorality already. Subsequent posters were pretty clearly assuming the Golden Rule in their responses, and I think questioning the Golden Rule is a much less loaded issue which at least relates to the original topic.
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    (Original post by Blutooth)
    The OP was not questioning the Golden rule, as you have suggested, but rather why being cruel was bad. Well, to answer that question, I would suggest the OP consulted a dictionary. The phrase "being cruel', used in ordinary language, already assumes injustice. Ie ''The teacher squirmed with delight as the boy wrote his lines. Even the faculty thought him a cruel disciplinarian." The word implicitly assumes something bad is being done, regardless of whether we think the golden rule should apply or not.

    Discussing whether the Golden rule is always a just rule would however be a much more worthwhile question.

    (Original post by Chumbaniya)
    I agree the wording of the post title is odd, since 'cruel' carries strong connotations of immorality already. Subsequent posters were pretty clearly assuming the Golden Rule in their responses, and I think questioning the Golden Rule is a much less loaded issue which at least relates to the original topic.
    Are you both saying this (it's 5:30 so I'm a little hazy):

    The word cruel is one which when used carries prescriptions.
    You can be prescribed to do things (you ought to do X).
    You can be prescribed not to do things (you ought not to do X).

    In this case it is the latter. It is cruel to do X means one ought not to do X.

    So the question the op is asking can be asked like this:

    Why is it bad to do things that we morally shouldn't do?

    Or:
    Why is it bad to be immoral?

    Which is a self defeating question, as the very nature of something being immoral is that we ought not to do it. It is similar to asking:
    "why be moral" as if that is a legitimate moral question (moral questions instead ask what it is to be moral).


    Which is what my view on this thread is.
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    (Original post by Rob19)
    Nietzsche makes a case for being cruel sometimes. In a nutshell, he thinks that its natural for humans to be cruel, and that if we try and suppress our need to inflict cruelty, it can manifest in unhealthy ways. For example, as cruelty towards oneself, which in turn generates self-hatred stops one from flourishing. On a larger scale, and especially in egalitarian, democratic cultures, almost everyone ends up being cruel to themselves, which one could argue is worse for everyone.
    Of course you are correct here, but if taken all the way Nietzsche's position of moral relativism and that meaning can be found only through his Dionysian Superman leads to a state of mind where all morality is despised as a 'herd instinct', and one which as said leads to an extreme moral relativism which makes it OK to go out and rape and torture on a daily basis.

    I think if history has taught us anything, it is indeed 'bad' to be cruel, that is almost common sense. We should I suppose practice the Buddhist 'right mindfulness'.
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    (Original post by there's too much love)
    Are you both saying this (it's 5:30 so I'm a little hazy):

    .
    In a word, yes.
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    [QUOTE=ilovedesifems;36957811]
    (Original post by Dragonfly07)

    Why should there be proof when it's common knowledge? You're evidently too dopey to understand this.

    Chimpanzees often hand others fruit, or the share of a kill. Elephants feel visibly sad if they see the skeleton of a conspecific. Empathy is essentially required for basic social interaction.

    Can you answer my point and state how humans are more empathetic? humans, as with other animals, are capable of great cruelty, how is that empathy? lol...
    There are many possible explanations than empathy for those phenomena. They are just learned behaviours with fairly straightforward reciprocal benefits to the individual performing them. Empathy is completely different, and implies self-aware intelligence and the ability to understand the emotional response of another individual. What's more, elephants being 'visibly sad' is an anthropomorphic projection.

    I know of no evidence that any animals other than humans are capable of empathy, which is why the burden of proof is on you.
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    [QUOTE=Blahah;36970088]
    (Original post by ilovedesifems)
    There are many possible explanations than empathy for those phenomena. They are just learned behaviours with fairly straightforward reciprocal benefits to the individual performing them. Empathy is completely different, and implies self-aware intelligence and the ability to understand the emotional response of another individual. What's more, elephants being 'visibly sad' is an anthropomorphic projection.

    I know of no evidence that any animals other than humans are capable of empathy, which is why the burden of proof is on you.
    Social mammalian species show feelings if another is hurt, or suffering. How is this so moot or controversial? How are you even defining empathy?
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    (Original post by Id and Ego seek)
    OP needs to read up on Buddha and Jesus.

    We're not cruel because we don't want others to be cruel us. It's as simple as that.
    What if people don't believe in reciprocity? And why is it so simple?
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    (Original post by Rob19)
    Nietzsche makes a case for being cruel sometimes. In a nutshell, he thinks that its natural for humans to be cruel, and that if we try and suppress our need to inflict cruelty, it can manifest in unhealthy ways. For example, as cruelty towards oneself, which in turn generates self-hatred stops one from flourishing. On a larger scale, and especially in egalitarian, democratic cultures, almost everyone ends up being cruel to themselves, which one could argue is worse for everyone.
    I would agree that humans are naturally cruel, and that stopping it makes no sense since it will occur.

    However, this doesn't answer why it's bad to be so.
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    (Original post by Super Mario 64)
    PC rhetoric?
    I don't believe in absolutes, but the idea that everything is relative is just postmodern PC rhetoric.

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