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Thread: Why Do We Like Violence So Much?

  1. #1 Why Do We Like Violence So Much? 
    Forum Sophomore 8873tom's Avatar
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    I pose three questions for you.

    1)
    Why do you think we enjoy watching, in some cases, extremely violent movies? How is it that people getting shot, stabbed, ripped apart etc. is entertaining?

    And,

    2)
    What effects do you think these types of movies have on the global crime rate? Better then on TV than in real life right? But how many people go out and, to some extent, copy what they have seen on TV?

    Lastly,

    3)
    What on Earth makes directors and writers create these types of movies? Money and fame obviously, but do you think that they have to be in some was ‘disturbed’ to, a) think that its OK to make money by fake killing people, and, b) like it so much that they go to all the effort to make a multi-million dollar movie.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like a horror/action movie as much as the next guy, I’m just sitting watching ‘Chopper’ wondering why. It will be interesting to see your views.


    What was God doing before He created the Universe?
    Before He created Heaven and Earth, God created Hell to be used for people such as you who ask this kind of question.
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  3. #2 Re: Why Do We Like Violence So Much? 
    Forum Freshman Coffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8873tom
    I pose three questions for you.

    1)
    Why do you think we enjoy watching, in some cases, extremely violent movies? How is it that people getting shot, stabbed, ripped apart etc. is entertaining?
    There are instances where we don't like to see violence. I do not like to watch tapes about 9/11, because I know that it's real violence. I will, however, watch American Psycho (or read the book) and be entertained by it because I know it's fake violence.

    Most violent acts are meant to bring about ethical and moral questions. Zombie films are considered to be a form of social commentary. So why not Die Hard? Would you drop that fucker Lars off of the building? Would you let go? Was it right for the good cop to be the bad cop that kicks a lot of ass?

    The original Night of the Living Dead is about point of view. And while it's a violent movie with flesh eating humans, you can either board up the house, hide in the attic, or hide in the basement. Your choice. So really, the movie is more about the way of human thinking, and not zombies.

    As for violence affecting people, it's a load of bull. People can tell the difference between reality and entertainment. A child who witnesses his father beating his mother is more than likely to grow up a wife beater because he has witnessed real violence.

    And your last question as to why create it? Because it makes us question our beliefs. It makes you think "Why not kill Lars?" And then again, it is fun to watch.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    1)
    Why do you think we enjoy watching, in some cases, extremely violent movies? How is it that people getting shot, stabbed, ripped apart etc. is entertaining?

    I'd have to disagree with you somewhat, look at Lord Of The Rings trilogy. True it has some violence but not like you are describing at all. Shrek, ET, Where's Nemo are other examples of movies that don't contain the violence you state yet all these movies were number 1 at the box office for many months and generated more money that any violent films that you are refering to. Entertainment comes in many forms and I guess to some the movies you are talking about are watched by some people that like that sort of thing.



    2)
    What effects do you think these types of movies have on the global crime rate? Better then on TV than in real life right? But how many people go out and, to some extent, copy what they have seen on TV?


    I'd think crime would be about the same perhaps lower somewhat without your type of violent movies. Not many people copy what they see they just do things that make them feel that they are in charge of the victim. Most violent rapes, murders and robberies happen about the same way every time with a few exceptions. Some people are just tired of being used and want others to suffer for their own failures. Hurting others that can't fight back is the way these cowards usually attack their victems for they don't want to try and pick on someone that could turn the tables on them.



    3)
    What on Earth makes directors and writers create these types of movies? Money and fame obviously, but do you think that they have to be in some was ‘disturbed’ to, a) think that its OK to make money by fake killing people, and, b) like it so much that they go to all the effort to make a multi-million dollar movie.



    As long as people pay to see violent movies as you describe there will be a niche in the movie business for them. Again I'd like to stress that most of the violent movies you are refering to aren't number one box office hits and if they are few people see them and they don't last at number one for long. Overall most people will go to less violent movies that you speak about by far and those that do attend the violent types are probably wanting cheap thrills to see eleswhere themselves.

    I try to avoid gratuitous violent movies when I can and I really don't see them as anything more than money making entities that fade away as time goes by.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Sophomore 8873tom's Avatar
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    To Coffee:

    There are instances where we don't like to see violence. I do not like to watch tapes about 9/11, because I know that it's real violence. I will, however, watch American Psycho (or read the book) and be entertained by it because I know it's fake violence.
    This has raised another interesting point; why can we cope with fake violence and not real violence? We don’t batter an eye lid when we see WWE, but real wresting is almost painful to watch. If we were told it was fake would it be as non-entertaining to watch? No, it’s psychological. I feel 9/11 is a bad example to be honest.

    Most violent acts are meant to bring about ethical and moral questions.
    Very true. Without these ‘violent acts’ our standards of ethics and morals would be different. Saying this, violence is a part of human nature (all living things in fact), so what decides the boundaries of moral and ethical acceptance…
    I can’t really say to be honest!! I’m pretty sure it’s to do with what sort of society we live in. Right and wrong. I guess what I’m asking is; why do we need these types of movies to bring about questions about our ethical and moral standards when we already have so much real violence in our world?

    Zombie films are considered to be a form of social commentary. So why not Die Hard? Would you drop that fucker Lars off of the building? Would you let go? Was it right for the good cop to be the bad cop that kicks a lot of ass?

    The original Night of the Living Dead is about point of view. And while it's a violent movie with flesh eating humans, you can either board up the house, hide in the attic, or hide in the basement. Your choice. So really, the movie is more about the way of human thinking, and not zombies.
    You are being to general. This can be said about all movies, in fact it can be said about absolutely everything. What I’m asking is why does it have to be man eating zombies, why man killing man; what is it that makes us what to see us hurt each other? And just as an after thought, why is it do damn funny to see other people hurting themselves, e.g. your dad whacking his head on something!

    As for violence affecting people, it's a load of bull. People can tell the difference between reality and entertainment.
    No. Not everyone.

    And your last question as to why create it? Because it makes us question our beliefs. It makes you think "Why not kill Lars?" And then again, it is fun to watch.
    This I agree with.
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    Before He created Heaven and Earth, God created Hell to be used for people such as you who ask this kind of question.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Sophomore 8873tom's Avatar
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    To comictraveler:

    Entertainment comes in many forms and I guess to some the movies you are talking about are watched by some people that like that sort of thing.
    Quite right, real violent movies are not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, some of the Japanese ones go completely over the line of acceptance and have to be turned off half-way through. :? But I think your missing the point somewhat; why (psychologically speaking) do SOME PEOPLE class watching people get fake killed entertaining?

    Thank you for your response to my second question, I feel you have answered it.

    As long as people pay to see violent movies as you describe there will be a niche in the movie business for them. Again I'd like to stress that most of the violent movies you are refering to aren't number one box office hits and if they are few people see them and they don't last at number one for long. Overall most people will go to less violent movies that you speak about by far and those that do attend the violent types are probably wanting cheap thrills to see eleswhere themselves.
    All true, but that didn’t really answer my question… Do you think you have to be a ‘different’ type of person to make such ‘art’?
    What was God doing before He created the Universe?
    Before He created Heaven and Earth, God created Hell to be used for people such as you who ask this kind of question.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    has aqnyone seen the movie 'Event Horizon'.
    that was not an enjoyable film for me to watch but i would rather watch it then watch real violence.

    the other night i saw on TV a documentry about war reporting and the section of war footage on vietnam was somewhat disturbing.
    especialy when your watching the south vietnamese chief of police execute someone in the middle of the street.

    there is obviously a difference to human thinking when watching someone cop a bullet in the head on a movie and seeing it in real life.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Sophomore 8873tom's Avatar
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    Event Horizon is an immense film! The ending has to be the mother of all endings!

    there is obviously a difference to human thinking when watching someone cop a bullet in the head on a movie and seeing it in real life
    Obviously. :-D
    What was God doing before He created the Universe?
    Before He created Heaven and Earth, God created Hell to be used for people such as you who ask this kind of question.
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  9. #8  
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    Good one, 8873tom.
    Very good questions worthy of well considered replies. But off the top of my head, I would guess that most people feel some fascination and excitement when viewing theatrical violence and aggression, as in the typical cops and robbers soap. I also think that most people would be disturbed/shocked to witness the same scenes in real life.
    I find it hard to imagine that TV and cinema have caused us to become more aggressive or violent than were people before pre-TV days. History seems to give the lie to that. I like to believe that we continue, slowly but surely to evolve socially. I don't think that averting our eyes from the nasty side of human behaviour helps that process very much. In fact I think it often helps to face it. After all, it has triggered this discussion for starters.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    yes we are living in a very sheltered society.
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  11. #10  
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    Event horizon is one of those movies that so easily gives you nightmare's. Mostly because people who consider alternative space flight, warping space time is an uknown, so you can contemplate all sorts of weird stuff that might happen, let the imagination run wild.. it could of well been about angels. But it was gory instead, I think its primal...

    Theres a large basis for the scary gory movies because, gory doesnt have to be scary, to be scary if you know what i mean, nautrally instinctive to get scared at violence which kicks off that addictive chemical for flight or fight. People with less tolerance go jump off cliffs and sky dive, people who are much more tolerant and arnt so addicted to the feeling, settle for the occassional theme park ride, and scary or gory movie depending on how moral you find even pretend violence.. people who arnt addicted to the feeling may be less susceptable physically, to tolerate violence. It defiantely has a discerning factor.
    "The present is theirs ; the future, for which I really work , is mine." Nikola Tesla
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  12. #11  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Personally, I am no longer drawn to violent movies. Having watched large amounts of horror/extremely violent movies, I find that nothing satisfies my lust anymore. Even those movies that are classes as real violence, snuff, the rest, does not affect me at all.

    My 'childish' interest for violence has shifted to 'heroism'. I still love the equipping the armor in the Two Towers of Theoden (Do you trust your king?).

    Aside from this, am I about to copy something seen from a movie? I think here lies the crux of it all. If you identify with a character in a movie, and that movie does things that involve violence, a person might tend towards violence. However, the people who identify with these characters who act violently are often violent themselves.

    Ergo, I don't believe that a 'normal' person is about to identify with Jules in such a way that he is going to recite the bible before killing someone. I don't think most yuppies will identify with Patrick Bateman in such a sense that they will start killing young women, bums, et cetera.

    Only those, I believe, prone to violence will identify themselves with violent characters and copycat such violence.

    Mr U
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  13. #12  
    Forum Freshman skydust's Avatar
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    1)
    Why do you think we enjoy watching, in some cases, extremely violent movies? How is it that people getting shot, stabbed, ripped apart etc. is entertaining?

    - Personally, i dont enjoy voilence or violent movies. i find it disturbing and "soul polluting".

    2)
    What effects do you think these types of movies have on the global crime rate? Better then on TV than in real life right? But how many people go out and, to some extent, copy what they have seen on TV?

    - I think that it desensitizes people from seeing violence in real life, because they get so used to seeing it on tv, that it loses its weight when it actually happens. also, people get the wrong idea of how much damage you can actually do to a person before it becomes lethal.

    3)
    What on Earth makes directors and writers create these types of movies? Money and fame obviously, but do you think that they have to be in some was ‘disturbed’ to, a) think that its OK to make money by fake killing people, and, b) like it so much that they go to all the effort to make a multi-million dollar movie.

    - personally i think its part of the whole thing to keep people ignorant and on a low vibrational level. i wont go into that more here, but its somewhat of a conspiracy theory some would say..
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  14. #13  
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    I think that the need of violence is vey difference epending on the enironment. Etc.. in old rome people liked to see people get killed live.. we have how ever very much replaced that need with other things like bad news etc.. we can also replace the violence itself with more creative things.
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  15. #14 ... 
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    1)
    Why do you think we enjoy watching, in some cases, extremely violent movies? How is it that people getting shot, stabbed, ripped apart etc. is entertaining?
    Ive often wondered this too....
    I had a little ponder and these are some reasons I came up with. "???"


    i. Evolution
    Our innate un-evolved primal instincts resurfacing upon being presented with a violent act, therin preparing our body for the possibilty of a threat. This may cause an exciteful sensation.
    "I think this is the most likely and I cant help but think of my affinity with boxing and martial art sports".


    ii. Fear
    Our inability to comprehend with what may happen to us when subjected to a violent act, triggering a sense of surprise and a rush of adrenalin.
    "Stupid, but most violent films Im guessing are'nt exactly subjects of tertiary study, still entertaining none the less!"


    iii. Identification
    We may have an element of anger within which we are able to identify with. Maybe we have a repressed sub-concious desires to do harm, to break the laws of morality for which we each know to be right.
    "Sinister! I know and doubtful because we're all in denial of our EVIL self"
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  16. #15  
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    Violence is ruining new-age horror movies. Don't believe me? Since when have you seen a movie like Halloween on? Every movie is about toture usually or a supersticious force. As for why people are compelled to watch it, I could say it's about the curiousity of what happens when someone gets ripped apart, or when someone dies, but aren't quite curious enough to see it to an actual person. I'm really starting to dislike it, too. I'm sick of this rise on horror films. Every quarter of the year there are at least 4-5 horror movies I would imagine. Where are the good comedys (Without Will Farrell ) or action movies that aren't the usual big explosions with movie star flicks?
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  17. #16 Ambivalence and boundary 
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    This curiority upon violence may be in part to identity movement, that is, sociological alignment of one's self to social interactions. Consider "Fight Club" and the symbolic enactments, even the actors--icons of conduct to the audience in a bizarre psychological symbiotic projection.

    Just my two cents
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  18. #17  
    Moderator Moderator John Galt's Avatar
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    Why Do We Like Violence So Much?

    We are bloody good at it, that's why.
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  19. #18  
    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    we like to see what we dont want to do.
    People like seeing certain sexual things, but they dont want to do it
    Its the same with all other stuff
    Me for exemple, i like to play evil, superior on forums (such as this) but i dont want to be evil. and i know very well im not superior.
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

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  20. #19  
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    I seem to remember somewhere in the deep distant past reading that man had the challenge of finding food by hunting, and well before that, 'hunting' for mates. Killing an animal [usually] meant food but today we mostly do not need to kill our own food, we seem to derive some primitive comfort 'seeing death or violence' as we associate it with success. The girls were not part of the hunt group they were too valuable hence they do not share a love of violence to the same extent guys do. As to 'violent sex' think back to the need to 'hunt' females as well as 'food', perhaps some guys mix the two things up. It's about the best explanation I have heard, I think it was originally propoesed (or even proposed), by Desmond Morris.
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  21. #20  
    Forum Senior miomaz's Avatar
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    why do we like violence

    a) We dont just like violence, we like more action or to get scaerd without getting hurt or put intojail. Violence is so interresting because the chance of maincharacter dieing is high horrorfilms you get scared. Its what violence can affect and is the easayest way to make somthing exiting.

    b) I have come up with the same theory as billco,saying that primitive forms of humans always hunt and fight. also the last 10.000 years we have been fighting wars (the ones that liked it had better chances in war) with insanely much gore bloodspray torture slaughtering ect.
    for example "die Schlacht im Teutoburger Wald" (the massacre in Teutoburger woods) one of the gooriest massacres in germany ever to be recorded
    I haven't come to fight my word, but to find the truth.
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  22. #21 V for Violence 
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    1) I love violent movies. Why? It feels good. It gives a feeling of freedom which is impossible to achieve in real life. It is the feeling of unlimited power without consequence. I get the same feeling when I read violent books, graphic novels and play videogames.

    2) So am I a murderous rapist? No. Why? Because reality have consequences. If I kill somebody in real life I don't only end up in jail I also hurt my friends, family and the friends and family of the person I killed. Violence brings power, power brings responsibility, responsibility means dealing with consequences, dealing with consequences means lots of work, work =

    There are historical evidence that points to the fact that "stable" societies in the past where more violent than the "stable" societies of today. The problem is not the media, the problem is the people that do not understand that action creates a reaction or consequence.

    3) Some of them do it for the same reason I watch their movies. Playing god without having to deal with all the BS. Some do it for money and some wants to send a message like war is bad, vengeance is bad, drugs are bad, and Nazis are bad and so on.
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