Scientific Research & Self-Development Activism
Recently, a violent attack was made at Century 16 theaters in Aurora, Colorado. In the attack, 58 individuals were injured and 12 were murdered. The attacker was James Holmes, shooting just to kill.
I am a survivor of the attack being in theater 9, while the man gassed the theater and began shooting. I made it out of the attack with a few minor injuries, safe and psychologically stable. My question is, What causes those who were not involved in the attack, but who remained in the town, to break down and feel sympathy or sorrow? What separates the murder of these individuals from the many dying each day? or from the child who will die from hunger before I finish this paragraph? Is it that there are names attached to the corpses that now give them some significance?
I was in the attack and see this no different then realizing the death of someone miles upon miles away from me, so what causes people to only show significant care when the individuals who suffer are near them, and why so? I find this similar to the video posted by Dean Leysen, about distance and helping people. Please contribute your ideas, answers and a beliefs to the subject.
I sort of feel as I am the odd ball out (which is perfectly fine), but nonetheless I am at a lack of understanding.
Good questions, Evan. And so ironic that you referenced Dean's video, because the first thing that I thought of doing in response to this was to look up and refer you to Dean's Discussion post about this from last year. lol
Which can be found here, btw, along with the comments that I made then. ;-)
>What causes those who were not involved in the attack, but who remained in the town, to
>break down and feel sympathy or sorrow?
A human connection, through empathy & realizing it could be us.
Not sure if it's appropriate, but I'm not a traditional person. There was an interesting thread on 4chan which theorized this.. (entire post:)
i get it now
he said he was the joker
"You know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that like a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all, part of the plan. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds. Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order and everything becomes chaos"
(The Joker, batman, The Dark Knight)
nobody gives a fuck if 100 people gets blown up in the middle east because we expect that but if 12 people get shot in america the whole world goes apeshit
he is the joker
It's very interesting philosophy.. it's the frustration that human beings are so detached from things we can't relate well to, as this post gives the prime example; a bombing in a movie theater that was only different in being "in the middle east".
>What separates the murder of these individuals from the many dying each day? or from the
>child who will die from hunger before I finish this paragraph? Is it that there are names
>attached to the corpses that now give them some significance?
This is something I really struggle with. There isn't much of a difference as I see it. And yet, we have these borders like nations which we say separate us from those atrocities being relevant at all; from us having to care at all that people indeed die every day; that we are able or worthy of a better quality of life in the west. It's a very troubling thing to think about. I think at the most basic level, the fact we are in our own bubble in that respect most of the time, is so we are stable and can function well..
I'm a non-nationalist myself. That's pretty much all I can say, other than I also respect that a higher quality of living is what I am allowed the luxury of, so I am allowed to enjoy it while others do indeed writhe in hunger and pain every second. I am allowed this joy.. why not? Since the general absurdity of our world infers no-one can judge each of us in human ethical terms, I'm not going to hell for having a better quality of life. I can, though, choose to be troubled by this and do something about it. But at the same time, I sympathize with those who can't confront this difficult issue.
A difference between when something like this happens in a war-zone and in america, could be that there are more information about the victims. Names, pictures, faces that look like your own, somebody knows somebody that died... all this contributes to humanizing the victims. When 12 people is killed in syria, your much more likely to only see some numbers, some pictures of the scene and a quick overview of what happened.
Also, when it is closer it`s natural to be frightened since it poses a larger threat to your own life.