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Increased violence

Posted by john h on 7/19/03 at 11:30 (124790)

This may sound over simplistic but I do think that much of the increased violence in the world in due to increased population. At the turn of the century we had l little over 100 million people in this nation. Now we have somewhere around 275 million. Mome people competing for limited resources. We are a less religious nation. Whether you believe in a God or not religion lays down a moral base in a nation which if followed leads to less violence and other social phonomena that caues crime and social disorder.. Marriages and the family stayed togehter for better or worse. Many families I knew had three genereations living in one home. Granny did not go off to a nursing home. As the population of the world continues to grow you can expect more war and violence within nations. This planet can support only so many people then the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse will ride again (Conquest,War,Famine and death).. There have been several books discussing this subject. My first grade class had 10 students. We all stayed together until I moved away in the 7th grade and we all learned reading, writing and arithmitic or we did not get promoted..

Re: Increased violence

SteveG on 7/19/03 at 12:49 (124794)

Some interesting points, John. However, I am not sure that the link between resources, population and war is that strong. Look, for example, that America prior to the arrival of Europeans. Even though there was plenty of land and resources, there was constant fighting - the Apaches were sworn enemies of the Comanche, the Arapaho fought constantly with the Wichita, etc, etc. It may be, as is often argued these days, that people have an inherent (biological) sense of 'us' and 'them', 'in group' and 'out group', and that this is the ultimate foundation of much of the war and strife in the world.

The religious point is also tricky - at least the monotheistic religions. Although there is a constant attempt to white wash it as being a 'religion of peace', etc. The fact is that the Islamic faith is extremely bellicose. Within a century of Mohammed's death, his adherents had conquered everything from India to southern Spain; and there is not doubt that our current situation stems from the fact that we are viewed as 'Satanic' by many people in the world. If you listen to the rants of Moussaoui in court, you get some insight into the world view of Al Quida - calling us the 'United Satan', etc. There is an excellent book out now called 'Reading Lolita in Tehran', which gives an interesting look at what an Islamic state is like and the kind of madness that we, and enlighted folks everywhere, struggle against.

Re: Increased violence

marie on 7/19/03 at 16:17 (124798)

Religion is the source of many arguments and wars. Some Christian and some not. We argue about religion all the time...even in our country. Someone always has the right way and they want everyone else to follow it. Christianity isn't without its dark moments.

I agree with the population speculation. There are more people. But what about Japan. It has so few violent crimes and the people live practically on top of each other in Tokyo. Is it their religion that guides them or maybe that desire to pull together as a nation to improve their place in the world economy.

My students are always so amazed at the violent and almost horrific paintings from the past. We have always been a bit on the violent side.


P.S. interesting topic

Re: Increased violence

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/19/03 at 17:38 (124805)

I am dissapointed by what I percieve by the lack of vocal opposition to terrorism by 'moderate' Islamic leaders in the US and eleswhere. Are the moderate intimidated by the Islamists or are they lukewarm in their opposition of them? I don't know but I am concerned by what I see.

Re: Increased violence

BrianG on 7/19/03 at 21:54 (124813)

Has violence really increased, or is it just that CNN (etc) is reporting all this violence almost as soon as it happens ?????


Re: Increased violence

wendyn on 7/19/03 at 23:11 (124819)

Brian - my thoughts are that yes - it is reported more. And - it's also news. Historically, things like spousal abuse, child abuse, and sexual assult were not even 'crimes'. It was only recently that we decided that it was possible for a man to rape his wife (hard to do if she is obligated by marriage vows). Many forms of abuse were regarded as just part of life, and one individuals right to control another. It's pretty tough to find stats on sexual assult from the 18th century.

Now we view it as violence, and we call it violence - but it was always there. Not to say that violence hasn't increased - I don't have per capita murder stats to look at - but I think that societies perception of what is and isn't violence has a big effect on how violent we believe the world to be.

Re: Increased violence

Kathy G on 7/20/03 at 09:03 (124826)

You are so right about how the reporting of violence has increased and as someone so rightly said, so has our perception of violence. I believe there was just as much spousal and child abuse in the 'old days' but unfortunately, it was never revealed and actually accepted as being a part of life.

Despite the facts that a larger population will reap a larger number of violent acts and that the family unit and morals have changed, I do believe that society has become more accepting of violence. Part of that has to be the fact that the media has desensitized us to violence. Before the war in Vietnam, for example, we never saw live killing on television. During the previous wars, the newsreels must have had less impact. As communication technology has advanced, we have been able to see more and more live carnage as it takes place. Surely that has in some way lessened our reaction. As we see more violence, we begin to accept it as being a normal part of life.

I don't know, maybe it always was a part of life but I fear that the current generation may be too accepting of it and not become as outraged as they should. I know; I'm showing my age! But it is something that I frequently wonder about.

Interesting subject, John.

Re: Increased violence

marie on 7/20/03 at 18:42 (124845)

In the 1800s a man named Whabi became a very vocal extreme religous fundamentalist. He had great influence on the Saud family (the ruling family in Saudi Arabia). BinLaden is a follower of Wahabism which is the Islamic fundamentalist group that most Islamic terrorists practice. The Saud family allows (turns a blind eye to their presence) Wahbism in Saudi Arabia because they fear that group may attempt to overrun them and probably could. Wahabism was the Islamic foundation for the ruling law in Afganastan.

The main reason why Hussein and Binladen did not like each other was because Hussein seperated religion and government. That is a big no no in the Arab world. Actually Iraq was and could have been a very progressive Muslim country. Women were not required to wear birkas as you saw in Afganastan. Women in Iraq had the freedom to attend school, colleges and many have careers and still do. Just think what Iraq could have been if Hussein had been a just man. Instead he wasted what money they had on his own self indulgence. The U.S. would like to see a government in place that seperates church and state. Many of the Muslims have great objection to this and that may be one difficult struggle for the U.S.

Not all Muslims follow the teachings of Wahabi. Please understand that there are different Muslim groups. They have some basic commonalities that tie them together. You may recall that shortly after 9/11 some Muslims were afraid to come out of their homes because of the hate crimes that occured. They kept a low profile. The mosque in our community was burned down. We have many Arabs that live in our community because we are a college community in the winter months. Some of our professors are from Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The college has the reputation for being one of the best for engineering in the country so we get many students from all over the world.

It has been interesting to listen to their views. All of them that I have met reject Whabism and denounce it and they have gone on local TV to make these comments. It's just not the big news I guess. Don't be to quick to judge. There are alot of things that aren't reported in the news. For instance I have never seen an estimate of how many Iraqis died in the war. I find this a bit disturbing but I am not going to judge...maybe the news has not been given a number because it is still being determined.

I think the most interesting interaction on our campus last year was between the students from Pakestan and India. They simply don't exhist to each other. They totally ignore each other. They hate each other because of the ongoing differences between their countries. They have never spoken to each other at all ever and they live on the same floor of their residence hall. I learned very quickly not to question my son's friend from India on the matter. He's such a cool kid and a budding rock guitarist but don't ask him about Pakestan....yikes.

later marie

Re: Increased violence

john h on 7/21/03 at 09:45 (124876)

From my days as a child and teen I know there is much less crime without even looking at FBI stats. Who would sleep with their windows open or doors unlocked today? It was not uncommon to leave the keys in your car when you went into a store. Certainly we had crime such as mob crime in the cities but the murder rate has doubled over a short span. Most crime was in the cites and not in small town America.

We will never know how much child abuse there might have been. You just did not talk about such things. I would suspect there was a lot of unreported rape.

I do not know the stats on crime in a country such as Saudi Arabi but I assume that it is very low do to the harsh punishment. Singapore is another place with virtually no crime which results from the very severe punishmnet delt out. Remember the young American who had his feet beat with canes for stealing? .

Re: Increased violence

Kathy G on 7/21/03 at 16:07 (124921)

It is scary. As Dorothy and others said above, television and movies play a huge role in the increased violence in society. And as you say, too many children are watching unsupervised television. My friends who are teachers tell me I wouldn't believe the programs and movies their students are allowed to watch.

A funny story - at least to me :D. When the Stallone Rocky movies came out, many of my son's friends were allowed to go see them in the theaters but I wouldn't allow him to go because I thought they were too violent for his age group. He's 29 now so I don't really remember how old he was but I was firm about it. When he was in middle school, they showed the first Rocky movie for the first time on TV. I told him he could stay up late to watch it. He was all excited. He watched it for about a half hour and then said, 'You know, this is stupid. I think I'll go to bed!'

Now, I have no doubt that he's gone on to see all kinds of violent movies since that time, but I believe he's a little more discriminating then he would have been if his viewing habits hadn't been monitored!

By the way, because I was so strict about their television/movie habits, my kids say that they are terrible when they get an Entertainment question in Trivial Pursuit. Other than that, they say it hasn't been a social handicap!

Re: Increased violence

Suzanne D on 7/21/03 at 22:19 (124933)

You're absolutely right, Kathy, about children watching so much violence on t.v. and in movies. I personally feel that the home VCRs were the beginning of a great deal of this. I can remember when children at school began talking about all these movies, and it was when most homes had a VCR. Unfortunately, many parents aren't discriminating about what their children watch, and a movie rented down at the corner store for a couple of dollars gives them a 2-hour break from the child. That's the way it seems to me. I cannot imagine any other reason why a 6 year old child would be allowed to watch things I don't even like to watch. At such a young age they cannot possibly know how to react to what they see. It just becomes an acceptable standard of behavior for them. They are being taught that what they see is the way to behave. That's my opinion, anyway!

Suzanne :)

Re: Increased violence

Kathy G on 7/22/03 at 09:23 (124955)

And I agree! :)