The latest sports controversy “Should referee Herb Dean have stopped the Rockhold-Weidman fight sooner?” is an opportunity to think about why we find beauty and pleasure on what is ugly and painful. The answer is in our faulty thinking (cognitive) process discussed here. The good news is that we can learn to find the errors in that process. In the meanwhile, we find pleasure in violence while feeling overwhelmed by it in our current society.
Many people find pleasure and even beauty in these legal and illegal ‘sporting’ fights, the excuse being that these are ‘for sport’ and the contenders are paid and do it on their own volition. There has always been a market for violence and deadly sports, there are always people who find pleasure in seeing other humans and animals being destroyed and or harmed.
For some reason, people exempt themselves from moral and ethical considerations when it comes to violence. We separate acts of violence in two categories: undeserved and for free, i.e., based on hatred and greed (wars, rape – mostly women and children, against people of all colors, based on religious affiliation or nationality…), and violence for fun. Funny thing is, sometimes the difference between one and the other is non-existent.
For example, in old Italy, from going to the Coliseum to watch gladiators get at each other, people then went there to watch Christians been fed to the lions alive. And, while in the old times people were abducted and forced to fight for their freedom, today they fight to escape poverty; although some are kidnapped too.
Today, many people run to the movies to enjoy the latest horror flicks depicting people, mostly women, being torture to death. But those stories are based on real crimes of violence against women, and give ideas for (would be) criminals. We are desensitized from that connection. On the other hand, raping is fun for the perpetrator, not for the victim, of course, especially if it is a child; but we forget that connection between violent crimes and the pleasures of violence. And then, there are the ‘snuff movies’.
Finally, in the movies, the only ones whose death is real, in front of the spectator’s eyes, are that of animals. We pay for fun, but the animal being killed in a scene is having none. You can search on the net movies where animals are killed for real.
The members of the KKK used to have fun ‘hunting’ for their victims, animals and humans equally; I think they still do. At times of war, well, we saw American soldiers having fun killing from a distance a bunch of civilians (that’s the wiki leaks scandal some years ago).
Most American soldiers are not like that, and Americans are not the only ones who commit war crimes of course, but we are Americans; it is about our nation and people I’m talking about here. The point is that it happens constantly and for millenniums, and will continue to happen.
As long as we can’t see how justifying violence in our society (whether out of hatred and greed, or for satisfying violent desires and pleasures) is a result of faulty thinking process that results in pleasure-seeking behavior at the cost of other people’s lives, we won’t be able to solve ANY of the problems we identify in our society: not wars, not crime, not poverty, not violence against women, children and animals…
If a significant amount of people were to understand the correlation between sports violence, violence in society and our erroneous cognitive thinking, maybe they would act to ban these sports. That action would arise the willingness to think about how we accept violence under faulty reasoning, and maybe our society would start to become more humane, little by little.
You see, whether you forget it or refuse to believe it, in this existence EVERYTHING is interconnected, including violence for fun and out of hatred and greed.
That discussion about that fight at the beginning of this post, about whether it should have been stopped earlier, the problem was not the referee.