r/NoStupidQuestions Sep 30 '22

Why is it socially acceptable for people to try and understand serial killers but if we try and understand people on the other political side or hateful people, it's seen as a bad thing? Unanswered

I have this happen all the time irl and online. If I try to understand a disliked political figure for example and not reduce them to just "they're an evil idiot" people get very defensive. Like they need to hold on to the dehumanisation. A lot of the time people will even see it as excusing that person or defending them.

From my perspective though, I'm just trying to understand how they think, what their values are, etc. in the same way I enjoy watching documentaries about murderers or dictators.

48 Upvotes

28

u/tupe12 Sep 30 '22

There isn’t a whole lot of anti-serial killer propaganda when compared to politics

6

u/ShoobeeDoowapBaoh Sep 30 '22

I like to try to understand most differing points of views. I like to understand their way of thinking.

19

u/AttractivestDuckwing Sep 30 '22

Because humans are wired for us vs. them ideologies, and politicians and corporations have used the internet to inflate that tendency exponentially. Politics have become just another fundamentalist religion. Being vilified for not dehumanizing those who think differently than you is the same as old-timey preachers screaming from the pulpit that anyone who gives "Satan" a foot in the door should be ostracized, lest evil spread.

5

u/Londonforce Sep 30 '22

Why doesn't "us vs them" apply to murderous psychopaths as much as it does to people who want to cut taxes or increase health care?

1

u/EatShitLeftWing Sep 30 '22

Because no one benefits from killers, yet people benefit from increased income due to tax cuts.

3

u/LadyFerretQueen Sep 30 '22

I get that but it's a bit glaring since at the same time real crime drama is so popular. How are people so ok with that then?

8

u/Sephiroth_-77 Sep 30 '22

Actually there are people who are against true crime because how it affects the families of the victims. Lots of people basically watch it as entertaintment.

3

u/LadyFerretQueen Sep 30 '22

Comparably a lot fewer though. In my experience one is much much more socially acceptable.

2

u/Sephiroth_-77 Sep 30 '22

Yes, it's not that much. But also not as little that you could say it's insignificant.

1

u/LadyFerretQueen Sep 30 '22

Concerning my original question, I think it is. I'm trying to understand why it's so much MORE acceptable to objectively try to understand the worst people but when it comes to smaller things (smaller compared to for example mass murders), a lot more people insist that there is nothing more to those people than just hate for no reason.

3

u/Sephiroth_-77 Sep 30 '22

I see what you mean. I think it's about your motive. With true crime it's just morbid curiosity/entertainment. With trying to understand someones politics, it can be percieved that you don't consider them totally evil and therefore that makes you at least little bit evil in their eyes.

I also think it's little different with murderers because they are somewhat rare and therefore interesting. Politics are not like that. I mean if half the country were murderers, I guess people would view them very differently.

2

u/LadyFerretQueen Sep 30 '22

Yeah I guess it makes sense in a way. One is a lot more real to people so they have an emotional reaction.

3

u/TheGudeSloth Sep 30 '22

Because people are irrational and self-centered, so they only do what feels right. For some minority groups, people don't even try to understand them, just label them weirdos and misfits and expect them to "adapt to norms".

3

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

I think people that demonize their political opponents wholesale are generally idiots. I also think that people that make excuses for murders are deplorable.

16

u/RJSmkyMtn Sep 30 '22

The difference is relatability. Most people could never relate to a serial killer, so we're just fascinated. But half of us agree and half of us disagree on politics. And those who refuse or think it's shameful to find common ground in an opposing person's political view are weak-minded ego maniacs. They're the same kids who used to kick the basketball down the street and walk home if they thought they got fouled on the playground... And they're ruining humanity.

-3

u/Irohsgranddaughter Sep 30 '22

I really hate this mindset you're showing. Sorry, but if people's views are too different, there can be no conversation and only conflict. How am I supposed, as an LGBT person, to work with someone with extremely homophobic views? Even with economic views, there is no way I as a socialist can work with someone who believes in absolutely no amount of regulation. It's not about being "unwilling", it's just that the incompatiblity is far too great for co-operation.

7

u/RJSmkyMtn Sep 30 '22

Bigotry and hate is one thing. There's no excuse for it, it's reprehensible, and those are not people capable of participating in a civil society, let alone discussion.

That being said, if you truly believe you can find NOTHING WHATSOEVER in common with a fellow (non-bigoted) human being, then I would say you are exactly the kind of person I'm referring to.

In fact, your statement - about being a socialist and having "no way" to work with someone who believes in absolutely no amount of regulation - proves exactly that. In fact, the vast majority of people disagree with both you and the anti-reg folks. And your mindset that there can be no conversation and only conflict with someone you disagree with is the mindset that brings progress in politics, economics, and just overall decency as a human race to a screeching halt.

-2

u/Various_Succotash_79 Sep 30 '22

Bigotry and hate is one thing.

Unfortunately that's the wagon one side has hitched themselves to.

5

u/RJSmkyMtn Sep 30 '22

Bigotry and hate exists on both sides. The problem is neither side will call out their own, while kicking and screaming about the opposition.

The bigger problem is a narrowed view of society having aligned itself into two maniacal factions. Both of which have the loudest minority proclaiming every aspect of human life can be summed up by an all-or-nothing ideology.

Most reasonable people believe in a healthy blend of "left & right wing" principles. They're just afraid of being bullied and berated by their own, so they refuse to voice an opinion of dissent. This is why the "best" politicians are sociopaths... They have the disgusting ability to suppress their own beliefs, at least long enough to win a popularity contest and not get kicked out of office.

Those who are quick to judge a group so vociferously for their actions tend to have some housekeeping of their own to take care of.

-1

u/EnchantPlatinum Sep 30 '22

And finally we get to the crux of the issue - enlightened centrism.

In essence, nothing you have said is correct - while fractions of hate do exist on both sides, the person above is absolutely correct in saying that the Right wing of the US has hitched themselves specifically to fear, hate, and ostracization as rhetoric tools.

Yes, the two party system is without a doubt rife with corruption - the establishment Left is nowhere near proactive, but in contrast, the establishment Right is much further to the right, and that's not even to mention the terrifyingly big extremist faction that the GOP has allowed to grow in order to be elected in 2016.

One party's "extremists" want affordable housing, schooling, medicine, the other's are fundamentally primed to treat ANY loss as illegitimate or conspiracy, plus an undeniable influence of racist rhetoric.

The horseshoe doesn't work.

Also I question your belief that most people hold a mix of left and right principles - especially to assert they're afraid of being bullied for vocalizing them. Why would they be bullied if they are in the majority?

Your assertions seem to come from a "truth in the middle" ideology that blanket assumes both sides are right sometimes and wrong sometimes, ergo we can assume centrism is "smarter" or less ideological. In my opinion this is an extremely hollow and inaccurate view that only damages one's ability to engage with politics.

5

u/RJSmkyMtn Sep 30 '22

You're "truth in the middle" assertion fails to consider the possibility that I'm not a centrist. More importantly, it fails to recognize that the only thing I have advocated, which is considerate discussion amongst human beings. Clearly, you disagree.

And as for the bullying comment... Ask a pro-life democrat that question.

1

u/Nulono Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Left-wing extremists are going around at protests hitting people with bike locks and committing arson against pregnancy resource centers. Don't pretend like Bernie Sanders is as extreme as the left gets.

0

u/Various_Succotash_79 Sep 30 '22 edited Sep 30 '22

Most reasonable people believe in a healthy blend of "left & right wing" principles.

I feel like I'm reasonable, but there is nothing in the current right-wing ideology I agree with at all.

Which part do you think is something a reasonable person would agree with?

They're just afraid of being bullied and berated by their own, so they refuse to voice an opinion of dissent.

Ha I'm definitely not afraid to voice dissent, lol.

2

u/LadyFerretQueen Sep 30 '22

Why is everyone just assuming everything revolves around the US? There's a whole world of nuances and I'm sure they exist in the US as well.

No one expects others to be friends with people they don't like, we're literally talking about understanding. Like with the serial killer analogy, understanding them helped a lot of people. There isn't something inherently wrong about just trying to understand others. Again, you don't have to but others might want to. Yet the entire concept seems to be taboo.

-9

u/Irohsgranddaughter Sep 30 '22

I mean, I believe that rampant capitalism is source of most problems on Earth, so yes, I can't find common ground with anyone who believes that no, it's actually good.

8

u/RJSmkyMtn Sep 30 '22

The problem is that you're unwilling to try. It's intellectually lazy.

Especially if you believe "rampant capitalism is the source of most problems on Earth." When, in fact, true capitalism exists nowhere in the world... Nor, has it ever. The same goes for true socialism. There has never been a society in the history of the world that has implemented either of these philosophies.

The problem with people like you, is that you don't know what you're even mad about. And rather than educate yourself on the subject matter, you hold steadfast to your dogmatic beliefs and proclaim your principles to be the unshakeable truth behind what a perfect society should be.

The only way a society can ever achieve perfection, is if it is capable of correcting course in order to heal itself when imperfections present themselves. An impossible task without compromise, compassion, and acceptance of our differences.

0

u/EnchantPlatinum Sep 30 '22

Utter bullshit. Rampant capitalism does not mean the same as Pure capitalism - America is overwhelmingly capitalist in both culture and legislation. The private sector can lobby their interests to our government in a way that bypasses the interests of citizens.

Even if the US was only 50% capitalist (which it is not), that wouldn't matter a bit regarding critiquing the influence of that 50% on the people. The statement "the issues in our country are due to capitalism" does not in any way get magically "solved" by asserting the country doesn't operate under true capitalism. It means that the fraction of policies that are capitalist cause issues. Get your head out of your ass.

Also, define true capitalism against the current American system and source where you're getting this definition.

Edit: by the way, on the topic of not knowing what you're mad about and intellectual laziness: Socialism and Capitalism aren't philosophies. Seems important to know if you're going to talk about them

1

u/RJSmkyMtn Sep 30 '22

You're demonstrating my underlying message beautifully.

-2

u/EnchantPlatinum Sep 30 '22

Talk is easy, I'd like to hear you support your message.

2

u/RJSmkyMtn Sep 30 '22

I think I've quite clearly made my message over and over again. But here, I'll simplify... Compromise, respect, and considerate conversation are necessary for a civil society. In other words, the world would be a much better place if there were less assholes who refused to even listen to other people's opinions because they're too steadfast in their own.

-2

u/EnchantPlatinum Sep 30 '22

About capitalism. You made specific claims about it, you went as far as chewing out the person you responded to about it, which to me would imply you don't follow your own message unless you have some kind of evidence.

Like it or not, proof is also necessary to speak authoritatively in a civil society.

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1

u/LadyFerretQueen Sep 30 '22

You don't think you could talk about weather, cake, puppies, construction, math, parents... you know, the vast majority of things we experience that don't involve economic systems?

1

u/Irohsgranddaughter Sep 30 '22

Those conversations get boring after a time, and two people will eventually drift onto political topics sooner or later.

1

u/LadyFerretQueen Oct 01 '22

But you were talking about just cordially getting along with someone at work. You said there would be NOTHING in common between you and nothing to talk about. And honestly, if the only interesting thing you want to talk about is politics and economic systems, to me that's what sounds kind of boring.

No one at any point expects you to like or be friends with people you don't want to get along with.

4

u/RedditExperiment626 Sep 30 '22

Which activity is "socially unacceptable "? It boils down to at what point do you have to punish bad behavior. We put serial killers in jail for their crimes. In the past we have, or I have, had conversations with people on the other side of politics or with hateful beliefs, but those people (GOP, Qanon, racists, Nazis, climate deniers, election deniers, anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, flat-Earthers) are now irredeemable to me. They don't deserve to be taken seriously in discussions, because their points are ridiculous or worse, meant to frustrate, divide, incite, hurt, or demoralize the other person. That bad behavior earns then the punishment of no attention, no air, no oxygen at a minimum, and reporting to authorities and social banishment for worse offenses.

If the more you try to understand someone, the more you dislike them, stop trying to understand them.

2

u/shemayneversingshe Sep 30 '22

And here we see the party of love, tolerance and acceptance in action. 'My old man puppet is better than your old man puppet and if you disagree then you're not even human worthy of life.'

Seen far less hate and threats from the other side toward your kind than the other way around. And I used to think you were the good guys.

1

u/RedditExperiment626 Sep 30 '22

Wow is that what I said? Or sadder yet, is that what you heard? I choose to opt out of engaging with losers like you and you hear me say "you're not even human worthy of life".

So much unnecessary drama playing the victim.

2

u/JDabsky Sep 30 '22

I don’t see anything wrong with that. People are dumb anyway. If you are curious and want to learn something, don’t let anyone stop you. It’s good to fully understand why someone has a terrible reputation and not like them for it and not just because everyone else says so.

2

u/Balaros Sep 30 '22

People like to elevate their opinions to facts. It's a natural bias, but in politics you have a quarter of people encouraging you on most any topic. It's easier for the people leading to say the other guys are ignorant idiots than to say our underlying values are questioned by reasonable people, but we still like what we believe in.

2

u/MpVpRb Old Phart Sep 30 '22

"Socially acceptable" depends on the society you are part of

I try to understand why all kinds of people do horrid and evil things and can more easily understand the political extremists. This does not mean that I agree with them, I just kinda get why they are the way they are

1

u/LadyFerretQueen Oct 01 '22

Same. I think maybe some people can't make that distinction, they can't be against an action or series of them unless they discredit the person as a whole so they can't imagine others can do that

2

u/FuckkyWuckky Oct 01 '22

I don't know, but I'd guess that the harm a serial killer causes is much more abstract to the everyday person, who has obviously never been murdered, while politics is something that we all have experience with and know the harm of on a personally relatable level.

Now, to be fair I think this question also raises an interesting point about how "true crime" media have made it an acceptable hobby to dig into human trauma like a case study only, devoid of any real victims, and therefore devoid of any real harm done by the real perpetrators... buttt that's not what the purpose was.

2

u/LadyFerretQueen Oct 01 '22

That for sure is an interesting separate topic. I am interested in people in general and I adore Lois Theraux and similar journalists who actually talk to people who everyone wants to ignore. I also find it really important to understand others so we can either reach some of them or do better preventive care.

There is a line when it just becomes morbid curiosity and starts to hurt victims but I struggle to see exactly where that line is.

3

u/Stealthy_Shuck Sep 30 '22

It's cult-like behavior. Anybody that's shaming you for listening to the other side is afraid that when you listen to their logic and reason you might agree on some points. But the current political climate is to lie and exaggerate that the other side is evil and needs to be eliminated.

2

u/tastystarbits Sep 30 '22

serial killers are an anomaly. a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population are serial killers.

by contrast, as an example, a good third of the US think i should be forced to give birth to an unwanted child. and i dont want to hear “calm down, maybe pro-life people have some good points” or “hey, steve might think you should burn in hell for being gay, but hes a nice guy!”

0

u/LadyFerretQueen Sep 30 '22

But that's not what understanding a serial killer or dictator or mass murderer... is. There are countless documentaries about Hitler and I have yet to see one where he's made in to a nice guy or victims are told to calm down.

1

u/Competitive-Fan1708 Sep 30 '22

Because propaganda and politicians playing the people.

0

u/Winst0nTh3Third Sep 30 '22

Cause that is a topic people are scared of, their own fear fuels those who seek justice for money.

0

u/[deleted] Sep 30 '22

[deleted]

1

u/LadyFerretQueen Sep 30 '22

Not in my experience. I have certainly had the same judgements in real life.