Grusome things are uncomfortable. Yet we have trouble looking away. Why?

@Awinds (2475)
United States
September 8, 2011 8:06pm CST
Most of us cringe when we think about the atrocities of humanity. Talking about it in detail or seeing the most gruesome of the gruesome can make a lot of people squirm (or worse). Some even cry. Yet horror/thriller movies and the late night news (often with videos of crimes, the damages from wars or natural disasters etc.) are vastly popular. If someone gets hurt or if a crime is in progress you can guarantee there is going to be bystanders. Furthermore, there is a certain fascination with historical figures such as Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan and the like that has remained constant throughout the generations. Why do you suppose that while people are uncomfortable with cruelty, they are still often spectators of it by choice? Why is that we have trouble looking away from something we find disgusting or repulsive?
1 person likes this
4 responses
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
9 Sep 11
I would suppose it has to do with wanting to see the signs of cruelty, how it started, so that they will not be put through the horrible things that the people under this dictator had. Besides I do not delve not the motives as I feel sometimes not looking away is the worse thing you can do You do not want to go into a dictatorship a d you want to know how to prevent it. I think the danger is when the onlookers are cheering as the strong man has his goons execute his citizens,
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
10 Sep 11
I suppose preventing the repetition of the act could be a good reason. But finding it entertaining (to the point of cheering) is a twisted reason...
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
10 Sep 11
Of course, I was imagining those Romans cheering the Christians being torn about in the arena, and sadly what happens in those Muslim countries when they burn Christian churches or when someone who a group does not like is murdered. Happens too much. Me, I do not like that and find lit worse then curiosity.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
13 Sep 11
I've read reports like that - it has to hard to believe that in this politically correct world there are still countries that go after people so violently - as in the case of the Muslim countries with Christian minorities you mentioned. It is gruesome and it shouldn't be as accepted by the world as it is!
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (117159)
• Boise, Idaho
10 Sep 11
Yes, cringe, turn away, cry, and all the rest. But we all have a curiousity and wonder what it is really like. I think it goes back to our animal instincts. Some people have less feeling or care about others being hurt. Like the Hitlers and Stalins. Sociopathic characteristics come into play also. People who are just not made up like the rest of us.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
11 Sep 11
True, true. They are different from the majority, and something different will always attract more attention than what is common.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (117159)
• Boise, Idaho
11 Sep 11
That's true. Different is more interesting.
• United States
13 Sep 11
I love horrors and zombies because they aren't real and I look at it as an art as nasty as it is. But if I were to see something that is real and nasty ugh I would probably react much different. I think curiosity just gets the best of us sometimes.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
13 Sep 11
That makes a lot of sense. We don't feel guilty about enjoying the cruelty and awfulness of zombies and monsters because such things are not real. I do agree that the real thing is far more jarring. Curiosity can really be a powerful force. We just can't help ourselves sometimes. :)
@Judy890 (1633)
• United States
10 Sep 11
This is very true I guess a lot of people like looking at these things it grabs there attention.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
10 Sep 11
I suppose it is extreme and thus attracts attention...