Is cruelty part of the human nature?
I’ve finished reading the last book of Robin Hobb called Assassin’s Fate, which is the third book of the Fitz and the Fool triology about two weeks ago. And personally I hated a character named Dwalia for her cruelty upon a 10 year old girl (among other victims) and her hartless nature . This Dwalia made me think of all those human beings who suffered and still do by the hands of other beings.
We all know the story of Cain and Abel, mentioned in the Holy Scripures. The Bible “Genesis” 4.2-16 tells us:
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 But the LORD said to him, “Not so ; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
And in the Quran in the chapter “TheTable” 5: 27-32
27. And relate to them the true story of Adam’s two sons: when they offered an offering, and it was accepted from one of them, but it was not accepted from the other. He Said, “I will kill you.” He Said, “God accepts only from the righteous.”
28. “If you extend your hand to kill me, I will not extend my hand to kill you; for I fear God, Lord of the Worlds.”
29. “I would rather you bear my sin and your sin, and you become among the inmates of the Fire. Such is the reward for the evildoers.”
30. Then His soul prompted him to kill his brother, so he killed him, and became one of the losers.
31. Then God sent a raven digging the ground, to show him how to cover his brother’s corpse. He said, “Woe to me! I was unable to be like this raven, and bury my brother’s corpse.” So he became full of regrets.
32. Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel: that whoever kills a person—unless it is for murder or corruption on earth—it is as if he killed the whole of mankind; and whoever saves it, it is as if he saved the whole of mankind. Our messengers came to them with clarifications, but even after that, many of them continue to commit excesses in the land.
We know the torture that was inflicted on thousands of people in the middle age, i.e burned, chopped, hanged, drowned… it’s almost the same today, but in hidden places where no one witness their atrocities (prisons, rituals, laws)
Some people enjoy seeing a person in pain, but why? Is it a psychological disorder? Or do they feel more powerful? Here is what I’ve found on Wikipedia: Torture has been carried out or sanctioned by individuals, groups, and states throughout history from ancient times to modern day, and forms of torture can vary greatly in duration from only a few minutes to several days or longer. Reasons for torture can include punishment, revenge, political re-education, deterrence, coercion of the victim or a third party, interrogation to extract information or a confession irrespective of whether it is false, or simply the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture. In other cases, the torturer may be indifferent to the condition of the victim. Alternatively, some forms of torture are designed to inflict psychological pain or leave as little physical injury or evidence as possible while achieving the same psychological devastation. The torturer may or may not kill or injure the victim, but sometimes torture results in a deliberate death and serves as a form of capital punishment. Depending on the aim, even a form of torture that is intentionally fatal may be prolonged to allow the victim to suffer as long as possible (such as half-hanging).
Research during the past 60 years, starting with the Milgram experiment, suggests that under the right circumstances, and with the appropriate encouragement and setting, most people can be encouraged to actively torture others.
“When torture takes place, people believe they are on the high moral ground, that the nation is under threat and they are the front line protecting the nation, and people will be grateful for what they are doing.”
Unfortunately the human being is really complex, we can find the most kind and the most evil in the same city. And the worst of all is that, the first impression someone takes isn’t always what it is. We can’t judge a person by its garments. There is so much evil in this world that I personally don’t trust easily the people I meet. Probably most of us are good, but in this planet where the big fish eats the small one, it’s best to stay focused, so that we don’t get eaten easily. Probably it’s mean of me to think that way, but it is the way I see the world. I believe that we all lack of Innocence, since our first father and mother, but the difference between us is who strives for the greater good and who doesn’t.