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Group Mentality?

  1. Apr 16, 2003 #1
    I make posts on another forum about the war. I am anti-war and I consider the war to be pure American Imperialism.

    I don't intend for this thread to become a political thread and I wouldn't post any political threads here.

    The other forum belongs to a band I like and it's basically a community. Many people appreciate the threads and many conversations evolve from the threads.

    My question here is - Alot of other people in the forum reply to the threads stating they "hate seeing" the war threads and they basically snipe at me... why?

    what is it about the war threads that people feel they need to snipe? Is it some sort of group mentality against dissent? or is it something else, maybe a few things?

    it's just very strange to see it so frequently.

    if I see posts that i don't care for, i just skip by them.. what is different between my mentality and theirs?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2003 #2
    then you are quite unique i'd say, most people against the war would partake in the same sniping in pro-war threads as pro-war people in anti-war threads. this is an interesting question though; one thing that came to me was the importance of allegiance, to someone who is for the war an anti-war statement is basically the same thing as the opinion of the enemy ('if you're not with us you're with them' sort of thing) whereas a pro-war statement to a pacifist just seems at best ignorant, at wost, inhumane, but it never becomes an issue of 'us and them' as it does for the former situation.

    am i making sense? basically; if i am for the war and you say 'no war' this equates to you being against me, ie my enemy, so i will retaliate, if i am a pacifist and you say 'go the war' then i will think you are a trigger happy fool and will either stick a flower in the barrel of your gun or walk away.
  4. Apr 16, 2003 #3


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    War is a hot issue that ignites emotions. BOTH sides of the issue get animated about it.
  5. Apr 16, 2003 #4


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    I think you'll find that politics and religion are always hotly debated. It's human nature (those subjects are close to the core of a person's worldview).
  6. Apr 16, 2003 #5
    But why are these 'core beliefs' so valuable and how does it come about that we should have them? It may seem a stupid question but I think it gets quite deep.
  7. Apr 16, 2003 #6
    well, let me clarify.. it's not pro-war peeps sniping my anti-war articles.. that happens, we have good discussions/debates about it..

    but it's snipes that are basically "why post this? i'm sick of these war threads" - no political slant at all... just angst at seeing the posts being there..

    what i don't know is why are people so upset over just seeing posts about the war?

    at times there are 5 or 6 floating at the top because people are responding to them, but there are 50 threads per page - very easy to skip by them... but they feel the need to reply their disdain at seeing the war posts..

    i've asked and some say they're sick of the war and just want to escape.. but there is a war going on and in any community you'll hear/see about it.

    so, that's my concern -- what is it about war that makes people create self-angst over just seeing the topic?

    i feel it's a nudging out of apathy - a "stop bothering us" with this serious topic - "we're trying to sleep"...
  8. Apr 16, 2003 #7


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    Oh, I see now. Example: My boss is slightly to the right of Rush Limbaugh and he feels utterly compelled to rise to any challenge. And someone expressing a differing opinion, even if its not directed at him, is a challenge. He's almost gotten into fights with hippies twice in the last 3 days because he can't just walk past a protester without saying anything(not that they make it easy to do so).

    Its simply a compulsion.
  9. Apr 17, 2003 #8
    mash the mash

    Some topics like "abortion" have the same rage effect on people. It gets old if every argument is the same and they do get to be. I'm 53 and hearing the same rhetoric gets annoying, so I am one that skips over those discussions. Especially since this war seems to have a lower standard of debate. It is like debates are more stupid than in the past. Example, if you're not for the war you're not supporting the troops, etc.
    If I had to listen to people argue it I would get angry at whoever or whomever brought it up, especially if they started fighting or abusing others.
    If some people are saying they don't want to hear it, maybe they want to say that they "don't want to hear it", even though they are then ignored. It lets them vent. Maybe people would be better off if all humans had a special vent orifice.(btw, I didn't say that last sentence to set up a joke).
  10. Apr 17, 2003 #9
    Re: mash the mash

    russ_waters, it's not that these people are compelled to argue because of their stance, it's more that they have no solid stance and just want to "escape the war" - as some have put it.. they see and hear about the war all day long, and just want to not have to think about it.. they could just skip the thread, but seeing the actual topic upsets them to the point that they have to vent,, as nevagil puts it.. i want to know why they need to vent..

    "you can't stop it, so why bother?" is a common response also.. which, even though the odds of my posts on the board actually stopping the war are slim,, those statements just reinforce my thinking that these people are somewhat "asleep" with apathy..
    if they could completely ignore the war, then they would (which is a terrible thing in my opinion)

    i can't see why they just don't skip the threads.. i mean, people in Iraq can't "escape the war" and they're sick of just seeing threads about it !?

    that's why i honestly feel that these people are just throwing all their faith into the government's stance, and get upset because they see dissent and think "this is annoying, this person can't do anything, so why try? i'm sick of seeing this argument about the war, why can't he just go with the flow? i don't want to have to think about this war anymore.. i just want to escape it.. now i'm mad, i have to let him know."

    and the funny thing is, is that these people then are dragged into the argument with me and their arguments are always pure government propaganda..

    i really think it's a Moo Cow Mentality, and if they had any stance whatsoever, they would a.)argue against my posts, b.)support the posts or c.)simply ignore the posts..
  11. Apr 18, 2003 #10


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    Re: Re: mash the mash

    Thats a comfortable thing to believe because it allows you to believe anyone with an opinion different from your own hasn't thought it through - but it is simply not true. You have to separate the two. I am personally willing to acknowledge that people with differing opinions may have thought them through as well as I have. Using the exmple of my boss again, his opinions are THOROUGHLY thought out. It really is a compulsion for him. He's an alpha male. In the same way the hippie who accosted us felt compelled to chase us and try to provoke a response. That doesn't say anything at all about how well thought-out her opinion was. Just that she felt compelled to force her opinion down our throats.
  12. Apr 18, 2003 #11
    Re: Re: Re: mash the mash

    Oh no, not at all. There are many on the board who completely disagree with my stance and we have some solid discussions about it.

    But i'm talking about the people who haven't thought it out. Some do make rebuttals based solely on the governments propaganda. Only one "pro-war" person on the board has a solid sense of history and understands the situation far better than the others. At that point it's a matter of opinion - on how to procede. But i'm talking about the people who just express sickness of the topic of the war. They can't just bypass it and write it off as a hot topic. When prompted for their opinion, some say they are against the war and some say they are for the war - but all echo unsubstantiated propaganda.

    they just don't care.

    i understand the type of person you're talking about.. i think those are the people who always do argue the articles - i don't mind that.. it's the "can't we not talk about it" croud - it's much bigger than i can imagine,, and i really think there's something weird with it..

    i understand people are sick of the war but i can't understand why torment yourself on just seeing the threads - to the point where you have to reply..

    do you think they don't like seeing the threads because they hold an opposing view and don't want to articulate - maybe because they know their only argument is what the media says, that they know they don't know much and can't really argue their opinion?

    i can see that. it's just the impression i'm getting is they don't want to have to think about the war at all.. because they see it so much everywhere. it's some sort of compulsion to lash out at this discomfort that is everywhere - i mean that's their literal argument.. they want to "escape" the war.
  13. Apr 18, 2003 #12
    buddha, I know what you mean -- I have a lot of friends who feel the same way. It's not that they disagree, they just don't care -- usually not about anything political.

    generally they think that there's nothing they or you are going to do about it, it's not an interesting or fun topic, just gets people pissed off, and no one is ever convinced of everything. generally there's a feeling that 99% of the time people argue about politics, they don't really know the facts and are just talking out of their ass. (I agree with this actually :) ).

    it's just like if you always heard everyone arguing about which episode of some terrible TV was the best; eventually you just want to say 'who cares, stop talking about it already.'
  14. Apr 20, 2003 #13
    Hi with.buddha. I know how you feel. I think that people snipe for a couple of reasons.

    1) many people are conditioned by their upbringing to always react and participate, whether in families, socially, politically, etc. And are encouraged to have opinions on any number of topics. It is how people are conditioned to be 'good citizens' .
    2) reacting with hate and anger, to me, implies fear. Fear of thinking about the subject, the possibilities, fears of all kinds of things.

    I believe that fear is the core emotion for all negativitiy. And, I think that the difference between you and them is that you aren't afraid to face your thoughts and ideas. Or, you may have fear, but choose to face it in order to reconcile with it instead of ignoring it. Ignoring fear usually results in all your fears eventually visiting you down the road to bite you on your ass, one way or another.

    Another thought is that you are with.buddha and are detached enough to observe and comment without being sucked into the fears and emotions that usually accompany a topic.
  15. Apr 20, 2003 #14
    i prefer to call it "heard mentality" and to their faces as well; hopefully they will eventually get tired of being compared to sheep and quit acting like them.
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