Intro: My goals for this paper were to learn about violence, and after I chose my thesis, really learn when violence is okay. I think it is a super difficult question I am still struggling with. The process for writing this paper was harder than any of my others and I feel I could work on this for another week, keep it the same length, and improve the quality of it. I got a lot of feedback that I tried to use, but only some of it could make it in the essay unfortunately. If I could write two essays, I still would have had a lot to say, because there are so many different ways to write this, and so many levels to violence. I wish I could have had a different essay structure. I am glad I was able to keep my body paragraphs in line with my introduction and thesis.
Central Idea or Question: When is violence justified?
Violence is justified when it brings more positivity to a situation than peaceful conflict resolution could. Sometimes, it is unavoidable and the best way to deal with a situation. Yes it can cause pain, but it can still be the right thing to do. For my purpose of this essay, violence will be broken down into two categories, physical and psychological. I will explore examples of each, showing how certain actions are or are not violent. Also, I will address the question, “when is an act of violence justifiable?”
First off, Physical violence involves actions like punching, kicking, shooting, etc. It is a type of behavioral violence, and has intent behind it. If a doctor cuts open a patient during surgery, this is not violence. However, if a murderer cuts his victim in the same physical manner, it is violence. There are times when physical and psychological violence can overlap. If an army encircles an opponent and set up a blockage towards their resources, this would be a form of violence lying somewhere in the middle. They are physically affecting their enemies, but not directly and they are also affecting them mentally with a choice. Overall, any action that can be classified under physical violence has the potential to be moral.
Physical violence is decent when it is used in order to combat a worse violence. The other violence may be worse in its extremity or the intent behind it.
There are a vast number of scenarios in our not so perfect world, where the answer is violence. Should I be able to use self defense? Can I attack someone who is in possession of a bomb that could wipe out millions? Can I torture someone to tell me a secret, if it would save the lives of millions? Surely the answer is yes, because by acting with violence, a more positive outcome is reached. Therefore, it is an acceptable process in some circumstances where it will produce better results.
Psychological violence is most commonly verbal and emotional abuse. Because the words we use and the way we treat other people can hurt them, it is one type of violence. Some examples of this would be calling someone a mean name, or ignoring someone to get revenge on them. Donald Trump tweeted, “Ariana Huff is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision.” This social media post is a prime example of psychological violence, because he purposely takes a shot at another person's emotions. I wouldn’t say this was justified however, because it was unprovoked.
Psychological violence is warranted when it is done in response to other violence. If someone wrongs you or steps on your toes, it is right to stand up for yourself. It could be something like yelling at your kids for making a huge mistake, or harshly criticizing someone who has been told and told again, but has yet to change. Sometimes too much kindness will not get the point across, and some aggressiveness is good. If using psychological violence can make something positive click in someone's mind, it can be worth making them feel a little hurt at first.
Both types of violence can be justifiable, especially and usually in harsh circumstances. Violent actions have purposeful intent of harm and negativity. Whether someone's being hurt on their body or in their mind, they are usually a victim of violence. Wrapping up the bulk of the essay, violence is acceptable when the act of violence is fitting to reach the quintessential solution.
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