‘Lucifer Effect’ – How We’ve Dehumanized The Other Side

Believe it or not, with as much stock as millions of people have put into the upcoming election, whoever wins in November won’t matter at all.

That is because there is a glaring phenomenon that has taken place with the public.

There have always been two sides when it came to politics. Red and blue never respected the other, but the temperature of the average citizen is at a boiling rate far above what we have seen in the past.

Why is this? Yes, social media makes it easy for us to scream our perceived injustices in seconds. But that’s not the primary change that’s going to nullify the effects of the 2020 election.

The primary change is dehumanization. I’m sure you all can guess the meaning, but maybe some of you can’t think of tangible examples of dehumanization.

Philip Zimbardo is best known for the Stanford prison experiment.

In a nutshell, the experiment took average college students without any mental illnesses and studied what would occur if we split the college students into two groups, the prisoners and the gaurds.

What occurred was something that if it were fathomable to any Stanford employee prior to the experiment, would’ve stopped it from occurring.

There are films that show this graphically and are best viewed on your own time. The prison experiment isn’t the purpose of this. It’s a glaring example of how quickly we can divulge into tribal mentality.

Philip Zimbardo wrote ‘The Lucifer Effect’ in 2007. The idea behind it was how do good people sometimes turn evil.

Before this book, people being born with a genetic disposition that geared them either towards good or evil behaviors later in life was a commonly held belief by professional psychologists.

But by using examples such as the Stanford prison experiment, the Milgram experiment, Jim Jones, etc, Zimbardo shows how this belief is invalid.

Four of the biggest revelations from the book are: 1. Our behavior patterns are not consistent, and depend on the situation we find ourselves in. 2. We are more liable to do evil to others if we think of them as less than human. 3. Euphemistic language and powerful ideology give us a way to justify our evil actions. 4. Obedience to authority and evil deeds are always linked.

So how does this translate to today?

I hope I don’t need to convince you to what you already see every day.

There aren’t Republicans or Democrats anymore. Each political party member is minimized from a human being and transformed into a plethora of horrible things/traits by the opposing side. No longer is it merely two people holding differences of opinion, there is palpable hatred that continues to churn within our stomachs.

If you talk to your most level-headed, politically-minded friends, you’ll hear how they can’t comprehend the other side. They point to insanity, injustice, and every other conceivable negative reason behind an opposing view.

Yet…after they’ve exhausted themselves degarding the opposition…they’ll talk about how this country is in trouble and how we need to find peace.

Can you see the hypocracy?

Can you see how current trends will destroy any chances of discussion and debate that could hopefully lead us to a brighter tomorrow?

Do you want what you saw yesterday to continue today?

Do you want chaos tomorrow?

If not, then maybe we should start by seeing everyone else as human in the morning.

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