We have come to a point where everyone feels unsafe and unsecure because of the countless acts of violence that are happening in our society. There had been so many people in the past who died, who became victims, who were injured, and who suffered because of other people’s violent behaviors. When we open the television, we see people killing, murdering and abusing other individuals or group of people. We see all the news headlines in newspapers screaming about the unending conflicts between nations and unimaginable crimes that are happening in every part of the world.
As of today, violence is doubtlessly widespread and this has been one of the issues that our society is still struggling to find for solutions. We might recognize the fact that almost all of us have good morals and values, and have good intentions but we can not deny that people are also capable of the most offensive and menacing behavior. But we always ask ourselves, do we get something good out of acting violently? Many of us object on the spread of violence because for the obvious reason that imposing pain into a person, making him suffer or lose his life is an immoral act.
We might also need to acknowledge the fact that people have their own reasons and intentions for acting violently, but is it worth it? Is violence necessary to solve every conflict? Is violence really necessary that most of the people have been engaging themselves with these all sort of obnoxious behaviors? Violence is not necessary especially in situations where violence is not used for a good cause and there are also other ways to compromise a dispute, but there are also extreme situations where violence is necessary especially when we are protecting our lives or other people’s lives from evil people.
There are different cases of violence that are happening in our society today and one of the most serious cases of violence is domestic violence. To begin with, domestic violence is beyond any doubt not necessary because it can only disrupt victims’ lives. It is unfortunate to think that a man or woman in a marriage or in an intimate relationship feels the need to physically, emotionally, and verbally abuse their partner just to release their anger or to take over their relationship. They do not realize that abusing their partner will not change a thing but it can only lead to long term consequences on the victims.
First, public safety consultant Anney Seymour points out that in household where violence is rampant, children are usually the “overlooked victims” and they will eventually suffer from psychological and emotional problems throughout their lives (1). Anney Seymour asserts that children’s self-esteem can be altered by their incapacity to stop the abuse behavior which can result to their feeling of powerlessness (1). According to research, children living in domestically violent household suffer from fear, anxiety, insomnia, and nightmares.
Young children also exhibit emotional symptoms such as “psychosomatic complaints” created by psychological stress. Children may feel responsible to stop the violence and thus they will put themselves at risk for unintentional harm. They will also exhibit phobias or try to run away and escape. Second, domestic violence is not necessary because children learn from their parents that imposing pain toward a family member is acceptable and they learn at an early age that “the tools of conflict resolution are fists, knives and guns” (Seymour 1).
Anney Seymour emphasizes that “the male partner who batters is a substance abuser or experienced violence as a child, either as a witness or a victim of abuse” (1). People who feel that abusing their partners is a necessity for their own benefit are selfish enough to motivate their children to become like them in the future. How can we prevent violence if parents themselves continue to impose to their children that exerting control and power through violence is necessary? Children need to know that it is wrong to hurt someone without justifiable reasons and they need to learn that they do not have to live or act that way.
The cycle of domestic violence should already stop because it does not only threatened members of families but also the well-being of our whole nation. One other case of violence that is not necessary is school violence. School violence is not a necessity because it can only have detrimental effects to the victims and to the students who witness it. According to psychologist Melanie Barwick, school violence is ultimately consists all forms of bullying such as verbal, physical, psychological manifestation to threaten, harm or control “the physical or psychological integrity, rights or property of others within the school setting” (1).
According to a report of the World Health Organization, 40 % of 13-year-old students across 35 countries have been bullied and have been the victims of bullying (Barwick 1). Barwick claims that school violence can diminish students’ well-being. She asserts that students’ everyday exposure to violence in school allows them to act aggressively and they will try to avoid and dislike school. Barwick also emphasizes that the prevalence of violent behavior in school can develop feelings of fear, weakness and insecurity (1). Another reason why school violence is not necessary is it can only lead to greater cases of violence within school campuses.
Students can generate negative feelings toward school which can enable them to act out to cope with these negative feelings and to avoid threats. Students, who have been bullied, most of the time, are motivated to take revenge over the students who have hurt, threatened or controlled them which can lead to the higher cases of school violence (Barwick 1). Barwick points out that it is very important for schools to strengthen disciplinary and educational practices. School should be able to connect, listen and support those students who are in greater need and offer counsel to those who spread school violence.
She also emphasizes that some schools that have implemented programs against bullying have reduced cases of violence and school faculties should be able to negotiate and resolve conflicts as soon as they happen (1). It is necessary for school administrators and all the adults in our to society to listen to the needs of students who become victims and as well as the students who spread violence so that school will be a safer place for everyone. Moreover, violence is not necessary if people are only motivated to use it primarily to gain more power or hold on to power.
Power can be used responsibly and what is not right is when it is used irresponsibly. The revolution in Libya which started last February is just one example of how violence has been used by their president, Muammar Gaddafi, to still stay in power. According to the article “Gaddafi’s Dream May Come True,” the author reports that Muammar Gaddafi has affirmed to hold on to power no matter what and hundreds of Libyan protesters have already been killed in the middle of their anti-government protest, but the Libyan president and his government till seem to be eager to dispatch countless number of people to stay in power (Pirzada 1). Former diplomat Ayaz Ahmed Pirzada asserts that the city of Tripoli is “looking like a ghost town where Gaddafi’s plainclothes police and security forces are hunting down the rebels and the rebels are in dire need of arms, food and water” (1). Media news has reported that the government forces and assailants are executing the most unbearable kind of violence in the city of Tripoli and other places (Pirzada 1).
It is unjust and inhumane for the president of Libya to perpetuate pain and suffering to his own people for his own benefit. It is unnecessary for him to use violence to respond to the demands of the protesters because it only elevated to worse cases of violence. It is infuriating to see all the innocent powerless people who shed blood at the brutal hands of Gaddafi. He should just step down on his throne so that people will be liberated from the brutality and cruelty that he and his government have been inflicting upon them.
President of United States, Barack Obama said, “When a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now” (qtd. in Pirzada 1). It is not acceptable for people to use violence for the purpose of gaining power or holding on to power because they are the only ones being benefitted with it but the ones who are suffering are the innocent people who became the victims. Furthermore, violence is not necessary because people just need to control their anger and compromise on the problem before the situation gets worse.
In the article “Compassion and Love” the author emphasizes that her observations of chimpanzees in Gombe shows that our aggressive tendency is rooted in our primate heritage but so as our sense of empathy and generosity (Goodall 270). According to Goodall, chimpanzees have this sense of empathy toward their peers and although sometimes they fight, they can easily resolve the tension between them and so “if chimpanzees can control their aggressive tendencies and diffuse the situation when things get out of hand, so can we” (269).
The problem with us is we over react much and we get mad easily over simple misunderstandings, and all we try to do is use violence to solve the problem. If words still work then why we still feel the urge to resort to violence? In recently conducted interview, Nieve Alupay said “Violence is not necessary because all we have to do is talk about the problem rather than hurting each other physically. ” People tend to obey their aggressive urges when misunderstandings arise and our ineffective way to deal with our anger leads to violence.
Goodall points out that every one of us is prone to cruelty, selfishness and animosity but we are also capable of sharing love and compassion to the people around us (271). We are “half sinner and half saint” and we are pulled toward two opposing directions: toward violence and toward compassion and love (268). Should we always be torn on what direction should we go to? It is better for us if we just choose the direction pulling us toward compassion and love because in that way we are rest assured that no one is hurt and that everyone is happy and safe.
We should not risk our lives or someone else’s life if we face a conflict because we can choose to calm ourselves, talk about the problem and find solutions that can benefit both sides. Although violence is not always the answer to every conflict, there are still extreme cases that we might consider using violence. One situation that we might consider using violence is when we are preventing a terrorist from dispatching millions of innocent people.
Torture is necessary in extreme cases, that trying to inflict pain and agony into a terrorist is the ethical thing to do if it prevents people from any danger (Levin 201). It is indeed inhumane for us to inflict the most unbearable pain into a terrorist but what about the people whose lives are at the obscene hands of a hostile self-centered terrorist? If we are not going to do something with the terrorist, it will surely lead to the endangerment of many people. According to Michael Levin, torturing is certainly unlawful and vicious but murdering a huge number of people is more immoral and unjust (201).
One of the issues against the use of torture is the deprivation of the terrorist’s basic rights such as the right to live. Letting the innocent people be murdered signifies that we are also taking away their rights to live. Michael Levin points out that “if life is so valuable that it must never be taken, the lives of the innocents must be saved even at the price of hurting the one who endangers them” (202). We have to take into account that torturing the terrorist is saving the lives of innocents and preserving their basic rights.
In a recently conducted interview, Kenny Stevenson stated that “violent evil people will terrorize and repress a group of people unless those people rise up and defend themselves and it is necessary to fight the aggression head on in order to preserve freedom. ” No matter how United States tries to make terms and make peace with the other nations that are threatening us, if they continue not cooperate and continue to attack our nation then we should take action before they can dispatch the citizens and destroy our whole nation.
Another extreme case where it might be acceptable for us to resort to violence is when we are being threatened or attacked by obnoxious dangerous people. In the article “Exercising the Right,” Allan Scholl emphasizes the right of people to “keep and bear arms in some cases that the person is being afflicted by an invader” (1). Scholl cites a case where a 57-year-old woman, Cape Girardeau, defends herself from an attacker. Ronnie Prey, a registered sex offender, invaded Girardeau’s home and raped her. Prey was arrested by the police for committing that crime but he managed to escape.
Few days later, he went back again to attack the woman for the second time. She tried to call the police but the attacker had turned her electricity off. Preyer broke the glass window and door in order to get to the victim but Girardeau was able to defend her self. She shot and killed the violent criminal who invaded and raped her. The woman was not charged with any crime because the attacker’s death is a justifiable homicide (Scholl 1). I believe that Girardeau did not have any intention to kill anyone because she even tried to look for ways to deal with the situation by calling the police.
But she was not able to contact them, and that was the only time she decided to take action and use violence before the registered sex offender could hurt her again. We absolutely have the right to protect ourselves and the lives of our loved ones, with violence if necessary. We have to use violence in defense of justice against evil and thus violence should only be used in defensive and not for aggressive purposes. In conclusion, violence is not necessary if we are just going to use it to make people suffer.
For one thing, domestic violence and school violence only have negative long term effects to the victims and to the children or students who witness it. In addition, violence is not necessary if we are going to use it mainly to gain power or hold on to power. Moreover, violence is not necessary because people just need to calm themselves and try to talk about the problem rather than solving the problem by hurting each other. But, sometimes violence is also necessary in extreme situations where we are being threatened by evil people and when we are protecting our rights to live from terrorists.
We should accept the reality that sometimes violence is unavoidable but we should not convince ourselves to always resort to violence in every conflict we face. I believe that violence is not always immoral but what is not right is when we people use violence for the wrong reason, and for the wrong time and place. We should remember that in solving a dispute, we must try to apply all the non-violent options first but if they will not work, then that is the only time we resort to violence.