A profound personal mystery to me is how people can remain indifferent to and even enjoy inflicting suffering on others. About 1/3 of our human population seems so afflicted.

I remember the guy in prep school who used to take pleasure in sneaking up behind people and jabbing them in the kidneys — which can be quite painful. I have pondered whether the enjoyment of the suffering of others is due to the lack of personal pain experience — or perhaps a reaction to brutality inflicted on young children — or rather a natural disposition of some ingrained in their identities?

Whatever, I have still to learn how to deflect people from this disposition. Any wise suggestions as to the causes and possible remedies? Obviously our world religions have failed miserably with remedies and are all too often the causal factors.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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