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Violence in LDs?

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HeadInTheClouds
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Violence in LDs?
PostPosted: Sat 18 May, 2013  Reply with quote

The following may contain opinions that people may disagree with. As I have had people react quite harshly when I have posted similar things, I just want to ask people to only respond in a polite conversational manner, and not in a heated angry response to my post.

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AgentO
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PostPosted: Sun 19 May, 2013  Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Sun 19 May, 2013  Reply with quote

I'm one of those who would disagree strongly, both with the connection of violent media causing violence IRL and with the connection of violence in dreams and an increase in violent acts in waking life. I feel this is an argument from those who find such things distasteful and don't engage it the same way, so don't understand.

Life by its very nature involves the destruction of other living things so that we can survive, violence is a fundamental part of what we are and there is no escaping that. Whether that violence is towards plants, (Yes plants are living things worthy of respect too, I don't dull that for convenience as many do.) animals or other human beings, for thousands of years and even today our ability to survive has been dependant on our ability to be more violent to things; which threaten us, compete with us or we benefit from killing, than they are to us. A few hundred hours worth of video games or dreams aren't going to magically remove those instincts or strengthen them, they're already fundamental.

I believe strongly that a persons behaviour when it comes to violence is dictated much more by how they view; society, themselves and the world around them, than how many violent games they play. In fact when that outlook is healthy, violent games and dreams can serve an invaluable purpose as an outlet for those visceral feelings that we all have no matter how we try to suppress them or convince ourselves we have evolved above them. They have to be recognized, and understood, suppression is likely what will lead to mental health problems. As a crude example, there was an experiment done where mice were denied the chance to play-fight when young. When later in life they were exposed to the scent of a predator, they hid... The ones which were not allowed to play-fight, remained hidden until they died from malnutrition. Those who were allowed the opportunity, eventually emerged and continued living. I suspect that is why you get such impassioned responses from those who at some level recognize that. However we engage those feelings, they do have to be engaged somehow. Violence has to be part of a healthy psyche and can be explored extensively through fantasy with no ill effect. That's not to say everyone should force themselves to, we all have our own ways to explore it, all I'm saying is we shouldn't interfere with or judge and condemn how others engage it.

I'm somebody who listens to some types of music which most people call aggressive or violent (Thrash/death metal) and I also have quite often graphic and violent dreams. Yet in spite of all this I have no intent of going and being violent for the sake of being violent, in fact I find that abhorrent and would be unable to forgive myself. I can tell the difference between reality and fantasy. In reality it saddens me to see kids mindlessly tear leaves off plants, but in fantasy I don't bind the visceral violence because I think it's wrong... if it harms none, do as you will and no I don't believe it harms you to explore and come to understand these already fundamental drives through fantasy.



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AgentO
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PostPosted: Sun 19 May, 2013  Reply with quote

GreenDragon,

I would have to disagree with you based on personal experience.
Without getting into details, I myself noticed that when engaging in a specific mental activity, mainly those involving 'primate' or 'primitive' behaviors as you describe, the urge to carry them out IRL is intensified by the SC. It was an interesting experiment, and I definitely saw the connection on my own mind.

So I would have to turn your words back on you:
Those who are less susceptible to the connection between mental activity and real life behavior, assume by default that their response is the whole picture and do not see the possibility for different results for different mentalities.

That's why I said a real scientific study should be performed, and why I predicted the results will show a statistical connection. (Ok, I didn't use the word 'statistical' but I meant it).



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HeadInTheClouds
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PostPosted: Sun 19 May, 2013  Reply with quote

AgentO wrote:
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My idea was not to try to prevent someone from perpetuating such acts of violence in their LDs. That is far beyond anyone's scope of control and I think ventures into an unethical realm. However, if there is a link between violence in a LD and violence IRL, then I think that people should at least be made aware of that. Ultimately, it is for the individual person to decide what they want to do.

Simply put, if there is a link between the two, then people should be made aware of it.



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AgentO
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PostPosted: Sun 19 May, 2013  Reply with quote

Sorry, I can't agree with that statement.
I'd love to see this subject studied scientifically (mental mindset relationship between conscious and unconscious awareness levels), but that's like discovering the American continent, and first thing to do is go check if you can get a good tan, and the effects it has on your skin. Scientifically speaking, Lucid Dreaming is almost entirely an uncharted territory



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Leijona
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PostPosted: Sun 19 May, 2013  Reply with quote

Some of the following has already been said, so I'm sorry for any repetitions.

As far as I remember Bandura's theory, it does ignore a few factors (correct me if I'm wrong, this is just how I remember it).
1) Individual predispositions and own thinking/judging. Not everyone is equally susceptible to things that promote violence, otherwise every first-person shooter gamer or violent dreamer would be a living murder machine.
2) The possibility of a drive which would be more or less the cause of aggressive urges. Bandura sees the human as quite determinate by its social environment, and doesn't pay any attention to the chance that an aggressive drive (or other genetical predisposition) may exist. If such a drive exists, then that means that violent media/dreams or anything like that are at worst reinforcements of already existing aggressions and at best are useful as an outlet for said aggressions (comparable to martial arts, with the only difference that such sports are more socially accepted).

For violent media/dreams to act as an effective reinforcement there have to be a few more underlying things that allow them to act as such: A need to harm others (accompanied with a lack of inhibitions), a lack of empathy for other living beings, an inability to tell reality and dreams/games apart, and so on. I think we should search the causes for aggressive behaviour in other things than in games or dreams. Violent behaviour in dreams or games does not harm anyone, and although I agree with you that violence in LD's is something that should be thought over twice, it may be a good outlet for some. If it is morally acceptable to harm DC's just for the sake of harming something, is a question that should be answered by the individual dreamer alone. After all, it does not affect anyone else if the dreamer is able to tell why doing what he does in dreams is not acceptable in real life.

TL;DR: I do see that you dissuade from violent dreams because it can/may cause aggressive behaviour, but it just as well can/may be a harmless outlet of aggression. We shouldn't focus so much on violent dreams or media. Someone who's never been prone to be aggressive and who has learned where society puts the limits will not suddenly commit acts of aggression when killing DC's. The cause of aggressive behaviour lies deeper (either a drive or lack of socialization/education), in my opinion.



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PostPosted: Mon 20 May, 2013  Reply with quote

HeadInTheClouds, You give the example of media and socially learned behavior, but can you really say that this is socially learned if we are already dreaming of it? When it's already happening in our mind? If it's already in our mind, then how can we learn from what's already there?

I used to have violent dreams all the time 5 years ago which I used as an outlet for already present aggressive thoughts. I saw no harm doing it at the time, afterall, it was only in my mind. No one got hurt, really. But ultimately, I realized that I was distracted by the idea of using these dreams as a vent instead of trying to understand why I wanted to vent in the first place.


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PostPosted: Mon 20 May, 2013  Reply with quote

AgentO wrote:
I would have to disagree with you based on personal experience.
Without getting into details, I myself noticed that when engaging in a specific mental activity, mainly those involving 'primate' or 'primitive' behaviors as you describe, the urge to carry them out IRL is intensified by the SC. It was an interesting experiment, and I definitely saw the connection on my own mind.


I think there is a difference between being hyped up, which is what it sounds like you are describing and a modification of how aggressive/violent a person is. I'm not disputing that it's possible when dealing with basal emotions like this, that you can become absorbed in it and be drawn to act out of character. I'm disputing that engaging violent media modifies a persons levels of or attitude towards aggression/violence over the long term. I'd describe your foray into whatever media you were exploring one of immense value. From it you learned how you can become fired up, and how to control and regulate those emotions. Hence my strong opposition to people following the typical line of, "Violence is bad, so consuming media which shows it, is bad."

There may be some who seek violent media for unhealthy reasons and/or be harmful to society because of their attitudes towards it, but I don't accept that engaging in violent fantasies is unhealthy in itself. To my understanding those who commit acts of gross violence do go through desensitisation, but they will do so regardless of the availability of violent media and I don't believe are stimulated to do so because of exposure to it; at least not when they engage it knowing it is a fantasy and not reality. The reasons for following that road are seated much deeper, and involve their perspective of self, others and the world around them.

Shifting a little off topic but, if as an authority figure you take the stance that you don't approve of violent media and discourage those you are responsible for from viewing it, you will miss the opportunity to monitor their reaction to that media when they seek it out of your range of influence. This only further strengthens my resolve to disagree with the attitude that violent fantasies should be avoided or discouraged.

I believe as Leijona describes above, that the cause of violent behaviour comes from elsewhere in the psyche. I also believe that encouraging abstention from violent media or fantasies is only a harmful thing. Those who find it distasteful, already are disinclined to do it: the discouragement is moot. Those who don't find it distasteful enough to avoid, or who are curious, may come to understand a part of themselves and create a healthy outlet for it. Which otherwise could be turned to something destructive and harmful, to themselves and/or society in general.

If you are inclined to go on a senseless and unexplained killing spree in a fantasy situation, I'd say not to try to constrain yourself, but to put your effort into thinking about why. Actually doing it in a fantasy could well give you even more information about that. You are far more likely, in my opinion, to learn something deeply useful about yourself than you are to degenerate into a violent person in waking life.



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HeadInTheClouds
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PostPosted: Tue 21 May, 2013  Reply with quote

Wyvern wrote:
HeadInTheClouds, You give the example of media and socially learned behavior, but can you really say that this is socially learned if we are already dreaming of it? When it's already happening in our mind? If it's already in our mind, then how can we learn from what's already there?

Social-Learning theory does not apply so neatly to the idea that I was espousing. I was mainly using it to illustrate that violent media can cause people to become more aggressive and violent; however, in looking over my original post, I see that I also used it as potential evidence to prove my hypothesis about violence in LDs causing increased violence IRL. In that manner, I stretched the very definition of social-learning theory; thus, it is not the best evidence for my hypothesis. Ultimately, in my opinion, it would still have its effects in our LDs, as we can be observers of our own subconscious, which in turn could influence us.

It should be made clear that as confusing as what I just said about social-learning theory is, my main source of evidence that caused me to form my hypothesis was the link that has been found between violent videogames and violence IRL. Of course, I know that many people don't accept current scientific research on the subject as being proof of such a link, and thus I brought up the idea of social-learning theory. Ultimately, if the link between violent videogames and violence IRL it to be proven true, then it follows that the same reasons theorized for that association may hold true for what we do in our LDs.

All of my opinions on this matter are what I have inferred from my own study of the current scientific information. As I think that this is something of importance, it would be nice to see research in this area to determine if my hypothesis is true or if it needs modification. Without the proper research, this all remains just conjuncture, and thus people will have to make their own decisions based on their own personal experiences.

As one final note, it does seem likely that things practiced in a LD help improve those practiced things IRL, such as playing a guitar. Thus, it is not that illogical to think that whatever we do in our LDs will affect us IRL, whether positively or negatively.



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PostPosted: Tue 21 May, 2013  Reply with quote

GreenDragon:

Quote:
I think there is a difference between being hyped up, which is what it sounds like you are describing

I would appreciate if you didn't try to rationalize the experience I described to suit your theory, because without understanding the experience to depth, that would just be rude, incorrect, and not reflecting the true nature of the experience.

The bottom line is there are two possibilities (at least) to this scenario:

1. You are feeling an urge to perform random illegal, sadistic, whatever, actions in a game, dream, whatever, and those actions cause to either get a sense of release, or a profound understanding of your behavior.

2. You are feeling an urge to perform random illegal, sadistic, whatever, actions in a game, dream, whatever, and those actions cause you to lose your grip of reality, or cause the emotional effect to be so intense, that you want more of it, and when you get used to that specific experience, and it no longer thrills you, you will search for other options, one of them may be performing these actions IRL.

The fact that you (and I sure hope that myself as well) belong to group #1, doesn't mean that group #2 doesn't exist.



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PostPosted: Tue 21 May, 2013  Reply with quote

My opinion:

Some people can witness violent acts and commit them virtually and not have any behavioral side effects while some others may. Bottom line is violent behavior is an internally caused problem within the individual.


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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jun, 2013  Reply with quote

AgentO wrote:
I would appreciate if you didn't try to rationalize the experience I described to suit your theory, because without understanding the experience to depth, that would just be rude, incorrect, and not reflecting the true nature of the experience.

Firstly I want to say I completely understand your wish to keep the details to yourself. Although I'm not sure what else you expected, I tried to use what knowledge I had about the situation to make sense of it and see if there was a conflict with what I theorised so if there was I could amend it. I'd also note that I clearly said, even in what you quoted "It sounds like" I assumed nothing, simply explained my interpretation.

I don't recognise somebody else's conclusions on something as more than an expression of their views when I'm formulating my perspective or discussing something. Our evaluations can be flawed and I'd rather be in error from my own flawed interpretation than because I followed somebody elses, I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say by that and why. Ordinarily I would ask for further details to explore why you feel as you do, but since you have expressed an understandable wish to keep these details to yourself, doing so would be inappropriate.

Quote:
2. You are feeling an urge to perform random illegal, sadistic, whatever, actions in a game, dream, whatever, and those actions cause you to lose your grip of reality, or cause the emotional effect to be so intense, that you want more of it, and when you get used to that specific experience, and it no longer thrills you, you will search for other options, one of them may be performing these actions IRL.


I'm not denying the existence of people who loose their grip on reality or who are absorbed in the thrill of dominating/harming others, what I am denying is that viewing violent media, knowing that it is a fantasy, is a contributing factor to their 'condition'. That their issues were entirely independent from what media they viewed.

When you start to talk of them being emotionally driven to commit acts of violence, I think it's safe to say those feelings won't simply remain dormant indefinitely, nor that they can be created in healthy people by seeing 'contaminated' media. That them degenerating this way would occur through progressively worse acts in reality regardless of what media they engage in. Violent media might be one of the first or early places they seek to indulge these feelings, but I simply don't accept that it can cause healthy people to suddenly get them.

If they didn't see the acts of violence through media, it would no doubt happen through minor violence in reality. Starting with throwing things around when frustrated just as one example. Things then progressively worsen over time. So I disagree that avoiding it might save them from being 'triggered.' I speak as somebody who came scarily close to walking the path I just described.

What you describe sounds like how violent media can become part of an unhealthy individuals descent into madness, I don't deny that it could, but I do reject the idea that it's causative and therefore should be avoided. We don't gain deeper understanding of something if we fear and avoid it.

Violence in fantasy doesn't erode somebodies sense of right and wrong, failure to recognise that that path is self-destructive and leads to misery does. Combined with a belief that there is no other option, the world is against you or dark and horrific. The dog-eat-dog mentality. Feeling materially insecure is much more significant in feeding this sort of behaviour than playing a few beat-em-ups or the most graphic of films. I speak so passionately about it because the attitude of "any and all violence is bad" is very harmful. It isolates people who are vulnerable and have not yet done something unforgivable. It makes them feel they must deal with these things alone for fear of prejudice.

Watching violent media or making art which is violent is one of the most healthy and positive ways of dealing with these feelings. Which are part of our fundamental make-up. Others might be more drawn to engage in violent sports or even outright fighting as a sport, that's fine too. If it harms none do as you will. Harm between two consenting adults is their business. Better to have it at an organised fighting event, with medical professionals and referees on hand than in football stadiums or bars where innocent people are dragged into the fray...



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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jun, 2013  Reply with quote

Wyvern wrote:
HeadInTheClouds, You give the example of media and socially learned behavior, but can you really say that this is socially learned if we are already dreaming of it? When it's already happening in our mind? If it's already in our mind, then how can we learn from what's already there?


I agree. I've also experienced a lack of integrity between the conscious and subconscious: If I want to have a healing dream but some crucial part of me is still spiraling downwards, then no matter how lucid I am, this endeavor will fail-- it has failed. Similarly, if there's any part of me that's averse to getting violent with somebody, then even if I consciously want to harm a DC, the opposite is going to come out. The dream world will conspire to get in my way, because I'll subconsciously be disinclined to fight.

In cases where I find my mind fully integrated with this violent task... Where did that come from? Not from the dream, I think, because a dream is evidence of an end result of waking life factors that did push me into a violent frame of mind.

If I hash it out in a dream... Like AgentO said there could be two possibilities:

AgentO wrote:
1. You are feeling an urge to perform random illegal, sadistic, whatever, actions in a game, dream, whatever, and those actions cause to either get a sense of release, or a profound understanding of your behavior.

2. You are feeling an urge to perform random illegal, sadistic, whatever, actions in a game, dream, whatever, and those actions cause you to lose your grip of reality, or cause the emotional effect to be so intense, that you want more of it, and when you get used to that specific experience, and it no longer thrills you, you will search for other options, one of them may be performing these actions IRL.

The fact that you (and I sure hope that myself as well) belong to group #1, doesn't mean that group #2 doesn't exist.


Group #2 is a definite possibility, but I just don't see violent lucid dreams as the cause of this, so much as being a clue that a person's psyche is approaching this branch in the road.

Correlation is not causality.

I doubt that it's indulging in lucid dreams that makes someone violent. At least, for as long as we decline to examine that a fraction of the people who would indulge in violent dreams and subsequently violent waking life actions, have waking life causes to do so.

And that a fraction of that would handle waking life better.

Going on a lucid dream adventure with some violence might have some dreamers wake up more courageous-- What fragile sort of mind comes back from that as a killer? I think, only someone in a difficult waking life situation, or whose psyche has been shaped by negative waking life.


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PostPosted: Sun 16 Jun, 2013  Reply with quote

GreenDragon: Hey whatever makes you sleep better at night.
If the world was going entirely like your own psyche, you of course would've been correct.

Unfortunately to the human race, it is not, so atrocities occur on a daily basis.
In fact, many atrocities are caused by individuals thinking that their approach is the only one and non other exists/should exist and thus either

1. trying to interpret acts as if they themselves would've performed them, making the wrong conclusions and acting upon them

2. Try and force the rest of the world to fit to their ideal, which would obviously create a conflict.

As for "already unstable" theory, imagine this scenario:
Someone with a yet undeveloped psyche is exposed to said content, either by mistake or intentionally due to curiosity. Let's even say it was a kid.

What would have been a normative kid growing into a model citizen, will now potentially become, under the influence of these new thrills or whatever, an entirely different person, possibly violent, or perverting.
This has been discussed on many forums before.

So ask yourself this question: Mental instability - is it a genetic attribute? or acquired behaviour? Maybe a little of both? maybe in some cases just one or the other?



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