Violence- A Reflection.
Throughout the course my definition of violence has been greatly challenged. With new information comes new interpretations and understanding of what violence really is. Before this class my opinion of violence and of many other ethical issues were strictly black or white. I never imagined how many grey areas there were and that myself (a very opinionated, stubborn person) would fall into those areas. My opinion before this class is that an act that causes harm is considered violent, no matter the intention. I still do agree with that, however now I focus my judgement more on the intention rather then the act itself. If the intention of your act is to save yourself or someone else I don’t think that the act is wrong, however I still do believe that said act is violent. For example, a mother attacking a man who tried to kidnap her child. The child was unable to defend themselves from a dangerous situation. The mother stepped in, and broke the man’s nose, the child gets away safely. Her intention was to defend her child, and it is deemed an acceptable act, I still believe that it was a violent act.
To full understand my point of view, you must understand that not all violence is bad. A lot of the time violence is necessary, or even productive. What makes violence bad or good is the intention behind the action. For example heart surgery, your chest is cut and cracked open and ribs are broken. We can all agree that this is quite harmful and violent however, the good outweighs the bad which makes it an acceptable act of violence. \
Dr. McVeigh also brought up a good point in our class about animal abuse which connects to my opinion and definition of violence. When deciding weather or not to show our class the documentary that revolves around animal abuse, he was concerned that showing the video would in itself be a for of violence. We can all agree that the video was hard to watch and certainly contained violent acts however, I don’t know if it caused harm. It was uncomfortable, and made myself, along with my classmates cringe I don’t know if that is harmful. If you believe that this was harmful then yes, this was a violent act, however if you don’t then this was not an act of violence. Although his intention was no where near hurtful or intended to be violent, from some perspectives it was. This is why my focus on the definition of violence greatly revolves around intention. His intention was to make us aware of issues, and for us to gain knowledge of a hard to swallow subject. I believe that it was a justified act of violence because the gain was much more then the harm caused.
This class has shown that the term violence cannot be defined so easily and interpreted in many ways. Through class discussion my opinions have been challenged and with new information came new views.