Breaking Bad Syndrome: when a normal person becomes Heisenberg
Many violent acts are the result of the desire to "do good" as explained by two anthropologists in their provocative book called 'virtuous violence ' "Violent acts may seem unacceptable to the majority of society but they make sense and are necessary for those who put them into practice. These people feel they have to make someone pay for their evil, teach a lesson or instill obedience "Argue the authors.
The book has its origins in an investigation of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) , headed by Alan Page Fiske and Tage Shakti Rai . Both investigators argue that the majority of criminals and people who commit acts of violence follow the same pattern of behavior as the protagonist of the famous television series "Breaking Bad" , and perform violent acts motivated by the desire to do good. That is to say, It is quite common to exercise violence against others for thinking that this defends a moral cause .
Breaking Bad Syndrome: the influence of personal beliefs and violence
In the television series in which they were inspired, the protagonist Walter White He becomes a drug trafficker after learning that he suffers from cancer. In his thinking, his duty as a father makes him enter the world of drug trafficking because he feels obliged to leave a good economic legacy to his family and obtain the money necessary to pay for his treatment.
"The moral of oneself is not only to be good, educated and peaceful, but also includes the feeling that, in some cases, there is an obligation to do something without taking into account the practical consequences," he explains in an interview to BBC World Alan Page Fiske, from UCLA's anthropology faculty.
The research data
According to the BBC article, the conclusions of Fiske and Rai are a consequence of the analysis of hundreds of studies on violence carried out in different parts of the world . These, in turn, were made up of thousands of interviews with criminals. After reviewing all the data they had, They found moral motivations even behind suicide, war and rape , although they admit that there are exceptions that confirm the rule. "Except some psychopaths, almost nobody harms another with the intention of being bad," explains Fiske. The researcher clarifies, "that their study does not justify those who commit violent acts, but rather explains the reasons why they carry them out."
In their book, Fiske and Rai set the example of people who mistreat their children or their partners. Although they are wrong from the point of view of society, they are convinced that they are doing the right thing. The perception that their victims must obey them is the result of their beliefs.
An example of the influence of beliefs on violent acts: the Nazis
Before becoming Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler He was obsessed with ideas about race. In his speeches and writings, Hitler contaminated German society with his belief in the superiority of the "Aryan race".
- And, in fact, it was during the Third Reich that some of the most atrocious animated "in the name of science" occurred. You can discover it by reading the article "Experiments with humans during Nazism".
When Hitler came to power, these beliefs became ideology of the government and they were disseminated on posters, on the radio, in movies, classrooms and newspapers. The Nazis began to implement their ideology with the support of German scientists who believed that the human race could be improved by limiting the reproduction of those people they considered inferior. The truth is that the events that occurred during the Nazi holocaust, They were produced by normal people who were not particularly bad citizens. Hitler, with his anti-Semitic campaign, made the German people believe that the superior races not only had the right but also had the obligation to exterminate the inferior races. For them, the struggle of races was consistent with the laws of nature.
This shows, therefore, that a large part of human violence is rooted in the beliefs . If the key to eradicating violent behavior is in changing beliefs, by changing them, we will also be changing the perception of what is right or wrong.