What is it that encourages people to behave like assholes?

Ok, perhaps the topic is a bit too broad. However, seeing as how I'm currently agitated by an asshole, I just wondered what is it that they get out of being so spiteful to others?

Is it a sense of accomplishment?

Do they feel that by making someone else angry or upset, they have some how succeed?

I like for people to have differing viewpoints, but I don't like people who just want to argue and then make it personal instead of discussing what they originally disagreed about.

Maybe it is just me. I just don't have the patience for people who don't understand civilized conversation. I definitely do not need to subject myself to any cyber-bully who feels that they are somehow endowed with more credibility than me... for any reason at all. We all have valid opinions and do not need any self-proclaimed "authorities" to help us out. Everyone here is on a different path, but this moment and this nexus is a crossing point for many of us. I would like to look upon this as a positive moment, and not just another example of something I am trying desperately to disprove, that by and large, people fucking suck!

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There could be any of a dozen reasons which makes someone an asshole. Barring this person being a sociopath, I would say that he/she most likely just finds that method of behaviour the most successful in getting what they want. Perhaps this is due to negative reinforcement.
I just read about that the first time a few weeks ago. Well, not to get into esoteric-land, but this can even go into the realm of eastern thought process and Buddhism. What westerner's typically understand is the us vs. them scenario. It is not common practice for us to see ourselves as part of the whole, instead we see ourselves as being somehow outside of the mechanism or the world itself.

If all was constantly light, how would we understand darkness?

There is no one way to be, and that makes it difficult for all people. We should attempt to accept the fact that we are all pieces of the same shattered mirror, reflecting back only that which we see and experience. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't imagine there is some war between Atheists and Christians... but that is because I have decided not to participate, because frankly... it doesn't matter. All that really matters are US, and the sharing of your reality helps to shed light on the dark corners of my own. :)
This, however, is nonsense. Asian societies have a millenia-old history of war, exploitation, and slavery, just like the west. Holism is a reactionary, illiberal mystical notion. The religions of these regions--Hinduism above all--are as shameful as anything the Abrahamic religions doled out. Finally, the very conception of East and West is a reactionary ideological notion.
I don't think that in this case the philosophy of a culture reflects accurately in the way the people of that society are ruled. It is typically quite the opposite in fact. Religion is not the only source of philosophy either, so simply boiling down a civilization to its transgressions and religion isn't quite fair for any nation of people.

I meant more of the fact that some problems exist in Western culture that do not exist in Eastern cultures, because they are constructs of language and concept. Their entire conceptuilazation of the world and especially their role in it differs greatly from our own here in the West.

You are correct though about one thing. Ultimately we are all people and we destroy one another for fun. It's what we end up doing when the money, sex, drugs, alcohol, religion... or what have you, isn't enough any more. When you get powerful enough to where you can get whatever you want, for some reason human beings always want others to suffer. I don't know if that is true just of my view of the world, but if it is really true then just how sad is that?
The Brahmins I have met are particularly odious. They cling to the caste system as if it were a license to behave badly and exit their bathrooms without the necessity of flushing.
kj,
I believe you were speaking poetically above. I'll be generous and say that the folks who were ridiculing your comment are either trying to be ironic (given that this is a discussion about what makes people behave like assholes) or they missed the points you were trying to convey.

As to Eastern "religions": The Eastern thought systems may render their adherents vulnerable to the aggression of others, but they are, generally speaking, almost the antithesis of the so-called Abrahamic religions. Buddhism in particular makes very clear that violence (mental or physical) is never justified and never of benefit. As far as the comments about closet theists in this thread, presumably aimed at you, classical Buddhism, Taoism, and Hindu Advaita Vedanta are all non-theistic.

As far as holism, I agree with you there also, at least in principle. It's always helpful to consider that you are part of any system and to try to determine what part you play in it.

So I liked what you wrote.
Thanks so much. Honestly, I've sacrificed myself to the internet gods before, and here I find myself doing it yet again. I don't really know what "normal" is. I know what I see "normal" people doing, and how they behave. However, I have stopped acting according to any particular methodology. So if I am speaking poetically, then I suppose that is correct. If I may have been perceived as being cynical, that too could be ascertained. If I was portraying a symbol of idealistic optimism, then I would also venture towards the yes block with my handy number two and a check mark at the ready.

I'm just observing, interpreting, and utilizing neurological relativity to convey what I can.

Ok, now I'm feeling neurotic. Where is Alex? :)
The trait is passed on via the santorum gene.
The rancor you object to is inevitable, and not particularly objectionable in my view, except for one decisive aspect of it: when the content of dispute disappears in a he-said-she-said environment, or in the media freak show that disenables any serious discussion of anything. Ultimately, arguments over issues become personal and do reflect on the personal characteristics--at the very least the ideological illusions--of the parties concerned. But is it is only about personalities--then there is no objective reality to discuss--only subjective interests. Our entire social being encourages this duality: spurious claims to absolute truth or a relativized clash of personalities and perspectives. Both "intolerance" and "tolerance" are limited and ultimately bankrupt perspectives, and in effect in liberal democratic societies they are mutually interdependent and protect the status quo.
You know Don, thank goodness there are people like you. I try not to take the bait, oh I try my little heart out. There have been instances before and I always fall for it, and then I always have a level-headed benefactor who sums up the equation nicely and perfectly.

I often assume wrongly that I am being misinterpreted and will try to correct things, and this is I suppose my downfall. Often I find I'm just the next hapless victim of someone who has nothing better to do with their time than to play grade school level manipulation games in order to attempt to gain a level of mock superiority. Luckily there are people like yourself though, and now I'll just behave as I would to anyone in my real life who exhibits behavior that I abhor.

Sometimes I get on this computer and get wound up in all kinds of gobbity-gook, and then I forget that I am living a rather enjoyable life... must never forget that, no matter how much the bastards try to grind me down. In the end none of this matters... nothing. It is barely a tick on the universes clock with no hands. Must never forget to let go.
"Do not feed the trolls" is a good internet-maxim to live by, if only it wasn't so damn hard. Sometimes it's fun to bait them!
I agree Angie...and it is fun! Especially with such a witty, intelligent joker!!

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