Thursday, July 28, 2022

Dear Ethicist: Is it Wrong to Have Violent Thoughts?

Tomas de Torquemada, the first Grand Inquisitor

Dear Ethicist: Is it wrong to have violent wishes? And what about sexual fantasy? Let’s say I covet my neighbor’s non-binary partner and want a threesome in a dungeon. Should I try not to think these things? Repression is never a good thing. It’s like depression. Some psychiatrists believe it should be treated and others think the symptom is sending a message. Let’s not confuse the messenger with the message, BTW, but I'm disinhibiting which is giving me a loose tongue. Soon I’ll be having one of my Tourette episodes in which repressed hatred takes the form of invective. It’s wrong fitting your enemies for cement shoes before you toss them in the East River—one of the punishments Mafia dons once handed out. The stocks are another punishment and visits to museums of medieval torture devices in hillside Tuscan villages don’t help matters. You don’t need to be rocket scientist to allow that the Inquisition could be very creative when it came to punishment and retribution. On the other hand, what good is it to try to fill the mind with thoughts of love, when you're going to turn into Rasputin the moment the endorphins wear off?

read "The First Law of Emotional Thermodynamics: Longing Is Directly Proportional to Self-Hatred" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Shake Me, Wake Me When It's Over" by The Four Tops

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