Cruelty  

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"One ought to learn anew about cruelty," said Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil, 229), "and open one's eyes. Almost everything that we call 'higher culture' is based upon the spiritualizing and intensifying of cruelty...." [...]


"Cruelty, very far from being a vice, is the first sentiment Nature injects in us all" Marquis de Sade, Philosophy in the Bedroom,[...].

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Cruelty can be described as indifference to suffering and even positive pleasure in inflicting it.

Cruel ways of inflicting suffering may involve violence, but violence is not necessary for an act to be cruel. For example, if another person is drowning and begging for help, and another person is able to help, but merely watches with disinterested amusement or pleasure, that person is being cruel — not violent.

Cruelty usually carries connotations of supremacy over a submissive or weaker force.

The term cruelty is often used with regard to the treatment of animals, children and prisoners. See: punishment, draconian, and cruel and unusual punishment. When cruelty to animals is discussed, it often refers to unnecessary suffering.

According to Friedrich Nietzsche, almost all higher culture comes from the spiritualization of cruelty.

Etymology

From Latin crūdēlis .

Usage in law

The term cruelty is often used in law and criminology with regard to the treatment of animals, children, spouses, and prisoners. When cruelty to animals is discussed, it often refers to unnecessary suffering. In criminal law, it refers to punishment, torture, victimization, draconian measures, and cruel and unusual punishment. In divorce cases, many jurisdictions permit a cause of action for cruel and inhumane treatment.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cruelty" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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