Does an act or event have to be angry, hateful or hostile to be violent?
I'm more offering this question than struggling with it (now!). For example, although causing no physical harm, can't words be violent. On the other end of the (attempted/debated) definition, where my question really goes, can a *hard* hit in football (no animosity or hate, just extreme competitiveness) be "violent"? I always pause when I hear a reference to a "violent" tornado or other weather event, thinking there's a bit of anthropomorphism going on. Can a truly, dissociatively psychotic or intoxicated (any substance, even bodily produced - like adrenaline) person commit a violent act?
Partly it is just different definitions. Sometimes it is just used to mean really intense, like your tornado. Sometimes the definition includes intentionality.
Personally, I just define it as a vigorous disruption of order. it seems to encompass most of the ways we use the word. A psychotic committing harm, then, is double violence. First, violence fractured their mind, and second their acts brought violence on to another. The genesis or motivation (such as anger) are, to me, a separate issue. Perhaps there should be a distinction between intentional, hateful violence and other kinds.
LOVE your precision! Maybe meaning does change w/ context. Lexicographers take note! I hadn't even THOUGHT of psychotic violence as additive, but almost as negating. Your empathy toward the "assailant" as victim of disease is admirable and apt.
Violence is applied physical force. Extending the term from the real world into that of ideas is to abuse and confuse it. War, contact sports, bodily assault, some acts of Nature are violent. Words no matter how heated, how true, how false or how hateful are not. No belief nor any other thought constitutes violence. Some may motivate it, but trying to determine motives in someone else is thin ice indeed. We can never touch them directly, we can only impute them, and in any event they are not violence.
I admit it. As THE ultimate hair-splitter, I too, have asked if a tangible consequence is essential. Then I recall, since it is on record as *causing* horrific violence, if bullying (inc. parental) is not JUST as violent. Stop making me think!
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