Dehumanization: Degrading the Dignity Upon the Innocent
Dehumanization is a psychological process in which enemies or opponents treat each other inhumanely as if they aren’t human beings, depriving them of their moral considerations (Maiese, 2003). Typically, everyone should enjoy the basic human rights that shouldn’t be violated. People should be treated fairly, equally, justly, with respect, and dignity. In times of war, innocent civilians and lives should be protected in the same manner as those found guilty of committing crimes should receive a fair trial and not be subjected to cruel punishment. Dehumanization often leads to human rights violations and war crimes such as the dehumanization of the Jews during World War II which resulted in the horrific killings of many people.
Dehumanization is manifest through communication when someone goes online on the internet. He might be inclined to communicate something that might be offending to the other person, which might hurt his or her feelings. For example, it is very obvious that using the latest technology is beneficial to everyone. However, the real danger of the technology we use is that it doesn’t fully reveal that a majority of us might have been hurt or experienced to hurt others through dehumanizing aspects of communication online. Written communication in the internet is sometimes taken out of context and misunderstood. We have to be reminded that the person we write about and engage with online needs to also be loved as we love ourselves (Haslam, 2006). Therefore, we have to be very careful in what we write so that no one will feel hurt or offended when we say something because we sometimes don’t know or haven’t seen the person we are communicating with. Even though we might know the person on the other side, such as friends or family members, we often easily write something that is sometimes offensive to them that we don’t know about. The reason for this is because we are only sending words and we can’t see the body language or facial expression that the other person is doing at the other end behind our backs.
Dehumanization influences persuasive communication in the case of propaganda which is a form of communication used with the purpose of influencing the population’s attitude towards any objectives or movements that people are interested in and support. The word “propaganda” has a strong negative connotation being associated with war-like and manipulative examples used by the Nazis to justify the Holocaust. Generally, propaganda is an appeal to emotion often used to influence beliefs and opinions which became a powerful weapon in war to create and dehumanize hatred towards the supposed enemy by stimulating the imagination of the receiver, giving misleading ideas (Sutter, 2008). Making false allegations using racial language or derogatory remarks against the enemy makes the home population feel that the enemy has inflicted injustice to them even though it was only fabricated....