Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blood lust

“The Hebrew Bible associates anger with levels of destruction and violence not seen in ordinary American English conversation about anger. Many words referring to extreme forms of violence appear frequently with terms for anger. This correlation is present not only with the word הרג [HRG] ‘kill’. One also finds it with the terms
שמד ,חרם and כלה [HRM, ShMD, KLH] which can refer to utter destruction, the complete extermination of others, and the killing of people that leaves no survivors. These terms have much in common with what today is called genocide...

“Most of the cases linking שמד ,חרם and כלה [HRM, ShMD, KLH] with anger posit a causal relationship, in that extreme violence results from anger. This connection between anger and overwhelming violence has at least some contrasts with American English’s use of words for anger. For example, within official discourse, Pentagon spokespersons rarely, if ever, portray themselves or their troops as angry with a bloodlust that seeks the total annihilation of another group of people. However, battle rage is found with some degree of frequency in both the Hebrew Bible and the inscriptions of the ancient Near East.”— From Fratricide to Forgiveness: The Language and Ethics of Anger in Genesis , pages 68, 69

<idle musing>
I don't know; I suspect if you read some comments on a few blogs, you would see a good bit of blood lust. Think of the ones where they seem to relish the idea that so-and-so is going to "roast in hell." And some of the political comments can get pretty nasty, as well...
</idle musing>

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