Enjoying the sufferings of other people?

Instead of going home after work, bosses were hanging around the cubicles chatting, while some of us were still slogging away trying (fruitlessly) to finish our work. The topic of their discussion? How it is innate in people to enjoy watching others suffer.

Examples quoted:

– Taiwanese game shows often have their celebrities "tortured" or ragged
– Fear Factor – contestants made to eat disgusting things. The more disgusting, the more audiences love it.
– NKF show – people call up when they see celebrities suffer
– university ragging of freshmen

Well they have a point, maybe there really is a mean streak in people. Even kids like to pluck wings and legs off insects, and nobody need teach them to enjoy this. On the contrary, people have to be taught that this is sick behaviour.

But is it really a sick condition and deviating from the norm? This is not an acquired taste. It is natural.

Sigh, perhaps people are evil by nature.

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