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Why do people become extremists? Show more Show less
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By Oxford definition, an extremist is defined as "a person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views, especially one who resorts to or advocates extreme action." The United States FBI has outlined the following reasons why people may turn to extremism.

People experience emotions of hate towards certain groups Show more Show less

Hate is one of the root causes of extremism and extremist groups. Hate for other people can cause racism, homophobia, and acts of violence that turn into extremism.
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Experiencing emotions of hate towards certain groups

Hate is one of the root causes of extremism and extremist groups. Hate for other people can cause racism, homophobia, and acts of violence that turn into extremism.
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The Argument

Hate crimes have been an issue for the entirety of human history. Recently, with extreme polarization of the US political system and changing power dynamics all over the globe, racism and prejudice have taken a front row seat in leading people towards extremism. Violent extremism can be racial, religious, personal, issue based, or a combination of multiple or all of these facets. [1] With the rise of the internet age, extremists have a platform online to spread hateful messages and recruit others into extremist organizations or ideologies. [2] Online, people can be anonymous and do not need to fact check the resources they may be posting, which leads to misinformation and bias masquerading as fact. If an individual has a prejudice or bias against a particular issue or group, seeing this type of media may only enflame them and empower them to extremist tendencies, including violence.

Counter arguments

Experiencing hateful emotions does not lead to extremism. Extremism is a choice by the individual. The definition of extremism can be troubling. Extremism has historically been linked to radical violence, specifically after 9/11 in the US, even though violence is not the sole outcome of extremism. Extremism can be in thoughts and conversations with other people. Extremism also can be in extreme favor of something, not just opposition. Hate is a strong negative emotion. An extremist can also be extreme because of their behavior in regards to having positive emotions about something. People can be extremists in love and in agreement.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/youth-partnership/extremism-and-radicalisation-leading-to-violence
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/15/learning/teens-racist-extremist-content-online.html
This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 23:23 UTC