This is going to take quite a while, so I may have to do it in more than one blog. That's cause a blog should be fairly short, in order to suit one's electronic attention span, which is short.
Anyway, I remember a question asked in the sixties that has followed me for a long time: Why is it that sex, which is lovely, should be kept secret, and violence, which is ugly, should be out in the open?
Remember that this is a sixties question, loaded with sixties assumptions about sex, love, openness, flowers, war, and police.
Nonetheless, it's an interesting question. Why are we so secretive about sex? I remember a mock editorial by comedian Pat Paulson, who said, about sex, "It's time to come out in the open and speak forthrightly and openly about . . . you know what."
At the same time, how is it that we can tolerate extreme violence?
As always, when faced with a problem like this, I always ask, "WWDD?" That's, "What would Darwin do?" That is, can we look at this problem in an evolutionary perspective, to see if these two traits had any survival value for our ancestors.
The first thing is, of course, to determine if these two traits are in fact human, or are simply Western, American, Puritan, or somehow or another culturally determined.
And, for purposes of this blog spree, I'm going to assume that they are in fact human rather than cultural. That is, they are part of our genetic makeup. I'm going to assume this based on information gathered from, in part, Pinker's book on the way the mind works. Note, mind you, that he never said this, but it's kind of extrapolable from what he did say.