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This insight came to me from a line from the show Elementary (Sherlock spinoff), in which Sherlock claims: "I find blackmailers to be more despicable than murderers in some ways" in an episode where he deals with a professional blackmailer. Its true isn't it? While murder is instant, blackmail is like a slow torture, forcing one to slowly sacrifice everything they have. Professional blackmailers especially are dangerous, they turn secrets into poison, siphoning every last bit of money from the victim and their loved ones. I'm sure we've all been blackmailed to some degree in our lives, although most probably have the decency to only make one demand, rather than continue posting the threat. Theoretically with an important piece of information or an important person/asset, the other person has you in their pocket (THIS is also how organized crime works, through "favours" that result in eternal, forced loyalty, and the constant threat of death or torture to "stay in the game" and do what one is told). In many ways blackmail is a pervasive evil, even more dangerous and more difficult to deal with in some ways than murder, because a blackmailer has some degree of immunity merely because he/she has a threat to deal. The threat of blackmail is also very dangerous in the world of politics, especially from those who wield significant influence over the media (for its ability to blow small events out of proportion). The frightening reality of this is that nobody can be truly free or objective, especially those with power or fame who have the most to lose. Blackmail is a coward's way, but its clear that its dynamics run many of the systems in our society. Do you agree that blackmail is one of the worst evils?
 

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I can see how blackmail is more despicable, since a murderer at least gets up close and personal. It takes more guts to murder someone - or so one would think, since I reckon most murderers kills with ease 'cause there's something wrong with them - so for most murderers I guess it is not about having guts at all.

I am not sure whether that qualifies blackmail as "worse" than murder though. You could say that murder is quick whereas blackmail can be relentless - but that's mostly a matter of perspective, since the hurt a murder causes to the loved ones of the person killed lasts a long time too.
 

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Both are crimes of predation. Kind of like comparing lions to rattlesnakes to leeches. They all draw blood, in their own way. (Blackmailers would be the leeches.)
 

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I don't think blackmail is "evil" at all. Can't blackmail an honest person. If you're not honest, then either be smart about it or don't feel offended when someone outsmarts you.
 

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@Cazhune - dude you're an INTP stop making us look bad. Do this again and I'll tell everyone about our secret affair. Here ya go:

This insight came to me from a line from the show Elementary (Sherlock spinoff), in which Sherlock claims: "I find blackmailers to be more despicable than murderers in some ways," in an episode where he deals with a professional blackmailer. Its true isn't it? While murder is instant, blackmail is like a slow torture, forcing one to slowly sacrifice everything they have.

Professional blackmailers are especially dangerous; they turn secrets into poison, siphoning every last bit of money from the victim and their loved ones.

I'm sure we've all been blackmailed to some degree in our lives, although most probably have the decency to only make one demand, rather than continue posting the threat. Theoretically with an important piece of information or an important person/asset, the other person has you in their pocket (THIS is also how organized crime works, through "favors" that result in eternal, forced loyalty, and the constant threat of death or torture to "stay in the game" and do what one is told).

In many ways blackmail is a pervasive evil, even more dangerous and more difficult to deal with in some ways than murder, because a blackmailer has some degree of immunity merely because he/she has a threat to deal. The threat of blackmail is also very dangerous in the world of politics, especially from those who wield significant influence over the media (for its ability to blow small events out of proportion).

The frightening reality of this is that nobody can be truly free or objective, especially those with power or fame who have the most to lose. Blackmail is a coward's way, but its clear that its dynamics run many of the systems in our society. Do you agree that blackmail is one of the worst evils?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't think blackmail is "evil" at all. Can't blackmail an honest person. If you're not honest, then either be smart about it or don't feel offended when someone outsmarts you.
Hmm well we all have secrets though don't we? You can't expect that it is even humanly possible to be entirely honest with others about everything, sometimes we do have things in our past that we are not so proud of/ashamed of, and again the dangerous nature of blackmail is that it has the potential to blow a secret way out of proportion. Also blackmail is not always about secrets/information, it can be physically threatening in nature, or it can threaten anything you care about.
 

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Apples are worse than oranges in some ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Apples are worse than oranges in some ways.
Good point, I should have reworded the purpose of my post, I just wanted to illuminate an oft-forgotten and underestimated issue [blackmail] in today's society. Its true that they are completely different ideas, but I still like to compare them-- for me, the more different, the more interesting the comparison.
 

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@Cazhune - dude you're an INTP stop making us look bad. Do this again and I'll tell everyone about our secret affair. Here ya go:

This insight came to me from a line from the show Elementary (Sherlock spinoff), in which Sherlock claims: "I find blackmailers to be more despicable than murderers in some ways," in an episode where he deals with a professional blackmailer. Its true isn't it? While murder is instant, blackmail is like a slow torture, forcing one to slowly sacrifice everything they have.

Professional blackmailers are especially dangerous; they turn secrets into poison, siphoning every last bit of money from the victim and their loved ones.

I'm sure we've all been blackmailed to some degree in our lives, although most probably have the decency to only make one demand, rather than continue posting the threat. Theoretically with an important piece of information or an important person/asset, the other person has you in their pocket (THIS is also how organized crime works, through "favors" that result in eternal, forced loyalty, and the constant threat of death or torture to "stay in the game" and do what one is told).

In many ways blackmail is a pervasive evil, even more dangerous and more difficult to deal with in some ways than murder, because a blackmailer has some degree of immunity merely because he/she has a threat to deal. The threat of blackmail is also very dangerous in the world of politics, especially from those who wield significant influence over the media (for its ability to blow small events out of proportion).

The frightening reality of this is that nobody can be truly free or objective, especially those with power or fame who have the most to lose. Blackmail is a coward's way, but its clear that its dynamics run many of the systems in our society. Do you agree that blackmail is one of the worst evils?
I hate to point this out(just kidding, I jumped on it as soon as I could) you are talking about an affair with someone from Generation Z and I saw you talked about being married. Now, that doesn't give me enough info to convict, but...

If you don't send me all your money via 30 10' x 5' x 4" checks shipped in an unmarked freighter along with 5 frozen baby hearts by next Tuesday, let's just say you'll have to be a picketer, but I doubt you'll do much protesting.
 

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I don't think blackmail is "evil" at all. Can't blackmail an honest person. If you're not honest, then either be smart about it or don't feel offended when someone outsmarts you.
"Blackmail is an act, often a crime, involving unjustified threats to make a gain or cause loss to another unless a demand is met."

What if somebody threats to beat somebody up or kill a loved one? (Ofc if he did so, he'd probably end up in prison, but it's enough to be good with words to freak somebody out and you don't even need to actually do it. And yet, they have no proof you ever threatened.) Or, if you don't want to go that far, what if somebody threatens to tell your 4 year old that he/she is adopted or something like that, that would traumatize a child? Of course you'd be dishonest until the child is able to comprehend it. What if your boss threatens to fire you if you don't do something that doesn't fall under your job description? Sure, you can sue him, but you've got no proof.

Blackmail isn't just, "Do this, or I'll tell your wife you had an affair."
 

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Hmm well we all have secrets though don't we? You can't expect that it is even humanly possible to be entirely honest with others about everything, sometimes we do have things in our past that we are not so proud of/ashamed of
Embarrassing secrets are a dime a dozen, I'm sure, but unpleasant and inconvenient as embarrassment might be, it's hardly that big of a deal. I doubt that many people have done things that are so ruinous/shameful that blackmail would pose an actual threat to them. If you have, then back to my original point: be smart, and don't play the victim if you're caught.

Also blackmail is not always about secrets/information, it can be physically threatening in nature, or it can threaten anything you care about.
"Blackmail is an act, often a crime, involving unjustified threats to make a gain or cause loss to another unless a demand is met."

What if somebody threats to beat somebody up or kill a loved one?
I was going by this definition, which separates blackmail from other types of extortion: blackmail n. the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging facts (or rumors) about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless paid off to not carry out the threat. It is one form of extortion (which may include other threats such as physical harm or damage to property).

Threats of physical harm are a different story entirely, so going by the definition you are using my answer would be different.
 

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I was going by this definition, which separates blackmail from other types of extortion: blackmail n. the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging facts (or rumors) about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless paid off to not carry out the threat. It is one form of extortion (which may include other threats such as physical harm or damage to property).

Threats of physical harm are a different story entirely, so going by the definition you are using my answer would be different.
I see. I that case, I agree with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yup it depends on the definition used of blackmail, the definition I used in my original post was far broader than the one stated here.

Although in the world of politics, the dangers of blackmail still apply. I agree with you, based on your definition (which seems to be the generally accepted definition (majority)) of blackmail, that you cannot blackmail an honest person. That is self-evident. However, politics is an inherently dishonest field. I do not mean dishonest in a malicious fashion, but dishonest as a necessity for self-preservation. The media and the masses have a tendency to sensationalize stories, and not to mention the heterogenous, diverse nature of the citizens of democracies, in which it is almost impossible to please everybody. Sometimes achieving a greater good means a semi-transparent government, negotiating past the social unrest that is almost guaranteed in some segment of society, particularly those who represent large portions of the voter base, which disincentivized risk taking (which, I might add, was arguably the foundation of our free-market economy). The result is a complex system of blackmail in which politicians in positions of power must pay lip-service to "transparency" while trying to survive. This phenomenon emerges due to the exorbitant amounts of attention towards its outward performance that the government receives due to it being a democracy, as well as the high levels of competition which create a system in which individuals are more than happy to expose and sensationalize the failures of other individuals in order to eliminate potential competitors. Thus in my opinion, blackmail still attacks the foundation of society.

However, to the everyday person, the effects of blackmail are much less apparent, under your definition.
 
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