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Why do people kill each other?

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Why do people kill each other?

Post by Pages » March 19th, 2019, 2:56 pm

This isn't about religion. Even if religion asks one to do it, it is expected that humans have the capability of reasoning. So, they could choose not to adhere to beliefs when it conflicts with common sense.

So, independent of religion, by default. Why do humans in general kill each other?
I am not talking about self defence, I'm talking about the instigator who decides taking another person's life is worth it.

Why does one decide to kill another person, how does it happen in the mind? What is the thought process that triggers a green light response when murder comes up in the brain? Why does anyone have a murder thought at all?

Is it a mental problem, or inability of certain human beings to evolve to the point of possessing common sense or just the way it is and couldn't be any other way?
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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Scott » March 20th, 2019, 10:28 am

Most people don't kill other humans. For those statistically few who do, I imagine the reasons differ greatly from killer to killer.

Any given taxonomy can categorize groups of killers with similar reasons into groups, but then there would still be multiple groups. Also, needless to say, there's a degree of arbitrariness in any taxonomy. And it's important to note that similar doesn't mean same.
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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Pages » March 20th, 2019, 12:44 pm

Maybe we could take a k study then. Since there are "few" I guess it wouldn't be very difficult to cut out a fair sample frame.
It would be fascinating to know how the thought process of a killer becomes practically manifest.
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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by LuckyR » March 20th, 2019, 6:13 pm

There are three main ways that individuals reconcile murder with their moral standard: firstly and most importantly sociopaths have no moral standard, so to them murder is just another tool in the toolbox to solve problems. At 2% of the population that is 150 million potential murderers worldwide.

Secondly and rarely, is the crime of passion where there is little to no consideration of the moral standard due to undue emotional upheaval. IMO this is extremely rare and many if not most such cases are legal strategies rather than true incidents.

Lastly and more what the OP is driving at is folks who make a decision to commit murder based on a moral calculation where perhaps in this one case given the circumstances it is ok to commit murder, this of course would be the definition of murder in the first degree.
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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Jklint » March 26th, 2019, 10:56 pm

...for every legal and illegal reason imaginable.

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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Alias » March 27th, 2019, 1:22 am

Because they're pests and because it's fun.
Just quoting George Carlin, who, sadly, can't be with us today.

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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Pages » March 27th, 2019, 7:19 am

LuckyR wrote:
March 20th, 2019, 6:13 pm
There are three main ways that individuals reconcile murder with their moral standard: firstly and most importantly sociopaths have no moral standard, so to them murder is just another tool in the toolbox to solve problems. At 2% of the population that is 150 million potential murderers worldwide.

Secondly and rarely, is the crime of passion where there is little to no consideration of the moral standard due to undue emotional upheaval. IMO this is extremely rare and many if not most such cases are legal strategies rather than true incidents.

Lastly and more what the OP is driving at is folks who make a decision to commit murder based on a moral calculation where perhaps in this one case given the circumstances it is ok to commit murder, this of course would be the definition of murder in the first degree.
So, it would be easier to ascert that murders are either sociopaths or people instinctively allowing their undilluted natural brain function to have its way. I think it's also sociopathic or retardation to refuse to use the brain to do what it can, especially if it negatively affects somebody else. Of course negative and positive would mean something different to the person, which further proves that they're sociopaths, since the person is living among people who use their brain for moral judgement for the benefit of all humanity.

Which raises another question.
Should murderers be treated or penalized?
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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Alias » March 27th, 2019, 12:11 pm

Pages wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 7:19 am
Which raises another question.
Should murderers be treated or penalized?
That depends on how you define murder. Do you include soldiers killing soldiers or soldiers killing civilians? Do you include executioners? Doctors who perform euthanasia? Only people who kill people of their own nationality/race/class or all kinds of other people, or just people who can't defend themselves, or all species that can't fight back, or ... what?
"Murder" is a legal term to separate one class of killing from all the other kinds of killing. The definition is neither universal nor constant.

What I'm saying is: in the natural course of things, animals kill other animals. Humans and human activities are nothing more esoteric than a continuation of animal behaviour in more complex directions. Because we do complicate things, we sort killing into different categories.

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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Pages » March 27th, 2019, 12:33 pm

Alias wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 12:11 pm
Pages wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 7:19 am
Which raises another question.
Should murderers be treated or penalized?
That depends on how you define murder. Do you include soldiers killing soldiers or soldiers killing civilians? Do you include executioners? Doctors who perform euthanasia? Only people who kill people of their own nationality/race/class or all kinds of other people, or just people who can't defend themselves, or all species that can't fight back, or ... what?
"Murder" is a legal term to separate one class of killing from all the other kinds of killing. The definition is neither universal nor constant.
At the beginning of the post I did exclude self defense, which is kind of the category that war falls in. Anyways, cut long story short, I'm talking about murder with no rational reasonable basis.
Even revenge isn't a sensible reason to murder someone imo
Alias wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 12:11 pm
What I'm saying is: in the natural course of things, animals kill other animals. Humans and human activities are nothing more esoteric than a continuation of animal behaviour in more complex directions. Because we do complicate things, we sort killing into different categories.
You see animals kill, because their life and/or survival depends on it. Coupled with the fact that they can't reason. Those are 2 serious reasons that keep us far apart. I believe we are reasonable for a reason. You and I would be perfectly fine if we minded our business and do the needful, which may never involve anything remotely close to one killing the other
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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Alias » March 27th, 2019, 3:32 pm

Pages wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 12:33 pm
At the beginning of the post I did exclude self defense, which is kind of the category that war falls in.
Only for a nation under unprovoked attack.
Anyways, cut long story short, I'm talking about murder with no rational reasonable basis.
Nobody kills anybody without a reason. Whether their reason seems rational to you is very much beside the point.
You see animals kill, because their life and/or survival depends on it. Coupled with the fact that they can't reason.
I don't see how those things are coupled. Killing to survive seems eminently reasonable to me. However, the more intelligent animals do sometimes kill for fun, or in anger, just as humans do. And humans still kill - a lot! - for food, which seems to them reasonable, even though it's no longer necessary.
Those are 2 serious reasons that keep us far apart.
To keep whom far apart? Humans from animals?
I believe we are reasonable for a reason.
What would that reason be? And what's your reason for believing it?
You and I would be perfectly fine if we minded our business and do the needful, which may never involve anything remotely close to one killing the other
Mostly it doesn't. Mostly, people can manage enough organization within their community, and enough indifference to non-members of their community, to keep neighbours and strangers from killing one another personally.
But there has never been a single week in recorded history that people were not killed in some kind of conflict, formal or informal, or sacrifice, or punishment, or just because someone powerful feared them.
Humans are very far from being reasonable animals.

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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Pages » March 27th, 2019, 4:02 pm

Alias wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 3:32 pm
Pages wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 12:33 pm
At the beginning of the post I did exclude self defense, which is kind of the category that war falls in.
Only for a nation under unprovoked attack.
Anyways, cut long story short, I'm talking about murder with no rational reasonable basis.
Nobody kills anybody without a reason. Whether their reason seems rational to you is very much beside the point.
How is it beside the point? I'm being affected by it too so why shouldn't my view on it be seen as a valid point?
Alias wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 3:32 pm
I don't see how those things are coupled. Killing to survive seems eminently reasonable to me. However, the more intelligent animals do sometimes kill for fun, or in anger, just as humans do. And humans still kill - a lot! - for food, which seems to them reasonable, even though it's no longer necessary.
Maybe, I'm not explaining myself well enough.
One could kill oneself, for whatever reason, that's their problem. But, when it has to affect someone else then that person do not have the right to judge their rationality at the detriment someone else. That act ceases to be reasonable once one starts assuming that their view in life should be standard. While if they don't and just want to enforce it by force then, thus my initial question.
Alias wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 3:32 pm
To keep whom far apart? Humans from animals?
What would that reason be? And what's your reason for believing it?
To whom much is given, much is tested. Humans have higher intelligence than animals to reason is needed to create order.

You and I would be perfectly fine if we minded our business and do the needful, which may never involve anything remotely close to one killing the other
Mostly it doesn't. Mostly, people can manage enough organization within their community, and enough indifference to non-members of their community, to keep neighbours and strangers from killing one another personally.
But there has never been a single week in recorded history that people were not killed in some kind of conflict, formal or informal, or sacrifice, or punishment, or just because someone powerful feared them.
Humans are very far from being reasonable animals.
[/quote]

No humans are not, but compared to animals humans are very reasonable.
Back to the topic
I'm curious. Do you think murder is just a normal way of life that should just be embraced and move on? Like when someone dies we'd be like "oh well, tough luck... Moving on. Who's next on the menu?"
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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Plaffelvohfen » March 27th, 2019, 4:05 pm

According to neurobiologist R. Douglas Fields in his book "Why we snap":

Our violence operates far outside the bounds of any other species. Human beings kill anything. Slaughter is a defining behavior of our species. We kill all other creatures, and we kill our own. Read today’s paper. Read yesterday’s, or read tomorrow’s. The enormous industry of print and broadcast journalism serves predominantly to document our killing. Violence exists in the animal world, of course, but on a far different scale. Carnivores kill for food; we kill our family members, our children, our parents, our spouses, our brothers and sisters, our cousins and in-laws. We kill strangers. We kill people who are different from us, in appearance, beliefs, race, and social status. We kill ourselves in suicide. We kill for advantage and for revenge, we kill for entertainment: the Roman Coliseum, drive-by shootings, bullfights, hunting and fishing, animal roadkill in an instantaneous reflex for sport. We kill friends, rivals, coworkers, and classmates. Children kill children, in school and on the playground. Grandparents, parents, fathers, mothers--all kill and all of them are the targets of killing…

The reasons can be traced back to our primate ancestors, which are exceptionally violent creatures, killing each other at a rate of 2.3% like we do. These data indicate that the incessant repetition throughout recorded history and in prehistoric times of murder and war among all cultures of human beings has its roots in our evolutionary stalk. In part, the reasons for this rampant self-killing appear to relate to our big brains and the conscious awareness and conniving that big brainpower makes possible, but primarily because of two other key aspects of Homo sapiens and other primates: fierce territoriality and living in social groups. Across all mammalian species, conspecific deadly violence is highly correlated with these two factors. A double hit of both factors compounds the violence. Whales and bats are highly social, but not territorial, for example, and they have very low rates of killing their own kind. Human beings are highly social but extremely territorial--“Trespassers will be shot!” “He cut into my lane!”

When researchers examined how different types of social groups of humans affect the rate of killing, they found that lethal violence was common in present-day societies organized into bands or tribes, and severe violence is frequent in chiefdoms because of territorial disputes, population and resource pressures, and competition for political reasons, but violence decreased in state-run societies. Presumably, the authors conclude, this is because socio-political organizations of populations in state-run societies that are designed to suppress violence and respond to it, act to inhibit the innate, genetically-predisposed propensity of people to kill each other. Consider, for example, if there were no police to call, what would you have to do?

We are evolutionarily and genetically predisposed to snap in deadly violence, but in comparison to other animals, biology has indeed endowed our species with extraordinary “sapiens.” The problem is that the neural circuits of violence that cause us to explode in rage and violence are deep in the brain beneath the cerebral cortex where consciousness arises. The frontal lobes of the brain can squelch these circuits of rage that we share with other violent mammals, but this “top-down” conscious control of our violent impulses is slower to act than the circuits of explosive violence deep in our brain. Understanding this neurocircuitry is vital. Territoriality and social interactions are the “E” for environment, and “T” for tribe, triggers of sudden aggression in the mnemonic “LIFEMORTS,” which is a convenient way to learn to recognize the 9 triggers of rage. Each of these triggers of rage activates different neural circuits in the brain’s threat-detection mechanism. Learning about these biologically and genetically embedded triggers of violence can enable us to engage the part of the human brain that distinguishes it from all other mammalian brains--the forebrain.

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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Alias » March 27th, 2019, 5:21 pm

Pages wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 4:02 pm
[Whether their reason seems rational to you is very much beside the point. ]

How is it beside the point? I'm being affected by it too so why shouldn't my view on it be seen as a valid point?
Because your opinion doesn't influence the killer.
Nor does it have any appreciable effect on human behaviour in general.
Laws already exist: your influence extends precisely to the limit of your political power.
Maybe, I'm not explaining myself well enough.
One could kill oneself, for whatever reason, that's their problem. But, when it has to affect someone else then that person do not have the right to judge their rationality at the detriment someone else.
It also makes no difference to human behaviour, or law, what you think other people have a right to think.
That act ceases to be reasonable once one starts assuming that their view in life should be standard. While if they don't and just want to enforce it by force then, thus my initial question.
I'm not sure what that means.
[There is a reason for reason -- What would that reason be? And what's your reason for believing it?]
To whom much is given, much is tested. Humans have higher intelligence than animals to reason is needed to create order.
That's your reason for believing that it should be true. All right, but it's not substantiated by what actually happens in the world.


No humans are not, but compared to animals humans are very reasonable.
You probably have a reason for believing that, too. All right.
I'm curious. Do you think murder is just a normal way of life that should just be embraced and move on?
Your phraseology makes this difficult to answer, but I'll try.
Yes, killing is very much a normal human activity.
'Murder', as I've mentioned above, is a legal classification of unauthorized killing, and that classification changes from time to time and varies from culture to culture. However, in all civilized cultures, illegal killing of one citizen by another does happen, though not with equal frequency, so I'm willing to posit that it's also normal.
There is a difference between recognizing reality and embracing it. The latter has not been an issue hitherto. As for moving on, the alternative is total paralysis.
Like when someone dies we'd be like "oh well, tough luck... Moving on. Who's next on the menu?"
That depend on our relationship to the dead person. The last sentence is merely frivolous.

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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Pages » March 27th, 2019, 5:32 pm

Alright, no need to explain my earlier post any further. I think I understand your stand. That's just the way it is.
No offence to people who think life is a gift but it's such a cruel and unworthy experience.
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Re: Why do people kill each other?

Post by Pages » March 27th, 2019, 5:38 pm

IMO of course
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