Discussion in 'Survey' started by Hapuka, Feb 2, 2007.
For lots of people... killing is easy. Many can kill and sleep like a baby. Fact.
I agree. The trick for the general population, though, is living with the consequences. People who can kill and sleep like a baby are going to be drawn to certain lifestyles outside of mainstream society. The act of killing is one thing, but probably for most normal people, dealing with what might come of that is the nasty bit.
People who can kill and sleep like a baby are comfortable with the consequences. But I doubt that most people fall into that category.
Many numerically, small percentage wise otherwise the psychological disorders associated with that would not fulfill the requirement of being statistically infrequent and would therefore not be disorders.
There are people who can do it, yes, but they are the minority.
Yeah there is that. Yet even with that... there are any number of people who can kill a person or several and still function rather well in society. They still get up and go to work. They still watch football. They still go out and get a burger when they feel like it. They still have to pay gas and electricity.
They might lose some sleep. They might have depression. They might toss and turn. But by and large they go on living. Generally those who kill others don't run to turn themselves in. This is exactly why it's so newsworthy when a killer does turn himself in.
The idea that humans somehow have a hard time killing each other whether it's biological, social or whatever doesn't always hold much water.
uh what. Turn off the academic psychobabble.
Sorry slip. I do forget psych terms aren't all that common. Let me put it in simpler terms. One of the requirements for someone being disordered is that their way of thinking does not occur often (infrequency). Few people can kill without remorse. For that and other reasons they are crazy.
Switching this around also yields the fact that they are abnormal therefore there is not a large percentage of them.
The percentage of people with disorders facilitating remorseless violence (anti social personality disorder, sociopathy, psychopathy, etc) is small when you look at the general population.
If you want I will dig through my textbook and find the incidence (average new cases in one year) and prevalence (average number of cases at any given time) rates of the disorders which generally cause the ability to kill without remorse.
I'm not entirely sure that killing without any remorse is the point. At the point that someones been killed and one man is left standing... remorse is a relatively small price to be paying. I'll adjust my statement to say...
There are plenty of people that can kill someone and suffer a smidgen of remorse yet go on to live their lives in a relatively full manner while one person no longer has that ability because they're dead.
The reason people end up in prison convicted of murder is by and large not because they are remorseful. And take quick look at prison populations. No shortage of murders. Those who commit murders by and large don't turn themselves in. They are caught because of the hard work of police departments, a dose of luck and many times the sheer stupidity and incompetence of the murderer themselves.
But I've no doubt that there are many who can top someone and still go on to do what they want to be doing without losing much sleep over it. Where I grew up there more than a few knuckleheads that really never gave it more than just a bit of a wrestle in the old conscience.
It's more about the resistance to killing though. If you read one of my previous posts there you'll find that it has more to do with the intent to kill than the act itself. Certain types of disorders allow people no issue with killing.
It is not easy for normal people to kill. There are specific factors which must be in place to remove the inhibition toward killing in most people. And most normal people will feel SOME level of remorse. The fact that your friends would have had to wrestle with it even briefly shows that they're still sane. The disorders I mentioned before have no resistance to killing another person. They can do it as easily as you breathe and some of them would only refrain in order to avoid being caught because they're highly intelligent.
No doubt there are those that can kill and are pscychopaths or sociopaths. They exist. Go figure. Not in large numbers. It's obviously a deviation from the societal norm. But that doesn't change the fact that the average person... has the ability to kill. We see it all the time. It may not be as easy as taking a drink of a water... but just read the news... seriously... in the last week alone... it'll take more than two hands to count all the murders for even a single state in parts of the US. Off the top of my head a cop was shot and killed with automatic rifle fire... a teenage kid killed a a home invasion burglar with a shotgun, a mother home alone did the same.
It's not nearly as hard to kill as your making it out. Are they killing wantonly or for fun? No but that's another issue. Those who kill as a compulsion or in sort of psychotic state then yes they are a different breed. But humans are not hardwired to the extent that they can't kill relatively easily.
Read my previous post:
animals with many natural weapons means greater inhibition...
we have few natural weapons therefore less inhibition...
add a weapon into the mix and the biological system does not account for that...
therefore having a weapon facilitates more easily killing.
If you take a psychologically healthy section of the population and induce disputes leading to empty-handed violence I'd be willing to bet that most if not all of them would end in submission or the winner relenting because of clear dominance.
I would not go out to kill an attacker, but would be quite prepared to do things to them that could result in thier death. Hell! O Soto on a pavement is potentially lethal!
the closest I have been is slaughtering pigs. After 6 moths of nurtureing there is a definate emotional bond, but I have an off switch, whereby I can function physically whilst my emotions are not functioning. I am quite sure all humans have this ability
Right... you done this experiment have you? My guess is no. My guess is you have just read this in a psych text for school. I understand it... but I don't think it somehow makes humans some creature that are hardwired not to kill. History proves that wrong rather easily.
Since we live in a society where we obviously live without 'natural weapons' and the weapons we do have are not claws or fangs then it's by and large a rather moot point. Pretty much anything can be fashioned into a weapon and has been in the act of killing others. It doesn't take some world shattering leap for a human being to kill another. Fact. Look at news any day of the week.
While it may be easy for many people, I think it's a bad idea to kill someone if there are other options on the table (yeah, I know, way to state the obvious). Even some seriously crazy, violent people seem to have some sense of self-preservation. If you're lucky, that can be useful in keeping non-lethal options on the table. Hannibal's post offered a lot of great insight into that idea. While some of the training may not be appropriate for civilian self-defense, it'd be cool if there was a way to help self-defense practitioners develop the mindset and toolkit that could present more non-lethal options and ways to keep out of trouble.
Ooo slip... the studies I'd run if only I could get around the ethics review boards. Would I be able to get around this in China? Maybe working for the government on the QT?
Since we live in a society where we obviously live without 'natural weapons' and the weapons we do have are not claws or fangs then it's by and large a rather moot point. Pretty much anything can be fashioned into a weapon and has been in the act of killing others. It doesn't take some world shattering leap for a human being to kill another. Fact. Look at news any day of the week.[/QUOTE]
I didn't say wired NOT to kill but in general wired to RESIST killing as in the natural environment it is detrimental to a species' gene pool.
You're taking it as if I'm saying "humans are hardwired to resist killing all the time ever."
What I'm saying is that humans are hardwired to RESIST killing and that there are also a number of factors which can both weaken and strengthen that resistance. It is not a simple issue. When I said killing is not easy for normal folks I was referring to the natural programming rather than the influenctial factors.
This is a tricky one....
Anytime you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back!
For me it was just a natural progression of "justified force" in doing my job, or what someone once described in may case as being "righteous wrath" - I hate resorting to violence, but am unfortunately very good at it.
With killing, or the thought of killing, some people need more prep than others. We work very hard on a "warrior mindset" in the service which shifts the focus to "I WILL win this fight" away from "HOW will I win this fight". The rationale is that if you are focused on the goal you will keep going (like a runner looking at the finish line). This is a fairly common practice in all walks of life, just in our case it was applied to violent encounters.
Now, killing - first off this is pretty draining to do so I do NOT recommend more than a few sessions per month. If you can do more, great, but there is a risk that you will walk around permanently ready to "go" and this is damaging emotionally and may actually completely screw up your world view.
Find something that you treasure dearly, be it your own life a spouse, a child or even your pet. Typically these are what people would kill over because of the strong emotional bond. I know some that would kill over someone entering their house, but this feeling does not typically start at that level.
Now, picture someone harming that "treasure" - this is the hardest part and is pretty soul wrenching. See the offender, the offence and (in your head) do nothing. You are only there as a wraith and cannot interract. You have to see it through to it's finish so pic a low level of offence first, something that would probably mean you give the offender a good kicking rather than kill.
This is how you "plug in" to that primal urge. After you have played it through, take a minute to gather yourself.
Now, play the whole scenario again except this time you can intercede and stop it. Your first play through will be rage driven but again let it play out, don;t try and over think your response yet. See the end result, then think of the consequences of what you have just done. Did you go too far? Did you go far enough? What would you do differently?
This second playthrough allows you to "exorcise the rage" so that when you do it a third or fourth time you are more pragmatic, balanced and considered and can use it more as a scenario rehearsal.
Having got used to this, stop and do not do it again until you have had at least a day or two. Then try again, changing the scenario. Eventually you will be at a point where the decision will be to kill because it is the necessary thing to do to stop what is happening - this is your "bottom line". Once you hit that feeling, internalise it. It is now something to draw in when running through hypotheticals.
You can do this whilst reading a book or watching a movie too ("what would I do there?") but again be careful becuase it takes you out" of the movie and can ruin a perfectly good film.
Hope that is clear enough
Indeed it does!
Crystal. Thanks so much for that. I've been trying to figure that one out for a long time because the alternatives to your exercise aren't necessarily effective in actually helping people. Where I've seen instructors and students fail with this one, they look like a bunch of people destined for prison. Your exercise, and your admonitions, are the right stuff and very much needed within many MA clubs.
In my opinion, the goals of true self-defense should be to keep as many options on the table as possible to prevent danger, deal with danger, AND prioritize being there for your family members afterward. People who walk around freaking people out with their "1000 yard stare" because their instructors have lost it are not in a good place. I hope they find their way to your post.
Awesome post and, again, thank you.
You are welcome - glad to help!
Still, I think for most of us the question is not 'would you kill?', but 'should you kill?', and the answer is 'almost certainly not'. It's very rarely justified, unless it happens to be part of your profession. But I suppose it's impossible to predict how you would react in such an extreme situation.
Hence prepare for it
Mind you, I had a sort-of 'extreme situation' the other day. Dad was arguing with the neighbours over their habitual burning of tyres and other waste, and it looked as though there was going to be a fight. I went and got my shovel and stood there, all six foot three of me with a 'fancy it?' expression on my face. The whole situation passed without incident.
Incidentally, if you're ever planning to threaten somebody with a digging implement, wear the biggest boots you can find. It really helps psychologically.
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