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'killer instinct' dampening over 2000+ years. opinions?

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'killer instinct' dampening over 2000+ years. opinions?

I've been wondering for a while now..maybe 5 or 6 years.. Do you think we are being brainwashed into useless-submissiveness?

The bible, and other religious texts, state pretty bluntly that we aren't to kill. Now, this is open to interpretation, but the way i read this statements, it doesn't seem like there is much leeway in there. They don't say "don't kill, unless you are defending yourself". They just say "don't kill".

I don't think this sweeping general statement is being applied very openly. I think it has a subtle purpose.

I think maybe religions and goverments have been doing their best to convince men that killing is wrong.

while governments and religions slay, kill, and coerce people, we are being taught (as individuals) all along that killing is wrong, or in the case of our governments view, illegal..even if one is defending oneself.. of COURSE our government SAYS we can defend ourselves if need be, but how many men go to jail for doing just that? in cases that appear to be clearly self defense? I have no idea, but I know the number is large.

from birht we are raised being taught (by others who were taught from birth) that killing is wrong. we grow up with this inserted in our minds from the start. the religious texts say it. the government says it. so our parents say it (as they were taught by people taught by these sources as well). we learn it from our parents, so we accept the government/religion/schoolsystems view as a confirmation of what our parents said.. so we grow up knowing killing is wrong, with this weird little clause in the thought saying "but not if you are being hurt". but that's really a small aside thrown in after "killing is wrong" has been in hammered into us..and that aside doesn't have much of an affect on our reaction mechanisms.

See, the guy who gets caught killing (for whatever reason) and ends up in jail doesn't get to reproduce as much. so he has a drastically reduced chance of passing on his traits..including the trait that told him killing was an answer..the killer instinct. He's in jail, while passive people are outside partying, marrying, and engaging in all manner of sexual contact...passing on their passive genes.. so way more passives are created each year than aggressives.

So what do you think? Do you think our 'leaders' have been on a long term project to weed out people who are even capable of violence? Using the evolutionary machine and laws as a kind of genetic engine to (over great time) remove the 'capable of comitting violence' genes from our race?..and of course, not for our good.

If this sounds too sci-fi, take a course in anthropology or biology and learn how gene pools work. I'm not being insulting, I'm just saying, learn the theory and it might make more sense.
Or, BETTER yet, look at your own response mechanisms. How many fights you been in this week?..not near fights, or "i should have kicked his ass" - that's hidden passivity..
Lots of us here have a single and double digit answer maybe. But most people do not. to paraphrase fight club, it's actually hard to pick a fight with most people.

examples? women carrying handguns who have their attacker take it away from them because they wouldn't pull the trigger, even in the face of great suffering. men who get smacked in the head in the mall and refuse to fight back. People who don't help rape victims or victims of violence for reasons of fear (most people won'te ven call the police for help on a pay phone from a safe place)

[Edited by quietanswer on 12-19-2000 at 04:38 PM]

  • #2
    I agree with you to a point, and you have some real good ones. Yes, there is a serious lack of killer instinct. However, I don't believe killing can ever be a good thing. At best, you attain a kind of moral "zero". There are times when killing is justified, but I don't think that it should be celebrated. I think that a threat should be met with the appropriate ammount of force which in some circumstances is death. Neutralizing the threat is the objective, not death. Killing isn't the goal, but the by-product (sp?).
    My views are strongly influenced by my faith.

    just my $0.00


    • #3
      Very interesting and thought provoking post quietanswer. I think that the "authorities" governmental, religous, educational or otherwise, definitly try to pacify people. By keeping the people calm they maintain control. As far as killing goes I think people are definitly brainwashed to think of it as wrong no matter what, which isn't true. There are no truthful absolutes such as "killing is wrong" or for that matter "killing is right". It's situational in my opinion.

      There are times to kill and times to let live, the reasoning behind it is more important than the act I think. It's a mistake to try and pacify people because violence is a part of human nature no matter how much you deny it. To avoid it and ignore it makes it that much more dangerous. The people who know the most about killing and violence know it's usually a bad thing. But some people just don't realize that there are times when killing someone is the nicest thing you can do.

      I've never really told anyone about this, and I hope I don't get a letter bomb in the mail, but a long time ago I got my (ex)girlfriend pregnant. Neither of us were anywhere near prepared to have a baby. Some of you may say, well then you shouldn't have been having sex, and I'll agree, the whole thing was a big shitty mistake. But hey, hindsight is 20/20. My point here is though, that we decided to have the baby aborted. It's not something that I'm proud of but it's not something that I'm ashamed of either. But bottom line is it was the best course of action for all involved, regardless of how unpleasant it was. Some may call me a murderer, and that's fine, so I'm a murderer. That's something that I'll have to live with. But killing my unborn child was the most compassionate thing I could do.

      Killing, even for the right reasons, is not and should not be enjoyable. But in the words of Friedritch Nietzche (sp) "one has been a bad observer of life if one has not seen the hand, that in a considerate fashion, kills."

      That's my two cents. It may not answer all of everyone's questions but I hope it will raise a few.


      • #4
        evilution: I think aborting a baby when you recognize you're not ready for one is wisdom. If anyone disagrees they should talk to some of my abused friends I've known in the past.

        I like a lot of your points. I reread what I wrote, and it seems my argument almost says that prisons only exist to weed out the violent people. I know that isn't why we REALLY have prisons. We have prisons to keep murderers off the streets.

        but I think this is a system that has been recognized and mechanized. I think that it's very subtle. once a guy defends himself, and kills in the process..the whole world is ready to think he's a killer no matter how much they do or don't know about any of it. O.J. probably did kill nicole, I think. Then again, I don't really know much about it. I just hear a few facts and say "yeah, hell yeah..he did it". I'm as bad as anyone.

        and so you defend yourself, and go to prison. guy on the street hears about it. He thinks "Shouldn't have been with a bad crowd buddy." As if it's your fault some guy at a party was too wired on coke and came at you with a straight razor (no offense against coke users). Now you're a killer in his eyes, simply because you've been accused. If you're story sounds like you're innocent, yet you still get convicted, the average guy thinks "I must not have known the whole story, he probably did it".

        I dunno. It's a weird machine, planned or unplanned, cause it seems as if it would be capable of slowly, slowly, subjugating all of us. As if we would just become an ant society, with an all knowing monarchy of genius intelligence, and drones that work unquestionably. Minds of their own, just no thought of rebellion within those great, intelligent minds. Everything else, just no gene trait that promtoes aggressive 'fight back' thoughts.

        weird, eh?


        • #5
          Well, I have 2 issues with what you posted:

          1. You seem to dwell on people who go to jail after defending themselves. I think you're doing what everyone did with OJ in a way, let me explain. How many cases do you know of where someone went to jail after defending themselves in an 'appropriate'(strictly in your opinion, 'cause the jury sent 'em to the slammer) manner? Do you have knowledge of ALL the facts of any cases you're familiar with? I'm sure it happens, but I'm not sure why you seem stuck on this particular aspect of the 'killer instinct'. I'm just saying that you should be careful about relying on anecdotal evidence.

          2. Being convicted of a crime of violence in no way prevents people from reproducing. How many violent offenders get off with a slap on the wrist, or let out early due to overcrowding? Usually you have had a long and fruitful career as a criminal before you do something to get locked away for good.

          I think you're placing too much importance on genetics. So, I have an issue with the statement that more passives are born than aggressives. This statement ignores the environmental factor, which IMHO is more influential than strictly the genes you're born with. I think it's safe to say that more violent criminals are made than born.

          Interesting post, though.

          [Edited by pfsjkd on 12-19-2000 at 08:10 PM]


          • #6
            Two thoughts:
            1) "Thou shalt not kill" is a translation; who says it's the only possible one? Some prefer "thou shalt not MURDER". Big difference, but we're not shown that possibility in Sunday school (see above posts on keeping the populace passive)

            2) I don't agree that killing is never a good thing. If we could KNOW who the sadistic serial rapists/murderers were, I say we're better off as a society by planting them. Don't even waste the electricity or drugs; a bullet works for me. IMO, these people are below the deer/dogs/rodentia that are shot all the time.

            Big problem: we DON'T know. With all our highfalootin' legal procedures, we're STILL wrong a lot of the time, and EVER being wrong in the actions above would make us as bad or worse than the vermin. By the time we're able to do this reliably enough, we'll probably have worked out systems of rehab that really DO work, or that don't allow people to develop into such monsters in the first place. THAT, IMO, would be the best scenario...


            • #7
              I like what you guys say. I don't disagree with the contradictory points you make. I don't really 'believe' what I'm saying. I kind of ponder it. It's an interesting conclusion.

              Do I disbelieve it? No.

              Gentics. Yes, this idea does rely on genetics an awful lot. But I know that if a computer doesn't have a video card, it doesn't matter what kind of software I load into memory, it still won't display a picture. What do I mean? I'm saying that if you aren't wired for it, it doesn't matter what environment does to you, you aren't wired. I agree environment is a huge factor in the development of a human's psyche..I'm a big arguer for 'environment' as a major cause in most psychological issues.. But in this particular instance, I'm dealing purely with the genetic side. Hence, most of what I'm saying revolves around genetics. It's not necessarily that I think genetics rules the world, but I'm open to the possibility and theorize on that side of the fence as well.

              Anyway. Thanks for the input. I love a devil's advocate, as it keeps my feet on the ground a bit.


              • #8
                Here's a thought. Consider some of the genetic predispositions that we as people have, and compare them to the ones shown in other predators and prey animals in nature. People may be a slightly different animal, now that we have evolved the thinking capacity to change our environment to suit us, but we are naturally born animals nonetheless, no?
                Prey animals show these qualities (and by "animals", I'm speaking in terms of mammals, here) from birth:
                1.)Fully developed INSTINCT. Prey animals are born knowing that to survive, they must be able to avoid predators.
                2.) Precocity. Prey animals are born with the ability to stand, walk and run. They have the born ability to avoid predators to some degree.
                3.) A lack of explorative behavior. Most prey animals are content staying very near their mothers (or at least within the social group)for a very long time.
                4.) Monocular vision. Eyes spread to the sides of the head, useful in picking up subtle movement, but no good at all for effective depth perception.

                Now, consider predators:

                1.)Instinct isn't as clearly defined at birth. There may be an instinct to hunt, but it is taught later by the parent, and must be cultivated. The ability to track, stalk, and hunt prey is a much more complex set of skills than is running away from danger, and therefore is a learned skill.
                2.) Helpless at birth. Just the opposite of precocity, predators are born blind and helpless, and must be carefully nurtured by the parent until they are strong enough to move and care for themselves.
                3.) A strong explorative intuition. Predatory animals tend to explore their surroundings with much greater depth than prey animals.
                4.) Binocular vision. Both eyes focused out toward the same point at the front of the head, allowing for greater depth perception and precise recognition of detail.

                I'm not trying to get off thread here, but consider that people exhibit all of the qualities of predators, and very few of prey. Therefore, it stands to reason that the killer instinct, or the capacity to develop it lies within us all to the very same degree. Now, if some people choose to supress it, or some parents neglect to develop a healthy sense of it in their children, then yes, the outward signs of killer instinct fade away, but in my opinion, the capacity for it does not. Sometimes, parents neglect the healthy development of useful outlets for killer instinct (although in this context, it would seem that "killer" instinct is a misnomer) and their children grow up one of two ways: meek and shy and intimidatable, or just the opposite, unable to get a handle on their tempers, bullying everyone around them. Both conditions stem from the same cause, and that's the inability to direct that killer instict into something useful. Hope this wasn't too far off your original intent for the thread.


                • #9
                  bhahala: I don't care if people get off thread in my threads.

                  in fact, none of that was off thread. some interesting thoughts to chew on.

                  I think you're talking about primarily predatory mammals of a higher order, I might want to add. Fish are not taught by parents to eat other fish, I don't believe, they merely strike instinctively at certain stimuli. Same goes for snakes, shark, spiders, etc..

                  However, jaguar, ocelot, and bear all probably fall into what you are saying. Which for our intents and purposes, is more applicable anyway, since we are also high order beings (you know what I mean).

                  interesting additions, bahala.

                  is your nickname drawn from hindu/buddhist literature? which one, or something else? what's it mean. I've run across it in my reading somewhere enough times to remember it.


                  • #10
                    Fish, insects, etc. are not mammals, and you're right, I was talking about the higher, furrier breeds. And, my screen name comes from an old salutation that my instructors and I used to sign off with, and it means (loosely translated) "Leave it to God." It was the battle cry of some of the filipino warriors back in the day (in fact there's a system of Kali called Bahala Na to Harley. I think he may be hosting a seminar with their top man soon...)It just seems like a fitting attitude going into battle. The end is decided, so just go out and play your role...


                    • #11
                      I like that. but i don't see it as 'the end is decided' so much as a "i am but a small thing within a big thing..whatever is in charge is in charge..what can i do but do what i do. I will do."

                      I like that phrase "bahala na - leave it to god" very much.


                      • #12
                        Another interesting aspect that I wouldn't normally get into is the religious/biblical implications. The only reason that I'm offering this up now is that it seems there's an interest, and this area is something that I had to take up with a chaplain at the JFK SpecWar Center and School during my training with the Army. The Ten Commandments are found in the old testament, along with stories of God telling "his people" to crush their enemies in battle so completely that any single living enemy would forever become the thorn in his people's side. In the old book, God advocated not only the complete and utter demise of the enemy, but also the destruction of their temples, their art, and their very culture. This chaplian described to me that the people God wanted killed were "Godless" and so it wasn't killing or murder, and was therefore excusable in God's eyes.

                        Bear with me. This will find its way back to the topic...

                        In the New Testament, Christ taught his disciples to avoid violence and "turn the other cheek." At the time I was raising questions to chaplains, I was very much asking as a soldier, and so I wondered how a person could live a good christian life, and still kill anyone his superiors told him to. That takes us back to the original thread.

                        In my own opinion, religion has historically been used more often to inspire courage than for any other factor. In wartime, whatever god people prayed to served the dual purpose of protecting the righteous while assisting in the demise of the enemy. In peacetime, religion gave the people courage to face hardship, personal difficulties, and other depressing things like this. For this reason, I believe that the religious aspects were nothing more than "healthy" ways to channel the killer instinct that was so vital to survival in those times. Now please understand, I am not coming down on religion, nor am I saying that people who participate in it are wrong. What I am saying is that it provides a very healthy and positive way to not only act appropriately in times of crisis, but a way to justify that such actions are not sinful even before the need to act arises. How many people hesitate, not knowing whether the consequences of their actions will be worse than the situation that warrants them? Strong faith in some higher being is a powerful way to avoid such hesitation, and is actually, therefore a positive tool for the correct use of our killer instinct.


                        • #13
                          BN: agreed with many of your points. all of em, really. out of curiosity, what state (location, not awareness ) are you in?

                          Also, in the bhagavad gita, they make this very point. the BG is all about Arjuna, a charioter that is the son of a great king. it begins with him on the field battle looking across at his enemies just before the fight. he turns to krishna, his charioter (god is driving your chariot, and argument for experiential faith) and asks "krishna, how can I kill these grandfathers and mothers? these teachers and carpenters? I expected demons, but instead I see brothers. How can I kill brothers? I would sooner die than win. Let my country die." Basically, paraphrased, that's what he says. The following bhagavad gita is all aobut how it's all god's plan, we don't know the greater picture, and we have no choice anyway. What we think of as choice is just experential (a common argument) and so we should throw ourselves fully into whatever life has brought us.

                          if it means killing at this moment, then it means killing. if it means whatever, that's what you do. That, they believe, is true love and faith in god.

                          However, dying in this situation, is also (ironically) true love and faith in god. It is a reaction to your situation that is honest from your heart. However, in this text, krishna argues that you must rise to what the day and your duty demand of you, as duties and demands are like physical laws themselves.

                          It's good talking to you, btw, bahala. We have some similarities in how we look at things (though we may sometimes have different conclusions I'm sure).

                          Of course, this could be a wonderful tool to control men and make them do as you wish, if you're a powerful leader.


                          • #14
                            I'm in Colorado Springs, Colorado, although my studies take me all over. Harley, as some of you know lives in Texas, and I'm planning some trips out that way, and I'm also going to be spending more and more time in LA this year, but at home, I run training camps for folks overseas, and my own JKD, Kali, and Muay Thai classes. If you want, you can contact me by e-mail at

                            As for resigning to death rather than killing, there are very, very few cases I can think of when I'd agree. If it's war (remember, I'm a soldier) I agree wholeheartedly with what Gen.Patton said. "The object of war is not to die for your country. It's to make the other poor dumb bastard die for his." I think God's greatest gift to any of us is our life, and I feel that that's worth protecting to my dying breath. If someone is trying to take advantage of me by harming or killing me, and it is in the Supreme Whatever's grand design that I die that day at his hand, I'm sure I'll go whether I fight or not, but more often than otherwise, I find that challenges are there to show me more of life, not to end it. I guess all I'm saying is that I'd just about never even consider (figuratively or literally) choosing my own death over fighting and possibly killing someone that was trying to do me in. Just my opinion.


                            • #15
                              This exlains it all...

                              EX 9:22-25 A plague of hail from the Lord strikes down everything in the fields of Egypt both man and beast except in Goshen where the Israelites reside.

                              EX 12:29 The Lord kills all the first-born in the land of Egypt.

                              EX 21:20-21 With the Lord's approval, a slave may be beaten to death with no punishment for the perpetrator as long as the slave doesn't die too quickly.

                              LE 27:29 Human sacrifice is condoned. (Note: An example is given in JG 11:30-39)

                              NU 16:35 A fire from the Lord consumes 250 men

                              NU 25:9 24,000 people die in a plague from the Lord.

                              EZ 9:4-6 The Lord commands: "... slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women ...."

                              From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!"
                              He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

                              need I saw more?????


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