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  Killers/Murderers - Are they really wrong?  (Read 1467 times)
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Offline JayManHall

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Exp: 1 year



« Posted 2014-08-27 11:31:54 »

  Right now humans obviously live in a society together aiming to learn about the world and beyond. Based off of the theory evolution, us and apes both have a common nature to dominate and use tools. Being that we are all either plant or animal, isn't fighting for dominance the correct way to do things? Since we are animals (based off of the theory of evolution), and apes as well as many other animals fight to the death. Isn't murder, killing, fighting, part of who we are inside?
  Like other civilians, I dislike the view of killing and the loss of lives in others. Some may debate that society is there to make humans work together to reach a common goal, but it doesn't appear that we are so focused on that anymore. Without fighting and war, the human population has no choice but to increase over time. It's 2014, and our tools are getting strong, powerful, useful, and more dangerous. The thinking that once got us better lives are now making them worse in ways.
  Sure there are people who are mentally ill, or angry, but are they really bad? Is there a reason to this madness, possibly a rebellion to society? What are your thoughts on this topic?

EDIT: I see I have made some mistakes with facts on evolution and such, but hopefully I got my point across.

EDIT 2: I didn't think carefully when I said murder. Let's just say killing alone.
Offline lcass
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-08-27 11:49:33 »

I would personally say that yes most killers and murderers are wrong , they have made horrific decisions in their life that have led them to that , for instance it is not in any animals natural  behaviour to unite into seperate conglomerations with some being rogue which mass murder its own population. The only thing similar to this is when they fight for dominance which is basically what we call the united nations now a bunch of angry men shout at each other.

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Online Riven
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« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-08-27 12:54:43 »

Without fighting and war, the human population has no choice but to increase over time.
How so? Is there somehow a guarantee that every pair of humans will produce two children? In many 'western countries' populations are declining without the help of fighting and/or war. If anything, it's the pursuit of careers that is the main force behind population decline in 'civilized regions' (whatever that means).



Regarding the broader topic: there is no objective right or wrong, so murder is not wrong by definition.

On a high abstraction level, society invests in individuals to prosper (for the sake of society) and society wants to perpetuate this construct - hence removing counter-productive members from society.

On a low abstraction level, an individual tries to prosper (for the sake of his/her (future) partner/offspring) - hence will be likely to support activities in said society that will reduce the chances of his/her own untimely termination.

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Online KevinWorkman

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-08-27 13:44:42 »

Are we serious about this thread? Oh well, I'll bite.

Based off of the theory evolution, us and apes both have a common nature to dominate and use tools... isn't fighting for dominance the correct way to do things? Since we are animals (based off of the theory of evolution), and apes as well as many other animals fight to the death. Isn't murder, killing, fighting, part of who we are inside?

That's, uh, not exactly how evolution works.

People who don't understand evolution take the "survival of the fittest" part of natural selection and think it means "survival of the most cuthroat sumbitch of the group" and that's not true at all.

Because what you're looking for is the fittest at passing on their genes. This translates more naturally into "being a good parent" or "sticking with your mate throughout your child's life" or "cooperating with others" than it does murdering everybody in sight.

Think of "survival of the fittest" as happening between species instead of between individuals. Which group is more likely to survive: the group who has "evolved" to learn how to cooperate and work together, or the group that is constantly infighting?

This can be seen in other groups of animals, not just humans. Many animals hunt in packs or work together to protect their group. Lions, wolves, fish, ants, cats, birds, etc. This is why so many cultures have similar "morals": killing is wrong, children should be protected, etc. These are leftover from our evolution as a pack animal.

Sure, evolution also has some nasty side-effects. Going back to when we were pack animals split into separate tribes that fought for the same food and land, it was evolutionarily advantageous to have a general mistrust of people outside of your group. You protected people from inside your group, but *the others* were the enemy. This is where things like racism or general *otherism* come from.


Like other civilians, I dislike the view of killing and the loss of lives in others. Some may debate that society is there to make humans work together to reach a common goal, but it doesn't appear that we are so focused on that anymore. It's 2014, and our tools are getting strong, powerful, useful, and more dangerous. The thinking that once got us better lives are now making them worse in ways.

So, at our core we're pack animals that protect our own (because of evolution) but mistrust or even hate people from groups we view as *other* (because of evolution). Society (technology, communication, agreed upon rules, etc) has widened the group of people we can view as *from our group*- after all, I'm talking to you from hundreds or even thousands of miles away right now. That's a big change from not too long ago when the only contact outside your group was the other pack of humans across the river hunting the same deer as you.

Our biology has not quite caught up with our culture, so many of us have trouble with viewing people from "outside our group" the same as we view people from inside it. That leads to many of the big conflicts we have today. But hopefully, as our culture and technology improve (technology includes the internet, medicine, etc, not just bombs), we'll get better at including "others" in our own group and see them as people who should be cooperated with and protected, just like we view our own group.

Sure there are people who are mentally ill, or angry, but are they really bad? Is there a reason to this madness, possibly a rebellion to society? What are your thoughts on this topic?

Like I said, we got our sense of right and wrong through evolution: we view killing as wrong because evolution has made us into a more cooperative and symbiotic species. That's why many religions and cultures have such similar rules, because deep down, every pack animal has these kinds of rules, even if they don't have a language to explain it. Our "otherism" (our tendency to mistrust or hate people outside our group) is on the other side of that scale.

But morality and ethics are full of gray areas, so it's not as simple as "these people are bad". On the other hand, saying "there's no such thing as good or bad" isn't really true either, thanks to us evolving into a cooperative species.

Recommended reading list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingroups_and_outgroups

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Offline Grunnt

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-08-27 15:53:27 »

Being that we are all either plant or animal, isn't fighting for dominance the correct way to do things?

Why would nature or evolution be the Correct Way to do things? I never understood that - often seen - line of reasoning: we are animals, so it is proper and right for us to behave as animals. Being of the human species (a very special kind of animal) we can choose whether we find killing wrong. Who cares what the Holy Bible or Evolution or whatever says about killing. If we, as society and as individuals, decide killing is wrong, it is wrong.

Personally, yeah, there's probably some contrived imaginary situations where killing would be "right". But somehow, in practice, killing never appears to have resulted in anything good...

Offline trollwarrior1
« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-08-27 15:53:50 »

I would say evolution is the survival of those who are best adapted to their environment for short.

About the topic, there is nothing wrong with killing other humans. The only problem is that you will either get a death penalty or spend most of your life behind bars if you are caught.

You might argue why there are such laws, and the answer is pretty simple. That's what most of the people decided, and that's how it is. You might also argue why everyone decided like that, and the answer is pretty simple yet again. That's because killing your fellow society members is very unhealthy for evolutionary survival.
Online Roquen
« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-08-27 19:49:09 »

Behave like animals?  But animals don't behave that way.
Offline thedanisaur

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-08-27 20:03:31 »

We evolved growing in small tribes where it was beneficial to kill other tribes so they wouldn't take your resources. Evolution favored having a portion of our population be psychopaths. Over the last ~15,000 years things have changed, maybe psychopaths are an evolutionary dead end.

None of this will matter in about 1000 years anyway, we will drive our own evolution(we've already started playing with it), and at some point the planet and our solar system.

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Offline ags1

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-08-27 20:30:53 »

Psychopaths harm their own community, so I don't think you're right there. I guess everyone has a bit of psychopath in them, but some people have too much. That's easier for me to believe than a binary psychopath/non-psychopath split.

Regarding killing people, I think it is more stretchy and fuzzy then most people would accept. Take a film like Madagascar for example. The tame lion is best friends with a zebra, but then they get marooned on an island and lion gets hungry and wants to eat the zebra, leading to an existential crisis. The penguins save the day by catching fish for the lion and they all live happily ever after. In the film all the animals are humanized so implicitly the lion cannot eat them. The fish are purposely not humanized, so they are edible. The film is actually a creepy psychological game about defining what is human, who is in the group and who isn't, and who can be killed and eaten.

In political discourse you often hear politicians describing this or that radical group as 'animals' or 'monsters' - this is dehumanizing, now-we-can-kill-them talk.

Online Riven
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« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-08-27 20:36:08 »

You mean 'terrorist'.

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Offline ags1

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-08-27 20:38:52 »

Or all the zombie games, full of non-humans you can kill with a clear conscience.

Going back to the original question, it makes mention of mentally ill people. Mentally ill people are far more likely to be the victims of violence than to be perpetrators. And where they do commit violence, they are not "bad", they are ill (assuming their violence was caused by their illness).

Offline seth21

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-08-27 21:34:02 »

Going back to the original question, it makes mention of mentally ill people. Mentally ill people are far more likely to be the victims of violence than to be perpetrators. And where they do commit violence, they are not "bad", they are ill (assuming their violence was caused by their illness).

Very true. The media often portraits mentally ill people like schizophrenics for example as evil serial killers or worse. But their crime rates are not much different from the norm. When such people react in violent ways it's usually because they feel threatened. Even psychopaths don't necessarily commit crimes, especially murders.
Offline kpars

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2014-08-27 22:40:00 »

Our entire society is driven by psychopaths. It has been for years now, and it will never stop.

Cope.

- Jev

Offline JayManHall

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Exp: 1 year



« Reply #13 - Posted 2014-08-27 22:41:55 »

Our entire society is driven by psychopaths. It has been for years now, and it will never stop.

Cope.

- Jev

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Offline HeroesGraveDev

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2014-08-27 23:22:41 »

Would you like someone to murder you?
No. It's wrong.

Killing on the other hand is a bit more fuzzy.

It's all about the motive.

Offline Rayvolution

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« Reply #15 - Posted 2014-08-28 05:01:13 »

Even psychopaths don't necessarily commit crimes, especially murders.

You'd be surprised to realize how common non-violent psychopathy actually is. There are plenty people out there who are textbook clinical psychopaths who would never, ever, hurt a fly. usually their motivation is "I don't want to kill someone because I don't want to go to jail" though, and not for any actual moral reasons. The best case, would be "Well, I know other people say killing is wrong. I personally don't care, but hey, when in Rome. I really don't want to cause myself trouble."

Also, while these stats are probably bias/inflated by people with agendas (and I personally don't agree with them), they claim a lot of the "dirty work" CEOs and Bosses are psychopaths (IE: Like the department head of HR personally in charge of laying off 10,000 people), because it's a personality trait that's required to be able to stomach the idea of being responsible for potentially ruining thousands of lives and still being able to do your day job. But, I disagree, because in those cases sometimes shit just happens. It's either layoff 10,000 people or fire everyone because the company went down the shitter. Most people who believe in that statistic have absolutely zero critical thinking skills, and are unable to see big picture to see the requirement for a utilitarian style government in the corporate world. Tongue

As for the OP: Yes, murder is wrong. The solution to the evolutionary problem we have currently isn't to allow people to murder each other and the strongest survive, it's to take down all the safety nets and let the dumb ass people actually kill themselves like they should be. We've eliminated a large amount of natural selection, and *that* is an actual problem to evolution. While I think that's heartless and cruel, the purely logical, and emotionless side of me says that's the most humane and logical solution. Not that I am advocating we should do such things. But it is a logical solution from a purely emotionless standpoint. (and oddly: The Psychopathic answer! weee!)

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Offline Drenius
« Reply #16 - Posted 2014-08-28 16:41:29 »

Quote
Our entire society is driven by psychopaths.
Psychopaths or sociopaths?

However:
The problem we have when asking what is right is that there is indeed no exact "right" way to do anything. There is the way it is and there is the way we see it and there is the way we want it to be, but the last two are different from person to person.

There will never be the solution for every problem because, well, what helps one hurts another. But it is kinda pointless that I even mention this anyway.
Offline Rayvolution

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2014-08-28 16:53:30 »

Quote
Our entire society is driven by psychopaths.
Psychopaths or sociopaths?

Well really they're almost the same thing. People just use Psychopath as a term for someone who broke the "criminal" boundary typically. So if you want to be exact, technically I was describing sociopaths. But clinically speaking, they're the same disorder that just evolved into different maladaptive personality traits.

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Offline kpars

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2014-08-28 23:10:59 »

Our entire society is driven by psychopaths. It has been for years now, and it will never stop.

Cope.

- Jev

How come I never see leaders who actually want to work on  (despite money) helping the planet?
Random Excuse: "Well, it's still there so I don't need to worry about it"

The truth is that a lot of the leaders you see aren't actually making that much money for what they do.

That's why they act like maniacs.

Quote
Our entire society is driven by psychopaths.
Psychopaths or sociopaths?

Well really they're almost the same thing.

+1.
They're terms we all just randomly toss around. Like many other words they're slowly losing their meaning.
I don't have an issue with it.

- Jev

Online kingroka123

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« Reply #19 - Posted 2014-08-29 00:04:20 »

You mean 'terrorist'.
You mean 'terrierist'

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