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Unread April 2nd, 2006, 03:33 PM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 257
Default Re: Evolved Psychology - Brain Region Tied to Regret Identified

Originally Posted by Fred H. in "Race Differences and Intelligence" thread
A mass murderer, however, obviously “chooses” to be a mass murderer (except possibly in cases where the mass murderer is truly insane, or perhaps is a “child”). As best I can tell, there aren’t many “sane” “adults” that would argue, as you seem to, that a mass murderer is somehow not “morally responsible” or that mass murderers are “just following their social instincts.”
Fred, great post, thanks! I guess Mrs Fred is a really good influence . I think the reply is better discussed in the context of this thread rather than the "Race Differences and Intelligence" thread where you wrote this in post #44.

Your point here about mass murders and your point on the other thread about homosexuals tie in nicely for me to make my point.

Long ago I felt that homosexuality had a large genetic component. Why? Because I felt that any man with my initial conditions could not possibly prefer men over women. That was just so far beyond what I could consider possible, I had no choice but to deduce that they have something distinctly different in their makeup. (I considered some sort of psychological trauma but didn't see enough and saw young, happy children in obviously cross-gender roles.)

So now, you're INSISTING that mass murder is a choice and I'm confronted with the same problem: I can not conceive that anything could make me hurt innocent people so much. The pain inflicted on their surviving friends and family as much as the victims themselves is just incomprehensible. I have this fairness gene that will just not allow such a thing. (And this from an atheist who MUST be 'morally blind', in your words.)

So, a mass murderer must have some of a number of 'problems'. Either they think it's a fair thing to do or they're doing it "for their (the victims') own good" or they have no concept of fairness. They must have something wrong in their brains in the first place or been in an environment that gave them such a tremendous amount of pain that they were working from a different set of assumptions as I am now. And again, I've seen small children doing hideously cruel things to innocent cats and dogs.

But the real reason you and I can not agree goes back to baseball. As I watched numerous instances of a player on my team getting called out at first base, I was sure my team was robbed. And when the umps called the runners on the other team safe on close plays, I was sure that the umps had ulterior motives. This was with professional teams on TV, it got MUCH worse when I was playing softball and had more personal emotional investment in the direction of the call. And then came the television replay. I was convinced that the player I was rooting for was safe; as the frame clicked by, I saw that he was actually out. This happened more times than I cared to count, far more than when he was actually safe. The kicker, though, was that I don't remember a single case where I thought my runner was out but the replay showed that he was safe! What's with that?

I realized then the power of 'wishful thinking'. And now comes the proof as stated in this and the thread that I posted: there is a part of the brain dedicated to precisely that! It filters out facts, inserts false ones and massages thoughts so that MY teams wins every time! Once in a while, when I'm feeling secure and not too emotionally invested, my reality center kicks in and knocks me over the head with reality, but, if it means enough to me, reality has a good chance to lose that battle.

So, you will not abandon your illusion of free will, neither will most "sane adults". Probably because of the ugly fact of my philosophy: if a mass murderer is not ultimately responsible for being bad, then you are not superior to others because of your facade of 'goodness'. You and I are merely luckier that society is a better fit for us and our instinctive tendencies than it was for Dahmer.
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