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View Poll Results: Have you ever thought about killing someone?

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    22 70.97%
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  1. #1
    your resident asshole
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    Default Have you ever thought about killing someone? (poll is anonymous)

    I had a realization some time ago...after reading a book out of a children's series, no less. Most people probably think they could never kill another human being unless it was self defense. True, some killers do so because of insanity...but many are not so different than you or I. I would say that a great majority, if not all, of us have the capacity to murder. But we haven't because we haven't met the right circumstances--we haven't reached our breaking points.

    I was discussing this a bit in another forum (which unfortunately was not very active) when someone directed me to this Radiolab podcast. The entirety of the topic of the podcast is not murder, but they do address murder at times. I was particularly surprised by the results of a survey given by a professor David Buss that asked this question. They go into this a little bit from 5:00-8:20 into the podcast, but then they end up going into the Milgram experiments (which I feel are not directly related).

    I wanted to read more about Buss's survey to see if there were more questions, etc., but I couldn't find anything about it in particular on Google or my university's library search tool.

  2. #2
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Thinking about it is pretty easy on vague terms. I think it gets creepier the more detailed you get about the thoughts.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Thinking about it is pretty easy on vague terms. I think it gets creepier the more detailed you get about the thoughts.
    But how does one have a casual thought about killing someone? "Oh, that guy just cut me off. I want him to be dead!" Doesn't sound like something that would really happen to me. It seems like in order to actually think about killing someone, it'd have to have some sort of details.

    It's also why I was interested in finding more info on this survey in which over 80% of the people responded "yes" to. They used this wording in the podcast, but I wonder if there was more to it.

  4. #4
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    But how does one have a casual thought about killing someone? "Oh, that guy just cut me off. I want him to be dead!" Doesn't sound like something that would really happen to me. It seems like in order to actually think about killing someone, it'd have to have some sort of details.

    It's also why I was interested in finding more info on this survey in which over 80% of the people responded "yes" to. They used this wording in the podcast, but I wonder if there was more to it.
    It's more like you see some asshole on the news and you think "Yeah, I would've just shot him if I were there.." or you read a story and think "if that were me, I'd stab him right in the diaphragm." Those sort of thoughts are pretty normal. People fantasize a lot about being the 'hero' in situations--saving a hostage by killing the bad guys, or having to fight someone to the death even though they didn't want to fight (oh the irony!). It's normal stuff.

    What I don't find normal is the Dexter style plotting.. "Oh, I'd spend a couple years learning how to do this, or that, and then I'd find them, and I'd wait until they took x road home, and I'd steal them away in the night, and I'd pull each of their fingernails off one by one..."... That sort of stuff is creepy.

    If you have to deal in a job that requires actually killing someone potentially, like being a cop or soldier, you pretty much have to have a relationship in your head between you and the idea of killing someone. It might very well happen, so thinking about it and having that notion in your head is something that's almost necessary so you don't freeze and panic when the time really comes.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    It's more like you see some asshole on the news and you think "Yeah, I would've just shot him if I were there.." or you read a story and think "if that were me, I'd stab him right in the diaphragm." Those sort of thoughts are pretty normal. People fantasize a lot about being the 'hero' in situations--saving a hostage by killing the bad guys, or having to fight someone to the death even though they didn't want to fight (oh the irony!). It's normal stuff.
    Ahh ok! See, I guess I wasn't thinking about this sort of thing. I'm sure people think about this stuff all the time.

    I guess I'm drawing a line between killing in self-defense, as a hero, etc. and murder.

    What I don't find normal is the Dexter style plotting.. "Oh, I'd spend a couple years learning how to do this, or that, and then I'd find them, and I'd wait until they took x road home, and I'd steal them away in the night, and I'd pull each of their fingernails off one by one..."... That sort of stuff is creepy.
    This is what I for some reason assumed was meant by the professor's question...especially when they read off one of the darker responses, but I guess it was more part of the first thing you mentioned.

    Makes me want to organize and administer a broad survey of my own to go more in depth.

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    No, but I sometimes wish that some people would just die.
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  7. #7
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    Thought about it. Haven't plotted it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    But how does one have a casual thought about killing someone? "Oh, that guy just cut me off. I want him to be dead!" Doesn't sound like something that would really happen to me. It seems like in order to actually think about killing someone, it'd have to have some sort of details.
    Actually, I just had this experience last night. I'm glad I don't have telekinetic powers. I was sitting there watching this guy speed off after driving like an idiot and almost hitting me and continuing on his merry way, and I just wanted to fling his car a few hundred yards off the highway and pondered for a minute (as I've done in the past) as to whether I actually would... it was scary to realize that I would feel little if I did, and how much of being a 'good citizen' involves just a degree of self-constraint that could easily be lifted.

    (Of course, it's made far easier because I could never see the guy's face; he was just a car that almost hurt me, and it was a response like squishing a bee that had stung me. Killing a faceless stranger vs someone you know or can identify as a specific human being are very different acts.)

    While we freak out over the occasional shooting, the reality is that anyone in the world could find a way to kill a number of people spontaneously, if they really wanted to and were willing to suffer the consequences; so it's rather amazing at the lack of violence in the culture and how well social restraint does work.
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  9. #9
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    No. The idea of being in a position where I'd have to kill in self defense is awful. I feel like it would ruin me.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  10. #10
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I'd never kill anyone but I have gotten pretty detailed in the past about it.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

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