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13

Homo necans: Why Do We Kill?

Lecture no. 13 from the course: Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature

Homo necans: Why Do We Kill?

Taught by Professor Daniel Breyer | 30 min | Categories: The Great Courses Plus Online Philosophy & Religion Courses

Is there something in human nature that drives us to kill others or is it a biological aberration? Watching the news would certainly make you wonder. And if a drive to kill does exist, is it activated by nature or nurture—is it genetic or situational? Studies have supported both points of view. The shocking truth we do know is just how much we all have in common with those who kill.

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h********m
August 20, 2019

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w********m
August 12, 2019

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r********m
August 4, 2019
"Maybe murder is in all of us just because any of us could find ourselves in murder-making situations?" Sorry, but having a "murder-making situation" isn't enough. It not only needs the external circumstances to make someone commit a murder but also the internal potential to do so. Evolution favored those humans who - given the circumstances were right - would increase their reproductive success by committing crimes such as murders. That's why the potential for murder (and other crimes) is basically in all of us, just as it is in many other higher species. So basically (the potential for) murder is already in our genes. What makes our society so peaceful is that today this is a very risky crime as thankfully the majority of murderers gets caught and punished. Otherwise it would be much more common. So that's basically what David Buss said.

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