Lawrence C. Foard writes: : (Christopher Peters) writes: : : 2. Humans exhibit the rather

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From: robd@cray.com (Robert Derrick) Message-ID: 1992Jul14.011545.5890@hemlock.cray.com Newsgroups: talk.origins Lawrence C. Foard writes: : (Christopher Peters) writes: : > : >2. Humans exhibit the rather unusual characteristic of killing : > great numbers of their own kind. Why? This question bothered me, but I was unable to articulate the reason until the able Mr. Foard supplied the stimulous. : Because they can. And so some of them do. But what bothered me is the globally accepted assumption that the statement "humans kill their own kind" has some kind of general validity. It definitely does not! Because the average human in an average human lifetime, on the average, kills about zero other human beings. The statement has a subtle undertext that implies that we are all killers, barely held in check by our fear of retribution. This, I believe, is a gross mistatement of human nature. The average human being will not willingly kill another human being unless severely provoked. This is a part of survival. In some sense, it is also that which we call morality, which I believe is innate. The average human being has to be brainwashed, coerced, or desensitized by training wherein the trainers assume responsibility for the act (in the mind of the trainee, at least), or by removing the personal touch of the finger on the trigger, the hand on the blood soaked blade, and raising it to a button pushed in a high- flying Holiday Inn, or even by computer. Whatever it takes to keep the victims eyes from boring into the killer's soul. The fact of the matter is that only a small number of human beings kill "great numbers of their own kind". The most of humanity will never take the life of another human in their lifetime. And in case you still rankle at the numbers, let me say that, by analogy, Christians have killed an abnormally large number of their fellow human beings in their short history. Do you, Mr. Peters, believe we should judge God's creation by the acts of his minions? Why then should you be allowed to judge the "morality" of evolution by the acts of a paltry few aberrents? : >"Ethology, the study of behaviour has yet to find evolutionary : >basis for man's aberrant conduct that allows him to kill members : >of his own species wholesale, which other species do not do. The writer of this statement is nearly as grossly ignorant as "Hold The Elephant" Holden. The answer is simply: : They are looking in the wrong place, the behaviour originally wasn't : destructive enough to be eliminated. Technology has moved faster : than evolution. Exactly. What was a defense mechanism for individuals and for small groups has been terribly overbalanced by our ability to devise techniques of destruction. The sad fact is that we have escalated in an evolutionary arms race far beyond reason, and it may signal the beginning of the end for one species that has developed a deadly, self-destructive trait. Intelligence. On the other hand, some of us will recognize the moment and be able to wave goodbye to ourselves. "Grab a flag so you can wave goodbye" - Phil Ochs rob d. ps: there is hope, of course, and I will be holding out for the success of humanity's better nature. Hope you are too.

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