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Wed Oct 4, 2017, 08:19 PM

Mass Killings: An Evolutionary Perspective.

Suicidal Mass Murderers tend to have a messianic view of themselves, and their motives are tied to status or loss of it whether they're jihadists, Christian apocalyptics, white supremacists, or just bitter and angry.

For one horrifying moment, they become judge, jury and executioner, inflicting as much terror on the world as they could....If this sounds like someone wanting to play God, it is precisely that: exacting their vision of divine revenge on others, in Paddock's case targeting people enjoying a concert and having fun.

There may be other layers to Paddock's personality that would add more depth to his profile, but ascribing motives like neurological disorders and health issues ( based on no evidence) are all bits of interesting speculation but ultimately a distraction.

This was a man who wanted the world to hurt and had the weaponry to exact as much maximum damage as he possibly could in a short space of time.

From Robert King at Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hive-mind/201710/mass-killings-evolutionary-perspective

Mass killings are, among many other things, a deliberate attempt to drive a wedge into the existing social order. That is why they are public, and why the killer seeks to maximise attention, and rarely seeks to escape. Some of these motives are obviously political—the intent is to sow fear and destabilise government--and I am not going to have anything much to say about those. What about people with more individual motives?

Attention to our evolved natures can cast some light on this. (1) Notice I say some light. The evolutionary perspective adds depth to existing accounts—it is an “added value” aspect of psychology, not a replacement for other—more local—explanations such as individual pathology, or why a location or victim was chosen.

I’ve likened the evolutionary account of a trait, to knowing the etymology of a word. For instance, knowing that the origin of the word “lemur” (those beautiful dark-eyed primates) comes from the Latin for “spirits of the dead” adds something to our understanding of the word. Not everything. Something. Sorry to have to keep saying this but, well, apparently I have to keep saying this. Let’s move on.


Male humans swim in worlds of status, like trout swim in complex currents of water. Anyone who is not aware of this (or in denial about it) finds things like the high rates of male suicide, or the fact that males are massively over-represented in apparently senseless crimes, utterly baffling. (2) Glib talk of “toxic masculinity” barely scratches the surface of what is going on. (3) “Toxic” does not explain the half of it, and it is worth noting that even the most toxic of masculinity does not put off all possible sexual partners.

Paddock seemed to have also been a general asshole and enjoyed berating his girlfriend in public: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-las-vegas-shooting-live-updates-at-his-local-starbucks-vegas-shooter-1507060195-htmlstory.html

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Reply Mass Killings: An Evolutionary Perspective. (Original post)
JHan Oct 2017 OP
Vogon_Glory Oct 2017 #1
JHan Oct 2017 #4
GeorgeGist Oct 2017 #2
JHan Oct 2017 #3

Response to JHan (Original post)

Wed Oct 4, 2017, 10:18 PM

1. Our species has gotten much better at mass killings

Mr. Paddock wouldn't have been able to rack up nearly such an impressive body count if he'd had to make do with a flaked stone hand axe like our Homo erectus forebears used.

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Response to Vogon_Glory (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 4, 2017, 10:45 PM

4. more lethal weaponry amplifies it for sure.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Wed Oct 4, 2017, 10:42 PM

2. Consider the horror ...

that we have a toxic president.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 4, 2017, 10:44 PM

3. that too, but moreso...

the toxicity of gun rights activism over the years.

America is the most powerful country in the world, yet incapable of solving what has become a routine public crisis. A country with a substantial defense budget cannot restrain its arms manufacturers.

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