The Moral Argument.
Since I am a nerd, I often listen to debates on Youtube with one ear bud while I continue to grind to level 30 on LoL. In the past week, I have heard the argument that morality can only have originated from God repeated dozens of times. I dislike this argument, more so because I have read a book that indirectly speaks to this issue quite well. So here is something for my fellow members of the godless horde to toss in your debate “kit bag” as we surge ever forth to fulfill Glen Beck’s paranoid prophecy to destroy grandma, America, and apple pie.
So if you want a good case study in how our morals evolved in respect to homicide those morals are expressed in humans before cultural militaristic / violent societal indoctrination, I present On Killing by LTC Dave Grossman.
On killing is the story of how western governments first recognized an apparent instinctual avoidance of inflicting fatal wounds during battle which was expressed by around 80% of Soldiers. The author goes on to discuss how governments have learned to retrain humans to improve their likelihood of killing in combat with an in-depth discussion on how the United States mastery of Pavlovian training has assisted in the military’s dominance on the planet. In the modern American Military, 9 out of 10 Soldiers will shoot center mass if presented with a situation where he or she deems deadly force is required.
A thesis emerges from On Killing, barring Sociopaths (at least 10% of us), human beings will go through elaborate measures to avoid killing; even doing things that increase the likelihood that the person themselves will kill, such as purposely shooting over an enemy’s head or using melee weapons in the least lethal techniques. Interestingly, these methods of avoiding killing blows are employed by the majority of un-trained Soldiers around the world with absolutely no formal instructions on being less lethal, according to Grossman. [Read more…]