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Does killing a fellow human go against our natural instincts or not?

I heard somewhere that you have to go against your natural instinct to kill another human, but when attacked you instinctively repel by going straight for the juggular. Could it be due to many ages where mankind has fought and killed one another that we now have killer instincts ingrained in our DNA? If this is the case are we now not defying our instincts by not killing one another?
MetalJunkie999...

Wasn't the last century the most humans have (yet) killed each other?
Liberalism is moral syphilis.

- Jonathan Bowden

Instinct covers a lot of basic territories; eat when hungry, fuck when horny, sleep when tired, fight when threatened. That's all a human needs at the most basic.

Instinct is malleable through mutations in DNA, so nothing is necessarily "ingrained", but instinct also allows new sensory input to cause the human to deviate from basic instinctual reactions.

So, to kill another human could be an instinctual reaction if we were threatened by them. We can also run into many other reasons to kill another human and our instinct will just step aside and let the rest of our brains take over because it trusts the brain to learn, experiment, and make logical decisions about how to reach a goal. Thus the ratiionale for wars and sporting fights and duels.


Wasn't the last century the most humans have (yet) killed each other?


Yes. I think killing is innate rather than instinctual. Even trees kill each other in their race toward the heavens.

Even trees kill each other in their race toward the heavens.


Do they? Do you imagine it is deliberate?
I see it as one tree losing the race for sunlight, while the other wins.
Not quite the same as killing each other.
Squawk!

Even trees kill each other in their race toward the heavens.


Do they? Do you imagine it is deliberate?
I see it as one tree losing the race for sunlight, while the other wins.
Not quite the same as killing each other.

 I don't imagine it is intentional but I don't speak for them, only my own observations.

I struggle more and more with terms as I age. What rings in my head when people talk about killing are all those soundbytes of hapless victims shouting "cant you see you're killing us!" Implying killing is done indirectly, unintentionally and often in complete ignorance of a victim.

You're probably right though and I'm engaging in semantics.

Ha! Good point. Increasing age has a way of doing things like that.

Squawk!

A tree will race upward if it senses competition (shade over its own leaves). That's intention if I've ever seen it.

The question is slightly off in that there is the risk of conflating the reasoned with the instinctual. `To kill a human being` is an idea, it stems from reason and is subject to its processes. Instinct is different, it is goal based and involuntary. It may be instinctive to kill another human in the right situation, with the right stimuli, towards a basic end like self preservation. Serial killers have perverted ideation about murder in some fashion, what they do may incorporate instinct but it is not fundamentally instinctive.

Instinct is absolutely ingrained. Ingrained does not mean immutable. Man has an ingrained killer instinct, he is a hunter.

We do also have instinct that causes us to be distressed at the death of humans. Both a killer instinct and one averse may coexist.

You are right, trystero, I should have considered more closely what "ingrained" meant. I retract the statement that claims that instinct is not ingrained. Ingrained, but not immutable, is right.