This isn't really about humans killing each other- it's more of a self-preservation instinct that helped mankind survive and eventually evolve through time. That instinct kicks in when we feel threatened by anything at all, be that the person in front of us, the news that people talk about us behind our backs, or the mere "defensive stance" when someone defends himself against accusations.
The preservation instinct is not to kill, but to neutralize a threat. The "neutralization" methods will vary from one mindset to another.
but you have to agree violence is the first thing we think of. If someone is in our way, we want to shove them. If someone is talking shit behind your back, you want to hit them. Even if people don't act on it, they think about it. The fact that it crosses their mind says a lot about how violence seems to be a part of us.
So it's not just about a killer instinct, but a violent one.
I'd like to think that everyone has at least felt violent towards someone. Most that do feel that way, never talk about it openly because of the fear of being called a psycho.
From what I am aware, humans developed organized warfare as a way to gain resources and extra mates. Apparently humans and chimpanzees are the only species that developed warfare as an adaptation. As far as animals killing others of their own species over a mate or territory, that is pretty universal across all animals I think? if the competitor doesn't back down when they should, they will go to the death after all.
So to answer your question, yes, people may resort to killing others in a survival situation.
It's completely natural for a person to have an instinct for self-preservation. If that means putting a permanent end to someone/something that is trying to kill you, then yes, people have an instinct to kill. Going off and actively hunting/killing other people, however, doesn't fall into that self-preservation instinct... unless you come from a cannabalistic society that sees other humans as legit food.
It still is natural for humans to kill each other, it's our nature. I have this theory, that our innate violence was a much bigger factor in establish us at the top of the food chain then our intelligence. If any one knows even a bit about our history... it makes sense. Think about it like this, what other animal fights with mortal wounds? Most animals give up quite quickly in a dangerous situation, do exceptions exist. Here is another, what other animal goes into a fight knowing they will lose? In this i am sure we are unique! Look at our scientific development, we can raze a town in seconds, but to build a town... that's another story. Why, because we are subconsciously driven to destruction!
Here is an example: In the stone age, a hungry bear comes to a human settlement, only women and children are there, men are out hunting. Hungry bear has himself a feast, leaves. Hunters return, see their families ripped apart. They go bezerk, killing any bear they come across. Other tribes are impressed by this(cause we as a species are in awe of violent acts). More join them. Thing evolves in a cult(must kill bear to reach heaven, or bear meat cures baldness). Fast forwards 500 years, no bears any where near those guys. See my point?
History lesson time: When Homo Sapiens first left the shores of Africa, we did so long after the Neanderthals, who already populated a big part of Eurasia. Modern Eurasians still have up to 4% of Neanderthal DNA, which meant we were friendly enough with the short little mutes to tolerate hybrid offspring, which must have been a common occurrence at the time. Yet... well, lets just say there is a REASON why we are the only remaining species of the human genus, and it ain't one lined with flower and rainbows and friendly happiness.
I would like to point out the vast difference between 'unnatural' and 'culturally unethical'. In societies where food is abundant and people get to eat every day, killing your helpless grandma or your infant child is vastly unethical by all means and all standards. However, in other times and other places, you might have to kill them both just to be able to feed yourself - and if you were to die, so would they, because maybe you could hunt and they could not. Even today, there are nature tribes that leave sick and injured individuals in the woods to die by starvation. To claim that 'intelligence' keep us from killing each other is, seriously, implying that these nature tribes are somehow less intelligent than western people, which I highly doubt is the case.
CodePurpleyedrawingsFeatured By OwnerFeb 10, 2013Hobbyist Artist
I think maybe there is a killer instinct, but it would be for survival. If someone threatens you, or gets in your way and they weren't part of your tribe, you would need to kill them. The conquest was more of a group behavior. Anger was an emotion that would help you along, it would be trigger for territorial instinct. Eventually as killing and survival became less of a concern, people didn't need to kill, but they still got mad. So killing came from anger over possesions, or mates, because that's what our basic instincts require, wealth, and mates. Alternatively, you could be a sociopath and kill for pleasure, but I digress. I think at one time it was necessary to have a killer instinct.
would i kill if i had to survive yes but most people would. I dont think people would kill just because they have a thought. if we ever had a killer instinct it would be for some kind of animal. But to answer your question prolly not.
"Do you think at one point, it was natural for humans to kill one another?" No.
The urge to kill is a direct result of selfishness/self-preservation; actions propelled by fear of loss of self or things believed to be integral to one's current existence. The urge to lie, cheat and do pretty much every other twisted thing is a result of that same fear.
while I do see where you're coming from, I would have to point out that the "selfishness/self-preservation is about surviving. humans think about themselves and what they need in order to survive, whether it makes them selfish or not.
Normal humans have never been particularly inclined to kill other humans, no. Humans have always been social. Inhibitions against killing within your own group are quite strong, and while they're not as high with increasing social distance the urge never becomes particularly powerful. Soldiers have to be trained to kill; it doesn't come naturally.
Compare how often you think you feel that way -- project from it how often someone must feel like that about someone else in any given day across a large population -- with how often one person actually kills another. Even in a fairly violent city it doesn't happen that often. There must be a powerful inhibition that prevents most people from ever acting on that impulse.
I think the evolution of a complicated society (perhaps in part because of child-rearing needs?) dampened the 'killer instinct.' So basically when we did have a real 'killer instinct,' we were probably pretty far removed from the genus Homo.
That said, modern society seems to come with its own snarls.
I don't think everyone walks around wanting to kill somebody. If so they would not object to the death penalty like bleeding hearts. But truly there are some that seem to go against that and wind up serial killers.
i agree but i don't think there's a natural inclination to kill but rather to survive, which meant killing others. that's not necessarily the same as a "killer instinct." i bet even our primal ancestors, if given the decision to kill, would rather not.
GalacticGoatFeatured By OwnerFeb 9, 2013Hobbyist General Artist
Considering humans have been social creatures with a huge importance on cooperative survival for... long before we even became what are known as humans that would be a huge "nope".
People seem to forget humans aren't the same as a pure non social predator like a tiger or a komodo dragon. For our species to floorish it COULDN'T have evolved in instinct to murder its own kind, humans that did that were a huge detriment to the survival of the entire tribe and therefore had to be destroyed themselves because if not it meant everyone died. You have to understand there's really only two circumstances humans kill: a) If they're defective specimen that lack certain brain functions that results in them going against their natural instincts. b) If they're convinced the human they're killing is a huge detriment to the survival of all humans and therefore their death is a needed sacrifice. This is basically how all wars got fought. It isn't because humans actually have a natural inclination to want to actually kill each other, were just short sighted and easily brainwashed to go against our better instincts.
So yeah only situations you get murdering humans is when you have a sick human or one that's been taught killing is ok in this situation because its for the greater good. In other words its NEVER the result of instincts unless you consider self defense and instinct to kill which it really isn't.
Note how this occurred when tribes began growing crops and possessing land. Prior to that, hunter-gatherer tribes were nonviolent because it was a major detriment to kill or conduct warfare with another tribe that could be useful. The possession of limited resources such as land is what has to led violent behavior.