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The original poster asked what motivates people to kill in the style of what happened in Columbine. The two killers both liked Marylin Manson. Manson opined that they were the extreme example of disenfranchised youth who reject our society as artificial, commercial, designed to enslave people.

I have read one book on school shooters, "Columbine" by Cullen. The book astounded me. If Cullen's book is accurate (I am no expert) then almost everything that people think they know about the Columbine killers is wrong. The media, eager to jump on the story reported everything they heard and as certain claims matched common assumptions it created a narrative about the killers that was flat out false. As the reality started to slowly trickle out the truth couldn't budge the chosen narrative. Moore's film, Manson's comments, and the comments of most (perhaps all) of the talking heads presented a narrative that is, according to Cullen, and the local police upon finishing their investigation, simply not true.

Manson said: "I wouldn't say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say and that's what no one did." Which sounds like a rational response to kids who were bullied, outcasts, and who are frustrated with the world because they "reject our society as artificial, commercial, designed to enslave people."

I don't know how much of a breakthrough Manson would have been as he sat there just listening to his two star-struck fans....because....well the two shooters were not fans of his music, had not been bullied (they were in fact bullies), had not been outcasts, or goths, or part of the trench coat mafia, but instead were reasonably popular, but very angry kids. And not angry at one specific thing (such as an artificial, commercial, enslaving society) or specific group of people, but angry at everything and everyone.

Nor were their parents naive dolts who "missed the signs." Both sets of parents had real concerns about their sons. The parents of one of them (I believe Harris, but i read the book when it came out in '09 so I may be mistaken now) had repeatedly tried to get their son help to no avail. They took him a shrink, who thought he was a wonderful, normal kid with over-reacting parents. Then Harris would go and laugh in his journal about how easy his psychiatrist was to manipulate.

To me the failure of looking for answers in things like musical tastes, or violent movies, or violent video games, or lack of religion, when it comes to killers like Harris, is that it starts with the presupposition that dangerous psychopaths like him think and react to things the same way you do. People like Manson and Moore and so many others tried to see parts of themselves in Harris and Klebold and looked for answers that way, along with solutions that they feel would worked for themselves if they were similarly angry young men. The answers they found and solutions they proposed were completely wrong because Harris (and to a lesser extent Klebold) were nothing like (and had no desire to be anything like) Moore or Manson or you or I.

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Claiming you have evidence that since recorded history violence is on general declining trend IS an extraordinary claim! What else would you call it?

No, it is not. An extraordinary claim is a claim that defies physical laws, or a significant amount of established scientific evidence and knowledge such as miracles and homeopathy. A claim that violence has been increasing or declining is an ordinary claim. If one or the other claim became significantly established then a claim opposed to established knowledge base could possibly considered extraordinary. However, there is no possibility of that, as opponents have yet to muster any evidence against Pinker's claims, let alone an established body of knowledge. That doesn't mean that Pinker's claims are therefore correct, but they certainly are not extraordinary.

Point is that if you claim to have proof for a new theory, you better have overwhelming proof or go home. And Pinker seems to have enough proof to convince some, but as time goes on and the claim is given greater scrutiny, there seem to be many critics who can poke a lot of holes in that theory.

Evidence is required. Proof is something that really only belongs in mathematics. Anthropogenic climate change is not proven, but it has significant evidence. The theory of evolution does not have overwhelming proof, but it does have overwhelming evidence.

Yeah, I got all the time in the world to read every goddamned book with 800 pages! I've heard interviews and read articles that Pinker has written before and after this book, so I have some exposure to his thinking on the subject of human behaviour.

So essentially you have a bare bones understanding of his thesis, matched with an ideology that leaves you pretty closed to what the thesis entails.

Again, you are asking others to prove a negative. Many of the critics of Pinker's book are critics of evolutionary psychology in general....considering it's approach to be a soft science because of the tendency to take present day facts of human behaviour and jump to conclusions that the way things are now are the way things ought to be. But, if Pinker or other evolutionary psychologists have the goods, they should be able to convince others outside of their circle of likeminded humanists.

I am not asking them to prove a negative at all. If someone like Ryan says that other hunter-gatherer cultures have significantly lower rates of violence then making that claim must be based on some sort of evidence. He doesn't provide it.

I heard Christopher Ryan doing an interview promoting his book: Sex At Dawn, referring to the anthropology fieldwork he did earlier in his career, make the point that he did not feel that the research he was involved with in the study of the few remaining hunter/gatherer tribes could give him or any other anthropologist a complete understanding of how the ancient hunter/gatherer societies of Pleistocene Era functioned; because they were living under much different conditions than modern tribes who were exposed to "civilization" and facing encroachment on their territories for many centuries from growing agricultural communities cutting off their land and forcing them deeper into forests and uninhabited spaces. Overcrowding, changes in climate, food shortages and droughts, are all conditions that could cause violence to spike and decline when circumstances change; but Pinker's presentation of the hunter/gatherer is too superficial to note these differences.

First of all, Ryan is not an anthropologist. He is a psychologist, who with his wife (a psychiatrist), wrote a book "Sex at Dawn" that is very controversial in its own right and does not have a massive amount of support from relevant experts (to say the least). I say that as someone who likes the book a lot. However, I don't take Ryan to be the authority of what anthropologists think on this or any issue.

And Ryan also focused specifically on the claims Pinker made about 7 claimed hunter/gatherer tribes, wondering aloud if Pinker was guilty of fraud and using misleading evidence in a review on his TED Talk lecture:

Well first of all that is a completely stupid statement. Pinker can't be guilty of fraud for accurately using a chart from someone else when the source of the chart is clearly shown. And of course I know that it was not Ryan who said that. It was you who implies that Ryan said something that inanely stupid, breathtakingly stupid, when he did not. The chart that Ryan is complaining about is from Keeley who is, unlike Ryan, not only a relevant expert, but a major figure in the field. It comes from a book that was published by a major academic publisher, unlike Ryan's book (and Pinker's for that matter) which is a popular science book published by a non academic publisher.

Pinker is doing exactly what he should be doing when writing a book about a massive topic: go to the relevant experts. That is what he has done. Those who disagree with the findings that Keeley puts forward are free to put forward counter evidence. If they haven't then it is hardly Pinker's fault for not referencing it. As I said, all that Pinker can do while writing such a book is use the best available evidence. If he was selective in the evidence and research that he sourced then it should be easy to counter by providing that missing evidence. I have yet to see any provided. Incidentally, the same thing goes for Ryan's book which obviously must be composed to selecting evidence and research done by others. There are many pretty serious claims that have been made stating that his book is extremely biased and misleading in the evidence and research it included or excluded. In fact there is an entire book written to debunk his book, which I have not read, nor do I know the author, but the book has significant support from some pretty heavy hitters in the field.

When Bible thumpers asked the frequent leading question:where are the missing links? Fossil hunters were quick to point out that finding fossils is like finding a needle in a haystack.....a fossil does not provide a representative sample of an ancient group because they are not a random sample, but fossilized remains preserved by chance while others have decayed and been devoured by predators......so NO, going through an ancient bone collection and looking for evidence of how they died (also difficult to prove) is likely of little use to prove or disprove such a case.

That is not the point at all. If people like Ryan state that Pinker and Keeley and others are using examples of hunter-gatherer societies that are more violent than most other similar societies, then he is basing that conclusion on something. Put that evidence out there to be evaluated. I think you will find that the reality is Ryan has less support then you imagine on this issue.

No, Gray is making a valid point by questioning how Pinker and other writers seem to be creating a modern day secular myth in their conception of what the Enlightenment was and who its leaders were.

The myth is entirely by Gray who holds views of the enlightenment that are not held by any relevant expert that I know of (and Gray is certainly no expert on the enlightenment). When someone attacks a book, which is not about the enlightenment, for not talking about "enlightenment figures" that Israel didn't even bother to mention in four volumes ABOUT THE ENLIGHTENMENT then that is beyond grasping at straw dogs (pun intended).

Edited by Wayward Son

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Well first of all that is a completely stupid statement. Pinker can't be guilty of fraud for accurately using a chart from someone else when the source of the chart is clearly shown. And of course I know that it was not Ryan who said that. It was you who implies that Ryan said something that inanely stupid, breathtakingly stupid, when he did not.

I consider it to be fraudulent when academics like Pinker use their credentials to mislead the public. Just because you worship this weirdo changes nothing. He is calling these tribes hunter/gatherers, when they do not even fit the modern description, let alone being comparable to true paleolithic hunter/gatherers.

And, since rational discussion with you is impossible, I'll just go with my main objection to Pinker's claim of a better and brighter future - the past is not the guide for the future. Especially in our case, since our world is overpopulated, resource-depleted and facing an environmental emergency also. Pinker's books are getting so much attention because they tell so many people a story that they want to hear! Because it tells them that basically what they have been doing so far is good, and with a few bumps along the road, it will lead to a better world. Atheist/humanists who buy this are not a whole lot different than any fundamentalists who've wrapped themselves around The Rapture and similar end time ideologies promising a better life. I prefer to live in the real world, over unfounded optimism that is crumbling all around right now. The future is either a gradual decline or a rapid collapse; not libertarian techno-nirvana.

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Well it certainly was pretty clear wht the killers Kazinsky and Brevik were talking about, although Brevik copied Kazinski, Also the same message from McVeigh. Maybe Columbine is a different example, I dont know. Didnt read what you're talking about anywhere yet.

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The original poster asked what motivates people to kill in the style of what happened in Columbine. The two killers both liked Marylin Manson. Manson opined that they were the extreme example of disenfranchised youth who reject our society as artificial, commercial, designed to enslave people.

Manson the musician is a very smart man. Society is artificial for the most part and very shallow, people would rather complain about Jersey Shore getting cancelled compared to how the government is screwing all of us in the collective ass.

Walk down the street and take a look around as you are walking. That is if you can pull your own face from your fancy little handheld device if only for a moment to observe the zombies.

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And if gun control would change something?

IF! And it won't! Because people with intent to kill, will kill - with or without a gun!

Is it possible for your mind to even contemplate that you might be wrong about something?

It's been contemplated already - even by the VP Biden! This is purely politicking.

Wayward Son

Australia strengthened gun control laws 16 years ago. In terms of mass killings there 11 in the 10 years before, and zero in the 16 after. That doesn't give me a certainty that changes to gun control laws would result in the same thing in the US. I will accept where the evidence leads. But do you at least have the intellectual honesty to admit that it is possible that gun controls may change something?

I am being intellectually honest. And being practically sensible. Are you?

Think how many women, men, and families you'll deprive of their means of protection. The threat doesn't come from mass killings alone, you know.

Which do you think is more effective in having a would-be home invader/rapist to think twice - knowing that his target prey could be armed, or 911?

As for Australia, in 1996, a man with a violent history killed 35 tourists at a Port Arthur, Tasmania, prison site. In response, Australia’s parliament passed the National Firearms Agreement, which included stringent measures, such as a ban on all semi-automatic rifles.

“To what end?” Malcolm asks. “Peter Reuter and Jenny Mouzos, in a 2003 study published by the Brookings Institution, found . . . the impact of the National Firearms Agreement was ‘relatively small,’ with the daily rate of firearms homicides declining 3.2 percent.”

http://www.newsmax.c...12/27/id/469185

There is contention over the effects of the gun control laws in Australia, with some researchers reporting significant drops in gun-related crime,[102] [103] and others reporting no significant effect in gun related or overall crime rates.[104][105][106] The primary source of the controversy is that, while the incidence of firearm deaths has decreased considerably since the 1996 restrictions went into effect, the rates had already been falling for the past two decades prior to the new gun laws.

http://en.wikipedia....ol_in_Australia

ergo, that puts a bullet to your dependence on stats.....and, which supports my point about the credibility and accuracy of stats and studies!

Edited by betsy

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Unfortunately our gun laws are not near as restrictive as those in China and Japan.

UNFORTUNATELY? Would you rather we become restricted as all Chinese? You endorse communism now? laugh.png

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The typical Christian fundamentalist (in North America at least) has become every bit as materialistic, and likely just as hedonistic, as any atheist or lapsed believer is today.

I agree. And that is not so surprising since it's been explained by Christ that the path is narrow indeed. A Christian has to have complete trust in God - in whatever circumstances he may find himself in. Being born again, I find that having a personal relationship with Christ/God - which involves communicating with Him - I can pass the bucket to Him. If things get really difficult I pray, "here God, please handle this for me." He always do what He knows is best (not what we think is best). So it's really about trust and faith in Him.

A lot of folks - even some of those who believe in God - may find it hard to understand what I'm talking about. But those who'd been born again - those who'd had an epiphany - they do know and understand.

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The original poster asked what motivates people to kill in the style of what happened in Columbine. The two killers both liked Marylin Manson. Manson opined that they were the extreme example of disenfranchised youth who reject our society as artificial, commercial, designed to enslave people.

I can't find the article as a link online, but here is the text of Marilyn Manson's article about Columbine that was printed in Rolling Stone, May 28,1999.

Columbine: Whose Fault Is It?

by Marilyn Manson

It is sad to think that the first few people on earth needed no books, movies, games or music to inspire cold-blooded murder. The day that Cain bashed his brother Abel's brains in, the only motivation he needed was his own human disposition to violence. Whether you interpret the Bible as literature or as the final word of whatever God may be, Christianity has given us an image of death and sexuality that we have based our culture around. A half-naked dead man hangs in most homes and around our necks, and we have just taken that for granted all our lives. Is it a symbol of hope or hopelessness? The world's most famous murder-suicide was also the birth of the death icon -- the blueprint for celebrity. Unfortunately, for all of their inspiring morality, nowhere in the Gospels is intelligence praised as a virtue.

A lot of people forget or never realize that I started my band as a criticism of these very issues of despair and hypocrisy. The name Marilyn Manson has never celebrated the sad fact that America puts killers on the cover of Time magazine, giving them as much notoriety as our favorite movie stars. From Jesse James to Charles Manson, the media, since their inception, have turned criminals into folk heroes. They just created two new ones when they plastered those dipshits Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris' pictures on the front of every newspaper. Don't be surprised if every kid who gets pushed around has two new idols.

We applaud the creation of a bomb whose sole purpose is to destroy all of mankind, and we grow up watching our president's brains splattered all over Texas. Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised. Does anyone think the Civil War was the least bit civil? If television had existed, you could be sure they would have been there to cover it, or maybe even participate in it, like their violent car chase of Princess Di. Disgusting vultures looking for corpses, exploiting, fucking, filming and serving it up for our hungry appetites in a gluttonous display of endless human stupidity.

When it comes down to who's to blame for the high school murders in Littleton, Colorado, throw a rock and you'll hit someone who's guilty. We're the people who sit back and tolerate children owning guns, and we're the ones who tune in and watch the up-to-the-minute details of what they do with them. I think it's terrible when anyone dies, especially if it is someone you know and love. But what is more offensive is that when these tragedies happen, most people don't really care any more than they would about the season finale of Friends or The Real World. I was dumbfounded as I watched the media snake right in, not missing a teardrop, interviewing the parents of dead children, televising the funerals. Then came the witch hunt.

Man's greatest fear is chaos. It was unthinkable that these kids did not have a simple black-and-white reason for their actions. And so a scapegoat was needed. I remember hearing the initial reports from Littleton, that Harris and Klebold were wearing makeup and were dressed like Marilyn Manson, whom they obviously must worship, since they were dressed in black. Of course, speculation snowballed into making me the poster boy for everything that is bad in the world. These two idiots weren't wearing makeup, and they weren't dressed like me or like goths. Since Middle America has not heard of the music they did listen to (KMFDM and Rammstein, among others), the media picked something they thought was similar.

Responsible journalists have reported with less publicity that Harris and Klebold were not Marilyn Manson fans -- that they even disliked my music. Even if they were fans, that gives them no excuse, nor does it mean that music is to blame. Did we look for James Huberty's inspiration when he gunned down people at McDonald's? What did Timothy McVeigh like to watch? What about David Koresh, Jim Jones? Do you think entertainment inspired Kip Kinkel, or should we blame the fact that his father bought him the guns he used in the Springfield, Oregon, murders? What inspires Bill Clinton to blow people up in Kosovo? Was it something that Monica Lewinsky said to him? Isn't killing just killing, regardless if it's in Vietnam or Jonesboro, Arkansas? Why do we justify one, just because it seems to be for the right reasons? Should there ever be a right reason? If a kid is old enough to drive a car or buy a gun, isn't he old enough to be held personally responsible for what he does with his car or gun? Or if he's a teenager, should someone else be blamed because he isn't as enlightened as an eighteen-year-old?

America loves to find an icon to hang its guilt on. But, admittedly, I have assumed the role of Antichrist; I am the Nineties voice of individuality, and people tend to associate anyone who looks and behaves differently with illegal or immoral activity. Deep down, most adults hate people who go against the grain. It's comical that people are naive enough to have forgotten Elvis, Jim Morrison and Ozzy so quickly. All of them were subjected to the same age-old arguments, scrutiny and prejudice. I wrote a song called "Lunchbox," and some journalists have interpreted it as a song about guns. Ironically, the song is about being picked on and fighting back with my Kiss lunch box, which I used as a weapon on the playground. In 1979, metal lunch boxes were banned because they were considered dangerous weapons in the hands of delinquents. I also wrote a song called "Get Your Gunn." The title is spelled with two n's because the song was a reaction to the murder of Dr. David Gunn, who was killed in Florida by pro-life activists while I was living there. That was the ultimate hypocrisy I witnessed growing up: that these people killed someone in the name of being "pro-life."

The somewhat positive messages of these songs are usually the ones that sensationalists misinterpret as promoting the very things I am decrying. Right now, everyone is thinking of how they can prevent things like Littleton. How do you prevent AIDS, world war, depression, car crashes? We live in a free country, but with that freedom there is a burden of personal responsibility. Rather than teaching a child what is moral and immoral, right and wrong, we first and foremost can establish what the laws that govern us are. You can always escape hell by not believing in it, but you cannot escape death and you cannot escape prison.

It is no wonder that kids are growing up more cynical; they have a lot of information in front of them. They can see that they are living in a world that's made of bullshit. In the past, there was always the idea that you could turn and run and start something better. But now America has become one big mall, and because of the Internet and all of the technology we have, there's nowhere to run. People are the same everywhere. Sometimes music, movies and books are the only things that let us feel like someone else feels like we do. I've always tried to let people know it's OK, or better, if you don't fit into the program. Use your imagination -- if some geek from Ohio can become something, why can't anyone else with the willpower and creativity?

I chose not to jump into the media frenzy and defend myself, though I was begged to be on every single TV show in existence. I didn't want to contribute to these fame-seeking journalists and opportunists looking to fill their churches or to get elected because of their self-righteous finger-pointing. They want to blame entertainment? Isn't religion the first real entertainment? People dress up in costumes, sing songs and dedicate themselves in eternal fandom. Everyone will agree that nothing was more entertaining than Clinton shooting off his prick and then his bombs in true political form. And the news -- that's obvious. So is entertainment to blame? I'd like media commentators to ask themselves, because their coverage of the event was some of the most gruesome entertainment any of us have seen.

I think that the National Rifle Association is far too powerful to take on, so most people choose Doom, The Basketball Diaries or yours truly. This kind of controversy does not help me sell records or tickets, and I wouldn't want it to. I'm a controversial artist, one who dares to have an opinion and bothers to create music and videos that challenge people's ideas in a world that is watered-down and hollow. In my work I examine the America we live in, and I've always tried to show people that the devil we blame our atrocities on is really just each one of us. So don't expect the end of the world to come one day out of the blue -- it's been happening every day for a long time.

MARILYN MANSON

(May 28, 1999)

Edited by cybercoma

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And if gun control would change something?

Is it possible for your mind to even contemplate that you might be wrong about something?

Did it ever occur to you that the change that could occur may not be the kind of change you hope it will be? In fact, it may more likely be the opposite?

Edited by betsy

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A lot of folks - even some of those who believe in God - may find it hard to understand what I'm talking about. But those who'd been born again - those who'd had an epiphany - they do know and understand.

God does not approve of those who use their faith to promote themselves as superior to His other children.

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Good read cybercoma. I've been a fan of Manson for some time, and loved how he challenged the system every step of the way as the system attempted to marginalize him and scapegoat him for the ills of the world or more specifically, America.

He chooses his words carefully, and it shows he is not your ordinary cookie cutter shallow 1 hit wonder artist as we see so much of today. Fabricated garbage.

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I can't find the article as a link online, but here is the text of Marilyn Manson's article about Columbine that was printed in Rolling Stone, May 28,1999.

Columbine: Whose Fault Is It?

by Marilyn Manson

A lot of people forget or never realize that I started my band as a criticism of these very issues of despair and hypocrisy. The name Marilyn Manson has never celebrated the sad fact that America puts killers on the cover of Time magazine, giving them as much notoriety as our favorite movie stars. From Jesse James to Charles Manson, the media, since their inception, have turned criminals into folk heroes. They just created two new ones when they plastered those dipshits Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris' pictures on the front of every newspaper. Don't be surprised if every kid who gets pushed around has two new idols.

MARILYN MANSON

(May 28, 1999)

Incidentally, we hardly hear about Charles Manson! If ever there's one who perpetuate the notoriety of the geriatric Manson...it would be this one called, Marilyn Manson! Gimme a break. rolleyes.gif

His stage name was formed from juxtaposing the names of two American cultural icons, namely actress Marilyn Monroe and multiple murder convict Charles Manson[1] as a critical and, simultaneously, laudatory appraisal of America and its peculiar culture.[2][3]

http://en.wikipedia..../Marilyn_Manson

Edited by betsy

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Sure thing betsy. Everyone would have completely forgotten about Charles Manson if it wasn't for Marilyn Manson. You've got to be kidding me.

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Incidentally, we hardly hear about Charles Manson! If ever there's one who perpetuate the notoriety of the geriatric Manson...it would be this one called, Marilyn Manson! Gimme a break. rolleyes.gif

The reason he did this seem to fly over the heads of many. The name is a contradiction in a sense in how some killers get the celebrity status under the title of 'infamous'. Monroe was famous as an actress , Manson infamous for murder. Both have spent time in the spotlight.

He is pointing to a problem within the Christian American culture in how idolization is not a Christian virtue, and yet idolization is a major part of Christianity (and most other major religions). Jesus is idolized, God is idolized, Christian rockers are idolized.

Warner had his own schism with Christianity, and it manifested in the music and stage performances.

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IF! And it won't! Because people with intent to kill, will kill - with or without a gun!

As this thread is about mass killings like Columbine perhaps you could compare recent mass killings carried out with guns with mass killing carried out without guns.

Think how many women, men, and families you'll deprive of their means of protection. The threat doesn't come from mass killings alone, you know.

The Australian gun control measures did not deprive people of their means of protection.

Which do you think is more effective in having a would-be home invader/rapist to think twice - knowing that his target prey could be armed, or 911?

Beats me. It is irrelevant to the conversation as the Australian gun control measures did not eliminate all guns. It banned semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic and pump action shotguns. Something you would know if you read the links that you provided.

ergo, that puts a bullet to your dependence on stats.....and, which supports my point about the credibility and accuracy of stats and studies!

Earlier you complained that this thread was about mass shootings and not regular killing. Now you do the bait-and-switch and claim the opposite. The gun control measures in Australia were designed with the aim of stopping mass shootings in Australia. There were 11 such shootings resulting in 103 deaths in the 10 years prior to the legislation. There have been none in the 16 years or so since. Arguing that the policy has not accomplished goals it was not designed to accomplish is pretty disingenuous.

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I consider it to be fraudulent when academics like Pinker use their credentials to mislead the public.

To establish that would require more then an individual academic claiming on the internet that Pinker is being misleading. It doesn't help when the individual academic is 1) not a relevant expert 2) Has a well known axe to grind with people like Pinker, who challenge Ryan's worldview 3) has written a book which firmly places himself and his worldview on the fringe and far outside the academic mainstream 4) has had his claims attacked by people who are relevant experts in the field Ryan writes about. Experts who claim that Ryan selects his sources in a biased way and misinterprets sources.

If Ryan wants to claim that Keeley and Pinker are misleading the public there is a proper way to do that (something that Ryan certainly knows) and that is to challenge the evidence in the peer review. But for some reason he hasn't done that. If Ryan was a climate change denier claiming that someone on the other side was misleading the public you would understand what Ryan is actually doing here.

And, since rational discussion with you is impossible, I'll just go with my main objection to Pinker's claim of a better and brighter future - the past is not the guide for the future.

That is why it is important to actually be familiar with the work you are criticizing. Your main objection is to a claim that Pinker doesn't actually make. In no way does Pinker say that future will be better and brighter. He says that it could be better, worse or the same. And that it is dependent on the choices that people and societies make. He feels that making the correct decisions is easier when those decisions are based on accurate information, instead of ideology.

Especially in our case, since our world is overpopulated, resource-depleted and facing an environmental emergency also. Pinker's books are getting so much attention because they tell so many people a story that they want to hear!

How would you know? You haven't read it.

Because it tells them that basically what they have been doing so far is good, and with a few bumps along the road, it will lead to a better world. Atheist/humanists who buy this are not a whole lot different than any fundamentalists who've wrapped themselves around The Rapture and similar end time ideologies promising a better life. I prefer to live in the real world, over unfounded optimism that is crumbling all around right now. The future is either a gradual decline or a rapid collapse; not libertarian techno-nirvana.

The reality is that you have a worldview that tells you everything is going to crap, and therefore when Pinker hits you with the reality that some things have actually been getting better you lash out at him by calling him a libertarian etc. You don't counter his evidence because you can't, and don't actually know what his evidence is in the first place. You attack a series of straw men. That is fine. You are free to live in what ever kind of bubble you wish to live in, but some people are actually interested in exposure to evidence that opposes, as well as evidence that supports their notions about the world. Some people feel that accepting the best evidence even if it challenges what they want to be true is more important then building walls up around their worldview.

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Guest Derek L

As this thread is about mass killings like Columbine perhaps you could compare recent mass killings carried out with guns with mass killing carried out without guns.

Like these ones:

britannica.jpg

911.jpg

Quick, ban diesel, fertilizer and airliners……

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We have; Combining diesel and fertilizer is indeed banned, as is hijacking airliners. The fact that some folks do those things anyways - despite the law.

It follows then that the laws against making bombs and hijcaking airliners impinges upon my right to blow up milk cartons in my backyard.

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Guest Derek L

We have; Combining diesel and fertilizer is indeed banned, as is hijacking airliners. The fact that some folks do those things anyways - despite the law.

It follows then that the laws against making bombs and hijcaking airliners impinges upon my right to blow up milk cartons in my backyard.

And isn’t shooting people “banned” also?

And your second part doesn’t follow, for if it did, it would assume that it is currently legal to shoot someone……

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But it is illegal to hijack airliners even if you dont have any intent to kill anybody...you may just want to go to Cuba!. Of course doing so interferes with other peoples plans and doing so usually involves the threat of violence if the pilots dont comply.

But the combining of fertilizer and diesel fuel is entirely innocent in itself. There is no apparent reason to make it illegal except as a precaution against what a very few will do with that mixture.

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Guest Derek L

But it is illegal to hijack airliners even if you dont have any intent to kill anybody...you may just want to go to Cuba!. Of course doing so interferes with other peoples plans and doing so usually involves the threat of violence if the pilots dont comply.

But the combining of fertilizer and diesel fuel is entirely innocent in itself. There is no apparent reason to make it illegal except as a precaution against what a very few will do with that mixture.

What very few will do? Like say, using a gun to shoot someone right?

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As this thread is about mass killings like Columbine perhaps you could compare recent mass killings carried out with guns with mass killing carried out without guns.

rolleyes.gif

This thread maybe titled, Columbine, but this is not simply about mass-killings or about Columbine. Go read the OP article again.

As for the rest of your rebuttals....no need to go through those again. You're scraping.

Edited by betsy

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Sure thing betsy. Everyone would have completely forgotten about Charles Manson if it wasn't for Marilyn Manson. You've got to be kidding me.

And why does he want Manson to be immortalized? He's doing more than what the media does. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black....and you swallow his garbled philosophy hook, line and sinker.

Edited by betsy

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