Information

Species that murder their own counterparts when put in captivity


Mary Midgley writes in her book, Beast and Man (p. 54 in this eBook: https://goo.gl/3NnhtP):

Lorenz gives chilling examples from roe deer and doves, in both of which species stronger members will slowly murder weaker ones if kept in captivity with them[… ]

I find this fascinating but I was not successful in finding any more info on this phenomena on the internet.

Can any biologists point me into a good direction? I do not have the work of Konrad Lorenz at hand, and would not know where to exactly look for in them.

Thanks a lot!


Some individuals kill their own offspring (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticide) or eat their offspring (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filial_cannibalism) or their own siblings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siblicide). See this article about siblicide and fratricide in bacteria: https://www.webmedcentral.com/article_view/4804.

Other conflict and killing between members of a population occurs in many species, including humans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homicide), mice (https://sci-hub.tw/10.1111/j.1469-185X.1991.tb01147.x), and other primates (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140175082920632).

Search "intraspecific killing" on Google or Google Scholar.

See also a similar question here: Why social animals attack odd members of their own group?


Social media and self-esteem

If you ever find yourself scrolling through Instagram, or stalking your friend’s sister’s roommate’s cousin on Facebook, and feeling really bad about yourself, you are certainly not alone. While social media can affect the self-esteem and body image of both genders, it takes a harsher toll on girls and women. With all the social media outlets that are used these days, it’s almost impossible to avoid constantly checking and updating them. Social media has a variety of effects on us. It makes us anxious, depressed, jealous, and feel bad about the way we look. In a study conducted by the University of Salford in the UK, of 298 social media users, 50% said that, “Facebook and Twitter make their lives worse”.

A huge problem with social media is that it’s essentially a constant stream of things we want but can’t or don’t have. Think of Pinterest for example, people (82% women) can scroll endlessly, looking at million dollar houses and designer clothes and “perfect” hair and “perfect” bodies. After a while, that is bound to take a toll on a person’s self esteem. There are many theories on the subject. According to the Social Comparison Theory, when people make “upward comparisons”, or compare themselves to people who are better off than they are, it leads to depression and negative self-image. Psychotherapist, Sherrie Campbell, explains it very well, “When we look to social media, we end up comparing ourselves to what we see which can lower our self-esteem. On social media, everyone’s life looks perfect but you’re only seeing a snapshot of reality. We can be whoever we want to be in social media and if we take what we see literally then it’s possible that we can feel we are falling short in life”.

If social media is making us feel so bad, why do we use it constantly? The answer is simple: we are addicted. The National Institute of Health added Internet Addiction Disorder in 2012 “”Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) ruins lives by causing neurological complications, psychological disturbances, and social problems”. Although it’s hard for most people, deleting social media accounts, or using them less can be very beneficial to a persons self esteem and well being.


Species that murder their own counterparts when put in captivity - Biology

ISLAMABAD: A Saker Falcon fitted with a satellite tracking device by the World Wide Fund (WWF) Russia for research purposes was caught by trappers in Balochistan some 10 days ago.

Declared endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the falcon was bred in captivity and fitted with a satellite tracking device as conservationists were interested in studying the bird’s 5,000km plus migratory journey from Siberia all the way down to the coast of Pakistan.

However, the bird’s prolonged stationary position drew the attention of WWF Russia conservationists who shared their concerns with their counterparts in Islamabad and requested they check why the bird was not moving.

Local wildlife officials set out to find the endangered falcon but found that it had been caught in Loralai.

Over the next few days, trackers in Russia kept WWF Pakistan posted on the satellite position of the falcon, which was taken to Zhob and pinpointed its last location to a house in the village of Kolachi, D.I. Khan, a no-go area for many due to the deteriorating law and order situation.

WWF Pakistan said the trappers did not initially risk removing the tracking device which was attached to the bird surgically.

“The device does not affect the falcon’s flight or hinder it while it is chasing prey at full speed. But there is a risk of injuring it if the device is not removed by experts. The trappers would have had no use for the bird if it could not fly,” said WWF Pakistan Manager Research and Conservation Jamshed Iqbal Chaudhry.

Earlier this week, wildlife officials reached the house where the device was still beeping.

However, the bird had been sold and smuggled out of Pakistan into the Middle East.

Some 600 to 700 different species of falcons, including those smuggled from Afghanistan are traded through D.I. Khan, which is the hub for illegal trade in falcons and other illegally trapped birds, according to the Ministry of Climate Change.

Birds and animals are trafficked through ports and even airports, reducing the breeding population in defiance of international law on trading in endangered species.

Pakistan is signatory to international treaties such as the Convention on Conservation of Birds of Prey and the Convention of Migratory Species and also has local laws for the protection of endangered species.

“Trapping of falcons, especially Saker, is prohibited under law since 2005 to ensure the survival of the species,” he told Dawn.

He was also critical of the government which allowed 100 falcons to be exported to rich families in Qatar and another 150 to the UAE. Sakers, which are bigger than the Peregrine Falcon, are prized for their boldness and ferocity in attacking large prey.

“We need to revere nature as part of life. There have to be other ways to sustain diplomatic relations,” he said.

With the rising demand for birds of prey in the Middle East, especially Saker, their trapping in Pakistan has also increased year after year.

“A wildlife crime is being committed. Ever thought of a time when most wild animals would never be seen? That could be true for the Saker falcon in the near future,” the official warned.


PSYCHOLOGY IN SEATTLE

Charles Darwin foresaw evolutionary psychology when he wrote “In the distant future. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation” (1859, p. 449). Darwin was correct in his prediction in that evolutionary theory has had a significant impact on psychology, being applied to such diverse topics as anorexia (Fehr, Hendricks, Abed, & Figueredo, 2005), body building (Jonason, 2007), sexual jealousy (Harris, 2003), flirting (Frisby, Dillow, Gaughan, & Nordlund, 2011), filicide (Friedman, Cavney, & Resnick, 2012), and many other topics in psychology. However, Darwin did not foresee the controversy and conflict surrounding these ideas that would rage well into the 21st century.

This article provides a brief look into these controversies and a summary of the history and concepts of biological evolutionary theory and evolutionary psychology. Recent research, on a variety of topics within evolutionary psychology, will be detailed and critiqued.

Author’s note: I tend to get three responses to this document: 1) appreciation and thanks, 2) harsh criticism for acknowledging the potential usefulness of evolutionary psychology, or 3) harsh criticism for questioning conclusions within evolutionary psychology. Before writing this, I was not aware of the apparent polarization within our field. If you, the reader, would like to critique my critique, please provide specific assertions rather than general comments. Statements such as “you have no idea what you’re talking about” are not helpful to me. In contrast to these hurtful statements, I would rather have an open and respectful dialogue with readers. Since I am not an evolutionary psychologist, I expect there are problems with my arguments. I do not claim to be an expert on the topic. The following is merely the humble result of 5 weeks of casual reading and is not meant to be the definitive document on the subject. Having said that, I hope you find this useful and I invite you to email me at [email protected]

Definitions

A general critique I have of evolutionary psychology literature is the frequent omission of clear definitions. As a remedy to this lack of clarity, I will attempt to use clear, well-defined terms throughout this article.

The word evolution has many definitions ranging from narrow to broad. For example, some writers use the term evolution to refer solely to genetic evolution while others use it to refer to cultural changes via memes and learning. Other authors use the term evolution to refer to the complex human process of genetics and culture coevolving over time. And others define evolution as any process of change, in any domain. For the sake of clarity, in this article, evolution and evolutionary psychology will refer to biological and genetic changes and not evolved cultural changes. This delimitation in the definition is not intended to diminish the importance of culture and learning, rather, it is intended to draw a clearer distinction between two important variables.

Evolutionary Theory

Throughout ancient history, most people believed human beings had been created directly by God or by some other supernatural phenomenon. For example, according to the Bible, the first human beings, Adam and Eve, sprang into existence by God’s will (Gen. 1:26 New International Version). Cultures around the globe often have such stories of creation.

Due, in part, to cultural changes in Europe during the Enlightenment, some thinkers began looking for empirical evidence of our genesis. In the late 1700s, Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin’s grandfather, introduced the idea that all living things emerged from a common ancestor. He also hypothesized that competition was the driving force behind evolution. Later, in 1859, Charles Darwin proposed a plausible mechanism for this evolutionary change in his book On the Origin of Species. Thus began the study of evolution by natural selection.

Around the same time, Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian monk, discovered the genetic inheritance of traits through his experimentation on pea plants. Although Mendel’s laws of inheritance were rejected at first, later in the early 1900s, it was rediscovered and coupled with Darwin’s theory of natural selection – this coupling was called neo-Darwinian or modern evolutionary synthesis. Later, advances in science led to discoveries in genetics (e.g., the discovery of DNA) which added to our understanding. Darwin’s theory provided a process while genetic science provided a mechanism. Both process and mechanism were incorporated into biological evolutionary theory. Evolutionary theory has since become the most powerful explanatory system in the life sciences.

Biological Evolution: Major Concepts

The theory of natural selection is based on three basic premises: variation, inheritance and adaptation. The premise of variation refers to the idea and observation that all individuals of a particular species show variation in their behavioral and physiological traits. In other words, no two instances of a species are physically or behaviorally identical (Barrett, Dunbar & Lycett, 2002 Hampton, 2010 Workman & Reader, 2004). The composite of an individual’s particular traits are referred to as its phenotype. The inheritance premise is based on the observation that these variations in phenotype are inherited from one’s parents, and some of that variation will be passed on from one generation to the next (Barrett, Dunbar & Lycett, 2002 Hampton, 2010 Workman & Reader, 2004).

The premise of adaptation refers to the competition among individuals for scarce resources such as food, mates, and shelter, and some of these phenotypes allow some individuals to compete more effectively than others (Barrett, Dunbar & Lycett, 2002 Hampton, 2010 Kolber & Crothers, 2003 Workman & Reader, 2004). Those individuals who are better able to garner resources are more likely to produce offspring, and the resulting offspring are likely to inherit those beneficial traits. This is the process of natural selection, or the selection of genetic traits that increase the individual organism’s chance of producing offspring. Through this ongoing process, organisms become adapted to their environment. These advantageous traits are described as “naturally selected” because the organisms that are more “fit” for the environment are able to survive and pass on a greater proportion of their genetic material to the next generation. This process is called biological evolution.

As a metaphor for biological evolution, imagine you have a cake recipe. People like your cakes, so they come to your house and hand copy the recipe. Occasionally there are copy errors (or mutations) in the recipe. Most of these mutations result in substandard cakes – for example, a cake made with sawdust instead of flour. Each time a repulsive cake is produced, that mutated recipe is thrown away, while the exact copies are propagated through the neighborhood and into other neighborhoods. At any one time, there are a small percentage of mutated recipes in the community that have yet to be selected out of the pool of recipes. One day, someone accidentally changes the recipe for the better – it has the addition of chocolate chips. Everyone starts asking for this new mutated recipe. Over time, the original recipe diminishes in number and eventually becomes extinct altogether since it cannot compete with the new recipe. And the cycle continues. Each preferred mutation is selected for, creating better and better cakes. Now imagine there was a sudden change in the environment: chocolate chips became scarce. Remember that at any one time, there are mutated recipes being created due to copy errors. One of these mutated recipes is perfectly suited for this chocolate chip famine: a cake with yogurt chips instead, which are abundant. Even though yogurt chips are not as tasty as chocolate chips, this yogurt chip trait is propagated through the neighborhood since it is adaptive to the current environment.

In the natural world, as in the metaphor above, genetic copying errors usually lead to either no effect or a reduction in survivability, resulting in these traits being potentially selected out of the gene pool. But on very rare occasions, a mutation might produce an organism that is better fitted to the environment and therefore better able to reproduce. As with the yogurt chip cookie recipe, an organism that is better fitted to the environment will slowly edge out the competition.

It should be noted that there is a difference between a genetic mutation (any change in a DNA sequence away from normal) and a polymorphism (a DNA sequence variation that is common in the population). Scientists have arbitrarily defined the cut-off point between a mutation and a polymorphism as 1 per cent – if the frequency of a trait is lower than 1 per cent, it is considered a mutation. For example, among all humans, hair color varies from blond to black (polymorphism), but occasionally someone is born with no hair (mutation). Both polymorphisms and mutations may propagate through the gene pool by natural selection as organisms evolve (Barrett, Dunbar & Lycett, 2002 Hampton, 2010 Workman & Reader, 2004).

Human Evolution

According to evolutionary biology, all living organisms on earth, including humans, are descended from a single common ancestor 4 billion years ago. About 3.5 billion years ago, the first cells evolved, and around 600 million years ago, the first multicellular organisms appeared in the sea. 500 million years ago, the first land organisms evolved – first microbes and then plants. Then some of the sea-dwelling animals evolved to live on the land – first insects, then amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds and mammals. Around 55 million years ago, the first primates evolved. They were small agile tree-dwellers akin to modern lemurs. From this species of primate evolved all modern primates: monkeys, apes and humans. The first modern humans (homo sapiens) appear in the fossil record around 150,000 years ago in Africa. And according to the current paleoanthropological consensus, about 100,000 years ago, some of these humans left the African continent and began to populate the rest of the world (Barrett, Dunbar & Lycett, 2002 Evans & Zarate, 2000 Hampton, 2010 Workman & Reader, 2004).

Evolutionary Psychology

Darwin himself wrote of evolutionary psychology in that he suggested that like any other trait, human mental faculties are the outcome of evolution by natural and sexual selection and suggested these mental faculties should be understood in light of common descent (as cited in Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011). Since Darwin, many have studied and written within the broad field of evolutionary psychology – that is, the evolutionary-oriented study of human behavior and cognition. A number of distinct camps have emerged including evolutionary psychology, behavioral ecology, ethology, sociobiology, behavioral genetics, evolutionary developmental psychology, biocultural evolution, evolutionary anthropology, Darwinian anthropology, evolutionary neuroscience, and others. There is considerable overlap, and also disagreement, between these schools of thought. Some authors (including this author) call for a unified approach with less antagonism (Barrett, Dunbar & Lycett, 2002). However, divisions and controversies remain between and within each camp.

This article is concerned with one of those camps: evolutionary psychology. However, it should be noted that the term “evolutionary psychology” is sometimes used as a narrow school of thought while others use it as an umbrella term for all camps that utilize Darwinian ideas to understand and explain human thought and behavior (Hampton, 2010). Also, some consider evolutionary psychology to be rebranding of sociobiology and other previous camps (Hampton, 2010).

In the effort of clarity, throughout this article, I will attempt to delineate between what I term as “mainstream” evolutionary psychology and the broader whole of evolutionary psychology. I provided the label “mainstream” since some within the field of evolutionary psychology disagree with the theoretical proposals put forward by the Santa Barbara camp and other prominent figures in the field (Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011).

The History of Evolutionary Psychology

Over the millennia, there has been much debate regarding human instincts (Hampton, 2010). Perhaps in reaction to this heated debate, Darwin altogether avoided the topic of instincts. However, later, William James, one of the most influential figures in early psychology, proposed in the late 1800s that humans have even more instincts than other animals (Workman & Reader, 2004). He outlined instincts such as fear, love and curiosity as driving forces of human behavior. And later in the early 1900s, William McDougall famously proposed that the human mind has certain innate or inherited tendencies which motivate all thought and action and that these instincts are probably common to all humans (Hampton, 2010). He defined an instinct as an inherited and innate psycho-physical disposition which determines what someone pays attention to, what someone will feel upon perceiving it, and what someone will do upon that feeling.

This instinct theory has been supported by the observation that other organisms come into the world with innate knowledge and abilities. For example, a recently hatched turtle instinctually crawls to the sea and swims, a puppy instinctually knows how to suckle without being taught, and a foal can walk within minutes after birth. While most people may find it easy to believe that animals have instinctual behaviors, some find it difficult to acknowledge the possibility that humans have instincts as well (Workman & Reader, 2004). Why would all other animals have instincts while humans would have none? Perhaps it is discomforting to think of our behavior as being dictated by fate and out of our direct control. Perhaps we like to think of ourselves as beyond nature.

Consider the following question: Why do apes suckle their babies? Is it due to instinct? Now consider a second question: Why do human mothers breast feed their infants? Does the mother breast feed because she loves her child and has learned that the infant needs nourishment? Or is it instinctual? Does the ape mother breast feed her baby because she “loves” her child? Or is the ape merely motivated by instinct? Is love a tool to motivate instinctual behaviors? These are difficult questions to answer. However, people tend to view animal behavior as instinctual and human behavior as conscious and thoughtful (Barrett, Dunbar & Lycett, 2002). Perhaps both apes and humans have a mixture of both instinct and reason. Perhaps reason is a product of instinct. Do we have free will? How much does learning and culture play a role in our behavior? Or are we merely slaves to biological impulse? This confusion has not deterred many within several disciplines from attempting to understand our innate human instincts.

Ethology. The notion of instincts was taken up by naturalists and zoologists in Europe in the 1930s who studied animal behavior with an interest in humans as a particularly interesting member of the animal kingdom (Hampton, 2010). These scientists were interested in innate, inherited, instinctual behavior rather than learned behavior. Ethology has contributed much to our understanding of evolutionary psychology including the concepts of imprinting and critical periods.

Sociobiology. The term “sociobiology” emerged in the 1940s and was made famous by E.O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins in the 1970s. This discipline analyzes the social behavior of species from a biological and genetic point of view (Hampton, 2010). Sociobiology has been concerned with various topics such as altruism and parental investment. The core idea of sociobiology is that behavior, in parallel with biology, has evolved under natural and sexual selection.

It should be noted that sociobiologists have been heavily criticized by scientists, philosophers and activists for providing an evolutionary justification for oppression and the status quo (Brinkman, 2011 Workman & Reader, 2004). For example, starting in the 1980s, E.O. Wilson was criticized for his claims that humans have evolved instincts to make war and for intimating that women have evolved as specialized egg makers (Workman & Reader, 2004).

Human Behavioral Ecology. In the 1960s, human behavioral ecology, a branch of anthropology, emerged as the study of human behavior in its natural and spontaneous contexts (Hampton, 2010). It assumes that human behavior is adaptive and organized around a wider unconscious strategy to optimize survival and reproduction. In this way, it studies the evolution of adaptive advantages of individual, group, and cultural traits.

The Emergence of Evolutionary Psychology. Contemporary evolutionary psychology was taken up in the 1980s by a school of thought stemming from the University of California at Santa Barbara (Barrett, Dunbar & Lycett, 2002 Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011). As a hybrid between cognitive science and evolutionary biology, the main purpose of evolutionary psychology is to apply the knowledge and principles of evolutionary biology to develop research that leads to a better understanding of human experience and behavior (Blasi & Causey, 2010 Buss, 2009).

According to Hampton (2010), evolutionary psychology built upon understandings within instinct theory – the emphasis on psychological dispositions. It also adopted the ethological study of how organisms operate in the here and now and why they have come to exhibit the behaviors that they do. Like sociobiology, evolutionary psychologists views behavioral adaptations as linked to genetic adaptations. And like human behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology is interested in using depictions of our natural history to test hypotheses. However, unlike sociobiologists and other related disciplines, evolutionary psychologists attempt to explain human behavior in terms of cognitive psychology or the underlying computations that occur within the mind (Workman & Reader, 2004).

Mainstream Evolutionary Psychology: Main Concepts

The essence of the mainstream, Santa Barbara brand of evolutionary psychology is summarized in the following famous and pithy statement: Our modern skulls house a Stone Age mind (Barrett, Dunbar & Lycett, 2002 Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011). According to this school of evolutionary psychology, human minds are organized into a large number of evolved psychological mechanisms which are psychological adaptations designed to solve recurrent problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors (Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011). Evolutionary psychologists seek to discover and clarify these evolved psychological mechanisms by reverse-engineering the mind from an observable phenomenon to its proposed adaptive function (Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011).

In the 1980s, the Santa Barbara school influenced the establishment of the following four widespread major tenets of evolutionary psychology (Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011): massive modularity, universal human nature, the environment of evolutionary adaptedness, and gradualism.

Massive Modularity. As with cognitive psychologists, evolutionary psychologists propose that the mind consists of cognitive modules (Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011 Friedman, Cavney & Resnick, 2012). They believe that much, if not all, of our behavior can be explained by internal psychological mechanisms. Different sets of adaptive problems require different computational solutions. This model argues that these cognitive modules have each evolved through natural selection in response to stimuli that result in advantageous behavior. These psychological mechanisms are information-processing models that are designed by natural selection to attend to certain components of the environment (Hastings & Shaffer, 2008). Each mechanism pays attention to particular environmental cues and reacts according to its evolved function. For example, we evolved a psychological mechanism to reward us with pleasurable neuronal processes when we orgasm. This is designed to motivate us to have sex and reproduce.

As a recent elaboration on this concept, Bernard, Mills, Swenson, and Walsh (as cited in Bernard, 2008) developed a theory that proposed a model of human behavior using 15 independent neuropsychological adaptations – or motive constructs – that propel behavior. These motivation constructs evolved from natural, sexual, and social selection pressures in the ancestral human environments in the African Pleistocene savanna and continue to mediate behavior today. The 15 motives are Affection, Aggression, Altruism, Appearance, Conscience, Curiosity, Health, Legacy, Material, Meaning, Mental, Physical, Play, Safety, and Sex.

Universal Human Nature. Evolutionary psychologists believe there are universal elements of human nature comprising a species-specific repertoire of evolved psychological mechanisms (e.g., a childhood fear of strangers or a preference for specific mate characteristics) (Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011). Evolutionary psychology posits that universal forms of behavior exist – along with their underlying genetic counterparts – because they have provided some competitive advantage and were therefore selected.

The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness. This term refers to the environment in which a species has evolved and to which it has become adapted through natural selection (MacLennan, 2007). Specifically regarding humans, this concept refers to the notion that our psychological mechanisms have evolved in response to our ancestral environments in the African Pleistocene savanna (Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011). In other words, our ancestors thrived on the African savanna, and, as a result, certain psychological traits that aided in survival in that environment were selected and are still seen in modern humans (Fitzgerald & Danner, 2012). Since our species spent over 99.5% of its history as hunter-gatherers living in small kinship groups a few dozen in size in Pleistocene environments (about 2,500,000 to 12,000 years ago), our evolved psychological mechanisms were adapted to that environment and not to the industrialized world of today (MacLennan, 2007). Thus, evolutionary psychology attempts to make predictions about human psychological mechanisms by considering those psychological traits that would have perhaps been adaptive in the African Pleistocene environment (Horne, 2004 Kolber & Crothers, 2003).

Gradualism. Evolutionary psychologists argue that psychological mechanisms do not evolve quickly. Since human environmental factors have recently changed rapidly, these ancestral psychological mechanisms may produce maladaptive behaviors in response to this mismatched environment (Bolhuis, Brown, Richardson & Laland, 2011).

Current Evolutionary Psychology

According to Brinkman (2011), evolutionary psychology is one of the fastest growing fields in psychology. To some, it is applicable to almost any aspect of human behavior. And it enjoys a wide popularity in the media due to its often appealingly simple explanations for seemingly odd human tendencies. Similarly, according to Kruger and Armenti (2012), scholars in various fields – not only evolutionary psychology – are increasingly adopting evolutionary theory as the foundation of understanding in the human sciences, yet there is a perception that evolutionary theory yields little or no practical implications for the human sciences. Furthermore, since many authors have proposed highly controversial and unsupported claims, evolutionary psychology has a justifiably tainted reputation. As it stands today, evolutionary psychology is an enormous field with much internal and external controversy (Brinkmann, 2011).

Upon a review of the literature, I found hundreds of studies on various topics. In an attempt to categorize all research within evolutionary psychology, Buss (2009) identified the following major domains: survival, sexuality, mating strategies, sexual conflict, parenting, kinship, cooperation, aggression. Webster, Jonason, and Orozco (2009) also offered a different list of categories: altruism, kin, gender differences, sex, attractiveness, mate selection, and general human behavior. However, I found several studies outside these proposed categories. More and more research is being published every year. And a search of literature published in recent months produced as many critiques as studies.

For this article, I attempted to find and include research that represented the common elements I found to exist in most of the studies within the field of evolutionary psychology. I also attempted to include research that showcased the usefulness of evolutionary psychology.

Theory Evaluation

How do we evaluate evolutionary psychology theories? How do we know if the conclusions of the research are sound? We should remain skeptical of claims since much of the provided evidence within evolutionary psychology is speculative even though the authors rarely admit it. For instance, evolutionary psychology is based on the highly speculative notion that we can infer the environment of our ancient African ancestors. For some authors, it might be tempting to invent stories about our origins to justify some pre-determined conclusion. As with any field, authors within evolutionary psychology have been influence by political and sociocultural factors. For example, researchers have been known to propose that men are naturally more aggressive, and, by implication, are therefore excused from aggressive behavior (e.g., E.O. Wilson). More examples of this will be given later.

Twins studies. Workman and Reader (2004) and Hampton identify the following five methods used by evolutionary psychologists to evaluate their theories. First, evolutionary psychologists study separated twins to delineate the effects of genes and the environment. As a simple example, a researcher might survey a group of twins, separated at birth, to determine if aggression was genetically determined or determined by the environment – if twins separated at birth tended to show similar rates of aggression, that suggests aggression is at least partially determined by genetics. Twins studies can provide good evidence of instincts. However, the limitations should always be discussed upon using twins study data. For example, if identical twin boys are separated at birth, but remain within the same culture, it is difficult to determine which traits were genetic and which were learned.

Animal research. Second, evolutionary psychologists compare humans to other animals such as apes. This method of theory evaluation assumes that 1) the innate instincts of other primates may be similar to the innate instincts of humans, 2) ape instincts are easily determined through observation, and 3) the ape behavior under observation is not learned through culture. When evolutionary psychologists cite animal research as evidence of their claims, they should disclose the limitations to these assumptions, of which there are several. However, authors rarely do so.

Cross-cultural research. Third, research in evolutionary psychology seeks cross-cultural evidence to demonstrate universality and therefore innateness. If a particular psychological trait is innate then we might expect to find it in all cultures (e.g., laughing behavior). This method of theory evaluation has limitations such as the possibility that several ancestral cultures independently adopted similar cultural elements (e.g., misogyny).

Computer models. Fourth, evolutionary psychologists use mathematical and computational modeling which gives researchers the opportunity to tinker with variables to determine possible adaptations in our past. Those within mainstream evolutionary psychology consider the brain to be a computer—a physical system that was designed to process information (Cosmides & Tooby, 2001 Tooby & Cosmides, 2005). If this assumption is accepted, software can be designed to model the mind and its psychological mechanisms, and environmental elements can be varied to test hypotheses regarding how those psychological mechanisms might have evolved in humans. This method assumes that the researchers can accurately model the human mind and its environment.

Modern hunter-gatherers. Fifth, by studying present-day hunter-gatherer societies as possible analogues of early humans, evolutionary psychologists attempt to evaluate their hypotheses. This evaluative method assumes that modern-day hunter-gatherers are sufficiently similar to humans on the African Pleistocene savanna. It also assumes that all modern hunter-gatherer societies are homogenous.

Even though these five methods may provide fruitful conclusions, responsible researchers should understand and clearly disclose the underlying assumptions as questionable and potentially speculative. However, in my literature review, I rarely saw such discussions. It could be speculated that evolutionary psychology authors are afraid of revealing research limitations for fear of losing credibility. However, due to a lack of such disclosures, many within the scientific community seem to be distancing themselves from evolutionary psychology for fear of being associated with bad science. On the other hand, evolutionary psychology’s denial of limitations may have been a major factor in the general public becoming more and more convinced by their conclusions, making them some of the most popular authors of our time (e.g., Pinker, Buss, Dawkins). All of this should be kept in mind as we consider the following research.

Fehr, Hendricks, Abed, and Figueredo (2005) examined the causal relationship between the evolved psychological mechanism of female intrasexual competition and eating disorders. They surveyed 202 undergraduate women attending the University of Arizona. The study examined the following three tenants of an evolutionary psychology theory of eating disorders first outlined by Wasser and Barash in 1983 (as cited in Fehr, Hendricks, Abed, & Figueredo, 2005): 1) anorexia represents an adaptive attempt at reproductive suppression by the affected female – this is based on the observation that females in other animal species appear to suppress reproduction when environmental conditions are unfavorable 2) anorexia is a manifestation of reproductive suppression of subordinates by dominant females within a process of female intrasexual competition and 3) anorexia and bulimia stem from the process of female intrasexual competition (a.k.a., the sexual competition hypothesis). The authors explain that the sexual competition hypothesis is based on the Darwinian theory of sexual selection. More specifically, they explain that human females have innate motivations to display cues of physical attractiveness involving signs of youth and good health to attract male mates.

Fehr, Hendricks, Abed, and Figueredo (2005) argue that rising female intrasexual competition in our current American culture has led to an increase in the prevalence of eating disorders, and that this change in culture is due to: 1) declining fertility which leads to prolongation of women’s youthful appearance, 2) increasing instability of long-term relationships that has led to females repeatedly return to the mate market, 3) increasing prevalence of media images of youthful females, and 4) living in large cities with numerous other youthful-looking autonomous females.

Fehr, Hendricks, Abed, and Figueredo (2005) claim their findings lend support to the contention that eating disorders originate from female intrasexual competition for mates. After analyzing their results, the authors found their model supports the hypothesis that eating disorders may have originated from the human female’s innate psychological adaptation to be concerned with physical attractiveness in order to attract and retain a mate. The authors argue their findings support the assertion that female intrasexual competition for mates drives two major pathways in their model of causality: 1) female intrasexual competition for mates positively influences both body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness, which in turn contributes to both anorexia and bulimia and 2) high female intrasexual competition for mates also positively influences high female intrasexual competition for status, general competitiveness, and perfectionism, which in turn contributes to anorexia but not bulimia. In other words, due to recent changes in U.S. society which frustrate female intrasexual competition, the authors argue that the female instinctual urge to compete with other females for mating males has caused some females to stop eating as an innate competitive strategy.

Critique. According to Barrett, Dunbar and Lycett (2002), “human behavior and psychology are the products of evolution and can be investigated profitably using an evolutionary framework, although any approach that ignores the fact that culture is an integral part of the biological process will, of necessity, be incomplete” (p. 21). Even though the researchers considered the influence of culture upon the instinct, the possibility of culture entirely supplanting instinct was not considered. It seems possible that a culture that idolizes thin women and socializes women to base their self-esteem upon their attractiveness might be the culprit and not the proposed instinctual urge to compete with other women. It is extremely difficult to determine whether or not this behavior is innate or learned.

This is an all too common critique of evolutionary psychology. Brinkman (2011) astutely points out that, often in evolutionary psychology, the individual is considered to be independent of social and cultural factors. Due, in part, to contemporary capitalistic politics, evolutionary psychology has downplayed and denied the importance of culture. This synthesis with capitalism and individualism is perhaps why evolutionary psychology has been so popular in recent times. The ignorance of culture within evolutionary psychology is exemplified by the following quote from Ingram, Campos, Hondrou, Vasalou, Martinho and Joison (2012):

Our results support the theory that male and female humans exhibit different patterns of interpersonal conflict, some aspects of which are relatively culturally invariant (at least within Europe), and may therefore be biologically motivated. Boys were much more likely to talk about conflicts occasioned by competitive sports or games, whereas girls talked more about conflicts that centered on whether someone else was defined as a friend and whether they were fulfilling the obligations of friendship correctly. (p. 893)

The argument that European children represent all humankind is not only spurious but it is also racist and offensive.

Another critique of the Fehr, Hendricks, Abed, and Figueredo (2005) study is a common critique of all psychological research in general. Since this study only examined American university students, there is a significant threat to external validity. This limitation can be blamed on economics. Due to budget constraints, university students are usually recruited for underfunded psychological studies.

The authors’ model proposes causal links that are perhaps problematic. They argue that human females unconsciously attempt to compete with other females for male mates by starving themselves. This could be considered a Kipling ‘just-so’ story (Workman & Reader, 2004) – or an unverifiable and unfalsifiable narrative explanation – since the researchers do not provide, in my opinion, compelling ‘hard’ evidence for their argument. Along these lines, it is unclear what evolutionary psychology might add to existing sociological theories since its arguments appear to be untestable, as it is difficult to evaluate the truth of claims that refer to events happening in the far distant past (Horne, 2004).

Mismatch Hypothesis

According to evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, humans evolved to survive in the African Pleistocene savanna. However, today’s environment is very different from that ancestral environment. This mismatch between our evolved psychological traits and today’s environment is detrimental to our well-being (Fitzgerald & Danner, 2012). Consider the following examples of how our current environment is mismatched with our evolved psychological mechanisms.

Food cravings. Foods that were high in protein and fat were needed for survival but not easily obtained on the savanna. Therefore, the craving for these foods was positively selected. Today, technology has made these foods cheap and easily available, but our evolved craving has remained constant, resulting in our modern obesity epidemic (Fitzgerald & Danner, 2012). This phenomenon is known as the mismatch hypothesis (Eaton et al., as cited in Fitzgerald & Danner, 2012).

Biophilia and the workplace. According to Fitzgerald and Danner (2012), the human trait of biophilia is an appreciation and longing for our natural environment. This trait may have been positively selected as a benefit to survival on the African Pleistocene savanna. Evidence of this is shown in workplace research which has shown that implementing natural elements in the workplace, such as sunlight and greenery, can exude specific psychological benefits in the workplace (Fitzgerald & Danner, 2012). The authors also identify research finding that employees strongly desire offices with windows because sunlight increases feelings of relaxation, job satisfaction, and well-being, and lowers intentions to quit. Furthermore, Fitzgerald and Danner identify an abundance of research finding links between urban living and a variety of psychological ills. For example, when urbanites increased their contact with nature, they experienced increases in concentration, attention, cognitive functioning, and prosocial behaviors, as well as decreases in blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and depression. This suggests the urban environment somehow clashes with our evolved biophilia which results in increased fear, stress, and psychopathology.

Critique. The mismatch hypothesis is based upon assumptions regarding our ancestor’s environment, how we interacted with it, and how we evolved as a result. There are many assumptions and guesses based upon few direct observational data. Plus, it is difficult to determine whether workers prefer nature as a result of innateness or culture or both. However, in regards to the food cravings research discussed above, it seems highly probable we, in our ancient past, evolved a taste for food that was rare and beneficial – although culture and learning most likely also play a role in the food we crave.

Another critique of the workplace research can be summed up by the pithy saying “correlation does not equal causation.” For example, the observation that sunlight is associated with higher job satisfaction could be the result of a number of possible phenomena. For example, due to culture, people might associate offices with windows as having more prestige, and more prestige increases job satisfaction. Cultural causation was not considered by the authors. Instead, they assumed the data was evidence of the biological evolution of the human brain. This is not to say their assumptions are incorrect, but rather, their assumptions were not sufficiently supported.

Parents Murdering Children (Filicide)

In applying evolutionary theory to the study of filicide, Friedman, Cavney and Resnick (2012) explored the hypothesis that killing one’s own children has served as an adaptive reproductive strategy for early humans and this psychological impulse has survived as part of the human behavioral repertoire. They identify the following key points regarding child murder by parents: 1) most child homicides are perpetrated by their parents – half by mothers and half by fathers 2) the highest risk of child homicide is on the first day of life and these early-acting perpetrators are most often mothers 3) stepparents kill at much higher rates than biological parents 4) motives from child murder include maltreatment, altruistic killing, acutely psychotic, unwanted child, and partner revenge 5) 24 nations, including the U.K. and Australia, have decreased penalties for mothers who kill their child within the first year of life 6) the U.S. rate of infanticide is 8 per 100,000 while the Canada rate is only 3 per 100,000 7) despite public perception, a large percentage of child murders are committed by parents who are not seriously mentally ill.

Hrdy (as cited in Friedman, Cavney & Resnick, 2012) suggests that infanticide was an evolved reproductive strategy for early humans – if a newborn was defective or born at a time when the parents are having difficulty, the child would require unwanted cost and effort in child-rearing. As a real world example, of the mothers in India who are hospitalized for postpartum mental illness, 43% had thought about murdering their child and 36% had infanticidal behavior (Chandra, Venkatasubramamian, & Thomas, as cited in Friedman, Cavney & Resnick, 2012). Based on these and other observations, Friedman et al. believe mothers who suffer from postpartum depression and suicidality may murder their children as an altruistic act – to prevent the child from the suffering of being abandoned if the mother commits suicide.

The authors claim that “evolutionary psychology helps explain differences between evolutionarily normal rationales for filicide and mental abnormal filicides,” (p. 792) and “evolutionary psychology demonstrates that some filicides are rational acts, specifically by identifying contemporary parental motives that may have equivalence to the adaptive pressures of our evolutionary past” (p. 792). These quotes exemplify the authors’ attempt to provide mitigating evolutionary psychology legal arguments for individuals being tried for filicide. In this way, this article appears to be a ‘how-to’ for forensic psychologists who evaluate perpetrators of filicide and how to use evolutionary psychology to establish the defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity.

The conclusions provided by Friedman, Cavney and Resnick (2012) are not in isolation. Many prominent evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists (e.g., Martin Daly & Margo Wilson) have provided similar arguments that the murder of children might be the result of an implicit cost-benefit analysis made by a parent (Workman & Reader, 2004).

Critique. My main critique of this article has to do with the potential moral good or moral bad of its use. If the knowledge from this article is used for good (e.g., helping a legitimately suffering young mother who murdered her child out of instinctual insanity – getting her psychiatric treatment rather than prison), then this article, and its questionable conclusions, is a good thing in my humble opinion. However, if this article is used to harm society (e.g., helping a sociopathic sadist to be found not guilty), then, I would say, this article is a bad thing.

Additionally, the authors’ choice of words raises questions. When Friedman, Cavney and Resnick (2012) claim that “evolutionary psychology helps explain differences between evolutionarily normal rationales for filicide and mental abnormal filicides,” (p. 792) are they claiming there are only two causes of filicides: 1) ‘evolutionarily normal’ and 2) ‘mental abnormal filicides’? The authors did not provide any answers to these questions.

Also, they provided some interesting statistics (e.g., step-parents are more likely to murder their step-children than biological parents) and then claimed that humans must have evolved an instinct to murder their children when resources were scarce and are therefore merely acting according to their programming. In my opinion, the authors did not provide evidence to support the claim that filicide is instinctual and out of the murderer’s control. This is not to say that filicide did not evolve as an adaptive psychological mechanism, rather, the authors did not provide compelling evidence of this claim.

When Friedman, Cavney and Resnick (2012) write “evolutionary psychology demonstrates that some filicides are rational acts, specifically by identifying contemporary parental motives that may have equivalence to the adaptive pressures of our evolutionary past,” (p. 792) they are making the argument that sane parents who murder their children may be merely acting upon an evolved instinct to rationally murder one’s child. According to this logic, almost any human behavior can be rationalized this way. For instance, it could be argued that by killing millions of innocent people, Hitler was merely acting upon his instinct to raise his status so he could gain more mates and thereby propagate his genes more successfully. Or perhaps he was merely enacting an innate strategy of reducing the population of an over-crowded world. Unless carefully considered and supported with overwhelming science, using evolutionary psychology to justify antisocial behavior is a flippantly dangerous and potentially immoral act.

Furthermore, the discussions presented in this article are reductionistic. The reasons and thought processes that precede the murder of one’s child are likely to be highly varied and complex. Therefore, to reduce this complex deviant behavior to a simple proposed instinct is problematic.

Flirting and Attraction

According to mainstream evolutionary psychology, all humans, regardless of culture, evolved universal psychological mechanisms in the form of interpersonal needs for the ultimate purpose of reproduction (Buss, as cited in Frisby, Dillow, Gaughan, & Nordlund, 2011). These evolved interpersonal needs take various forms depending on the social context. In response to the early stages of romantic and sexual encounters, we evolved instincts for flirting as a tactic that can be used to facilitate the satisfaction of our interpersonal needs (Frisby, Dillow, Gaughan, & Nordlund, 2011).

Parental investment. According to Parental Investment Theory, men are attracted to physical beauty and youth since these characteristics signal fertility and health which are essential features for women to produce offspring women, on the other hand, are attracted to men’s resources and dominance since these are characteristics that signal men’s ability to protect the woman and her offspring (Frisby, Dillow, Gaughan, & Nordlund, 2011 Workman & Reader, 2004). Also according to Parental Investment Theory, women may sacrifice physical attractiveness in men to obtain paternal investment and are more selective than men when choosing a mate. Providing support for this assertion, research by McCormick and Jones (as cited in Frisby, Dillow, Gaughan, & Nordlund, 2011) found that women were more active than men in escalation and de-escalation of flirtation – in this way women are able to control who they allow and disallow to flirt with them. Also, Parental Investment Theory proposes that men attempt to attract women by focusing on demonstrating more dominance while women attempt to attract men by increasing their physical attractiveness.

Flirting is innate. In support of the claim that flirting is innate and universal, Frisby, Dillow, Gaughan, and Nordlund (2011) identify research that found that adolescent females flirted nonverbally in a manner similar to adult women and that gender differences in flirting are clearly established by age three. The authors claim these findings suggest that flirtatious behaviors may have both socialized and innate elements.

Procedure. To study the evolutionary basis of flirting, Frisby, Dillow, Gaughan, and Nordlund (2011) had 252 U.S. undergraduates view a flirtatious role-played interaction and rated the flirter’s physical and social attraction, affiliation, dominance, and conversational effectiveness. The participants were shown a still shot of the flirter (of the opposite sex) they would be rating and were asked to provide evaluations of the flirter’s physical attractiveness prior to watching the role-played interaction. Then the participants watched a 4-minute clip which depicted the flirter flirting with another individual. Role-playing flirters were instructed to flirt for a set of reasons: for sexual reasons, for exploration, for fun, and for relational reasons. After the viewing, participants completed measures of their perception of the flirter’s physical attraction, social attraction, affiliativeness, dominance, and conversational effectiveness.

Findings. The authors claim their findings support parental investment theory and other common evolutionary psychology understandings of flirting in the following ways: 1) men flirters were perceived by women respondents as more dominant when flirting for sexual reasons and more conversationally effective when flirting to explore 2) women flirters were perceived by men respondents as more conversationally effective when flirting for fun and relational reasons 3) both men and women flirters were perceived as affiliative when flirting 4) women flirters who were perceived by men respondents as affiliative were also perceived as more physically attractive, socially attractive, and conversationally effective 5) women flirters who flirted for sexual motivations were perceived by men respondents as more attractive than in the original evaluation of physical attraction – this is in line with the commonly held evolutionary psychology understanding that men face problems in identifying females who are sexually available, and “women flirting for sexual motivations may be perceived as available and reduce the time spent by males in acquiring sexual resources” (p. 691). In other words, when women flirt sexually, men perceive this as a cue that this female will require less effort to impregnate and the men therefore pursue her since, according to mainstream evolutionary psychology and parental investment theory, men try to impregnate as many women as possible for the least amount of effort.

However, contrary parental investment theory and other mainstream evolutionary psychology understandings of flirting, male dominant flirting was not related to women respondents’ ratings of the flirter’s physical attraction, social attraction, or conversational effectiveness. The authors propose the following explanation for this unexpected finding: “while it may be true women unconsciously choose dominant male partners because of survival of their offspring, they may not report that they actually prefer men who behave in a dominant fashion” (p. 691).

Critique. Frisby, Dillow, Gaughan, and Nordlund (2011) exhibit dubious logic. When their findings support commonly held evolutionary psychology understandings, they conclude the understandings must be a true representation of innate, universal instincts. However, when their findings contradict the common understandings, the authors conclude the respondents must have been hiding their true, unconscious motivations.

Frisby, Dillow, Gaughan, and Nordlund (2011) argue that gender-stereotypical flirting is innate since adolescent females were found to flirt nonverbally in a manner similar to adult women. This argument is spurious since it is possible that teen girls were socialized similarly as adult women. They also argue that gender-stereotypical flirting is innate since gender differences in flirting are clearly established by age three. This is also spurious since it is possible that young girls have been exposed to cultural expectations of gender. Along these lines, Berenbaum, Martin, and Ruble (2008) identify numerous studies demonstrating that culture indoctrinates children into gender-stereotypical behavior from an early age. For example, gender stereotypes about clothing, activities and games are known to children as early as age 2.5 (Martin et al., as cited in Berenbaum, Martin, & Ruble 2008).

As with many studies in evolutionary psychology, this study only included heterosexual people. There was no mention of non-heterosexual people. It is my opinion that evolutionary psychology researchers choose to ignore this large population since queer individuals have motivations and behavior counter to many established evolutionary psychology theories. For example, if women supposedly evolved psychological mechanisms to appear young and thin to attract dominant men, then a gay woman who chooses to appear dominant and unattractive to men provides a major wrench in the gears of mainstream evolutionary psychology. The omission of queer populations in evolutionary psychology research provides major challenges to the study’s validity and could be seen as heterosexist.

In my opinion, the frequent argument within mainstream evolutionary psychology that men are programed to impregnate as many women as possible is sexist. For example, in the study discussed above, Frisby et al. (2011) found that women flirters who flirted for sexual motivations were perceived by men respondents as more attractive than in the original evaluation of physical attraction. This can be interpreted in a number of ways depending on one’s perspective of men. However, Frisby et al. (2011) consider only one interpretation: men are looking for easiest way to impregnate women. As an alternative explanation (that was not in the article), men are looking for attachment and companionship and they have learned that a sexual encounter sometimes results in a long-term, satisfactory relationship, and therefore, they are programed to respond to sexual flirting. There are many more plausible explanations.

However, I will give the authors credit for writing: “flirtatious behaviors and their underlying motives may have both socialized and innate elements” (p. 683). In my review of the evolutionary psychology literature, I rarely saw this admission. If authors in mainstream evolutionary psychology discussed this possibility of socialization and admit they are perhaps speculating about evolved psychological mechanisms, I would be more likely to respect their claims. Perhaps they choose to ignore culture because today’s society is more interested in easy-to-understand, biological explanations – but this is mere speculation.

Researchers in evolutionary psychology have studied the evolved psychological mechanisms involved in violent behaviors. According to mainstream evolutionary psychology, human biological evolutionary selection is indifferent to morals therefore, evolution may produce both prosocial and antisocial adaptations for survival and reproduction (Goetz, 2010).

Violence is innate. Goetz (2010) provides the following evidence that violence is hard-wired and innate: 1) skeletal remains of ancient humans show direct evidence of violent, purposeful injuries inflicted by other humans 2) modern-day hunter-gatherer societies are proposed to offer a glimpse at a life that would have been similar to that of our ancestors, and homicide rates in many of these societies are much greater than even the most violent American cities (e.g., Chagnon, as cited in Goetz, 2010) 3) the cross-cultural ubiquity of violence suggests humans have had a violent past 4) chimpanzees and other mammals strategically use violence and aggression to negotiate their social world 5) since upper-body strength is assumed to be crucial for men-on-men combat, men have evolved 90% greater upper-body strength than women.

Goetz (2010) discusses previous research documenting that the majority of homicides occur between unrelated men over threats to status – arguments escalate between young, unemployed, unmarried men in which an individual challenges or undermines the status of another. Mainstream evolutionary psychology proposes that the male psychological mechanism to become violent in response to threats of status was positively selected during our ancient past due to sexual selection. In other words, it is assumed that ancient women chose to have sex with men with high status thereby selecting the male genetic determinants of the motivation to fight someone who threatens one’s status.

Southpaws. Goetz (2010) also discusses a speculative hypothesis that humans have evolved to occasionally produce offspring with left-handedness as a man-on-man combat advantage. Handedness is highly heritable and left-handedness is associated with fitness costs (e.g., more vulnerable to immune system deficiencies) which is offset by the benefit associated with left-handedness during violent combat as evidenced by modern day southpaw’s advantage in sports such as boxing and fencing.

Mismatch. Since our African ancestors did not have modern weaponry such as guns, this psychological mechanism for violent dominance rarely resulted in homicide. However, since many Americans now own guns, some of these status threats result in homicide. Therefore, the prevalence of guns provides an environmental mismatch resulting in the maladaptive behavior of murder.

Study. Goetz (2010) also identifies experimental research testing hypotheses regarding the underlying evolved psychology of violence conducted by Griskevicius, Tybur, Gangestad, Perea, Shapiro and Kenrick (as cited by Goetz, 2010). This research found that men who had read a scenario involving status competition (i.e., competing for a promotion at work) were more likely to respond aggressively when another male spilled a drink on them. Additionally, male participants who read a scenario involving going on a date with a highly desirable woman were also more likely to respond aggressively when another male spilled a drink on them, but only when there were male observers present. According to mainstream evolutionary psychology, these findings suggest that we evolved psychological mechanisms for activating violent behavior in response to social competition for status and to specific environmental information, such as the sex of the audience.

Sexual jealousy and domestic violence. Goetz (2010) explains the mainstream evolutionary psychological perspective regarding jealousy as an evolved psychological mechanism. He discusses the hypothesis that ancestral women may have recurrently threatened their male partner’s fitness by having sex with other men which provided selective pressure that generated psychological mechanisms for spousal violence as a solution to cuckoldry. If a man’s wife had sex with another man and became impregnated with another man’s child, the husband might unknowingly invest time and energy into another man’s offspring instead of his own. To Goetz (2010), this proposed story of our ancestors makes it clear how selection could have favored the evolution of strategies and tactics (a.k.a., sexual jealousy) aimed at eliminating partner infidelity and decreasing paternity uncertainty.

Also according to mainstream evolutionary psychology, men and women both experience jealousy, but men evolved to experience sexual jealousy while women evolved to experience emotional jealousy (Buss, 2003). According to this theory, ancestral women needed to secure a man’s investment of time and resources to help raise offspring and this need exerted a selective pressure for women to be more distressed by a partner's emotional infidelity. However, since ancestral men could not guarantee paternity, men evolved psychological mechanisms to be more distressed by cues associated with a partner's sexual infidelity. This hypothesis has been supported by over three dozen empirical studies according to Goetz (2010). Since sexual jealousy is one of the most frequently cited causes of domestic violence (Daly et al., as cited in Goetz, 2010), Goetz hypothesizes that the evolved instinct to commit domestic violence originally functioned “to punish and deter female infidelity” (p. 18).

Sexual jealousy and murder. Occasionally, sexual jealousy results in the killing of the wife. Buss (2003) asserts that at first glance, murdering one’s wife must be an accidental over-use of the evolved behavior of domestic violence since it eliminates the man’s access to reproduction – which is the assumed primary motive for coupling. However, Buss (2003) points out the high number of men who intentionally kill their wife for reasons of sexual jealousy. He hypothesizes men evolved a specific psychological mechanism for killing one’s wife under extreme sexual jealousy because: 1) extreme abandonment by the wife will eliminate her as a reproductive partner regardless 2) the wife may channel her reproductive resources to another man, thereby increasing his competitor’s reproductive success, and by extension, lowering his own and 3) letting her live will incur the additional cost of damaging his reputation which will ultimately damage his chances with subsequent women.

Critique. The fact that archeology has found evidence that ancient humans were violent with each other does not prove we have an innate psychological mechanism for violence. Those ancient people had culture too – they could have developed a culture of violence just as we have today. Plus, we do not know the circumstances of that ancient violence. Perhaps ancient humans were mostly non-violent and only violent in times of desperation, such as a draught. This is not to say that ancient humans were not violent – it seems they likely were – but this is to say that it is difficult and problematic to assume ancient motivations and then use those assumptions as the basis for the theory of innateness.

Regarding sexual jealousy and murder, it is impossible to determine the underlying cause of the various murders of women by men. Is it innate? Or do we live in a paternalistic and sexist culture that socializes boys and men to believe they own their intimate partners? Or is it both? Or is it some other factor? These are difficult, if not impossible, questions to answer given our current scientific capabilities. Also, it is dangerous to attribute wife-murder to evolution since it might support paternalism and the status quo by justifying the aberrant behavior. Before any dangerous claim is made, researchers should be sure their science is sound.

Goetz (2010) provides the following critique: “Any honest discussion of human aggression must concede that evolution is responsible, but this concession does not suggest that all forms of human aggression are engendered by specialized evolved mechanisms that were directly selected for” (p. 16). Even within his responsible critique, he makes the assumptive statement that evolution is unquestioningly responsible for human aggression. In my opinion, evolutionary psychology has not provided enough evidence to make such a confident claim. Plus, human behavior is much too complex to make such a reductionistic claim.

Body Building

According to Jonason (2007), mainstream evolutionary psychology researchers have found that, due to sexual selection, men have instincts to look larger, whereas women should be more likely to enact behaviors to look smaller. He cites literature claiming that due to sexual dimorphism, women prefer men with larger upper bodies and men prefer smaller women. He hypothesizes that the types of exercises that each performs should reflect this. To investigate this, Jonason (2007) surveyed 234 male and female college students in Connecticut. He found that male participants focused their energy on gaining muscle mass in their upper body, whereas female participants focused their energy on losing weight. According to this data, Jonason concludes “it appears that men and women adopt sex-appropriate exercise behavior as a method of self-enhancement for intrasexual competition” (p. 5).

Critique. As with other authors in evolutionary psychology, this author downplays culture as an effect of biology rather than a force in and of itself. Consider the following quote from Jonason (2007):

Feminist scholars (e.g.. Wolf. 2002) have argued that women are motivated to lose weight because of seeing thin individuals in the media. Although this is a comforting idea, it only scratches the surface of female preferences for remaining slim. Such explanations only deal with proximate causes and not ultimate ones such as those indicating why women would even pay attention to such messages. Similarly, social-learning theorists have posited that women and men are taught to adopt a culture of thinness and musculature, respectively, by the media, which offers sex-relevant images to men and women… So, while a media exposure hypothesis is relevant, it only touches on the proximal reasons why women would be more motivated to lose weight, and may confuse cause with effect.

This quote reveals the hostile attitude within evolutionary psychology toward the feminist and social perspectives. He simply dismisses the feminist perspective as being confused. This sort of ignorance and hostility is why many scholars and non-scholars enthusiastically reject evolutionary psychology. To not consider the possibility that those 234 Connecticut college students were socialized is absurd and unscientific.

As another example of the sexism within current evolutionary psychology publications, consider the following quote from Kingsley Browne (2006) in his article Sex, Power, and Dominance: The Evolutionary Psychology of Sexual Harassment:

…despite the assumption that prohibitions of discrimination would lead to economic parity between the sexes, men tend – for reasons traceable to our evolutionary heritage – to engage in behaviors that cause them to earn more money than women and lead them to occupy the highest organizational positions at disproportionate rates. (p. 145)

He goes on to claim that sexual harassment is a natural male tendency. Kingsley Browne is a professor of law at Wayne State University and has published a number of books and articles on evolutionary psychology and the inclusion of women in the military and in the workplace. One of his books is titled Co-ed Combat: The New Evidence that Women Shouldn’t Fight the Nation’s Wars.

These sexist mainstream evolutionary psychology ideas have proliferated through our culture. For example, this week, a colleague sent me a clip from Fox News in which male pundits were reacting to a recent finding that in 4 out of 10 U.S. households, women were the primary breadwinner:

When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world, when you look at the roles of a male and a female in society and other animals… the male typically is the dominate role… We… have lost the ability to have complimentary relationships in nuclear families, and it's tearing us apart (Erickson, 2013).

A Challenge to Mainstream Views of Sexual Jealousy

In her article on the evolutionary psychology perspective of sexual jealousy, Christine Harris (2003) asked the question (paraphrased): Do men and women differ in how much they are bothered by a mate’s infidelity and does the existing empirical evidence support claims that men and women have different innate specific evolutionary adaptations that trigger jealousy? Within the field of evolutionary psychology, there is a debate regarding whether men and women have evolved different psychological mechanisms that cause them to respond differently to infidelity. Many within the mainstream evolutionary psychology community (e.g.,

Buss) often propose that gender differences in jealousy are innate. According to this sexually dimorphic hypothesis in evolutionary psychology, natural selection has shaped men to become jealous if they believe their mate is having sex with another woman while women become jealous if they believe their mate is emotionally involved with another woman. They hypothesize that women in a committed relationship feel greater upset over emotional infidelity as opposed to sexual infidelity while men in a committed relationship feel greater upset over sexual infidelity as opposed to emotional infidelity. Although some research has supported this hypothesis, the author points out flaws in the methodology and challenges the validity of the findings.

To examine this issue, Harris (2003) recruited 139 male and 219 female heterosexual college students to anonymously answer questions regarding their feelings about infidelity. When asked in the typical manner of forced-choice questions, the participants responded stereotypically with men being more reactive to sexual infidelity and women being more reactive to emotional infidelity (see figures 1 and 2).


3 Six pāpmā́nas in AV 11, 8, 19

Six pāpmā́nas are also found in AV 11, 8, 19: sleep (svápna), weariness or sloth (tandrī́), misery (?) (nírṛti), old age (jarā́), baldness (khā́latyam) and hoariness (pā́lityam), entities entering the body at the creation by gods. These are called deities (powers) whose name is pāpmán. Griffith (1895–1896, 82) translates this term with “sin,” Whitney (1905, 649) with “evil.” It is clear that at least the last three items refer to ills overcoming most people rather than to sins. The qualification pāpmā́nas is found between the first three and the last three items and therefore need not refer to all the six items. Griffith takes it as a seventh item (“and deities whose name is Sin”) and Whitney associates this qualification only with the first three items. Though sleep and sloth elsewhere denote cardinal sins, the third item (nírṛti) hardly can be called a sin or vice. Griffith does not translate this word and Whitney translates it with “misery.” Indeed, nírṛti overcomes human beings and is not a fault in the human character. Mostly it means death. Then it may be taken with the following (fourth) item jarā́ as jarā and mṛtyu, old age and death. Cf. ChU 8, 1, 5, where the self which is without old age, death, sorrow, hunger and thirst is called apahatapāpmā (to be translated with “free from evils” or “free from ills” rather than with “free from sins”). This implies that all the six items refer to the ills of old age, a period not only associated with baldness and hoariness, but also with sleep and exhaustion. See also TS 5, 7, 13 for the association of baldness and Nirṛti. So here the six mentioned pāpmā́nas are not vices and svápna and tandrī́ do not refer to unacceptable sleeping in the day-time and sloth but to the inconveniences or ills of old age.

In the next verses positive and negative aspects qualifying or overcoming man are mentioned. Evils or vices as well as ills or disadvantages occur together in this enumeration of oppositions in which the negative items denote two aspects of evil: vices and ills or mishaps. The specified vices are theft, evildoing (duṣkṛtám), deceit (vṛjinám) (vs. 20), niggardlinesses (árātayas) (vs. 21), and the unwillingness to give Dakṣiṇās (áśraddhā), a special form of niggardliness (vs. 22).


Species that murder their own counterparts when put in captivity - Biology

Fantasy's integral role in the creation of a monster

In the past decade, the elusive creature known as the serial killer has captured the attention of American culture. With the popular press churning out dozens of books and movies centered around the serial killer each year, the term has almost become a catch-phrase, replacing earlier terms such as 'homicidal maniac.' Fiction writers and the movie industry use 'serial killer' in a much more casual manner than can be allowed in a systematic study. Therefore, for a proper definition of what constitutes a serial killer, pop culture cannot be used as a source.

It cannot be denied that the serial killer kills. Killing, however, integrates a variety of meanings. A mere slip of the hand on the steering wheel can turn a normal person into a killer. And it is conceivable that a second such happening could turn an otherwise normal person into a serial killer of sorts. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports define murder as the "willful, nonnegligent, killing of one human being by another" (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . The serial murderer, then, is what has fascinated American culture, and captured the attention of the law enforcement world. For the purposes of this paper, serial killer and serial murderer will be used as interchangeable terms.

Narrowing the definition to intentional homicide does not, however, limit the category sufficiently. Under the heading of intentional homicide falls the work of hired assassins, mercenaries, and the guerrilla warrior. These types of people are not of great interest, at least not in this context. The three above types of murderer work for obvious, understandable goals. The hired assassin and mercenary work for one of the most obvious motivations, money, while the guerrilla fighter kills for some ideal. The serial killers of the popular media, and of this paper do not work for such external, obvious goals. Instead, they are driven from within, living and dying for that which appeals only to them.

The nature of this drive has been heavily debated, but there is a consensus on some points. Sexual undertones in the murder have been noted by many researchers. This point was first espoused two decades ago, by David Abrahamson (1973) , who said simply, "sexual elements are always involved. " (p.11) in murder. More recently, this was qualified by Albert Drukteinis (1992) , who recognized that the sexual element of the crime "varies depending on its meaning to the offender" (p.533) . In other words, that which signifies womanhood may differ radically between killers. At the same time, similarities in the acts and thoughts of serial killers cannot be denied. These sexual undertones are one of the more prominent difference, and have inspired several researchers to refer to the self-motivated serial murderer as a serial sexual murder (Ressler, 1988) .

One of the other common points concerning the serial killer is the presence of free will. It cannot be denied that there are a great deal of unconscious drives present in the actions of the serial killer, and that these drives are still shrouded in darkness. At the same time, there is a great deal of evidence that the serial killer "acts from a conscious perspective" (Holmes & De Burger, 1988, p.98) . Simply put, the serial killer decides to kill.

These two points make the serial killer simply fascinating for a sizable portion of American culture, as evidenced by the continuing production of serial-killer based works. And these two points make serial killers similar enough to be put in one category, but different enough to make them difficult to study. Indeed, Albert Drukteinis (1992) argues that the mere existence of common characteristics among serial killers does not constitute a distinct psychological phenomenon. Contrary to Drukteinis' statement, however, the serial killer is indeed a distinct psychological phenomenon. If one group was to be labeled as the leading authority on serial killers, it would have to be the FBI, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI has studied serial killers methodically for over a decade (Ressler, 1988) , and has compiled vast amounts of information concerning the killers themselves, their methods, and their motivations. Still, they have not developed a reliable method for identifying the serial killer before he kills. To date, most killers have been stumbled upon by local police or by the FBI (Congress, 1983 Ressler, 1988, Worthington, 1993) . Thus, even though there is information of serial killers available, there is still much to be understood. The FBI has devoted significant portions of their psychological department, the Behavioral Science Unit, to the study of such people as serial killers. In addition, they have turned crime scene profiling, the development of a criminal's description and characteristics from evidence at the crime scene, into a science. All in all, the FBI has made great leaps in this area.

No researcher, or writer, or even the FBI, however, has managed to make what now seems like a simple connection in the serial killer. It is well known that fantasy plays a large role in the life and motivation of the serial killer. And it is also widely accepted that the serial killer uses fantasy as a crutch, as a coping mechanism for day-to-day life. No researcher, however, has synthesized these two facts into a far more intriguing thesis. The serial killer, much like the chronic gambler and problem drinker, is addicted to the use of fantasy. So strong is this compulsion that the serial killer murders to preserve the addiction, in essence preserving his only remaining coping mechanism.

The statement that the serial killer is addicted to his fantasy life cannot be properly supported without a discussion of addiction. Though the nature of addiction has been and remains a matter of argument, it is now recognized to encompass compulsions outside the pharmacological. While the pharmacological examples such as alcoholism and heroin addiction are still the clearest examples of addiction, new models of addictive behavior, including exercise addiction, compulsive gambling and even sexual addiction have gained acceptance. This has resulted in a new dichotomy in addiction, that between process addiction, including things such as gambling and work, and substance addiction, which contains the classic alcohol and drug addiction (Schaef, 1987) . Attitudes about process addictions have recently undergone a wholesale change. Just as alcoholism was once thought to be a conscious choice, these latter examples have long been thought to be the result of such things as a defective moral character. Recently, however, it has been recognized that the sexual addict or the compulsive gambler, can stop their compulsion no more easily than the alcoholic. New aspects of addiction, beyond the physiological, have been recognized and documented. These new realizations have resulted in new, revised models of addiction. An underlying statement, accepted by most in the world of addiction research, recognizes addiction as an integrated, bio-psycho-social illness (Johnson, 1993) . In other words, an addiction is not an isolated physical or social illness. The addiction contains elements of society, biology and individual psychology (Johnson, 1993 ) . This is a rather logical statement, and will be further discussed below.

Naturally, there are more restrained, and thereby arguable, definitions of addiction. The biobehavioral view sheds important light on portions of the individual and the vast majority of the biological portions of addiction, and can thus be seen as an extension of the bio-psycho-social model:

To further understand the psychological component of addiction, it is necessary to understand both the course and purposes of addiction. A brief, yet encompassing view of addiction's purpose is that of a coping device. The addiction becomes a method in which the addicted individual can "manage and magically control multiple forms of anxiety" (Keller, 1992, p.224) . Much like a security blanket, or favorite stuffed animal, the addiction is used to protect and comfort the addicted individual. The magical nature of the control is important, for the addictive substance really has little, if any, permanent effect on the anxiety itself, merely delaying the onset or temporarily relieving the symptoms. An alcoholic worried about losing his job does not eliminate the source of his fear by drinking, but instead finds temporary solace at the bottom of a bottle. Understanding the magical, and comforting, role played by the addictive substance is key to understanding addiction. By viewing an addiction as a coping device, much of the addiction's allure becomes evident, as does the addicted individual's continued return to it.

Addiction is invariably a progressive disease (Schaef, 1987 Graham & Glickauf-Hughes, 1992) . Simply put, it gets worse. Some addictions progress more slowly than others, while some addictions progress very quickly. Some of the progression speed would seem to be based in the individual. While research is lacking in this area, common sense supports this conclusion. Not all alcoholics drink at the same speeds, or have problems with their drinking after a certain, predefined time. That is, while one alcoholic may lose his job after several weeks, another alcoholic may continue his drinking for years, slowly accruing life problems. Some researchers argue that addiction is always fatal (Schaef, 1987) , but others view this as a questionable statement. Some have wondered how, for example, a chocolate addiction could be fatal (Litwin, 1992) . Afflictions such as worry, tobacco, and sexual addiction are more easily explained as fatal worry, and sexual behavior can conceivably result in heart failure, for example, and tobacco products often cause cancer. The example of the chocolate addiction can very well be extended to explain a cause of death. With an insatiable desire for chocolate, it can be posited that the addicted individual will consume a great deal of chocolate. With the fattening nature of chocolate, it can also be theorized that the individual would gain a great deal of weight, perhaps even to the point where a fatal heart attack occurs. Thus, even the chocolate addiction can be fatal. Schaef's (1987) argument adds an important dimension to the knowledge of addiction. Not only does addiction build, it builds until the individual is destroyed.

Researchers are beginning to see that addictions are far more similar than ever believed. One author, commenting on the vast wealth of addiction-based literature, phrased it thus, "Any one book describes all the addictions and it is a matter of substituting one noun for another in the other books" (Litwin, 1992, p. 30) . The large market for 'addiction' material (Litwin, 1992) isn't the only cause. Other researchers agree that not only is there an "underlying psychological sameness." (Johnson, 1993, p. 26) , but that, "Many different addictions will serve the same internal need" (Johnson, 1993, p.26) . This isn't just an arm-chair conclusion, either. Brian Johnson (1993) has worked with a variety of addicts, and has formed this thesis over many years of study. The similarities between sexual addiction, for example, and gambling addiction, and alcoholism, are greater than one would expect.

Eisenstein was one of the first to list hypersexuality (now called sexual addiction) as an addiction (Orford, 1985) . Indeed, sexual addiction is like alcoholism in that the sex addict uses a mood-altering experience, just as the alcoholic uses a mood-altering drug (Carnes, 1983) . Carnes (1983) goes farther, recognizing the progressive cycle of sexual addiction, and describing how the addict becomes increasingly focused on sex. Many anecdotal accounts describe the great lengths to which a sexual addict will go, in order to achieve the ubiquitous 'fix', and refer to such things as a lack of control, and a drive to action (Orford, 1985) . In line with the biobehavioral view, the core of sexual addiction, sexual behavior itself, is now seen as a psychotropic agent (Orford, 1985) . The only argument against labeling sexual addiction as an addiction, which has fallen rather short in the last decade, is the societal definition of excessive sexual behavior. That is, each society defines excessive sexual behavior differently. What may be viewed as excessive in one locale and time may be viewed as quite acceptable in another. While there is some weight to this argument, sexual addiction is an unarguable affliction. Given the progressive nature of the disease, sexual activity will build over time. Thus, while the true sexual addict may be labeled as simply active, after a period of time, the level of activity will have grown to a point where the addiction is unmistakable.

Gambling, meanwhile, is also a mood modifier, or psychotropic experience (Orford, 1985) . Much like sexual behavior and alcohol, gambling has the power to alter moods and cognitive states in those who partake. Some have argued that gambling is so very powerful a mood modifier, that it is for all intents and purposes a drug (Orford, 1985) . Gambling addiction, too, is a progressive disease. Virtually everyone has heard anecdotes of afflicted individuals gambling away careers, marriages, and homes. There is even historical evidence for gambling addiction. Ancient documents comment on an insatiable desire for gambling among notable historical figures, including the Roman Emperors Nero and Augustus (Orford, 1985) . In line with these early documented cases, gambling addiction has now been recognized to be as powerful an addiction as alcohol, and has even been compared in strength to heroin (Orford, 1985) .

The importance and similarity among the addictions is their mood- modifying nature. Exercise, gambling, and sexual behavior are all psychotropic behaviors, just as much as alcohol, cocaine and marijuana are psychotropic substances. Essentially, the addictive substance is psychotropic, and as such, is an understandable coping device. All of these behaviors can make an individual feel better for a little while, and this brief respite from anxiety is what eventually leads the individual into addiction.

Predispositions to addiction have been suggested, and fall into the broad categories of behavioral and biological. Within the biological subdivision are included theories of genetics and neurotransmitters, while behavioral predispositions include mental state and even more importantly, upbringing.

Suggestions of genetic susceptibility are nothing new. Some researchers seek an addiction gene, convinced that when it is found, the key to all addiction will have been pinpointed (Edwards & Tarter, 1988) . Even though this particular endeavor has made few gains over the past decades, there is growing evidence for at least a partial genetic susceptibility to alcoholism (Edwards & Tarter, 1988) . This is based partially on other theories, which posit that, for some individuals, neurotransmitter levels in the brain may predispose them toward addiction (Edwards & Tarter, 1988) . Based on the similarity between alcoholism and other addictions, it is a small leap of logic to identifying the theoretical genetic basis for alcoholism with a general genetic predisposition. It is known that there are biological qualifications in regards to choice of addiction (Johnson, 1993) , and this is rather logical. An individual that becomes physically ill upon ingestion of alcohol is highly unlikely to become addicted to alcohol. It is far more likely that such an individual would become enthralled with another, different substance, such as tobacco or even a process such as gambling. Edwards & Tarter's (1988) theory is the most plausible of all current biological theories of addictive predisposition, and Johnson's (1993) qualification is a necessary restriction of that theory.

Beyond inherent, inborn predispositions to addiction, it is known that there are many similarities in the childhood of addicts. That is, there are common points in the early lives of almost all addicts. Potential alcoholics, it is known, often have trouble developing interpersonal relationships, and those few that are cultivated can generally be categorized as poor or superficial (Edwards & Tarter, 1988) . In addition, alcoholics often come from homes with significant levels of parental conflict and marital discord. Insufficient levels of contact and poor parenting are often counterparts of the parental conflict and in-home discord (Edwards & Tarter, 1988) . Antisocial, or psychopathic, behavior in childhood has also been linked to a greatly increased risk of alcoholism (Edwards & Tarter, 1988) . The list of traits does not end here, however. Further research uncovered more marks of susceptibility, and these include: poor school performance, perceived use of drugs of adults, conflict with parents, low religious involvement, absence of sense of purpose, reduced social responsibility and psychological disorders such as depression, sociopathy, and low self-esteem (Edwards & Tarter, 1988) . In short, the boys at risk for alcoholism have difficulty in the regulation of their behavioral level, and difficulty with goal directedness (Edwards & Tarter, 1988) . Sexual addicts are not entirely different in their early lives. Their home lives characteristically had quite inconsistent training, and highly erratic discipline (Orford, 1985) . Extensive research on sexual addicts, however, has yet to be conducted, so most comparisons between alcoholics and sexual addicts are rather tentative. Regardless of this, it can be seen that among various types of addicts, there are a series of childhood behaviors and circumstances that tend to precede, and predispose the individual to, the addiction.

Even in adulthood there are definite, recognizable antecedents to addiction. Bruce Alexander (1988) listed special traits of alcoholics as including the following: hyperactivity, reduced attention span, increased sociability, increased social aggression, and a generally heightened emotionality. While it is commonsensical to recognize these traits after the alcoholic has been drinking, these traits are also present before drinking (Alexander, 1988) . Sexual addicts are listed as being afflicted with such things as continuous need, a general compulsivity and unhealthy levels of self-contempt (Orford, 1985) . A little thought will reveal the similarities between the compulsivity of the sexual addict, and the cluster of hyperactivity, reduced attention span, increased sociability and increased aggression among alcoholics. Again, just as for alcoholics, sexual addicts evidence these traits before and after the act. Research into further traits of alcoholics in fact yielded an excellent motivation for drinking: alcoholics commonly identify drinking with enhanced personal power, and greater self-worth (Marlatt & Fromme, 1988) , and thus drink for greater power and self-esteem. It is not hard to see that the sexual addict, contemptuous of self, seeks increased self-esteem and greater personal power through the act of sex. Similarities, in fact, between addicts are surprising. Virtually all addicts show low levels of self-esteem, and other similar traits. Commonalities such as this underline the equivalencies in the adulthood traits of addicts.

Choice of addiction is an interesting subtopic. Some have called it random, indicating that the individual will become addicted to whatever is at hand. Contrary to this statement, however, there are definite predispositions to different types of addiction. Indeed, the particular addiction chosen is influenced by culture, the individual's metabolism, individual heredity, and availability (Johnson, 1993) . As mentioned before, an individual that becomes violently ill upon the ingestion of alcohol is quite unlikely to become an alcoholic. Culture's influence is undeniable during the 1940s, it was a social norm to smoke, thus leading to widespread nicotine addiction. Individual metabolism and heredity come in again when considering how much effect the given substance or process has on the individual. Availability's role is obvious. If cigarettes are entirely unavailable in a culture, no one will become addicted to them. Johnson (1993) doesn't rule out luck, and it is undeniable that chance plays a definite role in addiction. Two children of nearly identical upbringing may choose very different addictions, such as heroin and gambling. The choice of addiction, therefore, is a multi-factorial thing, with both behavioral and biological precursors.

Addiction's course is, for the most part, a predictable and sequential thing. The addiction can be easily broken into three stages, the precursor stage, during which the individual is inclined toward addiction, the onset stage, when the individual first begins to use the addiction as an addiction, and the progression stage, which is the final stage of addiction. All addictions follow this sequence, both process addictions such as gambling and substance addictions such as heroin. The length of the stages differ radically among individuals. For one individual, the precursor stage may last for years, while for another it may be months. An individual linger in the onset stage without the behavior becoming a true addiction, for years, while another person may move to the progression stage after only a handful of trials. Regardless of this, these stages always occur in a specific order, one after another.

Attitudinal precursors to addiction are the most important. Smoking, for example, begins long before the first cigarette is lit attitudes are developed long before the act (Orford, 1985) . People become preconditioned to an addiction through familiarity (Orford, 1985) . An individual that grows up in a household of smokers will be likely to smoke himself. An individual that reads a great deal of murder-based materials could conceivably begin to become predisposed to murder. The aforementioned precursors become intertwined with the familiarity, and incline the individual toward a particular addiction. The 'fixation' view of addiction argues that addiction begins in infancy. The child, experiencing rage over the loss of control of self, and satisfaction at the control of some other object (such as a blanket), becomes fixated on external sources of control (Graham & Glickauf-Hughes, 1992) . Put simply, the individual gains control over themselves through the use of an outside object, through the essential incorporation of that object into themselves (Graham & Glickauf-Hughes, 1992) . The researchers argue that the failure to later move the source of control from the, for example, security blanket into themselves results in an immense predisposition toward addiction. This viewpoint sheds an interesting theoretical light on addiction's underlying foundation. One researcher has suggested a preexisting need for addiction, and argued for such a thing as an "addictive search" (Wurmser, 1974) . The results of this search can include "irresistible violence, food addiction, gambling, alcohol use, indiscriminate 'driven' sexual activity or running away" (Wurmser, 1974, p.832) . While empirically hard to test, this statement would seem to have some merit. The most important part of Wurmser's (1974) attestation, however, is the list of the search's results. He lumps violence, drinking, sex addiction and compulsive eating into the same conceptual basket. In this view, they are all simply different means to a similar end. The choice between them is determined primarily by the individual's upbringing and social interactions. Research has shown that, for men, sex can serve the needs for success, control, power, even aggression and violence (Orford, 1985) . Above all, an addiction is related to a pleasurable activity (Johnson, 1993) . The core of this paradigm is the constant progression from fun to self-abuse, which is the result of dysregulation (Johnson, 1993) .

Actual onset of the addiction is categorically different from initial use of the addictive object. Essentially, the shift from initial to addictive behavior is characterized by the wholesale alteration of the individual's state of balance. While the normal individual can continue to use the substance or behavior without great side-effects, the addicted individual's state of balance is upgraded into a state of constant conflict (Orford, 1985) . Johnson (1993) argues that the individual who is forced to adopt an addiction is unable to tolerate fear and guilt, and the heightened aggression of being an independent person. Whether the addiction causes the initial unbalance, which seems improbable in light of research, or simply escalates it, the net effect is the same: an increased level of anxiety. The adaptive viewpoint speaks in different terms, saying instead that addictions are adaptive, in that they are better than the alternatives (Alexander, 1988) . In other words, drug addiction is psychologically better for the individual than the alternative of self-hatred. As is all too common with addiction research, though, this framework is untestable. It is supported, though, by the realization that addiction soothes aggressive feelings through a combination of discharge and physical impairment (Johnson, 1993) . The individual glorifies, in the view of one researcher, in the addiction's all-powerful symbol (Keller, 1992) .

The individual derives a feeling of wholeness, of independence, or surety from the addiction (Johnson, 1993) . For this reason, the individual tolerates the negative effects of the addiction, such as guilt, loss of self-esteem, and loss of identity (Keller, 1992) . A small portion of the addictive cycle can be glimpsed in the light of these two statements. The individual uses the addiction to gain self-worth, and in the process, further damages self-esteem. The individual must continue to use the addiction, just to achieve a normal baseline of esteem. Addiction begins not when the individual begins to use the substance to alleviate negative feelings, but rather when the individual uses the addiction as the only method for dealing with negative feelings (Keller, 1992) . Furthermore, addiction can be said to occur when the individual "involuntarily and unintentionally acquires an inability to regulate the activity and has a persistent urge to engage in the activity" (Johnson, 1993, p.25) . In other words, when the individual has a compulsion to engage in the activity, and uses it to deal with all external problems, he or she is addicted. The onset of addiction, then, is marked by a categorical change in the nature of the addictive substance's use. Where once the addiction was used for fun, now it is used as a coping device, and serves to reinforce its own use.

Progression is the final stage of addiction. The actual speed of progression, of the worsening of the addiction, is partially determined by the degree of reinforcement (Orford, 1985) . The question of reinforcement would seem to eliminate all but substance addictions. After all, it is easy to see where the addiction of heroin is centered, but the lure of gambling is not so obvious. Recent research puts process addiction in the same figurative boat as substance addiction:

Another factor in the progression of the addiction is the consuming nature of the addiction itself. This can be viewed as an increasing preoccupation with the addiction, and increasing commitment to it (Orford, 1985) . In fact, there are 3 characteristics of this increasing preoccupation and commitment: "an affective attachment to the object. a behavioral intention to consume or approach the object," and a "cognitive commitment to the object and approach or consumption" (Orford, 1985, p. 207) . Thus, the commitment is both behavioral and cognitive. In the case of excessive gambling, there is an overpowering compulsion to gamble, a preoccupation with it, and tension is only released by the act of gambling (Orford, 1985) . Gambling, just like excessive drinking, takes over. The desire to stop the behavior is opposed by a stronger force (Orford, 1985) , the consuming nature of the addiction's reinforcement. As the addiction progresses, there is an unmistakable identity transformation. The addiction has increased in importance, until it has become overvalued and offers more in anticipation than in fact (Orford, 1985) . The addiction is no longer performing the role for which it was adopted, at least not to the degree required. It has already, however, become the core of the person's identity (Orford, 1985) . All other aspects of the individual's life has begun to revolve around the addiction.

Serial killers are a more concrete phenomena than that of addiction. That is, while addiction is no less a real thing than serial killers, it is far more elusive in nature. While there is some debate among authors as to what exactly constitutes a serial killer, there is not nearly the level of contention as to the classification of specific murderers as serial killer as there is contention as to whether certain types of addiction really are addictions.

Serial killers are viewed by many experts in both psychology and psychiatry to be the ultimate extension of violence (Geberth, 1990) . As this statement would suggest, serial killers have many traits in common with each other. The proper psychological classification for serial killers has been bandied about for many years, but the most appropriate is that of psychopathic sexual sadist (Geberth, 1990 Geberth, 1992 Ressler, 1988) . In psychological circles, the phrase ASPD, or anti-social personality disorder has replaced the earlier terms psychopathy and sociopathy.

Anti-social personality disorder has a variety of characteristics, some of which better describe serial killers than others. The inability to love, which is often considered to be the core of ASPD is especially evident in the serial killer (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . That is, the killer simply never develops any lasting relationships which do not have obvious cause-and-effect value, such as 'she gives me money.' This is strikingly similar to many alcoholics' difficulties in forming relationships. Highly impulsive and aggressive behavior is another part of the serial killers psyche, and studies show that they require more thrills than normal people (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Just like young children, they must constantly be in search of new entertainment, and like the young child they show little ability to restrain the occurrence or the nature of their behavior. The difficulty in controlling their own behavior is not dissimilar to the findings of Edwards & Tarter (1988) regarding potential alcoholics. An inherent sadistic nature is yet another part of the serial killer, along with a fascination for violence, injury and torture (Geberth, 1992) . While the young child may pull the legs off of a grasshopper for entertainment, the serial killer enjoys doing or fantasizing about doing such things to fellow humans. The classic feature of the psychopath (and thus the serial killer), now known as the ASPD individual, is an absolute lack of guilt. Participation in activities which could result in social disapproval will generate guilt and remorse in a normal, healthy individual, but the serial killer does not experience either of these feelings to any sufficient degree (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Ted Bundy is a classic example of the serial killer. In addition to an inability to love, and a sadistic nature, anti-social personality traits he manifested included: evasive personality, strong feelings of insecurity, general anger, and a tendency to run from problems (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . In short, those traits which help us to get along with each other--ability to love, to control behavior, and a conscience--fail to develop in the ASPD-afflicted individual.

There are similarities and common vulnerability factors between ASPD and other psychological disorders. The cluster of disorders, with the exception of ASPD, includes borderline personality, hysteria, drug abuse, gambling, alcoholism and bulimia (Tarter & Edwards, 1988) . Bundy's feelings of insecurity are nothing new to an addicted individual, and have been correlated with a near-predisposition to addiction (Tarter & Edwards, 1988) . His evasive personality is nothing new to anyone who has dealt with an alcoholic, who will routinely dodge anything that approaches a question regarding their behavior. In addition, Bundy had earlier experienced problems with alcohol and drugs (in this case, marijuana), as do many ASPD individuals (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Ted Bundy is a prime example illustrating the many common points between anti-social personality and addictions. Beyond the bounds of anti-social personality disorder, there are other, distinct similarities between serial killers and their crimes. Serial murders are, as a whole, lacking in clear-cut motives (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . As mentioned above, the crime is lacking in an extrinsic motivation--they are driven by internal compulsions. The serial killer kills for an elusive psychological gain (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . This gain is generally sexual, and it has been posited that all serial murderers are necrophiles (Brown, 1991a) . Some of the killers motivation consists of uncontrolled drives, reflected in their inability to control impulsive behavior or change their actions in consideration of others (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . There is not external motive in a serial murder. The victim is killed for psychological gain on the part of the murderer.

The evidence of forethought, of sometimes extensive planning, is always observable. Even though some serial killers claim that their crimes were spontaneous, that there was no forethought or planning, some experts now question whether such a thing as spontaneous homicide really exists (Ressler, 1988) . This is supported by the fact that fantasized violence is quite obvious even among those killers that claim not to have fantasized at all (Ressler, 1988) . The serial killer spends an amount of time planning the murder, whether consciously or not, and this is reflected in the killer's actions and in the crime scene.

Another interesting feature of the serial killer is their ability to thoroughly conceal their criminal activities. Only in rare cases are even the killer's intimates aware of his activities (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Ted Bundy even went so far as to volunteer time helping with the investigation of several killings which he had committed, with little suspicion turned toward himself (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . None of his coworkers suspected him, and even past lovers, while admitting he was rather an intense person, didn't believe he was capable of murder (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . This is akin to the closet addict, who hides his drug problems or other addiction from loved ones for years. Their lack of close relationships and of remorse only aid this ability.

These three traits serve to make the serial killer very dangerous. Their lack of conscience, as a result of ASPD, lack of external motivation, planning and ability to hide their criminality make them virtually invisible. Even after several bodies have been discovered, area law enforcement may not realize that a serial killer is at work.

The serial killer is well-rooted in history, probably as far back as man's earliest days. One of the most memorable is Jack the Ripper, the first recorded serial sexual killer. Jack the Ripper terrorized London for a few short years in the latter half of the 19 th century, murdering and mutilating middle-aged prostitutes. Though some claims are much higher, most authorities indicate four definite murders at his hands, and possibly five. Still, his exploits were well known, hence his survival in culture today.

There have been many theories of crime posited, which by nature, also apply to the serial killer. Biological theories of crime first appeared in the 1800s, hinting at some general mental or character deficiency which led to the criminality (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Any more advanced theories had to wait until the first decade of the 20 th century, when the first systematic studies of murder were conducted (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Sociogenic theories, explaining murder as a result of societal influence began to appear within a few decades (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . According to the sociogenic approach, the serial killer can be viewed as an ultimate product of their culture. The sociogenic approach leaves no room for genetic or physiological predispositions, and has been supplanted by a hybrid approach. The stress-diathesis model, however, realizes that serial murder has a variety of both psychological and cultural causes (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . The stress-diathesis model of the serial killer proposes that individuals with a predisposition, or existing weakness, when exposed to the proper stressors, will become serial killers. This covers the fact that some people, though faced with essentially the same upbringing and life situation of a serial killer, will not become serial killers.

Recently it has been realized that serial killings are not necessarily the work of a lone killer (Jenkins, 1990) . Indeed, whenever serial killings have been recorded as such, groups of serial killers are evident (Jenkins, 1990) . Jenkins (1990) lists off several groups of admittedly dysfunctional families, along with teams such as Henry Lee Lucas and his partner Otis. The group serial killer, though he has incorporated another person into the fantasy on a semi-permanent basis, is addicted to the fantasy just as is the lone serial killer.

As mentioned earlier, there are definite problems with the identification of serial killers. Some killers may travel so much and alter their modus operandi so often that police and other law enforcement officials cannot discern any pattern in the killings (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Thus, the homicides would be listed as separate, unsolved crimes, rather than the chain of murders which they really represent. Despite this problem, and others, there are some statistics which seem appropriate. Even after adjustment for the population growth of the last thirty-five years, the rate of murder has nearly tripled (Holmes and De Burger, 1988) . In 1984, in 43% of all murders, the victim was a stranger to the assailant, or there was no known connection (Holmes & De Burger, 1988, p. 15) . Thus stranger-killings comprise a healthy proportion of murders, and, therefore, a healthy portion of the increase in murders. The number of murders per year actually committed by serial killers is a hotly debated topic. In 1983, LAPD Homicide investigator Pierce Brooks estimated that as many as 12,000 people per year were murdered by serial killers (US Congress, 1984, p.29) . This estimate, however, seems to be rather high. Most sources agree with Holmes and De Burger (1988) who place the number of victims between 3,500 and 5,000 per year (p.19) . From this number, they estimate the number of actual serial killers at roughly 350 (Holmes & De Burger, 1988, p. 21) , or roughly seven per state of the union. This estimate is based on research that shows most serial killers murder between ten and twelve individuals, over several years (Holmes & De Burger, 1988, p. 20) . There are problems with inferential estimates of this type, though. If there are only 350 killers, and (Holmes and De Burger's own minimum of) 3,500 victims, then each killer must murder ten times per year. Yet, if each killer claims roughly ten victims over several years, there must be either more killers or fewer victims. In addition, estimates of how many victims the 'average' killer can account for is also debated. Even though he was convicted for only a handful of murders, some experts claim that Ted Bundy was responsible for as many as a hundred murders (Worthington, 1993) .

Not all serial killers are alike. Regardless of all the similar attributes serial killers share, many experts insist on dividing them into subgroups. Holmes and De Burger (1988) divide serial killers into four categories: visionary, mission-oriented, hedonistic and control-oriented. Visionary serial killers murder in response to voices, or visions urging them to kill. This type of killer is most usually classified as psychotic (Holmes and De Burger, 1988) . Some would argue that the psychotic or visionary killer cannot be included in the fantasy-addiction theory, but this is not true. Even though the killer is not in fully conscious control of his personal world, the killer's mind still acts to preserve the fantasy, which in this case is the psychotic delusion. The mission-oriented serial killer has as a goal the elimination of a group or category of people, such as murdering hookers to clean up the city (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . The hedonistic killer is a thrill-seeker, killing for the kicks of it, while the control-oriented killer enjoys the absolute power over the victim (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . These divisions, however, are trivial. Not only is there insufficient evidence that these divisions correctly categorize serial killers, but dividing them into these groups accomplishes nothing. These groups then, will all be lumped into the category of serial killer, for this paper.

The division that Holmes & De Burger (1988) lay out that is useful is that of the process-focused vs. act-focused killers. The process-focused killer uses more excessive violence, and often engages in dismemberment or abuse of the dead victim (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Process-focused murderers, then, murder to commit the murder, and not for the end goal of the dead victim. Act-focused killers, on the other hand, murder quickly and efficiently (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . These differentiations are not far off of the FBI's organized/disorganized classification scheme. In this scheme, laid out by the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI (1985) , killers are classified as disorganized when there is little evidence of extensive pre-crime planning, including such things as using a weapon of opportunity at the scene, and picking a victim at semi-random. Disorganized killers tend to be far more violent than their counterparts, and also seem to kill for the process of the killing, rather than the end result (FBI, 1985) . Organized killers, on the other hand, are just that. They tend to plan out the crimes in great deal, perhaps stalking the victims for weeks on end, bringing their own weapons, and having elaborate disposal schemes for the body (FBI, 1985) . Just like the act-focused murderer, the organized offender kills quickly and efficiently, and does not mutilate as often as the disorganized offender (FBI, 1985) . For all intents and purposes, the process-focused murderer is equivalent to the disorganized offender and the act-focused killer is the same as the organized offender. Thus the FBI's (1985) terminology will be used over that of Holmes and De Burger (1988) .

As stated above, fantasy is the driving element in the serial killer's life, and as a result plays an integral role in the murder itself. The killer is not only pushed to kill by their thought patterns (Ressler, 1988) , but is essentially incited to murder by an intrusive fantasy life (Burgess, 1991) . Their early-learned view that violence against other humans is a normal and "acceptable" (Holmes & De Burger, 1988, p. 44) way of getting what they want serves to virtually encourage murder. And just as in addiction, their ambivalent views toward societies' values encourages them to try a proscribed behavior, in the this case murder.

Within the murder, there are many reflections of fantasy. Even among the serial killers who had little or no conscious plans of murder, there is still a great deal of evidence in their belief structures for unconscious fantasy (Ressler, 1988) . A killer that believes that alcohol bestows a type of power, for example, is evidencing a fantasy of dominance (Ressler, 1988) . The planning is reflected in the actions of the killer, which tend to be methodical, and reflect "ritualized" behavior and careful planning with "dominance, power and control as the most frequent motivational themes" (Drukteinis, 1992, p. 532) . This is seen in disorganized offenders as "redundant violence" (Holmes & De Burger, 1988, p.46) , violence far in excess of that required to actually kill. This redundant behavior is not far off from obsessive compulsive behavior, and this conception of serial murder has appeared in print (Rappaport, 1988) .

The murder, as a whole, is an integral part of the serial killer's sexual fantasy (Brown, 1991a) . And crime scenes tend to echo elements of the fantasy in such things as the condition of the body, the body's state of dress and position, and the visibility of the disposal locale (Ressler, 1988) . Ted Bundy confessed to the murder of over thirty young women and girls (Geberth, 1990) , almost all of whom fit a target type. Bundy's plans were essentially the acting out of his sadistic fantasies, and contained a combination of sex and violence (Geberth, 1990) . The killer himself "admitted that he used his victims to recreate for him the covers of detective magazines or scenes from 'slasher' movies" (Geberth, 1990, p.76) . It is obvious that detective magazines and slasher movies played a substantial role in Ted's fantasy life, as did his target type--women with long hair parted in the middle. For the serial killer, Bundy included, each murder is never quite good enough--they can always think of some way to improve it (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Simply put, they will kill again, in an attempt to perfect the fantasy and the murder (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) .

The serial killer's preoccupation with, and constant need for, thrills, is an integral part of the killer's fantasy life, and as such is a partial drive for murder. The serial killer's first murder is an experience of intense physiological arousal, and there is great pleasure centered in the exertion of power and control over the victim (Geberth, 1990) . The killer is at his "peak" (Geberth, 1990, p.74) at precisely this time. Holmes and De Burger (1988) related Ted Bundy's assertion that murder is a psychological high that serial killers "need" (p. 135) to repeat. The cruelty of their acts sexually excites the serial killer, and physical and psychological torture of the victim increases, for many killers, this excitement (Geberth, 1992) . Robert Ressler (1988) categorized their near pathological need for thrills: "Risk becomes adventurous to them, and the longer they go on, the more they think they can't be caught" (p.85) . The killer becomes smug enough in his skills that, unless he takes bigger and bolder risks, the thrill isn't as great. As a result, the killer may leave the bodies in more obvious locales, or even place himself in jeopardizing situations. Abrahamson (1973) recognized that when criminals revisit a murder scene, as so many serial killers do, it is to unconsciously betray themselves. The danger of such an attempt provides a great deal of excitement for the offender. There are other ways in which the killer may expose themselves to danger, for the thrill of it. These include observing the discovery of the body, keeping souvenirs and participating in the actual investigation (Ressler, 1988) .

The actual origin of the serial killer is still mostly mystery. No one knows of any definite genetic predispositions toward serial murder, or any particular life experiences that will produce serial killers one hundred percent of the time. But fantasy's central role in the creation of the murderer is no mystery.

The foundation for the serial killer is laid down in their early life experiences, more commonly known as childhood. Serial killers come from all different social classes and geographies, but come from similarly inadequate families. As would be expected, some families are worse than others, but all have central traits in common. Virtually all serial killers reported childhood punishment and discipline as unfair, hostile, abusive and very inconsistent (FBI, 1985 Ressler, 1988) . An act that may rate no response one day may result in a severe beating the next. This inconsistency is a common point between serial killers and sexual addicts. Serial killers learn behavior that encourages violence, and that will one day lead to multiple murder (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . The primary caretakers of the future killer, be they parents, grandparents or legal guardians, are simply "bad" (Ressler, 1988, p.71) at their job. Not only are they nonprotective, unhelpful and aloof, but they typically hold adult expectations for even the youngest of children (Ressler, 1988) . In addition, there is a high degree of instability in the family life (FBI, 1985) , just like the sexual addict's family. Their families typically moved around a great deal, or parents frequently changed occupations (Ressler, 1988) . Psychological and behavioral problems, such as alcoholism and drug use are not uncommon in their families, either. Ressler (1988) reports that 69% of interviewed serial killers had a family history of alcoholism (p.19) . Better than half of the serial killers reported psychiatric problems in their families (FBI, 1985, p.3) . The FBI (1985) reports that 70% of the families had a history of alcoholism, and over 50% were suspected of sexual abuse (p.3) . Abuse and neglect were commonplace in the childhood of the serial killer (FBI, 1985) , and serial killers were generally victims of sexual or physical abuse (Drukteinis, 1992) . Clifford Olson, for example, who reported being sodomized by his uncle as a young child, later went on to murder eight girls and three boys in a nine-month spree (Worthington, 1993) . His murder methods included strangulation, bludgeoning and stabbing (Worthington, 1993) . Alex Henriquez, suspected by police of being sexually abused during his childhood and through his teens, strangled two girls and one woman to death (Dubner, 1992) . This abuse is a critical phase in the creation of the serial killer. The sexual abuse result in intense physiological arousal, and the abused child quickly associates the two (Ressler, 1988) . An initial sexual arousal leads to the conversion of the abuse into a cue for sexual arousal, and over time, the violence itself is abstracted out, becoming the central cue for sexual arousal (Hardy, 1964) . Orford (1985) recognized a virtual predisposition for violent sexual preferences in males, explaining it thus:

For the serial killer himself, childhood is also marked by personal problems. The serial killer never truly bonds to their family (Ressler, 1988 FBI, 1985) , much like some alcoholics. In addition, this inability to bond extends to peers, resulting in very few friendships. Even as young children, the future serial killer is viewed as a loner. They are essentially failures in the realm of interpersonal relationships. A positive view of the father is rare among serial killers, while 72% report a lack of attachment to, and no positive image of, their fathers (Ressler, 1988, p.21) . The serial killer feels more aggression than the average child, and a good portion of this is vented toward the father. Indeed, the serial killer holds more anger and substantially less affection toward the father than do even other murderers (Burgess, 1991) . Even the childhood of the serial killer is marked by an 'unjust' view of the world, and an obsession with dominance through aggression (FBI, 1985) . The childhood pre-killer has a difficult time distinguishing fantasy and play from reality (FBI, 1985) , and this difficulty only increases as time goes on. Episodes of bedwetting and firesetting, coexist with a tendency for cruelty to animals, and have been called the 'triad' of childhood characteristics representative of future serial killers (Burgess, 1991) . In relation to other children, the future killer is rebellious and aggressive, lying constantly (Drukteinis, 1992) . Their anger toward society is reflected in the way they bully other children when given the chance. Feelings of alienation are very real their disregard for relationships results in very few of them being formed, and their feeling that they are different from those around them makes it difficult for anyone to relate to them. 82% of serial killers report daydreaming so much that it became a problem for them in childhood, and 71% report chronic lying (Ressler, 1988, p. 21) . 80% of them had run away at some point in their childhood, and 83% reported sever temper tantrums (Burgess, 1991, p. 268) .

The play of the child is oriented around aggression and violence, as are their daydreams (Ressler, 1988) . This inclination toward violence only increases over the years. Perhaps as a result of this violence-orientation, the child is very egocentric, seeing the people and other children as merely extensions of their own, personal world (Ressler, 1988) . The abuse which the child is suffering lends strength to their fantasies, making them even more aggressive and lending a dominance and control-focus to them (Ressler, 1988) . The future killer is essentially using fantasy to escape a poor family life, into a world where the child is in control and can act out the abuse against others, rather than be a target of the abuse (FBI, 1985) . Drukteinis (1992) has suggested that these "sexually sadistic fantasies" (p.535) help to control the child's fears, and act as an outlet for hostility and aggression that are actually directed against significant others, such as abusive parents. These aggression-centered fantasies, initially a form of escape for the child, come to serve as a substitute for the child's sense of mastery (Ressler, 1988) . In other words, the child learns to depend on the fantasies for feelings of control over self, and over the external world. Expanding from its role as source of perceived control, the child's fantasies begin to reach into other areas of their lives. The fantasy comes to be the future killer's primary source of emotional arousal, and this arousal is based on a combination of sex and aggression (Ressler, 1988) . These aggressive fantasies, which are coming to fulfill many of the child's needs are actually the driving force behind many of the aforementioned criminal and unusual activities, such as cruelty to animals, abuse of other children, destructive play, a disregard for others, fire setting, theft and property destruction (Ressler, 1988) . The dangerous nature of this fantasy is the tendency, seen in the behavior of the future killer, for fantasy to lead to behavior tryouts and eventually to criminal activity (Ressler, 1988) . The child fantasizing of control may dream of dominating the family dog, eventually going so far as to kick it. Finding kicking the dog rewarding, the future killer expands his behavior to beating, and eventually killing the dog. The future killer's childhood centration on violence will lead to an adulthood violence-focus.

As the years pass, the future killer's reliance on fantasy only increases. It continues to substitute for real feelings of control, and as a vent for anger, and also comes to compensate for feelings of low self-esteem and feelings of general failure (FBI, 1985) . As a result of their reliance on fantasy, and as a result of childhood abuse, the future killer has developed a series of negative personality traits which results in only increased isolation. These traits include a preference for autoerotic activity, aggression, chronic lying, rebelliousness, and a preference for fetish behavior (Ressler, 1988) . The killer's initial difficulty in distinguishing between reality and fantasy continues to grow (Abrahamson, 1973) . Fueled by the negative personality traits, and inability to distinguish fantasy from reality, the future killer fails to adequately develop social relationships (Drukteinis, 1992) . The early isolation, leading to antisocial acts, are fueled by the acts, and increased isolation results. The isolation and antisocial behavior build into a feedback cycle, resulting in more violent behavior on the part of the killer, and even greater isolation from society. The lack of punishment resulting from the future killer's early violent behavior is a type of reinforcement, virtually sanctioning the individual's expression of anger in this form (Ressler, 1988) . The killer's childhood fantasies and thinking patterns stimulate only themselves, and while reducing tension, serve only to further their alienation (Ressler, 1988) . The social isolation, the result of early antisocial behavior and fantasy, only increases the child's reliance on fantasy (Ressler, 1988) . This isolation is reformed into even greater anger against society (Ressler, 1988) . The killer's early reliance on fantasy leads to early violent acts, and childhood abuse leads toward anger against society. The anger fuels the violent acts, which in turn increases the child's isolation. The increased isolation leads to even more anger, antisocial acts, and a vastly increased reliance on fantasy. The self-feeding cycle of isolation, anger and fantasy only serves to catapult the future killer even farther away from what society views as normal, and even closer to the act of homicide. This self-feeding cycle is evident in some alcoholics, where personal problems lead to drinking, and the drinking leads to greater personal problems.

The isolation-fed anger, experienced by the future serial killer, serves to deal another crippling blow to their interpersonal development: the prevention of proper sexual development (Ressler, 1988) . With no basis for caring, or the concept of companionship, the child will never develop the ability to love. Rejected and abused by parents, ostracized by other children, the future killer never develops the normal, non-violent basis for pleasure that characterizes the normal citizen (Ressler, 1988) . In almost all cultures across the world, both modern and ancient, aggression and sex have been found to be inextricably linked (Drukteinis, 1992) . Power, dominance, submission and aggression are common features of courting and mating behavior in virtually all cultures (Drukteinis, 1992) . The serial killer's failure is the inability to differentiate small forms of dominance, such as leading the dance, from larger forms of dominance, such as rape. In essence, the serial killer's focus on violence makes them unable to tone down the nature of their acts to fit the situation. And as a result of their childhood, their sexual interest is intertwined with violence and exploitation (FBI, 1985) . Fantasy is nothing new to the future killer, and it is a commonly accepted notion that masturbatory fantasies are at least partially responsible for the development of some types of sexual deviance (Orford, 1985) . The child's violent fantasies further link violence and sex in his perception of the world. The serial killer's preference for autoerotic activities, such as pornography and masturbation is no mystery (Drukteinis, 1992 FBI, 1985) . Without any substantial social structure, the killer is unable to embark on a normal sexual relationship, and thus is forced into solo sexual activities. The serial killer uses sex as he uses fantasy, for the goals of power and gratification (Geberth, 1992) . In addition, there is a heavy emphasis on visual stimuli, with 81% of serial killers using pornography extensively (Ressler, 1988, p. 25) . Forms of media such as detective magazines, with lurid tales of sex and murder, are often an additional source of arousal for the future killer, further linking sex and violence. Ed Kemper, a serial killer from California, described the roles of dominance, power and sex in his own sexual fantasies:

By the time of sexual development, and autoerotic experimentation, fantasy is well on its way to it's final role, that of sole coping device. Man's ability to rehearse and anticipate positive outcomes from his behavior, and ability to reinforce self through forethought and planning, through imagination and fantasy (Orford, 1985) , is what has gone terribly wrong here. The serial killer, though outwardly secure and apparently stable, is in reality terribly insecure (Geberth, 1990) . When the killer is not in complete control of the situation, he feels helpless, without power. Fantasy, here, is like other forms of addiction, lending a form of temporary self-esteem. The extreme violence of some killers is entangled with this low self-esteem. Holmes and De Burger (1988) found a correlation between high levels of violence and low self-concept, especially among offenders of average and greater than average intelligence. Fantasy has become a situation in which the killer is always in control, always powerful. This fantasy has gone so far as to become another reality for the killer, equivalent to, and as viable as, the real world. Indeed, the fantasy world is so real to the killer, that he believes he can move between fantasy and reality, that there is no distinguishable difference (FBI, 1985) .

As fantasy is evolving into the future killer's only coping mechanism, the killer continues to experiment with violence. This violence has a tendency to build, from bullying to cruelty to animals, to killing animals and even farther (Ressler, 1988) . In essence, the acts of violence fuel more elaborate and violent thoughts and fantasies (Ressler, 1988) . Ressler (1988) has recognized that each act which moves the killer closer to the expression of intense emotion will become incorporated into the future killer's imagination and fantasy life. Each small violent act moves the killer closer to the expression of sexual frustration and attempted gratification, in the form of murder. Just as each drink pushes the potential alcoholic closer to the edge, the violent acts push the killer closer to more violent acts, and the 'edge' of murder.

As the future killer moves into adult life, and closer to the commission of murder, their fantasy life has begun to backfire. The killer begins to become a slave to the fantasy life, some feeling acutely trapped between the world within and the world without (Abrahamson, 1964) . Just as the drug addict needs more and more of the drug just to feel normal, the serial killer is beginning to rely on the fantasy just to keep a normal baseline of emotion. Rather than granting the great rewards it once did, it now serves only to make the killer feel normal.

The fantasy's emphasis on power has an interesting side-effect in many killers. As adolescents, and especially as adults, they become obsessed with police work and police procedure (Geberth, 1990) . Alex Henriquez, for example, became so enamored with the police investigation that it came to be his undoing (Dubner, 1993) . Police detectives were surprised at how helpful Henriquez was, commenting that he "clearly got a thrill" (Dubner, 1993, p.84) from police work. Before his apprehension, Henriquez often masqueraded as a DEA agent or an undercover police officer, carrying a small handgun and badge (Dubner, 1993) . The fascination with the police is simply an extension of the serial killer's pathological need for dominance, and the impersonation of law enforcement officials is another extension of the killer's fantasy world into reality.

By this time, the serial killer is undertaking the penultimate experimentation with violence. This is not entirely different from any other addict's experimentation with such things as alcohol or illegal drugs. For most killers, this takes the form of non-murderous sexual offenses, and may span several years. Alex Henriquez raped his niece over a period of several years, and shortly before committing his first murder, sodomized the five-year-old daughter of one of his girlfriends (Dubner, 1993) . Clifford Olson, Canada's most notorious serial killer, committed well over a thousand sexual offenses before and during his career of murder (Worthington, 1993) . Just as the killer's adolescent experimentation with violence was incorporated into their fantasy life, so are these experiences. And just as those earlier experiments led to more serious acts, these acts push the individual closer to murder. The serial killer's use of fantasy as a coping mechanism, and resultant reliance on fantasy, has results in an absolute dependence on it. Thus the mechanism which had granted a sense of control has been converted into an obsession (FBI, 1985) . Brown (1991b) recognized the existence of obsessive behavior in serial killers, but failed to recognize it as an obsession with fantasy. This obsession became the cornerstone of Jeff Dahmer's legal defense. His attorney argued that, because of his obsession, Dahmer was not truly responsible for his actions, and should thus have been committed to a mental institution: "Dahmer couldn't stop killing because of a sickness he discovered, not chose. He had to do what he did because he couldn't stop it. This isn't a matter of choice" (Drukteinis, 1992, p.533) . The attorney even went so far as to call Dahmer a "steamrolling killing machine" (Drukteinis, 1992, p.533) . Jeff Dahmer is a classic example of the serial killer's absolute loss of control in this regard. Now completely addicted, the serial killer has become a virtual slave to the fantasy.

Murder is not the isolated event which the media and public view it to be. Rather, it is the logical outgrowth, an extension, of the serial killer's fantasy life. Fantasy is the drive mechanism for the murder (Brown, 1991b) . And even though fantasy preceded murder, the act of murder has, in a sense, solidified the fantasy (FBI, 1985) . The serial killer's great difficulty in differentiating between fantasy and reality has been pushed over the edge by the act of murder. The acting out of the fantasy has linked it with the real world, and in the serial killer's mind, the fantasy has become reality (FBI, 1985) . In the words of the FBI (1985) , "the offender believes he can now control reality" (p.6) . Essentially: "Sexual homicide is an act of control, dominance and performance that is representative of an underlying fantasy embedded with violence, sexuality and death" (FBI, 1985, p.11) Though it is not immediately obvious in all cases, it is nonetheless true that the serial killer murders to preserve the fantasy (Ressler, 1988) . Often, the fantasy is of murder, and the only way to keep it alive is to act it out. The protection of the fantasy may have been required by a variety of factors, some of which are external, such as: an interruption by the victim of the offender's feeling of dominance, or being enraged at the victim's behavior (Ressler, 1988) . The murder is not recognized as such by the killer. Rather, most killers describe an "unbearable" (Holmes & De Burger, 1988, p.98) urge to kill. The net effect of this murder is to move the killer to a higher level of fantasy (FBI, 1985) .

The role of fantasy continues to be reflected in the murder, especially in the case of victim type. Most serial killers have a recognizable victim type (US Congress, 1984) . Ted Bundy's preferred victims were women in the early- to mid-twenties, with long dark hair parted in the middle (Holmes & De Burger, 1985) . Earl Nelson preferred murdering his landladies, and Posteal Laskey stalked elderly women (Holmes & De Burger, 1985) . The close kinship of the serial killer to the sexual addict is seen in the fact that many sexual addicts developed preferred partners (Orford, 1985) . For serial killers, the victim is often symbolic of someone in the killer's history (FBI, 1985) . The pattern of victims evident in the behavior of most serial killers is representative of the planning and fantasy involved in the murder.

The serial killer experiences distinct psychological benefits from the murder, not the least of which is the relief from intense anxiety (Brown, 1991b) . Indeed, this relief is not entirely dissimilar to the function of a compulsion (Brown, 1991b) or an addiction. Stress is the triggering stimuli for most serial murders (Ressler, 1988) , much as stress can trigger drinking bouts in alcoholics. An interesting note is that some killers are so affected that they surrender to the authorities after the first or second murder. As a rule, however, the more the serial killer murders, the greater the psychological gain. The fantasies survive and are elaborated upon, and the behavior of the killer is reinforced. Just as fantasy and isolation fed each other, so the murder fuels the fantasy and the fantasy fuels the murder. Ted Bundy himself argued that the force for killing becomes so overwhelming that serial killers have no desire to stop killing, and as the killings progress, this force only gains power (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) .

Each murder results in further refinement of the fantasy, in further perfection. Every time the serial killer murders, the fantasy feeds off itself and becomes more structured (FBI, 1985) . The garrote that slipped, and allowed the victim to live longer than the killer desired, will be replaced in the fantasy, the victim living only as long as the serial killer wishes. Not even apprehension and incarceration can stop the fantasies (Ressler, 1988) . Regardless of what happens to the killer, the planning for the next murder will continue. One killer who turned himself in after the first murder, for example, fantasized about the murders constantly while incarcerated. Upon release, he killed eight more women (Ressler, 1988 Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . Cliff Olson killed whenever he was out of jail: during 1964, 1972-1973, 1978 and 1980-81 (Worthington, 1993) . He was convicted only on the basis of his last killing spree, but claims to have killed over 40 individuals (Worthington, 1993) .

Just as the fantasy improves, so does the murder. Ted Bundy called this a learning curve: the more murders the serial killer commits, the better the serial killer becomes (Holmes & De Burger, 1988) . The improved garrote from the fantasy is incorporated into the next murder. The murder weapon is sharpened, so that it kills more easily. As Ted Bundy said, the killer learns from the past, constantly improving.

The serial killer does not stop of his own accord. Unless prevented, the serial killer with kill again and again (Holmes and De Burger, 1988) . Each successful murder exhilarates the killer, both confirming and reinforcing the act. Simply put:

The serial killer, rather than being a creature of complete and unutterable evil, as Geberth (1992) would argue, is in truth an addict. Shaped by a dysfunctional childhood and faulty learning, the serial killer learns to depend on fantasy as a coping mechanism. This is, in certain respects, no different from the alcoholic using their drink of choice as a coping mechanism. Just as addicts tend to fall into a downward spiral, until all else in their lives centers around the addictive substance, the serial killer's life begins to revolve around fantasy. The revolution becomes so dominating that eventually fantasy becomes the center of the serial killer's life. And just as the heroin addict's need for a fix may drive him to steal, the serial killer's obligation to the fantasy drives him to murder. In short, the cycle of the serial killer is no different from the cycle of any other addict, the end result of murder being functionally the same as the heroin addict's theft.

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Species that murder their own counterparts when put in captivity - Biology

First blind assumption: There is a god and this god is self-conscious, hereinafter called god.

Second blind assumption: There is a devil and this devil is self-conscious, hereinafter called the devil.

Logically, the devil would have to be the antithesis of god, and likewise god would be the antithesis of the devil. (Both are male of course, women are not allowed the status of god or devil hood in the Christian religion.) Now the devil, being the antithesis of god, is actively engaged in destroying everything sacred to god. But god is above the devil's rot and does not condescend to lift a finger to stop him.

So we have two irreconcilable forces, one ferociously intent on destroying god and all that is sacred to him and god not giving a stuff, content to sit back and let the devil do as he likes. Consequently we have gods devil being the devil and the devils devil being god. Both utterly convinced of their omnipotence but diametrically opposed.

The devil is the god of realization unto himself, representing all things so called bad, evil, dirty, and nasty. However in his realization he is not bad, evil etc, he is just doing what he does best and to him if he does it well it is all fine. So good is simply a matter of perception and cannot exist without its counterpart bad, evil, dirty etc. So if all was evil and so called good did not exist all would still be considered to be good (or just the way it is) because there would be nothing to compare it with, no point of reference. Further we can say that so called good is evil is good is evil depending on your perception, (good is only a relative term).

The devil justifies the existence of god, for without the devil there would be no so called evil [everything would be automatically good], conversely god justifies the existence of the devil, so it seems that each relies on the existence of the other to substantiate their own existence, a genuine yin yang relationship. So we can say that each cannot exist without the other, further, that each gives reality to the other, so that the two are really halve of a whole. We have two halves, which although irreconcilable are inseparable, together they make a whole, but we don’t have two we have three, a Trinity. Since each is self conscious outside of the union with the other, two positives don’t negate each other. So the two are one in the sense of their mutual interdependence but they are three in the sense of the result of that union. But what is the third state, a state beyond good and evil or a state of good and evil simultaneously?

The devil does have a predilection to cross dressing though, many a woman has been called a she devil or Jezebel, but don’t be fooled, the devil is a very sneaky evil man that you can’t see, you don’t even realise he’s there until you have murdered someone or bombed the shit out of a peaceful village, then it hits you, oh shit, did I do that, no couldn’t be, it was the devil not me, I was just his tool and the devil is pretty handy with a tool. He’s just like god though, being omnipresent, but considered to be just a tad shy of omniscient in a nasty way, but it’s photo finish for omnipotent and the jury is still out and could be for a while yet unless the Christians manage to bring on Armageddon. The final solution, the ultimate world heavy weight bout where god is expected to take the title and be the undisputed holder of the big three “omni’s”, the devils squashed like a bug and after which all gods true believers party on for 1,000 years until the rematch.

Now the devil actively works at making me evil and god doesn’t seem to care too much, he doesn’t even try to stop me being evil. Seems as though there is gross imbalance of force being applied here, The devil positively active, busting his arse to make me evil but god is passive, simply basking in his omnipotence not really giving a stuff what anyone does, god doesn’t see the need to soil himself with human affairs [too busy counting falling sparrows] but the devil works like a Trojan to stuff things up, god does seem to be just a bit lazy. This gets better, we are told that if we be good we will go to heaven where everyone is happy and everything is nice, [presumably the devil has been excluded from heaven]. So everything is good and nice in heaven but how do they know it’s good and nice, because there is no evil, no point of reference, nothing to compare with, it’s just all nice, and besides that what does everyone do.

Seems like the competition to be nicer than nice would be ferocious, after just laying around with the lions for a while and patting the hyenas then picking a bit of fruit all the while trying to work out how to be nicer than the other fellow would get a bit boring. But it would be nice friendly competition, “damn Fred you were nice today but tomorrow I’m going to be kick arse nice, you don’t stand a chance”. Well bring it on Charlie I can whip your arse at nice with both hands tied behind my back, just watch me and weep. That will be nice Fred, see you tomorrow. But where is heaven, no one seems to quite know where it is even though it’s a real place and presumably millions of righteous Christians have already gone there.

In the beginning god created everything and so he must have created hell, evil and the devil as well, Christians have no doubt of hells existence, it is a real place and they live in mortal fear of it. Hell needed a manager so god created the devil to keep things running, organize the furnace stockers, whip hands, torturers, thumb screw operators etc.

Now this is where it gets ugly, be bad, evil etc and your arse is grass, you’re off to hell. This is where everything goes wrong, where your wife did screw the plumber that came to fix the leaking tap, where you put your hand up her dress and found a pair of nuts, where the marks on your daughters arm are not mosquito bites, where, where it was your neighbor going over the back fence just as you got home, where the wife asks if its in yet, where the boss makes you blow him for a pay rise, where the secretary wanted to screw you in the back room and you got your dick caught in your zip, and so are the wages of sin, definitely not a nice place to be.

But there is hope, I am told that Jesus died for my sins 2,000 years ago because he knew what an evil son of a bitch I was going to be in 2,007, he died for me and everyone, past present and future and I’ll never have to worry about sinning again. Now that makes sense, I can do whatever I like because Jesus died for me., and I didn’t even have to ask him. In contemporary terms this is the deal of a life time, the triple-decker Big Mac with cheese and mayo, double fries, cheesecake and ice cream with a gallon of coke value meal deal. See religion is not hard to understand, be good and you’ll go to heaven where everything is nice. Be bad and you’re screwed, everything will go wrong. But I suppose it all is just a matter of what you perceive as good or bad. Hell must be heaven for the bad, but heaven nevertheless, so heaven is simply a relative term defining a state of consciousness not a place. If so heaven and hell have no substantial reality are simply formless mental abstractions. But once again, where is hell, no one seems to quite know where it is, no one has seen it or been there and back to verify it’s existence but it is nevertheless a real place with a huge lake [albeit fire], just ask a devoted Christian.

With great trepidation we now venture into the old testament, the description of the beginning of the all of everything, where god made everything out of nothing in six days but we aren’t told what he was doing before the first day or after the seventh day, if he was omnipotent why didn’t he just make it in a flash, wham bam and it’s there, instead of tooling around for six days, just how omnipotent was he if he needed a rest after six days work, was he tired, did he need a sleep, sounds a bit human to me. I suppose creating worlds does take it out of one, it’s not like one does it every day. God must have been bored, sitting around for eternity after eternity, in utter nothingness, (nothing to do because there was nothing at all to do anything with)so he decided to have a few laughs build a world and watch the silly fucking humans systematically destroy each other and the place they live in. Presumably this was the first world god had created and he did make bit of a botch of it. He’s probably been getting a bit of practice in other solar systems and has got it down pat now. The Old Testament happened in a time when the laws of all scientific disciplines were contravened wholesale. This was a time and place where men were simply made from dirt, like mud pies one assumes, and women were made out of men’s ribs, (god took a rib out of Adam, made eve and put the rib back), snakes walked and talked, where trees knew the difference between good and evil and even had knowledge although we aren’t told what sort of knowledge and amazingly food fell out of the sky, Pi equaled 3.. All of the animals were just there and simply required naming, although one wonders why the animals needed naming, didn’t they know they were what they were, were they wondering around in a state of confusion, thinking, “I just don’t know what I am”.. Were the giraffes trying to fuck the swans or were the elephants trying to get their ends into the orangutans, what crap?

This was where you could become god (knowing good and evil) if you ate from a special tree in the midst of the garden and if you also ate of the tree of life then you could live and walk around in the nude forever. So why didn’t those two poor simple saps that god made just eat from the tree of life and save themselves a whole lot of trouble and become gods straight up. Mankind has been kicked in the arse for Adam and Eve’s stupidity ever since. Eve gives Adam the forbidden fruit, not forced, coerced, not shoved down his neck, he simply took it and ate it. God questions eve, “What is this you have done?”, but Eve’s not taking the wrap, “The snake deceived me and I ate.” So god says to the snake, (snakes could understand spoken language then) snake, because you tricked eve into eating the forbidden fruit, she and Adam now know that I am a bullshit artist because I told them they would die if they ate the fruit. So god condemns the snake to slither around on its belly (as snakes tend to do) and eat dust (did the snake then shit rocks), and so the snake is not allowed to walk around and talk to people anymore, he/she is choked up on dust.

God apparently forgot to give Adam a spine because as soon is god is up him for the rent about eating the forbidden fruit, Adam’s remonstrating, nay, nay, nay, not me, not guilty, that cow of a woman (he wasn’t sure of the names of all the animals) made me do it, you know she’s the mother of all mothers, I didn’t want to, she forced me, she said, eat this pecker head. So I says, yes dear, whatever you say dear, it’ll bring down the whole fucking human race and condemn it to hell and damnation before it even gets started, but I’ll do it right now dear. Bullshit, says god, and he’s thinking, this woman is a sneaky bitch and this lying prick of a man is as weak as piss, I don’t believe it, I’ve created a soft cock, what am I going to do with this dumb arsehole, but blokes are blokes and they have to stick together, god’s thinking, I made him first, he’s a gutless tool but he’s my main man so lets blame the bitch and everyone else has been laying it on eve ever since.

So after that they didn’t walk around in the nude anymore, they didn’t know they had naughty bits before that were not allowed to be looked at, but their eyes had been opened, Adam’s walking around with a hard on all day and eves wet as hell so they cover up with some leaves. Adam’s royally pissed off now so whacks her one and bruises her head, she’s bitching something terrible, has a swipe at him and bruises his heel. So now your sole purpose will be churning out babies, and it will be painful for you, god says to eve and when you want jiggy jig real bad it’ll be my man here deciding if and when you get it. But eve had not had any babies so how could she know what having a baby was let alone that it might be painful, more crap. Adam’s never laid a woman before [fully grown, mature man, one or two week old virgin, eve’s the same], but he’s a hell of quick learner, works out what that that meat hanging from his stomach has better uses than for pissing through, and next thing he’s got eves fig leaf down around her ankles, fortunately eve’s a quick learner to and they are into it. Eve conceives and gets the human race started by having two sons in rapid succession, Cain and Able, [and they weren’t even married, for shame]. God then says” behold the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil “. Here we have gods plural, how many other gods, 2, 3, 487 or was it just god and missus god, or god and Zeus. To be god or one of the gods you have to know good and evil and as is written in the Old Testament, god was very well acquainted with evil some of the atrocities he pulled of personally or instigated put modern despots to shame.

But how great was this god, he couldn’t even create two human beings that would obey him, he created Adam and eve and before he could blink they are disobeying him, he created a pair of duds, a pair of idiots that couldn’t do what they were told. They only had one law to obey and they were to dumb to do that, a pair of retards. The perfect creator created two disobedient fools. Things go downhill from here, Cain was a vegetable grower and god reckoned Cain couldn’t grow vegetable for shit, [must have had grubs in them], Abel’s a shepherds and shepherds are cool god loving dudes and god thought Abel’s lamb tasted mighty fine. Seems Abel was able but Cain couldn’t. Now Cain gets severely pissed off because god said his veggies were no good and kills Abel, [murdering your brother was a minor offence in those days] so god throws Cain out of the garden. Now it gets weird, Cain is worried that anyone who finds him will kill but supposedly there are only two other humans around, Adam and eve, so who was he afraid of. All of a sudden Cain’s finds a wife, she simply materializes out of thin air, she conceives and bares Enoch. Cain then builds a city, presumably by himself, since the earth is uninhabited [no cheap Filipino labor around], digs it right out of the ground, knocks up a few apartments, get in early in the property market. I’ve had it explained to me that Cain’s wife might have been his sister, they forgot to mention that Eve had other children besides Cain and Abel. Now it gets wild, Cain’s has five sons, Enoch miraculously fathers a child, Irad the same, Mehujeal the same, Methushael the same. But Lamech is a stud and does the right thing and marries two wives [apparently two wives was kosher then], and all of these wives have spontaneously materialized out of the ether.

We either have a generation or so between these begettings of children and they are coupling with their cousins or Eve has been flat out producing child bearers for all of them and they are coupling with their aunties. Here we have “keeping it in the family taken to the Nth degree”. Interestingly the bible says “Cain knew his wife”, were they married, however Enoch, Irad, Mehujeal, Methusheal simply begat children and were just spreading wild oats.

Let’s assume Eve bore more daughters after Abel, Cain marries, no potential wives around except Eve or his younger sisters. Now Cain’s wife bore Enoch, Enoch fathers a child [no mention of marriage], so Enoch would have to have had a child with Eve, one of Eve’s daughters or one of his younger sisters, [assuming Cain’s wife had daughters as well]l, or one of his brothers daughters. Enoch fathers Irad, Irad is lucky, there are a few women around by now to choose from, he can have either one of his younger sisters, one of Cain’s wife’s daughters, one of his other brothers daughters, one of Eves daughters or Eve but Eve is getting a bit long in the tooth by now so it was probably one of his younger sisters, you know, might as well father a child with someone you know reasonably well.

And so the madness goes, I’ve even been told that Eve was Cain’s wife, it was fine then since they were so genetically pure in those days it was ok to have children with your mother. No doubt Adam was getting stuck into his and everyone else’s daughters as well, doing his bit to populate the earth, spreading his genetic purity around. Sexual immorality [incest] in the contemporary sense has no meaning when you are kicking off a human race, just get fucking with whoever is around, copulate, populate. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with humankind, we are all the degenerate descendants of incestuous deviates Anyway after all of this god just seemed to go away, except for having a few words to Noah and Moses, after which he doesn’t seem to be around much. Maybe god was a pit pissed off at him/her self at not being able to make a perfect world straight up, as we will see, his first go at it was a disaster so he wipe the slate clean except for a few humans and lets them have another go at it, but before you can blink they are fornicating like rabbits on speed and generally trying to wipe each other of the face of the earth.

Moses was a murder and fugitive chosen by our kind, loving and merciful god to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian captivity, [excellent credentials]. God couldn’t just have had quiet omnipotent word with the pharaoh, just let the Israelites go peacefully and nobody gets hurt, no, he visits ten plagues on them in which who knows how many died, but this is ok, gods are allowed to go around and wipe out whoever they like. God supposedly created a world but he couldn’t convince the pharaoh to let the Israelites go. After god has given the Egyptians a thorough thrashing the Israelites all 600,000 men plus women and children (somewhere between 1 and 2 million) are allowed to wonder around the desert for 430 years and look for some land to grab.

Now we come to Noah, this is where faith is given the acid test, is tested to it’s furthest outer limits, anyone who can believe this story deserves “The Medal of Infinite Faith ” for great faith above and beyond the call of Christian duty. This is the real deal, if you don’t believe this one you don’t cut the mustard, but apparently it’s no problem for the dedicated Christian to swallow. One hesitates to even try to get ones head around the Noah story but in our relentless quest for understanding we must boldly venture forward.
God despised everything he had created, human and animal except Noah, his wife and his sons, Shem, Ham, Japhet and their wives and so decides to wipe the slate clean and start again. Our great creator screwed up bad and created a bunch of murderous land grabbing sex maniacs so they had to get the chop. Then god made it rain for 40 days and nights and the whole of the earth is covered with water, one presumes Mount Everest as well, so this water covered the earth at a depth of at least 8.5 kilometers. There isn’t enough water on earth to cover the earth to that depth, since water finds its own level the diameter of the earth with that covering of water had to have increased by 17 Klms, but I suppose god created all the water he needed then made it disappear later. But before this god tells Noah to build a small ship and put himself his wife, his family and all of the animals in it. This ark or small ship as we would call it today is 300 cubits by 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. Lets say a cubit is 18 inches (about 250mm) this small ship is 450 feet (135 meters) long, 75 feet (22.5 meters) wide and 45 feet (13.5 meters) high (actually estimated to be 480 feet long). Noah obviously was a skilled shipwright and had access to a forest of Gopher wood, timber cutters, timber haulers, sawmillers, foundries for nails which obviously must have been near by. 6,000 tons is a reasonable rough estimate of timber required to build a small wooden ship this length, how did Noah handle the logistics since there is no mention of an army of workers. 6,000 tons of logs would keep a modern sawmill busy for a couple of years.

The laying of the keel of any ship is the foundation of the whole structure, how did Noah lay 450 feet of keel (half the length of the Titanic, one and a half football fields), apparently by himself without the lifting gear, without structural steel, without the fasteners we have today, lets say Noah had access to logs 50 foot long (possibly 6 to 8 tons each), he had to join 9 of these into an absolutely rigid platform for the rest of the ship to be built on, not to mention the rest of the planking, 3 decks, ribbing and internal structure of the ship and enclosures for the animals. You can’t just build a rectangular box as a small ship, a rectangular box is structurally unsound and requires extensive bracing (steel) to hold it together. How many tons of pitch did he need to seal the hull, how many tons of nails (no screws then), bolts etc (no bolts then either), did he need to hold the thing together, but ask any shipwright about building a 450 foot wooden ship and they will laugh at you. Noah did not build such a small ship.

The longest wooden ship ever built (i.e. historically verified) was the USS Wyoming. This vessel, which was, at 110 meters long, 25 meters shorter than Noah’s ark, was found to be so unstable that it could only be used for short coastal hauls to avoid rough conditions further out to sea. The huge structural stresses that developed in the USS Wyoming made the ship sag and leak badly. Water thus had to be pumped out continuously to prevent the ship from sinking.

Now we come to another insurmountable intellectual problem, how did Noah collect all of the pairs of animals, from the African ostrich to the Andean alpaca the Tasmanian devil, the Antarctic an albatross, the American bald eagle, the South American jaguar, the Galapagos Island tortoise, the Chinese Panda, the arctic goose, the Siberian tiger, the Antarctican penguins. Noah must have been something of a sailor himself to do a world circumnavigation single handed, not to mention catching all the animals, storing food for these animals, presumably fresh meat for the carnivores, hay, grass for the cows, bison, elephants, hippopotamuses, wildebeests, buffalos, sheep, goats and kangaroos, seeds, berries, insects for the birds and rodents, insects for bats, white ants for the ant eaters and echidnas, fresh flowers for the bees and butterflies, fresh fruit and leaves for the monkeys and possums, rotten meat for the parasites, worms, maggots and bacteria, bamboo shoots for the pandas, lichen and moss for the arctic reindeers, seal meat for the polar bears, ice to keep the polar bears cool, rats, mice, frogs for the snakes, to mention only a few specific dietary requirements for specific animals. Elephants eat at least 150kg of vegetable matter a day, 10 months supply for two elephants is 90 tons.

Either Noah had another ship as large as the one he built while collecting animals or he made a lot of trips to a lot of places with a smaller ship. Unfortunately a lot of animals with short life spans would have died waiting for Noah to finish his ship so he would have had to make more trips to collect these animals, maybe they breed in captivity or maybe he left them till last and did a lightening circumnavigation and rounded them up just before it stared raining. How were the animals restrained, before and during the voyage, between 1.5 to 2 million species of animals in a volume of 450 x 75 x 45 feet, what a fucking madhouse, everything trying to eat everything else, actually, what a crock of shit, it did not happen, it could not happen.

How long did it take to build his small ship and who if not Noah was out rounding up Bengali tigers and South American boa constrictors. Lets be generous and give Noah 5 years to build his ship, to round up all the animals another 2 years (actually 7 days is stated in the bible), now where did he keep the animals he had already caught while he is out catching more, who fed and watered them, you know, bamboo shoots to feed the Pandas are bit scarce in the holy land, the logistic are simply mind numbing. This small ship floated around for nearly 10 months with Noah and his family feeding and watering 1.5 to 2 million species of animals in volume of 40 to 50,000 cubic meters, all of the excreta was carried up and thrown out of one window. Apparently no animals died or ate each other during this voyage.

So Noah’s small ship comes to rest and presumably Noah lets all the animals go, but there is nothing for them to eat except maybe some dried out seaweed and the carnivores politely refrain from eating any of the other animals. So the Pandas start the long trek back to China, the Australian animals, kangaroos, wombats, Tasmanian tigers, emus, numbats and bilbies have a long swim ahead so they get going straight away, same as the polar bears, bison and elk, all of the insects, bugs, fleas, spiders hitch a rid on their backs.

After Noah’s ship landed on dry ground and he’s got a few spare clean animals and around so he puts on a giant barbecue for god who thinks the aroma of these burning carcasses was mighty soothing.

And so Noah and his family get down to restarting the human race, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, cousins furiously fucking each other and since they are so genetically pure they escape the consequences of inbreeding which have befallen many other small closed communities ever since. According to the story, olive trees and grape vines and presumably all of the other vegetation survived underwater for 10 months because Noah’s got a winery going and in no time and manages to get blind drunk and collapses stark bollock naked in his tent, mind you he is one of gods own men so it’s cool to get motherless drunk and frolic around in the nude if you are a man of god. Ham sees his old man in the nude and is reprimanded severely, condemned to being his brother’s servant. In those day it was very very uncool to see your fathers dick, boys were not allowed to look at each others willies, penis envy couldn’t be allowed to take hold, but didn’t anyone ever have a bath. and inadvertently catch a glimpse of their brothers or father’s unmentionables.

This fairytale does not require any more discussion it is an affront of the intelligence of the dumbest critic. About the only way Noah could have pulled off this act would have been to collect DNA material, but this is being too kind and simply presents another insurmountable absurdity.

Anyway what kind of loving, compassionate, caring god we are talking about here, supposedly kills every living thing on the face of the earth because he’s pissed off with some evil men and women, what about the animals, were they sinners to, were the elephants so evil they had to be destroyed, those sons of bitches hippopotamuses’ had to be wiped out, the idolatrous fruit bats had to go, the heretical possums could not be tolerated, the blasphemous kangaroos, kill the whole fucking world and everything in it and let them start again. Anyone who believes this crap needs urgent psychoanalytical help.

Now we come to Abraham, the great bible patriarch married to his sister, [no sexual immorality here) seems there were no limits to the depths to which the bible patriarchs would stoop. Incest, infanticide and ritual sacrifice were only a few of things required to worship the loving god, a bit of brinksmanship from god, push the believers beyond the limits of human decency to prove the love they had of their god. According to the story, Abraham wasn’t too perturbed about stabbing his son to death and burning his corpse on the funeral pyre, but fortuitously a stranded ram was standing by to step in for the hapless Isaac. Was Abraham a psychopath, or did he posses faith (that affronts any normal human being) beyond what we are able to conceive or was he simply a deranged murderer. Would any normal, rational, sane father premeditatedly murder their son, burn his body on a funeral pyre as in some bloodlust pagan ritual to appease the loving god. Of all the utter garbage in the bible this story affronts ones sensibilities most profoundly.

But there are holes in the story, Abraham, is asked by Isaac “look at the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering”, Abraham replies “my son, god will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering”. Isaac says there is a fire already burning and Abraham says god will provide a lamb so he already new the outcome of the ritual melodrama before he supposedly tied Isaac up and pretended he was going to sacrifice him. Seems like a melodramatic shame, going through the motions but knowing the outcome before you start. Not a bad yarn to tell around the camp fire to those who were not present and dumb enough to believe it, but unfortunately a fairly hollow fairytale let down badly by the details as presented in the story. Presumably Abraham spreads the story around so as to bask in his vainglory. Greater love hath no man than to kill his son or pretend he’s about to do so knowing he doesn’t really have to, a pretty hollow show of faith. You can bet your life Isaac was watching his back very closely after this charade.

This story is so obviously a load of utter bullshit, so here’s what really happened, Abraham is throwing a Sunday afternoon barbecue for a few mates, you know, gets blind and works up a righteous holy storm, after a few jugs of wine or ten everyone is blind motherless drunk and talking to god, and gods answering, off their collective faces, Isaac is a smartarsed teenager and full to the tits with turps and gives Abraham some stick (as badmouthed teenagers do) about being full of shit, sacrifice me will you, you old fool, have a go if you reckon you’re good enough, I’ll kick your fucking arse with both hands tied behind my back, great patriarch, my arse, god bothering dickhead, I ought to cut your heart out and feed it to the dogs, blah, blah, blah. Abraham gets righteously pissed off and says, mind your fucking smartarse mouth boy or you’ll be on the barbecue instead of the lamb chops. How old was Isaac, if he was a little kid he might have gone along with the “tie me up game” but if he was a teenager or young man no way he would have meekly allowed himself to be tied up and stabbed to death and burnt unless he was a retard, which is a distinct possibility since he was the product of the union between brother and sister. Unfortunately for theology human beings in biblical times were not much different from us now, human, and all too human.

The tablets were still hot off the mountain where god had just said “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and Joshua, being our archetypal psychopathic genocidal maniac is rampaging through the country engaged in mass slaughter, but it’s all right because god told him to do it. What the tablets actually stated was “Thou Shalt Not Kill except if I [god] says so, then it’s ok” Subtle hey, who would have thought. Maybe we didn’t get the P.S. at the bottom of the tablet, it probably went something like this, “Under ideal conditions, when everyone is being good and doing what they are told, the above applies, but if I’m pissed of and you need to grab a bit of land, eliminate a heap of heretics and grab some pussy for the troops to play with, disregard above.

The Midianites are utterly destroyed, every man woman and child except the virgins,32,000 are set aside for the use of the Joshua’s army. One wonders how it was determined which were virgins and which were not, did these women voluntarily submit to a vaginal examination (hardly) or were they systematically raped and the total of those who bleed tallied up later. What a horrific episode in the history of man kind [if it really happened], but justified and sanctified by the wonderful, loving, compassionate, caring Christian god. Another point arises from this sickening story, that is, what was the meaning of the word “virgin”, these days it mean a female that has not been sexually penetrated, or putting it another way a female that has her hymen intact, this can only be determined by competent medical examination and even then it is doubtful as the hymen can be broken without penile penetration. So were these 32,000 virgins, virgins in the contemporary sense or were they simply unmarried women, if so this throws considerable doubt on the virgin birth myth, the virgin birth myth becomes a simple mistranslation. Virgin conception and births only seem to exist in religious records never in the real world, if god created the world and everything in it, he/she also created the laws of physics, mathematics and biology, reproduction etc, laws that every living thing on the face of the earth complies with, so how and why did god contravene the laws of biology and cause spontaneous conception when it is contrary to every known law of biology.
With gods sanction and urging joshua utterly destroys, the people of Ai, the Gibeonites, the people of Makkedah, the Libnahites, the people of Lachish, the Egonlites, the Hebronites, the Debieites, the people of Anikim, Joshua 10:40 "So Joshua defeated the whole land . he left none remaining, but destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded." Great stuff, sounds a bit like the present day American government, serving god.

Honor thy Mother and Father. It was not long after, Lot’s daughters [reportedly virgins, one wonders] gave Lot the great honor of getting him drunk, the older daughter screwing him first and the younger daughter next, a rather dubious honor to have bestowed on one. You have to marvel at the pragmatism of these old testament patriarchs, now just how drunk was Lot, since drunk is a relative term, was he so blind motherless drunk that he didn’t know he was screwing his daughters, in which case he should have had trouble getting it up, or was he just a bit drunk and able to get it up and didn’t mind screwing his daughters. Perhaps he thought it a great honor to relieve his daughters of the burden of their virginity.

They were in a cave in the mountains, no other men around, a few months later the two daughters start to swell, no husbands, no other men, was Lot so dumb that he didn’t know he was the father of his daughters babies, didn’t he care or was he rather proud. One marvels at the christian patriarchs, any pussy will do when the tribal birthrate is down and an heir is needed, keep it in the family seems to be the motto of the story. But before all this Lot was willing to throw his virgin daughters to dogs wanting to screw the male angles [who later become men in the story] staying in his house. Were these children born retards as is quite often the case with incest?

Fortunately for Lot’s wife she was turned into a pillar of salt [ whatever that means] for looking back to Sodom and doubly fortunate the she had no sons because they probably wouldn’t have minded playing hide the sausage with her.
LAWS

Then the dozen or so heinous crimes that attract the death penalty, such as pulling a donkey out of a hole on the Sabbath or a back chatting son or daughter that dares to question their father’s authority, adultery, sodomy, incest. There are some really important laws in the old testament such as, if two men are fighting and the wife of one grabs the other fellows genitals then she must have her hand cut off, apparently fighting and testicle grabbing was widespread in those days and had to be stopped and so required a specific law banning it, “No woman shall grab the nuts of the opponent of her husband in a fight”. The woman could poke eyes out, crack heads open, break legs but never, never, never, ever grab a fellows nuts, the line had to drawn somewhere, nut grabbing was not kosher, could not be tolerated, cut their hands off, the dirty bitches, how dare they grab a fellows meat.

The bible has something for everyone, even a bit of thinly veiled erotica as in the song of solomon, Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, your name is ointment poured forth, therefore the virgins [again one wonders what this word really means] love you. Lead me away. We will run after you. The king has brought me to his chambers.
2:3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste, “I delighted in giving my love a blow job and it tasted sweet. 2:6 His left hand is under my head and his right hand embraces me. I charge you daughters of jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases. “he held me with his left arm and stroked me with his right and entreated me not to cum too soon “.

2:17Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountains of Bether, “make love to me all night, be strong like a stag”. 3:4 Scarcely had I passed them by when I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go, until I had brought him to the house of my mother, and into the chamber of her who had conceived me, “I found him, took back to my mothers house and made love to him in my mothers bed”. 3:5 I charge you oh daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases, “don’t cum too soon”. 4:6 Your two breasts are like fawns, twins of a gazelle, which feed among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense, “all night I will caress your breasts and go my way to your pubic mound and feed on your vagina until daybreak”. 4:10 How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices, “how much better than wine is the taste of your vagina and the scent sweeter than all spices “.4:16 Awake, oh north wind and come south. Blow upon my garden that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruit, “go down, go down and let me feel your breath on my vagina, lick and suck me, make my musky juices flow”. 5:1 I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice, I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk, “ I have tasted the sweetness of your vagina and drunk the mixture of our juices.

5:2 Open for me my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one, for my head is covered with dew and my locks with the drops of the night. I have taken off my robe, how can I put it on again, I have washed my feet how can I defile them again. My beloved put his hand by the latch of the door and my heart yearned for him. I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock. “I fantasized over you, I hear you entreating me to open for you, telling me your penis is secreting, your foreskin is pulled back, your pubic hair wet with fluid, I am naked, I imagined you fingers on my vulva and I wanted you so much, I spread for you, my fingers were dripping with my juices as I opened my vulva for you, I opened for you but you were not there. 5: 8 I charge you, oh daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved that you tell him I am lovesick, “if you see my lover tell him I am greatly aroused I need him now”. 7:7 This stature of yours is like a palm tree and your breasts like its clusters. I said I will go up to the palm tree and take hold of it’s branches, let now you breasts be like clusters of the vine., “ breasts like firm bunches of grapes to be eaten ”. 7:13 The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you,” the fragrance of my vagina is sweet and at my vulva are many delights some of which you have known and others new that I have saved for you ”.

8:2 I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, she who used to instruct me, I would cause you to drink of the spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate, “I would take you to my mothers house, she who instructed me in the sexual arts, and make you drink the sweet musky juices of my pink wet vagina. 8:3 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me, “again he holds me and masturbates me with his right hand “. 8:4 I charge you oh daughters of Jerusalem, do not stir up or awaken love until it pleases, “I tell you girls of Jerusalem do not become aroused to quickly, make it last, do not cum too quickly “. 8:14 Make haste my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountain of spices, “come quickly my love, make love to me like a wild animal aroused by the musky fragrance of my vagina “.

Lets not forget, these are the irrefutable inerrant words of god, rendered into contemporary English, cunnilingus and fellatio are cool, sexual fantasizing with associated masturbation is kosher, caressing of breasts, tongue kissing, sniffing of vaginal odors is ok, drinking of vaginal secretions is allowed. Nothing wrong with this except the moralizing of Christian zealots telling us unbelievers what is right and wrong, that you have to be married to do this, who says, Solomon married his 300 concubines so if it is good enough for such a wise king, it is good enough for me.

One wonders how sexually repressed Christian can read the song of Solomon, could it be that, what is considered, in puritanical Christian thought, to be sexually deviant and morally abhorrent, be the irrefutable word of god. But this is where the disingenuousness of Christian thought comes to the fore, the ability to hold two totally contradictory propositions simultaneously as inviolable. This thinly disguised erotica is the sacred word of god but it is not erotica when read through the eyes of fundamentalist blind faith, it just depends on who is reading it and how much of their rational mind they have left to reason with.

This brings us to so called sexual immorality [in the Christian sense], no mention of marriage of Solomon and his lover until 4:10, where he calls her his sister, his spouse, [doubtful terms in the context of the story] this is after he has taken her to his chambers, she has performed fellatio on him and he has masturbated her and she has made love to him in her mothers bed. Not to mention Solomon’s vast herd of wives and lovers, 700 wives and 300 concubines that his latest conquest is invited to join. He is besotted by her, bursting to lay her, get his head between her legs at every opportunity, can not get enough of her, but how long will this passion last before he tires of her and goes back to screwing his concubines, when the freshness of newly taken virginity has passed, how long before she is thrown onto the scrap heap of concubinal imprisonment, where she is no longer number one and the latest piece of fresh meat has taken her place.

How terrible for her, to be thrown on the scrap heap when he tires of her. However, this is not sexual immorality this is what you want it to be, depending on your perspective. Mormons are considered to morally corrupt having 2 or 3 wives, however Solomon had 300 and this is not considered to be sexual perversity. But Christians have not the slightest problem overlooking the idiosyncratic [some would say insane] behavior of a patriarchal sex maniac. God is not mentioned once in the Song of Solomon so what has this erotica got to do with the Christian religion.

This mega polygamist obviously suffered from some kind of obsessive compulsive disorder, collecting women, [Solomon the collector], why, because he could, who needs or could keep it up to 700 wives and 300 concubines, there must have been some mightily pissed off sexually frustrated women in his harem, a pit of vipers. He had 1,000 women, assuming he could lay three a night [not bad for any man] each would get laid 2.73 times a year and what woman would put up with that, getting laid twice a year is bad enough, but getting laid .73 times is not on. Any normal woman from, say 20 to 40 year old doesn’t mind sex once a week, some women more, some women less, but lets be generous to Solomon and say once a month. For Solomon to keep it up to his wives and harem at this rate he would have had to screw a different one of them every 45 minutes, 24 hours a day, if he slept for 8 hours the rate would increase to one every 30 minutes. This is 48 erection a day, nice going Solomon, hardly worth letting it soften up between women just keep it hard for 16 hours straight, pull one on for half and hour, throw her off and grab another one. The bible only mentions Solomon having one child so we can be pretty sure he had sex at least once, sounds like he was a mega bullshit artist, 1,000 women on tap and he only has one child, maybe he only managed to get it up once, but liked showing off his collection of tame pussy., sounds like a nut case. Of course all of this commentary is absurd but one can only respond to absurdity with absurdity, to give serious comment to utter rubbish is not only a waste of time but give undeserved credibility to obvious garbage. Once again, that leap of faith, utter bullshit becomes the irrefutable word of god. Solomon was reputedly renowned for his great wisdom, [cutting babies in half his method of determining paternity] seems like this great wisdom emanated from the brain in the head of his penis.

Greater faith has no Christian than to believe two contradictions simultaneously, like Orwell’s “doublespeak”. The story is quite beautiful and not shocking in itself, a story of sexual arousal, erotic fantasy, of what two lovers have done and will do to each other, of sexual desire and titillation. But what’s it doing in the bible, is this gods book of sex education for young Christian lovers, [the how to make love manual] if so, everything described in the song of Solomon is mandatory for Christians, no if, buts or maybes, it is the literal word of god. So, “good Christian men “, get licking and “and “good Christian women “, open wide and learn to suck and swallow “, no more of this sex in the bedroom, with lights out and under the blankets [man on top please, it’s only natural], get into it anywhere, your mothers bed, in the woods, wherever because it is the literal inerrant word of god.

But make sure you get married before you dare putting any of Solomon’s and his lover’s techniques into practice lest you fall into sexual immorality. Only great, wise biblical patriarchs are allowed to allegedly fuck themselves stupid in and outside of marriage with their private collection of pet whores. For puritanical fundamentalists the Song of Solomon should be anathema, that the great wise polygamist king Solomon suckled his lover’s breasts and vaginal juices and she sucked him and found it sweet should be too much. The song of Solomon goes straight to the denial bin, this biblical aberration is there but not there, it says what it says but it doesn’t say anything, one does not talk about it therefore it does not exist. You can not present dire warning about sexual immorality in one part of the so called word of god and then present diametrically opposed actions in another part and expect rational human beings to reconcile both simultaneously, to attempt to do so leads to insanity. Black can not be white and white, black simultaneously.

NEW TESTAMENT [Paulianity]

And so it goes with atrocity after atrocity, absurdity pilled on absurdity until we come to the New Testament. This is where previous absurdities and latter day revelations are compounded into alphabet soup. Where the prince of peace come with a sword, and tells you if you don’t have your own sword to sell you cloths and buy one, [lots of naked Christians running around with swords in their hands] where we are told to hate our parents and love him [egomaniac], where the zealous blatantly misogynistic Paul lays down the lions share of new testament law. Law allegedly given by someone who never wrote a thing, the law based on what someone said someone said someone said. The old story of asking three eye witnesses for their account of what happened in a traffic accident and getting three different accounts, applies here. Let alone wait for who knows how many years later to write down what was supposedly said. Jesus supposedly said his intention was not to wipe out the mosaic law but to fulfill it. Confusion reigns supreme again, you can’t have the NT god being the god of love, peace and kindness and call this same god of the OT, the god of murder, rape, genocide and plunder, we have two diametrically opposed belief systems and we are told to believe the two are really of the same god. Here we are enjoined to throw out all of what were told to believe from the old testament, do a mental back flip and believe that this vindictive god is not really the condoner, instigator and architect of murder, land grabbing, rape, incest, genocide, infanticide, sexual slavery, polygamy, ritual sacrifice, patriarchal insanity, retribution and punishment, he is the god of love and mercy, cares for you, wants to rock you in his loving bosom.

No wonder Christians are so badly confused, they have to love the god of the old and new testaments simultaneously, a herculean feat, a dialectic absurdity, only the deeply religious are able to hold two utterly counter intuitive predications simultaneously, and believe absolutely in both, an amazing feat of faith. Two diametrically opposed doctrines, one of unadulterated horror the other of alleged supreme love. The confusion Christians have holds true if you question their beliefs, they invariably burr up, take it as a personal attack when you question their doctrine, particularly when they are presented with obvious contradictions, it is as if you have slapped their faces when all you are doing is asking for a sensible answer to a reasonable question. Their super sensitiveness to questioning tells you something of the lack of surety they have in their own beliefs. Question a scientist on the laws of physics and he/she will quote precisely the applicable law to a specific situation and proceed to give you 14 different examples of how and where these laws apply, ask a Christian about their belief system and all they can do is get angry and give you a line of shit about faith.

Faith total absence of analytical thought blind acceptance of the most absurd propositions deep faith a diagnosable form of mental illness.

Mary is allegedly a virgin, yet manages to get pregnant, first of all, by whom and how was it determined that Mary was a virgin, did she submit to a vaginal examination, if so, who did the examination and declared her a virgin, on who’s authority was she declared a virgin, or is this a simple mistranslation, since the original word meant “unmarried woman”. More likely Joseph was a bit of a sly dog and got his end in without anyone knowing. As we know from bible history men in those days where quite partial to a bit of hide the sausage.

Simply stated pregnancy requires the fertilisation of an egg by at least one male sperm, since it is an entirely physiological process a sperm must have come into contact with an egg within Mary and thus resulted in an embryo, so how did god get a sperm into Mary without breaking her hymen [assuming she had one and that this fairy tale is true], was she inseminated with a fine instrument that didn’t brake her hymen or did god somehow violate her without breaking her hymen, maybe gods got a really little dick.. Anyway god impregnates Mary, but somewhere, sometime, somehow, someone or something put a sperm in her virginal canal and she conceived because without that nasty little tadpole and a receptive egg you don’t get a baby. Believe it if you want to, but babies in the real world don’t happen without egg and sperm, egg and sperm, no other recipe works if you want a baby. If god is so great and all powerful why didn’t he just materialize Jesus out of thin air, why inflict the tedious and painful process of human birth on Mary when he could have just gone wham bam, here’s Jesus, son of god, out of thin air. But maybe god’s a bit of a sly dog and wanted to poke a virgin just because he could.. Here’s what probably happened, after making love to Mary, Joseph pulls out and says, god, what an immaculate fuck that was.

Let’s look at Jesus’ genealogy, for a start, he didn’t have any genealogy if you don’t believe in reincarnation, he was supposedly immaculately conceived [straight from god, no past] and therefore without a past or sin, so didn’t need to be baptized to wash away sin, too many holes in the story, too many inconsistencies. The NT writers obviously did not have to contend with literary critics since the vast majority of the population couldn’t read or write in those days, they could get away with any bullshit they wrote, these days there are a few more people who can read and write and there are even one or two that can think, so this crap that the NT writers presented is quite easy to shoot down in flames. Of course the Christian apologists doggedly defend the indefensible, one must admire their dedication, while at the same time pity their naivety, for they neither practice what they preach nor know not what they believe in. They are a perfect example of what has happened to whatever the hand of man has touched, a perverted, twisted, misinterpreted belief system to suite whatever ism or schism that enables the maximum amount of money to be extracted from and power exerted over a gullible self hating, mindless, thoughtless, intolerant gaggle of spectacularly stupid fools. One must take ones hat of to the Pat Dobsons, the Jerry Falwells, the Oral Roberts, the Dennis Pragers of this world, they are able to live like veritable king, where the average dumbshit Christian is flat out feeding their family, but I suppose that’s the way god planed it, that’s the way god wanted it to be. God doesn’t want his top representatives living like dogs, better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick -- that’s god’s way.

Every year tradition says we must celebrate the birthday of Jesus, this is in remembrance of when they let off fireworks [stars in the sky], the three wise Santa clauses visited Jesus after his birth and gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh, of little use to a new born baby. Apparently the dates are wrong but that’s another story. Maybe we could market this scam, make a fortune out of it, merchandise it, the whole deal, oh, damn, it’s already been done and poor Jesus never got a cent in royalties but there are a shitload of other bloodsuckers making a fortune out of it.

The hundreds of contradictions not only within the new testament and between the old and new testaments, between Paul’s NT version and what Jesus supposedly said, make the NT a laughing stock, if such a document were presented to a present day court of law for authentification it would be thrown out in 10 seconds as being an unreliable, historically unverifiable, inaccurate, contradictory, inconsistent, fabricated, nonsensical document and consigned post haste to the rubbish bin where it belongs. However true believers are able to get around these seemingly insurmountable obstacles with ease and without a second thought, declare the bible to be the true, authentic, unambiguous, inerrant, inspired word of god. Analytical, rational thought has no place in the Christian paradigm.

The OT is full of self contradictions the NT no better, 194 according to one internet source. The NT is clearly a story designed to fit OT prophesy, it is the illogical extension of OT myths but badly let down by the incredible number of inconsistencies and contradictions in it. One would assume that the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient god could get it right even though he is writing through human agents, why couldn’t he burn it into their brains, don’t fuck up with this, all of you get this story straight, don’t contradict each other, you only have one go at this, but no, we have a hodgepodge of self contradictory horseshit that strikes a note with only the lamest of humanity, the intellectual cripples of this sick world seem to be the only ones that can make sense of this collection of contradictory crap. But how much of the Christian doctrine is rhetoric and how much of it is actuality, words and actions do not correspond, forgive your enemies or bomb the living shit out of them. Joshua would be in his element today, perhaps the head of the American military is the reincarnation of Joshua, his actions are indistinguishable from the Joshua of old if he actually existed that is.

And so today the madness still goes on, we still have the same type of insanity endemic in the modern church. The sheer dumb animal stupidity of the catholic church, the morally bankrupt, hypocritical, self righteousness of the Jews, the utterly arrogant blindness of protestants is a sad testament to how far removed they have become from the original teachings, if there ever were any. The treatment of women as substandard beings, not allowed to hold positions of office, not allowed to be priests or ministers demonstrates the thoroughness of the patriarchal thought control. It is a wonder how any woman with two brain cells working can be a member of any modern church. Modern churches are men’s affairs with women simply being an addendum, tea, cake and baby makers, shut up in church, cover your hair, don’t wear men’s clothes etc, etc. Luckily I am a civilized non-Christian and can refrain from smashing the heads of so called god fearing Christians, unlike many so called Christians who will commit murder by proxy in the name of their god. Apparently it is ok to have atrocities committed in the name of god if you get someone else to do it for you, get gods army to commit the atrocities for you, [onward Christian soldier murders].

The stupidity of modern religion has reached the stage of utter insanity, so called Christian governments still go on their murderous, genocidal rampages in the name of god, history repeating itself. Unfortunately the brain dead, alleged Christian populations under these governments haven’t read or have selectively read their bibles. Anyone who supports war is accessory after the fact to murder, anyone who goes to war as a willing participant is a potential murderer and is therefore, by definition, not a Christian. “So called” Christians are commanded by god not to kill 𔄞th commandment”,, “so called” Christians don’t impose so called democracies on foreign countries and in the process wipe out 1,00,000 or so innocent people, “so called” Christians don’t steal the property of others [oil ], so called Christian have never been given the right to rule the world,. “So called” Christians don’t have the belief that “we have come hear to help you, if you don’t let us help you we will have to kill you” it’s for your own good. This lets pretend Christian scum that rule most of the western world and the robotic, mindless, thoughtless semi human enforcers [military] have oceans of blood on their hands, no wonder Americans are universally hated. Apparently god is really big on Americans maintaining their present standard of living at the cost of the whole fucking world. Fuck god fuck America with it’s stinking mindless self-righteousness, America is locked into some kind of anachronistic, egotistic, solipsistic, imperial self-righteous justification for actions based on interpretations of absolutely unverifiable ancient myths, no wonder it’s foundations are crumbling, the country is divided and at war with itself. The whole country is at war, the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on terrorisms, the war on corruption, the war on pollution, the war on want, the war on child abuse, the war on cancer, the war on heart disease, the war on racism, war, war, war, all based on the old testament, America is an anachronism, it is in the vortex of the whirlpool that appears in your toilet bowl just before the contents disappear forever..

The utter insanity of events being witnessed recently regarding the death of pope john is a disgraceful, lamentable testament as to how low the catholic church has sunk unto anthropomorphism. The catholic “man god” is dead, [can god die] this is the man [only a man] who has done more than any modern cleric to perpetuate the subjugation of women in particular, the poor in general, and is directly responsible for the birth of countless thousands into utter destitution. What did this demon know about procreation, if he knew anything about it he shouldn’t?

This is the man that [if we are to believe catholic doctrine] has never experienced the most basic of human functions, supposedly never known the joy of sex, never had a deliberate orgasm, one wonders at how horrible a penance he might have inflicted on himself if he had ever had a wet dream, involuntary ejaculation, horror of horrors, to have to accept that a man is just a man after all. This great man [human garbage] has never experienced the joy of procreation nor the terrible mental anguish of unwanted pregnancy of a mother, never raised children in abject poverty, never seen his son or daughter die pitifully in such poverty, is directly responsible for the inexorable spread of aids and other social diseases. This so called great man [piece of filth] would force, through fear of retribution or excommunication, a raped woman to bear an unwanted child.

This great man [scum] has stated that it is better for a man, that, if he can’t practice total sexual abstinence, to knowingly infect his sexual partner[wife or other] with aids rather than use a condom, does this filth have one ounce of human compassion, the tiniest speck of moral decency. This great man [trash] dared to dictate oxymoronical religious law regarding human the condition that he had not the slightest concept of. His ivory tower provided no view of the slum. This so called great man is accessory after the fact to, infanticide, pedophilia, perverted homosexuality, poverty, starvation, prostitution, overpopulation and consequent environmental degradation. This puerile being turned a blind eye to endemic pedophilia in the church and affiliated organisations. This moron [one of the many] exemplifies the vacuous mental retardation necessary for a belief in Catholicism. This champion of the inquisition whose dereliction of duty and total moral corruption has thankfully turned millions away from a virulent form of religious psychosis. What we are witnessing is not simply a mass turning away from so catholic religious law, but a mass recognition of a diagnosable form of extremely serious mental illness.

Can one positive thing be said about a clerical system that has seen over 4,000 catholic priests face sexual abuse allegation in the last 50 years, the alleged 10,000 victims were mainly boys between the ages of 11 and 14 years? One doesn’t need to go looking for this scum, no, they invariably out themselves with their outrageous self indulgent behavior, given the smallest amount of latitude they can not help but abuse positions of trust.

Probably the most astounding thing about religion is that it is given any credibility at all when it is demonstrably the most vile, destructive force the earth has ever seen. The breathtaking mindlessness of fundamentalist Christian and Muslim power gone mad as witnessed in the middle east, the sheer pig ignorance of the arrogant Jewish power mongers, obviously suffering from a deadly diagnosable mental illness called something like “psychopathic obsessive compulsive persecution disorder” [add whatever you like here they are certifiably insane]. Religion has poisoned everything it has touched, most governments are run on the Christian model, “ hierarchical, patriarchal, authoritarian, punitive ” , most judicial systems the same, most business the same, all having one filthy rotten stinking root in Judaeo-Christian religion, Islam is no better possibly worse, as evidenced by their brainwashing in particular and their treatment of women in general.
What is this fatal infantile flaw in the human psyche that requires it blame the devil when something goes wrong and praise god when it goes right [transference]. I remember the sickeningly pathetic sight of Jimmy Swaggart weeping in his confession that the devil made him screw a few whores, that he was a good Christian man but that nasty old devil got the better of him. Why not be real, admit and take responsibility for his actions, just say Tammy couldn’t give me what I needed so I had to pay a whore for it, pure and simple, I’m just a man, and cop it with a bit of backbone not like a whimpering jellyfish. Anyway where was god, why didn’t he stop good old jimmy, “apparently they had a hotline to each other”. Why didn’t god say to jimmy, stop this jimmy or I’ll shrivel your nuts up, your meat is going to raise a shit storm of trouble the like of which you’ve never seen. But no god just let him go, humping and grinding for the lord, hallelujah.

The genius of the bible is that it does bring one to self realization, [though not the way Christians would have you think] it teaches one that institutionalised hierarchical paternalistic punitive religion is not only superfluous but a deadly poison to human life, utter garbage, the bible is the service manual of what not to do, it is the last word on how to fuck a world, how to subjugate, denigrate, manipulate the gullible, frighten the fearful into blind obedience, turn a world into a polarized living hell. The bible demonstrates vividly that the path to self realization, higher consciousness, enlightenment, and self responsibility [what ever you want to call it] is not gained through some kind of self delusory worship of an externalised god, or by devotion to, or arse kissing of a self serving priest, but through the stripping away of veils of dumb animal pig ignorance, fear, and superstition, that true enlightenment is the result of the expansion of consciousness not the contraction of it.

One stands in awe at the spectacular stupidity required to be a devoted Christian [or any other faith], how do otherwise supposedly intelligent human beings take this gigantic leap of faith, [from rationality to utter absurdity] and as the faith become greater so the leaps become longer, [tenuous fairy tales become irrefutable truth]. Do they have so little self worth, so little self respect, such much self hate that they must seek forgiveness from an intangible, unknowable, non-communicative, mental construct called god.

The beautiful thing about religion is that people accept that there are no money back guarantees, they go to church every Sunday, tithe until they are broke, pray until they are blue in the face and if they still feel like a piece of shit they know it’s their own fault, they haven’t got enough faith, beautiful, marketing the intangible, no refunds here, regrettably a lot of people self flagellate to the point of madness.

A precautionary note here for cheeky kids, don’t put shit on Christian patriarchs, they are liable to go nuts and set the bears on to you and tear you to pieces, as Elisha the black magician did. Apparently is was quite normal in biblical times for Christian patriarchs to have psychic control over ferocious members of the animal kingdom to tear naughty children limb from limb, one must assume it to be a suitable punishment for bad mouth kids. Way to go, Christian child control, just keep a couple of bears in the backyard and tell your kids, give me any shit and I’ll have my furry friends out back tear you to pieces, that should shut them up, fuck with me and I’ll throw you to the bears.

Became a Christian at Saturday nights brother loves god bothering road show did you, and your still jacking off over the neighbors daughter hey, still can’t resist a look at that naughty website then a quick flog and still don’t mind getting on the piss, and don’t mind going down on the missus, that nasty old devil just won’t leave you alone will he, pestering the shit out of you to be the same old piece of shit you always were. But where is god, I thought you gave your life to the loving Jesus, I thought Jesus is now your lord and savior, isn’t he supposed to be rocking you in his loving bosom, sorry dumbfuck, you are on your own if you can’t cut this faith deal, the bad old devil’s got you by the nuts and you are staying where you are.

It couldn’t be as simple as being locked into your own behavioral habits, not hurting anybody, just doing what feels ok to you, no it’s that old devil on your case, nothing to do with your total lack of will, your spineless lack of resolve, your utterly wretched addiction to self gratification, no, no, not at all, it’s that SOB devil dragging you down. Well, you poor dumbfuck, god’s content to let you wallow in your filth until you have the balls to pull yourself out of it, and if by some slim chance you do, then you can get down on your knees and thank your loving god for doing what you did your for yourself.

Bullshit, you say, “God gave me the strength to lift myself up.” Bullshit, I say, because if this god was such a loving, caring, omnipotent god he/she wouldn’t have let you get into shithole you were in, in the first place. Most born again Christians make you so sick you wish they had never been born in the first place. No need to be born again, just grow up.

Unfortunately people become Christians or “other” before they have studied it, children are forced into it and controlled by fear through it, and those in dire straights are susceptible to it. A one year study for those over the age of 21of any religion should be compulsory before one is allowed to join any religious organisation. A thorough understanding of the nature of, history of, modus operandi, social and personal responsibilities must be gained, followed by a thorough professional psychological assessment before being allowed to join, because, demonstrably, most of the horrific suffering mankind has endured through the ages has been caused by religion rather than any other human stupidity. Religion has convinced people that there is an invisible man living in the sky, and he has a special list of ten things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of those things he will send you to a place full of fire and you will burn and suffer and be tortured forever and ever until the end of time [whenever that is], but he loves you dearly and his representatives on earth need lots more money to continue telling everyone this.

Since there is no actual marriage ceremony in the bible we can safely assume that marriage in the contemporary sense is nothing more than a social custom, something to satisfy the prejudices of the morally judgmental, confused about their own sexuality. The bible says people should marry lest they fall into sexual immorality, no doubt the notion of what is sexually immoral and what is not has changed throughout the ages. So, what is considered to be sexually immoral today, incest, rape, sodomy, bestiality, sex with a minor [male or female], no one needs to be a religious nut case to know that such behavior is absolutely abhorrent to anyone in there right mind and does not need god to tell him or her so, it is self evident, patently obvious, one does not need religion to know the difference between right and wrong.

But let’s go back to biblical times and have a look at what was considered to be sexual immorality, who knows who Cain and later, his sons, were screwing. Apparently incest was not considered to be sexually immoral, Abraham didn’t mind fucking his sister, Lot didn’t mind fucking his daughters. No problem with rape in biblical times, Lot was ok about offering his daughters to the rabble to fuck instead of the angels, Joshua was ok about taking 32,000 virgins for his troops to do whatever they wanted with, women where just chattels. Later on in Judges the old man in Gibeah didn’t mind giving his concubine to the mob to fuck to death overnight. Then the army of Israel returns and kills all of the adult men and women but spares the virgins [one wonders how they were determined to be virgins] and no doubt they were treated appropriately? And what about the concubine [unpaid whore in other words] that was cut into 12 pieces and distributed to the twelve tribes of Israel? Enlightening stuff these bible stories!

Sodomy, well we will have to concede that one, bum fucking was not kosher in biblical times, bum fuckers had to be stoned to death, same for practitioners of bestiality, the loving merciful god could not be appeased any other way, adultery the same. Sex with a minor, historically it was OK to have teenage brides, old enough to bleed, old enough to butcher.

So we could say sexual immorality might actually have taken a slight turn for the better these days despite the decline in religious belief, of course there are the criminally insane who break the rules but in general most choose not to partake of sexual immorality, religious nut cases or not. But what about the religious fruit cakes that break the rules of sexual immorality [and there have been many], they are doubly guilty because us nonbelievers are supposed not to know the difference between right and wrong. Hundreds of so called primitive societies have been running harmoniously for who knows how long without the doubtful aid of the Christian god. It seems only after the intervention of the do-gooder missionary that the wheels fall of, that societies are driven to division, fragmentation, guilt, hate, fear, judgmental attitudes and finally to self destruction, history irrefutably proves this.

Let’s make a comparison, two consenting adults living together in a loving relationship, unmarried, presumably satisfying each others emotional and physical needs, not thrusting their sexuality upon anyone else, just happy to be with each other, this is considered to be sexually immoral in contemporary Christian judgment. But the filthy, morally bankrupt, criminally insane behavior of our great bible patriarchs is conveniently overlooked and not considered to be sexual immorality. Someone has lost the plot here someone can’t read their bibles or reads what they want to and quickly puts what is insurmountably intellectually challenging into the denial basket. Is it ok to fuck your daughter, sell your daughter into slavery, it ok to give your concubine to be fucked to death by the common rabble, it is OK to rape the daughters of those conquered no, no ,no., this is sickening fucking, utter rubbish is presented as the fundamental, unquestionable, irrefutable, inerrant, infallible word of god, [vomit now]. I have a daughter, I have never desired to, thought of, considered how I might, fuck her, but the bible says it’s OK if I want to.

Religion itself is a sort of security blanket for those incapable of independent thought or ability to take responsibility for there own actions, a dummy for the brain dead, a kind of soft drug for the feeble minded, a pacifier for those who must transfer their inability to do right by their fellow man to a supposedly irresistible evil force external to themselves. But religion becomes insidious when coupled with power and politics, as witnessed by present day events, under these circumstances it becomes a theological drug, smack for the mindless. Fundamental Christianity, the drug par excellence for the worlds power mongers, theological heroin. World politics is rotten enough itself without being fueled by insane religious self righteousness. We are witnessing badly flawed democracies poisoned with fundamentalist theological fascism.

Human beings, born innocent, taught to be evil and commanded by god to be perfect without the necessary tools to do so, threatened with eternal suffering if perfection is not achieved, no wonder Christians have lost their minds. Faced with the insurmountable task of achieving so called perfection, the logical reaction is to simply deny so called wrong doing and transfer responsibility to an invisible, external, intangible agent, the devil. The devils out there and gunning for your soul, it couldn’t be that you are just a pig ignorant, arrogant, self opinionated, closed mined, self righteous, dumb, spineless weakling, incapable of rational thought or self control within societies framework, incapable of taking responsibility for your actions, relying on violence of every kind to thrust your mind numbingly vacuous doctrine of patriarchal thought control, hate, fear and eternal punishment on those who neither want, need, or desire it, no, none of the above, that dirty rotten devil made you do it, you didn’t really want to do it, did you, but you couldn’t resist him/her could you.

Inexcusable actions become acceptable if done for the so called highest good, it will never be right to do wrong for the sake of so called right. The Jewish example is perfect, invade a country with the help of a strong ally [only because Briton wouldn’t accept a gaggle of ego-maniacal, self righteous scum ], deny the existence of a native population of the invaded country, subject that alleged nonexistent population to the most horrific persecution, segregate them, deny their very humanity, all because, firstly, they don’t believe in the same fairy stories as you and secondly god said in an unauthenticated bloodlust fairytale written who knows when, “it’s your land, take it”. But it’s all right because god said to his genocidal devotees [who at times were not so devoted] that this is your land. God supposedly said this to Jews, unfortunately there were no Jews then, Judaism developed much later. The so called chosen people were not chosen for their greatness on the contrary, they were chosen for their baseness and depravity, they were a homicidal, maniacal rabble wondering around the desert looking for some land to steal.

Now we have the worlds only superpower virtually controlled by Israel, Jewish aspirations determining American foreign policy, dictated by a group of ultra right wing Zionist zealot lobbyists intent on starting world war three, with the expectation that they will be the ones left standing when their Muslim enemies have been wiped from the face of the earth. Unfortunately for Israel and fortunately for the world, Muslims are not simply going to curl up and die at the whim of Israel. Israel is impotent without the support of its big brother with the big stick, lets see them take on Iran by themselves, they dare not. World war three if and when it comes will hopefully see the end of Israel, they shall reap what they have sown, to use one of the few sensible saying of the Christians. Even this stinking computer I am writing this on has been hijacked by bloody Christians, every time I type in the word “Christian” this piece of shit has been programmed to give the word a capital “c” and I have to correct it, in my mind the only capital so called Christians deserve is capital punishment

The whole bible story presents absolutely insurmountable challenges to the rational mind, spectacular conclusion have been drawn from the most tenuous shreds of highly questionable myth. The whole edifice of modern religion stands on a handful of historically uncorroborated fairy tales. But one must marvel at the magnitude of the con, centuries of thought control, social engineering and manipulation of those who would comply and extermination of those would not, none dare call it megalomania. Christianity is the system, par excellence of the patriarchal fascist megalomaniac.

The anthropomorphic realization of god doesn’t hold together, mankind through the ages has marveled at the complexity of the world and everything in it. The explanation of the all of everything from evolutionist and creationist does not cut it, too many holes in both stories and neither willing to concede an inch. If we concede that there is an underlying matrix within which life came into being and continues to exist, and further that there appears to be a set of laws, known and unknown which explain the existence and continuance of life, laws which explain the all of everything in existence, this is not emotionally satisfying. If we say that god is simply a word or title for a vast collection of known and unknown parameters within which all of everything came into existence and continues to exist is once again emotionally unsatisfying but functionally correct. So it seems the man cannot conceive of god in anything other than human emotive terms, man has created god in his own pathetic image to satisfy his emotional needs, the creature has created the creator to fulfill his emotional insecurities and god amounts to nothing more than an idea, a thought, a feeling. The feel good god is not a god unto him/herself this feel good god is a mental construct emanating from the mind of man and therefore has no existence in actuality.

Man is no greater than a cabbage in the field trying to work out where it came from, is the farmer god because he/she planted the seed or is the seed god because it contained the essence of the cabbage plant and how can the cabbage know whether to worship the farmer or the seed. The cabbage may be conscious unto itself, it may know that it is what it is but knows nothing of farmers, seeds or anything else. Whereas one camp in the human debate knows that god created it and the other camp knows that it evolved from the primordial slime, what utter crap, all that each can ever know in complete surety is that it is what it is now, all that either can ever know is that they are what they are. Evolutionary theory purports to have scientific reasoning behind it, creationist state that their theory is correct because they say it is correct, creation cannot be substantiated by absolutely irrefutable fact and neither can evolution, so to be fair we could say that each are simply two diametrically opposed religions based on dogged unbending belief and never the twain shall meet and who cares if one belief system is right and the other wrong, nothing changes anyway, man is a seriously flawed unit and will continue in his/her self destructive ways.

Until something is proved to be totally irrefutable in every possible circumstance it cannot be considered to be truth and therefore should not be doggedly believed in. Evolutionists offer something tangible that the rational mind can possibly come to grips with: Christians offer fairy tales constructed from black marks on white paper and call it irrefutable. At least the fossil record hasn’t been tampered with by religious tyrants, murders and ecclesiastic megalomaniacs. Mankind will get far more profit from learning how to live with itself than trying to work out where it came from. Man is not much more than an arrogant self aggrandized cabbage.


The Bear

I. Close Reading of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale

Shakespeare’s tragi-comedy, The Winter’s Tale, explores the tragedy that befalls the Queen Hermoine of Sicilia when her husband, King Leontes, succumbs to his tyrannous passions, jealousy and wrath when he accuses Hermoine of having an affair with Polixenes, King of Bohemia. His blind anger at the thought that his male lineage may be compromised by an illegitimate child causes him to order that the princess Perdita be burned alive. After much pleading with the crazed King Leontes, Antigonous convinces the King to spare the child’s life and Leontes and instead the King commands him to “bear it (Perdita) to some remote and desert place quite out of our dominions “(Act II. 174-175). Here, the word bear is used to signify the act of leading or guiding the child to the remote forest. Later in the play, the word “bear” connotes carrying the burden of responsibility for one’s actions. The multiplicity of meanings of the word “bear” that are represented in this play offer a parallel to the variety of themes outlined throughout the play: tragic events give way to comic mishaps and eventual happy ending. In addition, the numerous definitions of “bear” mirror the varied traits that the bear inhabit: strong, violent, lustful, protective, courageous. Later in scene Antigonus invokes the bear again, but this time in a manner which portends the animal’s role as protector of the innocent Perdita, and of enacting justice against Antigonus: “Com on, poor babe. Some powerful spirit instructs the kites and ravens to be thy nurses. Wolves and bears, they say, casting their savageness aside, have done like offices of pity” (Act II. 184-188). Here, Antigonus describes beasts that have been called upon to act as Perdita’s protectors. Unlike her father, who is consumed by misogynistic wrath, the bear and wolf are known to cast aside their savage traits to be nurture and protect other species. Echoing Antigonus’ request for pity on the innocent Perdita, Hermione also begs for the spirit of of her father, the emperor of Russia, “O that he were alive, and here beholding his daughter’s trial that he did but see the flatness of my misery-yet with eyes of pity, not revenge” (Act III. 118-122). This passage has symbolic significance for the bear because it is the animal most often associated with Russian and here, Hermione is calling out to the spirit of her father,who may presumably have heard her cries and appeared in the form of the bear that enters and kills Antigonus on the shores of Behemia in Act 3 Scene 3

II. The Bear in His Habitat

The California grizzly bear is an extinct subspecies of the grizzly bear, the North American brown bear. Unfortunately, the California Grizzly has been extinct in the state of California since the early 1920s. Naturalist George Ord classified the grizzly in 1815 it’s name derived for its frightening character, “ursus horribilis” which means “terrifying bear”. This magnificent creature can weigh from 400 to 700 pounds and they can be between 5 and 8 feet tall, from tail to nose. They are agile and fast animals that can run at speeds up to 30 miles per hour as well as climb and swim. A distinct physical quality that is unique to the Grizzly bear is a hump of muscle between their shoulders this provides the bear with extra strength for digging, dragging their prey, and building their dens. Another stunning and deadly physical attribute of the Grizzly are their claws which are as long as five inches. While preparing for their long hibernation during the winter months, grizzlies gain around 400 pounds to sustain them during their slumber. A healthy grizzly bear can live up to 25 years.

While the grizzly bear population was once abundant in the state of California, they are now found primarily in Canada and Alaska, while some are still located in the continental U.S. These beasts are highly adaptable to different habitats including woodlands, forests, mountainous regions and meadows. Due to their diet, which consists of plants and fish, the grizzly prefers to live near a water source. Their diet consists of nuts, leaves, fish, small rodents, berries, roots, and some larger animals such as moose and elk. When bulking up for hibernation, the grizzly will gorge on salmon traveling upstream to spawn. They can eat up to 90 pounds of food in a day. Grizzly bears are protected from hunting in the continental United States, but hunters are free to hunt the bears in Alaska and Canada. The customary hunting season for grizzly bears is in the fall or the spring. Approximately 400 grizzly bears are killed annually in British Colombia alone. To legally hunt a grizzly, you are required to get a license and tag illegally hunting the bears can result in a fine, suspension of hunting equipment, or jail time.

Grizzly bears are protected from hunting in the continental United States, but hunters are free to hunt the bears in Alaska and Canada. The customary hunting season for grizzly bears is in the fall or the spring. Approximately 400 grizzly bears are killed annually in British Colombia alone. To legally hunt a grizzly, you are required to get a license and tag illegally hunting the bears can result in a fine, suspension of hunting equipment, or jail time.

III. Historical Context

The California grizzly bear (Ursus californicus) was designated as the official State Animal of California in 1953 (library.ca.gov 2017). Grizzly bears were once the largest carnivores to inhabit the California landscape. During the gold rush, the bears were ruthelessly hunted down because the bears were a threat to the settlers and their livestock. Only 75 years after the discovery of gold, all grizzly bears in California had been killed.

The lore that surrounds the grizzly bear is one of terror they are known for being aggressive and deadly. But that is not entirely true. In fact, the grizzly is naturally a passive creature who tries to avoid contact with humans. However, when the bears are surprised or threatened in any way they become easily annoyed and will attack the perceived threat. Much like a man, the grizzly bear can embody both aggressive and passive and peaceful character traits, which is one reason this animal is embedded in our cultural and literary history.

The image of the hulking, lumbering grizzly bear of the frontier days of early California settlers has been a prominent figure in literature and film. The great beast first gained notoriety abroad when in 1816 the arrival of two grizzly bears, “Mr. and Mrs. Martin” were sent by the Hudson’s Bay Company to England as a gift to the King. Visitors from far and wide came to see the bears at the London Zoological Gardens.Lewis and Clark encountered grizzly bears during their expedition up the Missouri River and across

Lewis and Clark encountered grizzly bears during their expedition up the Missouri River and across unexplored region to the Colombia River, between 1804 and 1806. Clark described the bear in his May 5, 1805 entry from the Expedition Journals:

“In the evening we saw a Brown or Grisley beare on a sand beach, I went out with one man Geo Drewyer & killed the bear, which was a very large and turrible looking animal, which we found verry hard to kill we Shot ten Balls into him before we killed him, & 5 of those Balls through his lights. This animals is the largest of the carnivorous kind I ever saw we had nothing that could way him, I think his weight may be stated at 500 pounds … we had him skinned and divided, the oile tried up & put in kegs for use.”

This first account of an encounter with a grizzly demonstrates what it was like for the early frontiersman to co-exist and travel amongst a new and terrifying creature. The myth and lore that surrounds the bear persists from the early stories that were told around campfires and passed down among generations. Native American cultures viewed bears as a medicine being that could possess magical powers. Bears are considered a symbol of strength and wisdom, and they are associated with healing and medicine, due to the fact that they continue fighting even after they are injured (as evidenced in Clark’s account above). Pueblo tribes considered bears one of the six directional guardians and associated with the west and the color blue. The bear’s claw was considered a powerful talisman that was though to bring a warrior strength and power. In folklore, the bear is portrayed as a beast who punishes disrespectful behavior among other animals or people. This theme is pronounced in the reading of the bear in Act 3 Scene 3 of the The Winter’s Tale.

Finally, it is critical to honor the conservation status, history and cultural significance of the majestic California grizzly bear. Although the bear was hunted to extinction during the state’s early years, it is not too late to understand the role of the grizzly bear from their ecological role as well as the role the bear inhabits in literature and the humanities. The Winter’s Tale, for one, illustrates the role of the bear as protector, avenger of justice and also depicts the turning point in which Shakespeare’s “problem-play” pivots from that of a tragedy, to a comedy.


Biology & Health

Protein tho?

Let us be clear and concise: there is no credible evidence- none- that a vegan diet cannot supply the same quality of protein as that from animal sources. The bottom line is clear: "Plant foods have plenty of protein. ⎛] ⎖]

Nutritional arguments

It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.

Humans need to eat animals

We’re living evidence that this simply isn’t true. . The majority of people truly believe that animal products contain nutritional elements that we cannot get elsewhere and that we need for our health and longevity, after all, there has to be a real reason why we’re doing all of these horrific things to animals, right?

The American Dietetic Association and the British Dietetic Association, the largest bodies of nutrition and diet professionals in both countries, have both stated that a plant-based (vegan) diet is nutritionally adequate and safe for all stages of life, including pregnancy. The largest and strongest land animals in the world, the elephant, the rhino, the hippopotamus, what do they all have in common? They are all plant eaters.

Consuming animal products has been linked to our top diseases and illnesses. Heart disease, type-2 diabetes, many forms of cancer, strokes, hypertension, dementia and osteoporosis have all been inextricably linked to the consumption of animal products and many of them can be treated and even reversed by switching to a plantbased lifestyle.

Ask the non-vegan if there is any necessity for us to eat animals and their secretions, to which they cannot logically reply to with “yes” after receiving the information above about nutrition. Then say to them “does this not therefore mean that doing these things to animals is an act of unnecessary cruelty?"

If we need animal products for good health, this might justify harming animals. While common, this claim is not supported by scientific evidence. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, has an evidence-based 16-page review of this issue, with hundreds of references to the medical and nutrition literature. ⎝] ΐ]

If it were true that we have to eat meat and other animal products, then there would be no people who abstain from doing do so because they would all be dead. But there are such people, alive and well, and medical science supplements common observations with evidence to show that they are often healthier than omnivores. This argument thus has a false empirical premise: it is not supported by science and medical research. Ζ]

Dieticians have long known that animal foods are not necessary for optimal health. Indeed, mounting empirical evidence suggests that they are detrimental for human health. Even if there is disagreement about how harmful they are, there is broad consensus that animal products are not necessary. ⎖]

Plants feel pain & bacteria feel pain

. A plant lacks a central nervous system, pain receptors and a brain which means that anatomically they don’t have the ability to feel pain. If we also consider that the primary reason human and non-human animals feel pain is to alert us that we are in danger or are being hurt and that we need to escape the situation that we are in, a plant cannot move and thus any pain would be inescapable, making life torturous for any plant.

. it is true that they are alive and they conduct various activities at a cellular level, such as tilting to face the sunlight. but they do not conduct any activities at a conscious or cognitive level, in essence meaning that plants are not sentient. plants react but they don’t respond. This is why the venus flytrap will close around anything that triggers this response, including cigarettes butts. A cow on the other hand, won’t eat cigarette butts just because someone puts them in their mouth because a cow consciously responds.

[Additionally:]. It takes up to 16 kilograms of plants to create 1 kilogram of animal flesh, meaning vastly more plants are killed in the production of animal products than they are vegan products. up to 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction is due to animal agriculture, meaning that millions of trees have been and continue to be destroyed because of our consumption of animal products.

You could ask. “If you were driving down the road and a dog jumped out in front of your car, would you swerve onto a bed of flowers to avoid hitting the dog?”. “For the sake of discussion, let’s say plants do feel pain, are you aware that it can take up to 16 kilograms of plants to create 1 kilogram of animal flesh, so vastly more plants are murdered for animal products than they are vegan products?”

Again, in a long list of things non-vegans only ever say when the conversation is about exploiting animals, we have the plants argument. There is absolutely no conviction in this argument, because the vast majority of people on this planet know that it is absolutely insane to compare cutting a plant to, say, cutting a puppy. Imagine if we used this logic for human suffering: let's say there was something on the news about a terror attack and hundreds of people being blown to smithereens, and someone in the room said, "What about cabbages? It's the same thing", what would your reaction be to that? Would you, perhaps, think it was maybe a slight trivialisation of human suffering that those victims were compared to cabbages? It's exactly the same principle when it comes to pigs, chickens, cows, etc.

Here's the thing though: if anyone reading this actually does think that 'harming' a plant is comparable to harming an animal, it only makes sense that they go vegan anyway, because it actually requires far fewer plants to feed a vegan than it does a non-vegan (up to 10 times fewer), due to the amount of crops used to raise livestock (copious amounts of crops are used to raise the 55 billion land animals and many of the 90 billion marine animals slaughtered every year). Veganism minimises land use, crop use, and lowers the amount of deforestation (1 acre of rainforest cleared every second worldwide in animal agriculture)."

Let's assume that bacteria actually were sentient though, which would arise the question of whether it would be ethical to use antibiotics if you had an illness: and the answer is, absolutely yes. Why? Because there is nothing ethically wrong with anyone using whatever force is necessary to defend themselves. So just as you would have the right to shoot dead a crocodile dragging you underwater to be savaged to death in their fearsome jaws, or a police sniper should have the right to squeeze the trigger if a terrorist has a knife to a hostage's throat, so too should you be able to use antibiotics or use soap in order to defend your own body from attack. There is a huge moral distinction between defending oneself from attack, and actually attacking others unnecessarily.

Animals don’t feel pain/Suffer/Are biologically different

As a society "We’ve had laws in place for a long time that require that we treat animals “humanely” . we do recognise that if we abuse let’s say a dog, we will be punished for doing so because we understand that the dog feels pain and has the capacity to suffer… [also] we do have methods in place that are there to supposedly reduce the suffering of the animals that we kill, the reason that this is important is because that means we acknowledge as a society that the animals we kill have the ability to feel pain and suffer.

From a science perspective, non-human animals have the same or at least almost identical areas of the brain involved in processing pain and show similar pain behaviours to humans. Sentient beings need to be able to feel pain in order to survive as it allows them to escape from dangerous situations and minimise potential injury.

. We have established that animals feel physical pain but it is also well documented that they experience emotional suffering just like us humans do. Mother cows [and]. orcas as have been shown to mourn the kidnapping of their offspring and animals such as dogs have been shown to suffer from separation anxiety when their companion human leaves them on their own.

There is however no evidence to support the argument that we suffer greater than non-human animals -. You might feel less pain than I do but it wouldn’t then be acceptable for me to intentionally harm you. the fact that they can experience pain means that they have a preference to avoid it and by default, it is our moral obligation to ensure no unnecessary pain is caused to any living creature." Δ]

[Ask them: Why else do we currently have laws in place to protect nonhuman animal welfare. Do you think dogs and cats feel pain and have emotions. Does differing experiences make lesser experiences?]

Perhaps most importantly, if we are justified in killing other animals because death is a less serious harm to them, then, at least in some circumstances, we might be justified in killing some humans (babies, individuals with severe cognitive disabilities, individuals with severe dementia). But, again, that is not an acceptable conclusion. So even if animals are harmed less by death, it does not follow that they are not seriously harmed by death.

Further, the claim that other animals are incapable of achieving the same quality or level of well-being as human beings may only illustrate our human prejudice for our form and ways of life. Why are things like human creativity, art, novels, and intimate friendships more valuable or ‘higher goods’ than the goods and activities that characterize the lives of pigs, cows, or chickens? ΐ]

Is it because animals are not biologically human that they lack the right to not be harmed for others? Interestingly, nearly all philosophers who have considered these issues reject this kind of theory: on their views, the fact that we are biologically human has little to do with what we are owed, morally. This hypothesis is confirmed, in part, by each of us asking us what it is about ourselves that, e.g., makes it such that it would be wrong to cause us pain and kill us. For most people, the obvious explanation is that this would hurt greatly, we would suffer enormously and our early deaths would prevent us from experiencing all the good things we (hopefully) would have experienced. It’s not because of some genes we have or where we are on some chart in a biology book that explains our moral status rather, it is a matter of our vulnerability to physical and/or psychological harm. Ζ]

Food Chain/We are the dominant species/Superior

"What we do to animals. is about as far removed from nature as possible and does not resemble anything like a food chain.The food chain that we have created for ourselves is a human construct to try and conveniently justify an entirely unnecessary act - it ignores the complexity andinterdependent web of life that forms our ecosystems. It is an appeal to nature fallacy that overlooks our ability to make moral decisions and instead claims that our actions are predetermined for us entirely by biological determinism.

. Every human atrocity committed has come under the illusion of self-appointed power, whether it be Nazis believing they are superior to Jewish people, white people believing they are superior to black people, one religion believing they are superior to

another religion or humans believing that they are superior to animals. The food chain excuse adopts the ‘might means right’ way of thinking, with people believing that because we have the physical ability to enslave and exploit others we are then morally justified to do so.

But being in the position of power means that we have a responsibility to care for the vulnerable, we have a moral obligation to care and look after those weaker or less able than we are. The food chains in nature exist because they have to. The predator needs to kill the prey to survive. We don’t have to kill anyone to live, which means that we don’t have to use our dominance to kill others, we can use our power to look after others and create a better world - in fact, we have a moral obligation to.

As humans we have moral agency, which means that we can make decisions based on a notion of right and wrong and most importantly we can be held accountable for the actions that we make. Our moral agency dictates to us that when we are in a situation where we have the choice to not inflict unnecessary suffering we can and should be held accountable if we actively choose to inflict unnecessary suffering instead."

[Ask: “Does might make right?”. “Do we have a duty to protect the vulnerable?”. "Are you the top of the food chain?". "What if a lion ate you?". ]

"Then by their own logic, there would be nothing morally wrong with someone killing and eating them, and then justifying it by using their argument of "It's the food chain". After all, if they're a part of this system, they don't get to be exempt from the rules—doesn't work that way. They can't just be part of a system which they're not even willing to comply with. And if they're off-limits, then the animals are off-limits too. If their argument is, "Yeah but that's cannibalism": other species regularly cannibalise each other as part of the food chain, e.g. black widows—so a human killing and eating them is behaving no differently from other members of the very system they claim to be part of. And appeals to legality (e.g. "But that's illegal") are not sufficient either—the laws of the food chain are the laws of nature, not the laws we abide by in human society. Also, excusing themselves from these rules by saying "But I'm top of the food chain" is what's know as a 'might makes right' fallacy, i.e. "I am in a position of power over the victim therefore, it is okay for me to do what I want to them"—this is no different from a domestic abuser arguing that it is okay to beat his wife because men have evolved to be stronger than women.

"Actually, the opposite is true—humans are the only species on earth whose complete removal would benefit absolutely everything (the air, the oceans, the animals, the forests, the soil, etc.). So the idea that a species whose very existence is detrimental to everything is superior to the existence of those species who actually play a role in the ecosystem, is absurd. The idea that one's own kind is superior to another's own kind is the root of all the oppressions throughout history—hardly something we should be aspiring to. With regards to being the dominant species, and justifying our exploitation of animals on that basis, this is yet another might makes right fallacy. And if we are in a dominant position, why would we even want to rule with violence and cruelty? Why rule with an iron fist when we can rule with love and compassion? Our role as the most powerful species on this earth should be to protect our planet and its creatures, not destroy it and enslave them.

Notice, first, that all of us reject this argument when it comes to other human beings. The fact that one individual might be more intelligent, more rational, or more morally virtuous does not justify that individual in harming less intelligent or rational or virtuous individuals. So while this argument ‘justifies’ eating animals, the first premise also ‘justifies’ harming and eating human babies, seriously cognitively disabled human beings, and dementia patients. Any argument to justify eating animals that would also justifies eating vulnerable human beings is unsound and should be rejected.

But even if all human beings were morally ‘superior’ to all animals (or no animals were ‘equal to’ humans), that does not, in itself, justify harming animals. As Tzachi Zamir points out, superiority does not justify harming the allegedly inferior. Even if A is ‘superior’ to B, that does not justify A’s actively harming B. To illustrate this point, consider how we might react to Super Advanced Aliens who arrive on earth to raise and kill humans for food. Aliens who were intellectually superior to us in a variety of ways – perhaps they have powers of rationality and reasoning that far exceed our smartest computers, language abilities that put ours to shame, and moral self-control that far surpasses that of human beings – we would rightly deny that they are justified in raising and killing us for food. So even if humans are intellectually superior to other animals and on this basis matter more, morally, than other animals, this does not justify our harming other animals, especially for trivial ends. Human moral superiority might justify us doing more to benefit human beings, and to promote our welfare, but it does not justify actively undertaking efforts to harm other animals, especially when these harms can be easily avoided. ΐ]

We are more intelligent

"The idea that intelligence defines worth of life can often become one of the main driving forces as to why we justify raising and killing animals.

. pigs have been shown to be more intelligent than dogs and in fact have the same cognitive abilities as a three year old human. Moreover, the animals that we eat, the cows, sheep, chickens, etc are vastly more conventionally intelligent than many other animals that exist with us on this planet, so if we did eat animals according to their intelligence we would instead be living off of insects.

. if we eat specific foods according to their intelligence then we should be eating the least intelligent species, which are actually plants. Plants are the least intelligent species that exist as they lack the cognitive abilities that animals have, meaning that if we truly believe in the intelligence defines worth of life excuse then we should all be vegan anyway.

. one of the other issues with this excuse is that intelligence is largely subjective, as Einstein famously said, “If you judge a fish on their ability to climb a tree they will spend their whole life believing that they are stupid.”.

When someone brings up the intelligence argument, ask them: “Does intelligence define worth of life?”. “Is your life worth more than someone who has learning difficulties?”. “If intelligence equals dominance does that mean that anyone with a high IQ can do what they want to someone with a lower IQ?”. “A pig has been shown to be more intelligent than a dog, does this fact mean that you will stop eating pigs and start eating dogs instead?”

"It has never been morally justifiable to discriminate others based on their intelligence—let's take the Nazi Holocaust for example, where thousands of mentally disabled people were murdered on that basis. Was that morally justifiable? And before you say that this is different: many animals do actually have a higher IQ than mentally disabled humans (let's take the pig, for example, who has the IQ of a 3-year-old human, thus making them more intelligent than those with a mental age of 2 who were murdered in the Holocaust). So what exactly can the justification be here?

Indeed, often, as humans, we are more inclined to protect the less intelligent. Let's take the human baby, for example—by far the stupidest creature on the planet. Unable to perform even the most basic of cognitive and physical tasks, it trails pitifully behind its animal counterparts of the same age in numerous areas.

So why, then, whenever animals are systematically harmed in the food industry, do the same people who are complicit in the litany of outrage whenever a human baby is harmed, use the justification of, "They're not as intelligent as us, so it's not the same"? And why do they not apply that outrage they feel for the harming of human babies to the harming of animals?

How, as a society, have we managed to make this gigantic contradiction and not even realise it? We pour our hearts out for the suffering of someone who is less intelligent than us when the victim looks human, but put feathers or fur on them and suddenly they become fair game. Perhaps if baby-killers put their victims in chicken costumes before they killed them, no one would blink an eye?"

They were bred for this purpose

". just because we have decided what will happen to an animal doesn’t mean what will happen to them is morally justifiable. Many people breed dogs into existence with the sole purpose of raising them for dog fighting, does that mean that dog fighting is moral because those animals were bred for that purpose?

In some countries it is legal to have sex with an animal and there are even animal brothels, where you can pay to rape an animal. Using the ‘bred for a purpose’ excuse it must therefore be perfectly moral to have sex with an animal in a brothel as those animals were bred with that purpose in mind. This argument also completely avoids the fact that the animals that we exploit have a preference to live their life and wish to avoid feeling pain and fear, in their eyes they have no awareness of the reason they were bred and their desire to live is exactly the same as an animal that was born without a ‘purpose’ for humans.

If you are having a conversation with someone and they use this excuse, ask them “Is dog fighting therefore moral if the dogs were bred with the purpose to fight?”.

"Bringing someone into existence for the sole purpose of harming them cannot be justifiable under any circumstances. What's more, no one applies this argument for the animals we don't eat, e.g. dogs bred for dog fighting, and so on (apart from dog fighting racket owners themselves, who of course would use this argument). Whether an animal is bred for food or not, it is not in the animal's interest to slit their throat and eat them. So this argument, as per all the arguments used for exploiting animals, fails to address things from the victim's perspective. An animal does not care what they are bred for—they just want to live. And it is not our right to dictate a purpose for someone else's life.

If you are having a conversation with someone and they use this excuse, ask them “Is dog fighting therefore moral if the dogs were bred with the purpose to fight?”

We’re omnivores with canine teeth

""The reality is, it is entirely irrelevant if we are natural omnivores or not, it provides no moral justification for us to exploit animals as just because we can do something, does not mean that it is ethical for us to do it.

If someone believes that we are an omnivore then by default that means that we are able to obtain energy and nutrients from plants and as such, we are able to sustain life from plants alone. Consequently, that means that there is no necessity for us to eat animals and because there is no necessity it cannot be morally justified.

The canine argument is that my canines made it acceptable for me to pay for someone else to kill an animal on my behalf. The quickest and easiest way of debunking this argument is to point out that a hippopotamus has the largest canines of any land animal and they are entirely herbivorous. Our canines are not capable of tearing raw flesh or killing animals and instead are there so that we can bite into hard, crunchy plants (like apples!).

Also, just because we posses a physical ability that allow us to do something doesn’t make that action moral. So just because we can physically put animal products in our mouth and digest them does not therefore mean that it is an ethical thing to do. For example I can physically clench my fist but that doesn’t mean that I am morally justified to then punch someone.

Ask the non-vegan using this excuse, “do you think that because we posses a physical attribute that allows us to do something, we are therefore morally justified to do it?”. If they say yes you could then ask, “I can physically clench my fist, does mean that I am morally justified to then punch someone?”. Also, if we were naturally meant to kill animals we would be able to do so with ease, but the reality is, if we were given a pig that we had to kill using only our hands and teeth, at best we’d probably give the pig a tickle. But let’s say we did manage to kill the pig, how would we then butcher the pig and eat them. True animal eaters don’t find the body parts of the animals they are eating abject, they see the body parts as food - and aren’t repulsed by the gore.

If someone you are talking to brings up the canine teeth argument, ask them, “hippos actually have the largest canine teeth of any land animal and they are entirely herbivorous, do you still think that canines grant you the right to pay someone to kill an animal for you?”. Ask the person, “if we are natural omnivores, which means that by default we can survive only on plants, how do we then morally justify taking the life of an animal as by your own admission it is unnecessary?"

""Having body parts that are simply capable of doing something does not mean that we should do it. To use an analogy, imagine if a man sexually assaulted someone, and then to justify his actions, pointed at his penis. Yes, humans can digest animal products, but why does that mean we should? Vegans are living proof that humans can live long, healthy lives without eating any animal products whatsoever, and they have the same biological makeup (teeth, etc.) of any non-vegan person, thus it is unnecessary to harm animals when there are alternatives.

With regards to the teeth, it turns out that our teeth are in no way carnivorous/omnivorous anyway. Humans have flat, blunt teeth, with a jaw capable of moving side to side, just like any herbivore. With regards specifically to our 2 pointy little teeth, these are commonplace in various species of herbivores, such as fruit bats, rhinos, hippos, gorillas, and musk deer (aka the sabre tooth deer), all of which have far larger, sharper canines than our 2 pathetic little apple-crunchers that are completely incapable of even tearing through a pillow, let alone someone's flesh and bone.

If humans even had a single omnivorous instinct, the animal rights movement wouldn't even exist because we'd be too busy drooling over slaughterhouse footage to even care. Rather, when we see slaughter footage, we are repulsed by it. A true omnivore or carnivore would salivate or get hungry.”

Animals lack moral agency/those animals would eat you

"This is pretty rich coming from the most morally depraved species to ever walk this earth—a species whose brutality and evil far exceeds that of any animal, and where stoning, beheadings, slavery, oppression, torture and terrorism are the absolute norm. But in any case, ethics are an evolved thing, and all species have at least a basic understanding of right and wrong, because without it, they cannot survive. Without altruism, a species fails, and would not be in existence today. The reason we, as humans, even understand right and wrong (or at least claim to) in the first place is because, biologically, we are animals. As with any other animal, we evolved understanding that good deeds to others often meant a reward in return, thus helping us to survive. Regardless, a being's understanding of right or wrong does not negate their capacity to suffer. A baby has no concept at all of right or wrong, yet if we used this justification to do to babies what we do to pigs and cows, there would be uproar."

"This argument is pointless, because you could literally just say that about any animal we don't eat as well, e.g. a cat or a dog. So if this rather bizarre justification can be used to talk about herbivorous animals like lambs, why isn't it used to justify killing and eating animals that, well, actually would eat you if they could, like the lions who get shot on hunting safaris that the world is always up in arms about whenever it happens?"


Life and Action

In the ongoing discussion about practical rationality, one of the big questions has become: how does one go about conducting an argument about the forms that practical reasoning can take? Life and Action is thus of great interest not just because it advances substantive and novel views as to what those inference patterns are, but in that it puts on the table, by my count, five distinct methods of arriving at conclusions as to what reasoning about what to do can and must be. 1 I am here going to focus on methodological concerns, which means that much else that is worthy of discussion in this very rich book will be left to one side.

Thompson's first method is derived from one of the several competing readings.