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originally posted by: droid56
If you were involved in combat, the stay alive imperative might kick in, and most of you would do what needed to keep you alive.
But I finally watched the beginning of Breaking Bad, and the science teacher finally killed the chained guy once he knew he had a shard of plate intended to kill him.
When morality is removed, and survival and family needs become the main thing, could you kill? Talk is cheap.
originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: Shiloh7
There was a survey of European and American veteran soldiers. One of the findings was that some 9 out of 10 never fired a bullet at the enemy. They claimed to have fired higher, lower or anywhere else but at another person. IIRC the results were accepted as broadly accurate. The Army can be said to have strength in numbers, but also needs the 10% of soldiers who are willing to kill.
That's consciences speaking. I imagine once someone has knowingly killed an enemy it gets easier and readily justified.
As a fellow Brit, you might also remember Harry Patch? He was the last WW1 veteran to die in England. He recalled facing a German in the trenches who was dying from a stomach wound. The guy begged Harry to kill him and he could only stand there with sidearm drawn...as he hesitated, the man's eyes faded and he died. I think he served in two wars and didn't kill anyone.
Grossman's theory, based on the World War II research of S.L.A. Marshall, is that most of the population deeply resists killing another human. While Marshall's work has been shown to be unsystematic, his findings have been corroborated by many later studies.[where?]
As a result of Marshall's work, modern military training was modified to attempt to override this instinct, by:
using man-shaped targets instead of bullseye targets in marksmanship practice
practicing and drilling how soldiers would actually fight
dispersing responsibility for the killing throughout the group
displacing responsibility for the killing onto an authority figure, i.e., the commanding officer and the military hierarchy (See the Milgram experiment)
By the time of the United States involvement in the Vietnam War, says Grossman, 90% of U.S. soldiers would fire their weapons at other people.
He also says the act of killing is psychologically traumatic for the killer, even more so than constant danger or witnessing the death of others.
Grossman further argues that violence in television, movies and video games contributes to real-life violence by a similar process of training and desensitization.
In On Combat (Grossman's sequel to On Killing, based on ten years of additional research and interviews) he addresses the psychology and physiology of human aggression.
originally posted by: cyan24
Very easily, yes I would.
A person's life experiences shape their responses.
A sheltered farmboy who was the star quarterback would hesitate to take another life (legally as a soldier).
An urban minority who lived as an oppressed person saw death and killing weekly would probably not
originally posted by: TrueBrit
It would be hard work. But I think if the circumstances required it, I could find a way to kill if I had to, using most of the items in my house, not to mention the walls, furniture, appliances, and so on. That fails entirely to take into account the kitchen full of sharps, the replica swords in our windows, my personal selection of short blades, and the hatchet, bill hook...