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Thread: Why don't we see many animals mass murdering other animals?

  1. #1 Why don't we see many animals mass murdering other animals? 
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    Why is there more mass murdering and torture to other humans and other animals in the human world than in the animal world?

    Is it because of technology, weaponry, and the way we are born as species(we are born with a superior cognitive mind, 2 hands) that causes most mass murders?

    Since the beginning of human history, we have always tried to develop new ways of thinking and better ways of doing things. We have developed guns, bombs, knives, communication systems to help us fight in wars, and help us communicate better. Do you think that this is the cause of most mass murders and animal cruelty?

    If we didn't have computers, telephones, bombs, tools, guns, radio, technology, and the only thing we had in this world was our strength and muscle mass, would there be far less murder and rape in the world?


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    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Well, you're correct that most other animals kill for food, territory, or sex and tend to avoid killing en masse. An exception might be chimpanzees, who are sometimes even more likely than us to kill large numbers from other tribes, but since we are so closely related to them, I'm unsure they are a valid counter example to your central point about such large scale killings not being found outside of humans.

    One possible answer is that we've developed such profound language skills, which brings with it differing interpretations of the surrounding world and differing ideologies... Different ways of being and different views on how to exist correctly. Those differences can get magnified and the us/them mentality reinforced to some incredible extents, so much so that we lose sight of the closeness of our relation and instead only see "them" as the enemy.

    Also, part of it might be that we don't tend to need to kill to find food and survive (maybe we'll pick a fight to get a better parking spot at the grocery store, but no hunting, tracking, killing, etc as a requirement to feed ourselves and our young). Yet, despite our relatively comfortable lives with air conditioning and markets and daily routine, we still have those basic reptilian emotions to kill and to protect, so I posit that the inability to express those deep archaic emotions leads to them building up within us and the inhibitory pressure increases... and the pressure of everyone combined... of society as a whole... in some manner becomes aggregate until eventually it gets released in short burst high impact killing events.. the wars and mass murders you mention.

    Basically, like a pressure cooker... It builds and builds and builds in society and nobody takes much notice as we approach the proverbial precipice... until it has just built up so much that it suddenly pops and the pressure is released and we initiate actions which can never be undone... wars and genocide and all manner of other awful things... and I think it all stems from the same basic thing we see in animals when they kill... It's territory, and food, and sex. This is a speculation on my part, but I think it's reasonable.

    Finally, besides chimps, I know ants wage war, too. See the link I shared below. Perhaps the large scale killing comes in conjunction with organisms which exist in large scale societies. Again, I speculate, but there may ultimately be some meat on that bone if you want to give it a chew. Cheers.



    http://www.antcolonies.net/howantscarryonwar.html
    No living creatures known to the writer so closely resemble man in the tendency to wage pitched battles as do ants. Vast numbers of separate species, or of hostile factions of the same species, may he seen massed in combat, which is continued for hours, days, or, in at least one case noted, for over a week.

    <...>

    The mass seemed to boil with the intensity of the action. There was no appearance of orderly array or "line of battle" formation. It was literally a melee, recalling descriptions of battles in the days of chivalry, when armored warriors fought hand to hand.

    From the central mass the numbers gradually diminished until, as spaces opened in the surrounding fringe of the fight, one could see small groups of combatants scattered over several square feet of surface. Most of them were duels; but trios, quartets, quintets abounded. In one case six ants were engaged with one; in the centre, two were tugging with interlocked mandibles, and five others were grouped around, like spokes in a wheel, each sawing or pulling at a limb of the unfortunate central integer, who was being torn to pieces. Here and there a larger group would be piled upon one another, heaving, pushing, tugging, like the athletes of a football rush, but with mortal intent.

    The duellists seized each other by the head, frequently interclasping mandibles, and pulling backward or swaying back and forth. It was literally a "tug of war." Again, one would have her antagonist grasped by the face above the mandibles, which placed the latter at a great disadvantage. In such and other cases both ants would often be reared upon the hind and middle legs, with abdomens turned under and stinging organs out-thrust, making vicious stabs at one another. <more at the link>


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Many, (most?) social Hymenopterans are documented to wipe out competing hives/colonies and in fact in some genera of ants a queen will take over the nest of a different ant genus and enslave the workers!
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    Most animals (from what i can gather) live on basic instincts... they might learn to think about how to achieve what their instinct tells them to achieve...
    e.g. hunger. It is instinct for a lion to kill and eat, say, a zebra, but it has to be able to crawl stealthily and be as quiet as possible.

    We humans as a species have learned to go beyond our instinct.

    Murdering loads of animals of the same species for no reason is not an instinct.
    If it was...then that species would die out.

    Evolution.

    That's where I think morals come from too.
    From the fact that you can't really have a species that only kills animals of it's own kind for no reason...otherwise the species would die out.

    Even spiders and praying mantises... they kill their partners... but they eat them, (not for no reason) And so the males have evolved to either be stealthy and not be caught by the female until he's finished... or to carry on the mating process even without a head.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sromag
    Most animals (from what i can gather) live on basic instincts... they might learn to think about how to achieve what their instinct tells them to achieve...
    e.g. hunger. It is instinct for a lion to kill and eat, say, a zebra, but it has to be able to crawl stealthily and be as quiet as possible.

    We humans as a species have learned to go beyond our instinct.

    Murdering loads of animals of the same species for no reason is not an instinct.
    If it was...then that species would die out.

    Evolution.

    That's where I think morals come from too.
    From the fact that you can't really have a species that only kills animals of it's own kind for no reason...otherwise the species would die out.

    Even spiders and praying mantises... they kill their partners... but they eat them, (not for no reason) And so the males have evolved to either be stealthy and not be caught by the female until he's finished... or to carry on the mating process even without a head.
    out of curiosity did you read my post above yours?
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    Yes I did.

    I was looking at it from the pointless murder and torture point of view.... or at a stretch... governments who invade countries (although there's usually a reason for that even though it's not necessarily as simple as for the continuation of the human race)

    I've seen different genera of ants attack each other. But don't know about wars between ants of the SAME genus. If you can tell me that they do then ok... Sorry I didn't get that from your post.

    From my studies of evolution I've learned the great pattern of life and with the exception of humans... there's usually a reason organisms do what they do - and if there isn't one, the action cannot lead to an eventual threat to that species.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Not only same genus, but same species, not that the level at which it happens should really have any bearing on the discussion.
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    I believe it also has something to do with our social structure.
    The common people may kill if they feel the need. But mass killing (war and genocide) seems to only happen mostly political reasons. A small group of people command others to do the mass killing.
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  10. #9  
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    Same species? Well stone me...

    That's a bit of a shock... I thought that would be restricted to fights for territory or mates ...
    Why shouldn't it have any bearing on this discussion? It's interesting to know.

    In fact, if you know any specific websites that covers this sort of thing, I'd be interested to read.




    But mass killing (war and genocide) seems to only happen mostly political reasons. A small group of people command others to do the mass killing.
    I think that for different reasons (not political), that also happens int he animal kingdom.[/quote]
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  11. #10  
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    True, I should have put "in human" in there.
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    Thanks

    I'll take a look
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    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
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    For mine, it is reasonably obvious why animals are far less inclined than man, to kill for any gain other than their immediate requirements for physical survival.

    After all, they are far less influenced by their emotions, therefore have a severely reduced need for such proud humanistic pursuits as; engineering wealth, lying and deception, manipulation of others, promoting their ego, prefabricating their standing in the eyes of others and protecting their reputation.

    So I guess it could well be argued that the animal world at large, effectively presents as considerably more INTELLIGENT than the vast majority of humanity - on a relative basis, at least.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  15. #14  
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    Simply because we have intelligence..
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    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris11
    Simply because we have intelligence..
    You're going to need to define intelligence, and then next explain how you have demonstrated that is absent in other non-human animals.
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    Cats are ungrateful, orcas are sadistic, humans are good base conveting speculators. But we are not so far-off from animals, just look lately Russian have planted an underwater flag claiming the arctic seafloor, a pretty manner in a way to piss upon one's territory !
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