Saturday, February 16, 2008

On Shooters

Since there's no link, I suspect that John Lott heard this on a radio broadcast, so I'll simply copy/paste the relevant graf from Lott's entire post.

Dennis Prager notes that these multiple victim public shooters are irreligious

His check of multiple victim shooters indicates that these murderers are not religious individuals. I have never really compiled this information myself, though I seem to recall at least one case in Seattle where I thought that the killer was Islamic, but in any case, I accept his statement that it is quite rare that these killers are religious. Dennis' point was that if all these people were religious, the media would have made an issue of it. The fact that they are not religious makes it not interesting to the media. I think that he is correct on this

Assuming for the sake of argument that Prager is right, I am not surprised; most religious people have an inculcated sensibility that accepting 'slings and arrows' without taking revenge is 'the right thing.'

Turn the other cheek, and all that.

To sharpen the point, I suspect that the practice of religion buttresses man's natural tendency act charitably, or at least, dispassionately, in the face of adversity. I also suspect that (in general) religious practice and beliefs are good for one's "mental health." In other words, "grace builds on nature."

Obviously, there are lots of ir-religious people who are not mass murderers, just as there are some 'religious' people who ARE.

But it's an interesting observation that Prager made.

1 comment:

Jeff Miller said...

And certainly you can go farther especially in the cases of school shooting that the murderer(s) were not only irreligious, but militant atheists. Certainly that was the case with Cho and the Columbine shooters.

To shoot a bunch of people and then kill yourself you need a belief system that matches these actions. Atheism without an afterlife and no repercussions matches this as does some flavors of Islam when it comes to terrorism and a belief they will be rewarded for killing unbelievers.

No doubt depression and other psychological factors come into play, but their underlying belief system when you are in these states helps them to move in this direction.

In Christianity where only self-defense or a corporate self-defense is allowed and suicide is condemned they can not justify such an action and would in fact be violating basic tenants if they did such acts.

With atheism there really is no moral law other than what you want to accept as moral law.