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Posted: 4/16/2008 7:04:11 PM EST
Ok, so my wife and I were just having a discussion about a hypothetical situation. She told me that science may one day soon identify a gene or set of genes that can lead to violence and murder. A "murderer gene" if you will.

She then told me that it would be great if there was a way to prevent violent people from being conceived. As in, if there was a sure way to know that a combination of parents would create offspring that would become a murderer, they could be notified of this and then decide whether or not to conceive.

Ok, lets forget all the religious and moral implications for a minute and think about how it would affect us as a society. I told her the last thing we want to do is breed violence out of Americans, because we would be left with a nation of pansies that would capitulate to a foreign invasion or domestic tyranny.

So, what say you? Would breeding violence out of America be good, or bad in the grand scheme of things? If you had no one capable of violence, you wouldn't see murders, but you might not have anyone left with the resolve to fight when it's necessary.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:06:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2008 7:06:43 PM EST by AndrewH05]
Did she hear about this on CSI?


I just watched an episode that mentioned that. weird.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:07:07 PM EST
I would submit that anyone would murder if pushed far enough. 1984 comes to mind.

DO IT TO JULIA!!!!!
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:07:11 PM EST
Oddly enough, no. She has been reading a book about Richard Ramirez.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:08:56 PM EST
Anyone is capable of murder/killing, anyone.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:10:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2008 7:11:00 PM EST by F22_RaptoR]
yep, its BS.



I dont wanna get started in the whole "gene therapy/controll" thingy.... anyone watch GATTACA?

ETA


And once again, it would never work anyways. whats to stop people from doing it anyways? unless they ban sex
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:10:36 PM EST
Wait, murder or killing? Could they tell the difference with the gene? And would you trust them anyway? What if it was just strong will or skepticism and they lied and said it was the "murderer gene" to breed it out?
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:13:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By Tim_the_enchanter:
Anyone is capable of murder/killing, anyone.

I agree, although some are obviously more capable than others.

Are there many murderers in Burkina Faso?

Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:15:01 PM EST


Free will. Get some.


Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:23:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2008 7:25:53 PM EST by FrankSymptoms]

I told her the last thing we want to do is breed violence out of Americans, because we would be left with a nation of pansies that would capitulate to a foreign invasion or domestic tyranny.



What you want to breed out of the race is the tendency toward MINDLESS violence and the selfishness that causes that kind of behavior.

Where does this selfishness even start? Why, with endless entitlements, of course! The "poor" get so much for so little, that when they are refused, they go nuts!


ETA

Okay, here it is.

As far as genetics go, the people who are responsible for this kind of inbreeding are reinforcing certain genetic traits. It isn't a single gene that causes this behavior, it is a set of traits, combined with the aforementioned entitlements, that causes it.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:26:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:

I told her the last thing we want to do is breed violence out of Americans, because we would be left with a nation of pansies that would capitulate to a foreign invasion or domestic tyranny.



What you want to breed out of the race is the tendency toward MINDLESS violence and the selfishness that causes that kind of behavior.

Where does this selfishness even start? Why, with endless entitlements, of course! The "poor" get so much for so little, that when they are refused, they go nuts!

You mean like Lyle and Erik Menendez?
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:37:50 PM EST
Sounds like the Movie/book Gataca.

We have to decide what makes us human. Is tampering with our DNA at that level akin to eugenics? Man will have many moral debates about it in the future.

Personally - its our flaws that make us human.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:40:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mister44:
Sounds like the Movie/book Gataca.

We have to decide what makes us human. Is tampering with our DNA at that level akin to eugenics? Man will have many moral debates about it in the future.

Personally - its our flaws that make us human.

By that standard ARfcom is one of the most human places in the universe.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:41:12 PM EST
Go watch Serenity and see how this sort of thing works out.

A hint: you have to look past the edge of the known verse and deep into the black.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:49:21 PM EST
If you raise a Labrador in a friendly environment, it'll be a friendly dog. If you raise a Lab violently, it'll be a violent dog.

Humans, too, are a product of their environment. Every human is capable of violence, as is any animal who must fight for its survival.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 7:54:34 PM EST
Violence is not what needs to be filtered out, since it can be a necessary trait should the situation warrant it . It's the sociopath and psychopath,and it's almost a given that a crack baby, mostly males, will develop into the sociopath.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 8:01:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By mo-joe:
If you raise a Labrador in a friendly environment, it'll be a friendly dog. If you raise a Lab violently, it'll be a violent dog.

Humans, too, are a product of their environment. Every human is capable of violence, as is any animal who must fight for its survival.

I agree to an extent, but the Labrador is also genetically predisposed to certain patterns of behavior. Though its "naughty" and un-PC to talk about it, so are humans. Anyone who says different breeds of dogs aren't genetically predisposed to certain types of behavior has, uh, led a sheltered life. Dogs, people, whatever. Genes are genes. People with certain genetic traits are more likely to become alcoholics. I have no doubt in my mind that the same holds true for murder and other types of behavior.

I've talked to a couple of biology professors in the past about this very subject, and both stated straight up - off the record - that, as far as they were concerned, it's scary how much of our behavior actually had nothing to do with environmental stimuli.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 8:09:10 PM EST
Sociopathy is almost entirely environmental.

For decades people believed that YY chromosomed men were predisposed to being rapist/killers, and when studies were actually done, decades later, it turned out to be completely wrong.

I actually believe this line of thinking is dangerous, and it's perpetuated by TV and the stereotypical "bad guys". Masculinity isn't evil, and deep down that's the driving force behind this line of thinking I expect.

As others have said, anyone is capable of almost any crime, given the right set of circumstances. Be thankful you've had a life with enough support to put you in a place where being desperate enough to do something horrible seems so alien to you.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 8:26:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By K2QB3:
Sociopathy is almost entirely environmental.

<Snip>


I'm neither a biologist nor psychologist and perhaps don't even know what a sociopath is, but I'll ask anyway: what in Jeffrey Dahmer's environment made him the way he was? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but most serial killers do not come from backgrounds where people go, "Oh, it's obvious why he's a serial killer!" Rather, they seem to come from normal families for the most part.

I'm not knocking anyone's opinion, I'm just interested in the topic and will freely confess my ignorance.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 8:33:37 PM EST
Considering that just about anyone and everyone that is alive, has ever lived, and will ever live, is capable of inflicting violence and even death upon another human being under the right circumstances, this question isn't even worth considering.

The only way to remove the capacity for violence from human beings is to exterminate the species.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 8:46:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Echo_Hotel:

Originally Posted By K2QB3:
Sociopathy is almost entirely environmental.

<Snip>


I'm neither a biologist nor psychologist and perhaps don't even know what a sociopath is, but I'll ask anyway: what in Jeffrey Dahmer's environment made him the way he was? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but most serial killers do not come from backgrounds where people go, "Oh, it's obvious why he's a serial killer!" Rather, they seem to come from normal families for the most part.

I'm not knocking anyone's opinion, I'm just interested in the topic and will freely confess my ignorance.


Dahmer wasn't conceived destined to kill and eat people. Somewhere along the way, something, probably a long series of somethings occurred that ultimately resulted in an extremely F'd up individual.

I'm not saying genetics doesn't play a role, or that he didn't choose to do evil things, just that any healthy baby, given the right environment, is capable of going through life without eating anyone.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 8:52:21 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 9:00:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By K2QB3:


Dahmer wasn't conceived destined to kill and eat people. Somewhere along the way, something, probably a long series of somethings occurred that ultimately resulted in an extremely F'd up individual.

I'm not saying genetics doesn't play a role, or that he didn't choose to do evil things, just that any healthy baby, given the right environment, is capable of going through life without eating anyone.

That's kind of what I'm postulating, i.e., that there was something biologically, physically, medically wrong with him in some way and that this, when he was exposed to some unknown environmental stimuli, made him more likely - not destined - to become a sociopath.

I just personally think genes and biology/physiology have a lot more to do with it than people would like to believe.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 9:10:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By Echo_Hotel:

Originally Posted By K2QB3:


Dahmer wasn't conceived destined to kill and eat people. Somewhere along the way, something, probably a long series of somethings occurred that ultimately resulted in an extremely F'd up individual.

I'm not saying genetics doesn't play a role, or that he didn't choose to do evil things, just that any healthy baby, given the right environment, is capable of going through life without eating anyone.

That's kind of what I'm postulating, i.e., that there was something biologically, physically, medically wrong with him in some way and that this, when he was exposed to some unknown environmental stimuli, made him more likely - not destined - to become a sociopath.

I just personally think genes and biology/physiology have a lot more to do with it than people would like to believe.


I actually think it's the other way around. It's easier to believe that the people who do these things are somehow defective than to think their family and community failed to do whatever it is they needed to do, or not do, to produce a healthy person.

I've seen too much fucked up stuff happen in outwardly "normal" households, schools, churches and so on to discount the possibility that something could have induced a psychotic break of some kind in Dahmer, or any other nutball. People are complex, and events that roll off one kids back can completely destroy another.

The truth is probably in the middle somewhere, this is a very old arguement in psychiatry, and still isn't settled.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 10:25:07 PM EST
Don't think there is a single gene that make you violent and a murderer, but of course violent behavior can be genetically controlled. In earlier times it probably was needed to be violent on some level, so everyone has som degree of "murder genes"
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