Not a day passes when the news media doesn’t report stories about people being killed. The pervasiveness of people killing people understandably leaves us wondering why this happens. We find ourselves asking a very basic question: Why do people kill? The reality is that there are a number of different theories pertaining to why people kill one another.
Killing and Evolutionary Biology
One school of thought on the subject of why people kill is derived from the branch of science known as evolutionary biology. At its essence, evolutionary biology is based on the scientific proposition that the behavior of modern-day humans stems from what our prehistoric ancestors did in their day. Simply put, we do what we do because our prehistoric ancestors did it.
In considering the concept that our behavior is dictated by what our prehistoric ancestors did during their time on the planet, modern-day humans kill because that is something out predecessors on the planet did thousands of years ago. Prehistoric people were prone to violence and killing to eliminate their rivals from the scene. Prehistoric humans killed to protect their offspring.
Over time, the most violent prehistoric humans killed off the more peaceful or docile individuals. Thus, over time, those who survived and reproduced were the most violent. According to evolutionary biology, humans inhabiting the planet today are decedents of the most violent people that lived during prehistoric times. In short, the capacity for violence and killing is hard-wired into our genes.
Humans Aren’t That Different From Other Animals
Throughout the animal kingdom, living creatures kill one another. According to this theory, animals of different types are hard-wired to kill. Killing is a part of the biological makeup of animals.
Humans have a very real tendency to think that we are set apart from other creatures in the animal kingdom. With that in mind, people tend to think that unlike other animals, we are not destined or hard-wired to kill.
Many scientists have undertaken research which they suggest debunks the idea that humans are markedly different from other members of the animal kingdom. These researchers maintain that we’ve more in common with other animals that we willingly admit. This includes an element of our beings that are prone to killing, including taking the lives of our fellow human beings.
Neuroscience and the Capacity of Humans to Kill
Neuroscientists have long studied what in a brain’s makeup spurs a person to kill. These studies have included consideration of people who’ve killed on an isolated basis as well as people who’ve been involved in mass killings. Even after a considerable amount of research, many questions remain among neuroscientists regarding why people kill one another.
As of this juncture, those neuroscientists involved in studying why people kill have reached one conclusion. Many of these scientists generally have come to conclude that all people have the capacity to do terrible things. This includes killing another human being.
Men Who Murder Their Families
When it comes to trying to understand why people kill, some researchers have focused on the cases of what sometimes are classified as family annihilators. Family annihilators are killers who murder all of their immediate family members, including spouses and children. Family annihilators are nearly always men. In nearly all cases in which the annihilation of an entire family has occurred at the hands of a parent – again, usually the father – the perpetrator takes his own life.
Family annihilators typically are not rage killers. Rather, in most cases in which a parent kills an entire immediate family, the murders are undertaken following cold deliberation by the perpetrator.
No Conclusive Answer to Why People Kill
When all is said and done, theories abound as to why people kill. Research is ongoing among people from different disciplines in an attempt to come up with more definitive answers as to why humans as a species kill one another.
No matter why people kill, one reality is apparent. When people kill one another, there nearly always are other individuals left behind to mourn and deal with the aftermath of a homicide. In regard to dealing with the killing of another person, surviving family members may be left with the task of addressing homicide cleanup. Homicide cleanup is a truly daunting and virtually unimaginable endeavor.
The aftermath of a homicide can include a gruesome, horrific crime scene. Surviving family members need to think long and hard about trying to undertake homicide cleanup on their own. In fact, it’s never recommended that surviving family member embark on homicide cleanup on their own. Already faced with an overwhelming loss, family members should not enhance the challenging emotions they already face by taking on the cleanup of the killing of a loved one. Rather, they should give very serious consideration to retaining the professional services of a homicide cleanup company.