Pharyngula

School shooting in Finland

There has been another tragic shooting at a school, this time at Jokela secondary school in Tuusula, Finland. It was a single gunman on a rampage, and at least seven people have been killed.

We’re going to hear much more about this because the murderer claims to have carried out this act in the name of natural selection. Some of the murderer’s files are available online (so far; that link may not function for long), and they portray a sick man with a distorted view of evolution that he used to justify his actions.

He planned this action. One file is called “Attack Information”, and contains his goals.

ATTACK INFORMATION

Event: Jokela High School Massacre.
Targets: Jokelan Lukio (High School Of Jokela), students and faculty, society, humanity, human race.
Date: 11/7/2007.
Attack Type: Mass murder, political terrorism (altough I choosed the school as target, my motives for the attack are political and much much deeper and therefore I don’t want this to be called only as “school shooting”).
Location: Jokela, Tuusula, Finland.
Perpetrator’s name: Pekka-Eric Auvinen (aka NaturalSelector89, Natural Selector, Sturmgeist89 and Sturmgeist). I also use pseydonym Eric von Auffoin internationally.
Weapons: Semi-automatic .22 Sig Sauer Mosquito pistol.

His motives, of course, were not “much much deeper.” He’s an alienated loser lashing out. He also wrote out a list of what he hated and loved.

What do I hate / What I don’t like?
Equality, tolerance, human rights, political correctness, hypocrisy, ignorance, enslaving religions and ideologies, antidepressants, TV soap operas & drama shows, rap -music, mass media, censorship, political populists, religious fanatics, moral majority, totalitarianism, consumerism, democracy, pacifism, state mafia, alcholohics, TV commercials, human race.

Mitä rakastan / mistä pidän?
Eksistentialismi, itsetietoisuus, vapaus, oikeus, totuus, moraali- ja yhteiskuntafilosofia, persoonallisuus- ja sosiaalipsykologia, evoluutiotiede, poliittinen epäkorrektius, aseet, ampuminen, naisten alistaminen, BDSM, tietokoneet, internet, nopea ja aggressiivinen elektroninen sekä industrial rock- ja metallimusiikki, väkivaltaiset elokuvat, FPS -tietokonepelit, sarkasmi, ironia, musta huumori, makaaberi taide, massa- ja sarjamurhaajatapaukset, luonnonkatastrofit, eugeniikka

I assume the last part in Finnish is his list of things he likes (any Finns want to translate?), most of which I can’t understand, but it looks like “eugenics” is one of them.

He had a number of youtube videos up, glorifying guns and violence — his account has since been suspended. There is one video that consists of a view of Jokela High School that transitions to a photo of himself (presumably) with a gun. He characterizes himself as a “cynical existentialist, antihuman humanist, antisocial socialdarwinist, realistic idealist and godlike atheist.” I think he was a narcissistic ass.

Natural Selector’s Manifesto

How Did Natural Selection Turn Into Idiocratic Selection?

Today the process of natural selection is totally misguided. It has reversed. Human race has been devolving very long time for now. Retarded and stupid , weak-minded people are reproducing more and faster than the intelligent, strong-minded people. Laws protect the retarded majority which selects the leaders of society. Modern human race has not only betrayed its ancestors, but the future generations too. Homo Sapiens, HAH! It is more like a Homo Idioticus to me! When I look at people I see every day in society, school and everywhere… I can’t say I belong to same race as the lousy, miserable, arrogant, selfish human race! No! I have evolved one step above!

Naturality has been discriminated through religions, ideologies, laws and other mass delusion systems. Individual, who is going through his/hers natural power process and trying to live naturally, but is being told that the way he acts or thinks is wrong and stupid, will usually have some reactions which might be considered as “psychological disorders” by the establishment. In reality they are just natural reactions to the disruption of natural power process. They will have some of the following (depending on individual’s personality): feelings of inferiority / superiority, hostility, aggression, frustration, depression, self-hatred / hatred towards other people, suicidal / homicidal thought etc… and it is completely normal.

Humans are just a species among other animals and world does not exist only for humans. Death and killing is not a tragedy, it happens in nature all the time between all species. Not all human lives are important or worth saving. Only superior (intelligent, self-aware, strong-minded) individuals should survive while inferior (stupid, retarded, weak-minded masses) should perish.

There is also another solution to the problem: stupid people as slaves and intelligent people as free. What I mean is that they who have free minds, are capable of intelligent existential and philosophical thinking and know what justice is, should be free and rulers… and the robotic masses, they can be slaves since they do not mind it now either and because their minds are on so retarded level. The gangsters that now rule societies, would of course get what they deserve.

Of course there is a final solution too: death of entire human race. It would solve every problem of humanity. The faster human race is wiped out from this planet, the better… no one should be left alive. I have no mercy for the scum of earth, the pathetic human race.

Collective Deindividualization: Totalitarianism & Delusions Of Democracy

Collective deindividualization is a phenomenon where individual will be trained as part of the mindless herd controlled by state, corporation, church or some other organization, group, ideology, religion or mass delusion system and adopt it’s rules, morality and codes of conduct. This phenomenon has been familiar in all despotic, authoritarian, totalitarian, monarchist, communist, socialist, nazi, fascist and religious societies troughout history. Also, the modern western democratic republics have the same phenomenon. It is just done so that people will think they are free and don’t realize they are being enslaved. Majority of people in society are weak-minded and ignorant retards, masses that act like programmed robots and accept voluntarily slavery. But not me! I am self-aware and realize what is going on in society! I have a free mind! And I choose to be free rather than live like a robot or slave. You can say I have a “god complex”, sure… then you have a “group complex”! Compared to you retarded masses, I am actually godlike.

Totalitarian governments rule people through education system, consumerism, mass media, monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force (police, military) and laws discriminating people who think differently than the majority. Democracy… you think democracy means freedom and justice? You are wrong. Democracy is a dictatorship of the moral majority… and the majority is manipulated and ruled by the state mafia. Modern western democracy has nothing to do with freedom or justice; it is totalitarian and corrupted system. Laws are made over the heads of the people and people are being brainwashed to support the system and connected to the institutional structures immediately after their birth. Societies are being ruled by manipulative and charismatic politicians who only care about the interests of majority, and who do not base their decisions on reason but emotions and feelings of the masses. These masses let the authorities of state to make all the important decisions for them. The masses will get an education, they study, get a job, go to work and vote in elections. They think they are free and don’t criticise or question the system. They have become robots. It is like a constructed mechanism in mind, that leaves little choice for an individual to think, talk and act independently.

Three Kinds Of Humans

There are three kinds of human personality types in this world:
1) individualistic human (3% of the world population)
2) manipulative human (3% of the world population)
3) mass human (94% of the world population)

#1 & #2 type of personalities are intelligent, creative and self-aware. They have chosen bit different paths paths. #3 type of personalities are less intelligent and less creative, weak-minded people controlled by #2 type of personalities. The percentages are only estimations though but are based on Gaussian distribution and history of human race and how humans have organized into societies. And this is the way it has always been ever since humans started to organize into communities.

Another way how to divide people is bit different but is based on the same facts, human nature and history. The division is based on the level of intelligence and quality of mentality:
1) intelligent (3% of the world population)
2) slightly retarded, so called “normal people” or “robots” (94% of the world population)
3) highly retarded, “vegetables” (3% of the world population)

Total War Against Humanity

Hate, Im so full of it and I love it. That is one thing I really love. Some time ago, I used to believe in humanity and I wanted to live a long and happy life… but then I woke up. I started to think deeper and realized things. But it was not easy to become existential… knowing as much as I know has made me unhappy, frustrated and angry. I just can’t be happy in the society or the reality I live. Due to long process of existential thinking, observing the society I live and some other things happened in my life… I have come to the point where I feel nothing but hate against humanity and human race.

Life is just a meaningless coincidence… result of long process of evolution and many several factors, causes and effects. However, life is also something that an individual wants and determines it to be. And I’m the dictator and god of my own life. And me, I have chosen my way. I am prepared to fight and die for my cause. I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection.

You might ask yourselves, why did I do this and what do I want. Well, most of you are too arrogant and closed-minded to understand… You will proprably say me that I am “insane”, “crazy”, “psychopath”, “criminal” or crap like that. No, the truth is that I am just an animl, a human, an individual, a dissident.

I have had enough. I don’t want to be part of this fucked up society. Like some other wise people have said in the past, human race is not worth fighting for or saving… only worth killing. But… When my enemies will run and hide in fear when mentioning my name… When the gangsters of the corrupted governments have been shot in the streets… When the rule of idioracy and the democratic system has been replaced with justice… When intelligent people are finally free and rule the society instead of the idiocratic rule of majority… In that great day of deliverance, you will know what I want.

Long live the revolution… revolution against the system, which enslaves not only the majority of weak-minded masses but also the small minority of strong-minded and intelligent individuals! If we want to live in a different world, we must act. We must rise against the enslaving, corrupted and totalitarian regimes and overthrow the tyrants, gangsters and the rule of idiocracy. I can’t alone change much but hopefully my actions will inspire all the intelligent people of the world and start some sort of revolution against the current systems. The system discriminating naturality and justice, is my enemy. The people living in the world of delusion and supporting this system are my enemies.

I am ready to die for a cause I know is right, just and true… even if I would lose or the battle would be only remembered as evil… I will rather fight and die than live a long and unhappy life.

And remember that this is my war, my ideas and my plans. Don’t blame anyone else for my actions than myself. Don’t blame my parents or my friends. I told nobody about my plans and I always kept them inside my mind only. Don’t blame the movies I see, the music I hear, the games I play or the books I read. No, they had nothing to do with this. This is my war: one man war against humanity, governments and weak-minded masses of the world! No mercy for the scum of the earth! HUMANITY IS OVERRATED! It’s time to put NATURAL SELECTION & SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST back on tracks!

Justice renders to everyone his due.

- Pekka-Eric Auvinen (aka NaturalSelector89, Natural Selector, Sturmgeist89 and Sturmgeist).
I also use pseydonym Eric von Auffoin internationally.

This vile little shit is not representative of either atheist or biological thought; his babbling about devolution and the meaninglessness of killing and his status as a more highly evolved individual are complete nonsense, the product of a deranged mind trying to rationalize his own hatred and egotism. His plans are incoherent — he wants both the extermination of the human race and for a revolution that will see him as a hero. His words and actions reveal him to be that which he denies: “insane”, “crazy”, “psychopath”, “criminal”, and what may hurt him even worse, ignorant and stupid.

It’s not clear yet whether he has been arrested or is among the dead. Uncharitable as it is, I hope it’s the latter, and I hope he suffered horribly. I only wish he’d merely ended his own life without trying to drag others down with him.

Comments

  1. #1 Coturnix
    November 7, 2007

    Crazy nut! And now the Creo folks will have friggin’ ammunition!

  2. #2 Russell
    November 7, 2007

    This guy is just full of bogeymen for the wingnuts! Not just eugenics and his distorted views of biology, but existentialism and BDSM. Using my advanced powers of ESP, I can sense Dennis Prager and the rest of the wackos drawing the dots for their crowd. ;-)

    Oh, and the anti-gun writers doing the same.

  3. #3 CJColucci
    November 7, 2007

    I’m short, slow, and extremely nearsighted. My hearing is only so-so and I don’t smell so good. On the African savannah 50,000 years ago, I’d be dead meat — literally. I suppose my continued existence counts as de-evolution. On the other hand, I don’t live on the African savannah of 50,000 years ago. My environment includes opticians and lots of sedentary ways to make a living. I’m quite well-adapted to that environment, thank you.

  4. #4 Retired Catholic
    November 7, 2007

    Batshit crazy.

  5. #5 Dunc
    November 7, 2007

    Good grief!

    Perhaps the fact that “antidepressants” are on his hate list has more than a little to do with it…

  6. #6 Danley
    November 7, 2007

    Unfortunately they’ll focus on the eugenics crap, but this guy was an equal opportunity bigot. I’m sure Dinesh will have his own psychotic ramblings to add injury to insult.

  7. #7 Nerull
    November 7, 2007

    A friend of mine translated:
    Existentialism, self knowledge, freedom, justice, truth, moral and communal philosophy, personality and social phsychology, evolution science, political incorrectness, guns, shooting, subjugating women, BDSM, computers, Internet, fast and aggressive electronic and industrial rock- and metal music, violent movies, FPS-games, sarcasm, irony, black humour, macabre art, mass- and serial murder cases, natural disasters, eugenics

  8. #8 jdw
    November 7, 2007

    Possibly a real norse berserker, but a bit too much ranting, methinks. And no battle.

  9. #9 BigHeathenMike
    November 7, 2007

    This is going to be all over the US news, and here’s a prediction: they’re going to dwell on the fact that he’s a “Darwinist”. I’m sure Ben Stein will bring it up in his next interview.

    Funny, though, how when the Virginia Tech killer’s motivations were found out to be Christian, the coverage didn’t mention that at all (that I remember).

  10. #10 LM
    November 7, 2007

    Great. He included first person shooters among his ‘likes’. Jack Thompson is going to be all over this, too.

  11. #11 Reed A. Cartwright
    November 7, 2007

    A couple points that I’ve made in the past with creationists claiming that school shooters were following evolution’s call:

    1. Human actions produce artificial selection, technically. So calling oneself “Natural Selector” demonstrates a lack of understanding.

    2. Mass murder will either get you killed or sent to jail for the rest of your life. Neither of which is going to increase your reproductive fitness.

    3. Teenage suicide is not a reproductive strategy.

  12. #12 Lana
    November 7, 2007

    Oh, no. This reminds me of when the DC snipers were caught. A black friend said her heart sank when she saw they were black. Obviously this guy is just a nutcase.

  13. #13 Bronze Dog
    November 7, 2007

    People prone to shooting other people up in the name of artificial selection against one’s own species are highly likely to get themselves killed.

    Therefore, natural selection strongly favors people who don’t go on killing sprees. Lesson natural selection teaches us from this horror and similar ones: Being non-violent is good. Being violent will get you killed by violence.

  14. #14 Petter Häggholm
    November 7, 2007

    BigHeathenMike, I never heard that about the Virginia Tech murders — now I am curious. Can you provide details and sources?

  15. #15 Petter Häggholm
    November 7, 2007

    BigHeathenMike, I never heard that about the Virginia Tech murders — now I am curious. Can you provide details and sources?

  16. #16 TheBlackCat
    November 7, 2007

    The press doesn’t care about “Darwinists”. He was into first person shooter games if Nerull’s friend is correct. That is all anyone needs to hear to lay blame. Ben Stein may bring it up, but the press is going to focus on the games. Video game violence is a really hot topic right now, it’s guaranteed to sell newspapers. Rants about evolution working backwards is not a hot topic and most people would probably care less. It is too complicated of an issue, a guy playing violent video games and then carrying out the violence in real life is much simpler and easier to understand and fits much nicer in a soundbyte.

  17. #17 Rey Fox
    November 7, 2007

    Recalibrate your irony meters, because the same folks who whinge that one can’t judge religion by its extremists are going to be all the fuck over this guy.

  18. #18 salient
    November 7, 2007

    Sad story.

    “Individual . . . will usually have some reactions which might be considered as “psychological disorders” by the establishment. . . You will proprably say me that I am “insane”, “crazy”, “psychopath”, “criminal”.”

    Yup.

    “What do I hate? Equality, tolerance, human rights … enslaving religions and ideologies, religious fanatics.

    Has this loony never understood that opposites don’t belong together?

    Of course, many religionists will embrace this piece of tripe as ‘proving’ their contention that all atheists are villains. How some of them do love absolutes.

  19. #19 The Professor
    November 7, 2007

    Let’s see, who misunderstands evolutionary biology, and misapplies it? This guy in Finland, and creationists.

    It’s not evolution that’s the problem. It’s ignorant and self-righteous people misusing evolution–that’s the problem.

  20. #20 Louis
    November 7, 2007

    {sigh number 1}

    I feel terrible for those poor families and people in Finland who have suffered at the hands of this person. My thoughts are with them.

    {sigh number 2}

    I feel terrible that this chap was obviously unhappy and unwell and felt he had no recourse to more sociable means to express himself and break what would appear to be a cycle of depression.

    {sigh number 3}

    I await the cawing of the usual religious crows about this young man’s very confused and conflicting ideologies.

    Some days the world is a very sad place. Happily, other days there’s ice cream!

    Louis

  21. #22 T_U_T
    November 7, 2007

    this is insane. No other name for it fits. Insane. not even evil or monstruous. Insane. As if the reality I was used to, were slowly blending with a surreal horror story.

    Sad fact is, that here in europe many people *really* believe that crap. When I was first time confronted by fundamentalist image of “amoral monster darwinists” I laughed at them and told them that this fairytale creture exists only in their paranoid fantasy.
    Then I found out that MANY of the people I believed to be my fellow atheists, really DO believe such ideas. Diluted and watered down to, besure, rarely said explicitely, and of course not turned into actual artrocities.
    But this sort of “no god=>no morality, evolution=>dog should eat dog” social darwinism is too common, at least where I live, to be dismissed as singular cases of madness.

  22. #23 Valhar2000
    November 7, 2007

    Goddamnit! I share more than half of his likes! Are they going to try to ban metal and FPS games yet again?

    On the other hand, he hates democracy, so, who knows? Maybe they’ll try to bring that back…

  23. #24 raven
    November 7, 2007

    wikipedia;

    Seung-Hui Cho
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Seung-Hui Cho[2] (January 18, 1984 – April 16, 2007) was a student at Virginia Tech who committed the mass murder of 32 people[3] and wounded 25 others[4] in the shooting rampage known as the Virginia Tech massacre.[5] Cho committed suicide after law enforcement officers breached the doors of the building where he had killed and wounded his victims.[6]

    Well, the fundies are still ahead on the death counts. Seung Cho was from a fundamentalist Xian background. But really, he and the Finnish guy are just crazy.

  24. #25 dogmeatib
    November 7, 2007

    Truly a tragedy.

    Also, unfortunately as has been pointed out, we’re going to see idiots point to this as “proof” of the evils of Darwin. Generally these same morons would also argue that the VA-Tech shooting was also “proof” of the evils of Darwin.

    For these folks the logic is simple, when non-Christians do bad things, it’s proof that Christianity is good, when Christians do bad things, it’s proof that Christianity is good.

  25. #26 Bob O'H
    November 7, 2007

    Alas, this sort of thing doesn’t totally surprise me. Finns are great people, but this is the dark side of all the jokes about their silence.

    All the comments about him just being crazy are simplistic. Just saying “he was nuts” is an easy non-explanation – it’s as useful as “it was God’s will”. There will be a lot of soul-searching in Finland over why this happened.

    My sympathies, of course, are with the families and friends of the victims.

    Bob

  26. #27 Kcanadensis
    November 7, 2007

    They are crazy, I agree, but we can’t continue to deny that something is very wrong with our societies which is causing people to kill. I’m not saying I sympathize with him entirely, but I also don’t think we should just ignore this problem. It’s easy to write them off as nuts, but look deeper.

  27. #28 Valhar2000
    November 7, 2007

    T_U_T, where do you live?

  28. #29 Dustin
    November 7, 2007

    But this sort of “no god=>no morality, evolution=>dog should eat dog” social darwinism is too common, at least where I live, to be dismissed as singular cases of madness.

    But not for the teaching of evolution. I think it’s probably more that we’re cultivating sociopaths who run around with a sense of entitlement, and they’re creating their own interpretation of science as a post hoc justification for their sociopathic behavior.

    What we really need to do is stop dismissing all of these shootings with sanctimonious bead-wearing pop-psychologists spouting things about “dark, quiet loners” and really make an effort to understand what causes this. I don’t mean to suggest that we try to profile students based on their history of mental health since there is very little in any kind of history that would predict this, and acting as though there is might actually make the problem worse by driving kids who are disturbed over an edge that they might not have gone over if left on their own. I’m not a psychologist, so I can’t offer any good advice on what is causing this behavior or how to stop it, but something is clearly wrong and needs to be addressed in a better way than we have been.

  29. #30 T_U_T
    November 7, 2007

    slovakia

  30. #31 Maxx
    November 7, 2007

    So far 8 of the 13 victims are dead. The shooter himself is in critical condition at the hospital. Shot himself to the head.

    Turning that finnish part to english:
    What do I love / what do I like?
    Existentialism, self-assertion, freedom, justice, truth, morale and society philosophy, personality and sociality psychology, evolution science, political grievances, guns, shooting, subjugating women, bdsm, computers, internet, fast and agressive electronic and industrial rock and metal music, violence movies, fps computer games, sarcasm, irony, black/dark humour, macabre art, mass- and serialmurder cases, natural disasters, eugenics

  31. #32 Rey Fox
    November 7, 2007

    “The shooter himself is in critical condition at the hospital. Shot himself to the head.”

    Killing himself before he could reproduce. Real Darwinian of him.

    I wish just once they could catch one of these smug assholes and put them in custody. Let ‘em think long and hard about what they’ve done.

  32. #33 Sampo Rassi
    November 7, 2007

    The latest word on the perpetrator is that he’s hospitalized for self-inflicted gunshot wounds and has a low chance of survival. A tiny part of me is overjoyed at this.

    A larger part of me is aghast, as my mother is a viceprincipal of a large school and has had her share of troubled students.

  33. #34 Alex
    November 7, 2007

    Well let’s keep it simple: killing people is artificial selection. A disease that wipes out a population lacking necessary adaptations to fight it is natural selection. A bullet is artificial.

    He also goes on and on about how stupid people don’t deserve to live. Well, you don’t get to determine the adaptations that you think are beneficial. Again, natural selection means the environment determines which individuals are suited to living in it.

    Obviously this little shit is deeply disturbed. And he’s an idiot, too. When mental illness meets stupidity and a sense of entitlement (c.f. Dostoevsky’s “extraordinary man” theory from Crime and Punishment; if you don’t remember, ask a high school student) tragedy ensues. I mean, just look at what’s infesting the White House right now.

  34. #35 shiftlessbum
    November 7, 2007

    Alez wrote

    “Well let’s keep it simple: killing people is artificial selection. A disease that wipes out a population lacking necessary adaptations to fight it is natural selection. A bullet is artificial.”

    The “artificial” part of artificial selection does not refer to an artifact, like a bullet. It means that humans are doing the selection for traits of interest to humans. IEA, this sad event is in no way selection, artificial or not.

  35. #36 Faust arp
    November 7, 2007

    Watch the videos made by this serial killer:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=90d_1194444897

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=369_1194449557

    This is what he writes about himself:

    ——-

    Name: Pekka-Eric Auvinen
    Age: 18
    Male from Finland.

    I am a cynical existentialist, antihuman
    humanist, antisocial socialdarwinist, realistic
    idealist and godlike atheist.

    SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM! JUSTITIA SUUM
    CUIQUE DISTRIBUIT! SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS!

    I am prepared to fight and die for my cause.
    I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I
    see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of
    natural selection.

    You might ask yourselves, why did I do this
    and what do I want. Well, most of you are too
    arrogant and closed-minded to understand%u2026 You
    will proprably say me that I am%u201Dinsane%u201D,
    %u201Ccrazy%u201D, %u201Cpsychopath%u201D,
    %u201Ccriminal%u201D or crap like that. No, the
    truth is that I am just an animl, a human, an
    individual, a dissident.

    I have had enough. I don%u2019t want to be
    part of this ****ed up society. Like some other
    wise people have said in the past, human race is
    not worth fighting for or saving%u2026 only worth
    killing. But%u2026 When my enemies will run and
    hide in fear when mentioning my name%u2026 When
    the gangsters of the corrupted governments have
    been shot in the streets%u2026 When the rule of
    idioracy and the democratic system has been
    replaced with justice%u2026 When intelligent
    people are finally free and rule the society
    instead of the idiocratic rule of majority%u2026
    In that great day of deliverance, you will know
    what I want.

    Long live the revolution%u2026 revolution
    against the system, which enslaves not only the
    majority of weak-minded masses but also the small
    minority of strong-minded and intelligent
    individuals! If we want to live in a different
    world, we must act. We must rise against the
    enslaving, corrupted and totalitarian regimes and
    overthrow the tyrants, gangsters and the rule of
    idiocracy. I can%u2019t alone change much but
    hopefully my actions will inspire all the
    intelligent people of the world and start some
    sort of revolution against the current systems.
    The system discriminating naturality and justice,
    is my enemy. The people living in the world of
    delusion and supporting this system are my
    enemies.

    I am ready to die for a cause I know is right,
    just and true%u2026 even if I would lose or the
    battle would be only remembered as evil%u2026 I
    will rather fight and die than live a long and
    unhappy life.

    And remember that this is my war, my ideas and
    my plans. Don%u2019t blame anyone else for my
    actions than myself. Don%u2019t blame my parents
    or my friends. I told nobody about my plans and I
    always kept them inside my mind only. Don%u2019t
    blame the movies I see, the music I hear, the
    games I play or the books I read. No, they had
    nothing to do with this. This is my war: one man
    war against humanity, governments and weak-minded
    masses of the world! No mercy for the scum of the
    earth! HUMANITY IS OVERRATED! It%u2019s time to
    put NATURAL SELECTION & SURVIVAL OF THE
    FITTEST back on tracks!

    Justice renders to everyone his due.

    Country: Finland

    Occupation: Unemployed Philosopher, Outcast

    Companies: Human Race (evolved one step above
    though)

    Interests and Hobbies: Existentialism,
    Freedom, Truth, Misantrophy, Social / Personality
    Psychology, Evolution Science, Political
    Incorrectness, Women, BDSM, Guns (I love you
    Catherine), Shooting, Computer Games, Sarcasm,
    Irony, Mass / Serial Killers, Macabre Art, Black
    Comedy, Absurdism

    Movies and Shows: The Matrix, A View To A
    Kill, Falling Down, Natural Born Killers,
    Reservoir Dogs, Last Man Standing, Full Metal
    Jacket, Dr. Butcher MD (aka Zombie Holocaust), Saw
    1-3, Lord Of War, The Deer Hunter, True Romance,
    The Untouchables, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later,
    Idiocracy, They Live, Apocalypse Now, End Of Days,
    The Shining, The Dead Zone, Dr. Strangelove, House
    MD (TV), Monty Python, TV Documentaries Relating
    To History

    Music: KMFDM, Rammstein, Eisbrecher, Nine Inch
    Nails, Grendel, Impaled Nazarene, Macabre,
    Deathstars, The Prodigy, Combichrist, Godsmack,
    Slayer, Children Of Bodom, Alice Cooper,
    Sturmgeist, Suicide Commando, Hatebreed,
    Suffocation, Terrorizer
    Books: Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury), 1984
    (Orwell), Brave New World (Huxley), The Republic
    (Plato), all works of Nietzsche

    —–

  36. #37 Sampo Rassi
    November 7, 2007

    The tone of those writings really is completely incoherent, speaking of glorious revolution and human extinction as if the two weren’t contradictory at all

  37. #38 Gingerbaker
    November 7, 2007

    How come these nihilistic guys, who ostensibly want to improve the human condition, never decide to go out and kill the truly evil and powerful?

    No, the little cowards always slaughter innocent school children.

  38. #39 Sampo Rassi
    November 7, 2007

    Don’t forget the school principal, who probably never did anything more severe to him than issue a reprimand for carrying “Mein Kampf” in his bag.

  39. #40 er
    November 7, 2007

    Again, natural selection means the environment determines which individuals are suited to living in it.

    It’s a matter of perspective. We are a part of nature, therefore we are the environment and we are natural. In fact, everything that is, is natural. If someone kills someone else, that is natural selection, in the same way that natural selection might kill a weaker walrus in a battle for male dominance.

  40. #41 nakkerton
    November 7, 2007

    http://jokela1.blogspot.com for links to the material that this sick fuck released (the deleted youtube videos, the .zip file etc)

  41. #42 T_U_T
    November 7, 2007

    How come these nihilistic guys, who ostensibly want to improve the human condition, never decide to go out and kill the truly evil and powerful?

    An interesting question. Some freaks kill their schoolmates, some freaks kill celebrities or politicians ( amazingly, always the better ones ).

    Has there been any nut who killed a worse monster than himself ?

  42. #43 Steverino
    November 7, 2007

    “Humans are just a species among other animals and world does not exist only for humans. Death and killing is not a tragedy, it happens in nature all the time between all species. Not all human lives are important or worth saving. Only superior (intelligent, self-aware, strong-minded) individuals should survive while inferior (stupid, retarded, weak-minded masses) should perish.”

    There are going to have a hard time pinning this on “Darwinist”. This is exactly what Bill O’Really, Flush Windblow and Glenn Beck have been calling for when it come to Iraq. This is a typical right-wing position.

  43. #44 T_U_T
    November 7, 2007

    How come these nihilistic guys, who ostensibly want to improve the human condition, never decide to go out and kill the truly evil and powerful?

    An interesting question. Some freaks kill their schoolmates, some freaks kill celebrities or politicians ( amazingly, always the better ones ).

    Has there been any nut who killed a worse monster than himself ?

  44. #45 Sinbad
    November 7, 2007

    For these folks the logic is simple, when non-Christians do bad things, it’s proof that Christianity is good, when Christians do bad things, it’s proof that Christianity is good.

    You’re right to a point, but “these folks” include both Christians and non-Christians alike. Note what PZ wrote in response to the Virginia Tech shootings:

    “I predict that, just like Tim McVeigh is conveniently forgotten when it’s time to characterize terrorists as brown and muslim, Cho will be forgotten when it’s expedient to pretend Christianity is a religion of peace and love.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/06/jesus_made_him_do_it.php

    You can’t have it both ways and be intellectually honest. Either Christianity and evolution were both causes of nutcase violence or they both weren’t. I’m inclined toward the latter, nutcase dogmatists on both sides notwithstanding.

  45. #46 Maxx
    November 7, 2007
  46. #47 gg
    November 7, 2007

    #37 wrote: “How come these nihilistic guys, who ostensibly want to improve the human condition, never decide to go out and kill the truly evil and powerful?”

    Because the killings are never really about the ‘betterment’ of society as they often like to claim — the killers are really demonstrating their own ‘power’ by picking on people who are defenseless or at least peaceful.

    In other words, they’re cowards.

    If #7′s translation is correct, this asshole included ‘subjugating women’ as one of his likes.

  47. #48 heddle
    November 7, 2007

    As a Christian, I strongly agree with the sentiment expressed here that this tragedy is the result of a deranged individual, and not a consequence of whatever view or theory he decided to co-opt for his purposes.

    And I don’t blame your for lamenting the fact that some pin-headed religious types will try to manufacture a political advantage from the situation.

    However–there is a certain pot-kettle-black aspect to this. On PT for sure, and perhaps on this blog, when I have pointed out that people like Fred Phelps co-opt (as opposed to represent) Christianity for their own sick agenda I get pummeled with charges of “True Scotsman” fallacy.

    The simple truth is that whackos will use whatever is convenient to justify their actions. Some Christians will forget that in this case, and some of you will forget it the next time Phelps does something hideous or some screwball blows up an abortion clinic.

  48. #49 Bob O'H
    November 7, 2007

    For those who want to get more local updates in Englsh, there is more on YLE and Helsingin sanomat.

    Bob

  49. #50 shiftlessbum
    November 7, 2007

    Heddle; word.

  50. #51 T_U_T
    November 7, 2007

    This is a typical right-wing position.

    Rings true to me. I think anyone in the secular right who is able to think her position really through, has to embrace this kind of social darwinistic crap.

  51. #52 Colugo
    November 7, 2007

    Members of what I call the ‘Columbine Cult’ tend to profess to be quasi-Nietzschean Social Darwnists who imagine themselves to be some kind of supermen, probably to compensate for the fact that they are total losers. Harris wore a T-shirt with the words “Natural Selection” during the killings. The Columbine Cult’s misanthropic pseudo-naturalistic ethos is reminiscent of Leopold and Loeb’s weird interpretation of Nietzsche.

    Other characteristics of these killers, some shared and some unique to each case, are simply a function of their being young males. While a Marilyn Manson connection was initially asserted, this turned out not to be the case. Klebold and Harris were fans of KMFDM and Rammstein. Gill’s dislikes included Republicans and jocks, and his likes included V For Vendetta (well, it does glorify a terrorist) and Jon Stewart. Cho, Virginia Tech killer, was a U2 fan, as was the ‘My Sister Sam’ murderer. Doesn’t mean that U2 is evil.

  52. #53 Mike P
    November 7, 2007

    Sounds like Nietzsche went to his head.

  53. #54 Keith
    November 7, 2007

    From what I could make out of the finish list of likes included Existentialism, industrial music, the aforementioned eugenics and irony… strange duck. But I’m sure that the media will harp on these and in order of importance:

    1. Evolution
    2. Atheism
    3. Industrial music

    Because nothing goes better with angst than Marilyn Manson (or his obnoxious Finnish cousin).

  54. #55 Colugo
    November 7, 2007

    Let’s make a deal with theists:

    We won’t blame all of Christianity, or Islam, or whatever, for every atrocity committed by theists. In return, they won’t blame atheism and evolutionary theory for the crimes of this maniac and those like him.

    Rather, we will blame militant Islam (Deobandism, Khomeinism, Qutbism…) or militant Chrisitianity (Christian Identity, Iron Guard…), etc. for the crimes of the former and ‘militant Social Darwinism’ or ‘Nietzschean pseudo-evolutionism’, or whatever you want to call it, for the crimes of the latter.

    Sound fair?

  55. #56 T_U_T
    November 7, 2007

    Either Christianity and evolution were both causes of nutcase violence or they both weren’t.

    Wrong. This madman’s ideas about evolution were so throughoutly distorted that they bear no similarity to the real thing. If you were to say the same about “christian” killers, you would have to show that the real christian belief system is completely different to beliefs of the killer.
    It is very easily done with evolution, because it is a solid scientific theory. However, how would you do it with a religion ?

  56. #57 Stevie_C
    November 7, 2007

    PZ’s point, is that christians like to pretend they never do wrong, because of their religion.
    Yes Cho was a nut job. But he was also heavily indoctrinated into christianity. He may have even been emotionally neglected because of it… why seek treatment when a little prayer should suffice.

  57. #58 Mike
    November 7, 2007

    That ranks pretty high on the timecube-o-meter.

  58. #59 Janus
    November 7, 2007

    I’m going to be politically incorrect and say that this guy was indeed motivated by his understanding of evolution, as well as the various philosophies he mentinoned. Why? Well, because that’s what he says motivated him. Why wouldn’t we take him at his word? When Muslim suicide bombers say they’re willing to kill civilians to protect Islam or in the name of Allah, we take them at their word, so why wouldn’t we do the same in this case?

    Does this mean that evolution is just as bad as Christianity and Islam in this regard? Of course not, there are two things that make it very different.

    First, evolution is true. This may sound strange, but I think that if a claim about reality is true, the people who make its truth known are automatically absolved of any blame for the evils that the claim might inspire certain people to do. For example, the claim that the Judeo-Christian God exists and will send all unbelievers to Hell has certainly motivated many Christians to commit acts of unspeakable evil: After all, as I’ve heard Sam Harris say once, if you believe that your child will be tortured for all eternity if your atheist neighbor convinces him or her that there is no God, it’s a perfectly rational action to wish to kill the atheist ASAP. This alone is a perfectly good reason to want to get rid of the meme of Christianity and to blame those who promote Christianity for the evil it inspires.

    However, this presumes that Christianity is false. If there were conclusive evidence that the Judeo-Christian God exists and that all unbelievers will go to Hell, no one would blame Christians for promoting and propagating the truth.

    Therefore, in all but exceptional cases, the truth of a claim takes precedence over the negative consequences the spreading of this claim might have.

    Second, what apparently motivated the killer is social Darwinism, not evolution as such, and as much as social Darwinists would like to believe otherwise, evolution doesn’t lead to any moral (or anti-moral) precepts, no more than believing in gravity should lead anyone to believe that we should all go around and pull people down, or something. There is nothing about the description of reality that is the theory of evolution that says, “You should do _this_”, or “This kind of behavior is morally wrong”. Whereas religions do make these kinds of statements. Islam does say that Muslims should murder apostates, Christianity does say that homosexuality is an abomination, etc.

  59. #60 Petter Häggholm
    November 7, 2007

    heddle, your sentiment is very understandable, and I’m sure that none of us (or at least mercifully few of us) think that being Christian necessarily means that you are a bad person. (It means, in our view, that you are wrong and could benefit from some more critical thinking and education, but hey, even very smart people are sometimes wrong; Einstein was wrong, Hawking was wrong; possibly, even I have been wrong at some point.)

    However, the atheist’s tendency to collect a scrap-book of ecclesiastical wrongs is, I think, more often a defence mechanism than a real desire to go on the offensive; a counter-argument more than an argument. How often have you heard theists claim that atheists are immoral, that God and God alone makes you good? How can we respond to the claim that godliness equals goodness, unless by pointing out instances–and there are many, alas–of godly people doing evil?

    Of course it is easy to over-generalise (Many Christians are evil does not imply All Christians are evil), and the proportions of theists to atheists in fora like this comment section probably make it seem a bit off, but consider the ratio of theists to atheists in Western society at large and it’s probably obvious why atheists, for better or worse, often start off in a default position of defensive and counter-attack.

  60. #61 Petter Häggholm
    November 7, 2007

    heddle, your sentiment is very understandable, and I’m sure that none of us (or at least mercifully few of us) think that being Christian necessarily means that you are a bad person. (It means, in our view, that you are wrong and could benefit from some more critical thinking and education, but hey, even very smart people are sometimes wrong; Einstein was wrong, Hawking was wrong; possibly, even I have been wrong at some point.)

    However, the atheist’s tendency to collect a scrap-book of ecclesiastical wrongs is, I think, more often a defence mechanism than a real desire to go on the offensive; a counter-argument more than an argument. How often have you heard theists claim that atheists are immoral, that God and God alone makes you good? How can we respond to the claim that godliness equals goodness, unless by pointing out instances–and there are many, alas–of godly people doing evil?

    Of course it is easy to over-generalise (Many Christians are evil does not imply All Christians are evil), and the proportions of theists to atheists in fora like this comment section probably make it seem a bit off, but consider the ratio of theists to atheists in Western society at large and it’s probably obvious why atheists, for better or worse, often start off in a default position of defensive and counter-attack.

  61. #62 Colugo
    November 7, 2007

    This slimeball’s ranting are a real grab-bag of themes. Right wing elitist notions of the herdlike majority and a small minority of oppressed superior humans (see: The Fountainhead). Left wing arguments that modern Western democracy is really totalitarian because the masses are ideologically manipulated. The movie ‘Idiocracy.’ Total megalomania claiming to represent atheism and naturalism. His sources, distorted by his sick overarching worldview, are not to blame; they are merely rationalizations for his psychopathy. I suspect that he had a massive a nervous breakdown, perhaps due to organic causes, which he attempted to intellectually rationalize from whatever bits and pieces he could assemble.

  62. #63 travc
    November 7, 2007

    First off, condolences and empathy to the victims (not just the individuals wounded/killed of course).

    Well, I would argue Dawkins got his answer to “name someone who has killed in the name of atheism”. Yeah, this guy was a psychotic fringe extremist, but that is the fundamentalist fringe for atheists. We have to just deal with it. I would still argue that religious justifications for psychotic / sociopathic behaviour are much more common, but every community of sufficient size has pathological cases.

    The argument that he has/had a warped view of evolution is true enough of course. Ignoring the evolutionary origins of sociality and ‘collectivism’ while trying to reshape the species by sacrificing himself… just a small bit of inconsistency out of the steaming pile. However, most religious people argue that psychos who kill in the name of ‘their religion’ get the message all wrong too. Of course, with religion, there is no objective reality to check the message against, so ‘misinterpretation’ is a weak claim.

    Most strikingly to me, I can’t believe the words ‘objectivist’ and/or ‘collectivist’ didn’t appear in the manifesto (though ‘collective’ is used derisively). This reads so much like the ranting of a 16 year old boy who has just read Rand and Niztche (or a stereotypical American CEO, which is someone who never got past that point mentally).

    This should serve as a little wake-up call for the freethinking community IMO. We need to be wary of aligning (even just tactically) with ‘objectivists’. It is a devils-bargin, since their philosophy (to be overly kind) is antithetical to the morality I presume most of us share. The proposition that non-sociopathic humans have an intrinsic (and proper) morality (reinforced by a good society) is not one they share. This can not only leads to small tragedies, but to co-opting the entire community by cynical manipulator. though freethinkers are intrinsically less susceptible than religious types and right-wingers, it would be foolishly arrogant to not learn the lesson they show us and assume our community immune.

    Mild elitists (like myself) with libertarian tendencies are not uncommon amoung freethinkers, and we need to be especially mindful of the potential extremists. Doubly bad for me that I actually believe that eugenics (in a very different, voluntary form) is a moral good. Somewhat arrogantly taking it upon myself, I offer an unconditional denunciation of this murderer. He does not act in my name and his ‘philosophy’ is not a logical extension of mine.

    PS: A side word on eugenics… It is my opinion (reasoned to the extent of my faculties), that knowingly passing on (or taking significant risk of passing on) clearly detrimental disorders is morally reprehensible. It is not within any persons ken to say which inherited traits are ‘best’, much less best for all, but any reasonable person can and should be recognize clearly harmful ones. For example, taking a 1 in 4 chance that you will have a child with cystic-fibrosis is morally wrong… find a sperm donor who is not a carrier.
    Do not misunderstand me. Forcing selective breeding or sterilization upon fellow humans is an atrocity.

  63. #64 kamenin
    November 7, 2007

    Did I miss it or did he indeed endorse no presidential candidate?

    Way to go, Finnish asshole…

  64. #65 Skemono
    November 7, 2007

    For these folks the logic is simple, when non-Christians do bad things, it’s proof that Christianity is good, when Christians do bad things, it’s proof that Christianity is good.

    No, no, no. You left out a step. When Christians do bad things, it’s proof that they’re not true Christians, and therefore Christianity is good.

  65. #66 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    November 7, 2007

    I am Finnish. And my school is in Hyvinkää. Not many kilometers, actually. (Walking distance.)
    I just wait when the noise begins. I must be as bad as this guy. In his “love list” i can count only 14 thing in which i disagree with him..

    Mitä rakastan / mistä pidän?
    Eksistentialismi, itsetietoisuus, vapaus, oikeus, totuus, moraali- ja yhteiskuntafilosofia, persoonallisuus- ja sosiaalipsykologia, evoluutiotiede, poliittinen epäkorrektius, aseet, ampuminen, naisten alistaminen, BDSM, tietokoneet, internet, nopea ja aggressiivinen elektroninen sekä industrial rock- ja metallimusiikki, väkivaltaiset elokuvat, FPS -tietokonepelit, sarkasmi, ironia, musta huumori, makaaberi taide, massa- ja sarjamurhaajatapaukset, luonnonkatastrofit, eugeniikka

    -> Translation (poor quality Tuomoh translation, model “lost in translation”)

    What do i love/ what i like?
    existentialism. self -awareness, freedom, justice, truth, moral+society philosophy, personality+social psychology, evolutionary sciences, political uncorrectness, guns, shooting, repressing womans, BDSM, computers, internet, fast and aggressive electronic and industrial rock+metal music, violent movies, FPS -games, sarcasm, irony, black humour, macaber art, massacres and serial killers, natural disasters, eugenics.

  66. #67 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    November 7, 2007

    I am Finnish. And my school is in Hyvinkää. Not many kilometers, actually. (Walking distance.)
    I just wait when the noise begins. I must be as bad as this guy. In his “love list” i can count only 14 thing in which i disagree with him..

    Mitä rakastan / mistä pidän?
    Eksistentialismi, itsetietoisuus, vapaus, oikeus, totuus, moraali- ja yhteiskuntafilosofia, persoonallisuus- ja sosiaalipsykologia, evoluutiotiede, poliittinen epäkorrektius, aseet, ampuminen, naisten alistaminen, BDSM, tietokoneet, internet, nopea ja aggressiivinen elektroninen sekä industrial rock- ja metallimusiikki, väkivaltaiset elokuvat, FPS -tietokonepelit, sarkasmi, ironia, musta huumori, makaaberi taide, massa- ja sarjamurhaajatapaukset, luonnonkatastrofit, eugeniikka

    -> Translation (poor quality Tuomoh translation, model “lost in translation”)

    What do i love/ what i like?
    existentialism. self -awareness, freedom, justice, truth, moral+society philosophy, personality+social psychology, evolutionary sciences, political uncorrectness, guns, shooting, repressing womans, BDSM, computers, internet, fast and aggressive electronic and industrial rock+metal music, violent movies, FPS -games, sarcasm, irony, black humour, macaber art, massacres and serial killers, natural disasters, eugenics.

  67. #68 Petter Häggholm
    November 7, 2007

    The counter-argument that I dreamt up when I first came across this sort of reasoning makes me kind of wish I met in person someone who mis-reasoned from “is” to “ought” thus:

    “Do you believe in Darwinism?”
    “Well, of course. It’s a well-substantiated theory with a preponderance of evidence and great explanatory power. Yes, I believe evolution is real and actually happens.”
    “Then you must also believe in Social Darwinism, might makes right! You’re an awful person.”
    “Do you believe that death is real and actually happens to people? By that logic…”

  68. #69 Petter Häggholm
    November 7, 2007

    The counter-argument that I dreamt up when I first came across this sort of reasoning makes me kind of wish I met in person someone who mis-reasoned from “is” to “ought” thus:

    “Do you believe in Darwinism?”
    “Well, of course. It’s a well-substantiated theory with a preponderance of evidence and great explanatory power. Yes, I believe evolution is real and actually happens.”
    “Then you must also believe in Social Darwinism, might makes right! You’re an awful person.”
    “Do you believe that death is real and actually happens to people? By that logic…”

  69. #70 Varjosiili
    November 7, 2007

    If #7′s translation is correct, this asshole included ‘subjugating women’ as one of his likes.

    It’s correct; seems this guy was several flavors of crazy. Why no-one noticed or cared, is a really interesting question. I really hope the christian nuts won’t use this to whack you in the US, I very much doubt anyone will dare to utilize this tragedy to their political or ideological ends in Finland.

  70. #71 Nomen Nescio
    November 7, 2007

    It is my opinion (reasoned to the extent of my faculties), that knowingly passing on (or taking significant risk of passing on) clearly detrimental disorders is morally reprehensible.

    indeed, which is why i’m not breeding; i’m stopping my type-2 diabetes and myopia both from reproducing.

    you’re quite right that we can’t easily identify “good” genetic traits, but by the same measure, it’s not easy to objectively tell what counts as a detrimental trait either. i shan’t even mention sickle-cell anemia for now.

    (actually, i’m not breeding because i’d make a shitty parent and probably end up bankrupt in short order. but the myopia and near-certain future diabetes aren’t exactly fun, either.)

  71. #72 Dustin
    November 7, 2007

    Why no-one noticed or cared, is a really interesting question. I really hope the christian nuts won’t use this to whack you in the US, I very much doubt anyone will dare to utilize this tragedy to their political or ideological ends in Finland.

    School shootings in the US are almost always preceded by threats which nobody takes seriously until it’s too late. As for the ideologues, they’re positively meniacal about this kind of thing… they get a kind of sadistic glee about tying tragedy to their foes. I promise that by this time tomorrow, D’Souza, Malkin and O’Leary will all have weighed in with a smug little diatribe about how “The Origin of Species” causes eugenics and murder.

  72. #73 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    November 7, 2007

    I am sure, that there actually is some. In some forums there are guy, who said that reason is music. In Jokelas school there is teacher, which have send “non christians” away if there have been spiritual music. And they have had different music. And this is somehow a reason.

    We have only couple religious zealoits, but they are the noisy ones. And they don’t think twise. This is “ideological win” for them.(And everyone else disagrees :) )

  73. #74 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    November 7, 2007

    I am sure, that there actually is some. In some forums there are guy, who said that reason is music. In Jokelas school there is teacher, which have send “non christians” away if there have been spiritual music. And they have had different music. And this is somehow a reason.

    We have only couple religious zealoits, but they are the noisy ones. And they don’t think twise. This is “ideological win” for them.(And everyone else disagrees :) )

  74. #75 Bob O'H
    November 7, 2007

    Tuomo – I noticed the same thing – I suspect that most of the people who read Pharyngula would identify with several/many of this guy’s likes. But there are several we don’t just disagree with, but we react with distaste towards.

    If liking black humour became a crime, about 70% of the Finnish population would end up in prison.

    Bob

  75. #76 BlueIndependent
    November 7, 2007

    Definitely sounds like a complete social outcast who had nothing in the way of good parenting for most of his life. Definitely all messed up, and his rambling about hating things that are in direct opposition to each other…the way he reads, he’s against anything and everything, good or bad.

    As far as this giving ammunition to the religious zealots out there, well so what. Did common sense and critical thinking ever stop them before? They’re still wrong and there are myriad examples of abortion clinic bombers, suicide bombers, cultists and the like to throw back at them. Lack of religion wasn’t this kid’s problem, it was a lack of guidance, love and respect from day one.

  76. #77 Aaron Kinney
    November 7, 2007

    KILLING PEOPLE IS NOT NATURAL SELECTION!

    This guy has no idea WTF natural selection is. Natural selection is when one entity outcompetes another. And COMPETITION means that you have two or more entities competing for the same resources, and using the same rules.

    So to run into a place with a gun and shoot people is to ELIMINATE ones competitors through an anti-competitive action.

    Think of it like a football game. The competition is there because two teams vie for the same resources (points) using the same rules. If one team brakes the rules, they are penalized because breaking the rules is anti-competitive.

    What this guy did was the exact OPPOSITE of natural selection. He didnt WANT to compete for the same resources using the same rules. He sidestepped the rules completely by blowing peoples heads off with a gun.

  77. #78 Michael X
    November 7, 2007

    When someone clearly lists Social Darwinism as a reason for killing, they mistake evolution for a prescriptive study intead of a descriptive one.

    As for the rest of his likes, it’s obviously a case where his own personality brought him to things like FPS-games, and loud, fast music. It is most likely not the case that such video games and music created his deranged personality. As I recall none of the games or bands suggest that anyone should go out and kill people when they turn off the game or leave the concert.

    He could have also stated that he’s killing in the name of the large asteroids that used to pummel that planet more often, therefore he’s killing in the name of astronomy. This of course wouldn’t make astronomy bad because it doesn’t suggest anywhere that you should kill and so you have no reason to say that astronomy, just like evolution, FPS-games or industrial music caused you to kill.

    Though the bible and koran on the other hand, DO make such pronouncements. So when someone claims kill in the name of the koran, I tend believe them, because the koran actually suggest such actions. But killing in the name of evolution? It simply doesn’t follow.

  78. #79 Margaret
    November 7, 2007

    Blaming the theory of evolution for this nut is like blaming the theory of gravity for a nut who runs around throwing people out of windows.

  79. #80 grasshopper
    November 7, 2007

    By his own actions the killer has demonstrated the principal of natural selection. If he is dead or is jailed for the rest of his life, he will contribute nothing to the gene pool.

  80. #81 Brownian, OM
    November 7, 2007

    As a Christian, I strongly agree with the sentiment expressed here that this tragedy is the result of a deranged individual, and not a consequence of whatever view or theory he decided to co-opt for his purposes.

    And I don’t blame your for lamenting the fact that some pin-headed religious types will try to manufacture a political advantage from the situation.

    However–there is a certain pot-kettle-black aspect to this. On PT for sure, and perhaps on this blog, when I have pointed out that people like Fred Phelps co-opt (as opposed to represent) Christianity for their own sick agenda I get pummeled with charges of “True Scotsman” fallacy.

    The simple truth is that whackos will use whatever is convenient to justify their actions. Some Christians will forget that in this case, and some of you will forget it the next time Phelps does something hideous or some screwball blows up an abortion clinic.

    Very well said, Heddle. There is no small amount of lazy thinking in claiming X is bad, because Y, who purported to be a member of X, did something bad and justified it using X.

    I confess I’m often guilty of such lazy thinking. Atrocities such as this are unfortunate wake-up calls to that fact.

  81. #82 Sastra
    November 7, 2007

    heddle (#47) wrote:

    The simple truth is that whackos will use whatever is convenient to justify their actions. Some Christians will forget that in this case, and some of you will forget it the next time Phelps does something hideous or some screwball blows up an abortion clinic.

    I think you’re partly right, and partly wrong. As others have pointed out (Janus most eloquently in #57), the issues are a bit different when it comes to religion and non-religion.

    “If God tells you to do something, you should do it — but only if you’re really sure God is telling you this, and it’s not just you putting your own views into God.”

    To most religious believers, this makes sense. It’s a valid statement. So we evaluate religiously motivated killings on whether or not it’s true that God really did want the believer to do what he did. How sure are you that you can really, really know God? If you’re sure — and you’re right — then you’re a very humble person. If you’re sure — but you’re wrong — then you’re a very arrogant person. If Phelps is right about God, then he’s a good boy. Or God is wicked — from the standpoint of a humanist.

    Atheism has no similar corollary specific to atheism, someone you MUST obey. Natural laws are descriptions, not prescriptions and proscriptions. So you’re left with all the philosophies and ideologies which make no mention of “doing God’s will” — and that’s a pretty broad range. A secular humanist can criticize a nihilist as well as a Christian can.

    Equating evolution with Christianity as both telling people how they ought to behave doesn’t work. As Janus pointed out, no scientific description of how the world is contains an ought in itself. Someone who drops an atom bomb because “that’s what molecular theory tells me to do” is importing something else into physics.

  82. #83 T_U_T
    November 7, 2007

    Think of it like a football game. The competition is there because two teams vie for the same resources (points) using the same rules. If one team brakes the rules, they are penalized because breaking the rules is anti-competitive.

    Im afraid, the only rules in the natural game are the natural laws. And there is none which prohibits murdering rivals. ( though they make it a very inferior way to play the game )

  83. #84 Stevie_C
    November 7, 2007

    They weren’t rivals. There was no competition. No one has anything to gain from it.

    It’s one misanthropic man’s delusion. He was a big baby who hated everyone.

    Plus, how the fuck is he going to carry on his genes if he’s dead or in prison?

  84. #85 geru
    November 7, 2007

    First zealot blog reply spotted. A Finnish Christian takes no shame in lashing at darwinism, despite recognizing that the shooter is clearly delusional.

    From my post at the richarddawkins.net forum:

    “He presents quotes of the shooter’s manifest, and states that they are “proof of the darwinist roots of his plans”. After the quotes, he proclaims that “the tragedy is proof of how darwinistic views degrade the value of humanity and life”. And even that “if you carefully think about it, his actions were not in conflict with the ideas of darwinism”.”

    (Translated by me)

  85. #86 T_U_T
    November 7, 2007

    It’s one misanthropic man’s delusion. He was a big baby who hated everyone.

    Plus, how the fuck is he going to carry on his genes if he’s dead or in prison?

    of course, true. It was natural selection acting *against* him

  86. #87 JimC
    November 7, 2007

    TOTALLY OT. I was reading an exchange over at Dispatches and read this and was wondering what others thoughts where.:

    ‘If this is fiction, then is the explanation for Jesus getting the stunning prophecy about the destruction of the temple (including the “when” part) correct:

    a) Luck
    b) Because it was actually written after the fact

    If b) then a follow-up. If it was written after the fact and the rest of the prophecy is obviously, as you assert, about the end of the world–and as such obviously wrong, was it added because:

    a) To add credibility–getting it all right would be too obvious
    b) Because the writer were stupid?

    I would argue that if the account is fictitious and written after AD, then the text obviously does not refer to the end of the world, which had not occurred when the temple was destroyed. Demanding that the text refers to the end of the world somewhat ironically weakens the argument that it is fiction–either the writers accidentally foretold the Roman siege or the inexplicably added a prophecy they knew to be false.

    It seems and interesting argument. I see the flaws but was wondering what others thought. It’s a slick apologetic.

  87. #88 JimC
    November 7, 2007

    oops, I’ll block it.

    ‘If this is fiction, then is the explanation for Jesus getting the stunning prophecy about the destruction of the temple (including the “when” part) correct:

    a) Luck
    b) Because it was actually written after the fact

    If b) then a follow-up. If it was written after the fact and the rest of the prophecy is obviously, as you assert, about the end of the world–and as such obviously wrong, was it added because:

    a) To add credibility–getting it all right would be too obvious
    b) Because the writer were stupid?

    I would argue that if the account is fictitious and written after AD, then the text obviously does not refer to the end of the world, which had not occurred when the temple was destroyed. Demanding that the text refers to the end of the world somewhat ironically weakens the argument that it is fiction–either the writers accidentally foretold the Roman siege or the inexplicably added a prophecy they knew to be false.

    Better now.

  88. #89 Faust arp
    November 7, 2007

    Finland has world’s 3rd highest gun ownership — 56 per 100 people. Ahead are Jemen and USA (Iraq is 4th). Finland has conscript army and over 80% Finnish men go through military training where they learn to handle and respect guns. In spite of this gun violence is relatively low in Finland.

  89. #90 Dustin
    November 7, 2007

    There is no small amount of lazy thinking in claiming X is bad, because Y, who purported to be a member of X, did something bad and justified it using X.

    But that isn’t what atheists tend to claim when pointing to the moral atrocities of religion. The question isn’t whether a position or doctrine has been totally unmarred by extremism but whether that position or doctrine has a trend of creating violence and extremism which wouldn’t exist without that position. As was made clear by the VT shooting, this isn’t something particular to atheism where, by comparison, suicide bombings and honor killings are exclusively expressed in religion.

    Also, if someone were to kill someone else and cite the field equations of relativity as their reason, of course that wouldn’t undermine the theory of relativity. But the theory of relativity isn’t a moral doctrine, nihilism is. Pro-life is. Animal rights is. It is perfectly reasonable to judge a moral doctrine based on the actions of its followers. Even if we weren’t familiar with the contents of the Bible or the Quran, the history of their religions would suggest to us that we could crack either book expecting full well to find commands to commit genocide, to rape, to murder, and suppress. Isolated incidents of violence will plague everyone forever, but systemic and repetitive violence and continual endorsement from violent people of a particular doctrine and perscriptions for violent behavior are reasons to implicate the doctrine.

    And, what’s more, atheism is really nothing more than a lack of belief. Right-wing pundits and apologists will have no difficulty with tying this to the scientific atheists and secular humanists who make up the “new atheism”, but our moral doctrines aren’t anything like a nihilist’s. And this fellow isn’t really what I’d call “well read”. That’s another difference — disturbed sociopaths are usually the source of their own demented scribblings. They aren’t born into it, and it didn’t come to them in the form of a holy book. They made it up themselves because they were deranged.

  90. #91 salient
    November 7, 2007

    T_U_T #41 “Has there been any nut who killed a worse monster than himself ?”

    Not many, I grant you. The inmate who murdered Jeffrey Dahmer might qualify.

  91. #92 Piia Small
    November 7, 2007

    they should just close all these cases before they get in the media. this guy admired all the past school shooters and just got more ideas courage and inspiration to do this by reading about the shootings. shootings and bombings, mass murders are just gonna get higher the more we ramble about this in the media. it has nothing to do with where you are from. cases like this have happened everywhere in the world from finland and sweden to us and asia.

  92. #93 jim
    November 7, 2007

    Sounds like “Crime and Punishment” to me.

  93. #94 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    November 7, 2007

    We have here in Finland much gun ownership (i dont have one.) Most of them are hunters, collecters and

    Ans i have been in army. I actually think, that the reason why we have so low shooting crimes are just those. In army we really learn to respect the gun (and not loving its destructive power.) And in hunting you learn much of responsibility (hunting in finland is not just “random shooting”. Good “riistalaukaus” is like karate. One strike – one dead.)

    Second reason is that we like to use knifes/puukko. Steel blade is more Finnish way. And the result is clear: You can not kill wery many peoples with knife ; You must run after wictims much more.

  94. #95 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    November 7, 2007

    We have here in Finland much gun ownership (i dont have one.) Most of them are hunters, collecters and

    Ans i have been in army. I actually think, that the reason why we have so low shooting crimes are just those. In army we really learn to respect the gun (and not loving its destructive power.) And in hunting you learn much of responsibility (hunting in finland is not just “random shooting”. Good “riistalaukaus” is like karate. One strike – one dead.)

    Second reason is that we like to use knifes/puukko. Steel blade is more Finnish way. And the result is clear: You can not kill wery many peoples with knife ; You must run after wictims much more.

  95. #96 salient
    November 7, 2007

    Sinbad #44 “Either Christianity and evolution were both causes of nutcase violence or they both weren’t.”

    Congratulations, you just flunked Categorical Logic 101. It could be a matter of your not expressing what you meant particularly well.

  96. #97 heddle
    November 7, 2007

    Dustin,

    It is perfectly reasonable to judge a moral doctrine based on the actions of its followers.

    Yes. But that is not the point. In the case of Fred Phelps, for example, he claims to be a Christian, but he is, in my opinion (by application of Matt. 7:13-19,) not. There is nothing in Phelps’s actions (or in those of an abortion clinic bomber) that the vast majority of Christians or even non-believers who have studied the NT would argue is in any way, shape, or form justified by the NT. Therefore blaming Christianity for Phelps is as bogus as blaming evolution for this school shooter. This is true even if Phelps actually believes (which personally I doubt) that he is a Christian, or whether this kid truly believes he is an agent of natural selection.

  97. #98 PeteK
    November 7, 2007

    I look at the guy’s actions and “thoughts”, and PZ’s comments, and I stand, like the guy at the end of the film “Bridge on the River Kwai”, and simply say over and over “Madness!”

  98. #99 gg
    November 7, 2007

    #91 wrote: “In the case of Fred Phelps, for example, he claims to be a Christian, but he is, in my opinion (by application of Matt. 7:13-19,) not.”

    Phelps probably isn’t a good example, because although his actions and methods (protesting military funerals) are well outside of the mainstream of Christian thought, his views (homosexuality is bad, bad, bad) are not.

  99. #100 miller
    November 7, 2007

    One way to frame this is to say that this event is the result of a bad understanding of science. This guy obviously does not understand evolution, and I’m not just talking about how shooting sprees are a bad evolutionary strategy. Talking about human devolution is just riddled with flaws, especially if the alleged cause is modern society. His understanding of evolution is about on par with creationists’.

    So there. If you really want to, you, too, can make ideological lemonade out of school shooting lemons.

  100. #101 geru
    November 7, 2007

    The shooter died 10:14 PM local time, about an hour before this post.

    A few finnish news sites with some pictures:

    http://www.iltasanomat.fi
    http://www.iltalehti.fi

  101. #102 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    November 7, 2007

    I agree with heddle. Fred Phelps show us that religion and cristianity – or claim being one – is not guarantine that the person is doing good. (So if something is done in name of Jesus doesn’t say it is good.) And same thing with atheism too. I am quite sure that Jokela’s shooter believe in evolution

    OK, we can laugh at him at say “wrong one”, not the scientific one. Not the theory. And we are right.

    But it is irrelevant. I think that Relevant part is understanding, that we all are humans. And there is not ideology, which automatically “purify and make you good”.

    So we must look critically both religion, ideologies and atheism – and all other stuff. And not be intimidated by their “its unholy to look critically, i am doin Holy Spirits/Natural Selections work. You must obey, I am chosen!” -rant. We must look what is good in every one of them and what is poisonous. And we must support the good part, and reject the bad part. But not “destroy bad parts” with bad ways. (That is what I call hypocricy.)

  102. #103 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    November 7, 2007

    I agree with heddle. Fred Phelps show us that religion and cristianity – or claim being one – is not guarantine that the person is doing good. (So if something is done in name of Jesus doesn’t say it is good.) And same thing with atheism too. I am quite sure that Jokela’s shooter believe in evolution

    OK, we can laugh at him at say “wrong one”, not the scientific one. Not the theory. And we are right.

    But it is irrelevant. I think that Relevant part is understanding, that we all are humans. And there is not ideology, which automatically “purify and make you good”.

    So we must look critically both religion, ideologies and atheism – and all other stuff. And not be intimidated by their “its unholy to look critically, i am doin Holy Spirits/Natural Selections work. You must obey, I am chosen!” -rant. We must look what is good in every one of them and what is poisonous. And we must support the good part, and reject the bad part. But not “destroy bad parts” with bad ways. (That is what I call hypocricy.)

  103. #104 gg
    November 7, 2007

    Personally, I really don’t care what reasons some crazed fuckwit gives for a murderous rampage. My impression is that any reason given is a delusional rationalization for serious issues that are otherwise incomprehensible to the psycho. (Giuseppe Zangara, who tried to assassinate FDR in 1933, claimed that the president was responsible for his intestinal pain.) I wish the media would stop turning the killer’s motives and manifesto into some sort of pop-culture psychoanalysis project.

    As others have said, but I feel compelled to repeat in my own words, the reason special attention should be given to killers with Christian backgrounds is that Christianity, like most religions, strongly implies that faith is the one and only path to righteousness and goodness. It is worth pointing out that their moral system is not as foolproof as a number of them would like us to believe.

    (Lest someone think I’m contradicting myself with these two paragraphs — I don’t think that God is the cause of people to go on crazed killings, but He doesn’t seem particularly good at preventing crazed killings, either.)

  104. #105 silentsanta
    November 7, 2007

    I was planning to write a comment about how evolutionary theory can be divorced from the acts committed by its adherents, in a way that religion cannot, because evolution is purely a descriptive theory, while religions make both descriptive and prescriptive claims.
    Evolution is either true, or it is not, yet neither outcome presumes to tell us how we ‘ought’ to act (Hume’s is-ought problem)
    This is the reason why I believe that evolution (and also atheism, which also makes no prescriptive claims) can be insulated from attacks based on the actions of its adherents.

    (However, I think Petter and Michael X both touched on these points by the time I posted this, kudos to them)

    Aside from plain deism, I was wondering if anyone knew an example of a religion that did not make prescriptive claims?

  105. #106 windy
    November 7, 2007

    Definitely sounds like a complete social outcast who had nothing in the way of good parenting for most of his life.

    Oh, come on. You don’t know that. And he can’t have been a “complete social outcast”, he had friends who have been interviewed in the media (he discussed his gun with one of them yesterday night).

    Of course we don’t know if everything can be pinned on his hellish family life, but on the surface I wouldn’t bet on it.

    The Helsingin Sanomat newspaper says that his parents were musicians. Dad has a day job at the state railway company and his mom does office work at the local hospital administration. Mom is a representant on the city council and grows ecological vegetables in her spare time. He had a little brother, born -96.

    Although this is a bit disturbing: “…he wore a suit and tie to school in second grade“???

  106. #107 heddle
    November 7, 2007

    gg,

    the reason special attention should be given to killers with Christian backgrounds is that Christianity, like most religions, strongly implies that faith is the one and only path to righteousness and goodness. It is worth pointing out that their moral system is not as foolproof as a number of them would like us to believe.

    But again, you are, in my opinion, missing the boat. Christianity (in its NT teachings) does not advocate killing anyone, and so anyone who kills in the name of Christianity is in fact distorting Christianity. So, again, you cannot blame Christianity or Islam or Evolution for those times when their teachings are co-opted for evil purposes, even if the culprits are “sincere.”

    Your argument is: yes, you can never do that–except in the case of religion, then it is OK.

  107. #108 Azkyroth
    November 7, 2007

    I don’t mean to suggest that we try to profile students based on their history of mental health since there is very little in any kind of history that would predict this, and acting as though there is might actually make the problem worse by driving kids who are disturbed over an edge that they might not have gone over if left on their own.

    Not to mention discouraging kids who might seek help from doing so for fear of going in for a counseling session and winding up being shoved in a hospital-prison.

  108. #109 JimC
    November 7, 2007

    Christianity (in its NT teachings) does not advocate killing anyone, and so anyone who kills in the name of Christianity is in fact distorting Christianity

    Except for the entire human race. This is totally false. The entire and I do mean entire bible is replete with killing and death so much as to make it a theme.

    The bible certainly advocates killing in many places and of course people placate this by saying it’s the OT. This is rather bogus as it’s allegedly the same God. He is has relative morals based on the time period in history or he keeps changing his mind.

    But to say it doesn’t advocate killing is simply, well, bizarre. Apologetics can say anything.

    BTW I think it was heddle who posted the apologetic I copied above over at Dispatches. Anyone get to it yet?

  109. #110 Leon
    November 7, 2007

    Well, JimC, in fairness to heddle, the NT doesn’t tell you you should kill people for unbelieving, blaspheming, or belonging to the wrong tribe like the OT does (over and over). God changed quite a bit between the Old and New Testaments. Perhaps he found religion?

    That said, the NT is full of intolerance, and threats (“Those who don’t believe will be [insert punishment with gratuitous amplifying metaphor] forever in Hell!” and so forth). Much of that kind of language lends itself to “Slay the heretics!” kinds of attitudes. So, I suppose it depends how you look at it.

  110. #111 gg
    November 7, 2007

    #100: “Your argument is: yes, you can never do that–except in the case of religion, then it is OK.”

    No, I would say my argument is: Theistic religions promise far more than they deliver. Fundamentalists on both sides of the Atlantic, not a particularly small slice of humanity, like to profess that all of society’s problems will be solved by a theocracy. Crazed people who commit acts in the name of God, especially if they’re sincere , demonstrate that the religion isn’t quite working as it promises.

  111. #112 silentsanta
    November 7, 2007

    I decided my question about religions with no prescriptive statements was retarded. At the very least, religions seem to have the tenet “You should teach this religion to your children,” which is prescriptive.
    It’s fairly Religions without this tenet would write themselves out of the meme-pool pretty quickly.

    From his writings, I perceive of this fellow as arrogant, conceited and utterly mistaken, but I don’t gain any satisfaction from his suffering.

  112. #113 JimC
    November 7, 2007

    Well, JimC, in fairness to heddle, the NT doesn’t tell you you should kill people for unbelieving, blaspheming, or belonging to the wrong tribe like the OT does (over and over).

    Oh, I totally agree. Which is why I said it’s either a changing with the times or the lawgiver keeps changing his mind.

    There is little consistency in the way it is presented.

  113. #114 Paholaisen Asianajaja
    November 7, 2007

    Some Finnish fundamentalist have already blamed darwinism and evilution for this incident. Fortunately, no one gives a sh!t at their opinion.

  114. #115 TheBlackCat
    November 7, 2007

    Well, JimC, in fairness to heddle, the NT doesn’t tell you you should kill people for unbelieving, blaspheming, or belonging to the wrong tribe like the OT does (over and over). God changed quite a bit between the Old and New Testaments. Perhaps he found religion?

    Perhaps not, but the NT does tell you that all the rules of the old testament still apply so that fact doesn’t help much. Although that position is of questionable consistency in the NT I am not aware of anywhere where death penalties for apostasy or blasphemy is explicitly rejected so someone would be fully justified in taking that position if we were to go by biblical rules.

  115. #116 Michael Robinson
    November 7, 2007

    I took a look at the document statistics on his manifesto. Three hours collectively, 96 revisions, starting from the 4th.

    So much time spent on so much crap. :\

  116. #117 Julie Stahlhut
    November 7, 2007

    This kid was no more a biologist than Seung-Hui Cho was Jesus Christ. Case closed.

  117. #118 Leon
    November 7, 2007

    The shooter died 10:14 PM local time, about an hour before this post.

    Sigh…that’s just as well, I suppose. There’s really no way to adequately punish someone for crimes of this magnitude, and perhaps it’s for the best that we don’t have to try.

  118. #119 Salt
    November 7, 2007

    I am a cynical existentialist, antihuman humanist, antisocial socialdarwinist, realistic idealist and godlike atheist.

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22722981-663,00.html

    Crazed people who commit acts in the name of God, especially if they’re sincere , demonstrate that the religion isn’t quite working as it promises.

    Posted by: gg | November 7, 2007 5:16 PM

    You guys are too funny.

  119. #120 Timcol
    November 7, 2007

    Dustin wrote: “I promise that by this time tomorrow, D’Souza, Malkin and O’Leary will all have weighed in with a smug little diatribe about how “The Origin of Species” causes eugenics and murder.”

    Very prescient Dustin. In fact we didn’t have to wait until tomorrow – O’Leary has already posted something at http://post-darwinist.blogspot.com

    And just as you predicted it’s everybit as smug as you predicted. I think we need to just start calling her Denyse O’Coulter from now on, because she is becoming every bit as judgmental and shrill…makes me sick to my stomach to see such blatant and propaganda.

  120. #121 Sastra
    November 7, 2007

    The God of the OT is like the dad who keeps whupping kids with his belt. Jesus of the NT is like the mom who stands around fuming “Oh, you kids just wait till your father gets home, you’ll get it then.”

    See? Mom is the nice one.

  121. #122 heddle
    November 7, 2007

    TheBlackCat:

    Perhaps not, but the NT does tell you that all the rules of the old testament still apply so that fact doesn’t help much.

    Quite the opposite. In fact Jesus himself violates many OT rules concerning the Sabbath, food, hygiene (dealing with lepers), and the treatment of sinners in general and adulterers and blasphemers in particular. For example, he charges the Pharisees with the mother of all blasphemies, the unpardonable blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. If the OT rules still applied, Jesus should have/would have demanded their execution. To say that the OT rules (what were, in effect, Israel’s civil code) still apply is to draw an erroneous conclusion from Matt. 5:18.

  122. #123 Leon
    November 7, 2007

    Yeah. Mom’s also the one who invented Hell, where you’re tortured forever. Once Dad was done whupping you to death, he was done with you. Thanks for that one, Mom.

  123. #124 Leon
    November 7, 2007

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. . . . Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law” doesn’t refer to the OT?

  124. #125 AC
    November 7, 2007

    @Salt in #112:

    Please describe the “promises” of “existentialism, humanism, social darwinism, idealism, and atheism” as understood by this young man and explain why they are indictments of those things. That would at least be commentary, as opposed to your post.

  125. #126 JDP
    November 7, 2007

    And, what’s more, atheism is really nothing more than a lack of belief. Right-wing pundits and apologists will have no difficulty with tying this to the scientific atheists and secular humanists who make up the “new atheism”, but our moral doctrines aren’t anything like a nihilist’s.

    Do not blame this on nihilism.

    This kid was very clearly trying to defend a very specific set of values, and a set of values that I don’t think are necessarily evil. Is freedom of thought evil? No. Is the promotion of a pluralistic society, where free thought is a reality rather buying Macintosh rather than PC, evil? No.

    The issue is whether this kid acted in a moral manner, rather than whether he valued in a moral manner. And frankly, I hate to sound like the media censorship nuts, but the problem is the media, especially the media directed towards social discontents. I mean, how many of these shooters have tried to model their actions after The Matrix? I mean, the Matrix is just as mass-produced as the crap they’re spewing against. Hell, the damned film is a Christian allegory.

    Murder is morally wrong. This kid committed murder. Thus, this kid committed a moral wrong. That should be enough for all of us. Motives are never morally wrong. Jealousy has motivated murderers. This does not make jealousy “wrong.” Fear has motivated murderers. This does not make fear “wrong.” Love has motivated murderers. This does not make love “wrong.” So, maybe this kid’s disgust at perceived social “injustice” motivated murder. This does not make the kid’s disgust “wrong.” It makes his actions wrong.

  126. #127 salient
    November 7, 2007

    Janus #58 “I’m going to be politically incorrect and say that this guy was indeed motivated by his understanding of evolution, as well as the various philosophies he mentinoned.”

    I disagree. Motivation describes the result of an emotional drive — in his case, rage. You are muddling his rationalizations and his chosen focus for his rage with the real origins of the emotion. Emotion is the gas that keeps the engine running, rationalization turns the steering wheel. Everything appears to have ticked this guy off– except anything that provided affirmation for his rage. I think that his basic motivating thought seems to have been an assumption of his own superiority.

    His rationalizations included a collection of opposite concepts. This is just as daft as it would be if I were to say that I am pissed off by atheism and theism.

    “Why wouldn’t we take him at his word?”

    Precisely because someone who’s busily displaying clearly sociopathic rage and illogic is unlikely to be overflowing with meaningful personal insights. We have to look at what he is revealing about himself and not at what he is saying about himself. It’s not that “lack of personal insight” is a diagnostic criterion for a personality disorder, rather it is part of the cognitive disorder that permits the personality disorder to persist. Personality disorders are notoriously resistant to treatment.

    “I’ve heard Sam Harris say once, if you believe that your child will be tortured for all eternity if your atheist neighbor convinces him or her that there is no God, it’s a perfectly rational action to wish to kill the atheist ASAP.”

    If this is really what he said, then the more I hear about Sam Harris, the less I think of him.

    “Therefore, in all but exceptional cases, the truth of a claim takes precedence over the negative consequences the spreading of this claim might have.”

    There’s often an important technical difference between “expressing” and assertive “spreading”. I think that morality dictates that genuinely negative consequences, as opposed to imagined negative consequences, should take precedence over truth spreading.

    “Second, what apparently motivated the killer is social Darwinism”

    Which has nothing to do with biological evolution and everything to do with usurpation of a Malthusian concept to suit one’s power ends. Rather like the relationship between emotion and rationalization.

  127. #128 heddle
    November 7, 2007

    Leon,

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. . . . Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law” doesn’t refer to the OT?

    I’m always on thin ice here. I am not going to get into a long off-topic discussion about Mosaic Law or PZ will toss me. I’ll leave it as I stated earlier: if you think all the OT rules and regulations still apply, you have to explain how Jesus managed to get away with violating so many of them. It is more logical that they don’t apply–adulterers are not to be stoned–and then look elswhere for an explantion of the “jot and tittle” passage. I won’t do that here. I can discuss it off line, if you like.

  128. #129 Aapo Laitinen
    November 7, 2007

    Looks like video games will be the prime scapegoat in the Finnish media. For example, YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company) is already highlighting the fact that the killer spent about a hour a day playing Battlefield 2 on the Internet:

    http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/oikea/id74434.html

    Video games and violent media were initially blamed for the Myyrmanni shopping mall bombing a few years back, but to much chagrin of the fearmongers, it turned out that the perpetrator’s main hobby was basketball (IIRC). Anyway, despite living an officially Christian country and being members of the state curch, most Finns are dispassionate about religion and I don’t think that will be focus of discussion in Finland.

  129. #130 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 7, 2007

    slovakia

    Well, that country was first communist (all education filtered through ideology) and then still poor (for European standards). In a generation or two the ignorance will go away.

    in the same way that natural selection might kill a weaker walrus in a battle for male dominance.

    That’s sexual selection, not natural selection.

    Most strikingly to me, I can’t believe the words ‘objectivist’ and/or ‘collectivist’ didn’t appear in the manifesto (though ‘collective’ is used derisively). This reads so much like the ranting of a 16 year old boy who has just read Rand and Niztche (or a stereotypical American CEO, which is someone who never got past that point mentally).

    Has anyone outside the USA ever read a Rand book? I had no idea of Rand before I started reading US-based blogs, and still haven’t seen any of her books or any mention of them outside of US-based blogs.

    Finland has world’s 3rd highest gun ownership — 56 per 100 people. Ahead are [Y]emen and USA (Iraq is 4th).

    Wow. :-o

    You can[...]not kill [v]ery many people[...] with [a] knife; [y]ou must run after [the v]ictims much more.

    “Four thousand throats can be cut in one night by a running man.”
    – Klingon proverb

    The shooter died 10:14 PM local time, about an hour before this post.

    I’ll nominate him for a Darwin Award.

    And same thing with atheism too. I am quite sure that Jokela’s shooter believe in evolution

    1) Atheism and evolution are two different things.
    2) Evolution is not something you can believe in. You can understand it, or not, and like it, or not, but it’s real — it doesn’t go away if you stop believing in it.

    But again, you are, in my opinion, missing the boat. Christianity (in its NT teachings) does not advocate killing anyone

    The OT does, though. Again and again. Why is it still part of the Christian Bible?

    Maybe because Jesus said he wouldn’t change one jot or tittle of the law? Does “the law” include things like “thou shalt not let witches & wizards live”…?

    See? We’re again in a problem of interpretation. We don’t get that with science.

  130. #131 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 7, 2007

    slovakia

    Well, that country was first communist (all education filtered through ideology) and then still poor (for European standards). In a generation or two the ignorance will go away.

    in the same way that natural selection might kill a weaker walrus in a battle for male dominance.

    That’s sexual selection, not natural selection.

    Most strikingly to me, I can’t believe the words ‘objectivist’ and/or ‘collectivist’ didn’t appear in the manifesto (though ‘collective’ is used derisively). This reads so much like the ranting of a 16 year old boy who has just read Rand and Niztche (or a stereotypical American CEO, which is someone who never got past that point mentally).

    Has anyone outside the USA ever read a Rand book? I had no idea of Rand before I started reading US-based blogs, and still haven’t seen any of her books or any mention of them outside of US-based blogs.

    Finland has world’s 3rd highest gun ownership — 56 per 100 people. Ahead are [Y]emen and USA (Iraq is 4th).

    Wow. :-o

    You can[...]not kill [v]ery many people[...] with [a] knife; [y]ou must run after [the v]ictims much more.

    “Four thousand throats can be cut in one night by a running man.”
    – Klingon proverb

    The shooter died 10:14 PM local time, about an hour before this post.

    I’ll nominate him for a Darwin Award.

    And same thing with atheism too. I am quite sure that Jokela’s shooter believe in evolution

    1) Atheism and evolution are two different things.
    2) Evolution is not something you can believe in. You can understand it, or not, and like it, or not, but it’s real — it doesn’t go away if you stop believing in it.

    But again, you are, in my opinion, missing the boat. Christianity (in its NT teachings) does not advocate killing anyone

    The OT does, though. Again and again. Why is it still part of the Christian Bible?

    Maybe because Jesus said he wouldn’t change one jot or tittle of the law? Does “the law” include things like “thou shalt not let witches & wizards live”…?

    See? We’re again in a problem of interpretation. We don’t get that with science.

  131. #132 Salt
    November 7, 2007

    @Salt in #112:

    [yada yada yada] That would at least be commentary, as opposed to your post.
    Posted by: AC | November 7, 2007 6:39 PM

    I was not making commentary. I was laughing.

  132. #133 daenku32
    November 7, 2007

    Wonder what he might have done in conscription? Imagine him behind an artillery cannon.

  133. #134 windy
    November 7, 2007

    I was not making commentary. I was laughing.

    To you, a school shooting is just an opportunity to make fun of people? Must be your superior morality at work again.

  134. #135 salient
    November 7, 2007

    BlueIndependent #71 “Lack of religion wasn’t this kid’s problem, it was a lack of guidance, love and respect from day one.”

    Interesting heuristic hypothesis, but there is no way you could know that unless you happen to have grown up with him.

    Your guess could be correct, but his psychological belief-system is more likely attributable to additional factors. Happily for the planet, the too many kids who grow up without adequate guidance and love do not turn into sociopathic killers.

    Even if we were to assume that the correct diagnosis is DID rather than antisocial personality disorder, his childhood would have to be way worse than lack of guidance/love.

  135. #136 JDP
    November 7, 2007

    I don’t think this guy would have been any better or any worse than a blind order-following patriot when placed behind an artillery cannon. Frankly, the only person who will act morally when handed a piece of artillery is the person who will refuse to use it.

  136. #137 Bill Gascoyne
    November 7, 2007

    WRT blaming (Christianity, Darwin) for the actions of a lone nut case, my favorite analogy is blaming the Beatles for Charles Manson. ‘Course there may be some nut cases out there who actually would blame the Beatles for Charles Manson…

  137. #138 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 7, 2007

    the OT rules (what were, in effect, Israel’s civil code)

    Not when the Romans were watching. And they were watching.

    I’ll leave it as I stated earlier: if you think all the OT rules and regulations still apply, you have to explain how Jesus managed to get away with violating so many of them.

    At 1 at night, I see four possibilities:

    - He changed his mind.
    - The lives and sayings of several prophet figures were written up together under the same name long after people had forgotten how many there were.
    - It is incompetent fiction; the author(s) didn’t manage to write coherently.
    - It is an ineffable mystery.

    You’ll understand I don’t find the fourth very satisfying.

    I lack the knowledge to decide between the first three, even though the third one looks rather cheap and rather untestable.

  138. #139 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 7, 2007

    the OT rules (what were, in effect, Israel’s civil code)

    Not when the Romans were watching. And they were watching.

    I’ll leave it as I stated earlier: if you think all the OT rules and regulations still apply, you have to explain how Jesus managed to get away with violating so many of them.

    At 1 at night, I see four possibilities:

    - He changed his mind.
    - The lives and sayings of several prophet figures were written up together under the same name long after people had forgotten how many there were.
    - It is incompetent fiction; the author(s) didn’t manage to write coherently.
    - It is an ineffable mystery.

    You’ll understand I don’t find the fourth very satisfying.

    I lack the knowledge to decide between the first three, even though the third one looks rather cheap and rather untestable.

  139. #140 Salt
    November 7, 2007

    I was not making commentary. I was laughing.

    To you, a school shooting is just an opportunity to make fun of people? Must be your superior morality at work again.

    Posted by: windy | November 7, 2007 7:09 PM

    Go back and read my initial comment #112, idiot.

    You guys really do have your panties in a wad. Makes for a great popcorn moment.

  140. #141 Leon
    November 7, 2007

    heddle,

    I was just curious. Not meaning to start an off-topic sidenote there.

  141. #142 Leon
    November 7, 2007

    Windy, what are you getting all in-your-face with Salt for? I thought his comment was appropriate. And by “laughing”, I think he/she means in an ironic way, not finding the situation comedic.

  142. #143 salient
    November 7, 2007

    T_U_T #78 “Im afraid, the only rules in the natural game are the natural laws. And there is none which prohibits murdering rivals.”

    You don’t believe that animals exhibit evidence of “in-built” taboos against killing members of their own species? Ethnologists see abundant evidence of this, though the taboo works much more strongly to prevent killing of closely related co-members (family).

    This principle even operates across species if the animals are raised together. “I won’t kill you, your my adoptive brother/sister.”

    In other words, evolution might have selected for the biggest head-butting ram, but it has also provided for family feeling and recognizable “you win, I give up” submission signals that put an end to hostilities before competition leads to death.

    This guy was acting counter to human instincts, which has absolutely nothing to do with religion or atheism. It is this *anti-nature* aspect of his tragic act that explains why *we* are all so dismayed and outraged.

  143. #144 windy
    November 7, 2007

    Windy, what are you getting all in-your-face with Salt for? I thought his comment was appropriate. And by “laughing”, I think he/she means in an ironic way, not finding the situation comedic.

    No, I was being ironic. Salt is being his usual fuckwad self.

  144. #145 Leon
    November 7, 2007

    We’re also dismayed and outraged because we can be pretty sure that the far-right Christian loudmouths will exploit this tragedy to their own ends, by using it as an example of how atheism/evolution causes people to act that way.

  145. #146 Stanton
    November 7, 2007

    The OT does, though. Again and again. Why is it still part of the Christian Bible?

    Maybe because Jesus said he wouldn’t change one jot or tittle of the law? Does “the law” include things like “thou shalt not let witches & wizards live”…?

    See? We’re again in a problem of interpretation. We don’t get that with science.

    Originally, the phrase was “Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner,” either a person who literally put poison into a well or wine, or a malevolently manipulative person, “to live.”
    The Medici family convinced/threatened the Vatican to rewrite that passage some time during the 14th or 15th Century, so that the Medicis could continue on with the family businesses of poisoning and intrigue without any threats to their spiritual health.

  146. #147 thalarctos
    November 7, 2007

    See? We’re again in a problem of interpretation. We don’t get that with science.

    Oh, I don’t know about that…is the murine ampullary gland a sixth prostate or not? If not, what is it, and why?

    (I know, it’s not fair to ask a paleontologist a soft-tissue question :)

  147. #148 Salt
    November 7, 2007

    No, I was being ironic. Salt is being his usual fuckwad self.

    Posted by: windy | November 7, 2007 7:30 PM

    No, you wern’t. The irony is found in my #112 comment and the article linked to.

  148. #149 kc
    November 7, 2007

    See? We’re again in a problem of interpretation. We don’t get that with science.

    Well, as a scientist I find this a quite a humorous/dangerous statement. I realize that interpretation in science may not be the same as textual interpretation of the bible, but to deny that it occurs in science seems a bit counterproductive (and wrong).

  149. #150 Dustin
    November 7, 2007

    Well, as a scientist I find this a quite a humorous/dangerous statement.

    Why? Science doesn’t issue moral statements, religion does. That’s why we don’t have problems of interpretation of morality in science.

  150. #151 JimC
    November 7, 2007

    In fact Jesus himself violates many OT rules concerning the Sabbath, food, hygiene (dealing with lepers), and the treatment of sinners in general and adulterers and blasphemers in particular. For example, he charges the Pharisees with the mother of all blasphemies, the unpardonable blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. If the OT rules still applied, Jesus should have/would have demanded their execution. To say that the OT rules (what were, in effect, Israel’s civil code) still apply is to draw an erroneous conclusion from Matt. 5:18.

    This is just clueless. I love when people find the OT, also considered the word of God, tobe a bunch of Israel civil laws. Seriously you couldn’t be more disrespectful to the book if you tried. The OT explicitly states over and over they are following Gods commands in a myriad of situations. Now I grant you that in the NT things do soften which leaves you with a few options:

    1.God is a moral relativist

    2.Jesus simply was rebeling against what he perceived as the fundies of his day telling them they had no vlue how to be good people in that day and age.

    heck we could go on and on I think.

    if you think all the OT rules and regulations still apply, you have to explain how Jesus managed to get away with violating so many of them. It is more logical that they don’t apply–adulterers are not to be stoned–and then look elswhere for an explantion of the “jot and tittle” passage. I won’t do that here. I can discuss it off line, if you like.

    Oh, I agree he didn’t follow the law which seeing how he made it seems odd. I can’t square this with you other arguments before though heddle. You said if God decreed genocide then it would be good. Likewise here you are saying Jesus(God) broke laws if the OT applies. I detect inconsistency internally. If genocide and mass killing is ok if God decrees it then breaking a few OT laws is no big deal at all. After all, breaking one of the 10 commandments is ok if your God whats the bigdeal with working on the sabbath for the same. He hasn’t violated anything by doing as much. OT doesn’t change, not one jot nor tittle.

  151. #152 windy
    November 7, 2007

    Salt, it would have been ironic if gg himself or anyone here was advocating “antihuman humanism and antisocial socialdarwinism”, but I doubt that is the case.

  152. #153 kc
    November 7, 2007
    Well, as a scientist I find this a quite a humorous/dangerous statement.

    Why? Science doesn’t issue moral statements, religion does. That’s why we don’t have problems of interpretation of morality in science.

    I guess I need to learn to be less concise – I was anticipating a quote mine of “We don’t get that [interpretation] in science.” An arrogant position, which is how I “interpreted” the original post.

  153. #154 thalarctos
    November 7, 2007

    kc, I misread it as well, although having read and learned from David’s posts for I-don’t-know-how-long-now, I didn’t think it was arrogant, just mystifying.

    If the intent is “interpretation of morality”, I’d still disagree with the original statement, but in a different way–ending clinical trials early because the benefit or detriment of the treatment is so obvious is an example of a moral interpretation that the welfare of the participants is more important than the integrity of strict adherence to the research protocol. but I could see the sense of an argument that one could make that was not a scientific interpretation, but rather a meta-scientific one.

  154. #155 Louise Van Court
    November 7, 2007

    Tuomo Hämäläinen comment #96 I just want to say that I really liked what you said. I’m very sorry for all the families that have been touched by this tragedy.

  155. #156 Mena
    November 7, 2007

    Guess what’s on the front page of conservapedia, as predicted!
    This guy apparently didn’t understand natural selection any better than they do.

  156. #157 RussPJ
    November 7, 2007

    Well, why is it OK to judge all the religious by their extremists, but not OK to judge evolution by the actions of this poor fellow?

  157. #158 Spanish Inquisitor
    November 7, 2007

    If you predict it, they will come.

  158. #159 Uber
    November 7, 2007

    Well, why is it OK to judge all the religious by their extremists, but not OK to judge evolution by the actions of this poor fellow

    Because oh clueless one evolution is a science theory, it makes no claims on morally correct action. Religion does. The fact that this is not clear to you should make you worry.

    When was the last time someone killed for gravity?

  159. #160 salient
    November 7, 2007

    JimC #142
    “I love when people find the OT, also considered the word of God,”

    It signifies not what believers believe it to be. That’s a circular argument.

    “to be a bunch of Israel civil laws.”

    Which resembled other sets of civil law in the ME. If the gospels were initially written by ancient tribesmen, and I *do* believe that ancient tribesmen existed, then the OT reflects their extant attitudes.

    “Seriously you couldn’t be more disrespectful to the book if you tried.”

    You’re joking!

    “The OT explicitly states over and over they are following Gods commands in a myriad of situations.”

    And if I were to write that the words that I am typing were dictated to me by the other god, you’d accept that claim purely because I said that the other god said so?

    No?

    Would you accept it if I repeated “the words that I am typing were dictated to me by the other god”, “the words that I am typing were dictated to me by the other god” . . . “the words that I am typing were dictated to me by the other god”?

  160. #161 Reynold Hall
    November 7, 2007

    So, you know, besides the obvious, immediate grief that’s come of this, the YECs and ID wingnuts will make hay of this.

    Never mind that natural selection is done by animals trying to survive in their environment, and the ones who are able to get along better and reproduce more in the environment eventually out-compete others, etc. Running around with a gun knocking off those who you hate has nothing to do with how well an organism can survive and reproduce in the environment. This b.s. is done arbitrarily, using some “criteria” that some wackjob came up with, and has nothing to do with nature. At least in nature, animals are given a chance to survive and adapt. Not so uch when someone’s gunning you down.

    If anyone brings up eugenics, then maybe it could be pointed out that any “selection” that is done with eugenics was done within the human “kind” to improve the human “kind”. Both IDists and YECers accept changes within a “kind” as “microevolution”. Eugenics fits perfectly within their framework.

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/05/dr-west-meet-dr.html

  161. #162 salient
    November 7, 2007

    Leon #136 “We’re also dismayed and outraged because we can be pretty sure that the far-right Christian loudmouths will exploit this tragedy to their own ends, by using it as an example of how atheism/evolution causes people to act that way.”

    That too, though I find that sort of unfounded, uninformed, illogical, self-serving, manipulative distortion more infuriating than dismaying.

    However, on a little further reflection: anger is a secondary emotion — coming out of hurt, frustration, loss, disgust, fear, even guilt — so, I’d have to say disgust and anger about such distortions.

    If a group of atheists or an atheistic individual (none of who suffered from psychiatric disorders) were to set about killing fundamentalists loudmouths solely in hope of promoting atheistic views or science because they had misinterpreted the writings of an atheist, then such accusations might be justified.

  162. #163 Kseniya
    November 7, 2007

    If the debate is over whether a) religion or b) science is more likely to warp a person’s mind into a homicidal topology, I think that debate has been over for millenia.

    There will be exceptions.

    I’m shocked – shocked, I say – to note that he didn’t use the prefered weapon of most mass murderers: the claw-hammer.

  163. #164 JimC
    November 7, 2007

    salient-

    You have totally missread the intent of the post you dissected of mine. I don’t think we disagree.

  164. #165 jeff
    November 7, 2007

    Unfortunately, there is something else going on that has not been mentioned here. It really has nothing to do with our pet issues–though it touches on them. There does exist a nihilist sub-culture, especially in Europe, that is horrifying to me…

    Let me briefly try to give the syllogism:

    1. There is no Absolute Truth
    2. There is no Absolute Meaning
    C. There is neither any truth nor any meaning at all.

    Combined with
    1a. I’m angry and unhappy
    2a. There is no meaning at all
    3a. I’m outnumbered, and there’s no higher court
    Ca. Take out who I can

    This IS a real issue, and it DOES touch upon biology, just as it touches on atheism and Nietsche, and numerous other things. But, rest assured, this is a real problem.

    Dr. Myers, I’d like to explain more, but this is a difficult subject, and Philosophy professors know how troubling it can be to adolescents. If I can, I’ll email you.

  165. #166 Guido
    November 7, 2007

    Speaking somebody from outside the US.
    I have read a book by Rand. Totally disgusting and nauseating. Anthem, was the book. I have also “we the living ones”, and I will read it some day, I hope is not as awful as Anthem.
    PS: And I have never found anywhere else the ultra libertarian attitude I have seen in the US.

    Concerning the topic, this is deelpy sad, disturbing, this should not be happening. I admire very much the Finns and it is a surprise to see that they have so hich weapon prevalence, however. My condolences to all the affected people and I hope this does not turn Finns into fear and paranoia.

  166. #167 jeff
    November 7, 2007

    Yes, yes Nietzsche, not Nietsche…I know.

  167. #168 raven
    November 7, 2007

    Well, why is it OK to judge all the religious by their extremists, but not OK to judge evolution by the actions of this poor fellow?

    OK, fine. The score is:

    Seung Cho 32

    Finnish guy 7

    So the fundie Xians are way ahead on body counts.

    The Xians get Tim McVeigh as well so in the lifetime acheivement category is no contest.

  168. #169 Bronze Dog
    November 7, 2007

    Evolution is a descriptive theory. It’s about the way the world is. If some guy came along rambling about how gravity attracts objects to the center of the earth and killed a bunch of people because gravity says they should be put underground, closer to the center of the Earth, would gravity or scientists promoting gravity be to blame?

    Meanwhile, religions include (inaccurate) descriptions, along with often nasty prescriptions for how the world should be. Evolution has no prescriptions.

    Oh, and the thing this guy’s describing is more like a Creationist slander of evolution, not evolution.

  169. #170 salient
    November 7, 2007

    salient-

    You have totally missread the intent of the post you dissected of mine. I don’t think we disagree.

    Ooops…I obviously need to catch up on some sleep. Sorry ’bout ‘dat, glad we agree.

  170. #171 Robert
    November 8, 2007

    The first few posters on this issue are a pathetic crop. Some 10 or so people are dead because of this monster and all you can think about is how the right-wing Christians will use this as ammo…just sick.

  171. #172 Levi
    November 8, 2007

    Is it bad that my iPod is filled with songs from the first three bands he listed as his favorite music, and that I was listening to the rather obscure band Eisbrecher when I read that list?

  172. #173 malloc
    November 8, 2007

    Sounds like he was doing evolution’s dirty work, speeding it up that is. Maybe he took Watson seriously and arrived at the logical conclusion of evolutionary atheism. After all, in a Godless world, who gives a crap if speeding up evolution is wrong or right? It’s not like you’re gonna go to hell, you don’t believe that fairy tale do you?. Culling the population? Nothing to lose sleep over. Scientists can perform some experiments along the way to see which way is the most efficient method of population culling. Now with BIt’s necessary to fight global warming, right?

  173. #174 Robert
    November 8, 2007

    As Hitchens has said in the past, being a humanist isn’t a prereq for being an Atheist. The guy clearly stated he was a social Darwinist (possible nihlist), and his worldview within this paradigm was completely just since morality is subjective in nature (in his mind).

    Be consistent my Atheist friends with potential worldview outcomes of Atheism based on validating natural selection. When atrocities are done in the name of Allah or Christ many of you are the first ones to point fingers at religion being the causality.

    Of course, you can always do what you always do, and simply dance, dance, dance.

  174. #175 silentsanta
    November 8, 2007

    Levi says “Is it bad that my iPod is filled with songs from the first three bands he listed as his favorite music, and that I was listening to the rather obscure band Eisbrecher when I read that list?”

    You’re going to burn in hell, Levi ;)

  175. #176 silentsanta
    November 8, 2007

    Robert says:

    .. with potential worldview outcomes of Atheism based on validating natural selection…

    Robert, could you please see my comment #98 and also all other comments on this thread containing the keyword ‘prescriptive’?

    Then, could you please get back to us with a coherent argument for how this killer’s beliefs (social darwinism, nihlism) are logically derived from either atheism or evolutionary theory.

    We can only be expected to defend things that logically derive from our worldviews. Defending actions that *don’t* logically derive from our worldviews is sort of a waste of time…

  176. #177 Nomad
    November 8, 2007

    PZ, I’m going to have to disagree with you on this.. this individual seems to be mentally ill. To be calling the mentally ill names like “little shit” just doesn’t seem appropriate.

    I also find it tremendously inappropriate to express desire to see such ill people suffering over extended periods of time.

    Nonetheless, it does give one pause for thought.

    “When I look at people I see every day in society, school and everywhere… I can’t say I belong to same race as the lousy, miserable, arrogant, selfish human race! No! I have evolved one step above!”

    I know how common that thought is amongst people who cause great suffering. The dictators, the mass murderers, they feel that they possess some innate superiority.

    I’ve been there. I’m STILL there. I look on the rest of the human world with disgust.

    I draw a line between disdain and mass murder. But it frightens me to see how apparently easy it can be to cross it.

  177. #178 Ian Gould
    November 8, 2007

    “How come these nihilistic guys, who ostensibly want to improve the human condition, never decide to go out and kill the truly evil and powerful?”

    How come if these guys are so concerned about stupid people outbreeding smart people they don’t hang around nightclubs handing out free condoms?

  178. #179 Sampo Rassi
    November 8, 2007

    Or, if they’re more competitively minded, doing their damnedest to out-breed the so-called inferiors? You know, trying to find a genetically superior mate, produce offspring, lather, rinse and repeat And then let the following generations duke it out, figuratively speaking.

    Now THAT’s natural selection.

  179. #180 The Lucifer Principle
    November 8, 2007

    The Amazing Atheist warned this could happen:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIKUWgsIncg

  180. #181 Ian
    November 8, 2007

    I’m waiting for the first apologist to find some bizarre way to work this into a “refutation” of the evolution of “arms from Finns”….

  181. #182 Raging Bee
    November 8, 2007

    Some 10 or so people are dead because of this monster and all you can think about is how the right-wing Christians will use this as ammo…just sick.

    Since when was it “sick” to anticipate someone else’s sick response to an event?

    Be consistent my Atheist friends with potential worldview outcomes of Atheism based on validating natural selection.

    How, exactly, are “worldview outcomes of atheism” based on — or in any way related to — “validating natural selection?” That’s a complete non-sequitur, sort of like “worldview outcomes of agnosticism based on validating germ theory.”

    When atrocities are done in the name of Allah or Christ many of you are the first ones to point fingers at religion being the causality.

    We ARE being consistent: when someone uses a religious/moral/prescriptive doctrine to justify an atrocity, and those who call themselves practioners of said doctrine support it for that reason, we blame the practitioners and possibly the doctrine for the atrocity. We do not do this in relation to atheism or evolution, because neither of these are prescriptive/normative/moral doctrines. One is simply a non-belief in any gods, and the other is a descriptive, not a prescriptive, scientific explanation for observed events.

  182. #183 MartinM
    November 8, 2007

    So…let me get this straight. I’m assuming that Robert (#162), attacking people who are concerned that this will be used as ammo, is the same Robert (#165) who is using it as fucking ammo?

  183. #184 Nomen Nescio
    November 8, 2007

    JDP @ #128:

    Frankly, the only person who will act morally when handed a piece of artillery is the person who will refuse to use it.

    your morals seem quite odd. i can’t see how you can reach such a conclusion without painting yourself into an unreasonably strict, almost absolutist, corner.

    (FWIW, i was once a conscripted artillerist in the Finnish army. not the best period of my life, but i saw nothing immoral going on either.)

  184. #185 Robert
    November 8, 2007

    We have a winner in Martin M. I did notice my hypocrisy and yes, you are correct sir. For that I am sorry.

    Raging Bee:

    “We do not do this in relation to atheism or evolution, because neither of these are prescriptive/normative/moral doctrines. One is simply a non-belief in any gods, and the other is a descriptive, not a prescriptive, scientific explanation for observed events.”

    Ah, the atheist response of its just non-belief in any Gods, hence being an atheist deserves no culpability of causality. Being a self-proclaimed social darwinist may not be prescriptive, but it does give a security blanket and foundation for justifying ones actions.
    But if thats the case, then likewise, blowing up an abortion clinic and being a professed Christian isn’t a prescriptive either unless you name the biblical verse thats in direct correlation to carring it out. Even then you would need sufficient evidence that his actions were directly related to that verse.
    Many atrocites are simply done from horrendous individuals, and their belief/non-belief is simply an attempt at justification for their hatred. But to say that his believing in pure naturalism didn’t influence and add to his hatred and animosity is just plain silly.
    And no, I don’t believe Atheism is a necessary precursor to a dangerous worldview, in fact, I hope all atheists turn to a friendly form of humanism. But in this guys case, and within his mindframe, it was dangerous combination.

  185. #186 Rey Fox
    November 8, 2007

    Robert’s right. Oh the poor people that I don’t know and who live a continent away from me! Oh WHY? WHYYYYYYYY???!!!! *rends shirt*

    Okay, now that that’s over with, can we discuss the larger societal issues?

  186. #187 Bobby
    November 8, 2007

    I’m going to be politically incorrect and say that this guy was indeed motivated by his understanding of evolution, as well as the various philosophies he mentinoned. Why? Well, because that’s what he says motivated him. Why wouldn’t we take him at his word? When Muslim suicide bombers say they’re willing to kill civilians to protect Islam or in the name of Allah, we take them at their word, so why wouldn’t we do the same in this case?

    FWIW, I don’t think you can safely take *anyone* at their word when they proclaim their reasons for committing an outrage.

  187. #188 salient
    November 8, 2007

    Robert #162 “how the right-wing Christians will use this as ammo…just sick.”

    Sincere regrets were expressed. Out atheistic hearts go out to the murdered, the bereaved, and even the emotionally disturbed killer, but there is no point in belaboring this.

    It does appear, though, that a Xians may choose to arrive late to the party because the opposition is in bed. Robert apparently merely wants to spread derision in lieu of rational arguments. Clearly, without having comprehended the arguments he was attacking.

    I call that . . . typical and illustrative of the point.

  188. #189 JimC
    November 8, 2007

    hence being an atheist deserves no culpability of causality.

    Non belief is Santa Claus deserves no culpability of causility.

    Raging Bee is 100% correct in the response above.

  189. #190 Petter Häggholm
    November 8, 2007

    Robert, no one here is denying that social Darwinism is prescriptive–it is, in fact, an ideology. However, its only relationship to ‘Darwinism’ in the sense of recognising the accuracy of the neo-Darwinian synthetic theory of evolution is that this ideology is grounded in the same reality. ‘Social Darwinism’ is a bad name for the ideology in that it gives the mistaken appearance of following logically from Darwinism; we might call it ‘rampant, misanthropic elitism’ instead, for instance.

    Motivation requires two things, you see: A model of what reality is, and an idea of what you want reality to be like; a goal. The scientific theory of evolution helps the former, but has nothing whatsoever to do with the latter. There is nothing in evolutionary fact or theory that requires us to even like it–consider Dawkins’s references to rebelling against the selfish replicators.

    We could also consider another case, that of sexual reproduction. Evolutionary theory, of course, informs us as one of its most obvious conclusions that individuals that enjoy the most sexual success will be ones to pass on their genes. This is descriptive. The prescriptive version would be “Passing on your genes is good; therefore, reproduce”. Oddly enough, it isn’t us ‘godless liberals’ who oppose anti-reproductive devices like masturbation, contraception, and voluntary abortion.

  190. #191 Petter Häggholm
    November 8, 2007

    Robert, no one here is denying that social Darwinism is prescriptive–it is, in fact, an ideology. However, its only relationship to ‘Darwinism’ in the sense of recognising the accuracy of the neo-Darwinian synthetic theory of evolution is that this ideology is grounded in the same reality. ‘Social Darwinism’ is a bad name for the ideology in that it gives the mistaken appearance of following logically from Darwinism; we might call it ‘rampant, misanthropic elitism’ instead, for instance.

    Motivation requires two things, you see: A model of what reality is, and an idea of what you want reality to be like; a goal. The scientific theory of evolution helps the former, but has nothing whatsoever to do with the latter. There is nothing in evolutionary fact or theory that requires us to even like it–consider Dawkins’s references to rebelling against the selfish replicators.

    We could also consider another case, that of sexual reproduction. Evolutionary theory, of course, informs us as one of its most obvious conclusions that individuals that enjoy the most sexual success will be ones to pass on their genes. This is descriptive. The prescriptive version would be “Passing on your genes is good; therefore, reproduce”. Oddly enough, it isn’t us ‘godless liberals’ who oppose anti-reproductive devices like masturbation, contraception, and voluntary abortion.

  191. #192 Justin Chase
    November 8, 2007

    The real enemy isn’t religion or atheism it’s irrational thought.

  192. #193 Colugo
    November 8, 2007

    Raging Bee: “atheism or evolution … neither of these are prescriptive/normative/moral doctrines.”

    I agree. They are not prescriptive. (See the Naturalistic Fallacy.) But tell that to Ernst Haeckel, or Francis Galton, or Herbert Spencer – or since they are dead, to their modern disciples.

    If we want to blame all of Christianity for the Crusades, the Inquisition, for every Christian militant terrorist organization, every lone wolf maniac – and not allow Christians to claim only flattering representatives like Bonhoeffer and King, we have to recognize when the naturalistic / atheistic / evolutionist perspective is perverted into a virulent ideological program or even idiosyncratic deranged worldview. Anything else would be circling the wagons, and we are rightfully annoyed when Christians and Muslims do it when one of their own does something terrible that is explicitly justified by their beliefs.

    Prescriptions have been drawn from evolutionary theory from it very beginnings. Peter Kropotkin thought that a proper understanding of evolution shows that we are naturally communitarian. Francis Galton worried that natural selection was being thwarted – and it wasn’t just Galton, but luminaries from Leonard Darwin to RA Fisher to Oliver Wendell Holmes. Ernst Haeckel thought that evolutionary progress mandates the destruction of inferior peoples. George Price was so horrified by its implications for the origins of morality that he converted to Christianity, gave away his wealth to the homeless, and committed suicide. Peter Singer thinks that an evolutionary approach to utilitarianism supports the expansion of the circle of compassion to animals. Richard Dawkins argues that since we have become self-aware of our genetic imperatives we are thereby liberated from them and ought to be kind to each other regardless of inclusive fitness interests. There are many more attempts at deriving values from nature, from Hardin’s ecological ethics to Goodenough’s religious naturalism. Deep ecology, feminism, transhumanism, eugenics, racism, social democracy, libertarianism – for a huge variety of often mutually incompatible creeds, there are those who claim that these are directly derivable from evolutionary science. Just like Quakerism and Christian Identity in the case of Christianity.

    Maybe all of this is just post-hoc rationalization, and these people would be hateful or kind or thoughtful or crazy regardless of whether they accepted evolution or atheism. Perhaps the same is true of many Christians, both good and bad. More likely it is a more complex process of the integration of preexisting biases and particularistic cultural interpretations.

  193. #194 Nora
    November 8, 2007

    Something was just wrong with that guy.

  194. #195 RamblinDude
    November 8, 2007

    Petter Häggholm and Colugo: Good comments. Thank you for pointing out with such scholarly eloquence that “Social Darwinism” is not the logical consequence of evolution or atheism.

    It bears repeating: The idea of “Social Darwinism” has nothing to do with the validity of Darwin’s observation that life evolves, or that Natural Selection is the way nature works. It’s merely human philosophizing. In that area anything is possible.

    You can try to use the roundness of the earth to justify your actions if you want to, but the roundness of the earth doesn’t care.

  195. #196 Colugo
    November 8, 2007

    The Finnish slayer’s brand of Social Darwinism reminded me of the notorious cult book Might is Right by ‘Ragnar Redbeard’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Might_is_Right

    Some believed that Jack London, eclectic socialist, Nietzschean, and Social Darwinist, was Ragnar Redbeard, but this is probably false.
    http://london.sonoma.edu/Essays/redbeard.html

  196. #197 travc
    November 8, 2007

    A word about high gun ownership and required military service in Finland… (note: I am making some extrapolations since I’m not Finnish)

    Gun ownership isn’t a ‘bad thing’ in general or an indication of a pathological society. In some cases it may well be (Bowling for Columbine is deeper IMO than many people think, give it a watch). However, in some cultural contexts gun ownership and competency has become a tradition arguably with some significant positive effects. IT is rooted in hunting as a necessity of life (and sometimes including hunting continued for recreation and management). The tradition is similar in some ways to hiking/camping, boy scouts, and such in preserving basic traditional skills as a reflection/propagation of culture.

    Anyways, I’ll keep it short and let you use your extrapolative / imaginative abilities. Guns are not primarially connected with the idea of going out and killing other people in some cultures.

    Finland has a somewhat odd cultural identity compared with most of Europe… somewhat like the American West (think mountain men, not cowboys).

    As for conscript military service… There are a lot of good things to be said for it IMO, of course dependent in large degree to the culture of the military and the larger society. In the case of Finland (and Switzerland for example), mandatory military service seems to bring out far more good in people than bad. (Aside: The main argument against it is economic, since all those young people could instead be working to make money.)

  197. #198 Jani
    November 8, 2007

    I’m writing from Finland and thought I’d contribute to this conversation. The incident occurred about 15 miles from where I live.

    The somewhat pointless speculation of what caused the killing spree is of course all over Finnish forums as well. Some people blame philosophy, others the society. One interesting point discussed was his family.

    Apparently, the (now passed) shooter’s mom is involved in an organization, which states Naess’ ans Sessions’ eight point platform as their guideline.
    (http://www.elonkeha.fi/ekologia.html in Finnish)

    Especially points four and eight seem rather disturbing, taking into account what happened yesterday. The points themselves seem to create somewhat of a paradox, at least in my mind.

    Of course, no one knows for sure where he got his twisted ideologies from, but it seems like an interesting coincidence.

    “A Deep Ecology Eight Point Platform”
    formulated by Arne Naess and George Sessions

    1. The well-being and flourishing of human and non-human life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: intrinsic value, inherent worth). These values are independent of the usefulness of the non-human world for human purposes.

    2. Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves.

    3. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs.

    4. The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantially smaller human population. The flourishing of non-human life requires a smaller human population.

    5. Present human interference with the non-human world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.

    6. Policies must therefore be changed. These policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.

    7. The ideological change will be mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent value) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between bigness and greatness.

    8. Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to try to implement the necessary changes.

    Source: http://www.haven.net/deep/council/eight.htm

  198. #199 Skeptical Skeptic
    November 8, 2007

    Even if I was an atheist I wouldn’t side with the kind of arrogant self important pricks who post here.

  199. #200 Stevie_C
    November 8, 2007

    Don’t worry. We won’t miss you.

  200. #201 Leon
    November 8, 2007

    Not to worry, Skeptical Skeptic. You probably haven’t gone through all the comments (it’s a long topic), but you’ll be glad to know that not very many of the posters here were arrogant or self-important pricks.

  201. #202 salient
    November 8, 2007

    Jani, thanks for the info on Naess and Sessions. I see your point about 4 and 8. Most people would assume that a policy of birth control would meet those goals — free condoms for all who ask.

    His mother’s interest might have given him fodder for self-justification, but those points would not drive a mentally stable person to paroxysms of homicidal mania.

  202. #203 katie
    November 9, 2007

    I feel sorry for him. He’s clearly ill, and obviously needed care to protect both himself and society.

  203. #204 Reynold Hall
    November 9, 2007

    Well, as has been predicted and verified, they’re already taking advantage of this human tragedy…

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/11/08/finland-fruits-of-humanism

  204. #205 Sinbad
    November 9, 2007

    Well, as has been predicted and verified, they’re already taking advantage of this human tragedy….

    Yup, but the “they” cuts in all directions:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/06/jesus_made_him_do_it.php

    There’s always more than enough evil and stupidity to go around.

  205. #206 Stevie_C
    November 9, 2007

    He didn’t take advantage of it. He was pointing out the christian inconsistencies.

  206. #207 Sinbad
    November 9, 2007

    He didn’t take advantage of it. He was pointing out the christian inconsistencies.

    You can’t be serious. AIG noted the views of the Finnish murderer and suggested that his acts were “the fruits of evolution.” Predictable and silly. PZ noted the VaTech killer’s religious upbringing and references and said that “Jesus made him do it” and that the murders show that Christianity is not “a religion of peace and love.” Also predictable and silly.

  207. #208 karol karolak
    November 10, 2007

    —– Original Message —–
    From: KAROL KAROLAK
    To: international@sanoma.fi
    Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 2:33 PM
    Subject: Fw: 8 dead in Finnish school shooting

    —– Original Message —–
    From: KAROL KAROLAK
    To: Professional Assessment Services
    Cc: martin_teicher@hms.harvard.edu ; info@pharmapolitics.com ; david.healy@nww-tr.wales.nhs.uk ; Evelyn Pringle ; CADRMP@hc-sc.gc.ca ;
    Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 9:30 AM
    Subject: Fw: 8 dead in Finnish school shooting

    HELSINGIN SANOMAT
    INTERNATIONAL EDITION – HOME
    You arrived here at 16:20 Helsinki time Friday 9.11.2007
    Jokela gunman said he used antidepressants
    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Jokela+gunman+said+he+used+antidepressants/1135231686882

    The Jokela gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen is very likely to have used anti-depressant drugs, which have been linked with school massacres in the United States. A message written by “Sturmgeist89″, a pseudonym used by Auvinen, appeared on the Internet a short time ago stating that he took the mood-enhancers, although he hated them.
    In a video that he placed on YouTube, Sturmgeist89 displays packages of Cipralex, Zoloft, Luvox, and Prozac pills. The video “SSRI-One Pill A Day Makes You Happy” criticises medicalisation.
    The drugs in question are Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the perpetrators the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado in the USA, had said that they took pills in the same class of drugs.
    There is disagreement among experts as to whether or not the drugs can provoke destructive aggression.

    In a message he put on an Internet chat room Pekka-Eric Auvinen suggests that he had started using anti-depressants during the past year.
    “StormSpirit”, another pseudonym used by Auvinen, wrote on the Peliplaneetta.net website that he had suffered “from some degree of depression for about a year”.

    Sturmgeist89 told a Danish former female acquaintance that he felt frustrated and aggressive because of the drugs. On the other hand, in his English-language message he said that he had stopped taking the pills, at least temporarily.
    At Thursday’s press conference police said that Auvinen’s autopsy had not been completed, and that it was not yet known if he was under the influence of any medicines.
    The police are checking with Auvinen’s parents and health care officials to see if he had been prescribed antidepressants. He also may have acquired them illegally or over the Internet.
    The National Agency for Medicines recommends against prescribing SSRIs for people under the age of 18, because of the self-destructive or hostile emotions that they have been known to provoke.

    —– Original Message —–
    From: KAROL KAROLAK
    To: Professional Assessment Services
    Cc: martin_teicher@hms.harvard.edu ; info@pharmapolitics.com ; david.healy@nww-tr.wales.nhs.uk ; Evelyn Pringle ; CADRMP@hc-sc.gc.ca ;
    Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 2:51 PM
    Subject: Re: 8 dead in Finnish school shooting

    Dear Dr. McKay,

    Re: Guns do not kill people, antidepressants (Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft, Prozac) prescribed to Malignant Narcissists induce switching of dominance of brain hemispheres, false feeling of invincibility, and narcissistic rage resulting in murderous sprees ending in suicide of Narcissistic assailants.

    Thank you for your prompt response.

    Whole issue of antidepressants causing increased rate of suicides was first raised by Martin H. Teicher in 1990.

    http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/SSRIs/Lawsuits%20over%20antidepressants.htm
    “In 1990, one of the first public reports of Prozac’s propensity to induce suicide appeared in an American Journal of Psychiatry article by two Harvard psychiatrists and a registered nurse. (Martin H. Teicher et al., Emergence of Intense Suicidal Preoccupation During Fluoxetine Treatment, 147 Am. J. Psychiatry 207 (1990).)”

    When Dr. David Healy got on that bandwagon and started to cause a real stink Eli Lilly and Co. decided to buy Dr.Martin H. Teicher.

    http://www.narpa.org/prozac.data.suppressed.htm

    “Lilly has built its defence of Prozac on a 1991 finding by the federal Food and Drug Administration that there is no credible evidence linking Prozac to suicide. Glenmullen and others have challenged that finding, alleging it was based on flawed clinical testing and marred by alleged conflicts of interest held by several members of the FDA’s panel of outside experts.

    Though sales have slipped somewhat in recent years as other antidepressants entered the market, more than 35 million people worldwide have taken Prozac, and Lilly derived more than 25 percent of its $10 billion in revenues last year from the drug.

    The lawsuit also focuses attention on the new drug, which Lilly hopes will extend its antidepressant franchise after the last Prozac patents expire in 2004.

    The key patent for the new drug was obtained in 1998 by two officials at Sepracor Inc., a Marlborough-based drug company, along with Dr. Martin H. Teicher, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard who works at McLean Hospital in Belmont.

    The patent brought Teicher full circle in the Prozac debate: He had ignited the decade-long controversy with a 1990 paper about sudden, self-destructive tendencies among patients who had recently begun taking Prozac.

    The patent describes an antidepressant derived from Prozac that, the inventors assert, is formulated in such a way as to decrease the current drug’s adverse effects, ranging from headaches and nervousness to ”intense violent suicidal thoughts and self-mutiliation.” That assertion is based on Teicher’s paper.

    Although that patent language directly contradicts Lilly’s longtime position on Prozac, the Indianapolis-based drug company clearly saw great value in the drug described in the patent.

    In December 1998, Lilly paid Sepracor $20 million for exclusive rights to the patent, a portion of which went to Teicher and McLean. Lilly also promised the inventors $70 million in milestone payments depending on the new drug’s progress through ongoing clinical trials, and a percentage of sales if the drug is approved and sold.”

    After Dr. Teicher was bought by Eli Lilly he continued with his research at McLean Hospital in Boston and in March 2002 issue of Scientific American he published an article “Scars That Won’t Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse”

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&colID=1&articleID=000CF962-DF94-1CF2-93F6809EC5880000

    Here is link to full text of that article:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/res0im1v/donettesteelepsychology/id14.html

    In that article he wrote:

    “The left hemisphere is specialized for perceiving and expressing language, whereas the right hemisphere specializes in processing spatial information and in processing and expressing emotions– particularly negative emotions. We had wondered whether mistreated children might store their disturbing memories in the right hemisphere and whether recol­lecting these memories might preferen­tially activate the right hemisphere.

    To test this hypothesis, Fred Schiffer worked in my laboratory at McLean in 1995 to measure hemispheric activity in adults during recall of a neutral memory and then during recall of an upsetting early memory. Those with a history of abuse appeared to use predominantly their left hemispheres when thinking about neutral memories and their right when recovering an early disturbing mem­ory. Subjects in the control group used both hemispheres to a comparable degree for either task, suggesting that their re­sponses were more integrated between the two hemispheres. Because Schiffer’s research indicated that childhood trauma was associated with diminished right-left hemisphere in­tegration, we decided to look for some de­ficiency in the primary pathway for infor­mation exchange between the two hemi­spheres, the corpus callosum.

    In 1997 An­dersen and I collaborated with Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health to search for the posited effect. Together we found that in boys who had been abused or neglected, the middle parts of the corpus callosum were significantly smaller than in the control groups. Fur­thermore, in boys, neglect exerted a far greater effect than any other kind of mal­treatment. In girls, however, sexual abuse was a more powerful factor, associated with a major reduction in size of the mid­dle parts of the corpus callosum. These re­sults were replicated and extended in 1999 by De Bellis, Likewise, the effects of early experience on the development of the corpus callosum have been confirmed by research in primates by Mara M. Sanchez of Emory.

    Subsequently he wrote:

    Our latest finding had its roots in the seminal studies of Harry F. Harlow of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In the 1950s Harlow compared monkeys raised by their mothers with monkeys reared by wire or terrycloth surrogate mothers. Monkeys raised with the surro­gates became socially deviant and highly aggressive adults, Working with Harlow, W. A. Mason of the Delta Primate Cen­ter in Louisiana discovered that these consequences were less severe if the sur­rogate mother was swung from side to side. J. W. Prescott of the National Insti­tute of Child Health and Human Devel­opment hypothesized that this movement would be conveyed to the cerebellum, particularly the middle part, called the cerebellar vermis, located at the back of the brain just above the brain stem. Among other functions, the vermis mod­ulates the brain-stem nuclei that control the production and release of the neuro­transmitters norepinephrine and dopa­mine. Like the hippocampus, this part of the brain develops gradually and contin­ues to create neurons after birth. It has an even higher density of receptors for stress hormones than the hippocampus, so ex­posure to such hormones can strongly af­fect its development.

    Abnormalities in the cerebellar ver­mis have recently been reported to be as­sociated with various psychiatric disor­ders, including manic-depressive illness, schizophrenia, autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. These mal­adies emerge from genetic and prenatal factors, not childhood mistreatment, but the fact that vermal anomalies seem to sit at the core of so many psychiatric condi­tions suggests that this region plays a crit­ical role in mental health.

    Dysregulation of the vermis-controlled neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine can produce symptoms of de­pression, psychosis and hyperactivity as well as impair attention. Activation of the dopamine system has been associated with a shift to a more left hemisphere– biased (verbal) attentional state, whereas activation of the norepinephrine system shifts attention to a more right hemi­sphere–biased (emotional) state. Perhaps most curiously, the vermis also helps to regulate electrical activity in the limbic system, and vermal stimulation can sup­press seizure activity in the hippocampus and amygdala. R. C. Heath, working at Tulane Uni­versity in the 1950s, found that Harlow’s monkeys had seizure foci in their fastigial nuclei and hippocampus. In later work with humans, he found that electrical stimulation of the vernis reduced the fre­quency of seizures and improved the men­tal health in a small number of patients with intractable neuropsychiatric disor­ders. This result led my colleagues and me to speculate whether childhood abuse could produce abnormalities in the cere­bellar vernis that contributed to psychiatric symptoms, limbic irritability and gradual hippocampal degeneration.

    To begin to test this hypothesis, Carl M. Anderson recently worked in tandem with me and with Perry Renshaw at the Brain Imaging Center at McLean. An­derson used T2-relaxometry methods, a new MRI-based functional imaging tech­nique we developed. For the first time, we can monitor regional cerebral blood flow at rest without the use of radioactive trac­ers or contrast dyes. When the brain is resting, the neu­ronal activity of a region closely match­es the amount of blood that area receives to sustain this activity. Anderson found a striking correlation between the activity in the cerebellar vermis and the degree of limbic irritability indicated by my TLE­ related question checklist in both healthy young adult controls and young adults with a history of repeated sexual abuse. At any level of limbic symptomatol­ogy, however, the amount of blood flow in the vernis was markedly decreased in the individuals with a history of trauma. Low blood flow points to a functional impairment in the activity of the cerebel­lar vermis. On average, abused patients had higher checklist scores presumably because their vermis could not activate sufficiently to quell higher levels of lim­bic irritability.

    Dr. Teicher’s conclusion:

    Together these findings suggest an in­triguing model that explains one way in which borderline personality disorder can emerge. Reduced integration between the right and left hemispheres and a smaller corpus callosum may predispose these pa­tients to shift abruptly from left- to right-dominated states with very different emo­tional perceptions and memories.

    Such polarized hemispheric dominance could cause a person to see friends, family and co-workers in an overly positive way in one state and in a resoundingly negative way in another–which is the hallmark of this disorder. Moreover, limbic electrical irritability can produce symptoms of ag­gression, exasperation and anxiety. Ab­normal EEG activity in the temporal lobe is also often seen in people with a greatly increased risk for suicide and self-de­structive behavior.

    Dr. Teicher offered very elegant explanations for hypothesis:

    Adaptive Detriment

    OUR TEAM INITIATED this research with the hypothesis that early stress was a toxic agent that interfered with the nor­mal, smoothly orchestrated progression of brain development, leading to endur­ing psychiatric problems. Frank W. Put­nam of Children’s Hospital Medical Cen­ter of Cincinnati and Bruce D. Perry of the Alberta Mental Health Board in Canada have now articulated the same hypothe­sis. I have come to question and reevalu­ate our starting premise, however. Hu­man brains evolved to be molded by ex­perience, and early difficulties were routine during our ancestral develop­ment. Is it plausible that the developing brain never evolved to cope with exposure to maltreatment and so is damaged in a nonadaptive manner? This seems most un­likely. The logical alternative is that ex­posure to early stress generates molecular and neurobiological effects that alter neur­al development in an adaptive way that prepares the adult brain to survive and re­produce in a dangerous world.

    What traits or capacities might be beneficial for survival in the harsh condi­tions of earlier times? Some of the more obvious are the potential to mobilize an intense fight-or-flight response, to react aggressively to challenge without undue hesitation, to be at heightened alert for danger and to produce robust stress re­sponses that facilitate recovery from injury. In this sense, we can reframe the brain changes we observed as adaptations to an adverse environment.

    Although this adaptive state helps to take the affected individual safely through the reproductive years (and is even likely to enhance sexual promiscuity), which are critical for evolutionary success, it comes at a high price. McEwen has recently the­orized that overactivation of stress re­sponse systems, a reaction that may be necessary for short-term survival, increas­es the risk for obesity, type II diabetes and hypertension; leads to a host of psychi­atric problems, including a heightened risk of suicide; and accelerates the aging and degeneration of brain structures, in­cluding the hippocampus.

    We hypothesize that adequate nurtur­ing and the absence of intense early stress permits our brains to develop in a manner that is less aggressive and more emotion­ally stable, social, empathic and hemi­spherically integrated. We believe that this process enhances the ability of social ani­mals to build more complex interperson­al structures and enables humans to better realize their creative potential.

    Society reaps what it sows in the way it nurtures its children. Stress sculpts the brain to exhibit various antisocial, though adaptive, behaviors. Whether it comes in the form of physical, emotional or sexu­al trauma or through exposure to war­fare, famine or pestilence, stress can set off a ripple of hormonal changes that permanently wire a child’s brain to cope with a malevolent world. Through this chain of events, violence and abuse pass from generation to generation as well as from one society to the next. Our stark conclusion is that we see the need to do much more to ensure that child abuse does not happen in the first place, be­cause once these key brain alterations oc­cur, there may be no going back.

    Now, the real question; What does Dr. Martin Teicher knows but is not willing to tell us??? Since he started whole debate about connection between antidepressants and suicide that propelled him to fame in psychiatric community it is hard to imagine that he ever dropped that subject. “The lawsuit also focuses attention on the new drug, which Lilly hopes will extend its antidepressant franchise after the last Prozac patents expire in 2004. The key patent for the new drug was obtained in 1998 by two officials at Sepracor Inc., a Marlborough-based drug company, along with Dr. Martin H. Teicher, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard who works at McLean Hospital in Belmont. The patent brought Teicher full circle in the Prozac debate: He had ignited the decade-long controversy with a 1990 paper about sudden, self-destructive tendencies among patients who had recently begun taking Prozac.The patent describes an antidepressant derived from Prozac that, the inventors assert, is formulated in such a way as to decrease the current drug’s adverse effects, ranging from headaches and nervousness to ”intense violent suicidal thoughts and self-mutiliation.” That assertion is based on Teicher’s paper.” .

    I do not know what Dr. Martin Teicher must have been smoking in 1998 but his findings presented in “Scars That Won’t Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse” in 2002 article completely contradict his claims made in 1998 regarding this “new and improved” antidepressant. Antidepressants cannot alter brain’s biological and functional anatomy, what they can cause instead is that rapid switching of dominance from left to right brain hemisphere that he observed and described.

    Connections between Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder are well established in psychiatric literature. All three disorders share so many common elements that in a way they could be considered same disorder with different degree of severity. BPD being least severe NPD somewhere in the middle and APD most severe. If we apply Dr. Teicher’s bicamerality theory than we can theorise that BPD represents tug of war between left and right brain hemisphere (such assumption explains relative instability of BPD), NPD represents long term domination of left brain hemisphere over right brain hemisphere (such assumption explains relative stability of NPD), and APD represents long term domination of right brain hemisphere over left brain hemisphere.

    If we expand Dr. Teicher’s bicamerality theory than we can theorise that BPD sufferers are most prone to sociality and self-harm because they have internalised source and nature of their internal turmoil (tag of war between left and right brain hemisphere). On the other hand NPD sufferers externalise their internal turmoil, where suppressed urges of right hemisphere drive NPD sufferers on his quest for finding and entrapping their victims. NPD sufferer’s mental stability is therefore totally dependant on relation with an external victim. APD sufferers also externalise their internal turmoil, and feed bloodthirsty demon residing in their head by periodically finding torturing and killing their victim.

    Of all three types Narcissistic Personality Disorder sufferers are most likely to show extreme reaction to use of antidepressants as in many cases they have managed to conceal monster residing in their heads not only from everybody they interact with but also from themselves. NPD monster residing in their right hemisphere is very often stunned in its development resembling mentality of 6 years old child trying to get his way. Murder/suicide so characteristic of NPD on a rampage is a result of sudden realisation that the monster in their heads did not die with NPD sufferer’s victims.

    All of this is well supported in Sigmund Freud’s theories of Ego – SuperEgo conflicts, Dr. Otto Kernberg’s theories regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorder and some of the observations of Dr. Sam Vaknin self described Narcissistic.

    For more on the subject please see attached my letter to Corporal Steve Kielt of Major Crime Unit of RCMP

    “V” Division H. Q. dated July 1, 2004.

    Sincerely,

    Karol Karolak P. Eng.

    —– Original Message —–

    From: Professional Assessment Services
    To: ‘KAROL KAROLAK’
    Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 9:11 AM
    Subject: RE: 8 dead in Finnish school shooting

    Do we have any information about his “psychiatric treatment?”

    Dr. M. McKay

    —–Original Message—–
    From: KAROL KAROLAK [mailto:karol_karolak@rogers.com]
    Sent: November 7, 2007 9:58 PM
    To: Dads_In_Action@yahoogroups.com;
    Cc: Professional Assessment Services; Evelyn Pringle; CADRMP@hc-sc.gc.ca
    Subject: 8 dead in Finnish school shooting

    Guns do not kill people, antidepressants (Paxil, Celexa, Prozac) prescribed to Malignant Narcissists induce switching of dominance of brain hemispheres, false feeling of invincibility, and narcissistic rage resulting in murderous sprees ending in suicide of Narcissistic assailants.

    If anybody is looking for villains they should blame in on psychiatric community prostituting themselves to pharmaceutical industry.

    ==8 dead in Finnish school shooting==
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071107.wfinland1107/BNStory/International/home

  208. #209 Arche De Katze
    November 12, 2007

    I like how you use the word Evil so easily as the title of this article. THIS isn’t Evil. An extreamly frusterated and compulsive teen, but not an evil person. Walk into any high school in any state in any country. Millions of teens his age feel this way and the only thing keeping them from acting on it is either fear of what their friends will think, or that they have no way of doing it. If you are so desperate to find evil, they just convicted a serial killer in Russia. He killed 48+ people. Thats closer to evil then this kid was, and he didnt get the death sentence.

  209. #210 John
    November 15, 2007

    I like how PZ’s post on Cho is titled “Jesus made him do it.” In it he bemoans the fact that the media won’t focus on Cho’s supposed religious motivations enough.

    But in this post, Pekka-Eric Auvinen is just a lone crazy.

    Heads I win, tails you lose.

  210. #211 Bali
    February 24, 2008

    The poor guy was bullied. Obviously the school system didn’t do enough for him. I hope we can learn from this incident and try to stop the rampant intimidation that goes on in schools.

  211. #212 Amed
    February 28, 2009

    Look at this dude in this perspective.
    He hates the human race and says that it’s overrated?
    To be real we don’t have moore right than any other animal to live? Im not saying im taking his side , hes a pshyco hes nuts..
    But we as humans are pretty overrated.. We think we can do whatever we want.. We think that it’s only ”Humans” that deserves rights and such.. We should love eachother mother and think about what we are doing..

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