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Turin Turambar

What would it take?

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone. 

I realized that I need to figure out the motivation of my new MC. She's in a real complex position, so:

What would it take for you to murder someone (what would the circumstances need to be.)

What would it take to work hand in hand with a terrorist organisation (accountant, mole, etc.)

If this question is too dark or disturbing for you, I completely understand. The more answers the better, though.

EDIT: sorry about the multiple posts - my computer claimed that it didn't register so I resubmitted it.

 

Edited by Turin Turambar
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Hello everyone. 

I realized that I need to figure out the motivation of my new MC. She's in a real complex position, so:

What would it take for you to murder someone (what would the circumstances need to be.)

What would it take to work hand in hand with a terrorist organisation (accountant, mole, etc.)

If this question is too dark or disturbing for you, I completely understand. The more answers the better, though.

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From what I read in news stories it is often some kind of real or perceived harassment(physical, verbal, economic and so on) that leads to some kind of social isolation.  You stop interacting with friends and family and eventually they contact you and offer a quick and violent solution to your problems.  For me personally it would probably be some kind of isolation.  I get dropped in a super unfamiliar environment with no resources to fall back on.  Some people take me in and I can't help but start to sympathize.  They set me up and all they ask in return is pass on a bunch of harmless information...

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

What would it take for you to murder someone (what would the circumstances need to be.)

Surprisingly, a lot of things, assuming the 'you' is referring to humanity as a whole rather than me specifically. Murder can be done out of passion or it be premeditated. The first, passion, merely requires a trigger of some kind - a jealous lover, for instance; someone who's been driven irrationally angry. As long as the state of extreme emotion is believable, that is, the reader can understand why the situation might induce the MC within that extreme emotion, it's fair game.

Premeditated can be a whole other kettle of fish though. Sure, you have the premeditated caused by extreme emotion, where some form of mental stress (rage, betrayal, hatred, etc.) causes the MC to plan the murder, but then you also have another aspect - murder done with what the MC believes to be a just cause, that is, instead of the MC choosing to kill someone because they are giving in to their emotions, they have chosen to kill someone because they believe it to be the right thing to do. A vigilante for instance, might ruthlessly murder criminals for petty offenses because said vigilante believes it to be correct. Or, if you want to put the MC in a horrible situation, perhaps some villain has kidnapped someone close to the MC and threatened to kill them unless the MC kill someone else.

Ultimately, the best way to think about it is to ask yourself, "What would it take for me to kill someone?"

3 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

What would it take to work hand in hand with a terrorist organisation (accountant, mole, etc.)

The usual motives are either greed or ideology - that is, you believe in the cause that they're propagating or you're getting something out of the terrorist organization in return, generally large amounts of money. If you aren't the leader of a terrorist organization (and sometimes even if you are) there's not a lot that someone would personally gain from joining them, so the question is just 'Why would they choose to join, then?' The answer, like I said, is either greed - therefore there is something to gain - or ideology.

Ideology is, unsurprisingly, very complicated. You have the basic version, which is the MC believes in the terrorist's cause. But there are other version as well - perhaps the MC is a loner or an outcast and desperately wants something cause to give their life meaning. Perhaps the MC doesn't agree with the terrorists but hates what the terrorists are fighting so they've elected to pick what they consider the lesser of two evils. Perhaps the MC has friends or relatives within the terrorist organization and feels compelled to join them, partially as a result of peer pressure, but also because the MC respects these people already within the organization and assumes that if they've joined, there must be a good reason to join.

Given the nature of both murder and terrorism, this is only scratching the surface when it comes to various causes and reasons behind why a person would want to perform either murder or terrorism. I'd recommend you do research on your own based on some of the concepts that I've outlined here if you like them, and if you want to ask me more questions or to discuss this further, I'd be happy to help.

Edited by aeromancer
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24 minutes ago, aeromancer said:

Surprisingly, a lot of things, assuming the 'you' is referring to humanity as a whole

I meant you you. Or, any decent normal human being carrying out premeditated murder. Not general human population.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Turin Turambar said:

I meant you you. Or, any decent normal human being carrying out premeditated murder. Not general human population.

You've piqued my philosophy. I see that you're drawing a distinction between (presumably) me as a 'decent normal human being' and the 'general human population'. That is to say, you've drawn a distinction between them and consider a certain segment to be more prone to violence, though I have two things to add. First, thank you very kindly for including me in the first category and not the second, I very deliberately reveal little about myself so its nice to see someone who will assume the good in a faceless voice across the Internet. I'm being genuine here, we could use more of people assuming the good in others. Second, I shall in turn extend you the benefit of the doubt and assume that when you say 'general human population', you aren't really referring to most of humanity, you are rather referring to the 'dregs', as it were, people who are inherently evil and find it easier to perform acts of villainy, such as murder.

There is indeed a school of thought which states that, by and large, humans are good people, however, for certain reasons; there are people who are not. For the general population at large, the 'decent normal human beings', they find crime abhorrent and can scarcely consider the thought of murdering someone in cold blood, let alone actually doing it. The 'dregs', the inherent criminals, those who were born evil and those of their ilk who have carved the history of humanity bloody with their butchery are almost of a different kind altogether and it would take rather great and exceptional conditions to move someone from the first category to the second. This is one school of thought of the condition of evil within humanity.

However, it is not a school of belief that I ascribe to. Evil is not so foreign, even to good, righteous people, as many would like to believe. I do not believe that those who have committed crimes, and even those who have knowingly aided in great atrocities, have any greater capacity for evil than any other person; the key difference between the two lies within the choices they've made. And, perhaps those choices are not as simple or easy to make as we would like to believe. Certainly, it's a nice thought that upstanding members of society would never stoop so low as to kill innocents, yet that simply isn't the case - you may be familiar with the concept of 'the banality of evil', which proves, at the very least, that there are methods of spreading evil and atrocities such that an entire population is willingly complicit, yet believes they've done no wrong.

I believe that any person, given the right leverage, incentives, threats, or a combination of the three, could be put into a situation where they would very feasibly consider murder, perhaps justified or perhaps not justified at all. I have a short story called Fault Tolerant which has a normal person's descent into evil as one of the key aspects of the plot. Like I said, ask yourself if you would ever be willing to kill someone. What if your parents were threatened? What if it were a friend? What if the death of one life saved five? What if you knew that no one would ever find out and the person you're attacking did something to warrant extreme punishment, yet you knew that no one could convict this person in court?

All I'm saying is, I don't think it's so simple to say that, even for a decent normal person, it would not be incredibly difficult to create circumstances where they would be able to kill someone.

(Sorry for the ramble, but as you can see, I kind of like discussing these kinds of things and I feel there's a certain minimum that needs to be said to do this justice. I also don't mean anything personally against you, but its entirely possible that we have different assumptions and beliefs so it might be hard for us to agree on something. Thanks for hearing me out.)

Edited by aeromancer
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7 hours ago, aeromancer said:

You've piqued my philosophy. I see that you're drawing a distinction between (presumably) me as a 'decent normal human being' and the 'general human population'. That is to say, you've drawn a distinction between them and consider a certain segment to be more prone to violence,

TBH, I wasn't individually separating you from a group. When I said you, I meant any given human being, but not the population as a whole. But any given human being could be any decent human being who isn't premeditated to it (Not a criminal, and not someone predisposed to violence like someone who is trained for it such as military or law enforcement). Though I'm sure that you're a wonderful person. 

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Hey @Turin Turambar. Well now, that's an interesting question:

1) - Self-defence: someone comes at me, I would defend myself, I presume! Given the chance, and if that involved using a makeshift weapon to strike back, I guess it's possible I would kill them. On the basis that I'm in a position where I'm fearing for my life, I might well think it was the only way to get out of the situation alive;

2) - Protecting my family / family member: see above. Maybe I can drive the attacker away? I can't imagine I'd start out with the intention to killing, just of getting out of the situation.

3) - Protecting an innocent party: Would I push someone off a roof (for example, i.e. guaranteeing their death) if they were about to kill someone else? Can I be 100% certainly it's clear good vs. evil, and do I have the moral certainty to end an attackers life? I don't know.

4) - The greater good: would I kill a 'bad person' to end the suffering of many more people? For example, would I shoot a terrorist if I had the ability to do so (weapon, opportunity and incontrovertible evidence), i.e. to be judge, Judy and executioner? I really don't know.

 

The thing is, you very specifically as about murder, which implies to me that I am not in the right, morally. I think perhaps 1) and 2) about would be justifiable homicide (or something like that, the right technical term), and maybe 3) and 4) manslaughter? I'm not sure of the exact terminology, but I'm not sure any of these scenarios would constitute murder, where I would be in the wrong, 100%. So, I guess you are asking about crossing a moral line. Would I murder someone for $1,000,000? No, I wouldn't. Would I do it for $5,000,000? No, because I'm in the fortunate position to be comfortable financially (atm!), and I would rather keep my peace of mind and what I have presently.

It seems to me that I would need to be acted on by some unforeseen external circumstances that would need to change who I am in order to resort to murder.

I really don't know if this helps, but you wanted opinions :) 

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5 hours ago, Robinski said:

I really don't know if this helps, but you wanted opinions :) 

The more opinions, the merrier. 

I'm trying to figure this out so I can figure out the motivation of N from my submission on Monday, as some pointed out.

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On 7/23/2020 at 7:02 PM, Turin Turambar said:

What would it take for you to murder someone (what would the circumstances need to be.)

What would it take to work hand in hand with a terrorist organisation (accountant, mole, etc.)

Murder? Not a whole lot, honestly. Threat to my kid of any physical kind, threat or rape or death to myself or partner, a persistent assailant on a sex or racially motivated attack that I intervened on if the person didn't stop after the first several interventions.

Terrorist organization? I suppose if they were also doing good work I could maybe mentally do gymnastics. Like, they supply guns to someone but also fund all the schools in my state and fund them well, if I was in extreme poverty and needed to provide for my kid is another potential

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