How Much Math Do You Need For A Neuroscience Degree Murder Mystique in Magical Thinking Part 2

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Murder Mystique in Magical Thinking Part 2

Decades of speculation have sought the ultimate “magic bullet” as to humanistic precursors for criminality. Some perpetuate the mythology of “killology” to explain away the willful complicity of the murderer’s premeditation. So called violence studies, criminal profiling and getting “inside the criminal mind” have spawned a range of television shows and movies. Likewise, movies and videos become villainous culprits and excuses for the murder mystique. While some find such things entertaining, the temptation is significant to make fiction into reality. Emerging fields of study seek to expand those fictional perspectives into the realm of the physical brain. In doing so, neuroscientists suggest physiological explanations for a predisposition to violent behavior. And yet, if so, being predisposed does not negate accountability.

A person does not surrender responsibility no matter what he or she does. Everyone is responsible for everything they do. While thinking is not doing, when the doing contributes to an illicit continuum, from “mind” to mayhem, then accountability remains constant. Diagnostics from any philosophical or ideological perspective, regardless of the haze of metaphysical pretexts, cannot substantiate the diminished capacity for personal liability. Allowing the myriad range of excludabilities in terms of excuses for criminal behavior further advances the devolutionary processes of social deterioration. The human species doesn’t have much time left, and is woefully devoid of the ability to “scientifically” look inside the “criminal mind”. Subjective ignorance on the part of the public is fueled by continued illusions to such pretenses of “concrete” entity.

Unfortunately, well-intended investigators have used the metaphor to explain a process by which one studies criminal behavior from a psychodynamic framework. That’s okay so long as we refrain from inventing all kinds of erroneous constructs based bias instead of factuality. Investigative efforts must maintain a balanced perspective. To that end, the “mind’ is an illusion for what the organic processes of neural activity are performing. None the less, the behavioral aspects of rationality remain persistent in the self-centeredness of human nature. Although the dichotomy of “good vs. evil” might be overly simplistic, the assertion keeps to the centrality of hedonistic proclivities. So, the struggle individually is to decide which aspects one chooses.

As all people are equal before the duly constituted laws, they are all unequal in their inclination toward criminality. Each is a culmination of privately personal motivations, from all walks of life. To explain that deductive and logical process of thinking, unique to the individual, contends with interpretations across multiple disciplines. Many of which are mere conjecture, based on opinions steeped in subjective validation. The gambit of “behavioral analysis” is played out across a broad spectrum of proselytizers and audiences. Many within the social arena, novices and professionals alike, pretend to comprehend the multidimensional intricacies of organic brain processes.

At the foundational level of human inclinations, particularly as related to criminality, people choose their “evil”, as they assert their personal mythologies. Naively superficial, some glibly proclaim to “live” is the opposite of “evil”. And yet, for all the wars to end wars, evil still lives. For that matter, “evil” is not the reverse of the word to spell “live”, unless you connect it to being “a-live”. And, “evil” is alive within the many predators that haunt the planet. A person lives to be evil and alive to achieve self-interests. Deceptions from a multiplicity of purposes contrive hedonistic achievements. Everyone exists in a devolving world where they make their own choices.

As to the physiological basis, or bio-technical quasi-scientific constructs, asserting organic defects as precursors to criminality, serious skepticism must always be applied. Due to a mix of “science and pseudoscience”, confusion abounds across a multicultural basis with regard to criminal capacity. The mass media doesn’t help very much to promote scientific validity. Commercials and quick easy sound bites interfere with intense analytic scrutiny of serious criminological issues.

Plus, news media personalities try their best to be good actors in order to help ratings. There is always the mythic notion of symbolism over substance. Some levity is comingled with simplistic rhetorical hyperbole and then cut to a commercial. Or, likewise, your next viewing of some horrific killing is preceded by some “fun and silly mindless” advertisement. And yes, that’s why infotainment is geared to a middle school mentality. Mass marketing mysticism is marketed to the masses. In collusion, a kind of cross-breeding occurs among the alleged social sciences and the natural sciences. That is, a lot of scientific sounding babble and verbiage attempts reductionist applications. For trouble-free understanding of complex human processes, keep it simple.

In the pseudo-sciences, sometimes called the “social sciences”, as well as other disciplines of inquiry, nearly anyone can be an “expert” on anything. In most cases, you don’t even have to have real field experience as practitioners. Academics who become writers on the various associated subjects are good at this. There is a great gulf, more likely an ocean, between knowing about something and knowing the depth of the something’s essentiality. Most often our social discourse reflects the former. We attempt to know the effortlessness about a critical matter, but fail to dig deep below the superficial reflection. To know about something is artificial, shallow and insincere. And to that, you can add arrogance to cover the cognitive bias of allied conjectures.

To say that someone, particularly in the aftermath of a murderous event, has an organically induced predisposition toward criminality is very easy to claim. After the fact, you can assert anything that makes you feel better. In point of the matter, it is downright simpleminded. What condition was it and how did it get there? Where did the criminal acquire this dysfunction? When did the deformation manifest into criminality and how do we know that? Where can this be absolutely, without question, and with anatomically forensic precision, show the organic defect?

Of course these can’t be answered with unconditional certainty. We call these assertions “opinions” based on theory and not hard facts of science. We’re very arrogant at pontificating some specious notion after the crime has occurred. Once the criminal has been exposed and identified, it’s awfully easy to say he or she fits a particular template. Alleged criminal “profilers” are pretty good at such fortune telling. And, so are “scientists” who claim there is a mental defect in that particular person due to their DNA’s deformation. If so, then how does one prove that beyond any doubt?

But, does that suspected defect fit the scheme for several hundred million other people in the U.S. or North America? Or, on a global perspective, can the same condition be found in six billion people? If one proselytizes an organic manifestation that “curses” a person toward criminality, then it is highly probable we all have it in the DNA of the human species. Does that mean we’re all doomed to commit crimes? The answer should always be a resounding negative response to such conjecture. Absent definitive evidence, a theory remains a theory. Not only that, but we ought to consider carefully any inclination, temptations or desire to leap to hasty conclusions.

We need to “disrespect”, that is to be skeptical, and show contempt if necessary, toward proclamations of seemingly foolhardy conjecture. The skeptic inquirer should raise objections every time some “expert” claims an easy solution to the complexity of individual human thinking. Unsubstantiated “proofs” with key words such as “maybe”, “might” and so on, ought to be red flags indicating the murder mystique in mystical thinking. Likewise, caution signals us to be wary of assertions that replicate the kind of hygienic thinking that led to the genocides of the previous century.

The many collusions of magical thinking should provoke our investigative inquisitiveness to defy attempts to impute physiological-psychological-sociological determinism upon people. Humans are not robots, hardwired and programed to do this or that. Common sense relevance, coupled with rational checks and balances, should ensure careful scrutiny regarding so called “scientific findings”, as related to criminality. Subjective validation works to convince us of our own bias. In the ongoing studies of things like DNA, along with the speculations in “psychology of neuroscience”, reason must prevail. We want to stay on the trail of the definitive evidence.

To that end, we continue to search for provability in the cause-effect processes of human thinking. From a criminological viewpoint, as it pertains to investigative progressions, one must be cognizant as much as possible for the trajectory of causation. Some legal practitioners have suggested the necessity of taking a more pragmatic approach. That is, instead of relying on the “why”, which may remain elusive, we focus on the “what”. The nature of what happened, the criminality, is significant. In the criminal continuum, illicit activity is contrived from within the individual.

For his or her purposes of self-satisfaction, conceptualization of malevolent actions streams from a framework of forms, images and associated personal ideations. The crime he or she chooses is the necessity of focus and subsequent retribution. A complexity of psycho-dynamic factors comes to bear in the perpetration of the individual’s selected deviance. From the fabrication of abnormal intentions, for the sake of personal satiation, one can very easily make the trek from ideation to commission. If opportunities present themselves, then possibilities provide choices to be made. By our own willful ideated framework, the dangerousness unfolds. Continued fascination manifests along a transition through a personal process of risk analysis and cost evaluation.

As the fabrication, or fantasy, delves into deeper consideration, evaluation gives way with every instant of thought to a decision-making juncture. The formulation of which culminates in the visualization of the actions necessary to one’s purposes. From aims to actuality, a person’s self-interests envision the probability of successful conclusion. Many mental scenarios could be practiced over and over, or may culminate in the necessity of immediate action. A “game plan” might undergo several changes or none at all. Implementation is under the control of the perpetrator.

As a result, the intention to carry out the “mission” is influenced by the gain potential compared against the risks involved. Along the way, one decides to do or do not, maybe in a split second, as the offense is calculated. One pursues a logical frame of reference. Such is a kind of “cost-benefit” scrutiny in weighing the advantage against the jeopardy. We all do this in every aspect of wakefulness. People are neither predisposed to violence, nor programmed for peacefulness by what they are exposed to, or consume. We are what we are for what we want at a moment in time and the space we occupy.

Each can go either way, depends on what we “think” we need to deal in our confrontation with life versus death. At the juncture of the “psychic crossroad” a decision must be made by the criminal. Now, he or she must decide, make choices and consider the value to him or her. The conspiratorial objective continues, unless interrupted by some intervening force. As it unfolds, a suitable target has been selected and the plan begins to fall into place. At any point, the criminal can choose not to do the crime. To say that one is prone by some precursor, or whatever mystical illusion, would mean he or she must do it no matter what. And yet, that is not the case.

People simply aren’t machines like computers, but we use those kinds of metaphors. Organic processes, living breathing human beings, change in diverse ways. Physiological structures, and psychological manifestations, alter over time. Targets of criminal opportunity are part of the crime causation continuum based on thinking. As such, they are chosen for the value to the culprit. Value, materiality, or gain, doesn’t have to be something tangible. It can be abstract, as well as concrete, in terms of what it means to the killer or a thief. Of which, we find them in every social strata. Essentially, the criminal nature within the individual is driven by chooses. Once you cross that fine line, you’re thinking has trespassed upon the boundaries of others.

The next step is to implement one’s criminal strategy. Where a bank robber “takes down” the teller station from the outside in, the bank executive manipulates the system from within. In a “hierarchy” of criminal behavior, skill sets run the spectrum of every socio-political-economic infrastructure. To focus on some alleged elemental forces outside the control of the criminal is to chase a flying bird of theoretical misunderstanding. But, then some take the conception of deterministic forces and place them inside the perpetrator. That comes in the form of so called “predisposition”, as in the “neurological” search for the “hardwire” of the brain. Some of us seem to want one definitive answer that fits every situation. That’s not possible.

Historic horrors of eugenics and social hygiene come to mind, when you attempt to find “causative factors” in the biological nature of a person. And, if magically you were able to conjure such an explanation, then what? Those found to have such a precursor get a number tattooed on the body? Or, they have to wear a special identification tag? To provide such typical excuses for criminality is to perpetuate the mythological fascination of a single theory solution. Morphological approaches to criminal causation perpetuate the mystique that somehow criminals are biologically inferior to non-criminals.

In the application of critical thinking, you know, do the “math”, does that make sense in the scheme of reality? What does the evidence show in terms of specificity and validity? Biological theories regarding criminality are not new. And in spite of the discovery of DNA in the last century, we still can’t find the “crime gene”. To assert a biological defect or biological inferiority is a scary notion. None the less, atavistic approaches of over a century ago have been revisited. Today, from a slightly altered perspective but from the same framework, we are still hunting a bio-explanation.

Everything from chromosomes to heredity has been suggested to answer the ultimate unanswerable question, “why?” Typically, simplistic “solution factors” come in the aftermath of horrific acts of criminal behavior. That doesn’t help much in terms of early interdiction in stopping the crime before it happens. Also, saying that a person was “sick”, a “monster”, or “evil”, explains nothing in relation to cause and effect. What would be more effective is to stop whining about excuses. Instead, refocus our thinking from narcissistic collusion with victimizers, and ensure the certainty of accountability for irresponsible behaviors. Unlawful behavior at any level cannot be tolerated.

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