Notes on murder aversion

The following is a comment that I left on this old Sequences post. It was a new insight and seems important enough to record. I have a bit more of a glimpse of the lenses that some of the “evil” / anti-social / not socially controlled people have. I’m going to try and get more of that lens, soon, but I’m not going to do that now, for safety and caution reasons.

The very fact that a religious person would be afraid of God withdrawing Its threat to punish them for committing murder, shows that they have a revulsion of murder which is independent of whether God punishes murder or not.  If they had no sense that murder was wrong independently of divine retribution, the prospect of God not punishing murder would be no more existentially horrifying than the prospect of God not punishing sneezing.

Well, not necessarily.

They may not have a revulsion to murdering, so much as a fear of being murdered. A religious person might (semi-correctly? incorrectly?) be modeling that if other people didn’t believe that God would punish murder, then they (that religious person) is more likely to be killed.

But most people don’t make appropriate map / territory distinctions, and so “it would be bad if other people believed that God doesn’t punishes murder” gets collapsed to “it would be bad if God doesn’t punish murder.”

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