The Motivation of the Las Vegas Killer – a Theory

October 8, 2017

The Theory

About 5:45 this morning a theory suddenly occurred to me concerning the motivation of the Las Vegas killer, namely: he was bored with life. He was bored and he was an atheist and he realized that his life was coming to an end anyway and that only sickness and suffering and more boredom awaited him. He had enjoyed gambling and had won so much that it too had become boring. And so he decided just to go out in a blaze of glory like a brilliant light bulb. He cared enough for his girl friend only to get her far away from his parting masterpiece.* “Why not?”, he asked himself (as I imagine here), “why not just do it? Just go all the way and do it? I’m going to be dead anyway before you know it. Just do it!”

* For a comparison see Something Good In Hitler?

The atheist element meant that nothing meant anything anyway, at least not in any objective sense; and subjective values were totally meaningless (à la Bundy). He was old enough to probably start having the aches and pains that belong to old age and which preview death, and could sense the painful end approaching.

And like Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, he felt the world was “not worth leave-taking” and so he did not even bother to explain himself to those remaining. If human lives were worthless and meaningless, even so were human judgments worthless and meaningless.

For more on the theoretical outlook of an atheist see: Discussions between Christians and atheists.

A Personal Note

I remember a time in my own life when I felt that life was totally meaningless and an unhappy waste. This must have been about 45 years ago. I don’t remember the circumstances that led to this depression. I do remember fantasizing about driving a panel truck down Peachtree St. (Atlanta’s main drag) and throwing money out the back (and I would imagined I had an accomplice to do the driving) and then when people would stream out into the street to get the money I would shoot them with a machine gun. This frustrated and low point in my life lasted about 6 months, I am guessing. I would bet, but am not sure, that this came to an end when, inspired by a friend of mine (CM), I suddenly decided to stop drugs and promiscuity and to return to the church.

A Perspective

This crime in Las Vegas has been described as “pure evil” by the American president. It’s worth a moment to realize that per both Jesus and Kant the evil lies not in the action as rather in the motivation and principle of the action. For example and accordingly, Hitler is not evil because he caused the murder of millions of Jews and gypsies and other groups, but because he was willing to murder even one of these. Consider: a man goes looking for an enemy to murder, but does not find that person and so commits no murder. Yet in his heart he is guilty of murder and would be so counted in a moral court (as opposed to a legal court).

Author contact: pmr#$, replacing #$ with @

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October 2017

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