Violence and personal morality

When two people shoot up a center for the disabled, we immediately call them immoral. Because how could someone with a moral code do something so horrible, right? Wrong. Most violence in the world is motivated by personal morality. It’s just different than most other people’s, but it’s still morality.

The general pattern we saw in the cases we studied was that violence was intended to regulate social relationships and sustain a moral order. The perpetrators are in control of their actions—they know they are hurting fellow human beings, and that is exactly what they intend to do.

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