Why Do People Kill People?

Why do people kill people? I asked this question once when I was a kid and as far as I can remember the only answer I got was from my dad, “Because of unbearable hate. Only hatred and anger can do such thing.”. And so I was being introduced to the concept of killing for the first time, watching my first action movie in the TV. But the answer I got couldn’t really make any sense to my young self. Well, to be honest, it still can’t.

Murder is everywhere, in movies, TV news and even in our cities. We even know, some governments in this world justify killing criminals with death sentence. The most frightening thing for me is, even courts make mistake in deciding who’s guilty or not — and a piece of my humble opinion is, it’s never a human act to take’s someone soul and there’s always consequences for it. No, I don’t think about the juridical consequences, they are merely human made. I’m thinking more of the natural consequences, the impact of it on us if we do kill our fellow humans.

“Cain kills Abel” by Peter Paul Rubens | http://www.fmanha.com.br

The first murderer to be known in human history is Adam’s son, Cain. He killed his brother, Abel, and the voice of his brother’s blood is crying to God from the ground. He was then cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive his brother’s blood from his hand. When he works the ground, it shall no longer yield to him its strength. He shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth. Cain plead, admitting that his punishment is greater than he can bear. Well, I agree that the price one pays for killing someone is “being a wanderer”, you would constantly running away from your conscious and humanity. I think, it’d be so unbearably hard to live that way. The punishment is indeed greater than anyone can bear.

Funnily, in addition to that, I really have the urge to quote a conversation from today’s pop culture. It’s about the creation of Horcrux from Harry Potter stories.

Tom Riddle: “And how exactly does one split his soul?

Horace Slughorn: “Well, you must understand that the soul is supposed to remain intact and whole. Splitting it is an act of violation, it is against nature.

Tom Riddle: “But how do you do it?

Horace Slughorn: “By an act of evil — the supreme act of evil. By committing murder. Killing rips the soul apart.

I agree with the metaphor killing rips the soul apart, I think this describes it best. How can you killing someone without hurting your sense of humanity? There’s always a part of you becomes damaged when you take someone’s life. A life which is just as significant as anyone else’s, by the way. Despite of the differences of our income, job, education, skin color, belief, origin, sexual orientation, etc… we are all just equally humans, vulnerable and mortal. We only pass by, for a little time called a lifetime, in this world.

Back then when I read the said conversation for the first time, I thought to my self how far we as human have alienated from the true nature of killing: cruel and evil.


We hear of and see it everyday, either on screen or live. We’ve became so used with it. It’s no longer a big deal hearing a large number of people killed in a war somewhere in a faraway land or watching a security to be shot dead in a bank robbery in a movie — don’t get me started on Game of Thrones where death is such a daily bread.

I think the biggest massacre in the US last Sunday has shocked everyone worldwide, not only Americans or LGBT community. And I think it’s another strike for us to rethink and reflect more deeper on our humanity. Let’s not be dulled and don’t close our eyes. Be it a terror attack or a hate crime, murder always offends our humanity and is a shock to our core as humans. Why do people kill people?

Orlando shooting, last Sunday morning in Orlando, US | http://www.mercurynews.com
Another massacre – same grief (Attentat du 13 Novembre 2015, Paris) | http://www.goforshakedown.com
“Die-In,” a human representation of the potential casualties in a U.S.-Iraq war during The Regional Convergence Against the War in Oakland, January 2003 | http://www.cs.cmu.edu

Featured Picture “Killing Lincoln”, 2013  www.ew.com

8 thoughts on “Why Do People Kill People?

  1. It was quite painful watching the news updates of the Orlando massacre and it really does make you wonder how people kill so easily. People seem to now no longer realise the gravity of taking someone’s life

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hai, E.. Salam kenal. Saya juga E (for Emmy)..hehehe..
    What a coincidence..( though I don’t believe me in coincidence) that I came across this post.. The question “why do people kill people?” has been lingering in my mind since I was a kid.. My next question is that do other living things like animals kill for hatred too? I don’t think so.. Well, I don’t know from sure..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, other E, salam kenal 🙂

      Just like you, I don’t believe in coincidence. Nice to have you around, I really appreciate the follow.

      I think humans≠animals. We have our human instinct, they have their animal instinct. Predators kill for food, as far as I can recall to my biology class. The one thing we have in common with predator animals is, we prey other animal for food. In our modern days tough, we raise livestock and animals still go on hunting.

      – E.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I still have the same question! I think we have to ask a real murderer? *seriously*
        Human instinct moves us to protect ourselves, not to kill intendedly. Hmpf, human psychology is so complicated and delicate. Any bad thing in our life (esp. childhood) can twist, bend and break us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s