Killing en masse, in a group

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does the "group" refer to the group of victims? Or refer to the group of our soldiers (with whom "I" killed the victims)?

Thanks in advance

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Consider the following account of a Soviet soldier in Afghanistan: "It's frightening and unpleasant to have to kill, you think, but you soon realize that what you really find objectionable is shooting someone point-blank. Killing en masse, in a group, is exciting, even—and I've seen this myself—fun."35 This is not to say that no one has ever enjoyed killing people up close; it is just that we all recognize that such enjoyment requires an unusual degree of callousness to the suffering of others.

-Sam Harris' The End of Faith
 
  • NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Thank you.

    Did the Soviet soldier mean that killing an individual is objectionable while killing en masse is an enjoyment?
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If that is "enjoyment" then I wonder what their amusement parks are like.

    What is not clear to me is if "Killing en masse, in a group," has "a group" reiterating the "en masse" or if it is a group that is killing others en masse.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    If that is "enjoyment" then I wonder what their amusement parks are like.

    What is not clear to me is if "Killing en masse, in a group," has "a group" reiterating the "en masse" or if it is a group that is killing others en masse.
    Yeah. It is the same question that I've put in the OP. I believe Grassy made the judgement in #2 on purely logical reasons.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Yeah. It is the same question that I've put in the OP. I believe Grassy made the judgement in #2 on purely logical reasons.
    If there was some reference to "herd mentality", "group mentality" or "gang mentality" I would agree absolutely. Otherwise it still seems ambiguous.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I read it as repetition. I didn't read it as meaning being one soldier in a group of killers. However, we don't know that the Russian soldier spoke in English and French, so it is difficult to be sure of what he meant.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Thank you.

    Did the Soviet soldier mean that killing an individual is objectionable while killing en masse is an enjoyment?
    Exactly that.

    As Voltaire said 400 years ago: "It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."
     
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