Metaphysics Modus Operandi - Psychology Behind Signature Of A Killer

Discussion in 'Metaphysics' started by cmdrkeenkid, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. cmdrkeenkid

    cmdrkeenkid New Member

    So in philosphy class only a few hours ago we were discussing the idea of beauty, from Kant's point of view. Basically it can be ssummarized using his words, "Taste is the ability to judge an object, or a way of presenting it, by means of a liking or disliking devoid of all interest. The object of such a liking is called beautiful."

    The way that I interperet this is that in order to do that you could have to disregard all moral conventions or obligations, since those would affect your ability to judge an object being that they can cause you to automatically like or dislike the object.

    In class today though we were discussing beauty in art. It was a bit hard to discuss, since again people's predetermined ideas of what is art were already in their heads. But I tried taking the most objective viewpoint I could. I decided that art is anything that anyone can see as beautiful and is created either through natural causes or by man. For example, art could be mountains or a sunset, or art could be a painting or a skyscraper. From here I somehow, in a way which is still unclear to myself at the moment, made the leap that the murders of serial killers is an art form.

    Please, don't write me off as a psycho and stop reading! Hell, if you've made it this far and know what I'm talking about, thanks! Keep in mind I said I was taking the most objective standpoint I could come up with.

    I didn't bring forth this though in class because of A) I hadn't thought about it enough and 2) I didn't want people to just write me off as a psycho, moreso than they probably already have. So I have no in-class discussion to relate to now.

    Okay, back to serial killers now... But what they do, disregarding all moral conventions and obligations, is creating a work of art. For example, in the movie "se7en" the serial killer is murdering people who break the Seven Deadly Sins from the Bible. To him it is beautiful and it is art. And, according to my objective viewpoint, since one person is able to see it as beautiful and art that does make the object (Yes, I am objectifying murder for the sake of arguement) intrinsically beautiful.

    So, still disregarding all moral conventions and obligations, from a highly objective viewpoint, one would have to say that the art of serial killers is just that: art!

    Any thoughts, ideas, anything?
  2. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member

    Sick...but accurate.

    I see the truth in your comments.

    I remember an interview with Ted Bundy before he was executed. The reporter was trying to get a sense of the womens fear, trying to get Bundy to acknowledge the human aspect of his crimes. Bundy could care less, all he wanted to talk about was the methodology he employed from start to finish. Preparing the car, picking a victim, cuffs, rope, a place to dump the body, etc.

    Bundy took great pride in his ability to plan and execute. He noted that the women were not the issue it was the process. When the reporter tried to press him about the women - Bundy said that the women were irrelevant and that the reporter was missing the bigger picture.

    I have never forgot that interview. Bundy saw his crimes as a "work of art" for lack of a better term and couldn't fathom why people weren't more interested in that aspect instead of the women.

    Interesting subject to say the least,
  3. cmdrkeenkid

    cmdrkeenkid New Member

    Yeah, that's exactly like what I'm talking about. I'm not in any way saying I support or advocate this as an art form.
  4. Zsandmann

    Zsandmann Premium Member

    I can see how a twisted mind could see something like this that requires so much intricate preperation and work as art, but my mind cant process the act. I cant rationalize any disorder that could cause someone to be able to completely seperate themselves from the people they will hurt. *shivers*
  5. cmdrkeenkid

    cmdrkeenkid New Member

    It is sick, I agree... But they're just suffering from a psychological disorder, in most cases. How many "great" artists suffered from one of those? A fair majority, I believe.
  6. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member

    The Black Dahlia is a great example of a killer who saw the woman as a canvas to be utilized. The dissection of her body, the manner in which it was displayed lead one (if you can suspend morality and empathy) to conclude that her killer was creating something he found to be esthetically pleasing and beautiful.

    Black Dahlia

    This link does not have any of the crime scene photos - I didn't they'd be appropriate but it does give some background.

  7. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Premium Member

    So how far can you go with this line of thinking. Would the attack on the WTC be a thing of beauty from a purely "successful act of terrorism" point of view?
  8. Zsandmann

    Zsandmann Premium Member

    Erg *blink, blink* I cant do it, I cant rationalize this as art, Im beginning to twich from anxiety.
  9. amantine

    amantine Premium Member

    I think the problem can be solved by distinguishing between beautiful and good. By 'beautiful' I mean cmdrkeenkid's definition and by 'good' I mean morally good. A piece (or act) of art can still be wrong in your eyes, even if it is beautiful. I added 'in your eyes', because I'm quite sure that everyone has different moral rules.

    I do think that it is good if art explores the limits of morality, of what should and shouldn't be allowed. I'll tell you about the work of two artists, although I forgot the names of both of them.

    The first is a Chinese artist who made a video installation which showed him beating a cat's corpse to a bloody pulp. The cat died of natural causes before the recording of the video. Should this be allowed? Honestly, I think it should, because I don't think a corpse has any value over dirt. If you think there is a difference in value, I ask you: where do you draw the line between corpse and dirt?

    The second is an, I believe Serbian, artist who used real crime-scene pictures in his exhibitions. It was of course horrible to watch, but is it wrong to show these pictures? Are they still art if most people find them repugnant?
  10. monkeipeg

    monkeipeg New Member

    Couldn't anything deemed immoral be considered beautiful? It's all in the opinion.
  11. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

    The telephone was broken. I've never seen this picture before I was told about it. So I'm seeing it for the first time, not sure about you people but I know /Future Corpse/ has the man on the RIGHT on his avatar.

    What can you say about that photograph?
  12. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member

    :( Are you going to flame me if I say that the photo is an excellent example of beauty in that it is powerful and moving?

  13. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

    No I'm not here to Flame. :) There's something about this photograph. To me this is not a beautiful photograph, but a good one.

    What's on your mind?
  14. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member


    Like I mentioned in my earlier post - I find the picture powerful and moving. This in and of itself makes it beautiful, similar to watching a hurricane, a tornado, a cobra ready to strike - deadly.

    I don't see it in terms of right or wrong, especially because I know the back story surrounding shooting. I see the picture as one man taking another man's life - human nature at it's most basic and primitive - revenge.

    Now remember you promised to be nice.
  15. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    There are plenty of war pictures from the US civil war that are regarded as pieces of are because they show the suffering of the soilders and families of the war. I think a piece of art is beautiful when it is abel to convay an image stronger than you could using words to discribe the same thing.

  16. DeusEx

    DeusEx Member

    That picture tells a story, and because of that, it is beautiful. SHould you know the history behind it, it is actually a picture of a man suspected of being a VC operative being executed by a South Vietnamese police officer. It's a story that should be told, which gives it value.

  17. cmdrkeenkid

    cmdrkeenkid New Member

    Why does something have to have "value" to be beautiful?
  18. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    Because if nobody wants it, then it isnt beautiful. A weed has no value, and is not considered beautiful. However, if someone decides they do want weeds in their garden, then the weed has value to them, and is now beautiful to them.

  19. Zsandmann

    Zsandmann Premium Member

    Agreed, an image, no matter what its physical source is taken because it ment something. Its the meaning that holds the artistic quality. Its like looking into someone mind at that moment and seeing what they were thinking.
  20. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member

    Does it have to have value?

    Let's go back to serial killers. There is no value in the butchering of another human yet we have established that beauty can be found in their methodology or killing signature.

    What about a nuclear blast? Amazing beautiful, but there is absolutely no good or value to it.