Thought of the Day: The “God Complex”

I woke up early and found myself watching a series about serial killers on Netflix.

Then I thought: “Do we have serial killers anymore?”

It seems like the internet has ruined our patience. If a serial killer was wreaking havoc somewhere, we probably wouldn’t give a shit. “Where’s the next school shooting?” we’d think.

In the age of terrorism and teenage gunmen, the psychopaths have come to favor mass killing over the slow burn moral panic that is generated from serial killing. It’s either that or mass killings are just more effective at capturing the public imagination.

Mind you, it’s probably not fair to compare serial killing to mass shooters. Or perhaps it is, I don’t know. Mass shooting seem to be (mostly) committed by angry young men, while serial killers are (mostly) middle-aged men acting out a perverse sexual desire. If there’s any overlapping between the two, I’d say it’s the “God Complex” that the perpetrators possess…or getting to choose who lives and dies.

What generates this God Complex is a various mixture of mental illness, social isolation, desire for infamy, and so on.

Now I feel like I’m always beating this horse to death, but I think it’s a horse that still needs beating: this is why the message from likes of Jordan Peterson are shit. It compares life to Wagnerian Opera, where beasts must be slayed and we must see our will triumph. That becomes the only method of self-fulfillment.

It devalues others. (Or let Chapo Trap House’s Matt Christman explain:)

These views that Peterson champions foster distrust of others. And in our age of mass killing and gun violence, they only contribute to a deranged ideology of life as a battle that needs conquering. He isn’t helping angry young men, he’s contributing to delusions that lead to a God Complex.

An alternative method of undoing this is described by Christman…where we HAVE to reach out to others, and not turn our focus inward (and realize that our struggles are mostly material, but that’s a different story). But in this “objective/subjective” relation that people are referring to…we want to believe that our understanding of the Self is the only form of “objective” knowledge that we can possess. I won’t go so far as to call that “bullshit”, but conceptions of the Self are just as constructed as most things in the “outer world”. That’s scary…that the Self isn’t “real”…but it’s the grasping onto the Self that causes a disconnect with “otherness”.

Anyways, perhaps more on that later.

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