Justus, are you actually arguing that something can be done that is NOT the result of a primitive impulse?
Name. One. Thing.
Again, you attempt to remove responsibility (and morality) for violent behavior by reducing it to a latent impulse of a beast. Motives and conditioning are real factors in many violent crimes without question, and when that conditioning occurs with a set of circumstances which did not exist as option or influence back in the tail-hanging days, then you must look beyond such a simple explanation of people "just" being monkeys.
For example, Manson's calculations were clearly born out of a complex society unknown to animal or early, hairy/knuckle-dragging man; his combination of sophisticated mind control (over "the Family"), the theory of using terrorism to inspire his enemies to act in the way he desired, incorporation of a kind mysticism to unnerve the establishment long disassociated with it (on a larger scale), and being perceptive enough to play all of that to fears of every side he sought to exploit is more than a simple animalistic act. Make no mistake: murder was merely the necessary vehicle used to light the fire & move the chesspieces, not the beginning and end of it all--which instantly takes his behavior and case beyond your basic animal explanation.
Man thinks. Man has options to not be forced into doing a thing for basic survival, which opens the door to awareness and responsibility for anything we choose to do. I've certainly seen enough violent men and women (personally and professionally) to know that the man is sure as Hell a creature of deliberation as well, not just some present day manifestation of Stevenson's Hyde.
I can make all kinds of plans for the perfect date with the perfect girl who I like for a lot of complicated reasons, but the fact is I'm just an ape trying to eat and screw, period.
All we do is BUILD on our basic impulses.
Even a dandelion tries to make the whole world just like it. Just like Manson.
And dogs hunt in packs with extremely complex division of labor to kill their prey. Just like Manson.
"Responsibility" is just our way of SUBDUING the ever-present "animal impulse", nothing more.
And Jekle and Hyde is an excellent illustration of the duality of the human/ape dichotomy.
D. Dayton, so "pure evil" is simply going against the admittedly ever-changing morals of an ever-changing society?
I'd agree, except I agree to illustrate that there IS no "pure evil". Only differences of opinion.
We ALL kill to live.
Everything else pales in comparison to that most un-Original Sin.