"In our preferred world of liberal democracy, tolerance for diversity and distributive justice, violence - especially extreme forms of mass bloodshed - are generally considered pathological or evil expressions of human nature gone awry, or a collateral result of good intentions. Not so, argue Fiske and Rai...Building on earlier ground-breaking work on the fundamental forms of social relationships in all cultures, the authors show that the most sustained and consequential forms of human violence - across history and cultures - result from beliefs that it is right and necessary to hurt and suffer harm, to die and kill, to protect and foster those relationships. Through compelling analyses ranging from primeval forms of human sacrifice to contemporary torture, ancient wars to medieval jousts, contact sports to gang fights, violent revolutions to suicide terrorism and mass murder, Virtuous Violence lays bare the moral motives for murderous passions, as a sort of evolutionary impetus to manage the interpersonal and intergroup interactions upon which societies depend, often aided by gods, spirits and abstract causes to which no creature but man is subject." 

-Scott Atran, Anthropologist and author of Talking to the enemy

Selected Popular Press Articles:

Our enemies are human. That's why we want to kill them. Behavioral Scientist. link

How could they? People resort to violence because their moral codes demand it. Aeon. link

Violence for goodness' sake. New Scientist. link

The myth that mental illness causes mass shootings. Behavioral Scientist. link

Selected Press Coverage: 

The New York Times. White Riot: How racism, grievance, resentment, and the fear of diminished status came together to fuel violence and mayhem on Jan 6.  Edsall, T. link

The Moral Science Podcast. Morality is relationship regulation. Cazell, A. (Host). link

The New Yorker. The root of all cruelty? Bloom, P. link

National Public Radio. How moral belief systems can be a cause of violence. Ferrett, R. link

Edge. People kill because its the right thing to do. O'Donnell, J. link

The Guardian. Can violence be moral? Nussbaum, D. & Power, S. link

National Public Radio. When good people kill. Lehrer, B. link