This is disturbing:
One of the main prerequisites to a complete human being is the ability to feel empathy–the ability to relate to the suffering of another living being. When you lack that ability, you’re missing a component that is crucial to your development.
Seven-year-old kids do stupid things on occasion. They lack the ability to consider consequences, and that’s why we don’t let them vote, drink, or buy firearms. I’m pretty sure, however, that even at that age, I was keenly aware of the suffering I could cause in other creatures, and that I have never killed anything just for the sake of killing it. I’ve certainly never felt joy at killing anything, even if it was a pest insect.
Is the ability to feel empathy a part of one’s genetic makeup, a learned ability, or a bit of both? Is this kid just irreversibly broken, a schoolyard thug and serial killer in larval stage, or did his parents simply screw up? Do we all start out as vicious and unempathic little animals?