This seems true to me. I would be hard pressed to think of a situation
in which I would resort to violence unless my survival were threatened.
But on the other hand, if you told me I could kill you and take all your
property and have to pay no penalties for this (other than wrestling with
my guilty conscience) then I might begin to entertain such thoughts.
Interestingly enough if there is *no* possibility of penalties
(i.e. the golden rule gets exempted), then it would only be rational
for me to kill you if you happen to have more resources at your disposal
than I do. In fact it is rational to kill you up until the point
that the benefits that I derive from doing so become less than
the effort that it takes to do so. Interesting that a "rational"
argument can result in immoral actions if you eliminate the
self-interest of being treated morally.
If we look at the examples of gay or race bashing they almost always
involve a majority ganging up on a minority. Three white men tying
a black man to the back of a truck and dragging him to death???
Sounds like both a numbers and a technology advantage (or at least
technology that distances you from actually getting your hands dirty).
What was irrational here was whatever pursuaded them to think they
would get away with it.
None of this has anything to do with rational or irrational... you are talking about logical or illogical.
In order for it to be a rational situation there would have to be a reason for the men to tie the victim up and drag him to his death.
There is no sane reason for this, so carrying out the action because they felt they could not get caught was making a logical decision based on an irrational situation.