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DEATH INSTINCT

A term for the irrational desire for destruction and death and, when joined with pleasure, is a morbid drive for pain. It partly explains why some people commit suicide. It also helps to explain the nihilistic tendency in certain modern movements that exhibit a positive genius for destroying what may have taken centuries to build in religious or secular society.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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