Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Who's responsible

In this our culture and society based on instant gratification and quick fixes, people seem to have forgotten the most basic rules of behavior and sense of personal responsibility. We've all been hearing for years that music, movies, cartoons, violent TV programming, R or X rated media objectifying women and so forth, will warp the minds of the young or impressionable and cause them to behave in an antisocial manner. There are others that will espouse the idea that early experiences such as abuse, physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect, can cause people to develop behaviors and social disabilities that make them incapable of behaving normally or being held responsible for their actions.

Now while I realize that there are extreme cases where some people are unable to deal with certain experiences and do truly have an illness or disability of the psyche, these are few and far between in comparison to the sheer mass of humanity that every day points the finger in reaction to having done something they know to be wrong. Also in order for us to all be on the same page as far as definitions go here; as far as I'm concerned there is nothing wrong with actions provided they hurt no one. If you want to sit in your apartment with the lights off and abuse yourself with drugs or scarification or any of a remarkable variety of harmful activities we've come up with to distract ourselves from reality, I couldn't care less. Something is only a crime if you're impugning upon someone else's happiness or well being, or through erratic or irrational behavior creating an environment that is unsafe to others.

On that note, someone that DOES drugs, *(come clean there are enough of you that have recreational habits that aren't necessarily harmful to anyone but aren't socially acceptable)* isn't committing any crime in my book, but someone manufactures with the intent to sell or sells knowingly where it might reach kids is definitely committing a crime against society. And should be fully aware of that and be prepared to deal with the consequences if caught instead of whining that his parents never loved him\her.

To expand on this social theory, anyone who goes about making excuses for their behavior in order to escape punishment should then waive any future right to play a part in decision making for their lives. They've as much as admitted that they are incapable of making proper decisions on their own, so they should have their rights to make those decisions stripped from them and be under 24 hour surveillance with restrictions so tight to be just short of marionettes.

But the greater point of this is that there is a universal sense of right and wrong that there is demonstrative evidence that we're born with. A child that is abused, although they have no frame of reference with which to compare their experiences, knows that what is happening to them is wrong. Quite often they attempt to justify it to themselves by creating things that they have done wrong to deserve the treatment they receive, but ultimately they understand that there is something wrong about the behavior that their abuser is exhibiting. So if we're BORN with this sense of right and wrong, and we all are provided with the same choices at one point or another, hit him in the head with a hammer or not? Go buy a gun and shoot someone to death with it or not? How is it that there is a prevailing belief that certain types of media can influence people to make poor or irrational decisions. In other words, how is to be believed that if these people making poor decisions ARE being effected by this media, how could we trust them to have a firm grasp on reality in the first place? How does it mitigate the fact that they had a chance to make a good or bad decision, and they consciously chose to make the poor one that resulted in the discomfort or death of someone else.

The reason that I feel as strongly about this as I do is that I didn't have a stellar childhood myself. I have experienced, emotional, and physical abuse and lived in fear of my living environment for much of my childhood. But I came out of it with a clear picture in my head of what is right and what is wrong and a sense of personal responsibility to adhere to my own sense of morals and code of honor. That someone else could come away from a similar experience and decide that that gives them leeway to commit crimes or exhibit empirically antisocial behavior is anathema to me. The very idea that someone would use that, or anything else for that matter, as an excuse for their poor decision making casts doubt on their worthiness to breathe, and doesn't cause me to feel pity or remorse for them. Moreover that is the easiest and fastest way to lose my respect and earn my enmity.

So at the end, what I'm trying to say at large is that we all need to take responsibility for what we say and do every day. Thinking about doing something is perfectly normal, everyone has a dark side that peeks it's head out every once in a while, and denying it won't do any good. But having conscious control over behavior and understanding the difference between right and wrong is what defines humanity. If someone is unable to live up to that, they shouldn't be allowed that luxury of being defined as human, and should be relegated to a cage like the rest of the refuse of society.

Listen to death metal, watch horror movies and cartoons all you want. But when it comes time to pull the trigger or sell the drugs, just remember, you are the only excuse you'll ever have.


At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Deep and thought provoking. And TRUE! We as people all have the ability to make good and bad decisions. I have made good and bad desicions myself. The good ones made me happy and the bad ones I chalk up to life lessons well learned. However, as an adult no and continueing on the course of life, I realize now what I didn't then and that is we create our own luck, destiny and future on the choices we make on a daily basis no matter what plays on TV, the movies, or games that are played. BTW......ya mispelled often.


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