8 thoughts on “I Laughed; I Cried; I Laughed Some More

  1. Well, I hope it stays available, because it’s pretty dang insightful. Watching those folks squirm was, on the one hand, very funny. On the other hand, they did seem to feel a great deal of compassion for women who have abortions, so I’m not sure why their compassion doesn’t allow them empathy as well. Very strange.

  2. Yeah…it was strange. Lots of talk of ‘punishment,’ not much talk of ‘consequences.’ And lots of deference to people/institutions/beings percieved as in charge. “I’m not a lawyer” “Leave it to society” “God will decide,” and so on.

    I thought the woman in red near the end was the most consistent. The movement being not about leveraging punishment, but providing censure and acting as a deterrent. I can sympathize with understand the structure, even though I don’t agree with the content. We embrace legality as clear moral shortcut – this thing is WRONG (whether or not you are actually caught, punished, rehabilitated, or what have you) because it is illegal; it is illegal in the first place because it is WRONG. It’s not quite so circular an argument as it reads, but its effects are certainly that cyclical (that is, for the more well-developed arguments, the first wrong is that of breaking a law, regardless of any greater moral value placed on the act; ‘trivial wrong’ as it were. The wrong in the latter part is that ‘greater moral value,’ which is being expressed in the form of law either so everyone will know what we think about it (see also: much civil rights and hate crime legislation), or because everyone knows it’s wrong and we want to punish those who transgress. In both situations, you get feedback until it’s hard to disentangle the two, particularly if you want to amend the law or abolish it entirely.)

    Hmm. I don’t even know if it was a lack of empathy so much. There seemed to be much of submission to authority in there than anything else. They had compassion, which might have blossomed into empathy or sympathy… but they felt they were told what to do by someone/something they had to obey, and that was more important. But because they felt sorry for the people (or something on that spectrum of feeling), they didn’t want to leverage harsh punishments… they just wanted their authority figures to deal with it the same way they were giving out instructions.

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