Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Can you Give It to Them?

I was reminded, in a roundabout way, of Churchill's famous dictum, that the "truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." What brought this to mind was an article by the BBC (whose link I had lost and isn't important anyway) about a father who raped his infant daughter.

They gave him life in prison.

He had filmed it and kept it on his computer.

They should have killed him.

Life is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of death.

6 Comments:

OpenID bruce-church said...

Leaving open the question of whether the guy was/is insane, is child rape as bad or worse than FGM? Would you kill off the billion people who practice FGM, too? With this kind of justice, we could depopulate entire parts of the globe.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Prof. Roger Kovaciny said...

Another stupid comment by the inane Bruce-Church, but it allows me to mention that when the insanity defense was first introduced it was restricted to people who were as incapable of judging their actions as, quote, "a brute beast." There is no such thing as temporary insanity, just temporary loss of control by people who then should be punished so that others will not give up control.

If you'd line up every murderer who pleaded "temporary insanity" as a defense it would make it a lot easier for the firing squad.

Bruce-Church, however, can't plead insanity--just stupidity. The man filmed it on a computer.

Nothing I have said should be construed to support FGM, which I wouldn't bother saying except that I've run into this idiot before.

1:46 AM  
OpenID bruce-church said...

The original post said that the details of the case were unimportant so that the specific news story was unimportant. Then Prof Kovaciny says his mental state was unimportant, and to line up and shoot every defendant who ever pleaded insanity. There are plenty of defendants in the past who were innocent but felt they had to opt for a plea deal or plead insanity merely to save their lives, as DNA evidence nowadays shows.

If you guys were transported back to Medieval or Colonial times, I'm sure you wouldn't have been bystanders shaking their heads, but would have been the ones fastening the noose, pouring the tar, applying the feathers, and carrying the pitchforks and torches!

11:45 AM  
Blogger Noumenon said...

The original quotation sounds like it's about capital-T Truth or at least a truth in general, but really it's about a secret -- "We want to invade Normandy somewhere." Secrets often have to be defended by lies, but truth in general needn't be. Don't know why Churchill need to invoke flowery "the truth is so precious" language when he just meant "let's keep this secret."

3:40 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

Would you kill off the billion people who practice FGM, too

You're making an unjustifiable generalization.

FGM is a cultural practice, which can be changed just like foot binding was--with a combination of social, economic, and legal pressure (which did include some capital punishment).

8:08 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

stupid comment by the inane

If it is so, argumentation should make it self-evident, so you don't need to express it explicitly. Such labels detract from the quality of the debate.

8:10 PM  

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