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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Macabre Website Tells Teen How to Commit Suicide

Some days I just think we'd be better off with a benevolent dictator to govern us. Or as Plato advised, a philosopher king. Why do I utter such weirdness? Because it is so aggravating to read stories like this one. A poor, clearly troubled, young girl surfs the net and finds a web forum with all sorts of information about how to "check yourself out" so to speak. Someone will witlessly defend this monstrous website on the basis of free speech. Freedom is a wonderful thing. But it will only work so long as the populace are first self-governed by internalized precepts of virtue. Otherwise, freedoms - such as we enjoy - will lead to debauchery, moral chaos and death. Or in other words, without a more firmly established social contract, our lives will become solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short (cf. Thomas Hobbes in The Leviathan). My opinion is that the American Experiment is failing precisely for this reason. A society formed and informed by clear ethical guidance can do well when given extensive liberties. But a society that largely and increasingly rejects all objective standards of goodness will become quite unsafe. To sum it up, the majority of Americans are not "good" enough to handle the freedoms they are given. Forced to choose, I'd rather live under tyranny than anarchy.

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2 comments:

The Cubicle Reverend said...

We found out one of our girls in youth group was cutting herself so we did the responsibile thing and told her parents figuring they'd handle it by getting her help. A few weeks later talking to her dad (who was an associate pastor at another church) how she was doing and he told me how she was fine on account he grounded her, took away her internet access, and phone, etc. etc. So he handled a problem of his child hurting herself by alienating her even further. I wanted to hit the guy. We are so foolish as to how we handle the problems of the people around us.

I almost cried at my desk after reading that article. I'm going to pass it around to the leadership in my current youth group. It's too important to ignore.

Carl said...

Scott,

I recall (even after some 12 yrs) a remark made by Richard Neuhaus at
a convocation at St. Louis sem,something to the effect (in reference to Nietzsche) that when freedom of choice becomes merely
an end in itself it is insanity.
I wonder how far along our country is in that regard?!

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