Posts tagged ethic
Posts tagged ethic
Now I know from this episode of South Park to avoid reading too much into what TV shows are telling us about society and politics with their stories, but I feel that last Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead established an interesting situation of debate not unlike the pro choice - pro life debate we have in this country.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, The Walking Dead takes place in Georgia after the zombie apocalypse; we follow a group of people who are struggling to survive in the newly lawless world. They find themselves in possession of a young man who they believe could be a threat to them if allowed to live, he is a prisoner in their barn. However, the young man is innocent, has committed no crime; the only thing he has against him is a the (probable) possibility that he may hurt the protagonist group.
I immediately remembered that section in Freakonomics, about how there is a direct correlation between the legalization of abortion in the US and the drop in crime rates. Because most aborted children would’ve grown up in low income high risk families, it is likely that they would’ve grown up to be criminals. If the criminal is sentenced to death before committing the crime, then you get no crime; but you’re punishing an innocent man. Minority Report deals with this ethical question too, but I think America chose the easy way out.
Back to The Walking Dead. My gut knee-jerk reaction is “THEY CANT KILL AN INNOCENT MAN, THEY’RE THE GOOD GUYS!” However, all but one of the members of the group is in favor of murdering the man in the barn— They call it a “death sentence” for having been in company of the bad men, he is guilty by association, like unborn children in low income families. Much like an unwanted pregnancy, it’s a lose-lose situation; something’s got to give “it’s either us, or you.” It’s terrifying to see how the majority of the group sides with something that instinctually seems so irrational: murdering the innocent. Furthermore, the only member of the group who is for protecting an innocent man, Dale, is called “crazy” and “selfish.” Selfish! For wanting to protect the innocent!
The story doesn’t end very well for Dale, and I am left with a sinking feeling… Like him, I am the “selfish” one, because I push so shamelessly for the protection of the innocent unborn. I am outcast for bringing up the topic no one wants to talk about, like Dale, called crazy for suggesting that we should take a risk in the name of honor and self sacrifice. How do I not feel demoralized and hopeless? Why are there increasingly less and less of us who can feel for those who don’t have a voice, and are the others just waiting for our voices to die out, like bad parents waiting for their child to grow tired from crying?