Thursday, November 10, 2011

Joe Pa Commentary

Right now, you can't go far online without running into something about the Penn State drama.

Read up on it here.

I want to briefly touch on two points that the media may never make explicit.  

  1. The universal moral norm.  It seems to be widely accepted that any action done to or infringement upon the innocence of a child is morally unacceptable behavior - at least in the West.  I find this to be a reassuring fact, one pointing to some sense of an objective truth and its need to be upheld.  The truth is one that the good of the innocence of a child is valuable, and that no human being should ever be subject to violation of basic rights.  Any sense of a moral standard that is so widely upheld (just read the scathing articles about the so-called "monsters" in administrative positions at Penn State) is cause for hope in a time of slippery-sloped relativistic ethics.  
  2. The media does not present any sort of truly just solution.  Yesterday, the articles simply cried out for Joe Paterno to be fired.  And, eventually he was, along with the university president.  But, now what?  Has the situation all of a sudden become justified, and everyone can move on feeling okay?  Certainly, the firing may move us in that direction, but it is a feeble solution, or superficial statement at best.  We need to move in a direction of serious questioning.  Why does this sort of crime happen?  What does it teach us about our humanity?  What does this situation teach us about justice?  What is justice?  
Slowly coming to grasp answers to these questions will lead us further into the truths of this situation, hopefully pointing us (as individuals, a country, etc.) to as satisfying a solution as is humanly possible.  Let's not stop at the surface - at the headlines, and scathing remarks about "monsters."  Let's move to a true understanding of this situation, which has to take into account all of its factors and causes.

At the same time, let's take a moment to applaud humanity for its ability to agree upon and uphold a universal moral truth.

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