"Morally Retarded"

Let's begin the cultural shift with the introduction of a new phrase: morally retarded.

The phrase is an accurate description of those who go on these mass killing sprees. Too many messages in the popular culture associate a willingness to commit violence with a superiority of character, where the person is depicted as having transcended normal limits.

The opposite is true. People who can commit violence are morally retarded and need to be depicted that way. They've never developed limits because of their moral retardation. Their decision-making capacities are skewed. The result is violence our entire society has to suffer.

Let's change the conversation about violence.


Michael said...

In the case of the VT shooter, I think you are absolutely correct to say that he was "morally retarded," in the literal meaning of that phrase: his ethical development was apparently stuck somewhere far below adult level.

In ordinary circumstances, and ordinary societal interactions, you are also correct in your assessment of violence: it is the last resort of the incompetent.

However, not all violence is condemnable in these terms. Self defense must be permitted, or the morally retarded will dominate the rest of us by brute force.

The true sign of moral growth is to recognize appropriate violence, and even more, to recognize it in time to avoid greater violence.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Well in a way those who commit acts of mass violence DO transcend whatever "normal" limits are accepted by a society.

It should be noted that "transcend" does not always have a positive context when used in a sentence.

I posted my thoughts on the Second Amendment on my blog. The Wednesday and Thursday post contain my thoughts. I would like for you to read them.