May 7, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

Posted in Why is it like that? at 4:40 am by qballkubal

It was all for the greater good

I’d like to start this post with the above well-known quote. I believe that every one of you have read or heard it somewhere. Either in some novels or perhaps movies. And this is what suddenly appeared in my mind after I’ve done watching “Gone Baby Gone” (2007). I was speechless, awed, and amazed at the same time. I mean, the complexity of the story, the morale issues against the idealism of rules and laws, the strong characters, all of them was mixed perfectly with almost no flaw. Somehow I felt like I was involved in that movie, had to help Patrick, had to convince him that it is okay to do something wrong for the greater good of that child. I somehow realized (again) that idealism sometimes will bring you nowhere, that it might do you harm rather than having a good expected result.

Imagine this situation: Would you help saving one kid’s life if you find out in the future that he turns out to be a serial killer? Would you help bring back a kidnapped child if only you’ve known that her mother will only ignore her and perhaps even worse, abuse her again? Would you or would you not, kill a child molester, in order to prevent him to kidnap and abduct another under age child? The last one might be an extreme example. Yet, sometimes we just don’t realize that our good deeds backfire us.

Perhaps we just have to follow Occam’s Razor theory, that everything in the world by its nature does not have to be as complex as what it seems. Just put aside unnecessary assumptions and make it simple: wrong doing is okay as long as it is for the greater good.

entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

(entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity)

-Franciscan friar William of Ockham-

Unfortunately, it is always not as simple as it looks like. Our concept of morality always force us to see what we want to see, not the underlying problem. We want to see that saving someone’s life is more important than thinking the possibility of that person becoming a threat for our own life in the future. Ah……such a lofty sentiment.

How about you? Where do you put yourself in such situation?

Picture from drockdamian.

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