Re: yes grrrr
Posted by Dale on May 04, 2002 at 08:39
Re: yes grrrr (Andy™)
As you well know, I hate to agree with anything anyone says :) But I agree with your logic. What you are discussing, however, has much wider implications. Does the ignorance of an individual excuse their actions? Does the lack of knowledge of right and wrong, vegan or normal diet, or the effects of aluminum foil on alien mind beams change the need for punishment as a deterrent/prohibition of future actions?
I believe the answer must be no. Your knowledge of gravity should have no impact on the results of your climbing on small tree limbs. There is no better teacher than experience. You can tell a child till you are hoarse that the stove is hot but hot is meaningless without an associated pain. A single blister or swat on the rear, however, can lead to a lifetime of knowledge.
In this particular case, it is unfortunate for all involved but the lesson needs to be learned. As is common in much of the rest of the world, if these parents received a death penalty, it is doubtful that any other children would be harmed in this way for many years. We need to stop worrying so much about the stupid individual and worry more about the lessons we are teaching everyone else. If ignorance is an excuse then ignorance is a valuable asset that will be much sought after.