Violence in America, Part 3; Another School Shooting

(CNN) Deadly school shooting in Santa Clarita.

Previous articles:

Violence, Part 1 asserts the meaninglessness of mental health criteria to the discussion. Violence, Part 2, accuses the “avatar”, the fictitious web identity, that in some users results in diminished responsibility. This Part 3 is about moral education.

The future history of mankind will have a new great divide: before social media, and after. Before social media, lurid tales of mayhem were told, but in the third person. The jail house interview was rare and thin.  With social media, the tales are told in the first person, usually before the event.

The telling of a story of murder,  in the first person, is psychically richer than the best reportorial prose. I doubt Tom Wolfe could have matched it if he so desired. Even the best murder mysteries lack the bite of the deranged young male exposing a piece of his mental disease.

Now, it’s out there. In the coming days, the killer’s mutterings may be discovered on social media, feeding imperceptibly into the subterranean zeitgeist. Many thinkers have toyed with the idea of the group mind, but who could have imagined that its expressions would be so lethal?

As per Part 2, the susceptible population of young men may be as high as 2.5%, corresponding to the prevalence of psychotics in the general population.  Gun control and prevention of concealment by avatar have been proposed. This is probably not enough.

Some, like Attorney General William Barr, advocate weakening of the separation of church and state. Quoting from (AU) Seeking God’s Law: Past Statements By Attorney General Nominee William Barr Are Cause For Concern, Americans United Says. 

“Because human nature is fallen, we will not automatically conform ourselves to God’s law, but because we can know what is good … we are not doomed to be slaves in our passions and wants,” Barr told the group. “To the extent that a society’s moral culture is based on God’s law, it will guide men toward the best possible life.”

Mr. Barr, I’m not Catholic. I don’t believe in “fallen” humans.  And you seem to forget the horrors of history. Spain committed genocide in Holland in the name of religion. New World aboriginals were enslaved in the name of religion. Most wars have at least some religious element, as does the current War on Terror, or whatever you want to call it.

So I don’t  hold with that. But liberals do have something to prove, that liberal values are compatible with moral teaching, which liberal dictum does not by itself supply.

Refer to (pdf) Recent Violent Crime Trends in the United States, Figure 2, “National Homicide Rate, 1960-2016”.  Superimpose on the chart the Oprah Winfrey show, which ran from September 8, 1986, to May 25, 2011.

This proves (you get the joke) that Oprah Winfrey’s show was a great moral teacher, all the while masquerading as entertainment. Good mothers make good kids. Television, long a moral vacuum, became the accidental pulpit of good.

If TV can be “moralized”, how about social media? As the offspring of liberal culture, it was conceived to be morally absent. Is there something that could be done to change absent to morally present?

Robot mentors?






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