SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2021
Pity versus punishment: Again today, we're recommending pity over punishment.
Given our current state of development, punishment is still needed as a part of human society. That said, we're recommending pity over punishment as a fundamental moral approach.
We decided to go with this recommendation today when we clicked to the Washington Post's web site. At the very top of the site's front page, a synopsis of a news report said this:
Democrats wrestle with length of Trump trial
Democrats are eager to punish President Trump for inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol, but wary of a Senate trial dragging on too long and slowing President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda.
"Democrats are eager to punish Trump." In our view, it's the eagerness to punish which represents the shortcoming here.
At this site, we've long regarded Donald J. Trump as "some version of mentally ill." We've gone with that somewhat convoluted language because mental illness is a somewhat amorphous concept, and because psychiatry involves a poorly understood technical language.
On a technical basis, should someone afflicted with antisocial personality disorder be described as "mentally ill?" While we're at it, does it make sense to describe such a person as being "afflicted" at all?
Are such people "afflicted" with an "illness," or are they simply bad people? It has seemed to us that such questions arise in the context of Donald J. Trump's extremely strange behavior over at least the past ten years—in the context of what seems to be the gentleman's vast disorder.
We would have liked to see (carefully selected) medical experts asked a wide array of such questions. Instead, our upper-end press corps agreed, as a group, that such questions, and such possibilities, must never be discussed.
So it goes, in this year of the lord, when "educated" members of our species attempt to conduct, or pretend to conduct, our version of "public discourse."
We'd recommend pity for Donald J. Trump, in line with Bob Dylan's past teachings, but also with a rosebud-scented assist from Citizen Kane. (First, of course, you try to remove such a person's ability to cause harm.)
For what it's worth, we suspect that a pity-based discourse would produce better political outcomes. With that in mind, we note another headline in today's Post:
Poll: Majority wants Trump banned from future office
According to major experts, we humans are strongly inclined to leave no punishment behind. When we stumbled upon this morning's "eager to punish" synopsis, we'd already been thinking about the four books we mentioned in yesterday's report, and with them the great souls.
We said that Charles Mann's 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus was one of the two most interesting books we've read in our two decades at this site. We said we'd pair those two books with two other books—the two books we've read in that time which were most instructively wrong in some way.
That makes four books in all! One of those books leads toward a question—in our own lifetime, which people have perhaps emerged as our planet's "great souls?"
Who are the modern world's great souls? Even as the NBA celebrates and commemorates Dr. King with ten (10) games this Monday, we may start our week by listing the four books to which we refer, then moving toward that census..
In theory, Dr. King will be remembered and commemorated on Monday. In practice, TNT and NBA-TV will be televising five of those games, starting promptly at noon Eastern. One synopsis of this commemoration goes exactly like this:
On MLK Day the league will have a five-game slate of nationally televised games on TNT and NBA TV, beginning at Noon EST. During those games and throughout the weekend, teams will wear custom Nike MLK Day warm-up t-shirts designed in collaboration with the NBPA, MLK Foundation, and Martin Luther King III.
As per official NBA posts, the teams will be warming Nike warm-ups. Always remember that central fact! Also, never forget!
According to anthropologists, this is the way we humans are inclined to think, behave, react. Our species has always been wired in such ways, leading top experts now tell us.
Some experts say the great souls can help. At this point, we aren't prepared to judge that particular claim.