Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Common Sense Isn’t Quite Cheap, Let Alone Common

Are we reaching a melting point in understanding ourselves in today's society or is it too much knowledge creating negativity? Where has wisdom gone and besides, what is wisdom nowadays? May be its time we stop and think.

Today two landmark cases made their way through the law courts in Britain but both in different
directions. However, what makes each case unique is their ability to look right whichever way they take.

The case of Munir Hussain, who with the help of his brother chased and clubbed his assailant into brain damage, was rather too sensitive to touch. Everyone argues it is right to defend one's home, and that is just incontestable. Everyone has the right to self-defence. But there is a twist in these.

For critics, - like David Cameron jumping on the bandwagon using the Myleene Klass case to rant something about common sense, attacking on the government few days ago – they always fail to paint the true picture and see the logical failure in these barbaric cases like this one. The robbers had left Mr. Hussain's house, but he & his brother went after them, caught one of them, and used a cricket bat to beat him into pulp leaving him brain-damaged. That is horrendous. One can imagine their anger, frustration and attempt to revenge. While all the above seemed right, the problem lies in the fact that the possibility of this suspect not being the right man is also existent. Hence it was right that the Hussains were jailed; but critics fail to see this from the point of that barbaric reaction instead of home or self-defence. Jailing Munir and his brother thus send the right message to people that they must not execute jungle justice; it is barbaric regardless of the offence especially when the person is caught outside the crime scene. At that point the accused deserved prosecution to verify and properly indict him.

Justice must not be thrown to the winds for any Dick or Tom to execute at their whim or we will be in a state of anarchy where someone could attack another, kill them and claim self-defence, or so so. Regardless, softening the Hussain brothers case today is right coming after the initial sentencing.

Then the case of Frances Inglis. The 57 year old woman killed her own 22 year old disabled son, Thomas by injecting him with heroin. Mrs. Inglis was very concerned her son's state of health is worse than death. Again, one can see the compassion of a mother. But a repetition of disregard for the vulnerable who in this situation isn't able to make input about his own life. The Inglis family may be going through tough time in supporting Thomas, but if people are allowed to kill at impulse, chances are that manipulation will abound. So again, sending Mrs. Inglis to jail is right to remind people that you don't kill another human as you wish especially when they are weak and incapable of taking a decision. Otherwise, we will live in an abusive society where the weak will be of no value.

Looking at the above cases, it is clear that each could merit an opposite conviction and still looks right. But such verdict will be ignoring the wider dangers of abuse, neglect, lack of protection for the vulnerable and promoting survival of the fittest.

Hence the question, what has happened to wisdom? Lets remember, common sense isn't quite cheap, let alone common. Survival of the fittest will have only one result: the last man remaining.

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