I don’t know if I’m dating myself, but I’m going to play a simple version of Mad Libs to ask some questions on morality:
____________ (Person A) commits a crime (murder, rape, torture – something that causes extreme physical harm to others) against __________ (Person B/Victim). __________ (Person C) knows about it, but covers it up. Should both ____________ (Person A) and __________ (Person C) be held accountable by the established legal system?
My guess is that most people who read this would generally say, “Of course.” Until you start filling in the blanks…
What if Person A & Person C are strangers and the Victim is a close family member? What if Person A or Person C is a close family member and the Victim is a stranger? What if that Victim is a known criminal or – egads! – a known terrorist?
What if Person A is George W. Bush and Person C is Dick Cheney?
What if Person A is Barack Obama and Person C is Joe Biden?
What if Person A is a pedophile priest, Person C is the Pope, and the Victim is a stranger? What if the Victim is a close family member?
What if Person A is a pedophile priest/minister at your church, Person C is that person’s immediate supervisor, and the Victim is a stranger? What if the Victim is your child?
What if you are Person A or Person C?
Funny thing is, many people’s answers to this Mad Lib change based on how you fill in the blanks. For me, this is a pretty simple question with a very simple answer: “YES.” Thinking critically will do that to you.
Of course, I can imagine some scenarios in which that “YES” answer won’t come so easily. After all, I’m only human (“Of flesh & blood I’m made…”).