Second Chances?

On one rare case, I encountered someone who appeared and gave the “usual story”. Reducing hormones “not to offend”, exclusive, high level of shame, kissed a teenager.

They swore that act away as an evil and decided to punish themselves by making themselves suffer via chemical means and quacks who have no clue what they’re doing. As usual. After a short period of prodding through hogwash excuses, they admitted it makes them suffer, makes them terribly depressed but they deserve to suffer for what they did for ever and ever for eternity.

To add salt to injury, not only do they harm themselves but they harm others by propagating the idea of the “ticking time bomb” and a necessity to do x, y and z. Some anti-contact cultists (to be clear, it is not the ideology, it is the obsessive mindset a small but very vocal minority have where they completely disregard human rights) jumped to praising them for self-harming before I pushed them aside. This is a fundamentally selfish act, and making everyone around them think they’re capable of it doesn’t help them to avoid doing it.

I commented on it as nicely as I could and it was somewhat productive. I would hope. I don’t buy the excuse of “going to offend” btw because statistically someone is “most likely” to do it when they’re punishing themselves with no outlet, and considering the location, it was extremely improbable there was none such. Nor would there be sufficient “internalised stigma” for such a thing signified by the location and self-admittance. These are two flags I picked up on right away but which others do not because they see it as some sort of “mind control worm” which comes without warning.

So, should someone be able to forgive themselves and others in turn for their past transgressions? This is a controversial question. A therapist certainly should help them to do so, as shown in papers mentioned by Dr. Craig Harper, as it reduces recidivism. Shaming someone rarely leads to positive outcomes, and on a large scale, it is likely to lead to more crimes not less.

For others, it is all be summed to precisely what they did and what the court of public opinion allows for. In my biggest opinion, if someone can’t take responsibility for their actions and looks for some factor to put the blame on, they’re already the sort of person I would not give forgiveness for in serious cases.

Putting the blame on external factors is very seductive but creates confusion as every criminal wants a sympathetic story for their community, media and early parole boards. It is largely to the point where someone comes up with grandiose but ridiculous promises and statements which most competent doctors dismiss out of hand. But which naive quacks believe because they never understood their basis to begin with.

Is someone responsible for their own actions? Someone could argue someone’s environment has an impact on anything they ever do. But humans are not robots. They’re not following a “script”. The idea there is “never” any responsibility and it should always be shunted to some ephemeral and vague factor is ridiculous to me.

Even if someone argues an outlet “may” help, I can easily hold someone responsible for going for the worst possible action, rather than an outlet which is at best victimless. Or at worst, “derived from a harm”.

1 Like