There have been a couple of news stories recently that I would like to juxtapose in attitude. What is the correct attitude to have?
- Massacre in South Carolina Church resulted in nine dead.
- Teenager committed suicide after being released from Riker's Prison, N.Y. where he was held waiting for trial for three years, two-years in solitary confinement, and was eventually set free without charge.
Should we forgive the shooter? Wish him dead? Wish the shooter to be placed in prison with black inmates for violent retribution? Wish him to spend eternity in hell?
Fact: all mass shootings in this country are carried out by males, white males. It should be obvious to everyone that there is more involved than just pure free will, pure self-determination. If only pure free-will were needed then all demographics would be committing mass shootings: women, kids, hispanics, blacks, and so on.
I realized early on in life there was no such thing as free will. Never has been, never will be. Biggest lie told by religion. Well, one of them. If people had free will then 100% of us would be exercising and eating right. People would quit smoking without a thought. Because we don't have free will we pay the price every single day, every one of us.
People are programs. People are DNA, people are their genetics. People are also their environment, their parents and their culture. Kinda hard to shoot up a black church and massacre nine people if you are born in a place with no blacks and no churches. Ask yourself this: if the shooter had lived in a different place where there were no blacks then would the shooter have chosen a different group to hate and shoot up? You just thought "of course!" This is not just racism, but rather racism just happened to be the ultimate motive for someone predisposed to being motived to do harm. In some sense the "what" was irrelevant. Haters gonna hate and killers gonna kill. If this person had grown up in an environment without such hateful racism the the hate would have just taken on a different name.
So who's to blame? The DNA? The genetics? The parents? the culture? or the self-determination? Oh, and let us not forget the devil, the supernatural. There are still people in this day-and-age who actually believe the supernatural exists.
The answer, of course, is all of the above EXCEPT the supernatural, which doesn't exist. People are programs and life is a feedback loop. The problem is that people only want easy answers and just focus on one of the following: guns, parents, the shooter or even the devil. The fact that there are millions of racists, gun owners, children of dysfunctional families, and people of age twenty-one who don't mass murder indicates that the root cause is not any one factor in general. In fact, given that there are millions of people that belong in each one of the afore-mentioned groups who are not conducting massacres suggests that the root cause is genetics and self-determination.
Anyone who cooks knows that some things in a recipe can be left out or substituted. But other things cannot be changed even a smidgen or the recipe will fail. To whit, there are many negative feedback loops in life that most of us filter out and go on to live happy lives. But some people are not so good at filtering out the negative feedback and these people take it for real. These people have an ingredient that most of us do not and this results in violence.
Should we forgive the shooter? A better question is we should use science to understand the shooter?
Imagine if Microsoft Windows crashes. Oh wait, you don't have to imagine, it happens...ha! Anyway would you "forgive" Windows? The Microsoft employees? Of course not, that's silly. You just reboot. Oh you might get frustrated with Windows. And, like myself, you may even get so frustrated and determined so as to make the switch to Linux. But forgive? The software is buggy. That's all. Microsoft as a company could be "forgiven" but why even go there? Why have the angst?
Accidents represent cases in life where people die and we treat the death just like a software bug. We are all just one slip of the steering wheel away from a head-on collision. Every few years one will see a news article where an elderly person loses control of their car and drives into a crowd, sometimes with deadly results? What is there to forgive? It was an accident.
People are programs. It is time to move beyond the public concept of forgiveness and transcend to people are programs. Most wife beaters were abused themselves as a child. And so it goes. Recently I read about a husband who committed suicide when the wife cheated on him. Most of us would just get divorced. Gay people have taken all kinds of abuse and have died because their genetics blocks any other choice than to be gay. A woman gets pregnant and commits suicide rather than get an abortion. It happens. The degree to which we have self-determination is limited and not free at all. We do not all feel the same opportunities to make choices in the same situations. Far from it. People are programs.
People are programs. The first thing we need to do is just admit that truth and that free-will doesn't exist. Secondly, once we accept this truth we can finally make real inroads into reprogramming, rehabilitation and re-environmentation of people who have program limitations that pose a threat to others or themselves.
Children do not come with manuals. Adults do not come with manuals. Our understanding of human nature is limited. Very limited. Having said that then we limited in our options as to how to prevent violent people from hurting others again and so we perhaps we put them in prison for lack of answers. Prison, though, should be looked at as a challenge, a challenge for the entire species to do better to improve people programming. Prisons are our worst first solution to managing violent programming.
But that is not what happened on Riker's Island where a teenager who awaited trial was tortured for three years. The teenager ultimately was found innocent and the case was dismissed. He then committed suicide.
The teenager who spent three-years in Riker was accused of stealing a backpack. A backpack. What would be the sentence if found guilty? The teen in question had no priors. One year in prison? One month? A slap on the wrist and probation? This person spent three years in jail just awaiting trial. Three years was double, triple and perhaps infinitely longer than the time of sentence if acquitted as he eventually was. Infinity times 0 is still 0.
How can we claim to live in a just system where the time spent in jail awaiting trial is longer than the penalty for the crime ever would be. We are ever bit the unjust justice system we despised England for in 1776.
But it gets much worse. The teen spent two years in solitary confinement. That's the worst legal punishment one can receive in prison. And yet there is another illegal treatment that we all are aware of happens in prison: rape. He spent three years in a prison system...so what are the odds he was raped?
We know he spent two years in solitary confinement and also we know he most likely was raped, perhaps repeatedly.
This teen had mental health issues where ultimately committed suicide after leaving prison. What about does it say about this culture, this society, that we inflict rape and solitary confinement upon anyone? someone with mental health issues? What does it say about a culture where anyone with mental health issues is tortured and made mentally worse. If one has mental health issues when going into prison then they are guaranteed to come out with a mental health that is worse, much worse.
When the two stories are juxtaposed one gets a very bleak picture. Butt rape of men is considered just punishment for male prisoners for any crime, evening if just awaiting trial. Rape is considered just punishment. Cry my beloved country, cry.
Rather than help criminals with their mental health we are inducing cruel and unusual punishment: butt-rape and solitary confinement. We are making mental health much much worse.
How many Americans at this moment are wishing death, black violence and rape on this twenty-one year old who killed nine black parisheners even as I write this?
Beyond Forgiveness, People Are Programs
When I started Irreni my aim was to provide a bastion of solutions. Social commentary like the kind I just offered can be found anywhere.
So what is the solution beyond forgiveness?
As I alluded to earlier, all of the above is the root cause. The root cause is not simply guns. Or hatred. Or racism. As much as we may desperately want to over simplify the solution, we cannot.
Irreni tackles the combination of "all of the above" causes with science and experiments. The first step is role playing, social simulation. Learn as much as we can using simulation. After that any claims of social programming are tested in the real world using the scientific method: data is collected, analyzed and reviewed. A final product of the experiment will be manuals of people. Parents will be given manuals of people programming when babies are born. Awesome.
Genetic engineering will have a big role to play in the future as well. People fear genetic engineering as some form of eugenics. However, there is no compulsion to modify people with genetic engineering.Instead, genetic engineering can simply be applied simply to reverse engineer the DNA we are born with. By reverse engineering DNA we will be able to identify those who may violently react to hate speech in the real word where most of us do not and take steps accordingly.
Beyond forgiveness is people programming. As a country we have regressed from 1776, not advanced. We are in inflicting cruel and unusual punishment like rape as a standard practice for all male prisoners. It does seem a good first step would be to ensure prison is not inflicting more mental damage and more bad programming resulting in much poorer mental health for those who enter prison. After reversing our current practices then from there we can progress onto healing, reprogramming and re-environmenting.
Beyond forgiveness is redefining justice. Justice is not about punishment. You do the crime you do the time is unjust. We do not have free-will, we have limited-will. It is time to label as immoral and vile any person who would wish rape, death and harm as punishment for even the most heinous of criminals. It is time to move into a new era of people programming. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and if we can get to a scientific point in time were all humans are given programs to be productive to compensate for defective DNA then we will have a just society. Irreni moves us one step closer to a just society by a program of scientific experimentation of matching social programming claims against real world evidence. Irreni recognizes we are all in this together: together we stand and together we fall.
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Well come! and well met!