Sunday, March 18, 2018

How Immoral Behavior Becomes Common

Immoral behavior, whether it be killing innocents in war, genocide, discrimination against people of a certain skin color, gender, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation as well lawyers lying in court, institutions acting corruptly, or law enforcement officials protecting criminals has always fascinated me. How are people able to preform such horrible actions?

I remember hearing about an Iraqi-American who was being tortured while detained in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. She said her torturer paused for a bit to take a call from his wife. In a perfectly normal, even touching conversation they discussed plans for their daughter's upcoming birthday party. When he was done with the call, he resumed his torturing. 

Maybe the reason is that behavior is considered more moral the more common it is as a Swedish study has recently found.
Altruistic behaviour was considered more morally right than selfish, but both behaviours were judged to be more moral and less deserving of penalty if the majority exhibited them than if they were uncommon.
I suspect most people like to think that if they lived in 1930s Germany they would not have been an avid supporter of Hitler. They would not be the ones in the death camps killing innocent men, women and children. Maybe everyone should examine their present actions a bit more closely.

The core reason that immoral and criminal actions are so common in family court and why the perpetrators are able to get away with such horrible acts and crimes, is that these actions are common, even normal. They are ubiquitous.  It is just the way the system works as has been stated to me many times. It is time for the system to change.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Critical Thinking And Good Judgement

I have often told my children that the greatest value of education is that it improves judgment.

Yet many people who are educated have poor judgment. How can this be? The key I believe is critical thinking. Especially self-aware critical thinking.

So what is critical thinking? In essence it is thinking rationally in all aspects.  Especially about your own thoughts and actions. Some would call it mindfulness but it is more than that. It is mindfulness grounded in reality. Perhaps it is easier to look at a few examples of not thinking critically.

  • Being convinced an unknown light in the sky is an alien spaceship. 
  • Believing a squeak in your house is ghost/fairy/poltergeist/gremlin/leprechaun.
  • Believing you have superhero powers and if you just concentrate hard enough you can move objects. Like a Jedi.
  • Committing perjury in court like Spring did, yet maintaining that you are a good person and not a criminal. 
  • Blatantly breaking the Lawyers Code of Professional Conduct and the law as Nelly Wince did yet believing that you are moral person and upright lawyer. 
  • Being responsible for disciplining attorneys who break the Lawyers Code of Professional Conduct as the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB) is, yet mostly doing the exact opposite - shielding lawyers from the consequences of their unethical and criminal actions. 
  • Knowingly providing false information in order to cover up a crime as County Attorney Bennie Sonsang did. 
Now possibly Spring, Nelly Wince, the LPRB and Bennie Sonsang do think critically and know their actions are abhorrent and criminal but I really doubt it. I think they, like most people who do bad things, mentally avoid thinking critically about their actions. They live delusional lives. 

This delusional thinking is the root cause of nearly all bad things humans do to each other. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Alimony and Child Abandonment

One of the strange consequences of alimony is that it often allows a parent to effectively get away with child abandonment. 

In Minnesota parental rights can be terminated when:
"the parent has substantially, continuously, or repeatedly refused or neglected to comply with the duties imposed upon that parent by the parent and child relationship, including but not limited to providing the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, education, and other care and control necessary for the child's physical, mental, or emotional health and development, if the parent is physically and financially able"
Now in my case Spring after the divorce (actually before but legally our monies were pooled then) not only never provided a single dime of her income to support the children but actually reduced my ability to provide for them due to her receiving alimony. This despite the substantial amount of money and property she received from her divorce of me and the fact the employment evaluation determined she could make just as much money as me.

If she had done this while single or a widow the court would have taken the children away from her for child abandonment. Now I highly doubt that would have happened because I think, or at least hope, she would have not abandoned the children in such a situation. I think she would have acted in at least a minimally responsible manner. Quite possibly more than minimally.  Indeed, she might have even become a good person not only for the children but for society as a whole.

Responsibility is one of the things that tends to build on itself. If you do the right thing, even if  only because you have little choice, it tends to  build over time. Responsibility is really a learned self-reinforcing behavior. Sadly so is irresponsibility.