Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Not an Onion Article

Those Wacky Christian Scientists

By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
Sperm donors no longer bank on anonymity screams headline. (Good thing I caught the typo where I left the 's' off of screams before I published this.)

This is an article that I arbitrarily decided to use to discuss some current societal issues in view of "The Law of Unintended Consequences." If you are uninformed regarding such a law, I invite you to peruse this Wikipedia entry.

The law of unintended consequences is interesting to me because I labored under the misconception that I had invented the concept, until I decided to Google it. But it is also interesting to me because it seems that many of these consequences are foreseeable. Others are not, but, in certain areas, the Law should be considered before rushing headlong into acceptance of some new fangled change in society.

For example, I remember as a child watching a made for TV movie about teenage pregnancy. Now, at the time, that was something that we had heard did happen, to certain people in certain parts of the world, but it had not happened in my school, and I did not know anyone who was even having sex. This particular movie showed some really uptight folks dealing poorly with their daughter's pregnancy, and the poor girl being ridiculed etc., by her peers and the school system.

The message was clear. This poor girl was a victim, and was being mistreated, and why can't people care more, and why does everyone have to be so uptight, and why doesn't everyone just be nice? I mean, Gawd, she didn't kill anyone. I remember, at the age of 14 or whatever, thinking what a bunch of small minded people, and if they could only watch this movie they would see how hard they were being on this poor sweet innocent child, and her poor sweet innocent child.

Fast forward to when my daughter was in high school, and her high school had a nursery, and she knows several girls that were nursing while in high school.

And you got to wonder, is it better today, then back when that movie was made? The unintended consequence of trying to take away the stigma of having a baby while you are a teenager has been scads of babies born all over the place into non-stable environments. You go and interview 100 people in prison, and I will wager that the largest single common denominator will be single parent households. Is society better off?

There are a few other things I remember that were thought to be good, but have not had beneficial effect. The concept that manners are somehow 'fake'. Leading to 'honesty' in communication. Or that 'guilt' is a bad thing. "I ain't got no regrets." "No point in feeling guilty about it." "What ever." etc.

Here are some current societal issues that are being argued about which no one (I feel) is interested in reviewing in light of the law of unintended consequences:
Political Correctness. Hyphenated-Americans. Gay Marriage. Violent video games like Grand Theft Auto.

You may look at that list and think WTFO? How can Hyphenated-Americans be a bad thing? Or, "Oh, you're one of those homo-phobic right wing religious wack-os." But I think all the above have or will have consequences that may not be desirable. I can even give some examples, but shan't for now, in the interest of trying to stimulate debate.

Some unintended consequences are good. Like deep sea oil platforms becoming ecosystems. But, we're not really worried about the good things, are we?

Unintended Consequences happen. They are somewhat foreseeable. There should be some social debate, sans emotion when possible, to get a handle on whether or not some things that seem like a good idea at the time, actually are.


Anonymous said...

Hold me
I have gas...
uh... eh... uhh..

Frater Bovious said...

Uhh, Oh, I get it! The unintended consequence of hugging the incontinent!


Buck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.