Was Cho Seung-hui decision rational or irrational?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by draqon, Apr 19, 2007.

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Was Cho Seung-hui's decision rational or irrational?

  1. rational

    42.4%
  2. irrational

    57.6%
  1. peta9 Registered Senior Member

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    No, it's you who lack perception and misunderstand the point. I never said or thought he was railing at his parents. His rantings have been publicized and were indiscriminate for the most part describing debauchery. I was using the clips still as an example of their possible abuse and neglect.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
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  3. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    I agree completely. Fame is what he wanted. As I said in the original thread on the shooting, the media should never show pictures of these scumbags. They should not release their names and refer to them instead as "idiot number X".

    Everytime these pictures are shown, there's the chance some malcontent will think, "I'll bet I could kill forty people. Then they'd remember me!"

    Harry Chapin did a song about this called Sniper. A sample of the lyrics:
    The ending really explains the motivation.
     
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  5. peta9 Registered Senior Member

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    He still had issues leading up to this and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be significant. It's just unfortunate he felt it had to be a drastic measure because of his 'me against the world' paranoia due to his negative experiences.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
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  7. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    Of course he did. Many other people have the same issues and don't go on a shooting spree.

    I'm sure there's some sad story there. But it is overwhelmed by the 32 people he killed and the hundreds or thousands of people who's lives he has altered in a trajic and unnecesary way.

    The students and teachers he killed. Their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wifes, lovers, friends, relatives, etc. All these people are now suffering because of what he did.

    Can you feel sorry for him? I suppose. But any empathy I have for him is overwhelmed by my anger at what he did and my empathy for his victims.
     
  8. peta9 Registered Senior Member

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    I see but you don't see the chain of events. You don't really care about his suffering or who may have contributed by abuse. But this is also a matter of perception of moral degree and you like many believe physical death is the ultimate crime. People have different views on that as some believe there are things worse than death. He needed to just suck it up and go on with life according to you but sometimes that's unrealistic when someone is dysfunctional or disabled. Evidently he didn't get the empathy he needed at a crucial time. You can extend that logic to the others who are suffering now because of what he did, they need to suck it up and go on because life isn't fair as life wasn't fair to him. If they don't get empathy, what does that mean? Have you asked yourself that? Why is it so important? Is it because it is healing and without it a person can become lost or damaged like Cho? Why is their pain more important than Cho's?

    How many people lose their babies, are getting killed, are being raped, are dying of starvation. It happens everyday.

    I'm curious, how are these people going to handle their pain? How is america going to handle thier pain? By inflicting it on another because he is not here? A person who lived in perpetual emotional and mental hell?

    I wouldn't be surprised if vengeance and a target will not be found eventually just as Cho did but not in one fell sweep but systematic abuse, racism, discrimination etc. People equate vengeance with justice, no matter how buried in their heart, however it is played out, that is it's intent. The same old cycle because society refuses to look at the suffering of the third wheel that exists for the purpose of dumping, scapegoating and demonizing that Cho represented so institutionally in the society.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  9. domesticated om Cartoon character Valued Senior Member

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    The topic is a discussion of whether or not he was rational. This is a bit different than discussing whether or not he was justified.
    What he did was obviously about as dumb and morally wrong as it gets (at least to the majority of current normal non-columbine wannabe society). If he didn't commit suicide in the end, then he certainly should have gone to prison and received the death penalty.

    AT the same time, why would the 'foulness of his deed' overpower whether or not he was rational in making his decision? As has been said a few times, he had his own system of beliefs, and apparent feelings of being picked on.
     
  10. mountainhare Banned Banned

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    madan:
    I don't feel any anger whatsoever. It would probably be different if I was closely related to one of the victims. I really don't know, although I don't think some sort of desire for vengeance against Cho would be irrational.

    In the end, I just feel sad. Sad that someone would feel so ostracized, that they would need to resort measures. Sad about the 33 bright lights exstinguished. Sad about the fact that nothing will change for the better, and that society will remain a place which is rife with depression and a sense of hopelessness, a society where to show such weakness is social suicide. Sad that introverts (think Aspergers syndrome) will be not treated with the patience that they need in order to feel fulfilled as individuals.
     
  11. Saquist Banned Banned

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    That's an...intresting conclussion.

    Americas duplicitus attitude toward foreign nations is well known. This hights his grief witht he world. And realize that I'm not and can not condone his action countrymen or not we've all felt as he does, that's why I do empathize with his fustration. He found the worse of all releases.

     
  12. Enterprise-D I'm back! Warp 8 Mr. Worf! Registered Senior Member

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    A 'solution' that is clearly emotive, brash, destructive, violent...irrational
     
  13. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    Humans have free will. Yes, we all suffer from the various ills that befall us in life. But it is how we respond that defines our character.

    If you respond to your suffering by going on a shooting spree, you've crossed the line. You are now evil and deserving only of condemnation.

    We have free will. Our actions have consequences. If we choose murder and mayhem, we deserve to recieve what we have given. Death. Nothing more. Certainly not empathy and understanding.

    If psychologists want to study his history to learn to detect potential psycho's before they commit their atrocities that's well and good. But no amount of suffering he endured excuses his actions.
     
  14. peta9 Registered Senior Member

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    Of course it doesn't condone the behavior. But the reasons for that behavior does not rest soley on a person like Cho who was a product of their environment. You could argue that point if he was alive and he had the conscience for self-preservation or thought as you do. What's interesting about this case is it really is a case for society, not an individual. You define evil in a typical fashion because the real truth is there are truly evil people who don't go on a shooting spree either. Evil can be expressed in different ways. When someone is able to inflict misery on others without personal consequences, many will do that and they do. Society gives allowances to passive-aggressive sociopathic behavior which is wrong and then you have this situation happen when someone slowly disintegrates over time.

    Those who kill are usually evil, certainly it is an evil act. But I don't believe Cho was a truly evil person. He was too mentally ill with deranged thought processes even though it was rational with his worldview. He also lacked a sense of self which lends itself to an inability to be truly empathic to oneself or have an immunity against others to coexist without damage. It's not that others are truly good people and that is why they get along. Only good people interact from conscience and they are rare. Most people interact from a position of self-preservation while feeling or sniffing out the other partys boundaries and defenses while protecting their own. This is similar to laws being obeyed because there are consequences or a lock on the door. Even though Cho did not speak or interact, It's clear his defenses were weak, he described as "vandalize my heart." Just because you won't speak or interact doesn't mean you are protected. He absorbed everything whether he wanted to or not and that's sick and I feel bad for him, that's a nasty burden to carry. He referred to himself as a question mark. He literally believed humans are assholes and didn't deserve to live. He was too damaged to be held totally responsible, it is literally like beating a dead horse.

    He was crippled and he made a big mistake which hurt many people. Those people would have committed their own sins just as everyone else, seen and unseen. The cycle continues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  15. Saquist Banned Banned

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    I don't see it either...
    I don't think he knew who he was...I think he knew he was damaged in some way.

    I attempt to relate him to the suicide bombings of Bagdad...What's the difference? Is there a similarity between one type of carnage and another.
    I have to say Cho was different from these extremist in Iraq...

    He's lived here...he seemed withdrawn...perhaps by choice or genetics maybe choice of experience but there was no propaganda there was no leader or cult driving him...Unlike the suicide bombers I think Cho was really seeking justice..

    He seemed to need to make a statement on class distinction and selective cultures and group dynamics that create niches to the excclusion of others. In this was he was rational...However...his handling of that overload of injustice most of us can handle.

    I've been through it...But Cho seemed to have had a few loose wires or at least a shallow trigger, a raw nerve.

    It's actually very fascinating...a behavior study on his family should prove very useful and enlightening on narrowing down these psyche types...
     
  16. domesticated om Cartoon character Valued Senior Member

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    Also consider what it takes to rationally commit the act. One classic example would be WW2 kamikazi pilots, or the Japanese soldiers trained to strap explosives to themselves, and assume the role of "living anti-tank mines" or "living torpedos". It was unlikely that the massive compliance demonstrated at that time meant that mental illness and unhinged emotion ran rampant within the army. Their system of belief was the "bushido warrior code" which rationalized it as a course of action.
    Same thing applies to religious entities where people assume the role as 'suicide bombers' or 'suicide pilots'. They see themselves as righteosly paying the highest price in order to kill those they see as 'infidels' according to some religious role model (ie - as exemplified by the story of Samson).
     
  17. Saquist Banned Banned

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    There was something more. It wasn't just a commitment to a goal this was a different type of rational...this was pure vengence. While both can be based on emotion one, Cho, was almost brilliant, blazingly, emotional...
     
  18. peta9 Registered Senior Member

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    Whatever little that he perceived that used to be pure in himself is what he was sacrificing himself and his act for. He referred to "my children, my brothers, sisters...that you "fuck!" So he felt fucked over beyond repair.

    His photos of him where he holds the knife to his own throat and the pistol to his own head shows self-loathing, desperation, pain, and worst of all his belief or sense of being beyond help. The latter photo of the pistol is the most heartbreaking of all to me. There are many who look at that and only see an evil person thinking the "bastard" should have rid himself. I see the pain in his eyes and painfully the inner child who is confused and can't make sense of himself. It's harrowing to know a child and young person can feel trapped in a personal hell. He was no evil person, unfortunately. It's so ironic and a paradox that he will go down in history this way because of his act when I suspect there was a part of him with a rare and unusual quality of innocence than others which was also a source of misunderstanding and tragicly the reason for his demise. I've witnessed time and time again the sweet, quiet, or most vulnerable children being bullied. With Cho, the hunted became the hunter with the cost of his own life making up for his string of past humiliations. Life is tragic indeed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  19. Enterprise-D I'm back! Warp 8 Mr. Worf! Registered Senior Member

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    Dude, you see all the words in red? Emotive reasoning. Irrational.

    Kamikazi soldiers etc are motivated by nationalism and patriotism rather than logic. Religious zealots are motivated by mass hysteria and hope of an eternal paradise.
     
  20. peta9 Registered Senior Member

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    This was his favorite song and he listened to repeatedly his roommates said. It's clear he was lost and wanted someone to love him/love himself. It's really sad.

     
  21. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member

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    While I do not have enough information to judge, suicide is usually irrational, and murder is usually irrational.I doubt the man knew any of the people he killed.
     
  22. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member

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    That's different from a lone gunman. There is no evidence that Cho had the support of any nation to commit that act, so it was not as if he were authorized to do it. In a war, it's a totally different context, because warriors are sacrificing themselves to protect their country. They are sacirificing to protect their family, their God, their society.

    I'm not sure what Cho was trying to accomplish. it seems he was alone, and had no support, and his ramblings as they were presented in the news don't make much sense. I'm sure in his reality it made sense to him. I don't think it makes sense to any of us.
     
  23. Enterprise-D I'm back! Warp 8 Mr. Worf! Registered Senior Member

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    (peta9; re the favourite song)

    More evidence of the irrationality behind the action.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree that it is a sad situation, clearly the kid was disturbed. But to have a poll split down at just about the middle arguing the rationality behind his action is disturbing in the extreme. Wantonly pumping bullets into unthreatening bystanders is irrational and there's no explanation that can change that fact.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007

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