RE: question about memes

From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Sat Mar 16 2002 - 13:36:59 GMT

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    From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <>
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    Subject: RE: question about memes
    Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 08:36:59 -0500
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    The Yates case is interesting, though I doubt we'll ever know much about her
    from it. The prosecution and defense essentially chose to portray her in
    ways that advanced their goals, and it is possible that the real Yates was
    lost in the shuffle:

    The prosecution portrays her as a cold-blooded killer who chooses religious
    beliefs to provide her cover, the defense as a mentally sick person who had
    no choice.

    Perhaps there is a different Yates lurking in there, a person who was
    despondent about her marriage, overwhelmed by five kids, angry at her
    husband (who has embraced the defense's thesis) for his lack of support, and
    overwhelmed by the cumulative stress gets rid of the kids, gets revenge of
    the husband, who loves the kids, and gets out of the marriage, one way or
    another. I don't think we'll ever know.

    The insanity defense has always intrigued me, as it seems to suggest that
    the greater and more bizarre the crime, the more credibility the claim of
    insanity would be. Might this not simply encourage petty criminals and
    killers to exaggerate the nature of their crimes so as to lay the groundwork
    for an insanity plea? It is no wonder that juries are skeptical, and, I
    think, properly so.

    The second aspect of the pleas that intrigues me is its legal relevance. The
    legal system is, first and foremost, a process through which 'society' makes
    a judgement about the person's behaviour. It reflects our social values, but
    does so in the form of a moral statement about the subject. It follows
    stated rules so as to give the process an appearance of objectivity, and
    states those rules before the event so as to bring to the process a sense of
    justice. The insanity plea is important because of the rule that says a
    person, to be culpable, must be able to tell the difference between right
    and wrong. But, is it not possible for someone to be 'insane' -- in the
    sense of having no control over their actions -- and yet know that what they
    are doing is 'wrong?'

    I am trying to lose weight. Yet I eat fattening things, though knowing that
    they are so. Am I insane? It would seem to me that knowing the difference
    between right and wrong and still doing the wrongful act is the better
    definition of insane...


    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: []On Behalf
    > Of Grant Callaghan
    > Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 10:42 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: question about memes
    > >From: Philip Jonkers <>
    > > > Beg pardon? Killing your 5 children is a rational option in a somewhat
    > > > difficult time is rational to you? Thank 'god' I'm not a
    > daughter or son
    > > > of you. Excuse me but I'm beginning to have serious doubts about
    > > > your own faculty of reason now Kenneth. I can understand that during
    > > > times of extreme conditions like (mideval) famines or prospects of
    > > > certain mass-destruction and death, such as invasions and war,
    > > > you might save your children a lot of misery and suffering and
    > > > surrender them to an easy death. In other cases, it sounds like
    > > > insanity to the highest degree and everyone who thinks otherwise
    > > > should get his/hers head examined.
    > >
    > ><< Believe me, Philip, these are the things I throw in the open, though !
    > >Anyhow, let me explain, I agree, it might seem extreme and I understand
    > >you surprise perfectly, but don 't misunderstand me, in the eyes of Yates
    > >killing her children is an/ the only option lef and a rational one...for
    > >her
    > >!
    > >There is nothing wrong with such a kind of reasoning, though, conside-
    > >ring the fact that the act of killing the children gives a sense of
    > >satisfaction,
    > >not in the sense of having pleasure ( like by pedosexual murder), but in
    > >the sense of relief_ the children are save now, the children
    > would not have
    > >to bear the buders/ hazzards of life,...etc.
    > >
    > >The same kind of reasoning you find in cases where one or both the
    > >parents kill their children and commit suicide, again_ to protect the
    > >children and nothing more, to protect the children from knowing that
    > >their parents killed themselves and left them behind.
    > >I have to admit, such a kind of thinking, and my own faculty of reaso-
    > >ning is quite alright ( I am not upset though) is maybe new to you,
    > >Philip, but not for me. I came across this a few years ago and since
    > >then I am convinced of its contents.
    > >
    > >Yates, IMO is not an impulsive character, but more the methodical
    > >type. She was not socially unadapted, but more someone who was
    > >quite adapted for the life she lead_ so it seemed anyway.
    > >But the methodical type does ( almost always) have serious problems,
    > >where the outside world knows nothing of. This type can prepare/ plan
    > >his/ he act years in advance, rolling the film before their own
    > eyes, over
    > >and over again and finally, when the string snaps, she will kill !
    > >
    > >What is surprising though, is that Yates, being woman did kill her
    > >children and IIRC not tried to kill herself, but gently rang the police_
    > >like she was relieved of a great burder ( maybe revenge).
    > >In most cases I came across, only a handful were committed by the
    > >mother, and in those she killed her children and committed suicide,
    > >afterwards or together with them. Mos cases are done by the father,
    > >killing his family and committing suicide. Yates, is a somehow, but
    > >interesting case.
    > >
    > >What you comments about mideval are concerned, of such cases
    > >I know not enough about, vaguely it rings a bell ( Egypt ?), but I do
    > >not know any precedent in history.
    > >OTOH, I do not think that the reason for killing the children lies in
    > >the notion of sparing them misery_ IIRC again Egypt, during the
    > >great drought people killed their children to stay alive themselves.
    > >They ate their children to survive...and I suspect to rebuilt a family
    > >when the worse was over. A thought, Philip, people had in Holland
    > >a few years ago...!
    > >
    > >A few months ago there was a program running, Vincent !? can you
    > >help me out here, about the reason why some great civiliations dis-
    > >appeared from the face of the earth. Evidence was duck up that confirmed
    > >tthe theory that in the end, when the peoples were nearly driven to
    > >exinction; their children were he only supply of food left_ not a cheer-
    > >ful thought, but the hard facts. I have no problem with picturing what
    > >happened and what might have been there, think of me as you like,
    > >but again, by no means I am upset !
    > >
    > >The thing is, Philip, with all do respect, and I mean that, memes which
    > >spell out conformity towards how we must treat our children are
    > >blocking the other direction, that is the place where I stand.
    > In and with
    > >the understanding and with the comprehension that anything is possible
    > >for any reason, you understand the people who are doing such things,
    > >better_, like I try to, if you go inside their head. This leads to some
    > >kind of empathy which I have as for the victims as for the ones who
    > >commit the deeds. OTOH, you need to keep a certain distance, between
    > >both culprit / victim and yourself. The by me, so called workable in-
    > >difference is something you need_ in order to keep the understanding
    > >and the comprehension going.
    > >
    > >Hope this helps to understand my point of view,
    > >
    > >Many regards,
    > >
    > >Kenneth
    > >
    > For eons, farmers in China have been leaving their female children out in
    > the cold to die because they only wanted male children. Farmers
    > in India,
    > even today, take their wives to a special shop that does sonograms (isn't
    > science wonderful?) to see if an unborn baby is male or female. If it's
    > female, an abortion is called for. In a way, that's progress.
    > They used to
    > have to wait until the baby was born and then kill it. They were
    > reacting
    > to social pressure but thought what they were doing was rational.
    > For some reason that poor woman in the news felt she could no longer cope
    > with her life and religion gave her a way to change it. Her
    > madness and a
    > twisted view of her religion allowed her to blame it on the
    > devil. Religion
    > was only the excuse -- not the driving force behind her actions.
    > That was
    > emotional trauma brought on by the birth of yet another child in
    > a time of
    > weakness and stress.
    > Sadly,
    > Grant
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