Posted by: thebylog | September 6, 2005

What Are People Really Like?

My aunt beat me to it, but I too have been struck about the fine line that exists in America between civility and barbarism. Remove external incentive to do the right thing (i.e. policemen) and there obviously is a significant portion of our population that quickly degenerates to gross immorality.

Of course, stealing food from a grocery store isn’t any worse than a lot of other, legal, immoralities that people indulge in. There are probably lots of people who wouldn’t loot an unguarded electronics superstore, but would very quickly end an inconvenient pregnancy via abortion or view pornography on the web in the privacy of their own living room.

You almost can excuse the New Orleaneans, in that you don’t really know if some people legitimately needed food and water to survive, and if they did it’s hard to fault someone for getting necessities for their family. I mean, who are they going to pay? Morality gets a little sketchy at that point. To be fair, they would need to settle up with the store later, I guess.

But there was plenty of opportunistic, greedy looting and that’s the troubling thing. I happen to have a conscience that hardly lets me walk away if there’s a discrepancy of one penny in a transaction. I can’t imagine out-and-out, premeditated stealing.

On another note, God bless those whose lives have been turned upside down by this tragedy. I pray that there will be peace in the midst of the storm.



  1. Hmm.. My agnostic friend would say it’s simply survival of the fittest (the way people have been acting in New Orleans).

    Thomas is down there right now– I wonder what he’s doing?

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