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Civil Discourse: Transformation or Better Self Control?


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#1 BwareDWare94

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 01:19 PM

Context: Recently California metal band As I Lay Dying released a new song and music video, their first new music in 6 years. They've returned with the same lineup they had six years ago. "My Own Grave" is a continuation of their evolution and every bit as good as anything they've ever released before. Now, I'm sure most of you remember back in 2014 when frontman Tim Lambesis was busted for trying to hire a hitman to kill his ex-wife, who had estranged herself and their children from him. A little more context--Lambesis had become a heavy steroid user and, according to the band and his loved ones, had slowly deteriorated into the state that led him to the point of committing such a depraved crime. Many condemned him, of course, which was appropriate, and he was sentenced to serve prison time. He was released not too long ago, probably within the last two years, and the fate of the band was up in the air. Here we are now, with new music available, and many people wondering how his former bandmates, some of whom had spoken out very very strongly about how they felt about his deterioration and actions, could possibly work with him again.

 

He is supposedly reformed and repentant. "My Own Grave" is also indicative of that lyrically, and in my opinion is an extremely good song. It doesn't sound self-serving, preachy, or as if he's begging for forgiveness. It's an acknowledgement of what he had/has become. Honestly, given the nature of his crime, the lyrics are quite beautiful and moving. 

 

So this led me to a question about the human condition--once a human being commits an egregious act, we apply a title to them, murderer, rapist, etc. So, with that in mind, can an individual who has shown the capacity to commit such a crime ever undergo a complete transformation to where they are no longer capable of such actions, or do they simply have better self control?

 

Further down the rabbit hole, is every single human being capable of committing horrendous crimes if they make a succession of bad decisions and slowly lose their self control and completely lose track of their moral compass?

 

Discuss. 

 

Also, there will be another thread derived from this situation in the future. It's a completely different question but one I think posters will like and will be worth discussing. 


Edited by BwareDWare94, 10 June 2018 - 01:23 PM.

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#2 RazorStar

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:47 PM

All human beings have the capacity to be saints or sinners, it's all a matter of the choices they make and the amount of responsibility they choose to take for their actions. Hitler liked dogs, Gandhi slept with young girls to 'test' his virtue, the people we proclaim to be sinners and monsters aren't just their worst actions, and the people we call saints aren't just their best ones. Those actions are the things that drive the narrative about them though. Winston Churchill led the Brits to victory in world war 2, but he was a racist (even for the time), a drunk, and has a load of awful crap on his rap sheet too.

 

So my basic response is, all people are capable of heinous shit, and if they have killed before, they have the capacity to do it again, changed person or not. You just need to apply the right circumstances and anything is possible.


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#3 OSUViking

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:42 AM

I agree with Razor. Just about anyone can be motivated into doing something they never thought they'd do. Just take a really small example. I'm sure you guys know someone who, growing up, said they'd never party or smoke because they were gonna be the good kid. Then they get to high school or college and that's all they do. Why? At some point, they did it for the first time, and then they made the choices to reinforce that behavior over time until it became substance abuse or dependency. Who knows what happens after that? Maybe they start moving into harder stuff. I can think of like four people (even including myself) that this applies to. 

 

That's obviously some small shit. But I think that anyone is capable of pretty horrible things, and that people convince themselves otherwise so they feel comfortable. I know that growing up, I'd have been terrified at the thought that someone in my neighborhood could be malicious in some way. Now I consider that possibility basically every time I meet a stranger. 

 

Jordan Peterson had a video (can't find the link, but it was with Reuben Report) in which he comments on how mass shooters get to the point that they do. It's exactly what you guys said, they started making a choice to commit to a certain perspective (their path to that point not withstanding), and eventually that path led them to the ultimate decision: do I take my feelings, and project them inward, or outward? It's a point that some people reach, and if they spent time reflecting inwards I'm sure they could trace back their behavior to its "source", and probably go even further and trace back what influenced the decision to initially engage in that behavior. 


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#4 Omerta

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Posted Yesterday, 09:57 PM

Everyone has the potential, but it is entirely dependent on how heinous it was and the factors that led them there. In this case, I feel no sympathy for him and time will tell how earnest his repentance is. If he goes back to roids than fuck him. If he does it again, lock him up forever. I am not big on the sympathy for shit people.
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