Thursday, June 21, 2007

Let the punishment exceed the crime

In the news today there are reports that a Texas man was killed when the he was attacked by a mob of people. The reason he was attacked was that the car he was riding in (he was not the driver) struck a child. The child was not killed, but witnesses were enraged and pulled the driver from the vehicle and started to beat him. When his passenger got out to stop the fight, they turned on him. They beat him to death while a group of 2 dozen people stood by and watched.

There is something to be said for Mob mentality. The flow of a group of people seems to be able to stay any personal moral thoughts. But of the bystanders? What happens in their brains that suggest that they can do nothing but watch this happen?

Maybe they think that someone else will stop it. Maybe they think he is the driver and deserves this. Maybe they are too shocked to move. Maybe they are scared that they themselves will become victims.

It has been suggested that people perserve themselves first and then look after family, then friends. Very few go so far as to help strangers and fewer still (almost no one) will help enemies.

So what catagory did this man fall into for this crowd of people? probably he was only a stranger to them. Some might have percieved him as an enemy. But what would this man have been to you? Would you have tried to save him?

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