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Simple Subjectivism And Serial Killers Essay

1198 words - 5 pages

Take any vicious action: Willful murder, for instance. Examine it in all lights, and see if you can find that matter of fact, or real existence, which you call vice. In which-ever way you take it, you find only certain passions, motives, violations and thoughts. There is no other matter of fact in that case. The vice entirely escapes you, as long as you consider the object. You can never find it, till you turn your reflection into your own breast, and find a sentiment of disapprobation, which arises in you, toward this action. Here is a matter of fact; but it is the object of feeling, not reason. (Hume, 2014)
Craig Price, America’s youngest serial killer was only 13 years old when he ...view middle of the document...

These beliefs are relevant in deciding how each individual subjectivist would view Price’s particular case.
Moral truths, although vary from individual to individual; some behaviors must be right and/or constructive, and others wrong and/or deconstructive to a society, are necessary to maintain order, seek justice, provide punishment for perpetrators, and in this case, enforce safety. Social constructions combined with power are the defining reasons that Craig Price was wrong and punished for committing four murders. Understandably, the definition of crime varies from culture to culture; what behavior is defined as crime reflects both the authorities own values and interest and the collective norms and values of the society, or at least the most vociferous segments of it (Henry, 2012). As Henry continues he explains the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior; unacceptable behavior being ‘deviant’. Henry defines deviance as a violation of social norms or perceived as different, negatively evaluated as threatening, and morally offensive. Crime on the other hand is defined as harmful – physically, economically, socially, and psychologically – leaving victims with loss, reduction, and repressed.
I mention the above terms defined by Stuart Henry because they support why one individuals idea of morally right and wrong, although still relevant, must not be more valuable than that of their particular society as a whole. Collectivism is a double edged sword; a necessary social system which society must observe in order to maintain a civilized daily regimen while simultaneously lessening the value of the individuals moral rights that may conflict with that of the latter. These collective standards are not set to rob an individual of his freedom to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, but to protect just that. Therefore, we are made aware that any intention of robbing someone of these rights is socially unacceptable and punishable by the power appointed by that particular society.
If a simple subjectivist looking to defend Price would review the specifics of his case, his willful murders, and his statement of morality, it can be said that their first argument could be that Price did not have ‘intentions’ of murdering anyone. They may continue by saying that he should be judged lightly based on the notion that he was ‘intending’ only to burglarize the house; that his actions beyond that were not pre-meditated or intended and only a...

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