Thursday, September 5, 2013

Empathy, Familiarity, and Murder

This is my current thoughts about the latest tragedy in the autism community. I am not meaning any of it sarcastically, or rhetorically.

When one person commits a heinous act of murdering her child we scream "Nail her to the cross!"

But, if someone we have kind feelings. and positive associations with does the very same thing, society gathers to defend said person.

I am trying to understand how the two are different.. How is the action, the result, the crime committed, the pain inflicted different between person 1 and person 2?  How did the facts change? Is it just your view that changed? If so, should people be treated differently with different consequences due to how we *feel* about what they've done, and less by the  the action itself?

I have sat all day thinking on this issue, and trying to find reasoning in it, but I just can't. I am not a cold callous individual. I don't believe in the concept of good, and evil. I think sometimes when someone does something as unthinkable as trying to kill their child there are mitigating factors. I'm not an unreasonable person. As a matter fact, I'm a very logical person and today's reaction from the autism community to the tragic news of a mother trying to harm her child is not making sense in my head. If a stranger harms another being is it still not the same amount of harm being inflicted if it is your best friend doing it? Does the harm amount to less if it's a familiar person? If the harm is the same, then why should punishment be any different? Why does one scenario have almost all of the autism community saying in unison that lack of services is never a reason to kill your child, but today that is different? This case is different, because...?

This isn't me talking about disability rights, or who could have, or should have done what. This is me trying to make sense of the social concept of empathizing with a murderer/attempted murderer, because this person evokes familiar feelings of love, and care. I am not as angry as I am confused. How I feel about the action of the mother in this case is another post entirely. For now, I am lost in what appears to be a social custom that I cannot wrap my head around. Others are free to hold their own opinions. I'm just trying to understand them.

*Please keep comments respectful, and read this before you blame my autism for not understanding your POV. Thank you.