Friday, January 16, 2009

Moral Dilemma - Would You Go To The Police

Karen asks a question every Friday. They almost always provoke debates within my mind. Today I thought I'd go through that debate here ;)

You and your husband waited years before your first child came along. You went through everything in order to try to conceive.

Finally, the day comes when you realise that you’re pregnant, and you end up giving birth to a healthy baby girl.

Your baby girl is the apple of your eye, and you’d do just about anything for her.

When she’s eighteen, she gets involved with a guy who is not good for her. He doesn’t beat her or anything, but he’s a bit of a bum, and he deals drugs. She moves out, and you don’t see her for a while.

One day you see on the news that her boyfriend has been found murdered, with his head decapitated. Your daughter explains to you that on the night in question, she was at home on her own watching TV and she’s afraid that the cops wont believe her, so she asks you to provide an alibi for her, if she needs it, which you readily do because you know that whatever’s happened to her boyfriend, she had nothing to do with it.

She’s taken in for questioning, and tells the cops that she was with you on the night that her boyfriend was murdered. The cops release her, and they continue with the investigation.

One day, you’re collecting washing from her room, when you find evidence that your daughter was the person who killed her boyfriend.

What do you do? Do you go the cops and tell them that your daughter is the murderer, or do you protect your daughter, because after all, her boyfriend was scum, and it was only a matter of time before somebody killed him?

So that's the issue. And it's not an easy one. No matter where you fall on the subject I'm sure you can see the other side.

One the one hand I'd love to be able to say "Yes. I would call the police." Because without justice, without honesty, without people doing the right thing, I think our society as a whole weakens. After all as this famous quote says "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."* So, if I were to allow my child, whom I am supposed to be (no matter her age) teaching right from wrong, and raising to be a productive, healthy member of society - if I were to allow her to get away with murder, am I not doing my part to allow evil to triumph?

I mean, obviously, I would believe that she had a good reason for doing what she did, but shouldn't I let the courts sort that out? Prove that it was self defense or something? That she had no choice? Who am I to make that decision? It would be just as bad as a me being a personal judge, jury and executioner. Only in reverse. It's not my decision to make in this society.

But now we come to the heart of the matter. It's my daughter. My child. Flesh of my flesh. My world and heart. How could I turn her in? While my mind says one thing, my heart says another. And it's the feelings that are so often hard to override in these situations. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that the boyfriend was scum and it was only a matter of time (as stated above in the dilemma) but, I do know that there is nothing more important to me than family.

If you can't lean on your family, then who can you lean on. I know this is an extreme circumstance, but there isn't a lot I wouldn't do for my family. And I'll take it one step further, and say there isn't a lot I wouldn't do for my very close friends, who are like family to me.

So, where do I fall on this issue? I don't know. *shrugs* I honestly can't say. I can argue with myself back and forth on it, thinking I fall on one side, and ending up on the other. I've been thinking about this since the dilemma was posted yesterday. And I'll probably continue thinking on it for a while to come.

But where do you stand on it? Would you turn your daughter in? Why or why not? What WOULD you do?

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