Thursday, 29th January '04
En Ying The Amoral
*hefty sigh* Sometimes I don't know if it's me or the world. Probably me lah. I don't know if I've ever told any of you I sometimes have really REALLY strange ideas, beliefs, convictions and sense of morality? Probably have told Tzo or Qiong at some time. Anyway, I test drove another one of my odd ideas today. On poor long-suffering Liang and Jia. Suffice to say they were well and truly shocked. Appalled, even.
I think studying Law can do this to you. According to today's contract lecturer, that's the point of studying Law. You reduce everything to this nice logical world and pretty soon your sense of right and wrong gets messed up. Muted. Annihilated. =) I'm quite sure that's not going to happen to me, but I guess in my post-puberscent years and current quarter-life crisis, my morals might be somewhat screwed-up. Want to hear my theory of the day? Don't gasp.
I honestly don't think stealing someone else's girlfriend / boyfriend is wrong.
There, you gasped. People always go for the forbidden fruit. *wink* But seriously lah, the situation that sparked this little observation and ensuing huge debate was not of importance and not my place to talk about.
Going back to the point. Actually I never even knew people ever thought stealing unmarried other halfs was wrong until I think one day Limz and Gnet were talking about it like the stealer was some kind of scumbag. And when I asked them why they thought so they were shocked that I didn't share the same view.
But today I had to test drive the idea a bit more than that. Possibly the effect of this INTOLERABLE Natural Law lecture. Legal philosophy is possibly even more mind-numbing than Legal System. Or it could have been that an acquaintance of mine was getting slammed for allegedly stealing someone else's boyfriend. I can't say she was a a friend I wanted to protect, but I felt it was unfair that she was being judged that way, even if she really did do the stealing.
Think about it. Stealor likes / loves / needs / wants X's unmarried other half, whom we shall call Stealee. Note this analysis applies only to unmarried other halves, and I have entirely separate notions about married couples and third parties (I know lah, too much privity must have sparked this... doing questions all day about Aragorn/Eowyn/Arwen and Charles/Diana/Camilla and Tom/Nicole/Penelope and Bill/Hillary/Monica gets you all tangled in knots about love triangle problems). But where was I?
Stealor likes Stealee. Why is Stealor not allowed to do anything about it? Let's give the whole affair a Darwinian twist. Stealor likes Stealee essentially because Stealor sees something in Stealee which Stealor wants in his / her offspring. The selfish gene does it's job, Stealor competes. It's selection, right? And Stealee is entitled the option of chosing his mate. My Bio's sort of rusty, but I think it's about right. It's one of those factors that help us evolve. Survival of the fittest and whatnot. Never did like this topic much. But the point is, it's completely natural. Perhaps I'm a socially inept retard, but it never occured to me before friends pointed it out that there was anything wrong with the system at all.
This is not to say I believe in cheating. I think it's horrible. Anyone who has made that kind of promise to another should keep it and if you know someone is relying on you, you jolly well keep an eye of for his / her feelings.
All I'm saying is that Stealor should not be stopped from doing whatever's in his / her power to get Stealee. It has been submitted that the old Darwinian twist doesn't apply because this is a human situation. Man has this extra dimension of morality animals don't. Agreed on that point. But the question is what makes "stealing" immoral? It's not adultery, the couple isn't married. No sex is involved (I'm a prude so this is a factor). No physical contact need be involved, no flirting, no nothing. To me, it's wrong to tempt an attached someone into bed and stuff like that yes, but what's wrong with the usual courting methods? Flowers, dinner, movies. Perfectly normal activities you could just as well do with perfectly normal friends. And if in the course of all that, Stealee decides to be stolen, well, it's his / her choice, innit?
One idea is that courting is the same as tempting. I haven't a rebuttal for that, but I can tell you instinct tells me that is wrong. It's not the same, somehow. Tempting has a really evil connotation, courting is positive, at least.
Another problem with this sort of judgment of the Stealor is that I find it impossible to reconcile (look what Legal Writing has done to me) this fact pattern (*sigh*) with the other situation of someone breaking up and finding a new person. Again, I've heard a pretty persuasive argument that in the latter case, the breakup was a product of the fact that the couple wasn't working out anyway. That almost had me convinced for a while, but then again, reducing it to it's essence, the only distinguishing factor is time. If Stealor came into the picture before the breakup, she's a horrible person. If not she entered post-breakup, no problem. Isn't the timing thing something beyond her control. Why should she be made to wait because of pure chance? It's no credit to the original other half that he / she was there first. What if "tomorrow never comes"? According to that old song, you're supposed to "tell someone that you love just what you're thinking of". No one ever says that idea was wrong, many, infact, champion it.
Ah well, that's all the musing my brain can take tonight. Comments and feedback will be much appreciated. But if all you want to do is tell me what a horrible, amoral person I am... I'm already beginning to get an inkling of it. The trouble my warped sense of justice gets me into. Urgh.
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]