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The post by Charles Burris mentions several hypotheses about the conditions under which men fail to receive good moral training:
“Most, according to psychologist Peter Langman, an expert on school shooters, came from homes that also experienced infidelity, substance abuse, criminal behavior, domestic violence and child abuse.”
This hypothesis is on the right track. Instead of focusing on motives, the focus is on where moral training comes from, even though moral training is not mentioned. Hypotheses like these should explicitly bring in moral training as the key. We cannot escape acknowledging this. We can’t avoid talking about values that are correct and right.
To avoid raising monsters, we have to define right and wrong properly and we have to impart it to children. It has to be done starting from an early age. It starts with parents. We should not obscure the process of teaching right from wrong, and also teaching virtuous behavior, by fancy words that academics use like “socialization”. Some thoughts, some behaviors and some actions are definitely wrong and some are right. We should not obscure the clear cases by focusing on the difficult and ambiguous cases.
The hypothesis of Peter Langman is really that a bad family life fails to deliver proper moral training to children. It delivers improper training in its place.
The hypothesis can be broadened. We are having more shooters because the moral training has gone downhill, and it has gone downhill because the training provided in the family, the schools, the churches, the camps, the media, the books, the movies, the government, etc. has gone downhill.
Why has this happened? What remedies do we have?
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Sadly sounds about right.
The American society has drifted from self-discipline to “whatever makes me feel good”.
There may well be no coming back.
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