Originally Posted by kowloon
I get you, and I agree that some people are incapable of being 'good' for sure despite all the best efforts of those influencing them. I see nature vs. nurture as a hardware vs. software issue. The hardware can only be compensated for so much by good software and bad software can ruin a good machine.
If they're born such that they can't be helped to be 'good' by outside influence I don't think it's any fairer to completely vilify them than if they had been brought up badly.
I'm not saying we shouldn't still condemn bad acts, society's disapproval has its role as a correcting factor and our justice system keeps society safe, orderly and tries to steer people in the right direction.
I think at the point that something like the Bolger killing has happened it makes more sense to try and understand why rather than just point fingers at the evil doers. There's a reason they acted the way they did and be it nature, nurture or more likely a combination of both, I think it's ultimately beyond their control.
You make good points, your last one however is one point that galls me about this case, I don’t want to veer too far off course but if you look at say the crime which is in the papers and news here at the moment of a foreign lady being brutally murdered allegedly by someone close to her you will see that the suspect in this case is clearly suffering from severe mental health issues, in these types of cases you can say it’s beyond their control however I have never believed that to be in the case of James Bulger, if you look at the two boys, they tried to cover their tracks, denied their actions when questioned, displayed cunning/manipulation etc, imo they knew exactly what they were doing.
I believe there are two ends of the spectrum to this case, on one end the burn them at the stake/execute them mob believing they are evil incarnate and at the other end would be the near apologists/the excuse seekers because of their traumatic childhoods etc. I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle, two bad kids (for various reasons including background) with malice intent who battered and tortured a two year old to death for kicks, at least one of them in all probability was a psychopath albeit a very young one.
Now for me once they commit an act like they did they forfeit sympathy, I don’t care for any deep insightful questions into their childhood such as omg what went wrong in their childhoods must of been horrific, oh the poor things it’s just terrible etc etc etc my only concern from then on is how do we protect society, my kids, your kids, our loved ones etc from individuals like this, what is the fitting punishment that needs to be dealt out to show that there are serious consequences for butchering a toddler, that they would not be coddled in care and probed by shrinks and soothed to ensure they are not upset. Strong punishment is required for horrific crimes like this as it protects all of us, if we skew it too far in the favour of the criminal which I sometimes think the judiciary here do we are failing to protect our communities and society as a whole. In this case I do not believe they received a fitting punishment they were coddled and released far too early, their rehab stint clearly hasn’t worked for Venables. While Lambe’s sentiment in making this film is nice I think it’s bs, there will unfortunately always be thousands upon thousands of kids that have bad upbringings and then there will unfortunately be the one in a million like venables/thompson who have the toxic combination of a bad upbringing and the key, a lack of an empathy switch, all of the documentaries/short films in the world won’t change that and our focus should be on how we protect society from such individuals.