Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Death of an Infant


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

There was this awful story in the local news last week about a 3-week-old infant who was kidnapped and then found dead. (Full story here. Don't click on the link. The headline is awful enough. The details are best skipped so you don't have the full knowledge of the awful terrible.)

The only reason I bring this up is for the what if factor. The whole if-I-could-go-back-in-time-and-fix something thing. Which always backfires. (Warning: that link leads to tvtropes.org, and it's very easy to start clicking links and find 5 hours of your life gone.) Because, that's the only reason an infant should end up dead. Or is it?

What if you knew that this small child was going to grow up to be complete evil? How could you prevent that child from fulfilling such a destiny without resorting to murder? Because, murder never works. It always backfires.

14 comments:

  1. No matter the '"what ifs", that child had a life that was taken away. I hope and pray that the family can get justice.

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    1. Apologies for the grim nature of the question.

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  2. That's true--what if you could kill Baby Hitler? Would you? Would that be one justification for murder? I just don't know if I could do bring myself to kill a baby, no matter what.

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    1. Personally, I think there has to be a better way.

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  3. It's good that you put a warning on the TV Tropes link. You know what a sink hole that turns into.

    It's kind of a grim question. Preemptive murder is still murder. But perhaps there's a way to steer someone down a different path. Something like getting someone to move to a new town and fill their life with new experiences could change everything. I just wonder if it would be for the better.

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  4. Tough question. No matter how bad the child, maybe through dedication and love the 'evil' could have been prevented. Maybe the baby Hitlers of the world missed that dedication and love in their childhood. Still, very tough and emotional call.

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    1. I'm pretty sure "evil" can be prevented.

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  5. I sort of agree with Sylvia. Surely it's nurture not nature. Surely a baby isn't born evil.

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  6. I could never do it, even baby Hitler. Murder is murder. I find it interesting that his teachers had noticed something wrong with him at an early age. We'll never know for sure if they tried to help him, or if someone else might have made a difference. I think there may be a tipping point where a person can no longer be helped or redeemed. It's awful to think about. Hitler obviously succumbed to evil.

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    1. We should try to help them, but can they be helped?

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  7. This reminds me of "We need to talk about Kevin". I read the book (then almost immediately after finishing watched the movie on a Netflix) since I couldn't sleep after finishing the book... I do believe that some people are born evil. But I can't see the justification for killing anyone. Sorry I haven't commented in ages. Started a new Rx that made me very foggy brained.

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  8. Oh how sad with that situation. To answer your question, maybe keeping the child in some type of institute so that they can't act on their violence?

    betty

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  9. oh boy this is difficult...brings The Omen to mind. If I knew the child would grow up to be pure evil and that was a certainty, I am not sure I could commit the murder but maybe hire someone else to do it. Of course I am going by the pure evil no matter what route. I actually have no qualms to say "execute" if that person, even if they are a teenager, can murder another in cold blood and enjoy it and also do this horrible deed in a horrible manner. There would have to be 100% evidence that they are guilty-no circumstantial. I am unsure what i would do. If I was shown a child and given certifiable truth showing the future of bodies being burned and others thrown into a big pit and this is all due to this child, I can't say I wouldn't pull the trigger. Thankfully we do not know that when they are little babies

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