Friday, 16 December 2011

Original sin, again

Child psychologist Margit Ekenberg told Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper: 'Children can be cruel to each other, but not evil.

'Children who commit acts like this have probably not received the care and assistance they needed from adults in setting limits to their actions.'

Those are the words of a supposed expert, responding to the case of a ten-year-old boy who strangled a four-year-old to death and dumped his body in the bushes.

Perhaps something got lost in translation? Hmmm....

Apparently, "cruelty" is not itself evil. How did she conclude that?

How would Ms Ekenberg know what evil is? What standard is she measuring it by?

Since strangling someone to death is, in fact, evil (the standard we measure that by is God's law), obviously ten-year-olds can commit evil. You only need one instance of a ten-year-old committing evil to prove that yes, ten-year-olds can commit evil.

As indeed can four-year-olds.

"'Children who commit acts like this have probably not received the care and assistance they needed from adults in setting limits to their actions.'" - since children of age ten can't (allegedly) commit evil, then why do adults need to set limits to their actions? If evil is actually impossible for them, then what is it we're meant to be stopping them from doing?

Apparently, we're meant to be stopping them from committing "cruelty". But since cruelty isn't evil, what's the problem, again?

Ms Ekenberg apparently subscribes to a situational view of the cause of (non-)evil. She believes that it's because adults haven't applied appropriate "limits".

What are those limits? Again, as ten year-olds are apparently beings who exist outside of the sphere where categories of "good" or "evil" apply, we must be meant to educate them on some other basis. It's apparently not "appropriate" to tell them that throttling the weak is wrong, as ten-year-olds can't commit wrong. Is the idea just that we educate them about what would be evil if they were older, so that when they're older they won't commit evil after it becomes possible for them to do so? "Don't throttle the weak now, because if you do it when you're older, it'd be evil" "What - it's not evil now?" "Nope, just cruelty." "Is cruelty evil?" "Not for you, no". "Thanks. Can I throttle you now?"

What age does evil begin to exist as a possibility for a child to commit, by the way, Ms Ekenberg? How did you determine that answer? It's apparently many years after the child can self-consciously assert its own will in ways that are contrary to God's revealed will for mankind to live. Presumably the ten-year-old wanted to inflict pain and suffering upon the four-year-old; that was his desire, and it carried over into action.

Ten-year-olds seem blissfully unaware that they are living in a universe in which (according to Ms Ekenberg) moral categories do not exist for them. They are continually debating about what is right or wrong, completely uninformed about the apparent reality that there is no such thing. They get cross if you, or one of their companions, commits an evil against them. They seem to intuitively all believe in this so-called impossibility.

What is the difference between a ten-year-old desiring to inflict pain on a four-year-old and then carrying it out, and a twenty-year-old doing the same thing? What if the twenty-year-old didn't receive sufficient "care" and "assistance" before he/she reached the magical age at which such actions become evil? Why has that now become the twenty-year-old's fault?

What's the point of all this? It's to point out the hopeless moral confusion that results when you reject the Bible's clear revelation of the reality of original sin. Original sin is also the explanation for how an adult with a brain can be accepted by a society as a supposed "expert" whilst coming out with such spewings of ignorance and darkness as Ms Ekenberg. The true path is not to be found in child psychologists of such an ilk, but in receiving a new heart from Jesus - which is a glorious possibility when you are an adult, or ten or four. Without it though, we're condemned to societies in which four-year-olds can be executed and the favoured ones in society, far from doing anything about it, actually make the evil-doers' excuses for them. The world's wisdom makes excuses for evil and tells you it's not really there; but Jesus defeats it.

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