Recently, I was contacted by Navi about a post she was tossing around that became this post. I felt pretty honored to be her (or one of her) sounding board(s). I figured I’d steal a little of her wind here and give myself a post for the first time in a while by publishing my response to her offering. If you haven’t read it, you really should; it brings up a very interesting ethical situation, and besides, my post won’t make since out of context.
Here it is:
Let me start with two of my favorite quotes:
“Redemption is the highest form of good – not justice.”
“Tolerance is meaningless without tolerance of the intolerable.”
It’s really hard to live by these quotes, and no one does all the time, but I think your attitude in this case fully embodies both of them, and I think you have a completely legitimate concern about how your guildies reacted. Safe places have to be safe for everyone, not just the people who came in having “earned” it. Once they misbehave – make it an “unsafe” place for others – then they go, as in this case. But the decision is still up to them.
I had a similar situation recently. Well, not similar, but not terribly unlike your thoughts about “What if this kid really does give up on growing up because of this?” Balk’s flex had a really bad interaction with a guy who had routinely come with us, and a bunch of guildies went after him on openraid. He deserved it, mind you; he said some pretty terrible things, but for god’s sake they DESTROYED this guy’s capability to find other groups.
I still have him on my friends list, by chance, because I once set up the flex when Balk was away. I don’t want to talk to him because I assume I’ll get the same vitriol that the others got. And again, he was horrible, right in front of me, but I feel like they might have taken it too far getting him banned from openraid. I wondered, too, if that flex was the only thing he enjoyed during his otherwise unhappy week, and they’d taken it away.
I’m sure I’m being melodramatic, but my point is that I completely see where you’re coming from, and I think your post does a good job explaining it. I think you should post it, assuming you’re not worried about guild blowback or anything, and I think you should use it to start a discussion about the difference between justice and prejudice. They have the same root, after all – judgment. They were clearly prejudiced, and perhaps for good reason, but that doesn’t mean you don’t let people try to redeem themselves. Quite the opposite, in fact.
That’s the thing about being “good.” You constantly have to open yourself up to situations in which you may be vulnerable, which leads to the whole Spaceballs “Good is dumb
” belief. It’s not, though. It’s daring, and forgiving, and strong enough to survive when people often don’t end up redeeming themselves. But still, good tries.
What do you think, dear reader? Is it stupid to help people who are likely beyond helping? Or does good always at least try?
Stubborn (and still around, if only just)