Feb 202014

triggerdisciplineI found out something about myself recently. I was writing a short story in which the protagonist attacks her lover (the protagonist is the villain of the piece, so it’s ok. I hope.) She threatens her with murder, the murder of her loved ones, and initiates physical violence, partly to control her. These are Bad Things.

Also, she has a gun in her house that she keeps loaded. With a round chambered at all times.

Now, there is a school of thought that one should keep a round chambered. There’s arguments that A) the chances of an accidental discharge are miniscule, and B) are greatly outweighed by the increase in survival by not having to chamber a round in an emergency situation. I come from the school of thought that says both of these are complete horseshit, and people who do this are idiots. Treat your fucking death machine with some caution.

The thing is, I dislike her more for keeping the loaded gun around than I do for her domestic violence. I was bothered that a character I wrote would do that, and I strongly considered changing it. I did not consider changing her violent outburst.

I place more weight on negligent violations than most people. This is why I like Desirism so much – it also focuses on the problem of negligence. There’s a lot more evil done in the world by people who don’t care enough about the consequences of their actions to think about them (negligence) then is done by people who are actively malicious. Anti-vaxxers, for example.

Which leads to the strange occasions where I’m more upset by someone failing to practice proper firearm safety than I am about their physical assault of a loved one. That seems… wrong?

  2 Responses to “Weird moral intuitions”

  1. I wouldn’t say it’s wrong necessarily. Villains have a reason for doing things, whereas something like needlessly poor judgement is frustrating. What would you hate more in a story, Hitler as a main character or him being defeated by absentmindedly running a stop sign and getting hit by a big rig? Sorry for the blatant Godwin’s law violation.

    • Good point. :) And a Godwin’s violation probably isn’t as bad as bring up Star Wars Ep 1. We’d all just rather forget that. “Oops, I accidentally launched this fighter, flew into the core of the command center, and pushed random buttons until one accidentally blew it up. My bad.” /shudder.

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