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Re: Ed Priebe should not have apologized

Posted by Peter on January 09, 2003 at 18:03:27

In Reply to: Re: Ed Priebe should not have apologized posted by reader on January 09, 2003 at 15:38:02:

I am sure Ed had his own reasons and perhaps I should respect that and not question his personal decision. My point was basically that I don't think we should feel obligated to apologize for a negative outcome that is the result of someone else's actions.

I am certainly aware of the other side of the issue. My older brother, who was 20 at the time, certainly had a very different perspective on being housed in a juvenile institution for two months while the authorities searched for his younger brothers. In fact, he was so mad he tried to go on a hunger strike for the first few days. Although they were allowed a certain degree of freedom (including unsupervised outings) it still felt like a prison to him (perhaps because it was). I do feel sorry about what happened to him and the dozens of innocent children who were later separated from their parents and subjected to uncomfortable and intrusive exams, interviews and interrogations. However, I don't feel an obligation to take personal responsibility for that.

For example, suppose I turned in my neighbours in suburbia for having a crystal meth lab in their garage after warning them every day for two years that they needed to close it down to protect their children and community property values and standards. If the cops come and due to a reckless combination of overzealous enthusiasm and incompetence shoot one of the neighbours' kids, I still would not apologize for turning them in and although I would regret the outcome and the harm done to an innocent child I would not feel morally responsible for the actions of law enforcement authorities or the guilty parents.