I’m a big believer in the freedom of speech and the ability to say what I want whenever I want to say it….most of the time. At least when it doesn’t get me arrested. That said, the videos on the web showing Libyan Rebels killing Moammar Gadhafi has me questioning my tolerance for those freedoms.
As with every curious surfer, I’ve wandered over to You Tube to check out the video of Gadhafi’s final moments. I know….just a bit morbid, what can I say, my curiosity got the better of me. And besides, the Internet makes it so easy to just flip the page and find the content. As expected, what I saw was offensive and morally degrading. Pictures of a badly beaten body, lots of blood and packs of raving lunatics dancing around shooting their guns in the air. A blunt reminder of how unevolved the human race remains.
Watching the video brought to the forefront a moral and ethical dilemma for me. In my opinion, this sort of content is reprehensible and brings to question whether or not it should be allow to exist on the web. It’s extreme sensationalism that promotes violence and primitive actions which do nothing but demonstrate how human beings can be cruel and evil. I think we get enough of this on reality television most of the time without the blood and gore. Why do we need to be subjected to watching a video of dead Moammar Gadhafi?
I’m sure there are many of Libyans who would say “if you knew what Gadhafi has done” or “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. There are probably a million ways to justify the actions of the Rebels, but at the root of it all are the big questions. Did I really need to see this and more importantly why did I go looking for it?
I’m on a low sodium diet. I often tell my wife not to buy potato chips because I know that if they’re in the cabinet I will find them and eat them despite the fact that I know they kill me. I can’t control the urge. I think the same applies to some of the things we can now access on the web. When it’s made easy to access we can’t control the urge to visit even though we know we may not believe or agree with what we view. It brings to question whether or not we do need some form on external control or Internet censorship to save us from yourselves.
We all want to believe we’re morally superior and are capable of being able to determine right from wrong. Yet we all seem to gather some form of fulfillment from sensationalized, real-life content that at the root, often involves pain, injury and death. What motivates us to look when we drive by a car accident? Why did we have to watch the passenger jets crash into the World Trade Center over and over again? Why have over 1.6 million people watched a video of a badly beaten Moammar Gahafi being dragged around by Rebels acting like a bunch of chimpanzees? We all believe that mankind has evolved and that as a result we are capable of managing our own freedoms, but when you watch this stuff you really have to wonder if we really have.