So another week has passed me by, as has yet another brilliant episode of House M.D.
The reason I love House and will continue to, even over the rest of my favourite programming, is that I find it’s the only show to challenge its audience. The writers on House do not spoon feed their viewerswith cracker-jack jokes and drivel passed off as plotlines (I’m looking at you Grey’s).
Several episodes ago the writers on House really came at us with a moral imperative that I believe warrants further discussion.
James Earl Jones guest starred at Dibala, an African dictator who embodies such evil as Idi Amin of Uganda that oversaw the bloody murders of 300,000 of his countrymen.
Dibala was visiting the U.S. and fell ill, winding up as House’s patient, and effectively setting a fire the debate into the moral grounds of a doctor’s responsibilities.
Allison Cameron(one of House’s fellows), began the episode wanting to kill Dibala to prevent him from further slaughtering more people, while her husband and colleague, Dr. Chase, began to slowly engage Dibala in debate in an attempt to see the world through his eyes.
This is where the show begins to ask more of us than most viewers are accustomed to…
The first half of the episode Allison even went as far to say she doesn’t care if Dibala lives or dies and nearly refused to treat him (in the clip below it shows her obvious disdain for the man).
Eventually through expansive dialogue, Dibala comes out from behind his smooth intelligent exterior and admits to Chase that when he returns to his home country he will begin slaughtering his citizens again.
To make this incredibly interesting story short, in the end, Chase decides to fake a blood test result so to provoke his colleagues to give Dibala the wrong treatment, causing a fatal reaction.
In the episodes that have followed, we have witnessed the fallout of such a decision. Chase and Allison have been at ends within their marriages for weeks and in this past episode she left him on the grounds that “there is no going back for him.” (referring to Chase finally telling her he responsible for Dibala’s murder).
What I like about House M.D. is that the characters are always consistent and true. Allison Cameron has through the entire life of the series been the moral lightning rod, always standing in a black or white position, never comprising her views. There is honour in this, but there is also ignorance.
This brutal dictator has admitted that he will continue to murder thousands of innocent people, not to mention the thousands he’s already murdered.
Is it right to end this man’s reign of murder and terror if you had the chance?
Chase had an interesting point while explaining his decision to a colleague (Foreman) immediately after admitting his actions.
“All the good we’ve done, all the lives we’ve saved, it would have meant nothing if we were to save him (Dibala) and send him off to kill hundreds of thousands of people”
This statement rings true to me. I am not saying I believe I have the wherewithal to commit such an act. I have no idea how an action of this nature would weigh on me, but that doesn’t remove the fact that you would have, plain and simply, just saved hundreds of thousands of people.
Good people, innocent people, human citizens that deserve a chance to live their lives.
Humans somewhere down the road took a wrong turn on the reason highway and started believing human life is sacred. If you look around, we treat our lives as if they were anything but sacred. From our sports and adventure pastimes
We seem to be a society that lives within the Superman code of honour.
“I will never kill someone because then it makes me no better than my enemy”- Which is totally bullsh*t.
No one would have blinked an eye if an allied soldier would have snuck into Adolf Hitler’s bedroom and murdered him in his sleep.
In fact, we would probably still be having parades in that soldier’s honour today. I find it interesting how we simply side step and overlook all of the hypocrisy in our words. There is an inconsistency in opinion that is dangerous.
We also don’t honour the sanctity of life when we “support” our troops, because supporting OUR troops is also supporting the murdering of THEIR troops and civilians.
Of course nobody wants any of our solider’s to perish, but in the case of war, for one solider to live another must die.
And what about the lives of murders, rapists, pedophiles… the list goes on and on.
Are these lives sacred too?
Either all life is sacred or none of it is. Consider the picture here as much more than a funny poster. ——————————————————————————->
I understand this is a fine line and I hope to never test my own limits on this theory of morally justifiable murder, but as Dibala says in this clip below (paraphrasing),
“Most people are merely too weak to act on their beliefs.”
Like most things in life, there are two sides to this statement.
Personally, I believe this to be true, and that those with the ability to stop atrocities and truly villainous people take shelter in their apathy and fear by claiming moral righteousness.
Yet in reality, we usually have only the ambitious (not to be confused with the intelligent), the short-sighted, and the psychopathic that act on their beliefs without enough opposition to not just stand in their way, but to at the least, open another side to the discussion.
So the question I pose to you is a solemn one:
Do you believe that murder is wholly and completely wrong? If so, then why? (and ‘Because god said so isn’t allowed as an answer)
Or does the moral relativist within you ask for further discussion?
Here are two amazing clips. One is a clip from “The Tyrant” episode of House I mentioned.
The second clip is, of course, from George Carlin in a clip entitled “The Sancity of Life”
– start the clip at 6 minutes 50 seconds.
If these two clips don’t mentally stimulate you, maybe you should turn off Dancing with the Stars. 😉
Thanks for reading