Thursday, October 20, 2011

A cop saves their spouse, is it moral or not?

So, let's say you're a cop. You are married. You truly love your spouse. You have bills because your spouse is dying of cancer. $27,000 would be enough for the treatment the Doctors need for a cure.

You run into a situation where you could pass some information to a drug dealer about their being raided and you make the $27,000 to save your spouse's life.

Question: Do you do it? What is wrong?

Which is really the moral thing to do? The good of the one (Spouse), or the good of the many (Law)?

Do you follow the Law and what you swore to uphold?
Or follow your Vows in marriage and Love, and save your spouse?

On the surface it seems to me like a no brainer.

But, what is Right? What are the options?

Do it, save your spouse, get away with it.
Do it, save your spouse, but get caught.

Do it, your spouse dies, and yet you don't get caught.
Do it, your spouse dies, and you do you get caught.

Just what is the right thing to do?

You have an obligation to uphold the Law, you are an Officer of the Law. But you also have a much more intimate obligation to Love and Protect your spouse, which trumps which? What should you do?

I would submit that the answers lies in that hierarchy. First, you uphold the Law. But then, you uphold your obligation to your spouse and you do that only to the necessary extent that you have to, then revert back to the Law.

If you get caught, you suffer the consequences, you may go to jail, but your spouse lives. Or you can uphold the Law, let your spouse die, and know you let someone die. It is tantamount to killing them yourself. You have more or less committed manslaughter.

In taking the money from the criminal, you have broken the law but in not taking the money, you have broken a higher Law, that of allowing someone you have a double obligation to protect, to die. You have sworn a vow to protect them, you have sworn a pledge to uphold the Law and protect them. In breaking the Law and taking the money, you have broken one type of Law, but two, if you allow your spouse to die; not even considering the mental duress you place upon yourself for the rest of your life if you allow someone, especially, your spouse, to die when you could have saved them.

Would you give your life to save your spouse? Would you give your life to keep a criminal from being notified about a drug bust? Or to keep someone from taking money for information in this situation? Would you save their life, do the jail time, so you can spend the end of your life with them when you get out, obviously, no longer a cop?

If someone breaks the Law because a gun is to their head, we forgive them that and call it extenuating circumstances. This is somewhat true in a murder of passion, if you are not of a right mind, you may be forgiven for an act of passion. The situation where you can save your spouse if you break the Law is the same thing, only not considered the same under the Law because of time.

If you find your spouse in Flagrante Delicto, and pick up a gun sitting right there and shoot them, in that past anyway, and possibly still in some states, you can be forgiven that. But if you wait, come back in a week and shoot your spouse, you are a murderer, because you had time to calm down and think about it.

But a situation like the money for information and saving your spouse is a long time situation, longer than momentarily devastated in finding your spouse having sex with someone, being surprised by it and acting inappropriately to your personality and what standards of decorum would dictate.

What is my point in all this?

That sometimes, doing what is right, is wrong. But you may still have to do what is "right". You may have to suffer the consequences for breaking the rules, in doing what is right.

We see this in public under the moniker of "civil disobedience" so we do understand and allow for it, to some degree. But we are too fearful of it getting out of hand to actually justify it legally except by, well, exception, and typically if you have money, and therefore, a good lawyer.

This all requires critical thinking, higher forms of thought, thinking outside the box, doing what is right but outside the norm. It is what makes some people outstanding individuals, and also, criminals.
Think. Outside. The Box.

We need more outstanding citizens than we need criminals.

We make a big morality play on TV and in movies about just this kind of situation. But in reality, we need to do what we need to do. Family should come first. If your kid is in trouble, help them out, try to get them on the straight and narrow. If your spouse is dying, do what you have to in order to save them. If you are an officer of the Law, or just an ordinary citizen, do your best to uphold the Law. But in the end, you have to do what is right, and there are many, many examples of following the Law is the worst possible thing you can do.

This tends to terrify Law and Government officials, but that is their job. Your job is also to do what is right.

There is no easy answer. But hopefully, if you have lived your life right, and this is the main reason for doing so, when these difficult situations come up, you will just know what you need to do. And suffer the consequences. But do you best to minimize. We tend to lean toward a situation of, when we break a rule, we just throw caution to the wind and we spiral into the dark depths of despair, or ill repute, or criminality.

That is why there is the Law in the first place. Just don't allow that to happen. Do what you have to do to correct things, be smart, and get out as fast as you can. Don't think that you can do this kind of thing and go back to normal. that is most people's mistake. When you break the status quo, not infrequently, you then have to change the status quo to maintain it. It won't look the same anymore, but you will be able to continue on.

That is an important thing to consider. To maintain a status quo, the status quo has to change. Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn't it? And that is why so many people fail, do the wrong thing, get caught doing what is right (for them).

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