The Michigan Senate passed an anti-bullying bill, yet the father of the boy for whom the bill was named is unhappy, proving you just can’t please some people.
Kevin Epling, whose son Matt Epling killed himself in 2002 after being bullied, objects to a last minute addition to the bill by Republican senators that forbids schools from prohibiting any “statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” Epling believes this means that any old bully can still harass their fellow students and hide behind their religion.
But, Epling isn’t a Republican, so he just doesn’t understand why it’s important to protect, say, Muslim students declaring a jihad against Christian or Jewish classmates. Or vegan students threatening any student who participates in Biology lad dissections. What is Epling, anyway? Anti-La Raza or something?
Seriously, what a pussy. (Which we can say as a tenet of our Seventh Day Aggravist faith.)
Rotten meat is yucky. Boils are repugnant. Gangrene needs to stay in the medieval time. Still, why we feel this way might go deeper than just because of evolution: that disgust might have created our morality.
Valerie Curtis, a researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, argues that disgust evolved for the much same reasons that fear did. Disgust keeps us away from threats that can’t be seen, in the same simplified way that fear can keep us alive. Curtis tells us that the theory that the capacity for disgust was at the foundations of our modern conception of morality:
“If I go around leaving poo in your front lawn or spitting in your cups or making nasty smells in public transport or if I go to church in my pajamas, I’m threatening you with my bodily fluids. These are manners, but they’re also the precursor of moral behavior. That’s at least one of the ways that morality could have evolved in society: simple rules about not getting other people sick with your emanations. If you sit people in a room with bad smells, they punish more severely. Your sense of disgust for people’s bad behavior is tied together with your organic system.”
So, what can we take away from this research? A scientist saying “poo” is hilarious.
MIT, which stands for Mad scientists In Training, has released new research on the recently identified part of the brain that may control morality.
As they are wont, the scientists attempted and believe they were able to magnetically disengage this region in test subjects. In various experiments, the zapped subjects would appraise morally ambiguous scenarios based on the results rather than moral concerns.
For instance: when asked if it was acceptable for a man to let his girlfriend cross the Temple of Doom bridge, zapped subjects answered that it depended on whether she crossed safely or not.
When we asked MIT students if it was safe to bombard portions of the human brain with magnetic waves, they shrugged. “Well, we did get interesting results.”