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  #1  
Old 06-16-2013, 08:07 AM
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Default Could The Purge actually....work?

When I say that, I refer to the movie, one my wife and I just saw last evening. In the movie, set in the year 2022, all crime is legal 12 hours a year, with it being illegal the other 364 days a year. According to the movie, the Purge has been an incredible success, with 95% of crime eradicated. But the movie, for me, begs three pressing morality questions, and I'll explore them here.

Could The Purge Work?

As I said, in The Purge, all crime is legal for 12 hours on one day a year.The idea being that the evil, the worst elements of us, will be satiated by being able to whatever we please without consequence for 12 hours. Both the rich and poor, the moral and the degredants, all can explore their deepest darkest fantasies in that time. Rape, murder, gang beatings, bank robbery, stealing medications from pharmacies, assault, and any type of crime one can imagine is legal. The idea is that human beings are inherently evil(something I agree with), and this 12 hour period allows them to let out all the pent out aggression they've stored up over the past 364 days. According to the movie, the other 364 days are essentially without crime, because the criminal element operates at(mostly) full force during the 12 hours of the Purge.

Here's my problem: If people are given a taste of lawlessness and degredation, wouldn't that want them to participate in it all the more? If people are inherently evil, as the movie suggests and I believe, wouldn't that temptation make them want it all the more? I believe so. I just find it hard to believe that allowing the criminal element to do as they please for those 12 house would be enough. Further, moral or immoral, law-abiding or degredant, it's hard for me to buy the idea that they would be satiated by just this short time frame. Would the career criminal, the desperate and the lawless truly be able to wait 364 days just to have free reign for 12 hours, no doubt fighting off others, both criminals and the normal law-abiding citizen, be able to wait? I don't believe so Because of this, I believe the Purge would be an utter failure.

What would you do during those 12 hours?

Damn, this is a tough question I'm posing, at least for me. As I said earlier, I'm of the belief that human beings are born inherently bad. I believe firmly in nurture, or one's exposure to the bad of their families, and wanting to do different. So using that logic, even the most law-abiding, moral human being would be tempted. What if one is short on money, and needs the cash to pay the bills? It's legal right, so what's the problem? And how about the person who suffers in extreme pain, but because of stricter regulations on pain meds in the U.S. of A, they help themselves to a few bottles of Oxy or Morphine at the pharmacy? Again, it's perfectly legal. Or an even bigger issue: A loved one is raped or murdered, and you know who did it. Wouldn't it be tempting, knowing it was legal, to exact revenge on said person?

Sure, what I'm leaving out in all 3 scenarios here is that these things are immoral. They're wrong. Theft, assault, and murder, regardless of circumstance or legality, all wrong. But what would I do? Its tough. I'd like to think I was above it all, on my high horse, and would never even consider the idea of hurting someone or robbing somewhere. But put in the situation, regardless of my moral beliefs, and it may be too hard to resist Let's say I suffer from chronic pain in my back. Some Morphine wouldn't be a bad thing, would it? Or a real situation, let's say the wife I adore(true) was raped(untrue) by a man living down the street? I own a gun, and the temptation to go after him would be an enticing one. Maybe not to kill him, but for him to get the message never to lay his hands on my wife, or any other woman, ever again.

I'd like to think I'd do the moral, Christian thing, and either find a secluded area to hide, or bolt the doors in my house and wait it out. But I find myself disheartened that I can't say that's what I would actually do. I'd hope and pray that I'd take this approach: I follow the law during the other 364 days and 12 hours a year, so nothing should change.

I just cannot say with certainty that I would actually do so.

Us or them?

The idea behind the Purge, mainly, is to cleanse the U.S. of the degredents and homeless of society, the useless, as they are referred to several times over. In the movie, without giving away too much, an injured homeless man pounds on the door of the movie's central family, seeking sanctuary. It is offered to him, but the catch is this: They are soon approached by participants in the Purge, who ask that they turn the homeless man over. Failure to do so within the hour, they are told, will result in the penetration of their security system, and the death of the entire family. That's a husband, wife, and two children. Sure, they could fight back, but what are the guarantees? Here, they are guaranteed to be left alone, as long as they hand over the degradent, the injured black man.

Again, here lies an incredible moral crisis. Unlike the rapist or the killer or any other evil human being who got away with their crimes, this man is an innocent. He's simply someone some members of the Purge had attempted to eliminate, and by sheer luck I suppose, he escaped, sought sanctuary, and was granted it.

What would you do here? To a certain extent, I hold to an 'Us or Them' mentality. But that involves others attacking FIRST. In other words, you come after my wife, I shoot you dead. My hypothetical children? Same thing. They're innocents. And there-in lies the problem: The man seeking sanctuary is also an innocent, he's just a homeless man that those who participate in the Purge want to kill to satisfy their blood-lust.

Unfortunately, as much as it would haunt me at night, there would be no debate, no doing the moral, Christian thing. If those after the man were going to kill my family and myself if I didn't hand him over, I would. I would have a hard time living with myself after, but my choices being 'Us or Him', I would reluctantly hand the man over, and try to drown out the screams.

Does that make me a terrible person? Perhaps. But I'm of the mindset that I would do anything to protect my children and wife, and if it meant sacrificing the life of a man I've never met, regardless of who he is, I would do it. I'd live with immense guilt, perhaps for the rest of my life, but I'd do it.

It's a tough situation, and I don't think anyone here will think less of another regardless of what conclusion they come to. The questions are contained within,and any other discussion regarding the morality of it all, are welcome here. Incorporate elements of the movie if you like, please, just no spoilers. I'd love to see some great discussion take place on what is incredibly difficult subject matter.
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2013, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucic Seguin Neely 80 View Post
Us or them?
I'll keep my answer short because, obviously, we could go on all day about the implications raised here. But it isn't as simple as "us or them" since much of this topic concerns the rights of the criminals, not the victims. But, legal or not, the potential victims don't want to be actual victims, so they're going to fight back, and whether the criminal is looking to rape/murder or just steal a bottle of morphine, the other party will have the right to fight back against the criminal, creating a 12-hour bloodbath that you'd want to see only......well, in a movie.

If, for instance, I owned a pharmacy and didn't want the guy who's looking to lift the morphine have his way, I might choose to close my store and sit by the pharmaceutical supply with a shotgun and blast the guy who tries to get at them. That's fair play, isn't it? Just because the criminal shows up during the 12-hour "legal" period doesn't mean I want him to have what he wants, right? Oh sure, maybe I'd point the gun and warn him off before putting the blast on him.....or maybe not. If it's legal for him, it's legal for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucic Seguin Neely 80 View Post
What would you do during those 12 hours?
Hide my ass in a locked bank vault and hope I have nothing a criminal would want from me, anyway.

However, if I was foolish enough to think that surviving the 12 hours would be enough to keep me safe the rest of the time, I might want to submit to a psychiatric exam to test my sanity. Criminals are criminals for many reasons; no one should be secure enough to presume that the Purge would eliminate crime the other 8748 hours a year.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:27 PM
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I kinda feel like the OP. I wouldn't be going out and slaughtering people or anything, but if someone had harmed my family at some point I would think about going for revenge. If I really needed money I would probably go try and get some. The thing is though back to what Sally said, no one is going to just hand their money over to me. It's going to be a fight. If someone tries to come into my house then sure I am going to defend my family, but as far as going out and taking part in it, I think I would probably just lay low and try not to make any waves. There is always that temptation though that the OP talked about so I could never really know I guess.

Now onto the question about the homeless man. If a bunch of people were going to invade my house for the reason stated then I would serve the man to them on a silver platter. I am sorry to put it that way, but it's true. I would not expose my kid to that if i could help it especially not for a stranger, and lets be real I am guessing that same homeless man would sell me down the river for a fifth of Jim Beam. I consider my self a nice guy, but in a case like if it's that man or my kid, I am sorry but it is going to be that man.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Could The Purge Work?
Remember the ending in The Purge, LSN?

Click for Spoiler:
After Ethan Hawke's death, the neighbors seemingly came to the rescue for Lena Headey and her kids. But after the neighbors killed the prep kids, the neighbors revealed they only saved Headey and the rest of her family, because they wanted the pleasure of killing them to themselves. They were motivated by jealously, because Hawke was making so much money, and he sold a lot of The Purge security systems to people in the neighborhood


That's my main problem with actually having a Purge in real life: the motivations of people, who participate in The Purge. Who's to say people won't just abuse the privilege? Who's to say everything will stop once the twelve hour time period ends? If you're willing to participate in something, where you can openly and willingly kill people, you obviously have some lose screws. I have a hard time believing some people will just stop, when law enforcement blows the whistle, and hordes of people might try to kill, or shoot it out with the cops or paramedics. And of course, if a whole new wave of criminals pop up, then we'll have more overcrowding problems in US prions (something the plot synopsis alludes to, if I'm not mistaken).

Quote:
What would you do during those 12 hours?
Hide, and only kill in self-defense, or to protect my loved ones from the other lunatics. The only way I could see myself actually participating in The Purge is if by some bizarre series of events, I'm out in the open with no other choices to defend myself until the twelve hour time period expires.

Quote:
Us or them?
Again, I have a hard time believing Purge participants will kill for the good of mankind in a "cleansing" (i.e. murdering homeless people, junkies, etc.). The prep kids in the movie wanted to kill the homeless man, because they thought he and others like him were "pigs." The prep kids had a snobbish superiority complex, they weren't killing for the greater good of mankind.

And people just killing to fulfill their own selfish desires is another massive problem. Remember the guy on the radio? He was a disgruntled employee, bragging about killing his boss. How is he or anyone like him helping society?

I alluded to jealously for killing earlier with the spoiler, and that's another moral conflict to consider. Say if someone wants to kill you because you drive a better car, live in a bigger house, make more money, or have a drop dead gorgeous, perfect ten girlfriend or wife? Millions of Americans will eventually abuse The Purge privilege, and in the end, if the government were to allow something like this to happen, you could wind up breeding a whole new wave of bloodthirsty murderers, rapists, and other types of criminals. In the end, we would a have a bigger problem than we started out with in the beginning.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:25 AM
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I don't believe it would work at all. In fact, I think it would make matters worse.

Many criminals get a "charge" or get excited from the adrenaline rush of committing a crime (killing, stealing, whatever). If people that wouldn't normally committ crimes suddenly felt that adrenaline rush during the purge, who's to say that they wouldn't do it the other 364.5 days?

What about people like serial killers that are addicted to killing? 12 hours of knowing they can't get in trouble for killing, isn't going to make them any less "addicted" to killing.

There are plenty of other ways for people to vent their frustrations other than committing crimes. When people commit crimes, it is for a variety of reasons but not just because they have pent up anger or something like that. Usually it's socioeconomic status (which isn't going to change in 12 hours), how they were raised, family problems, etc. The Purge is missing the point, although it's an interesting idea. MOST people don't go out committing crimes because it's illegal, they're doing it for other reasons. So legalizing crime for a short period of time wouldn't help the root of the problems.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:59 AM
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All good responses thusfar, and for that, I'm appreciative. But I feel either I wasn't clear enough in the "Us or Them" question, or perhaps, I should have labeled it "Us or Him?"

Here's the thing: In the movie, the family allows a stranger into their home, and people after him soon follow. The proposition is a simple one: Hand him over, and you, your wife, and two children are left alone. Don't, and within the hour, we'll be back with equipment to destroy your state-of the-art security system, and not only will we get him, we'll get you and your family as well.

What would you do? Hand the man over and be "safe"(hopefully), or do the moral thing and send an innocent man to his death?

I've already stated it, and it pains me to do so, but I'd hand him over and pray to God they left it at that, and for his forgiveness. I'm decent with a gun, own one, and shoot weekly, but would I have a shot against a horde of 5 or 6? Doubtful. So I'd protect my family in the way I thought best, which is to hand the man over, and go to therapy 3 or 4 times a week for the rest of my life for doing so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch H. Winnfield View Post

I alluded to jealously for killing earlier with the spoiler, and that's another moral conflict to consider. Say if someone wants to kill you because you drive a better car, live in a bigger house, make more money, or have a drop dead gorgeous, perfect ten girlfriend or wife? Millions of Americans will eventually abuse The Purge privilege, and in the end, if the government were to allow something like this to happen, you could wind up breeding a whole new wave of bloodthirsty murderers, rapists, and other types of criminals. In the end, we would a have a bigger problem than we started out with in the beginning.
These are things I didn't even consider, and I saw the movie and the spoiler you posted was a nice refresher. And that wasn't even some idealistic society, you had a radio employee who was going to kill his boss for just being cruel to him! Want a time to see the Ten Commandments violated? Here you go. Don't covet your neighbors wife? Kill the husband masked, and hope to woo her later. Don't covet your neighbors possessions? Kill them and take them for yourself. I could go on, but you get the picture. The idea behind the creation of the Purge was one thing, a sick one nonetheless, but the reasoning was one of idealism.

As you alluded to, the ending showed that the neighbors who killed the preps weren't motivated by altruism, it was jealousy. And that was in a RICH neighborhood, among rich people. It would be much, much worse among classes, races, and those opposed to homosexuality and the like.

And God forbid the Westboro Baptist Church gets involved. The only positive of the Purge I could see is if people took those bastards out the second the whole damn thing started.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:35 PM
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No, the purge could never work, and for a very simple reason. It presumes that people are capable of not committing crimes for 364.5 days a year. If people can act with enough self control to not commit any crimes the rest of the year, they have enough self control to not commit any crimes at all. They even state in the film that the other 364.5 days of the year, crime is virtually non-existent, which makes for a patently absurd plot. So nobody does any drugs the rest of the year? Nobody steals any cars? Wall street tycoons only embezzle 12 hours a year? Every would be rapist magically can control their urges until one specific day of the year? I call total bullshit on the entire movie as being about as plausible as Eric Holder actually telling the truth when testifying before Congress. It just isn't going to happen.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:49 AM
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It would never work as the underlying idea behind the Purge is inherently flawed - that the reasons for crime can be overcome by a cathartic blood-letting, stealing or whatever.

Would such catharsis really overcome the impulse for revenge for the acts perpetrated during the Purge? Can such catharsis put food on the table or clothes on the children rather than having to steal?
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Барбоса View Post
It would never work as the underlying idea behind the Purge is inherently flawed - that the reasons for crime can be overcome by a cathartic blood-letting, stealing or whatever.

Would such catharsis really overcome the impulse for revenge for the acts perpetrated during the Purge? Can such catharsis put food on the table or clothes on the children rather than having to steal?
Yes, as if people will let out all their emotions for 12 hours. What happens when they wake up the next day, and they for example get into a fight with the cashier?
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucic Seguin Neely 80 View Post

What would you do? Hand the man over and be "safe"(hopefully), or do the moral thing and send an innocent man to his death?
Probably hand him over. Of course, you're going to really think about this tough decision, but I highly doubt most people (myself included) would risk their lives, and their family's or loved one's lives to protect a stranger. The moral choice in The Purge is just pure movie bullshit. If a group of nutcases are threatening to murder you and your family, if you don't hand over a complete stranger, you're going to throw that person to the wolves to save your own ass. Such a decision would weigh heavily on your conscience, and might require years of therapy. But in the end, I can't picture myself literally risking everything for someone I don't know.
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