The remains of a young child have been found near the home of the Anthony family in Florida. Casey Anthony is charged with the murder of her daughter, and has been in jail for quite a while. It looks like the case is drawing to its inevitable and sad end.
What really amazes me about this case is the level of denial in which Casey’s parents engaged, particularly her mother. I know it’s probably hard and painful to even consider the possibility that your daughter may have killed her own child, but cupping your ears with your hands and chanting “odie, odie, odie” on national talk shows in the face of such damning and conclusive evidence has got to be a new high watermark for denial.
People believe what they want to believe. Like someone else said about the fallacy of Objectivism–man is not the rational animal, he’s the rationalizing animal. We expend a lot of brainpower and energy retroactively justifying and validating our own prejudices. Most people, when faced with having to choose between a comforting falsehood and a cold, painful truth, will pick the falsehood, and then defend their choice against all reason and evidence, because the alternative would hurt too much. (Of course we all think of ourselves as falling into the other category.)
Still, the truth is the truth, and reality is what it is, and not what we would like it to be. In the Anthony case, I wish that reality would not mean yet another small child killed by an unfit parent and then dumped in a cold hole in the ground somewhere, but that’s the way things look right now.
Now excuse me while I go hug my own children, and then find something cheerful to write about. Reading the news is hazardous to your mental health these days…