Various shades of grey

Various shades of grey

The human eye can “practically speaking” detect 30 grades of grey.
Not a lot? Here’s just 15 greys.

Only this post isn’t about eyes, it’s about right and wrong.

Some may be thinking it’s easy to tell the difference between right and wrong.
Very monochrome thinking whoever you are.
Simple black and white, except life isn’t like that is it?

As a child I was taught Christian Values, right and wrong sort of thing.
And as a child, I was content with that.
Then, as I grew up, life experience seldom extended me the luxury of simply deciding if something was ‘right or wrong’ but more like one of those 30 shades of grey where black was evil, white was good, and everything else fell within that range of grey.

My solution?
I think ‘every problem outside of the straight forward’ as a shade of grey and that helps me to work out which wrong is more right.

Take a simple one.
Thou shall not kill. A Black level event.
Except in the self-defense of you or another life. So is that snow-white?
No, it’s just gone grey, especially in the eyes of the law!
The final judgement on your actions will be theirs not yours. Even if you got it right!

But a soldier can kill the enemy and that’s OK. White?
Well sort of, more like a lighter shade of grey and usually moderated by your Rules of engagement that was written by a ‘legal eagle’ on the orders of a politician.

Hows about you killing innocent(s)?
Ordinarily a Black level event, soldier or not, but one of many different scenarios may turn it grey. An example.

The innocent may be ‘human shielding’ a bad guy.
Not by choice, or even by choice, but to leave the bad guy in place may mean others die.

So to protect them the bad guy has to be stopped and that will result in collateral damage. (Sort of mucks with the mind doesn’t it?)
OK, time for you to choose. Black (Don’t shoot), white (shoot), or grey (Maybe)?

Just think, some thought this was easy.
Especially those who think that a Rules of Engagement will help you decide.
Still, if in doubt, some will radio for orders.
Only while you sit waiting for the chain of command to think about it, the bad guy starts popping off people. What you going to do about that?
To shoot will stop his carnage but will create its own.
You’re back into decision mode, which wrong is more right!
That carnage would include you if the COC says ‘do not engage’ after the event.

Finally I was listening to a discussion between a blowhard and a thinker about what one would do if you woke up to the cessation of the rule of law.
To the blowhard it was easy. Shoot everyone bad. Would that be black or white?
To the thinker it was “OK, but what if?” Now that’s firmly in the grey.

I personally loath those who only think in black and white.
They tend to get the wrong people killed.
Yet a bad call when thinking grey may also generate an incorrect  ‘which wrong was more right’.

Would I condemn a bad call when often such a call is hurried, under stress, and non reversible? The thing is you’re probably sitting there mulling about that.
And the one thing you seldom have time for in combat (or even a fast-moving survival scenario) is to mull things over in your mind.

So unless it directly and adversely affected me and my own, NO!
But bear in mind that if it did affect me and my own:-
My Easter Bunny will be calling on you.


Author: Alfred E. Neuman

71 year old geek, ultra-conservative patriot.