one striving for God's reign to come to earth, bringing his peace, wholeness, completeness, and health to all aspects of life.

Real Baby Fake Baby...

The article below appeared today on CNN.  Needless to say, I was disgusted.  And the question that came to mind was: What causes this?  What on earth is going on inside people that they act in such a way?  Consider those questions as you read...

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- Police have arrested a South Korean couple whose toddler starved to death while they were raising a virtual child online, authorities said.
The couple fed their 3-month-old daughter once a day between marathon stretches in a local Internet cafe, where they were raising a virtual child in the fantasy role-playing game Prius Online, police told local reporters Friday.
Prius Online is a 3-D game in which players nurture an online companion, Anima, a young girl with mysterious powers who grows and increases her skills as the game progresses.
Police have not identified the 41-year-old father and 25-year-old mother, who lived in Suwon, a suburb south of Seoul. But the father apologized, speaking to reporters.
"I wish that she hadn't got sick and that she will live well in heaven forever. And as the father, I am sorry," he said.
The baby reportedly died five months ago.
South Korea has one of the world's fastest broadband networks. Seoul has won international awards for e-governance. Online gaming teams are sponsored by major conglomerates and 24-hour, high-speed Internet cafes, known as PC Bangs, dot every urban neighborhood.
Police said the couple had lost their jobs and used the game as an escape from reality, especially after the birth of their premature baby.
"They instead played an online game in which they raised a virtual character so as to escape from reality, which led to the death of their real baby," Chung Jin-won, a police officer in Suwon, told Yonhap News Agency.
"South Korea remains a very conservative society so people who fall outside the norm can come under severe stress and pressure," said Michael Breen, the Seoul-based author of "The Koreans."
"The Internet has provided such people with a paradise to escape to and simply get lost in."

Now what do you think?  I welcome your thoughts.  What is behind such escapism?  Such blatant disregard for life, even the life of your own flesh and blood.  I do not understand it, but I think we can find a clue by looking at the current state of our culture.  By "culture" I don't mean American culture, or Korean culture in this case, but our world's culture.  How have we gotten to where we are?  How have we come to value the things we value?  Personally, I think much of the root of the problem, the source of such terrible, self-centered actions is our relativism.  There is no truth, nothing grounded.  There may be norms of acceptable behavior, which differ from society to society or country to country.  But these norms are not accepted as truth, but only expectations.  There is no absolute truth, so there is no "right" way to treat your spouse, or your kids, or a stranger.  There is no "right" way to live.  I think this has led to the general acceptance of selfish behavior.  If there is no "right" way to live, then I can live however I want.  Don't tell me how to live, or that my way isn't right--it's right for ME, we say.  So our relativism has led to selfishness, which has made all sorts of behavior normal.

I think one of the most acceptable forms of behavior in our world culture is escapism.  The escapism that leads us to consume vast amounts of TV so we don't have to deal with our issues.  The escapism that leads us to eat vast amounts of food so we don't have to deal with our emotions.  The escapism that leads to adults playing hours of video games each day.  Or spending hours browsing the internet.  Or, in my own personal sphere, spending hours playing "fantasy sports"...  What, exactly, are we trying to escape from???  Our own mortality?  Our issues?  Our LIVES?

Why on earth this couple would take part in a fantasy internet game (about raising a human) and forsake actually raising their own daughter is beyond comprehension. It is utterly disgusting.  Despicable.  But the further our culture fades into relativism, and then into selfishness, the more such behavior will happen.  

May we all escape from our escapist tendencies.
May we drink in the life that is front of us, life that is calling to be lived to the full.
And more than anything, may we realize there is a right way to live, a way that loves and values life and sacrifices for others.  A way that lays down its own right to be selfish...


Anonymous March 7, 2010 at 5:55 PM  

Shocking! Hard to believe that the cry from your own (real & live) child would not pull you away from a game on a computer screen. I remember hearing my baby gurgle, yawn or stretch in the middle of the night and it would wake me and alert me to check on them. Did they lock the child away from their sight and sound to allow themselves to focus on this stupid game?

Ultimate in selfishness! Maybe they should be locked away (individually by themselves) with this game for a life sentence with no human interaction, maybe the child on the computer game will grow up and take care of them in their old age?

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