I was born in 1945 when families were encouraged to keep secrets. The rule, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, stems from this concept. Unmarried and pregnant young girls were sent to visit their fictitious Aunt Martha, or hidden in the upstairs bedroom. If your father beat your mother, you learned quickly to accept his behavior as the norm in all families. What we now view as abnormal behavior was never discussed with friends, neighbors, or the authorities. There were few laws governing family safety, no books telling you what to do to protect yourself, and no councilors to provide advice. Silence ruled. Sadly, this silence birthed a generation of people unable to cope with the misery and chaos the abuse caused in their lives. With no one to lead them out of the darkness and into the light, many were forced to find their own coping methods which, in turn, created new (and some not so new) psychiatric maladies such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Depression, and too often, suicide. Abuse, all abuse, creates monsters of us all whether we want to admit it or not..
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What is ethics? Where do moral standards come from? Are they based on emotions, reason, or some innate sense of right and wrong? For many scientists, the key lies entirely in biology – especially in Darwinian theories of evolution and self-preservation. But if evolution is a struggle for survival, why are we still capable of altruism? In his…