“How many believe morality is absolute? Give me a show of hands. Religion tells us this, but we can never know for sure until we face an ethical dilemma. Most of philosophy is conjecture; it does not hold up under pressure. So, what we say we believe or what we say is “right” often conflicts with what we do. It is my argument that all worthwhile philosophy takes place outside of the classroom. You can only know your character when you act. And for that reason, I am dismissing you 20 minutes early. Go do something stupid today and learn from it!”

“My…my, you have deviated from the course material Dr. Johnson. May I remind you that you are still only an instructor. You must teach what we tell you to teach.”

Dr. Johnson looked at Dr. Marsh with a semi-serious demeanor. His life was an exercise in game theory; meaning, that if he input certain behaviors, he would get different results; given the other person wasn’t practicing game theory and changing their behavior to alter his. This was probably happening, but Dr. Johnson didn’t mind. It was delightful chaos.

“If I only teach the lesson, the collective grade point average in the philosophy department will drop to nothing. We learn from doing, do we not?”

“What is this I heard about you requesting every student plan the perfect murder with their least favorite professor in mind?”

“Just an intellectual writing assignment; are you worried?”

“Be careful Johnson; you may be popular, but I could have you fired much faster than you were hired.”

“But haven’t you wondered about the ethical and psychological boundaries a normal person needs to cross to become a murderer?”

“No. Fear and laziness keep the murder rates down. Just be sure you don’t take that away from our young people. I don’t want angry parents on my hands.”

“Did I hear you right? You are an advocate for timidity and sloth because it prevents vice? Your values are in direct conflict with the cardinal virtues and in alignment with the 7 deadly sins.”

“Don’t lecture me on the Catholic Church young man. I attend mass twice a week and I’ve been teaching since before you could read. Your evaluation will be in one week and it’s not looking favorable.” Dr. Marsh smiled with superiority and slammed the door.

It was silent.

“Maybe I should grade those essays a week early. I might get some ideas that could come in handy if I want to keep my job.”

3 thoughts on “The Professors and the Perfect Murder

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