Lack of Conscience

I wish I was shocked when I read about the case of the murderers of Eliza Davis in Australia. Her two “friends” crept up and garotted her with a wire while smothering her with a chemical-soaked cloth the morning after a sleepover at the house of one of the murderers.  The killers were 16 years old at the time, so they cannot be named for legal reasons. And yes, that’s ridiculous.

“Sunday morning me and [the other accused] woke up, and we were just talking, and for some reason we just decided to kill her,” one of the girls said in a police record of interview read at the trial.

The other accused girl told police: “We just did it because we felt like it. It’s hard to explain. I knew we had wanted to kill someone before. We knew it was wrong, but it didn’t feel wrong at all. It just felt right.”

I am not surprised, because I have come to accept that many teenagers in this country are simply devoid a conscience. It is not even a word in the vocabulary of many 15 years olds, which I discovered this week during a quiz – even though I’m pretty sure everyone in that lesson had one. But many do not – or it has been supressed so far that it would take an awful lot of digging around to find it.

Because they are constantly shown that anything goes, this development is not surprising. The ethics they see is purely situational ethics. They are told sex is okay, as long as they are old enough. When they get pregnant, they can choose when life begins, and even if it has, whether to keep it depends on the situation. When granny gets old, they can choose whether she has an acceptable quality of life. Nothing is absolutely right and nothing is absolutely wrong. There is no such thing as truth and everyone is entitled to thier opinion.

Is it any surprise that a world like this produced the killers of Eliza Davis?


3 Responses to Lack of Conscience

  1. peter says:

    When I first read the account of this story, I was immediately reminded of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Then I saw that the three girls had been using amphetamines the night before, and it made even more sense. Speed kills – it kills the body, it kills one’s sanity, it kills one’s conscience, and it apparently even kills one’s friends.

  2. Thomas says:

    What on Earth are you going on about? If you had the sense to do a bit of research, you would know that child killers have been prevalent throughout history. ALL history. It is not by a long shot a recent thing. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that things have been getting better.
    And please don’t say that kids these days don’t have a conscience. I am a 16 year old Australian, and it hurts me to think that you believe me a heartless sociopath. How many kids are there in the world? Millions. How many murder people? VERY FEW.

  3. Dave says:


    I’d like to see the research that indicates the prevalence of killers who are children, either now or throughout history. In all my graduate study in history I never came this. I know there have murderers who were children throughout history, but I hardly think they have made up a significant percentage at any time.

    However, I would like to see your evidence that there are fewer now than in the recent past.

    And while I work on my clearly deficient research skills, how about you working on reading for comprehension. When did I call you “a heartless sociopath”? I’m not saying you couldn’t be, but frankly, I don’t even know you.

    I didn’t even suggest that all teenagers lack a conscience. In fact, I noted that I was pretty sure everyone had one in the lesson where I gave the quiz, even though the word itself was not in their vocabulary.

    And how many people are there in the world and how many of them murder people? Very few. Nonetheless, crime rates (including violent crime and murder) are increasing and increasing most substantially in the younger age groups.

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