Does Logan Paul deserve a second chance?
Everyone makes mistakes
Opinion by Amanda Blackman
Every person needs an opportunity for a second chance, no matter how atrocious their actions may have been. In the case of Logan Paul’s actions in the Aokigahara Forest of Japan, he deserves an opportunity to be redeemed. The only time a person can recognize areas in which they need to grow in their character is when a mistake is made. While my opponent may argue that his career is worth ending, Paul is in dire need of forgiveness.
The day after Paul released and removed his vlog, he posted an unedited video apologizing for his actions. In the video, Paul is overwhelmed with regret and recognizes his wrongs. Apologies are not meant to be superfluous words without any meaning. An apology is given if and only if a person realizes that they are at fault. Even if the apology doesn’t appear to be sincere, the person needs to acknowledge that something in the way they acted wasn’t up to expectation.
Paul’s apology video on YouTube has received criticism that it was not sincere. The only person who can know whether his apology is sincere is Logan Paul himself. An outside perspective cannot know every thought and emotion another is feeling.
Humans are not hardwired to commit acts of evil. People have moral compasses and an ability to discern right from wrong. When someone acts immorally, most of the time it is not because they went into a situation with the purpose of harming someone. Instead, feelings are hurt accidentally or out of ignorance. For Logan Paul, the intent of the video was not to exploit a suicide victim. Instead, his goal was to create a paranormal video for his fans. After discovering the body, he can only repeat, “This wasn’t supposed to happen,”—that doesn’t sound offensive.
There is an aphorism, “Hanlon’s Razor,” that states, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” For Logan Paul, anyone can admit that his actions in the Aokigahara Forest were stupid, but to say that he acted the way he did purely to be malicious is a flaw of logic. Human beings are bound to make foolish mistakes, and Logan Paul has learned from his. He, just like most others, deserves a second chance.
Some actions cannot be forgiven
Opinion by Tara Perticone
Logan Paul should not be given an opportunity for redemption after everything he has done. While sometimes people should be forgiven for their bad decisions, there are some actions that go beyond forgiveness.
The public sight of Paul laughing and joking around a dead body was disrespectful, both to those who have gone through significant trauma and to the family of the victim. Actions like these that can have very harmful effects on viewers do not deserve forgiveness.
Even if people always deserve a second chance for “mistakes,” it wouldn’t matter. Paul already had his. He had time to take the footage out. He had the opportunity not to escalate the situation to the point where he had to take the video down and issue a public apology, but he did not take that chance. His second chance was during the editing process, not after.
It is not enough to simply apologize; sometimes, one’s actions are not small enough to be so easily brushed under the rug. The person filmed was a real child from a real family who was struggling to the extent that he ended his life. Making a disrespectful video about that is not something that should be taken lightly, and it should not be forgiven. There are millions of people who combat mental health issues on a daily basis. According to the World Health Organization, the annual rate of suicide is over 800,000, and it is the second leading cause of death for those aged 15-29. So to post the video with the contents it had, regardless of intention, is not something that can be forgiven.
As an influential vlogger with 15 million subscribers, Paul has a responsibility to post courteous content. People all over the world saw the video of him visiting the Suicide Forest before it was taken down, and people expressed that it impacted them in negative ways, due to its disturbing nature. Paul did not live up to his responsibility as a celebrity to entertain and lead people with a positive direction. Logan Paul, and others who commit similar offenses, should not be forgiven.