Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

Recently I was involved in a discussion regarding the two Boston Marathon bombers.  It started off with someone expressing concern about the amount of anger and hatred being directed towards the bombers.

I am dismayed and afraid about the amount of hate and vengeance for the two who planted the bombs. It is spreading the attitude of vengeance in our country. I saw a quote from Ghandi this morning which I have not verified, but it struck me as true. "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind". What is the difference between those two and us wanting to kill them?

This comment launched a discussion that had one side advocating that we should try to understand – show “empathy” towards how people could become so “disenfranchised” that they would commit such violent acts?  They also argued that it was unhealthy for us, as a society, to feel so much anger, hate and a desire for vengeance against the perpetrators.

I disagree.

We have the ability to indulge ourselves in this discussion precisely because we live in a civilization that instinctively and actively removes the monsters from society. We should be thankful that the instinctive emotion by our society is anger, disdain and hate towards these monsters and not empathy or compassion.

A civilization that frets too much on whether it's acceptable to dehumanize monsters has little expectation to survive in the long-run. It only took two monsters to shut down Boston. And I think we all know that there are many many edge cases out there that could become such monsters.  Our civilization could be severely disrupted by a handful of individuals like the Boston Marathon bombers.  We should show no tolerance whatsoever for individuals that act in this way.

Therefore, as a society that seeks to survive, we should absolutely show the maximum amount of disdain, disgust and contempt for human beings to engage in such behavior. We should absolutely make it clear that people who engage in this act are so loathed that we no longer even think of them as human but rather as animals, vermin, and monsters. We so reject their actions that we figuratively have kicked them out of our species.

I think it's intellectually facile to argue that it's somehow "wrong" to dehumanize human beings like this. At best, it's the result of not thinking through the consequences of what would happen if a significant plurality of our society showed an ounce of compassion or empathy towards these kinds of monsters. And at worst, it's simply indulging in feel-good sanctimonious back patting (i.e. "Look at me, I'm an intellectual because I imagine that intellectuals are above feeling 'negative' human emotions).

If we want to keep our society, we better hope that people continue to think of human beings that would seek to destroy them as monsters, vermin, animals and worse.  “What is evil?” someone asked. Pointlessly and indiscriminately murdering innocents who were there to support loved ones participating in an event that celebrated excellence. That’s evil.

Just my 2 cents.


Comments (Page 12)
on Apr 30, 2013

...

I was referring to the forummers I've encountered on this thread, which was kind of one step removed from the post I quoted.

 

Joke misfire.

on Apr 30, 2013

Scoutdog

I can accept that, but why do they all have to come here?

 

was listening to George Carlin interview yesterday....one if his comments comes to mind...

 

"When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat".      

on Apr 30, 2013

"THE object of this volume is not to cast fresh blame on authorities and individuals, nor is it to expose one nation more than another to accusations of deceit. Falsehood is a recognized and extremely useful weapon in warfare, and every country uses it quite deliberately to deceive its own people, to attract neutrals, and to mislead the enemy. The ignorant and innocent masses in each country are unaware at the time that they are being misled, and when it is all over only here and there are the falsehoods discovered and exposed. As it is all past history and the desired effect has been produced by the stories and statements, no one troubles to investigate the facts and establish the truth." - http://www.vlib.us/wwi/resources/archives/texts/t050824i/ponsonby.html#into

Are we somehow immune?

on Apr 30, 2013

sydneysiders
"When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat".

George (whom I still love) wasn't catholic enough in his views: Anywhere on this mud ball is a front row seat. People are people, wherever.  

on Apr 30, 2013

AlLanMandragoran
http://www.vlib.us/wwi/resources/archives/texts/t050824i/ponsonby.html#into

Are we somehow immune?

I like this quote from your link...

War is fought in this fog of falsehood, a great deal of it undiscovered and accepted as truth. The fog arises from fear and is fed by panic. Any attempt to doubt or deny even the most fantastic story has to be condemned at once as unpatriotic, if not traitorous. This allows a free field for the rapid spread of lies. If they were only used to deceive the enemy in the game of war it would not be worth troubling about. But, as the purpose of most of them is to fan indignation and induce the flower of the country's youth to be ready to make the supreme sacrifice, it becomes a serious matter. Exposure, therefore, may be useful, even when the struggle is over, in order to show up the fraud, hypocrisy, and humbug on which all war rests, and the blatant and vulgar devices which have been used for so long to prevent the poor ignorant people from realizing the true meaning of war.

So true.

 

on Apr 30, 2013

myfist0
I like this quote from your link...

War is fought in this fog of falsehood, a great deal of it undiscovered and accepted as truth. The fog arises from fear and is fed by panic. Any attempt to doubt or deny even the most fantastic story has to be condemned at once as unpatriotic, if not traitorous. This allows a free field for the rapid spread of lies. If they were only used to deceive the enemy in the game of war it would not be worth troubling about. But, as the purpose of most of them is to fan indignation and induce the flower of the country's youth to be ready to make the supreme sacrifice, it becomes a serious matter. Exposure, therefore, may be useful, even when the struggle is over, in order to show up the fraud, hypocrisy, and humbug on which all war rests, and the blatant and vulgar devices which have been used for so long to prevent the poor ignorant people from realizing the true meaning of war.

So true.
Good stuff. Not sure how it applies to the "topic", such as it is, but good stuff nonetheless.

on Apr 30, 2013

Scoutdog
So true.Good stuff. Not sure how it applies to the "topic", such as it is, but good stuff nonetheless.

The reason why I personally find it relevant is to avoid falling into the trap of whichever authority demanding, on their word, that someone, anything, is my enemy because they say so. If this was the logic used in judicial proceedings we might as well find the accused guilty without an option for defense. Unlike in court proceedings, where truth and justice take time to determine, the prosecution reigns supreme in the court of public opinion.

on May 01, 2013

Good point. I'd also note that it applies to "the herd" as well as to governments.

on May 01, 2013


If we want to keep our society, we better hope that people continue to think of human beings that would seek to destroy them as monsters, vermin, animals and worse. 

 

I completely agree.

 

 

on Jun 15, 2013

       I would have responded to the subject of the Boston Marathon bombings sooner; but, I was working full time. However, the news has reported a few more facts about the case of the Boston Marathon bombings, about which I can write some additional comments. One additional fact is that the surviving accused of the Boston Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, wrote notes inside a boat, during the time he was hiding from the pursuit of law enforcement, that indicate a religious reason for his alleged crime; therefore, I will make some comments about religion. Another fact is that a few people accused Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of often reeking of marijuana smoke; therefore, I will finish this post writing about the possible effects of marijuana on the health and behavior of people.

       I live in Massachusetts approximately 130 miles west by road from Boston, MA. Except for the news reports, I am not aware of any direct effects of the Boston Marathon bombings where I live.

       If evil happens to a society or to a civilization then who has the responsibility for that evil? People in that civilization have the responsibility, including in this case the responsibility to the victims for their medical treatment and an announcement for their compensation. In cases like the Boston Marathon bombings, for what a civilization strives or maintains can also be a victim. After law enforcement arrests the suspects, the responsibility to protect society and the accused from further violence becomes the responsibility of civilization's law enforcement and judicial system. I believe that we cannot assume that evil will take responsibility for its own evil acts. Therefore, I believe that we should have law enforcement; and, I personally commend law enforcement, the press, justice, medical and political systems for the good way that they handled and responded to this case.

       People in recent times have applied, professed or attempted to use the Islamic sariah rule of "an eye for an eye" as a literal interpretation; however, other people have used the phrase of "an eye for an eye" as an example connotation. Another meaning of the phrase, "an eye for an eye", beside people interpreting the phrase as an acceptable, justifiable and balanced means for literal justice, is an ideal concept that the price of justice should not be greater than the loss value from the crime so that a distinction can exist between justice and crime. One reason for example for avoiding using the phrase of "an eye for an eye" as a justifiable means for vendettas is to avoid the possibility of a cycle of reciprocal destructive revenge. In the Qur'an of Islam at 5:45, "We ordained therein for them: 'Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.' But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. ...". What distinguishes Islamic nations from other nations is that Islamic nations use a religious judicial system from the Qur'an, the words of its prophet, Muhammad, and the fatwa or the legal decisions of Islamic scholars.
       Roman law during the Roman Empire changed the principle of "an eye for an eye" from a literal use of exact retaliation for equal retribution to a law that includes in their verdicts the substitution of monetary compensation. Much later, written as the sixth Instruction for Islamic law in the Surat Al Israa, "And do not kill anyone whose killing Allaah has forbidden ... . And whoever is killed wrongfully ..., We have given his heir the authority [to demand Qisaas, Law of Equality in punishment - or to forgive, or to take the Diyah ([compensation due for the shedding of blood])]. But let him not exceed the limits in the matter of taking life ...".
       The earliest phrase of, "an eye for an eye", that I know is in the Old Testament at Leviticus 24:19-20, which is literally interpreted as exacting the same punishment as the crime, and which was interpreted to be a preventive means against excessive punishment and not meant to be a limiting factor for revenge. Currently, in Jewish law "an eye for an eye" evolved to an understanding of social justice for maintaining social peace and calm by legally using reasonable compensations that are not meant to satisfy grudges and hatreds.
       In the New Testament at Mathew 5:38-39, Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth'. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also", which has been interpreted as not to fight nor to run from your enemy but for example to explain and defend to your enemy your reasons and justifications as one way to love and respect your enemy, while using the responsibility to 'make things right' by way of God's revelations and graces, and at the same time do not use additional aggression that might cause the aggressor to sin again. Mathew 5:38-39 is also an example about not returning an injustice for injustice. Additionally, an interpretation of the statement at Mathew 5:38, "'[You have heard that it was said]', means that [Jesus] was clarifying [an Old Testament] misconception, as opposed to [Jesus who could have said], 'It is written'". Reportedly, one original meaning of, "to turn the other cheek", was that the person who an attacker strikes on the cheek is considered by the attacker to be lesser in authority or stature to the attacker; and therefore, the response for the attacked "by turning the other cheek" was to calmly and perhaps firmly and without attacking respond to the issue that provoked the attack with for example the practical authority of reason with the intent to remedy or to mollify the situation, and which can be further interpreted as, "To take a stand", and remain firm with endurance without yielding or retreating.

       Unfortunately, the practice of "to turn the other cheek" places the victim of injustice at risk of further injustice; and therefore for example, would the victim have a justification to kill the attacker? Since, "Thou shall not kill", was first chiseled into stone as one of the Ten Commandments (the sixth commandment in the Jewish Talmud, the fifth commandment in Catholicism, and in the Qur'an the fifth Instruction in the Surat Al An’aam and the sixth Instruction in the Surat Al Israa), the commandment has received more expanded explanations. Reportedly, a more correct translation from Hebrew is "Thou shall not murder", which has been interpreted as indicating a distinction between any type of killing of anything and murder, where "Thou shall not murder" prohibits one type of killing.
       Legally, as different from religiously, the attacked can use only enough force in self defense to repel or stop the attack. If the defender uses excessive force to defend especially with the intent to inflict greater harm on the attacker than the attacker uses then the defender can also be legally accused of a crime such as murder, manslaughter or assault. Legally, murder is often defined as preplanned or intentional killing of another person who poses no immediate deadly threat; and where sometimes, the killing of the other person is from malice for personal gain or satisfaction. Manslaughter has been defined as killing another person without deliberation, premeditation or intent such as for example the voluntarily aggressive and unexpected killing of another person who was not an immediate and present threat of deadly force to the attacked. Manslaughter is also defined as involuntary killing of another person for example through carelessness. Some places of civil law require that when a person is attacked then that person must attempt an escape to safety and contact law enforcement about the attack. In other situations that have no immediate time or way for the attacked to escape a deadly attack, the attacked can use deadly force only against the present and immediate use of an apparent threat of deadly force where the attacked's use of deadly force is for the intent to protect the life of the attacked and not with the intent to kill the attacker.

       One definition of monster in my dictionary is, "a person of unnatural or excessive ... wickedness, or cruelty". Unfortunately, in human history, attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing is not humanly unnatural but rare and in my opinion very cruel. I believe that human cruelty is not unnatural human behavior because cruelty has been an innate characteristic of many people. Also from my personal understanding, cruelty is not unnatural human behavior including when cruelty has been equally or properly proportioned for good. When we look into a mirror, do we see the cruelty of our enemy or do we see the right from ourselves?
       If we 'hit hard' on the guilty as a means to prevent similar cruelty then is this not a case of might makes right, or a case of forcing more fear into people who want to rule us through fear? Or conversely, is our first reaction from our sense of right is to make might? After a criminal has been prevented from committing more crime then I believe that the next steps are continued investigation and justice, and perhaps including other necessary steps, that are not and do not provoke additional crime.

       If a convicted murderer is imprisoned and unable to cause further harm then what is the justification to execute the murderer? To be a deterrent to future murders? Then why execute an imprisoned murderer for the possible crime of someone else's murder?
       Anything that intends to inspire crime through for example words or deeds is known in criminal law as abetting a crime because abetting crime has contributed to the commission of crime. One abetting law states that if a person knowingly instigates or encourages another person to commit a crime then the abettor can be accused of the same crime and receive the same judicial verdict. However, a lesser verdict for an abettor has been more likely.

       Psychologically, people have defined empathy as the understanding of the emotional and mental suffering of other people. Empathy can often be an inarticulate understanding of the suffering of other people because empathy can be based more on emotional decisions and less on intellectual decisions. Empathy is usually a naturally acquired emotional skill that can be improved with experience and with verbal and written instruction. Empathy is not immune to incorrect or false reads. Mature empathy can develop into and incorporate systems of justice and ethics, especially for the victims of suffering. Compassion is the action from empathy that helps to remedy that suffering. Religiously, compassion is more commonly known as mercy.
       Should empathy and compassion be administered for an alleged criminal? News reports have alluded that the surviving alleged Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was a victim of improper influence from his elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Perhaps after knowing and understanding the truth of the case from the facts and evidence presented at the trial, and if the verdict is guilty, the compassion that might be shown the suspect can be included in a verdict.

       Is anger an acceptable response to violence? In my opinion, anger can be an emotional force to react or act in response to something bad or wrong. Psychologically, what makes people angry can begin with how they think that something is bad or wrong. Anger can be either good or bad, depending on the good or bad consequences from that anger.
       Bad anger such as too much anger, prolonged anger or excessive anger such as hatred which can be anger with hostility can cause health problems in the angered such as the possibility of problems with heart rate, blood pressure, the release of too much adrenaline and a weakened immune system. Hatred can want to destroy the source of its suffering or unhappiness. Hatred can be longer lasting than anger and can be a source of perpetual animosity toward what is hated. Uncontrolled anger can have a bad effect on a person socially.
       An example of good anger can be moral outrage when for example people rebuke the wrong with reason and explanation as to why the wrong is wrong and not rail against the wrongdoer that could cause the wrongdoer to forgo and refuse the rebuke that might contain a solution for repair and corrective action. Good anger can compel a person to take good corrective action. From a different definition about hatred, people may compare hatred as the opposite to love while being associated with love. For example, people may care enough about someone or something that makes them hate what they dislike about them; and, therefore perhaps people may want good corrective action for what they love, which is more popularly know in religion as, "Hate the sin. Love the sinner".
       In Catholicism, when anger causes a person to retaliate with vengeance or causes other wrongdoings then this type of anger is a sin.
       Islam reportedly considers anger as demonic when anger causes people to make errors that ruin any good progress, especially in their faith.
       In Judaism, anger is a negative trait when anger causes evil behavior.
       The wrath of God in Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism can be to correct or replace a wrong with something good.
       "In Islam, God's mercy outweighs his wrath or takes precedence ...".
       Christians who do wrong reportedly condemn themselves by their deed. For example, sin can curse and condemn the sinner, sometime of demonic origin, sometime made aware in the hearts or conscience of people; and, because God is all good and love, God does not condemn a person as a sinner but wants to offer to them their salvation into heaven by accepting God's free gift of faith, doing the works of faith, and asking and receiving forgiveness and doing penance, from John 3:17, "For God did not send his Son, [Jesus], into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through [his Son]".
       The legal issues of hatred are hate crimes that either can be emotional, psychological, written, or oral, or be physical on a person and property.
       One type of religious hate crime in Catholicism is the sin of detraction. Detraction is ruining another person's reputation sometime through defamation by publicly or privately stating as true a fault or a wrongdoing of that person. Detraction can either be a truth or a lie. I listened to a priest describe detraction; and, the priest said that detraction can become an additional sin if the detractor further uses or attempts to use a detraction for personal gain or benefit. Stating the truth of a wrongdoing as precautionary for example is not considered a sin.
       Pope John Paul II wrote in his book, Love and Responsibility, that a person must not use another person as the means to an end, which treats a person as an object that can be exploited by other people and that can willfully forget the sanctity, the dignity and the right to live freely. Pope John Paul II also wrote, "Anyone who treats a person as the means to an end does violence to the very essence of the other." Therefore, Pope John Paul II wrote logically that the opposite of love is using.

       The effects of ingesting marijuana through inhaling or eating can be both mental and physical. The effects from eating marijuana can take longer to develop and can last longer than inhaling marijuana. Not all people can have the same type of effects from marijuana and to the same degrees, which can depend on each person's physical and mental reaction and tolerance to marijuana. Much research on the effects of marijuana on human health and behavior is criticized as preliminary and inconclusive, and a few results were contradictory of other results. However, marijuana contains an active cannabinoid ingredient named delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC that the human body can store in its fat cells during normal use of marijuana for three to ten days and up to three months after heavy use of marijuana. THC can attach to cannabinoid receptors in the body, which are concentrated in different parts of the brain, and interfere with the body's natural production and use of its cannabinoids. THC is known through research to cause a more active imagination, elevated moods, increased appetite, some increased and over sensitized sensory perceptions, hallucinations, delusional thoughts, mental and physical disorientation, an impaired memory, chemically induced feelings of peace and calm, soothing effects from the ability of THC to relax muscles, and the suppression of pain. THC can lower the awareness and feeling of pain, increase pain tolerance, and perhaps have the side effect of making a person somewhat less aware of receiving injury.
       Poets, song writers and artists have been accused or suspected of using THC to activate their imaginations. In very rare cases, THC has reportedly caused hallucinations and delusions to be felt so real as to cause paranoia from an enhanced reality of fear, although anxiety and panic feelings are reportedly more common because THC can reduce stress control.
       When people become accustomed to and wanting the over sensitizing or relaxing effects of marijuana for example then people can become addicted to marijuana. Another addicting effect of marijuana is that the human body can adjust to the constant presence of the cannabinoid, THC, in the body; and, as a result the human body may have difficulty readjusting to normal development and use of its cannabinoids. The human body may not be able to adjust if the over presence of THC in the brain has impaired the brain's cannabinoid receptors. As a result, people may become ill if they try to stop using marijuana.
       Research claims that children born from mothers who used marijuana during pregnancies have later developed problems with brain development such as difficulty with attention, using memory, and a lowered ability for problem solving skills. The criticism against the study of the effect of marijuana on unborn babies is that pregnant women who use marijuana are more likely to use other drugs. "THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, 'hijacks and corrupts' the natural process of endocannabinoids, a key family of chemicals that help guide the brain in proper maturation". In my opinion, a society can be as good as its best minds, from which we can all share in choosing from some of its best benefits.
       Marijuana is known to contain over fifty carcinogens, and to contain more carcinogens and three times the amount of tar than tobacco smoke. In 2009 in California, marijuana was determined a cancer agent. People can also be infected with moldy marijuana. Another physical effect of marijuana is the brain's reduced conscious motor control of the human body, including the human eyes, and hand and eye coordination. Regular marijuana users are known to consciously make adjustments to the reduced motor control from marijuana. Marijuana can cause in other types of people drowsiness and laziness. Another physical motor effect of marijuana is a less physical sense of balance. A British medical journal published, "drivers who consume cannabis within three hours of driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a vehicle collision as those who are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol." Although, unlike alcoholics, marijuana users are more aware of their impairment. Marijuana smoke contains higher levels of many toxic compounds than tobacco smoke, including ammonia, hydrogen cyanide and nitric oxide. Besides the trace amounts carcinogens and toxins in marijuana, and unlike mental impairment, marijuana is not known to directly cause other permanent physical damage.
       Prescription drugs known as synthetic cannabinoids can be used instead of marijuana, such as dronabinol for glaucoma patients and for cancer chemotherapy symptoms of nausea and vomiting, and nabilone also for symptoms of nausea and vomiting but has some of the side effects of THC such as, "confusion, drowsiness and elevated mood".
       Religiously, in the past people claimed spiritual effects from the use of marijuana. However, presently scientists claim that the heightened sensory and imaginary effects of THC are chemical. However, THC can have some bad spiritual effects. For example, in Catholicism, if a person substitutes or rejects the peace of God for the peaceful effects of THC then that person could be sinning. If a person is expecting revelation from the imaginary and heightened sensory effects of THC rather than seeking revelation from God then that person could also be sinning.

Prayers yearning throughout the night
No prayers begging throughout the night
Battle met and spirit intact
Are we left strong with something like that.

>Sources:
http://www.boston.com/news/source/2013/05/cbs_news_dzhokh.html
http://www.examiner.com/article/terrorist-suspect-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-liked-to-smoke-marijuana
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_for_an_eye
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia
http://files.qurancentral.nl/quranread/ENGLISH1/QURAN/005.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_state
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/166850/diyah
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/beliefs/sharia_1.shtml
http://salaf-us-saalih.com/2011/01/01/ten-commandments-in-the-quran
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0324.htm
http://classic.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew 5&version=NIV
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Turning_the_other_cheek
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments
http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1909
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/murder
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Manslaughter
http://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/?p=1854
http://www.cojite.org/tl_files/cojite/contenu/Concepts Cles/Planning instigating ordering (planifier, inciter a commettre,ordonner).pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anger
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatred
http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Psychology-of-Hatred&id=6629215
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John 3&version=NIV
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04757a.htm
http://www.catholicculture.com/jp2_on_l&r.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_cannabis
http://weedlist.com/marijuana-news/marijuanas-effect-on-the-brain-and-body
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/06/nih-marijuana-effects/1751011
http://alcoholism.about.com/od/pot/a/effects.-Lya.htm
http://phys.org/news117116317.html toxins
http://www.livestrong.com/article/137065-what-are-prescription-drugs-that-are-substitute-marijuana
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/259482.php
http://voices.yahoo.com/marinol-vs-medical-marijuana-180190.html Webster's Third New International Dictionary

on Jun 15, 2013

Ah....'livestrong.com' the perfect source for articles about drugs....