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 3)
on Apr 22, 2013

we no longer even think of them as human but rather as animals, vermin, and monsters.[/quote]

[quote who="Jafo" reply="19" id="3348265"]These animals do not, not in any shape or form. They can rightfully rot in hell.

 

It always amazes me that we compare/describe the very worst of human nature and their atrocities... as 'animals'... I think it must just be from habit, having heard the term as we were growing up... because, when you come to think of it... no animal behaves as badly as humans can... they exhibit loyalty, protection, loving care to their offspring.. and any savagery in the wild is just pure survival instincts...  they really don't deserve the bum rap of being compared to murderers, rapists, paedophiles and other twisted fuckups that appear in our society... 

 

I must admit to wondering what this 19 year olds life could have been had he not been influenced by the older brother... it seemed to be a very broken, dysfunctional family where he probably looked up to his obviously disgruntled older brother in a hero/fatherly kind of way, given the absence of his Dad... who came across as a complete nutter.  From being what was described by friends as a happy, bright, achieving young man with potential... it's probably the most disturbing of the two brothers, that he could be coersed to even contemplate these atrocities... leave alone actually carry it through... but still, he walked among people...families... and looked at them... knowing what was going to shortly happen to them from his actions... just unfathomable... 

 

I'll go with vermin... or monsters... or just plain, evil...  and they forfeit their right to live among us on this earth...

on Apr 22, 2013

Our thoughts go out to the friends and families of victims of these horrific bombings. While it is difficult to turn to points of law in times of tragedy, those are, in fact, the times we most need to cling to the values, laws and rights that make us who we are as a nation.
 
The Miranda warnings were put in place because police officers were beating and torturing "confessions" out of people who hadn't even been formally accused of a crime. We cannot afford to repeat our mistakes. If officials require suspects to incriminate themselves, they are making fair trials and due process merely option and not a requirement. To venture down that road again will make law enforcement accountable to no one.
 
Like Obama's expanded killing program and his perpetuation of indefinite detention without trial at Guantanamo, this is yet another erosion of the Constitution to lay directly at the President's feet. Obama's Justice Department unilaterally expanded the "public safety exception" to Miranda in 2010 beyond anything the Supreme Court ever authorized. Each time the administration use this exception, it stretches wider and longer. However horrific the crime, continuing to erode constitutional rights invites continued abuse by law enforcement, and walks us down a dangerous path that becomes nearly impossible to reverse.
http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/ccr-condemns-miranda-exception-boston-marathon-suspect-case 
on Apr 22, 2013

myfist0



Our thoughts go out to the friends and families of victims of these horrific bombings. While it is difficult to turn to points of law in times of tragedy, those are, in fact, the times we most need to cling to the values, laws and rights that make us who we are as a nation.
 
The Miranda warnings were put in place because police officers were beating and torturing "confessions" out of people who hadn't even been formally accused of a crime. We cannot afford to repeat our mistakes. If officials require suspects to incriminate themselves, they are making fair trials and due process merely option and not a requirement. To venture down that road again will make law enforcement accountable to no one.
 
Like Obama's expanded killing program and his perpetuation of indefinite detention without trial at Guantanamo, this is yet another erosion of the Constitution to lay directly at the President's feet. Obama's Justice Department unilaterally expanded the "public safety exception" to Miranda in 2010 beyond anything the Supreme Court ever authorized. Each time the administration use this exception, it stretches wider and longer. However horrific the crime, continuing to erode constitutional rights invites continued abuse by law enforcement, and walks us down a dangerous path that becomes nearly impossible to reverse.
http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/ccr-condemns-miranda-exception-boston-marathon-suspect-case 

 

I couldn't agree more.

on Apr 22, 2013

myfist0
Our thoughts go out to the friends and families of victims of these horrific bombings. While it is difficult to turn to points of law in times of tragedy, those are, in fact, the times we most need to cling to the values, laws and rights that make us who we are as a nation.

Exactly. Laws aren't just there to follow when it's obvious that they dictate the right course of action- they're there to guide us when the course of action isn't clear, and when we intuitively want to do the opposite.

on Apr 22, 2013

Vengeance is not the answer because the only way we win against criminals is advancing civilization and our ability to prevent crime. (PreCrime: Minority Report). Currently we cannot stop the killing of innocents nor can we do the same in hopes we can stop the criminals by making them fear the "eye for an eye" mentality.

 

In the end good always wins (Once upon a time)

on Apr 22, 2013

RiddleKing

Vengeance is not the answer because the only way we win against criminals is advancing civilization and our ability to prevent crime. (PreCrime: Minority Report). Currently we cannot stop the killing of innocents nor can we do the same in hopes we can stop the criminals by making them fear the "eye for an eye" mentality.

 

In the end good always wins (Once upon a time)

The only problem with this is that for well over 2000 years the same kind of stuff has gone on. 

When is it expected that humans will become civilized to the point of correcting this? 

on Apr 22, 2013

He's to be Mirandized & handled in our civilian courts.  I'm OK with that, weasel lawyers aside.

Of course, if he were walking around in Yemen now, he'd be torched with a drone strike, no questions asked, citizen or no.

on Apr 22, 2013


Frogboy, I agree with most of what you said. We should as a society shun the type that would do harm. I'd only disagree with you on the terminology that you've used, regardless of what is done, a human is still a human. It is this ability of ours, to dehumanize a person, or a group of people that can and often do lead to these sorts of events; as it is an important first step on the road to becoming a sociopath after all.

So no, they're not fit for society, either through some sort of conditioning or mental defect. They (the type of people who commit these acts) deserve swift and harsh punishment, however.. Death is no punishment. All the act of killing a criminal does is put a band-aid on the problem. It is simply we as humans taking the path of least resistance, and resolving a complex issue with a simple solution. Granted the complexity of any given issue is hardly objective, I believe it to be prudent to at the very least know the reason behind these and other terrible acts committed against our (society as a whole) people.

Should we show these types of people (extremely violent criminals) empathy? I don't know about any of you, but for me, I do not have a switch in the back of my head that allows me to turn empathy on or off. It just is what it is. But if I were able to see through their eyes, does that mean I'd not judge them as harshly? Not at all. But when I look at people like those two brothers, I do not just think on the horrid acts that they committed, I want to know what led them down the path to doing these terrible things. If it were to ever come to the point in a situation by trial (within the moment instances are not counted here) where death is the only solution, I have to ask.. What broke them so severely that it would have us stare into the abyss?

on Apr 22, 2013

Philly0381
When is it expected that humans will become civilized to the point of correcting this?

 

Unfortunately John the human race is not capable of being civilized to that extent, and probably never will be.

on Apr 22, 2013

LightStar

Quoting Philly0381, reply 36When is it expected that humans will become civilized to the point of correcting this?

 

Unfortunately John the human race is not capable of being civilized to that extent, and probably never will be.

So then these type of discussions are really somewhat useless, are they not?

I like to deal in facts and what the facts show us that the world would be a much better place without humans on it.  Yeah I know, somewhat of a out there attitude.  It's just that if humans are not ready to solve these day to day problems that effect each one of us I say lets turn the page. 

on Apr 22, 2013

I'd be really concerned if i did understand why they did this. I mean to know why they did it and to actually understand why they did it are two very different things. I'd love to know why but to understand i'd have to put myself in there mindset and look at why they believe what they did and then actually look at everything from that point of view. In the process of doing so you yourself might become the very monster your trying to study. It happens more often then you might think.

I'd just be perfectly content with knowing why and executing them. But i do believe that we need to follow the law or we change the very fabric of what america actually is. Some of you have mentioned that they shouldn't get a court hearing and should be publicly executed. This isn't the american way, you'd be allowing them a 'win' in this position. They attacked the people of boston and people from all over the world that attended that marathon. But we need to at least come to terms with the fact that it's america in general and anybody associated with america that these people hate. I don't believe we should skip trial or change the process in anyway. He should be tried just as any other criminal would or we face losing our own liberty and rights that so many people have died to preserve. Not to mention allowing that attack to alter american beliefs as it would be a resounding success for them.

In the end do you honestly think they'll win in court? I don't think so, he will get the death penalty... even if he isn't legally sentenced to death but sent to prison... do you think the inmates there will be any nicer then the law enforcement that put him there? In any case it's a death sentence.

 

 

on Apr 22, 2013

Matopicus
I mean to know why they did it and to actually understand why they did it are two very different things.
I've sort of been using the two terms interchangeably, but you raise a very good point as to the differences. Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible to really know without some level of understanding, or perhaps it would be better to say that knowing inherently brings about some measure of understanding.

 

 

Matopicus
But we need to at least come to terms with the fact that it's america in general and anybody associated with america that these people hate.
My university doesn't get any newspapers, cable, or magazines, and I'm mooching wi-fi from the pizza place down the street, so I can't really access that much in the way of current news. Have they found any information on the bombers' motivations yet?

on Apr 22, 2013

Scoutdog
Have they found any information on the bombers' motivations yet?

No, i was using the term "they" in regards to terrorists that attack the US in general. Not these two particular ones.

on Apr 22, 2013

Matopicus
No, i was using the term "they" in regards to terrorists that attack the US in general. Not these two particular ones.
Oh. Ok. My mistake.

on Apr 22, 2013

I agree with Frogboy that, compassion or empathy cannot be the emotion towards monsters like whoever did the Boston's bombing. But anger will never be the answer for anything good.

Do you understand that this was probably the same feeling that motivated the action of these two monsters?

Let's do an analysis of the past and try to understand what Gandhi meant.

What most of you think about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

An action that caused the death of thousands of innocent people.

And that action was approved by the U.S. population because the ANGER felt in relation to the cowardly attack on Pearl Harbor.

"An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind"

“... Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”