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 6)
on Apr 23, 2013

the_Monk
I am merely suggesting the success of prevention (ie. correcting misbehavior potential) is largely influenced by focus on one or the other, policing or peacekeeping. We can all make a difference as a small part of the collective whole. If one can keep the peace while correcting behavior shouldn't that be the desired approach? It is in how we treat that 'criminal intent' that we make a difference. Therein lies the need for 'understanding'.

With all respect, that's 'takes a village' gibberish.  How do you 'intend' to treat 'criminal intent'?  How do you arrive at an 'understanding' that it exists?  And who's watching you to be sure your 'intention' isn't to frame the poor sod you're 'intending' to 'treat'?  How can anyone not be an 'imminent criminal' in such a village?

on Apr 23, 2013

 

We as a society are treating 'criminal intent' each day.  My comments go to how we do so.  Do we do so in a way that causes us to become 'monsters' like those we are attempting to 'treat' or do we do so in a way that solidifies our position as stewards of our society and its values?

 

on Apr 23, 2013

Too 'Minority Report' for me. But then you Canucks have criminalized opinions (hate speech) - no real barrier to criminalizing 'thought' or 'leanings'. Or 'treating' 'pre-criminals'.
Weren't you just saying that the criminals who commit serious crimes deserve no mercy or consideration? Yes, yes, I know, "pre-criminals" here, but where do you draw the line between "pre" and "post" in a way that's clear enough for laws? The only way to do so in absolute terms, without significant risk of apprehending innocent people, is to wait until the mass murderer has mass murdered, then kill him as well, which doesn't strike me as a terribly effective legal system seeing as many of these people are suicidal to begin with.

 

I think this is the problem with the "monsters deserve no mercy" view very nicely demonstrated. The_Monk provides a serious -if vague, some specifics would be interesting for my own curiosity if nothing else- method of decreasing the chances of further catastrophes, and he is immediately derided as "utopian" (as I no doubt will be for making this post).

on Apr 23, 2013

The phrase 'pre-emptive strike' is [one thing] what defines a 'monster'.

'Retaliatory strike' should not.

When there are victims and perpetrators....only one group deserves ALL of your consideration and compassion.

The other group doesn't need disecting....just summary/permanent removal.

on Apr 23, 2013

Along with this Boston Marathon bombing, It seems to be the case that wherever you find larger scale death, destruction and hatred in the world, you will also find the hand of Islam, almost without exception. which begs the question is Islam a monster?

 

I have given much thought to this question and i have found some intriguing considerations;

Firstly, as a Christian myself, i have an understanding from the Bible that Christianity can expect to be hated by the world because of its 'goodness'. Which then makes me wonder, if Islam is hated by the world, then Islam must be good??? But no, because the motivation for the hatred is very different.... but that is not the end of the story on this point....

I think i know why the Boston bombing and all the rest of it happens.... If you look at what Islam is when it is minding its own business, it is a very virtuous, Honorable and righteous to the point of Archaic extremes. Islam does not bend to accommodate modern morality - This is where it is all at, right there.....

As a Christian, i believe that the Devil is working hard towards pushing the world towards the end game which in his view is the Antichrist becoming in charge of the world! But how can that happen if there are so many people hanging on to a religion that won't bend? Hence, that religion must be moved aside somehow and made insignificant enough to no longer be an obstacle.

Now when i think about it, if i was an evil genius and i wanted to push Islam to insignificance around the world, i would pretty much do exactly what is being done right now! I would encourage Islamic extremists to go out and do exactly what they do and slowly wear down the worlds tolerance until one day Islam will not be tolerated anymore. It has to happen, because we cannot just keep going on like this, as they say, "somethings gotta give" ,,, my guess would be that it will happen immediately after Islamic extremists finally manage to deploy a nuke, after that happens i would imagine the rest of the world would burst into a frenzy eliminating Muslims like cockroaches.

Ironically, Islamic extremists work to achieve exactly the opposite to what they want! And Faith is to blame for that!

Even Christians are taught to put aside our own logic and 'trust' in a greater understanding. In the Bible, Abraham was going to kill Isac because of faith ,,, Is that so far different from a suicide bomber today?? In the sense that your faith leads you to go out and do something terrible that you would never choose to do yourself. Is it the case that if you believe in Faith and putting aside your own human logic, then you have to accept that things like suicide bombers must come with that? Or is there a clear difference, that one is a 'natural' faith and the other is a twisted unnatural faith. Who says which is which tho? is it simply a matter of perspective?

on Apr 23, 2013

Mystikmind
Along with this Boston Marathon bombing, It seems to be the case that wherever you find larger scale death, destruction and hatred in the world, you will also find the hand of Islam, almost without exception. which begs the question is Islam a monster?

WTF?

All I can say is, WOW   

on Apr 23, 2013

myfist0
WTF?

All I can say is, WOW
Seconded. To say more than that would break my no-conspiracies rule in about eight thousand different ways.

on Apr 24, 2013

Scoutdog
Weren't you just saying that the criminals who commit serious crimes deserve no mercy or consideration?

Actually, no:

I understand that certain people are evil and must be dealt with.  The evil should know they will be dealt with if they commit evil.  Fairly, with due process, with a presumption of innocence, but dealt with when confirmed to be evil.  Removing those who have committed evil from the general society, however that is accomplished, is the only way to truly protect it.[/quote]

Emphasis added.  Re-read that and I think you'll find some 'consideration' in there.

[quote who="Scoutdog" reply="78" id="3348871"]where do you draw the line between "pre" and "post" in a way that's clear enough for laws?

Speaking of 'WOW'.

At the act would seem the appropriate place to draw that line.  We already snoop on damn near everything everybody does.  Didn't identify these two 'pre', even with all the retrospectively obvious red flags.  Only a truly oppressive and intrusive society none of us would want to live in could prevent even most, let alone all, violent crime.  That sort of power over individuals intoxicates and eventually corrupts those who've positioned themselves to wield it.  All governments in human history which have acquired the power to do so have used that power against their own citizens for the benefit of the powerful.  The conceit that 'we' (the USA) couldn't go there is just that - a conceit.  Wishful thinking.  Our Founders, more than 300 years ago and despite the vexing issue of slavery, had a far more profound understanding of human nature and how to preserve our inalienable rights than we apparently do, in all our modern 'sophistication'.

EDIT - Sorry; it appears there are still some issues with the forum's quoting function yet to be sorted out.

on Apr 24, 2013

At the act would seem the appropriate place to draw that line.
Good luck with that. Allow me to quote myself:
Scoutdog
to wait until the mass murderer has mass murdered, then kill him as well, which doesn't strike me as a terribly effective legal system seeing as many of these people are suicidal to begin with.

 

And that whole "power corrupts" thing cannot be the universal law you seem to make it out to be, else no government could ever function... yes, unlimited surveillance power is a very dangerous thing, too dangerous to trust anyone with without an evaluation process so stringent that the whole thing would be bogged down and useless. But we're not talking about universal surveillance power here. We're talking, in general terms, about crime prevention, and calling it all "Minority Report" is unproductive to say the least.

on Apr 24, 2013

Another conceit is in thinking you can know beforehand who will 'mass murder' absent universal surveillance power.  And not just surveillance power, but interrogation power based on surveillance, and 'preventive' detention power based on surveillance and interrogation.

I wish you well in perfecting human nature.  I'll not hold my breath.

And you are good at misquoting me - I said. "Too 'Minority Report' for me."  Not "All 'Minority Report.'"  Emphasis again added.

on Apr 24, 2013

This has gone pretty astray, despite Jafo's request not to go astray. Some have gone political, despite the rules about that sort of thing.

Some have demonized a religion, despite the rules about that sort of thing.

Someone mentioned anger and hatred. That was a pertinent insight even if cloaked in fiction.

The individuals involved in the bombing have their excuses, no doubt, but it was about rage and the violent, homicidal expression of that rage. In that they became monsters. One's paid the price, and so will the other, most likely.

How about we all leave religion and politics out of this? They only divide us in a matter of great pain to all of us. Ed would be so disappointed.

That leaves either remaining germane to the OP, or exploring the third subject (also OT) which our parents told us wasn't part of polite subjects to discuss.

 

 

on Apr 24, 2013

Scoutdog


Quoting myfist0, reply 81WTF?

All I can say is, WOW Seconded. To say more than that would break my no-conspiracies rule in about eight thousand different ways.

 

So the 'obviously' controversial attention grabber part of my post is what's interesting to people, not the part that has the real contribution i wanted to make, A shame.

on Apr 24, 2013

 

As to some 'examples' of my utopian theory at work?

 

When we as individuals pick up trash on the street (and/or remove graffiti from our property) we are.....

When we as individuals take a moment to look up from our cellphones and lend a helping hand to someone obviously in need, we are.....

When we as individuals show up to community meetings and take the time to bring concerns up with community leaders/government, we are....

When we as individuals pay our taxes (or other dues) enabling community programs, we are.....

When we as the collective take audiences with minority groups in order to understand their concerns, we are.....

When we as the collective keep (at least some) of the promises made on the campaign trail, we are.....

When we as the collective 'refresh' areas in cities prone to problems by creating new business/residential incentive programs, we are.....

When we as the collective embrace, promote and celebrate cultural diversity, we are...... 

 

.....treating those with potential for 'criminal intent'.

 

 

 

How exactly are we doing this? 

In effect by focusing on 'stewardship' over 'policing' (keeping in mind I am in no way advocating the removal of appropriate authorities including the police) we tend to make our society less desirable (note: not totally undesirable) to those with 'criminal intent'.  Since every relationship is about give and take, even that with society at large, we need to be aware of the fact that we are either bringing positivity or negativity to the table.  Thoughts and actions of vengeance/hatred/rage towards anyone (even deserving perpetrators) doesn't bring positivity into society, rather it poisons society further by encouraging segregation/fear of diversity and overshadows/cripples any positive outreach that may otherwise have a marked effect.

When people 'get involved', choose to cooperate, look to find common ground, build a good rapport with one another and become stewards of society there is less room for fear, less room for 'taking sides', less room for segregation and less room for or chance of 'breeding' more individuals with criminal intent.   The idea behind 'stewardship' and/or 'peacekeeping' versus 'policing' isn't to necessarily thwart the 'criminal intent' of those who could be deemed career criminals (those individuals have already taken steps to further distance themselves from society) rather those who (being close to edge) may with some positive community outreach/support (societal stewardship) not commit that very first crime/step distancing them from society at large.

 

While some/many of you may still see my viewpoint/theory as purely utopian, I have seen varying degrees of all of the points I've listed above at work even in just the area where I live.  Obviously no society is going to have a particularly good score/record with regard to the above, however, I do believe it is possible for the efforts (of even a few individuals at times) to have a noticeable effect.  It is my view that only community outreach and the continuous societal stewardship of individuals within any society can/will be the difference between a healthy society and one that is sick and encourages rather than discourages criminal intent.

 

Obviously I will need to 'agree to disagree' with some/many over what I've just posted.  That's fine.  I just wanted to provide some examples of how I see 'positivity' working in society around me.

 

If this was off-topic in any way, I apologize....

 

on Apr 24, 2013

the_Monk
If this was off-topic in any way, I apologize....

No, not off-topic...and quite well put ...

on Apr 24, 2013

As DrJBHL mentioned, let's ALL take extra careful attention to NOT demonize anyone by race, creed, religion or background. [whether by intent OR 'dramatic effect'].

Monsters are monsters, pure and simple, and they exist in EVERY walk of life.

They know no boundaries.

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