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 7)
on Apr 24, 2013

Crime prevention. It's real. It's happening now, and it has yet to bring about any sort of Orwellian police state. It works. If that's a utopian idea, then I guess this is utopia...

 

 

on Apr 24, 2013

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

I am not "OK" with that.  I am insistent upon it!  While his actions are monstrous, we cannot allow ourselves to become like him.  And depriving him of the rights of every citizen is sliding down that path.

 

I cannot fathom how some people want to "empathize" with him. But I guess there are varying stages of monster-ism.

on Apr 24, 2013

Dr Guy
I am not "OK" with that. I am insistent upon it! While his actions are monstrous, we cannot allow ourselves to become like him. And depriving him of the rights of every citizen is sliding down that path.
I never thought I'd see you and I agreeing on something, but this is my analysis in a nutshell. As for "empathy"... it's an interesting mental exercise if nothing else, but I don't think I'm capable of it. I'm not at all sure if that's good or bad.

on Apr 24, 2013

Draginol writes:

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.

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

They know no boundaries.

I certainly agree.  But if they are not insane (and these two bombers were not), why are they "monsters" in the context of this discussion?  

I maintain we cannot answer my question if we must not discuss radical Muslims in jihad mode.

DrJBHL
The individuals involved in the bombing have their excuses, no doubt, but it was about rage and the violent, homicidal expression of that rage.

The mother of the two bombers said they are only guilty of being Muslim.

 

 

on Apr 24, 2013

I was unaware that they were Muslim.

 

Regardless, they are criminals and must be tried as such.

 

 

on Apr 24, 2013

Scoutdog

Crime prevention. It's real. It's happening now, and it has yet to bring about any sort of Orwellian police state. It works. If that's a utopian idea, then I guess this is utopia...

1.  Wikipedia...  OK.

2.  UK.  Fun read.  Especially Table 3.1.

on Apr 24, 2013

Regardless, they are criminals and must be tried as such.

One can be tried, the other they would have to prosecute in the afterlife

 

Anyone who thinks there can be any excuse, or circumstances which could explain this behaviour, is living in a world contrary to reality. These are monsters - one has been removed from society, and the other will be after his trial.

on Apr 24, 2013

Doc -

I'm more than OK with it.  I agree with you (& Scoutdog) on that point.

on Apr 24, 2013

1. Wikipedia... OK.

2. UK. Fun read. Especially Table 3.1.
The information on the wikipedia parge is not intended to be factually accurate, only to show that crime prevention is a real policy with real conceptualization. As for the second.... Yes. Around 20% of the listed proposals could be seen to curtail individual rights, ignoring others (such as property tagging and gender-neutral television listings (strange one, that)) that expand them. And some of the first group have been implemented, and have been implemented for some time, and yet there has been no "slippery slope". Are they all necessary? Probably not. But they don't breed as people seem to fear. They are singular problems that come and go as society changes. They will likely always be there. But no system is perfect, and demanding otherwise? That is utopian.

 

on Apr 24, 2013

You lot are all nice people, too nice. 

 

It doesn't really surprise me that you don't want to face what's really going on. A lot of people in Europe hoped that America would get up to speed after 9/11 but it seems that you are still looking for excuses so you don't have to make hard decisions. I'm not judging you but the longer you leave it the harder its going to get.

 

I understand President Putin spoke to your President shortly afterwards but I'm not expecting a policy change. His whole domestic policy is predicated on naivety and grievance mongering.

 

I suppose you could just put up with it, more people die in cars every year but its the silent victims that are growing in number much faster than these showy demonstrations of hatred.

on Apr 24, 2013

TwoWolves

You lot are all nice people, too nice. 

 

It doesn't really surprise me that you don't want to face what's really going on. A lot of people in Europe hoped that America would get up to speed after 9/11 but it seems that you are still looking for excuses so you don't have to make hard decisions. I'm not judging you but the longer you leave it the harder its going to get.

 

What?  We are America, we blow up two nations before we even begin to think! Maybe I am reading this wrong, but are you saying America is being too passive and needs to be more aggressive towards the extremist? I had no idea Europeans thought about us that way...

 

 

on Apr 24, 2013

I don't even get what point he's trying to make.

on Apr 24, 2013

I feel like English might not be this person's first language? His grammar and mechanics are reasonable, but....

 

on Apr 24, 2013

 

TwoWolves posts:

It doesn't really surprise me that you don't want to face what's really going on. A lot of people in Europe hoped that America would get up to speed after 9/11 but it seems that you are still looking for excuses so you don't have to make hard decisions. I'm not judging you but the longer you leave it the harder its going to get.

I don't even get what point he's trying to make.

I think the point he's trying to make is that America (particularly under the Obama regime) is refusing to recognize the radical Muslim practice of the mean side of Islam.

 

 

 

 

on Apr 24, 2013

Maybe?

 

This thread is getting wierd(er).

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