This is a follow-up on our discussion of abortion, but it is quite a different issue really. When Eric Rudolph received a life sentence just a few days ago for his bombings of abortion clinics, he remained unapologetic and justified his crimes by saying that deadly force was needed in order to protect the dozens of unborn babies that are killed every day through abortion. At the same hearing, a person affected by his crimes said, ?it gives me great delight to know that you will spend the rest of your life in an 8 by 12 box.? Rudolph?s explanation is used by just about every terrorist to rationalize what they do. The other person?s reaction is also very common in court-rooms. It has always greatly annoyed me. Not because I don?t understand what it means to be a victim and become emotional about it. At least logically I understand. It is annoying, because the exchange makes it seem that the murderer acted by a code of ethics and the victim or potential victim is nearly sadistic. The roles are reversed.
Famous French writer Albert Camus once said that even the worst characters in Shakespeare?s plays only kill a few people, because they have no ideology to justify their crimes. Twentieth century dictators, on the other hand, killed millions without any bad conscience, because they were able to turn themselves into the judges and the victims into the guilty, in their own minds and much of public opinion. Now, we may know that they were wrong and that today?s terrorists are wrong. But the reaction of so many people like the lady quoted above shows that, emotions aside, they are rather helpless in responding to the terrorist?s rationale in a convincing way. That must make them feel really frustrated. How would you respond to Rudolph and the like? Think of the implications of your response.
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