Post Reply
Page 1 of 3  •  1 2 3 Next
Switch to Forum Live View When The Good Do Bad
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 10:18AM #1
Esdraelon
Posts: 5,236

I am not a big fan of David Brooks, but I believe he is spot on on this article (if applies to Robert Bales, but all of us in general). Most of the comments disagree with him, but this is not about Original Sin, and I believe that old Indian saying of 'two wolves fighting in each of us':

www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/opinion/brook...

Excerpts:  It’s always interesting to read the quotations of people who knew a mass murderer before he killed. They usually express complete bafflement that a person who seemed so kind and normal could do something so horrific.

"But of course it happens all the time. That’s because even people who contain reservoirs of compassion and neighborliness also possess a latent potential to commit murder..........."


David Buss of the University of Texas asked his students if they had ever thought seriously about killing someone, and if so, to write out their homicidal fantasies in an essay. He was astonished to find that 91 percent of the men and 84 percent of the women had detailed, vivid homicidal fantasies. He was even more astonished to learn how many steps some of his students had taken toward carrying them out........"


"John Calvin believed that babies come out depraved (he was sort of right; the most violent stage of life is age 2). G. K. Chesterton wrote that the doctrine of original sin is the only part of Christian theology that can be proved......"


This worldview held that people are a problem to themselves. The inner world is a battlefield between light and dark, and life is a struggle against the destructive forces inside. The worst thing you can do is, in a fit of pride, to imagine your insecurity comes from outside and to try to resolve it yourself. If you try to “fix” the other people who you think are responsible for your inner turmoil, you’ll end up trying to kill them, or maybe whole races of them...."


This earlier worldview was both darker and brighter than the one prevailing today. It held, as C. S. Lewis put it, that there is no such thing as an ordinary person. Each person you sit next to on the bus is capable of extraordinary horrors and extraordinary heroism......"


According to this older worldview, Robert Bales, like all of us, is a mixture of virtue and depravity. His job is to struggle daily to strengthen the good and resist the evil, policing small transgressions to prevent larger ones. If he didn’t do that, and if he was swept up in a whirlwind, then even a formerly good man is capable of monstrous acts that shock the soul and sear the brain......"



Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 11:19AM #2
mountain_man
Posts: 39,667

He sill needs to be prosecuted for the crimes he committed.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 11:31AM #3
Esdraelon
Posts: 5,236

Mar 26, 2012 -- 11:19AM, mountain_man wrote:


He sill needs to be prosecuted for the crimes he committed.




NO question, but that is the law.


The guy obviously snapped though. You ever heard of PTSD? Couple of good friends killed themselves and a number of acquaintances....however, none of them went on a killing spree....


Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 11:57AM #4
TemplarS
Posts: 6,865

Prosecution is a lot less effective and a lot more expensive than prevention.


But the psychology of "evil" is not simple. Why do some people act on malicious feelings while others do not? Why does one man suffering from PTSD go on a rampage and another does not?  I don't know that anyone has good answers as to how far any given individual can be pushed.  Further, some people compartmentalize. Good and loving husbands and fathers can do horrible things in other settings. 


It seems obvious that we are all a mix of good and bad. The way we act on these impulses, or not, is a good question.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 12:10PM #5
Esdraelon
Posts: 5,236

Mar 26, 2012 -- 11:57AM, TemplarS wrote:


Prosecution is a lot less effective and a lot more expensive than prevention.


But the psychology of "evil" is not simple. Why do some people act on malicious feelings while others do not? Why does one man suffering from PTSD go on a rampage and another does not?  I don't know that anyone has good answers as to how far any given individual can be pushed.  Further, some people compartmentalize. Good and loving husbands and fathers can do horrible things in other settings. 


It seems obvious that we are all a mix of good and bad. The way we act on these impulses, or not, is a good question.




I think the Indians say it best...


An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.


I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.


But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times." He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.


But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger,for his anger will change nothing.


Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."


The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"


The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 12:37PM #6
mountain_man
Posts: 39,667

Mar 26, 2012 -- 11:31AM, Esdraelon wrote:

NO question, but that is the law.


Yes, that's the law.


The guy obviously snapped though.....


So what? There are thousands of people on death row that "snapped." You want to let them all go?

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 12:39PM #7
Esdraelon
Posts: 5,236

Mar 26, 2012 -- 12:37PM, mountain_man wrote:


Mar 26, 2012 -- 11:31AM, Esdraelon wrote:

NO question, but that is the law.


Yes, that's the law.


The guy obviously snapped though.....


So what? There are thousands of people on death row that "snapped." You want to let them all go?




If I say that I believe that the man should be 'let go', then you are welcome to comment upon it. Until then, stop attributing something to my posts that is without foundation, although perhaps only in your own mind.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 12:48PM #8
rabello
Posts: 21,658

What is odd is that Bales apparently split his killing "spree" into two episodes, returning to his base after the first, only to leave a second time to go on the second.  At least that's what was reported as of yesterday.  That suggests premeditation.  His "spree", coming as it did so soon after the violence that was generated for the idiotic Qur'an burning, it wouldn't be surprising that it was retribution for that.   He is not so incredibly squeaky clean, either, he was ordered to take anger management program in lieu of a sentence for attacking an ex girlfriend, and was charged with a hit and run earlier, too, and with just abandoning a second home he and his wife could no longer pay for, leaving it to someone else to clean up the delapidation.


We'll never know why he did what he did, just like we'll never know why Charles Manson, or Ted Bundy, or the Green River Killer, etc, did what they did.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 12:59PM #9
Esdraelon
Posts: 5,236

Mar 26, 2012 -- 12:48PM, rabello wrote:


What is odd is that Bales apparently split his killing "spree" into two episodes, returning to his base after the first, only to leave a second time to go on the second.  At least that's what was reported as of yesterday.  That suggests premeditation.  His "spree", coming as it did so soon after the violence that was generated for the idiotic Qur'an burning, it wouldn't be surprising that it was retribution for that.   He is not so incredibly squeaky clean, either, he was ordered to take anger management program in lieu of a sentence for attacking an ex girlfriend, and was charged with a hit and run earlier, too, and with just abandoning a second home he and his wife could no longer pay for, leaving it to someone else to clean up the delapidation.


We'll never know why he did what he did, just like we'll never know why Charles Manson, or Ted Bundy, or the Green River Killer, etc, did what they did.




WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. investigators believe the U.S. soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians split the slaughter into two episodes, returning to his base after the first attack and later slipping away to kill again, two American officials said Saturday.


This scenario seems to support the U.S. government's assertioncontested by some Afghans that the killings were done by one person, since they would have been perpetrated over a longer period of time than assumed when Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was detained March 11 outside his base in southern Afghanistan.


But it also raises new questions about how Bales, who was formally charged Friday with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes, could have carried out the nighttime attacks without drawing attention from any Americans on the Kandahar province base.


The two American officials who disclosed the investigators' finding spoke on condition of anonymity because the politically sensitive probe is ongoing.


Many details about the killings, including a possible motive, have not been made public. The documents released by the U.S. military Friday in connection with the murder charges do not include a timeline or a narrative of what is alleged to have happened.


Bales, 38, is accused of killing nine Afghan children and eight adults. The bodies were found in Balandi and Alkozai villages — one north and one south of the base, in Kandahar's Panjwai district.


Italics and emphasis mine.


Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 1:11PM #10
rabello
Posts: 21,658

Thanks for the link....

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 3  •  1 2 3 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook