Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ethical considerations

Is it right to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden? | The Economist

i was taken aback at the 'celebrations' in the US. It was mob action in designer clothes instead of dishdashas & thawbs - and the cars in teh background were new american models instead of 30 year-old American models.

Truth be told, a large portion of the populations (but fortunately not all), in both these worlds, tend towards religious extremism and towards judging things simplistically terms of good or bad. A one-dimensional view more likely to result in a tit-for-tat outcome (like Palestine) rather than a solution.

Allied to this perspective, is the weakness for personalizing the issues, rather than seeing beyond the person to the underlying cause. Its tempting logic - no Bin Laden, no more mad suicide bombers. Alas this appealing idea masks the reality.

Injustices be the food of loonies, giving them opportunities to pedal their insane ideas as 'the only way' to right a wrong: Hitler did not cause WWII, injustice did; Hamaz did not cause the problem in Palestine, injustice did; Bin laden did not cause world terrorism, injustice did.

Thus celebrating the death of one person is simplistic and tribal. It flies in the face of the values, we in the West (most often hypocritically) claim to stand for. We may not mourn the passing of a person who thrived in a world of mayhem and destruction, but let us lament the fact that he forced us to sacrifice our principles.

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