The question: Do these boisterous celebrations – chanting and frat-party revelry – of Osama’s death mean we are just like the terrorists?
The Answer: No.
The answer is no, social scientists say: it makes us look like human beings. In an array of research, both inside laboratories and out in the world, psychologists have shown that the appetite for revenge is a sensitive measure of how a society perceives both the seriousness of a crime and any larger threat that its perpetrator may pose.
Revenge is most satisfying when there are strong reasons for exacting it, both practical and emotional.
“Revenge evolved as a deterrent, to impose a cost on people who threaten a community and to reach into the heads of others who may be contemplating similar behavior,” said Michael McCullough, a psychologist at the University of Miami…
Perhaps my favorite part:
“Pure existential release,” said Tom Pyszczynski, a social psychologist at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, who has studied reactions to 9/11. “Whether or not the killing makes any difference in the effectiveness of Al Qaeda hardly matters; defeating an enemy who threatens your worldview, the very values you believe are most protective, is the quickest way to calm existential anxiety.”
So we are not like the terrorists, because they are not human?
Anyone think the author of this article could use a philosophy course? In feminist ethics?
The fetus was dying; the choice was letting both the mother and fetus die or saving the mother. As a pro-lifer, the Bishop thought both should die rather than the fetus be aborted.
79% of the Catholics surveyed disagreed with the Bishop!
From the National Catholic Reporter:
Bishop Olmsted ]of Phoenix] said the hospital had engaged in a direct abortion when the procedure was performed in November 2009. .. the bishop declared in May 2010 that Sister McBride [who, as a member of the hospital’s ethics committee, had approved the procedure] had been automatically excommunicated for her consent to an abortion and then in December….
St. Joseph’s maintained that because the mother suffered from pulmonary hypertension, a condition made worse by the pregnancy, the chance of survival for both the woman and the fetus was approaching zero. According to the hospital, the fetus was dying as a result of the mother’s illness, and the mother would have died had the action not been taken. “Consistent with our values of dignity and justice, if we are presented with a situation in which a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life, our first priority is to save both patients. If that is not possible we will always save the life we can save, and that is what we did in this case,” hospital president Linda Hunt said in a statement.
Though the story doesn’t say this time, I believe the mother has other young children. The question of harm is not confined to her and the fetus.