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?