Thou Shall Not Kill

Obama and his team watch the raid live
This week, Osama Bin Laden was killed in a raid ordered by US President Barack Obama. Lots of people were happy about it. Some were angered by it and a whole lot of people had mixed emotions about it.  I fell into the mixed emotions group.

The killing of Bin Laden represents what happens when our values come in conflict with one another. Humanists understand that all ethics and all moral value systems are situational. But that doesn't mean it's easy thinking through moral problems.  It's hard sometimes.

Here's the moral dilemma that the killing of Bin Laden brought up. Is it OK to kill one person in order to save the lives of thousands?  For Obama and his team, the answer is apparently yes because that's the decision that was made. Intellectually I agree, but killing is still killing and the thought of someone dying makes me sad. Even if that someone was Bin Laden. While I don't like feeling this way, I would rather feel sad about a death then ambivalent about it. People who aren't emotionally moved by death scare me.

Anyway, Bin Laden's death has also brought up those horrid emotions from Sept 11th and how I felt when I watched the towers collapse on television and saw people jumping to their deaths to avoid immolation. So even though a part of me is relieved that Bin Laden can't order peoples death's anymore. The other part of me is still mourning the tragedy of Sept 11, 2001 and wishing that the world didn't include such sorrow.


  1. I understand how you feel. I immediately got that adrenaline rush when I heard the news and saw the spontaneous live parties that formed. But I was quickly brought down to earth when a young girl was interviewed and asked why she was so happy. She said, "Like, I don't know, because he's DEEEEAAAD! Woooooo!!!" That was enough to get me thinking about why I was feeling jubilant because one man had been killed. I have no idea who he is. I don't know him. I know his actions, and they were horrid, but I don't know why he did what he did. It was the "who am I to judge?" feeling. I know, the conservatives are already criticizing the "bleeding heart" liberals for this sentiment and being "unpatriotic." But I had these mixed feelings as well. I think a lot of us did. I'm also afraid that the screaming and celebrating in the street was not the best response, as viewed by those who don't need to be provoked into hating America even more than they already do. Call me out for it, but those were my personal feelings.

  2. The man was a continued direct threat to the human family and intentionally committed horrible crimes against any who stands in the way of Jihad, including other Muslims.

    While I understand the reticence of celebrating the death of another human being, I completely understand it in some rare cases.

    In my view, there is a world of difference between celebrating the brutal death bringer and face of religious extremism responsible for killing, with malice and aforethought, innocent civilians and encouraging a global Jihad against our own beloved civilization...and those celebrating his earlier successes that brought the death of innocent folks of a diverse collection of world views and nationalities (including Muslims) on September 11, 2001 and other similar crimes against other nations prior to that.

    Will everything now be peachy and turn into a techni-color world as Dorothy walks from her house to great jubilation?

    Nah...but this *is* a good day now that at least one continued threat to the human family is no more.

    Besides, I cheered with Sauron and the ring was destroyed and feel no ounce of guilt about it.


  3. I had wobbles about this. If it is OK to kill Bin Laden, then what about Gaddafi or Assad? Here in the UK, we have suffered with Irish Republican Terrorism (supported by some of the more retro parts of the USA - Canada suffered from Fenian invasions in the past), some of there leaders have done despicable things and will only coyly admit to it, whilst taking money from the state the dislike.

    Unfortunately, it would appear that there will be splinter groups who will never give up. I suspect this is what the USA has created by accident and I am afraid that it will continue into the distant future.

    The conditions that create Al-queda have not gone away and will be with us for while.


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