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Date Posted: 07:54:37 06/15/05 Wed
Author: Leif Erlingsson, heretic®
Subject: Standards and belief-sets/mind-sets that cause Evil must be openly discussed
In reply to:
's message, "About that term, "faith"" on 23:15:01 06/05/05 Sun
Dear Debbie, don't think for one minute that I do not appreciate your post "About that term, "faith"". The reason for my long delay in responding is rather that it was so well worded that I did not know how to respond so that the response does the original post justice. Alas, I still don't. :)
But just looking at my own father and mother, I see two individuals who are both equally informed regarding the blatant crimes against humanity perpetrated in the name of freedom and globalization by the world leaders as led by George Walker Bush and Tony Blair. My parents both understand that these leaders intentionally destabilize the world so they can scare us with nightmares of terrorists, etc. So they can divide and conquer. States as well as populations. Even the United States population. Both my parents see this, but they react differently. My mother, analogous to what you wrote concerning the choice of passivity, is of the opinion that one should ignore this crazy world and focus on one's private world, build one's personal future, etc. My father is on the other hand of the opinion that unless one speaks out concerning the evil one sees, one have a degree of complicity. Much like he, I and many others feel that the German people had a degree of complicity in the evil of Nazism. (The German people have "atoned" and felt shame for this up to about a decade ago, so if and when the U.S. and other complicit peoples are brought to "atone" for not speaking out, the shame might last for decades and affect generations. (That is, if they are not too proud to be able to feel shame.))
So, Debbie, I much appreciate that you feel likewise for the opportunity to dialogue. I have always felt like my father above, but the last years have helped me understand how ordinary loving decent devoted and idealistic people following the -- as they see it -- highest ethical and moral standards, perhaps even morally superior standards, as they themselves see it, can and could commit acts that once were and again likely will be universally denounced as evil crimes against humanity. I see how ordinary decent Germans could think that they were morally superior while conducting the day-to-day administration of genocide in Auschwitz and other concentration camps.
I feel that it is vital to see the standards and belief-sets/mind-sets that cause this evil. I.e. good people doing what they think is right out of love and devotion to family, country and religion can and does commit great evil because of perverted standards and belief-sets/mind-sets. Standards and belief-sets/mind-sets that cause Evil must be openly discussed. It is usually not people that are evil, but ideals and standards and ideas. And leaders who cause people to blindly follow perverted standards.
As an example of a person who is celebrated by his peers for his high standards while -- presumably following perverted ideals -- justifying murder and torture and various forms of slaughter of "illegal combatants," an invented category invented in order to give a pseudo-legal cover to a policy of summary execution, see LDS judge Jay Bybee http://ldsmag.com/people/030708jay.html, who did all this while Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, when he wrote the infamous torture memo to Alberto Gonzales, that the highest leaders of the U.S. have used for legal justification of behavior that is only topped by German gassing of unwanted elements, and then only in scale, because what is worse, being suffocated in a container or being gassed in a gas-chamber?
[Around December 2001, hundreds of Taliban prisoners of war were suffocated to death inside metal cargo containers where they were imprisoned after surrendering to Northern Alliance and U.S. forces. The U.S. and it's proxy forces are openly and knowingly violating the Geneva Convention by thusly and in other ways exterminating prisoners of war. Rightly so, this kind of conduct has been seen as uncivilized for hundreds of years. ``When the U.S. forces are not openly collaborating in the massacre of prisoners--as they did at the fortress near Mazar-i-Sharif--they are, at the very least, turning a blind eye to the activities of their hired killers. It was widely reported by the international media, including many American newspapers, that Northern Alliance commanders planned to kill non-Afghan POWs from Kunduz once CIA and U.S. Special Forces interrogators were through with them. U.S. military officers who oversaw the surrender of the city were well aware of this, and the U.S. government did nothing to stop it, making top officials complicit in the war crimes. . . . < snip > . . . "`After were finished talking to them,' said Syed Wasiqullah, a Northern Alliance officer in charge of Mr. Nasir and others, they're finished,'" he said, as he dragged his finger across his throat.'' (From one web site.) In Iraq, we have heard how ``60,000 Iraqis 'Disappeared' into US Camps'' -- http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8994.htm ``Their families don't know where they've been held, what the charges are. And this is infuriating people... some of whom are angry enough to pick up a gun.'']
But there is no point reveling in all this evil that is done by people who yet again believe that they serve family, country and religion. By people who believe that they are the good ones, because they do all what they do with the best of intentions -- just like the Nazis -- and with love, loyalty and devotion to the very highest moral principles and ideals -- again just as the Nazis. Therefore, what needs to be discussed are those ideals and principles. And if our loyalties prevent us from this, then additionally we seriously need to re-consider our loyalties.
And what we should not do: It is very tempting -- indeed very Mormon -- to say that "N. N. will be judged for what N. N. did, come judgment day." Thinking that since N. N. caused great Evil, it is probable that N. N. will be punished at that time. But this ignores the fact that N. N. can be you and me acting out of the very best of intentions, and loyally and lovingly doing what is logical and obvious given the ideals, belief-set/mind-set and standards by which we live. Probably every person alive is capable of sending people off to the Gas Chamber, thinking that they are doing good, given the appropriate belief-set/mind-set. And this is because most of us want to do good! That is, the will to do good can cause very great evil to be done. Hence we MUST discuss standards/belief-sets/mind-sets that obviously cause Evil. It is the perverted standards/belief-sets/mind-sets that kill.... I don't think that Jay S. Bybee or even Adolf Hitler is/was inherently evil, but the perverted standards/belief-set/mind-set they believed in and live/lived by obviously is/were. We simply MUST discuss this. That is a moral imperative.
Gitmo Is Not Gulag. It Is Dachau -- by sashine 2005-06-11 -- Leif Erlingsson, heretic®, 00:56:09 06/14/05 Tue
Nazi war criminals unjustly charged? -- Leif Erlingsson, heretic®, 01:16:17 06/14/05 Tue
Swedes are very individualistic :) -- Leif Erlingsson, 15:52:16 05/27/05 Fri
Well.... -- Leif Erlingsson, heretic®, 13:16:39 05/29/05 Sun
``60,000 Iraqis 'Disappeared' into US Camps'' -- http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8994.htm ``Their families don't know where they've been held, what the charges are. And this is infuriating people... some of whom are angry enough to pick up a gun.''
Meridian Magazine: Jay S. Bybee Named to Ninth Circuit Court http://ldsmag.com/people/030708jay.html This article shows a clean-cut Mormon with his family and with Attorney General John Ashcroft in November 2001, etc. According to Meridian Magazine, this [justifier of summary executions and torture] is "one of the finest constitutional lawyers in America" and "A Family Man". The search I made on http://ldsmag.com/ using Google for "Bybee" together with "torture" yielded zero hits.
Leif Erlingsson, heretic®.
``Ignorance is Strength.'' -- George Orwell
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