I believe in the Golden Rule and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. I abhor the death penalty, which I think does more harm than good. Last night when I heard the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. troops, I pumped my fist and shouted, “Yes!”
I’m not certain what goodness there is in my emotional reaction. I keep thinking that if I were truly a good person I would not celebrate anyone’s death, even Osama’s, but the sense of a world finally re-balanced, of justice being fulfilled, is overwhelming, and the taste of this revenge is sweet — which is darn odd since I don’t believe in taking revenge. A world based on an eye for an eye leaves us all blind, as the wise have said, and yet, and yet, and yet…
I have to agree with James Fallows:
1. Hooray. It is almost never right to celebrate a death. Almost.
If I were in the White House would I have given the order to shoot Osama as President Obama did? Absolutely and unequivocally yes. Do I disapprove or feel the least bit queasy about the fact that there was never even a thought of taking Osama alive? No. What does this mean for the quest for goodness? Give me a little time on that.