Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Protest of the Day

I know, it is Tuesday...I didn't have time to post yesterday. But the protesters and antitesters (?) were there. Not much new or interesting to report on the protesters except that they looked exceptionally sour. They were carrying only the usual (and previously reported) signs. The one that they kept shoving out at people said in big, block letters:

Thou Shall Not Kill

as if those entering the building were headed there to launch missiles at hapless civilians this very morning. In addition to being a perversion of the 5th commandment (6th in Jewish rendering) and offensive to the original meaning, the holder of this sign was probably oblivious to the suffering and death under Saddam, the Taliban and that which is still ongoing in Sudan and other places.

Interestingly, the worldview which holds that all killing is wrong can have integrity, but it has to hold that killing for any reason is wrong: to stop Hitler, to stop Saddam, to stop the rape of Nanking, to stop the rape of the girl next door, to prevent a nuclear holocaust, etc. To hold this view, you'd have to believe that there is something worse than death, torture, rape and tyranny: the effect on the soul of the person willing to kill the killers. But this leads to a dilemma. If the worst thing in the world is killing (as opposed to being killed, torture, whatever), and I refuse to stop someone who is killing, I am saying that I care more for my soul than for the life and soul of my fellow man, unless by my inaction I can somehow cause him to see the error of his ways (everyone cites Ghandi here). But how often does that really work? Internally consistent as it may be, it is not a pretty worldview. Ok, enough philosophizing for now.

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