A Note on “Human Beings”

My tendency toward hyperbole often gets the better of me, so I thought I’d offer a quick clarification on some comments I made in my “Purple With Rage” post. I rattled off a list of (frequently criminal) names, and commented that I didn’t respect them “even as human beings.”

As was pointed out to me, this comes awfully close to saying that I think they’re somehow less than human, and I want to make sure everyone understands that I am speaking metaphorically here. If I run across a total stranger on the street (or consider some random unknown person sitting in some random nation somewhere on the globe), there is a certain amount of respect I accord that person. I don’t know our hypothetical person in the slightest, so that respect is basically a threshold level that — barring any additional information — I will accord anyone. The people on the list I provided (and there are plenty more where those came from) have driven themselves below that threshold; in some cases far below. I’m not saying they’re not as deserving of life and liberty as anyone else (well, in the case of liberty, some do deserve to have that liberty restricted to a prison cell for an extended period of time), but simply that I have no sympathy for their plight.

Why on earth should I feel more for those who actively seek to harm me and mine as opposed to someone who I do not know is actively trying to do so? We hear statistics all the time about people killed in... oh, say Iraq, just to pick an example. (Bad example, maybe — while they didn’t wish me harm a few years ago, a lot of them sure as hell do now.) And — whatever we may feel about the larger consequences — we spare no more than a, “Tch, too bad,” before moving on with our lives. If they’re an American, then we may pause a little longer, or at least we might if there were some particularly large number of lives lost, or there were some heartfelt individual story associated with the loss. And yet I’m somehow supposed to accord more concern to one of the people on this list, people who spout an incessant stream of lies and hate speech? People who dedicate themselves to oppressing and taking advantage of the very people they publicly claim to be working for? Sorry, but I just don’t. Screw ’em.

As for the Westboro Baptist Church, I suppose it may provide some measure of amelioration to point out that I most emphatically do not believe in the existence of Hell. But that fact aside, I stand by everything I said about them.

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At 10:19 PM, Anonymous said...

How arrogant you are. Somehow, I know you don't have too many friends.

At 6:24 AM, Bill Coughlan said...

Hey, if moronic dipshits like you, "Anonymous," are representative of what you consider the friend pool, then good god, I'm happy to do without them.


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