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Enjoying Other People's Misfortune... - Unbeliever's Land — LiveJournal
...The continuing chronicles...
Enjoying Other People's Misfortune...
I know, I'm supposed to be saddened by the whole thing. Sighing, hanging my head, etc.

But I'm not.

I'm enjoying the hell out of this whole Tom-Foley-sending-sexual-emails-and-IMs-to-underage-male-pages scandal...

Not only is it extremely likely to flip a House seat, but it's got the whole Repub leadership scrambling furiously, five weeks to election day, to try and show how they didn't REALLY know anything about this months and years ahead of time (when all evidence shows they did), and didn't try to cover it up until after election day (when all evidence shows they did).

It's the perfect stake-through-the-heart for these Repub vampires. Gay male pedophiles victimizing our innocent children -- and top right-wing, holier-than-thou, ultra-moralizing Republican leaders are the ones both perpetrating the acts AND covering them up. Forgive me, but there are few pleasures in life comparable to watching hypocritical self-righteous bastards go down in flames in such a spectacular way...

I'd ask amaebi if there were any atonements I should perform for the sin of enjoying the downfall of evil people, but (A) I don't think atonements are her thing, and (B) I think she might be enjoying this too. Besides, I'm a dirty rotten atheist, so what do *I* care what God thinks? :)

Current Emotional State: amused amused

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amaebi From: amaebi Date: October 4th, 2006 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Personally, I think that rejoicing in the downfall of evil systems* is thoroughly biblical, so why atone? You just have to be careful about assessing accusations of evil.**

I don't exactly enjoy this, but I'm hoping that it will help us to achieve a Democratic congress ex-post-November.

And I think you're a perfectly lovely atheist. :D As a matter of curiosity, what does "evil" mean to you? I'll tell if you'll tell!

* I don't really do evil persons, but I do do evil acts and evil systems.
** Not muh of an issue with this bunch, in my view.
unbeliever64 From: unbeliever64 Date: October 4th, 2006 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm. I'm tempted to define "evil" as "what Republicans do", thus making a perfectly circular argument everytime I complain that Republicans are evil. :)

But seriously, you could easily APPROACH the definition of evil by simply starting a list of top Republican causes these days... For starters: underfunding and/or ending programs that feed and educate the poor in order to hand more money to the rich, starting unnecessary wars for political and monetary gain, engaging in torture, and demanding the right to abduct people and imprison them indefinitely without any charges or any way for them to view and challenge the evidence against them.

I'm sympathetic to the Wiccan Rede -- "An' it harm none, do what ye will" -- though of course, now you have to define "harm". I'm too much of a meat-eater to include killing animals for food as "evil" (though I could never kill one myself). But certainly, causing unnecessary suffering of any higher-order life form would qualify as evil.

Come to think of it, the phrase "unnecessary suffering" strikes me as a good place to start just about any working definition of evil.

Lets see... Evil is:
* Unnecessary suffering.
* Unnecessary death.
* Unnecessary restriction of freedom.

Damn, now I've got to define "unnecessary". :(

I would also say that "the deliberate promotion of ignorance" qualifies as evil. In fact, that's the evil my Humanist group spends the most time fighting...

In the end, though, I may have to fall back on Justice Potter Stewart's famous non-answer answer, when he attempted to define obscenity in 1964: "I know it when I see it". :)

[Of course, that's the same definition of "evil" that right-wingers use to include liberals, and fundies use to include atheists...]
amaebi From: amaebi Date: October 4th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
My problem with maxims like the Wiccan Rede is that one can't truly know the full effects of any action. We live in a profoundly interconnected universe, and the implications of any act not only can be, but are, obscure, farflung, and multiple. Honest application of such a maxim would result in paralysis, and I don't fancy that a bit!

Personally, I distinguish evil actions from good actions as being fundamentally about destruction rather than fundamentally about creation. And of course neutral actions aren't fundamentally about either....
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