Remembering Manchester

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In The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, radical evil is described in the following fashion:

By the way, a Bulgarian . . . told me about the crimes committed by Turks and Circassians in all parts of Bulgaria[.]  They burn villages, murder, outrage women and children, they nail their prisoners by the ears to the fences, leave them so till morning, and in the morning they hang them all – all sorts of things you can't imagine.  People talk sometimes of bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel.

These Turks took a pleasure in torturing children too; cutting the unborn child from the mother's womb, and tossing babies up in the air and catching them on the points of their bayonets before their mother's eyes.  Doing it before the mother's eyes was what gave zest to the amusement. 

Imagine a trembling mother with her baby in her arms, a circle of invading Turks around her.  They've planned a diversion; they pet the baby, laugh to make it laugh.  They succeed, the baby laughs.  At that moment a Turk, points a pistol four inches from the baby's face.  The baby laughs with glee, holds out its little hands to the pistol, and he pulls the trigger in the baby's face and blows out its brains.

The above passage was used in a 1980 essay by Kenneth R. Seeskin titled "The Reality of Radical Evil," wherein he describes the actions of the Nazis against the Jews during the Holocaust.

Seeskin maintains that such evil describes  "the actions of someone who understands only too well what human dignity is and takes pleasure in mocking it."  In fact, "he has chosen to profane the tenderest and most sacred of living creatures and to do so in a manner destined to show the victim and everyone else that he is fully aware of the horror in what he is doing."

Seeskin makes a distinction between those murderers with a conscience and those who do not possess one.  He maintains that this describes the "essence of radical evil.  It both denies God and puts something awful in His place.  In theological terms, it is really a form of idolatry – only not the kind which is satisfied with pagan gods or graven images.  The person who attempts to exterminate a whole people does not just succumb to evil, he worships it."

As with the Holocaust, Islamic jihadist evil is a "nihilistic, demonic celebration of death."  Consider the word celebration.  In the Muslim world, when the infidel is slaughtered, "they hand out sweets in jubilation" as the murderers are praised, and the families of the evildoers are paid for the evil perpetuated. 

Read more at The American Thinker





 
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