Do you think that there will ever be a time in your life when you have to say these words?
It was gruesome but necessary.
This expression is apparently famous in an online computer game, World of Warcraft, but has now become a popular horrific response attributed to the main suspect in the recent killings in Oslo, Norway. As we all know, around 90 innocent victims have been killed majority of which included a great number of youth campers in what appears to be a “necessary” act according to the main suspect.
You could read the story here.
I then wonder: Would the victims who survived this ordeal and the bereaved families of those who died ever accept the justification that their near-deaths and deaths, respectively, were necessary just to drive home a point and deliver a message to the government?
At this point in time, where the acts of terrorism happened so close to home, I cannot just remain apathetic about this. As a father, I was really appalled at how young people were subjected to this kind of “gruesome but necessary” violence early on in their lives.
And the root of all this is: Fanaticism.
Fanaticism, according to Wikipedia, is:
a belief or behavior involving uncritical zeal, particularly for an extreme religious or political cause or in some cases sports, or with an obsessive enthusiasm for a pastime or hobby. According to Winston Churchill, “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”
In his book Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk, Neil Postman states that “the key to all fanatical beliefs is that they are self-confirming….(some beliefs are) fanatical not because they are ‘false’, but because they are expressed in such a way that they can never be shown to be false.”
The behavior of a fan with overwhelming enthusiasm for a given subject is differentiated from the behavior of a fanatic by the fanatic’s violation of prevailing social norms. Though the fan’s behavior may be judged as odd or eccentric, it does not violate such norms. A fanatic differs from a crank, in that a crank is defined as a person who holds a position or opinion which is so far from the norm as to appear ludicrous and/or probably wrong, such as a belief in a Flat Earth. In contrast, the subject of the fanatic’s obsession may be “normal”, such as an interest in religion or politics, except that the scale of the person’s involvement, devotion, or obsession with the activity or cause is abnormal or disproportionate.
How strongly do we really feel about things that we believe in?
How far could we really go in pursuit of something that we feel passionately about?
What extremes are we capable of doing in the name of an idea?
Can You Justify Saying That “Yes, It Was Gruesome But Necessary?”
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To Your Success,