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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020

entry arrow6:13 PM | The Righteousness of Murderers

Why do some people still remain DDS after all these years, especially those who are "Christians" who should know what is right or wrong? I looked for answers. Found some in this 2017 article by psychologist Paul Bloom for The New Yorker, who posits that the "root of cruelty" is actually borne out of a high sense of morality, if misplaced, and one that ultimately seeks to "teach a lesson." He writes:

In many instances, violence is neither a cold-blooded solution to a problem nor a failure of inhibition; most of all, it doesn’t entail a blindness to moral considerations. On the contrary, morality is often a motivating force: 'People are impelled to violence when they feel that to regulate certain social relationships, imposing suffering or death is necessary, natural, legitimate, desirable, condoned, admired, and ETHICALLY GRATIFYING.' [These actions] often reflect the desire to do the right thing, to exact just vengeance, or to teach someone a lesson.

In other words, these people are not indifferent towards moral distinctions. They're not sociopaths. They just believe they're in the right side of the divide ["if you can only see things our way" is a common DDS refrain]. If you do enough study of genocide, suicide bombings, school shootings, punitive rape, domestic abuse, gang violence, or honor killings, you will almost always come across the perpetrator justifying his or her act in terms of punishment or revenge against the victim. Think of mass shooters or incels gone amok who publish their manifestos online before doing the deed. Think about the Nazis who set-up a string of anti-Semitic laws to justify the Holocaust machine. Think about racists and homophobes who justify hate crime because the victims are "inferior" to them. Think of the DDS who label any dissent as "nanlaban," "adik," "dilawan," "komunista," "anong ambag mo?," "sana ma-rape," "presstitute," "dura lex sed lex," etc., fighting what should be common sense just to hold on to the moral justification of their choice in 2016. And it's not easy to admit you're wrong, even if blood is on your hands.

Their desire will always be "righteous." And with every win -- Delima in jail, Sereno impeached, Rappler hobbled, Maria Ressa found guilty, ABS-CBN locked down -- they smell blood, like sharks, and want more, their sense of being morally right going through the roof. As for the "Christians" I began with? Jesus is the last thing in their minds.

Illustration by Gérard DuBois

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