Tragedy and Moral Language
Sadly the massacre in Aurora, Colorado was not the first of its kind. Last year I wrote on “The Tuscon Tragedy and the Gift of Moral Language.” The upshot of the article from 18 months ago may have relevance now as pundits speculate about “what snapped” in the alleged killer:
We instinctively resort to passive speech, unable to bear the thought (let alone utter the words) that a wicked person has perpetrated a wicked crime. The human heart is desperately sinful and capable of despicable sins. Of course, no one commends the crime, but few are willing to condemn the criminal either. In such a world we are no longer moral beings with the propensity for great acts of righteousness and great acts of evil. We are instead, at least when we are bad, the mere product of our circumstances, our society, our upbringing, our biochemistry, or our hurts. The triumph of the therapeutic is nearly complete.
Read the whole thing.