This will be part of a series on different sorts of extremists (e.g., Osama Bin Laden, Galileo Galilei, Martin Luther King Jr.) and on what they had in common: a belief that what they were doing is ‘For the greater good’.
We will keep out the morals of it and just look scientifically. Below we see the video of Osama Bin Laden explaining the 9/11 attack shortly after it was carried out. More generally, Google Image search him and find a picture where he looks angry and post it as a comment, because I would appreciate it.
Here we see the crucial passage from the video, which begins about 1:15 into the video:
“And what could the poor mother do when she saw her son being torn into pieces between the teeth of the wolf? But in the passion of motherhood, she butted the wolf.
Of course the wolf was not affected at all and it shouted out, “look at this terrorist!” So these parrots joined in, repeating what the wolf said and saying, “yes, we comemn the ewe’s butt against the wolf.”
Where have you been when the wolf ate the son of this sheep? So these blessed and successful strikes are bit in reaction to what happened in our lands – in Palestine, and in Iraq, and in other places.”
Ok, obviously, Osama should not have done what he did. But he did it thinking that he was doing right, and how do we know he was not? His God says so, and our God says no; except that when our God was his God’s age (about 500 years old) our God was saying to do these things (the crusades).
The key to take away is not that he is right, or that we are right, but that there are consistent and reliable patterns to extremists (i.e., that they feel what they are doing is right and ‘for the greater good’).
This has implications for the way that we deal with extremists, as pushing bombs and fighting them is what led to 9/11 in the first place (according to Osama, and that is all that matters.
Hint for that earlier challenge: it is basically impossible to find a picture of Osama where he looks angry or upset. Just sad. :p
What do you all think about Osama Bin Laden or other extremists? Tell us below! 😀