12 July 2006


Purposeless Violence?

More pointless bombings killing ordinary people going about their everyday business. This time in Mumbai. How do the people who do this think their actions are going to promote their cause, whatever it is? Can it just be mindless nihilism? Certainly there can be no justification of such acts in moral terms. Nor in any sensible religious terms. Nor even in purely pragmatic terms.

A report in Progressive.Org magazine leads:

Mumbai bomb blasts sickening. A basic rule for any insurgent movement worth its name: Do not kill civilians by the dozen with bombs set to maximize pain and destruction. ... Not only does this violate every norm of human decency, it also takes you much further away from your political goals. ... What do the perpetrators hope to achieve by this? (Here, one has to assume that the bomb manufacturers had goals other than a nihilistic orgy of violence or to set off religious rioting.)

The same article suggests that there is "alienation" of the Muslims in Kashmnir who seek its independence or union with Pakistan, due to the past actions of the Indian police and forces. But can this just lead to such blind despair that it leads people to strike back by dealing out death at random?

The purpose of life, from a non-religious point of view, is to try to do something constructive with your life, and not something purely destructive. It is only justifiable to destroy something if you have something better ready to take its place. And there can seldom be any justification for destroying living beings still full of potential life unless they threaten your own survival.

Does anyone yet really understand the mind-set of the people who carry out these acts? Shouldn't such understanding be one of our society's priority aims? There must be a solution.


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