Human Life Is Singularly Precious
What makes the Las Vegas massacre evil is the killing of human beings. We would not be having this national conversation if Paddock had sprayed death into a nest of hornets. Even if he had poached 58 deer, it would be a weird curiosity, but not a national tragedy. We are in shock and horror because he killed 58 human beings.
Human life is more precious than any other life. Yet Paddock hated it with a passion. Months of thought and research, thousands of dollars, and weeks of preparation he focused not on destruction in general, not even on the destruction of life in general, but on the destruction of human life. Moreover, he seemed to hate his own life just as much as he did his victims. It could not have been personal animosity toward his victims; something other than xenophobia was at work. Could it be purely that they were human beings like himself?
Wayne Newton, Mr. Las Vegas, said in an interview last Tuesday, “I think that in his own mind, by committing suicide he might have escaped earth justice, and the justice of the people.” Whether from self-inflicted suicide or suicide by cop, it’s a good bet that Paddock believed a bullet in the brain would exempt him from the consequences of his evil actions.
The Importance of Our Beliefs about Eternity
Hindus believe in a Karma that carries on after death. Jews, Muslims, Christians, and others believe that a final judgment will determine each person’s eternal status. Paddock was betting the house that everyone is wrong. Whatever was on his mind then, right now he is learning whether he held a royal flush, or was merely bluffing. Newton spoke for most when he said, “I know there’s a seat waiting for him in hell. So, he’ll suffer a long time.”
Verily, Paddock’s eternal fate hangs on the question of whether human beings have an eternal existence, or merely die like animals. But the fate of those 58 murdered and 527 wounded hung on the question of what Paddock believed about eternity. That is simply the fact of the matter.
Imagine a group of 59 people all tied together along a rope, and walking around near a cliff edge. What happens if one of them steps off the cliff will happen regardless of what he believes. Gravity will do its work whether he believes in it or not. But the entire group will be adversely affected by one person who doesn’t believe in gravity.
Your own fate is a reality that you cannot change. But what you do to those around you depends entirely on what you believe about that reality. That’s what happened in Las Vegas. It was an extreme example, to be sure. But it clearly demonstrates the relationship between any person’s view of ultimate reality and the fate of those around him. On account of this, no amount of laws in the world can infallibly protect the rest of humanity from a single human being who holds antihuman views. Once a human mind becomes “weaponized,” no one is safe.
To be continued…