Stephen Paddock Exemplifies The Dangers Of Weaponizing Human Minds

Part 3

The Weaponization of Human Minds

Human beings are by nature free to follow their beliefs. We have the capacity to think, to invent, to create, and to use the resources around us for incredibly great good. But with that freedom and ability comes an equal ability to do incredibly great evil.

The two come as a matched pair, and they can’t be uncoupled. You cannot keep a man from doing evil without affecting his ability to do good. Put a robber in jail, and he no longer can work to serve you. Shackles intended to limit people’s capacity to do evil will in equal proportion limit people’s capacity to do good.
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Stephen Paddock Exemplifies The Dangers Of Weaponizing Human Minds

Part 2

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…

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Stephen Paddock Exemplifies The Dangers Of Weaponizing Human Minds

Part 1
While we have a moment of unity in our feelings of disgust and judgment upon the Las Vegas murderer, let’s engage our minds to make that common ground last.

“It was an act of pure evil,” President Trump described the murderous attack in Las Vegas. Nobody can disagree. There is no nuanced explanation for it. It is repulsive even to suggest that Stephen Paddock had good intentions for what he did.
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Demise of Journalistic Standards

by Michael Goodwin  (see bio below)

Mr. Goodwin puts feet to my thoughts and I didn’t have the words.  I respect him and his background.  I am trying to be a good independent.   Journalism and writers are making it harder and harder.

I’ve been a journalist for a long time. Long enough to know that it wasn’t always like this. There was a time not so long ago when journalists were trusted and admired. We were generally seen as trying to report the news in a fair and straightforward manner.

I often found myself telling my students that the job of the reporter was “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I’m not even sure where I first heard that line, but it still captures the way most journalists think about what they do.

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Russian Collusion?

The following adapted transcript is taken from Imprimis.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on September 7, 2017, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.

We keep being told that President Trump is not normal. This much has been blindingly obvious. He had never run for office or otherwise served in a public capacity. He has been accused, not without reason, of breaking all manner of political norms. America’s most nontraditional president was never going to conduct business as usual from the West Wing. Less than a year into his first term, he has already caused much anguish in Washington. This should be no surprise—while running for office Trump repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and shake things up. Americans knew who they were voting for, and history will judge the results. Continue reading “Russian Collusion?”