The people of Boston are in our thoughts, prayers, and practice.

Be sure to read “Boston Marathon Explosions: How You Can Help” to find out how you can be of assistance. For comfort, I recommend that you take a look at “Stories of Kindness After the Bombing”.

“Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed. This is an ancient and eternal law.” – The Buddha

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  • Thomas Armstrong

    The tragedy in Boston and the people “helping” are practically two separate things. The sentiment from Fred Rogers is good … for children. Adults, however, should face the circumstance full on, otherwise we can neither address IT or learn to better deter or prevent or best respond to future horror.

    There IS evil. Not the evil of Fundamentalism where the whole of it is dumped into this figure called Satan and people are thereby excused for their thoughts and their actions. There IS evil — and you cannot “nice nice” it away and stick your head in the sand. We must look directly at evil such that we are rightly motivated to deal with it — which most certainly must include combating it.

    From Lars Svendsen in his book A Philosophy of Evil:

    “We know that the world’s suffering is unjustly dealt and strikes randomly; innocents are often the ones hit hardest. Even if suffering can be cathartic, in the long run it often proves destructive. … Usually, good leads to more good, while evil leads to more evil. Suffering isn’t something that makes us grow; as a rule, suffering is purely destructive. Intense pain doesn’t often make a person stronger; instead, it destroys their worth, their confidence, their ability to communicate. Martin Amis writes “There is no language for pain. Except bad language. Except swearing. There’s no language for it. … Pain is its own language.” You can say something hurts, but when the agony becomes too intense, you lose the ability to speak and descend into the prelinguistic state. Mental pain can be trumped by physical pain because physical pain destroys all mental ability. Pain deprives us of experience. It can’t be shared with someone else because there’s no room for anything else when pain is all there is.

    “What does the child gain by having Lesch-Nyhans Syndrome, a disease that gives a child such an intense desire to hurt himself that all his teeth have to be pulled as they grow in to prevent him from gnawing his fingers and lips off?

    “Explaining away evil, rather than explaining the phenomena itself, is a common response to the problem of evil. One assumption that fits into this category is that which appears to be evil is actually good, if only we consider it in the right light.”

    Yesterday was a witnessing of evil (using the word in a non-ladened with religious non-sense way) . It was not a day to dredge up Fred Rogers or Captain Kangeroo.

    • RevDannyFisher

      ” you cannot “nice nice” it away and stick your head in the sand. ”

      I’m not sure anyone is saying that other than you, Tom.

      • Thomas Armstrong

        So you are comforted because you think you are in the conventional majority, Danny? Then, convert to Christianity; they’re the majority.

        Pulling a Fred Rogers, as so many have done in light of what happened in Boston, is reprehensible to my mind, Danny. It is a too-convenient ‘looking away’; it is the happy alternative to noticing the bloodshed.