I read a lot of stuff on the internet. I generally highlight the stuff I like best, but much of what I read is pretty bad in uninteresting ways. Two recent articles were surprisingly bad though.
The world is full of bad people and people that are deserving of help. There is a separate category however, for the sort that confuse the latter with the former.
The second, which all seeks to excuse criminality, is here. Of all the things in the world that could be defended, why defend criminals and criminality?
Perhaps the best response to both is to give the last word to Thomas Carlyle (from the latter-day Pamphlets):
The scoundrel that will hasten to the gallows, why not rather clear the way for him? Better he reach his goal and outgate by the natural proclivity, than be so expensively dammed up and detained, poisoning every thing as he stagnates and meanders along, to arrive at last a hundred times fouler, and swollen a hundred times bigger! . . .
Does the Christian or any religion prescribe love of scoundrels, then? I hope it prescribes a healthy hatred of scoundrels; — otherwise what am I, in Heaven’s name, to make of it? Me, for one, it will not serve as a religion on those strange terms. Just hatred of scoundrels, I say; fixed, irreconcilable, inexorable enmity to the enemies of God . . .
If you love your thief or murderer, if Nature and eternal Fact love him, then do as you are now doing. But if Nature and Fact do not love him ? If they have set inexorable penalties upon him and planted natural wrath against him in every god-created human heart, — then I advise you, cease, and change your hand. . . .
The one answer to him [the thief or murderer] is: "Caitiff, we hate thee; and discern for some six thousand years now, that we are called upon by the whole Universe to do it. Not with a diabolic but with a divine hatred. God himself, we have always understood, ‘hates sin,’ with a most authentic, celestial, and eternal hatred. A hatred, a hostility inexorable, unappeasable, which blasts the scoundrel, and all scoundrels ultimately, into black annihilation and disappearance from the sum of things. The path of it as the path of a flaming sword: he that has eyes may see it, walking inexorable, divinely beautiful and divinely terrible, through the chaotic gulf of human History, and everywhere burning, as with unquenchable fire, the false and death-worthy from the true and life-worthy; making all Human History, and the Biography of every man, a God’s Cosmos in place of a Devil’s Chaos. So is it, in the end; even so, to every man who is a man, and not a mutinous beast, and has eyes to see. To thee, caitiff, these things were and are quite incredible; to us they are too awfully certain; we, — send thee back into the whole Universe, solemnly expel thee from our community; and will, in the name of God, not with joy and exultation, but with sorrow stern as thy own, hang thee on Wednesday next, and so end. . . .
‘Revenge,’ my friends! revenge, and the natural hatred of scoundrels, and the ineradicable tendency to revancher oneself upon them, and pay them what they have merited: this is forevermore intrinsically a correct, and even a divine feeling in the mind of every man. Only the excess of it is diabolic; the essence I say is manlike, and even godlike . . .
The absence of it however, is something quite different.