Petty revenge in Germany

Germany is once again acting out of revenge, not reason or rationality.

The return of alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk to Germany for trial on war crimes was delayed again Tuesday by a federal court, shortly after six immigration officers removed the retired autoworker from his suburban Cleveland home in a wheelchair.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay until it could further consider Demjanjuk’s motion to reopen the U.S. case that ordered him deported, in which he says painful medical ailments would make travel to Germany torturous.

“If he is deported, if this madness and inhumane action is not stopped by the 6th Circuit, he will live out his life in a (German) hospital. He will never be put on trial,” he said. “It makes absolutely no sense that the Germans, after nearly killing him in combat, would try to kill him once again.”

The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center said it was undeterred.

“We remain confident that John Demjanjuk will be deported and finally face the bar of justice for the unspeakable crimes he committed during World War II when he was a guard at the Sobibor death camp,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Wiesenthal Center founder.

This absolutely is not about making someone “finally face the bar of justice” for anything. It is purely about revenge. This man may very well have done horrific things to many thousands of people, but putting him on trial and imprisoning him for the last few years of his life does nothing. It does not increase the safety of others. If the point of a judicial system is to simply punish, then we’re just being euphemistic about a desire for revenge.

People should only be brought to justice if doing that serves some actual purpose. If the ‘purpose’ is simply for the sake of justice, then there is no real reason beside either rule internalization or revenge. (It’s revenge in this case.) People need to rise above this pettiness – no matter how emotionally difficult – and work from principles. Anger, distress, sadness, and other emotions just take the blindfold off Lady Justice and threw dust and grime in her eyes.

It can't be the hand of God

Not the hand of God

This is a photo of Pulsar B1509 taken by NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory. There is a poll which is attached to the article on this image.

What do you think is captured on the recently released NASA photograph?

  • The hand of God
  • A natural stellar formation

“A natural stellar formation” is leading because the poll has been crashed by PZ Myers. But even though atheists crashed this poll to give it the correct answer, creationists can’t possible view this as being the hand of their particular sky fairy.

Taken by NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory from it’s orbiting 360 miles above the Earth, the recently released photo of Pulsar B1509 captures the X-Ray nebula in a state shaped like a human hand. NASA estimates the shape spans 150 light years, but is caused by a dense neutron star that’s just 12 miles in diameter.

Astronomers believe B1509 is roughly 1,700 years old and is located 17,000 light years from Earth.

If this was God’s hand, it’d have to have existed since the beginning of time (in fact, since before the beginning of time – creationists have incredible insights into the pre-Universe). It is only 1,700 years old. As we all know, if this were the hand of the particular cultural god of Christians, it would would need to exist since roughly the beginning of the agricultural revolution – i.e., the beginning of all time.

Also, it has four fingers.

It can’t be the hand of God

Not the hand of God

This is a photo of Pulsar B1509 taken by NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory. There is a poll which is attached to the article on this image.

What do you think is captured on the recently released NASA photograph?

  • The hand of God
  • A natural stellar formation

“A natural stellar formation” is leading because the poll has been crashed by PZ Myers. But even though atheists crashed this poll to give it the correct answer, creationists can’t possible view this as being the hand of their particular sky fairy.

Taken by NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory from it’s orbiting 360 miles above the Earth, the recently released photo of Pulsar B1509 captures the X-Ray nebula in a state shaped like a human hand. NASA estimates the shape spans 150 light years, but is caused by a dense neutron star that’s just 12 miles in diameter.

Astronomers believe B1509 is roughly 1,700 years old and is located 17,000 light years from Earth.

If this was God’s hand, it’d have to have existed since the beginning of time (in fact, since before the beginning of time – creationists have incredible insights into the pre-Universe). It is only 1,700 years old. As we all know, if this were the hand of the particular cultural god of Christians, it would would need to exist since roughly the beginning of the agricultural revolution – i.e., the beginning of all time.

Also, it has four fingers.

Morality

On morality.

There exists for those willing to see a new perspective a deeply satisfying purpose and meaning to life free from any divine influence. To glimpse this world, imagine for a moment that there is no invisible man in the sky using magical powers in “mysterious ways” to control our fate. Imagine that we can toss away the crutch of false hope and bad myth to walk unhindered down the path of personal responsibility. Without the burden of a wrathful god, we have the power to create our own meaning, our own sense of purpose, our own destiny. By rejecting the false premises of religion we are free to move beyond the random hand we are dealt at birth to pave our own road to a better life.

With freedom of course comes the obligation to act wisely and responsibly. We fulfill this duty first by taking a more modest view of our place in the world. When we see that humans are a natural part of the ecosystem, not above or separate from the environment, we will protect the resources that sustain us. When we reject the hubris and conceit of religion, we will redefine our relationship with each other without calling upon god to smite our enemies. When we understand that true morality is independent of religious doctrine, we will create a path toward a just society. We each have the power to create a life in which we no longer accept the arbitrary and destructive constraints of divine interference.

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