I have someone new following, well welcome to Mark Foreman’s chemistry class where he chooses what to teach. The place where we all have an enjoyable time with chemistry. While chemistry should be done while sober it should not be somber.
But we also think about other things, in the same way as chemistry does not exist in a vacuum away from the rest of society we do something think about things that have nothing to do with chemistry.
I am sure that you will be aware that a man attacked a cinema in the US recently. To be frank with you I think that the deeds of James Holmes are disgusting. I saw recently that the Pastor at a church in the USA (where one of the dead worshipped) prayed for the well being of James Holmes. This level of forgiveness and the prayers might be quite a shock to some people.
I heard around about the year 2000 that a catholic priest had prayed for the soul of Adolf Hitler, this caused quite a stir.
Regardless of your religious views the following logic can be applied to these cases (I am paraphrasing the statement of the catholic priest). He said “Those who have done extraordinarily bad things are in special need of moral and spiritual help”.
Another thing (which shocked me at the time) was when one of my sunday school teachers said “God loves Saddam Hussein”, at the time all young people in the UK were viewing Saddam as the ultimate bogey man and as a person to hate. My understanding of what the sunday school teacher was saying was that God loved Saddam and was very unhappy with Saddam’s deeds. But rather than wanting Saddam to be laid low with a thunderbolt God would have been more happy if Saddam had changed his evil ways and become a good man. Sadly in Saddam’s case he did not reform, I guess that you all know what happened regarding Saddam.
Even an atheist would be more happy if Saddam had woken up one morning and suddenly understood that he needed to change his ways and behave better. The danger of striking Saddam dead with a thunderbolt is that someone just as bad would replace him (Saddam 2.0), a new and morally upright Saddam would have been better than either Saddam 2.0 or the old Saddam.
Right now regardless of religious views (or lack of) I think that we can all agree that the gunman responsible for the cinema outrage is in special need of moral guidance. Those of us who take a secular view will be likely to want that he repents sufficiently that he does not add to the distress of those injured and the loved ones of the dead by misbehaving in court.
I am rather displeased that Anders Brevik was allowed to use part of his trial as a soap box for him to spread his poison, I think that TV cameras should be excluded from court but reporters should be allowed to be present for most stages of the trial. I think that the British system is best, the trial should be reported in the media but some restrictions should be imposed to protect the privacy of the victims.
I sincerely hope that both Anders Brevik and James Holmes learn the error of their ways and understand that they have done something deeply wrong. As long as they fail to see the error of their ways both their true punishment and rehabilitation will be delayed.