| Sarah: "1) As soon as he does anything good he's seen as the greatest hypocrite of all time. To borrow part of Jeff's comment, "Even were the U.S. leaders truly evil men who have done bad, should we defer from encouraging them to do good..." Calling a turned tyrant a hypocrite certainly isn't encouraging him to do good. So, would you encourage a tyrant to turn and do good as compensation for the bad or would you just have him killed?"|
Ok, this is an interesting argument, one I've never heard before, at least in the case of tyrants. However, there is a reason that a turned tyrant is seen as a hypocrite. It's a matter of context and degree: A person can make mistakes, or commit moral errors. Depending on the extent of the crime or mistake, the person may have to be punished and pay retribution, but there's a possibility of trusting that person again. A reformed thief who is truly sorry would submit to retribution and punishment in order not to be seen as a hypocrite. Trust has to be earned again. There is no blank check.
Now, in the case of a Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, etc.: Could there be any turning back? Could there have been a point where Hitler could say "I'm sorry" to his victims? What kind of retribution could be made? What punishment could fit the crime? I can't think of any. And Hitler had PLENTY of chances, due to the pre-war attempts at appeasement. He knew what he was doing. He truly would have been a hypocrite if after six million murders suddenly did an about face.
Look at Hussein. We did not kill him. We captured him and he is now facing trial. He had an oppurtunity after the first Gulf War to be "educated" and become a model of peace. Now, in custody, he claims that he is the rightful leader of Iraq and that the U.S. is the criminal. REASONABLE MAN? No. Do YOU want to be responsible for "educating" Saddam and teaching him to be a leader of peace? Do you think it possible in his case? Bin Laden's case?
And, if you WERE succesful, how does a tyrant do a 180 without coming off as a hypocrite? How would Hitler say to the world, "sorry, my bad"? Bill Cosby had a saying about grandparents spoiling grandchildren: "They're old people trying to get into heaven now." Even if Hitler or Hussein could be changed, sincerely, they'd have to kill themselves to live with their guilt. No one could look at themselves in the mirror after such a revelation of their moral crimes. Not at that degree.
Darth Vader is a character in a movie based on wishful thinking. In the original trilogy, Vader was a bad guy because they said he was bad. In the prequels, we see why he was a bad guy (especially after murdering the children; how Burger King could have him appear in a commercial as a customer is beyond me.) The prequels nullified the ending of RETURN OF THE JEDI. Luke's compassion for Vader ( like Batman's rel Two-Face) is based on their relationship, turns the other cheek towards his father (he hadn't seen the prequels, I take it). For the audience to do so is true hypocriticism. Nothing but Deathbed conversion.
(Edited by Joe Maurone
on 10/29, 4:06pm)