Social Question

_zen_'s avatar

Does Osama Bin Laden deserve compassion?

Asked by _zen_ (7854points) May 8th, 2011

The Dalai seems to think so: read this Time article

I think he does deserve some degree of compassion when he burns in hell. Let’s say he reincarnates as a leper’s personal female nurse on a deserted island next time around.

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30 Answers

ddude1116's avatar

Yes. Everybody deserves compassion, after all, nobody is born evil. Bin Laden’s a sorrowful individual, whatever led him to have such strong convictions is truly disheartening.

SeaTurtle's avatar

Yes. Compassion is a great quality and is considered in all major religions as being among the greatest of virtues.
The killing of another human being whether it be necessary or not should never be celebrated with fevered glee akin to the type of reaction that may be witnessed in the animal kingdom. (i.e. Hyenas after a kill)

jrpowell's avatar

Fuck him. He got what he deserved. I’m glad he was startled after living a easy life and had that few moments of fear where he knew he was going to die. If I believed in hell I would want him to go there.

I’m a Socialist and want healthcare for the people that make you food at Taco Bell. I’m still happy the fucker is being scraped off the wall.

King_Pariah's avatar

to a degree and for a moment, perhaps, just not to the extent of “we should’ve read him his Miranda Rights…” some lady on the radio said that.

Yeah sure, “You have the right to remain dead…”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yes, I have compassion for the dead Osama Bin Laden. Only because the 70 horny virgins he gets to spend eternity with look like this.

#2 here


4… oh wait, #4 ain’t dead yet.

woodcutter's avatar

No, because it takes too long.

ucme's avatar

Oh i’m sure he’ll be getting his fair share from certain quarters. I mean, does Hitler deserve compassion? For me personally there’s no empathy for any deceased “madmen” or women for that matter. That’s to be expected though surely.

rooeytoo's avatar

Not from me!

But just out of curiosity, how do you show compassion to someone who is dead???

Pele's avatar

Not for that psychotic fucking basturd. I spit on his grave at sea.

thorninmud's avatar

I don’t think of compassion as something that one gives to others, nor that it’s based on merit. You give friendship or mercy; you like someone based on merit. But compassion doesn’t work that way. It’s a way of seeing.

A compassionate mind is one that is able to recognize kinship and connectedness wherever it looks. It’s not as focussed on what sets me apart from him as on how I am like him.

That’s easy to do with wonderful people because we want to believe that maybe we have something in common with them. It’s easy to do with the innocent and vulnerable. But faced with someone full of venom, or who has done us great harm, we revolt at the idea that we’re at all like them.

But we are. And it’s dangerous to think otherwise. All minds are twisted to some extent by years of poor mental hygiene. Some are very twisted indeed. But my mind too could be twisted just the same. I’m not that different. I too could easily rejoice in the death of my ideological enemies. This recognition keeps me all the more vigilant, working on my own mental defilements.

To feel compassion doesn’t mean to make nice with everyone. Some very harmful people and animals need to be put out of commission.

mattbrowne's avatar

If we want to be compassionate with ourselves we have to learn to become compassionate with all human beings. Feelings of hatred and revenge hurt ourselves more than it hurts others. It makes us very unhappy in the long run. It even shortens our lives. All of this doesn’t mean we have to condone terrorism, murder and injustice. On the contrary. We have to speak out against it. We have to act to prevent it and do everything to protect innocent people. Bin Laden had to be apprehended. He was a mass murderer. He didn’t raise his arms showing that he was willing to surrender. I cannot imagine that the SEALs killed him in cold blood.

Buttonstc's avatar


He did have an AK-47 within easy reach so seconds were vital.

Also, according to the Seals, the chief reason for the headshot was in case he might have been wearing a bulletproof vest.

I’m. OK with their judgement call on the situation. It was their lives at risk so they did what was necessary.

rooeytoo's avatar

Is the opposite of compassion “feelings of hatred and revenge?” For me the opposite of compassion for obl is a feeling of nothingness. I don’t feel compassionate towards him nor do I feel hatred and revenge.

It just is and so be it.

woodcutter's avatar

It will be revenge for some, not much compassion to had from them. To others, his being gone is just a necessity of civilized life, possibly some compassion. It had to be done. Even “he” must have realized it and expected it some day.

_zen_'s avatar

@mattbrowne @Buttonstc Double-standard time: I am vey happy about the Bin’s death (bin as in garbage bin) however, look at this vs. the mavi marmara; the US seal team was in a foreign land, without its knowledge and consent. It took out a person (well…) judge jury executioner style – on someone elses turf – sovereign soil – - yet Israel raided a boat that was in international waters – internationally recognized as such – and used force to defend its soldiers. The US only even acknowleded this raid because it was BL and successful – had any soldiers been killed or captured – the US wouldn’t even have mentioned it – this is the code.

Double-standards abound and all’s fair in war and war.

I’d like to end this rant with a positive note: thank god the ST6 team was successful and no-one (that matters) was hurt.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Buttonstc – Yes, absolutely. It was about split seconds. The only thing that could have saved his life was to freeze and raise his hands. From what I’ve heard he didn’t do that. He was on the second floor. Where exactly did the SEAL team find the AK-47?

I’m glad that the US authorities can interview his three wives.

mattbrowne's avatar

@rooeytoo – No, the opposite of compassion are not feelings of hatred and revenge. I mentioned them because these feelings do exist and I can totally understand them, especially for people who lost loved ones. Understanding having these feelings doesn’t mean they are good for them. They are not. We should help people get beyond revenge and hatred. People who lost loved ones deserve our support. We can try to help them to get rid of these self-destructive feelings. Vicious circles of hatred lead nowhere.

mattbrowne's avatar

@zen – I am happy that the number of top-terrorists is now a bit smaller which makes the civilized world a safer place. I am relieved that Bin Laden was apprehended and killed while resisting arrest and no longer poses a threat.

I am never happy or glad about the death of a human being as such.

Buttonstc's avatar

Evidently the AK was within view when they came upon him and also within reach. IF he had been wearing a bulletproof vest underneath his clothing, it’s certainly not inconceivable that he could have gotten to it if the first shots didn’t take him out.

And to answer the original Q, I’m not prepared to say that he “deserved” anything other than retribution.

My feelings about it are similar to those voiced by Rooey.

rooeytoo's avatar

@mattbrowne – I am no one’s caretaker, I cannot help anyone get beyond revenge and hatred. That is a decision only the individual can make for themselves and if they decide, for whatever reason, it is not time to get beyond, who am I to tell them they are wrong???

mattbrowne's avatar

@rooeytoo – Psychologists can. Lingering hatred and feelings of wanting revenge does serious harm. The science is overwhelming. I think we are all caretakers being part of a global community. We should care about everybody. Of course it’s the people’s decision to stick with their self-destructive feelings. It’s not a question of what’s right or wrong. It’s a question of what is good for people and what isn’t. And I feel a responsibility of pointing this out to people. I also think it’s one of the reasons we got forums like Fluther. People come here to get support or offer support.

rooeytoo's avatar

Psychologists will also tell you that denying feelings of any kind does serious harm. Feelings are neither good nor bad, they are just feelings. Why do you feel a responsibility to point out to people what is good for them, why are your feelings more relevant/better than theirs? That sounds like feelings of superiority and according to psychology, that can get you into a bit of trouble as well.

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s not about denying feelings at all. On the contrary. According to Daniel Goleman emotionally intelligent people who observe their feelings will eventually learn that they have a choice. Stick with feelings of revenge or not. Feelings are in fact good/healthy or bad/unhealthy in terms of what they do to our biochemistry when we look at the scientific evidence. This has nothing to do with superiority. And this isn’t about my feelings. This is about healthy and unhealthy feelings. Why do I feel a responsibility to point out to people what is good for them? I thought this is what Fluther is about. People can decide whether they want to follow or ignore advice.

“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two wolves inside people. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, ‘Which one wins? The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.”

rooeytoo's avatar

I appreciate being given the opportunity to ignore or follow your advice.

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s my understanding of Fluther. And my understanding of advice in general.

_zen_'s avatar

I liked the story buddy. Have a great weekend.

mattbrowne's avatar


Thanks, my friend. How the heck do I create a proper Fluther hyperlink for your alias!?

_zen_'s avatar

That’s part of my mystique. I’m the only one whom you cannot @ at.

mattbrowne's avatar

I love mysteries ;-)

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