This is Lisbon’s Estação Central, the central train station near Russio, the place with the hallucinogenically wavy pavement pattern.
Yesterday I spoke about individuality, and when I think of it, although it makes perfect sense for my agnostic self, it may be different for someone believing in God.
I mean, I am pretty sure I am a coward, but if I had to try to defend my beloved, I can realistically imagine I would. It is something between my individual self and an individual other. It is personal. You know, I am a person with an individual conciousness and self-consciousness, and apart from that I am pretty sure that the only thing there is, is my life in the presence of where I am and with whom I am. I don’t necessarily rule out the existence of a Creator-God, but only in the same sense as I don’t rule out the existence of a way to travel faster than light. It may be. Nobody so far found any convincing evidence, and while means for faster-than-light travel may have simply not been discovered yet, the existence of God, a loving or at least merciful God, seems to be contradicted by all my knowledge of history and by the general state of affairs in this, his presumptive creation.
Thus, if you have nothing but your individuality, and if you believe in the end of everything as soon as this, your individual self comes to an end (no, other than in that matter I generally disagree with her), you probably see victories won at the cost of human lives as too expensive.
It may be very different for the devout follower of a God, especially if he believes in a better life after death and in a reunification with his beloved. It may be the idea of reincarnation (although what you get in reincarnation-based religions may not be what you desired), it may be the idea of a Paradise, in any case it is the transcendence of death.
Thus, in my mind, it takes a religious person to be a reckless fanatic capable of every crime. Hitler, you say? And what about Himmler? Well, they had their own pseudo-religion and, if that is not enough, their crimes were abstract, committed by them only in a very indirect way. They won’t have felt like crimes to them.
The perpetrators of the attacks in Paris didn’t have that luxury of remoteness. They heard individual people beg for mercy, cry with fear, all the while wading in blood, all the while preparing to throw away their poor lives.
How low must you value yourself, your own life and your capacity to do good, in order to do that to yourself and to your victims?