Thursday, August 16, 2018

"Evil Is a Make-Believe Concept"

Gird your loins and prepare for another intense human interest story. This one concerns a pair of American millennials who dropped out of the rat race and decided to cycle around the world. They wanted to discover the effulgent beauty of nature and the basic goodness of all human beings. Working for a living had caused them to miss too many sunsets... and, we can't have that.

Warms your heart already, doesn’t it.

The Pluralist has the story:

Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, who were both in their late 20s, quit their jobs in 2017 to embark on a trip around the world. Austin, a vegan, and Geoghegan, a vegetarian, decided that they're were wasting their lives working.

"I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige,” Austin wrote on his blog before he quit. “I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed.”....

Of course, the happy millennials were humanists. That means: they believe in the intrinsic goodness of all people in all places at all times. They were so “woke” that they had overcome the notion that some people were evil:

“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place," Austin wrote. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil."

“I don’t buy it," he continued. "Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own... By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”

Was evil really a make-believe concept? Apparently, the happy couple was wrong about that one. Sadly, they paid for their naivete with their lives:

The couple documented their year-long journey on social media until it came to a tragic and gruesome end in Tajikistan, a country with a knownterrorist presence.

Austin and Geoghegan were riding their bikes in the country on July 29 when they were rammed by a car, according to CBS News. Five men got out of the car and stabbed them to death along with two other cyclists, one from Switzerland and the other from the Netherlands.

Two days later, ISIS released a video showing the same men sitting in front of the black ISIS flag. They looked at the camera and vowed to kill "disbelievers," according to The New York Times.



Gringo said...

From the journal of the deceased:
"By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”

"By and large" means that there are exceptions. They had direct experience with an exception. As for myself, I would adjust the odds by staying out of countries where Jihadists run free.

Would they have bicycled through rural areas that voted 70%+ for Trump with the same ease of mind they had when in traveling Jihadi country? My bet is that they would have felt more uncomfortable in Trump-land than in Jihadi-land.

sestamibi said...

Since Austin, TX is contemplating changing its no longer politically correct name, perhaps the city could recast itself in Jay's name. This way it would incur no additional cost and bear the name of someone who shared its values.

trigger warning said...

Finalists for a Darwin Award.

Sam L. said...

The phrase, "There are none so blind as those who will not see..." comes to mind.

Also, Stuart, you might find a lot to comment on in this:

Anonymous said...

Tajikistan is very often destination for biking enthusiasts

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Evil detection can be modified by drugs, psychosurgery and mental illness. These things and the brain exist transiently in the natural world... whatever that means. Exist is just a word, word games are boring. Suppose that if you can experience something it sorta kinda exists as long as you can convince yourself of it, at least just for you that is you for the time being.

Anonymous said...

Were they biking toward Astana?