What makes the grievable life?
Thousands of cows are butchered by us everyday, and yet you wouldn’t feel grief to it. On the other hand, you would cry for help if your cat was accidentally fallen down to the ground from your window. How about based on human? Again, how about based on region, perhaps based on race? Gender? And sexual preference? These are the questions that Judith Butler asks us fundamentally. In her theory, we do dividing the grievable life and a life that were “deserve” to die with revenge.
Her theory of levels of grievable and ungrievable reminds me the connection of Arendt’s Banality of Evil, and Kant’s ideology. Firstly, there is no justification of think of certain people are deserve to die, whether he/she did extremely evil thing.
Let’s say american soldiers died in Iraq war, but on the other hand more than 500,000 iraq people died for nothing but a reason that Bush just made up. American people not only support sending the troop, but also grief on american soldiers death. Here we have two facts of banality of evil. Firstly, we could find the fact that these soldiers technically gave up thinking about the logical sense of the reasoning of invading Iraq. It’s simple logic, you don’t attack a country where Bin Laden wasn’t located. American should have gone to Afghanistan in a logical sense. But, many young americans chose to fight for “Justice, or money”, and killed 500,000 Iraqis whether it’s civilian or soldiers. Secondly, fundamental understanding of revenge processing. It’s 21st century, where people fix the things with discourse. It’s not the medieval era. But people thought about revenge of 3,000 people there were died at 9/11. Ironically, total casualty much bigger than 3,000. Would these 3,000 people let this happen for their life?
Even utilitarianism would argue the fact that there America must not attack. Numbers do not lie. 3,000 or 500,000 death casualties are quite different. But, people supported it in 2001. Bush manipulate the vulnerable american citizens under name of “emergency”, and the fact that he also claimed the axis of evil on arab people including north korea. Real Ironic is that people are easily manipulated, or perhaps they gave up thinking under the pressure in the condition like Milgram experiment.
For the sake of country, what could you do? Lincoln said that “Before you ask for country, do something for your own country” what an ironical statement that people think it’s amazing? I think it’s ridiculous to support something that you think ethically and morally wrong whether your country asked you to do, or not. That individual awareness of surrounding spaces are not limited in physical space but it also related to the psychological spaces. If you stop thinking about these questions, you would be same evil as the one who started War like Bush, which Arendt clarified it more than a half century ago.
The more I learn about this course, Ethics and social issue, the more I am confused what’s the fundament perfect decisions that I won’t regret under these theories. I am no Kantian, nor totalitarian, freudian, and so on. But It’s great the fact that I am started to think about these “white-evil” things that I have been doing. Damn, I can’t even say not knowing is the most easy moment, under the Arendt’s banality of evil.