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View Diary: Book discussion: Eyal Press' 'Beautiful Souls' ... and whether Edward Snowden is one of them (47 comments)

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  •  I'm deeply uncomfortable with the (1+ / 0-)
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    elevation of 'motivations'. Since this is a fairly Jewy post, I'll say that as I understand it, according to Jewish tradition it doesn't matter why you do something. All that matters is what you do. So the fact that the IDF soldiers who refuse to evict settlers have genuine and heartfelt principles, and genuinely feel threatened,  and genuinely feel empathy, (I find Press's distinction between the two sides pretty weak), none of that matters. What matters is that they're wrong.

    There's an old Jewish story about a guy who hates everyone. He wants to torture and torment his neighbors. He's just writhing with all these terrible impulses. And he knows it, so in order to hide his real self, he's utterly generous and kind and giving and caring. And this goes on for years. And then decades. And then he dies, having only done good, even though his sole motivation was to conceal the evil in his own soul.

    There is no easy equation to judge these things, where you plug in empathy and motivation look at the very clear result.

    (Not really in response to you, Radiowalla--just got carried away!)

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:46:37 AM PDT

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