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violentblossom
25-09-09, 15:05
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090925/ap_on_re_us/us_obit_manson_follower

LOS ANGELES Susan Atkins, a follower of cult leader Charles Manson whose remorseless witness stand confession to killing pregnant actress Sharon Tate in 1969 shocked the world, has died. She was 61 and had been suffering from brain cancer.

Atkins' death comes less than a month after a parole board turned down the terminally ill woman's last chance at freedom on Sept. 2. She was brought to the hearing on a gurney and slept through most of it.

California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said that Atkins died late Thursday night. She had been diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008, had a leg amputated and was given only a few months to live.

She underwent brain surgery, and in her last months was paralyzed and had difficulty speaking. But she managed to speak briefly at the Sept. 2 hearing, reciting religious verse with the help of her husband, attorney James Whitehouse.

She had been transferred to a skilled nursing facility at the California Central Women's Facility at Chowchilla exactly one year before she died.

Tate, the 26-year-old actress who appeared in the movie "Valley of the Dolls" and was the wife of famed director Roman Polanski, was one of seven murdered in two Los Angeles homes during the Manson cult's bloody rampage in August 1969.

Atkins was the first of the convicted killers to die. Manson and three others involved in the murders Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and Charles "Tex" Watson remain imprisoned under life sentences. Thornton said that at the time of Atkins death she had been in prison longer than any woman currently incarcerated in California.

Atkins, who confessed from the witness stand during her trial, had apologized for her acts numerous times over the years. But 40 years after the murders, she learned that few had forgotten or forgiven what she and other members of the cult had done.

Debra Tate, the slain actress's younger sister, told the parole commissioners Sept. 2 that she "will pray for (Atkins') soul when she draws her last breath, but until then I think she should remain in this controlled situation." Debra Tate noted that she would have a 40-year-old nephew if her sister had lived.

Atkins' prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, had spoken out earlier in favor of release, saying the mercy requested was "minuscule" because Atkins was on her deathbed.

Atkins and her co-defendants were originally sentenced to death but their sentences were reduced to life in prison when capital punishment was briefly outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1970s.

During the sensational 10-month trial, Atkins, Manson and co-defendants Krenwinkel and Van Houten maintained their innocence. But once they were convicted, the so-called "Manson girls" confessed in graphic detail.

They tried to absolve Manson, the ex-convict who had gathered a "family" of dropouts and runaways to a ranch outside Los Angeles, where he cast himself as the Messiah and led them in an aberrant lifestyle fueled by drugs and communal sex.

Watson had a separate trial and was convicted.

One night in August 1969, Manson dispatched Atkins and others to a wealthy residential section of Los Angeles, telling them, as they recalled, to "do something witchy."

They went to the home of Tate and her husband. He was not home, but Tate, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and four others were killed. "Pigs" was scrawled on a door in blood.

The next night, a wealthy grocer and his wife were found stabbed to death in their home across town. "Helter Skelter" was written in blood on the refrigerator.

"I was stoned, man, stoned on acid," Atkins testified during the trial's penalty phase.

"I don't know how many times I stabbed (Tate) and I don't know why I stabbed her," she said. "She kept begging and pleading and begging and pleading and I got sick of listening to it, so I stabbed her."

She said she felt "no guilt for what I've done. It was right then and I still believe it was right." Asked how it could be right to kill, she replied in a dreamy voice, "How can it not be right when it's done with love?"

The matronly, gray-haired Atkins who appeared before a parole board in 2000 cut a far different figure than that of the cocky young defendant some 30 years earlier.

"I don't have to just make amends to the victims and families," she said softly. "I have to make amends to society. I sinned against God and everything this country stands for." She said she had found redemption in Christianity.

The last words she spoke in public at the September hearing were to say in unison with her husband: "My God is an amazing God."

She spent 37 years in the California Institution for Women at Frontera. When she fell ill, she was moved to a medical unit at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla. She died there.

Susan Denise Atkins was born May 7, 1948, in the Los Angeles suburb of San Gabriel. Her mother was stricken with cancer and died when she was 15. Her father, reportedly an alcoholic, sent her and her brother to live with relatives.

While still in her teens, she ran away to San Francisco where she wound up dancing in a topless bar and using drugs. She moved into a commune in the Haight Ashbury district and it was there that she met Manson.

He gave her a cult name, Sadie Mae Glutz, and, when she became pregnant by a "family" member, he helped deliver the baby boy, naming it Zezozoze Zadfrack. His whereabouts are unknown.

The Manson slayings remained unsolved for three months, until Atkins confessed to a cellmate following her arrest on an unrelated charge. Police found Manson and other cult members living in a ranch commune in Death Valley, outside Los Angeles.

Besides Tate, their other victims were celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, filmmaker Voityck Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of Tate's caretaker; and grocery owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Atkins also was convicted with Manson of still another murder, of musician Gary Hinman, in July 1969.

Atkins married twice while in prison. Her first husband, Donald Lee Laisure, purported to be an eccentric Texas millionaire. They quickly divorced. Whitehouse, her second husband, is a Harvard Law School graduate and had recently served as one of her attorneys.

Legend of Lara
25-09-09, 15:08
That's too bad.

...

Or not, whatever.

Squibbly
25-09-09, 15:10
Good riddance.

TRULuverzz
25-09-09, 15:15
better than anything i heard about so far!

igonge
25-09-09, 16:31
Oh well. She wont be missed that's for sure.

TRULuverzz
25-09-09, 16:35
thats certain! no wun misses you susie! GO AWAY!

http://i37.************/2n2beh.gif

peeves
25-09-09, 16:36
Well that's because she's a mass murderer.

Minty Mouth
25-09-09, 16:45
Lol, the reaction in this thread is surprising.

She was a murderer, but still a human being who has died. By the sounds of it, she was pretty mentaly messed up aswell. I was expecting the regular replies here tbh.

Chocola teapot
25-09-09, 16:47
R.I.P. You Probly Haven't Had the chance in a while.
:wve:

violentblossom
25-09-09, 16:50
Well that's because she's a mass murderer.

Not a mass murderer, she killed Sharon as well as her baby, and she helped with a few others, but thankfully, Manson's family didn't kill as many as they originally intended.

At Minty: Well, she certainly wasn't remorseful, so human or not, I do not pity Susan one bit for anything she went through. I'm glad that another piece of the tragedy is gone forever. It's a relief that such a nasty person, sick or not, has left the face of the earth and can no longer hurt anyone else, even if the only pain she caused was just a result of her being the living symbol of something horrific.

TRhalloween
25-09-09, 16:52
Good riddance.

I'm with you on this one.

Jo269976
25-09-09, 16:52
Lol, the reaction in this thread is surprising.

She was a murderer, but still a human being who has died.

True, but she's a remorseless murderer, she never offered any mercy or sympathy to her victim(s), why should she recieve sympathy when she dies herself?

Sorry, but those who are twisted enough to begin taking the lives of others without remorse, don't deserve compassion.

Nerd For Life
25-09-09, 16:54
True, but she's a remorseless mass murderer, she never offered any mercy or sympathy to her victims, why should she recieve symptahy when she dies herself?

Sorry, but those who are twisted enough to begin taking the life of others without remorse don't deserve compassion.

:tmb:

Nenya awakens
25-09-09, 16:55
Good riddance..


She was a heartless monster.

igonge
25-09-09, 16:56
Sorry, but those who are twisted enough to begin taking the lives of others without remorse, don't deserve compassion.

Well said. I agree with you.

Jo269976
25-09-09, 16:56
:tmb:

Fixed my post a little, it was a grammar nightmare :vlol:

Mad Tony
25-09-09, 16:56
Awesome :tmb:

TRULuverzz
25-09-09, 16:57
her brain cancer is the result of her evil intentions :pi:

Jo269976
25-09-09, 16:58
her brain cancer is the result of her evil intentions :pi:

No, that my friend, is bitter sweet karma.

LightningRider
25-09-09, 17:00
While she may have been a mass murderer, it's nice to honor her this time. May she finally find peace.

No, that my friend, is bitter sweet karma.

her brain cancer is the result of her evil intentions :pi:

Same Difference. ;)

Mad Tony
25-09-09, 17:04
Honor her? For what?


D.R.I.P. Susan. :p (Don't rest in peace)

violentblossom
25-09-09, 17:04
Honor her? For what?

:tmb:

Cochrane
25-09-09, 17:06
Not a mass murderer, she killed Sharon as well as her baby, and she helped with a few others, but thankfully, Manson's family didn't kill as many as they originally intended.

At Minty: Well, she certainly wasn't remorseful, so human or not, I do not pity Susan one bit for anything she went through. I'm glad that another piece of the tragedy is gone forever. It's a relief that such a nasty person, sick or not, has left the face of the earth and can no longer hurt anyone else, even if the only pain she caused was just a result of her being the living symbol of something horrific.

She wasn't remorseful? Didn't the article state that she
had apologized for her acts numerous times over the years
or am I missing something here?

TRULuverzz
25-09-09, 17:07
While she may have been a mass murderer, it's nice to honor her this time. May she finally find peace.


I would say she's in a better place in hell with devils poking her everywhere, and she'll shower over hot boiling lava :eek: :vlol:

violentblossom
25-09-09, 17:07
She wasn't remorseful? Didn't the article state that she

or am I missing something here?

You can say that you are sorry and not mean it. People do this all the time.

Angelus
25-09-09, 17:07
Good riddance..


She was a heartless monster.

Well then what does that make you?

Cochrane
25-09-09, 17:08
You can say that you are sorry and not mean it. People do this all the time.

I guess so, but why did you come to the conclusion that she did not mean it?

Nerd For Life
25-09-09, 17:08
You can say that you are sorry and not mean it. People do this all the time.

Very true...

Nenya awakens
25-09-09, 17:08
Well then what does that make you?

Since when have i murdered pregnant women?


Or any women come to that lol.

violentblossom
25-09-09, 17:08
I guess so, but why did you come to the conclusion that she did not mean it?

She said she felt "no guilt for what I've done. It was right then and I still believe it was right." Asked how it could be right to kill, she replied in a dreamy voice, "How can it not be right when it's done with love?"

Mad Tony
25-09-09, 17:09
Well then what does that make you?Happy because an evil murderer has died. I have to say, I share his sentiments.

Mokono
25-09-09, 17:09
Lol, the reaction in this thread is surprising.

She was a murderer, but still a human being who has died. By the sounds of it, she was pretty mentaly messed up aswell. I was expecting the regular replies here tbh.

This is the closest post to what i think.

Cochrane
25-09-09, 17:11
She said she felt "no guilt for what I've done. It was right then and I still believe it was right." Asked how it could be right to kill, she replied in a dreamy voice, "How can it not be right when it's done with love?" -Susan Atkins.

She said that in 1969. In 2000, though:
"I don't have to just make amends to the victims and families," she said softly. "I have to make amends to society. I sinned against God and everything this country stands for." She said she had found redemption in Christianity.
Seems like her opinion changed a little.

Lemmie
25-09-09, 17:15
Debra Tate, the slain actress's younger sister, told the parole commissioners Sept. 2 that she "will pray for (Atkins') soul when she draws her last breath, but until then I think she should remain in this controlled situation." Debra Tate noted that she would have a 40-year-old nephew if her sister had lived.

I agree with Sharon's sister on this.

Seems Susan Atkins (along with the rest of the Mansons) was seriously unbalanced.

violentblossom
25-09-09, 17:22
She said that in 1969. In 2000, though:

Seems like her opinion changed a little.

But how many murderers claim to find solice and redemption in God whilst in prison? It sounds to me like quite the convenient cover-up and quick fix attempt at seeming like a totally different when in reality, they're probably look for the quickest route out of their cell.

David Berkowitz has claimed for many years that he is a changed man who, through God's teaching has cleansed his own soul to become quite the Christian pillar of incarserated society. Yet, when an equally sadistic and psychotic fan of Berkowitz began to write the man formerly known as the Son of Sam, his old colors began to bleed back through, and he soon befriended this fan, telling him things that sound nothing like what one of Jesus's disciples should. I can't help but to feel like Atkins has been putting on a front for the past 40 years.

Cochrane
25-09-09, 17:28
But how many murderers claim to find solice and redemption in God whilst in prison? It sounds to me like quite the convenient cover-up and quick fix attempt at seeming like a totally different when in reality, they're probably look for the quickest route out of their cell.

David Berkowitz has claimed for many years that he is a changed man who, through God's teaching has cleansed his own soul to become quite the Christian pillar of incarserated society. Yet, when an equally sadistic and psychotic fan of Berkowitz began to write the man formerly known as the Son of Sam, his old colors began to bleed back through, and he soon befriended this fan, telling him things that sound nothing like what one of Jesus's disciples should. I can't help but to feel like Atkins has been putting on a front for the past 40 years.

It was not too long ago that I read an article about her by a journalist who knew her rather well, which did not sound like that at all. Nevertheless, it is certainly possible that it was all just a front. However, I'm not sure whether it's fair to judge her alone by that, at least not without some further evidence pointing to that, like the evidence in David Berkowitz's case.

Angelus
25-09-09, 17:37
Since when have i murdered pregnant women?


Or any women come to that lol.

No, but you're a heartless monster. *Cowers* :(

SpaceChild
25-09-09, 17:58
The mental thing that I see people doing whenever this issue comes up - contemplating the sad fact of a criminal's punishment - is evasion.

The thing being evaded, or just blithely ignored, is the one thing that trumps all else: The crime that was done to the victim.

Yes, it is a sad thing for a human being to have to be locked in a cage, sadder still for capital punishment (a philosophical argument could be made against the latter, but that's beyond the scope of this thread.) But the fact of life incarceration is not a causeless fact. Something...made it necessary.

Personally, I don't think that monster - regardless of jailhouse "conversions" actual or feigned - is worth thinking about one way or another, either with sympathy or with vindictive anger.

When a human being decides, for whatever reason (or unreason,) to descend to the status of predatory animal and to slaughter other human beings, that human, in the eyes of any society that calls itself "civilized" and wishes to remain so, must be treated as a deadly animal and...caged. Dispassionately and under clearly-defined rules. That is what is called: Justice.

When the predatory animal dies, case closed. The world is a better, safer place for the finality of its demise.

'Meantime, the task for the civilized remainder of us is to question what intellectual culture and what pathological worldview would lead an ordinary kid from an ordinary town to transform herself into a Mengele-type butcher.

Nothing is causeless.

violentblossom
25-09-09, 18:10
An applause worthy post, certainly, Space Child. Thank you for this.

remote91
25-09-09, 18:29
R.I.P and try not to **** up whatever choices you're given in the next life.

Legend 4ever
25-09-09, 19:14
RIH

I'm sorry, but a person who is capable of doing that doesn't need anyone's prayers.

Love2Raid
25-09-09, 19:16
Crazy woman, I don't pity her at all.

Dennis's Mom
25-09-09, 20:01
True, but she's a remorseless murderer, she never offered any mercy or sympathy to her victim(s), why should she recieve symptahy when she dies herself?

She did once she was out from under the influence of Manson and drugs. Did no one pay any attention to the article? Absolutely not defending what she did, but she was under the influence of a madman and drugs when she did it. It's called a "cult" for a reason.

Legend of Lara
25-09-09, 20:25
True, but she's a remorseless murderer, she never offered any mercy or sympathy to her victim(s), why should she recieve symptahy when she dies herself?

Sorry, but those who are twisted enough to begin taking the lives of others without remorse, don't deserve compassion.

I would so rep you for this if the forum had a reputation system. :p

Greenkey2
25-09-09, 20:28
The mental thing that I see people doing whenever this issue comes up - contemplating the sad fact of a criminal's punishment - is evasion.

The thing being evaded, or just blithely ignored, is the one thing that trumps all else: The crime that was done to the victim.

Yes, it is a sad thing for a human being to have to be locked in a cage, sadder still for capital punishment (a philosophical argument could be made against the latter, but that's beyond the scope of this thread.) But the fact of life incarceration is not a causeless fact. Something...made it necessary.

Personally, I don't think that monster - regardless of jailhouse "conversions" actual or feigned - is worth thinking about one way or another, either with sympathy or with vindictive anger.

When a human being decides, for whatever reason (or unreason,) to descend to the status of predatory animal and to slaughter other human beings, that human, in the eyes of any society that calls itself "civilized" and wishes to remain so, must be treated as a deadly animal and...caged. Dispassionately and under clearly-defined rules. That is what is called: Justice.

When the predatory animal dies, case closed. The world is a better, safer place for the finality of its demise.

'Meantime, the task for the civilized remainder of us is to question what intellectual culture and what pathological worldview would lead an ordinary kid from an ordinary town to transform herself into a Mengele-type butcher.

Nothing is causeless.

Couldn't agree more. There can be no other way of dealing with criminals this heinous. They forfiet their rights to be classed under the same definition as human, and so are no longer worthy of recognition; either positive or negative. To be angry or feel pity is understandable, but you might as well feel those emotions for a rabid dog. There is no point, and won't make things any better.

takamotosan
25-09-09, 20:30
See you in hell, *****.

Legend of Lara
25-09-09, 20:38
See you in hell, *****.

So, you're going to hell, then? :tea:

violentblossom
25-09-09, 20:43
She did once she was out from under the influence of Manson and drugs. Did no one pay any attention to the article? Absolutely not defending what she did, but she was under the influence of a madman and drugs when she did it. It's called a "cult" for a reason.

Well, I've never been in a cult mind you, so I don't know what its like to be in one or how controlling it might be, but even so.. you know right from wrong when you're under drugs at the very least.

Manson, of course, was quite the master manipulator.. he still cuts an intimidating little mental figure.

takamotosan
25-09-09, 20:49
So, you're going to hell, then? :tea:

Of course ;)

Legend of Lara
25-09-09, 20:52
Of course ;)

Ah, I see. :D

Jo269976
25-09-09, 21:05
See you in hell, *****.

See you there also :wve:

Indiana Croft
25-09-09, 21:23
thats certain! no wun misses you susie! GO AWAY!

http://i37.************/2n2beh.gif

Priceless reaction. made my day in small doses :vlol:

Mad Tony
25-09-09, 21:28
That gif's been used so many times it's not even funny... :p

Cochrane
25-09-09, 22:31
The mental thing that I see people doing whenever this issue comes up - contemplating the sad fact of a criminal's punishment - is evasion.

The thing being evaded, or just blithely ignored, is the one thing that trumps all else: The crime that was done to the victim.

Yes, it is a sad thing for a human being to have to be locked in a cage, sadder still for capital punishment (a philosophical argument could be made against the latter, but that's beyond the scope of this thread.) But the fact of life incarceration is not a causeless fact. Something...made it necessary.

Personally, I don't think that monster - regardless of jailhouse "conversions" actual or feigned - is worth thinking about one way or another, either with sympathy or with vindictive anger.

When a human being decides, for whatever reason (or unreason,) to descend to the status of predatory animal and to slaughter other human beings, that human, in the eyes of any society that calls itself "civilized" and wishes to remain so, must be treated as a deadly animal and...caged. Dispassionately and under clearly-defined rules. That is what is called: Justice.

When the predatory animal dies, case closed. The world is a better, safer place for the finality of its demise.

'Meantime, the task for the civilized remainder of us is to question what intellectual culture and what pathological worldview would lead an ordinary kid from an ordinary town to transform herself into a Mengele-type butcher.

Nothing is causeless.

I completely disagree with most of what you posted there. In my opinion a human being can ever completely "descend" from the state of being human to a lesser one.

The cynical view of this is to ask what makes us so above murderers. We think or hope it is a lot, but things like war and mass genocide all show many examples of transforming all sorts of people into "predatory animals". The Milgram experiment showed that the majority of people can be willing to do absolutely horrible things if the conditions are right. A murderer is just someone whose personal conditions have been triggered.

The optimistic view is to ask what makes them so utterly beneath us. The evil murderess in this case, whose actions are among the worst I can think of, later (apparently) had regret and found love, and married twice while in prison.

The end result in either way is that there is only one single difference between them and us. Making this difference insurmountable high may make us feel better about ourselves, but it's really self-deception. They are just as human as we are, and if they don't deserve to be treated like that, then why should we be treated very much better?

SpaceChild
26-09-09, 01:13
I completely disagree with most of what you posted there. In my opinion a human being can ever completely "descend" from the state of being human to a lesser one.

Well then we have a serious disagreement on what defines us as "human" and what defines lower animals as...lower animals. The absolute distinction is the rational faculty, obviously, and the secondary faculty - also essential to a human being's survival - is Ethics.

The cynical view of this is to ask what makes us so above murderers. We think or hope it is a lot, but things like war and mass genocide all show many examples of transforming all sorts of people into "predatory animals".

This is a massive equivocation on context. War begs the question of defensive or offensive action; genocide is just as wider instance of precisely the kind of butchery of which Atkins was found guilty.

I'm trying really, really hard here not to take offense at your implication that I and the rest of the civilized world's people "are not above" that unspeakable evil.

Yes, we are. Full stop.

The Milgram experiment showed that the majority of people can be willing to do absolutely horrible things if the conditions are right. A murderer is just someone whose personal conditions have been triggered.

This begs specifics, but on its face it looks like more context-dropping piled atop determinism. 1.) What "conditions?"; 2.) "The majority of people" tells us zilch about the individual; 3.) presuming that what one person or group or majority "can be willing to do" means that everybody else will act the same, is utterly deterministic. Again, the very essence of morality -and of humanity - is the faculty of volition. Determinism is, always has been, and always will be, how can I say this...merde de taureau.

The optimistic view is to ask what makes them so utterly beneath us. The evil murderess in this case, whose actions are among the worst I can think of, later (apparently) had regret and found love, and married twice while in prison.

So because she "had regret and found love," her butchery is erased? Would you say the same about Mengele or Stalin or Guevara or Pol Pot, if one of them "had regret and found love?" Their crimes differ from hers only in scale, not in brutality. I'm really curious as to what your answer to that would be.

The end result in either way is that there is only one single difference between them and us. Making this difference insurmountable high may make us feel better about ourselves, but it's really self-deception. They are just as human as we are, and if they don't deserve to be treated like that, then why should we be treated very much better?

If you obliterate all distinctions, well yes, we're all composed of a whole lot of similar carbon atoms and water and a whole bunch of other stuff, therefore... we're "no better" than people who butcher pregnant women while they beg for their lives? 'Don't really know where to begin with that and keep this forum kid-friendly.

I'm not certain what you mean by "only one single difference," but I suppose that could be an acceptable proposition if that "one difference" is: Civilized human being vs. Bloodthirsty barbarian. I don't "feel better" about myself based on any comparative standard - rather what I've done and how I've conducted myself, so I won't pretend to understand enslaving oneself to the real or perceived approval of others. But your final line just underscores what I wrote in my previous post: Evasion of the crime that is the sole cause of everything we're discussing here.

And "...why should we be treated very much better?"

Because we-did-not-butcher-a-defenseless-pregnant-woman for the "fun" of it.

I really don't understand why I'm having to spell that out. It disgusts me to have to put it into words. That animal is gone; I will be relieved when Manson and the rest of those whack-jobs have similarly assumed room temperature. That's not just a "feel good" statement, it's an ethical statement.


____________________________

"The subjectivist theory of ethics is, strictly speaking, not a theory, but a negation of ethics. And more: it is a negation of reality, a negation not merely of man’s existence, but of all existence. Only the concept of a fluid, plastic, indeterminate, Heraclitean universe could permit anyone to think or to preach that man needs no objective principles of action—that reality gives him a blank check on values—that anything he cares to pick as the good or the evil, will do—that a man’s whim is a valid moral standard, and that the only question is how to get away with it. The existential monument to this theory is the present state of our culture." - Rand, The Objectivist Ethics (http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ari_ayn_rand_the_objectivist_e thics), 1961

wantafanta
26-09-09, 03:38
Atkins' death comes less than a month after a parole board turned down the terminally ill woman's last chance at freedom on Sept. 2. She was brought to the hearing on a gurney and slept through most of it.

I think that what separates us, the civilized society, from the murderers we incarcerate IS our ability to show compassion. Certainly, a woman who has served 40 years in prison is NOT the same person who was sentenced. And with just weeks to live and barely conscious at her parole hearing, the decision to deny her clemency I find disturbing.

We harbor within ourselves a vestigial urge to seek vengeance, likely passed down from our ape-like ancestors as a survival trait. I like to think we have evolved beyond that during the past 100,000 years.

rowanlim
26-09-09, 07:29
Her death serves as a reminder of what individuals without guidance are capable of doing to innocent people & a reminder that we, as a society, must ensure we don't provide the environment for such horrors to happen again.

I feel no pity for Atkins. She did a horrendous crime & her clock had finally timed out.

Paddy
26-09-09, 07:35
Her death serves as a reminder of what individuals without guidance are capable of doing to innocent people & a reminder that we, as a society, must ensure we don't provide the environment for such horrors to happen again.

I feel no pity for Atkins. She did a horrendous crime & her clock had finally timed out.

Unfortunately society will continue to provide such atrocious people, dont see it ever really ending.

sheepydee
26-09-09, 07:42
Welll... Good Riddance.

Cochrane
26-09-09, 08:33
Well then we have a serious disagreement on what defines us as "human" and what defines lower animals as...lower animals. The absolute distinction is the rational faculty, obviously, and the secondary faculty - also essential to a human being's survival - is Ethics.
What ethics in particular? If I recall correctly, you see socialism as inherently unethical (I disagree but am not a fan of it either, so I'll not talk about that here), but are the ones who like it any less human? Killing is certainly inherently unethical - unless it's in self-defense, war, or, according to some, as part of justice. Ethics as a distinction is difficult and interesting.

This is a massive equivocation on context. War begs the question of defensive or offensive action; genocide is just as wider instance of precisely the kind of butchery of which Atkins was found guilty.
I should have clarified this better: Not all killing in war is cold-blooded murder (although I am not a fan of it either). However, war is a context in which butchery can and often does happen in the very wide field of war crimes. Genocide, in particular though, is interesting, because the people executing and managing it can be quite normal workers and office employees, who led a perfectly normal life both before and after the crime.

I'm trying really, really hard here not to take offense at your implication that I and the rest of the civilized world's people "are not above" that unspeakable evil.

Yes, we are. Full stop.
Are we? My context change here is intentional, because it is my opinion that what separates us from them is more often than not really just the context. That is a scary thought for sure, and I can see how one can be offended by that. Still, I'd prefer to be pessimistic about what I'd be willing to do, because that way, if the need ever arises, I'll be more likely to question my own actions.

This begs specifics, but on its face it looks like more context-dropping piled atop determinism. 1.) What "conditions?"; 2.) "The majority of people" tells us zilch about the individual; 3.) presuming that what one person or group or majority "can be willing to do" means that everybody else will act the same, is utterly deterministic. Again, the very essence of morality -and of humanity - is the faculty of volition. Determinism is, always has been, and always will be, how can I say this...merde de taureau.
The Milgram experiment was about how willing people would be to inflict pain unto others under the orders of a person in authority. Specifically, the set-up consisted of an "experimenter", a "teacher" and a "learner". The teacher was under the impression that this was a test about learning and the influence pain has on it, and that the subject being tested was the learner (when it was actually himself). The learner was an actor. The teacher was under orders to inflict pain (by electrodes, which were fake) if the learner did something wrong, in ever-increasing amounts, some of which were clearly marked on the dial as problematic. The experimenter kept telling the teacher to carry on if the teacher became concerned about the pain the learner was feeling. Experiments were done in various configurations, for example with the learner in a same room, separated by a window, in a different room and later by different universities around the globe, with interesting variations, but they all reached the same conclusion: More than 60% of all people were, in the end, willing to administer the final shock.

What does this tell us about the individual? You are certainly right when you say that I can't pick any one person and say whether they are a murderer-to-be for sure. However, it would be highly unrealistic for me to look at these numbers and then just shrug them off and say that this would have no relation to what would really happen. You may not like determinism or the feeling that you yourself are not all that above people we all agree are evil, but french-dropping is not an answer to that.

So because she "had regret and found love," her butchery is erased? Would you say the same about Mengele or Stalin or Guevara or Pol Pot, if one of them "had regret and found love?" Their crimes differ from hers only in scale, not in brutality. I'm really curious as to what your answer to that would be.
What makes you think I see her butchery as erased? I think I said pretty clearly that I consider her actions the most evil crime a human being can do (with the only thing that is more evil being doing it more often). Of course her crime was horrible and evil, and I don't have any problem with her being locked up until she died for it. Her being human does not change any of that. If anything, it makes her crime more scary, because we can't just book her under "evil alien from Mars that we need to get rid off", as so many people seem apparently willing to do. Oh, and of course that applies to any of the dictators you mentioned above as well, but in particular to their bureaucratic executors, who I think are much more interesting in terms of psychology.

If you obliterate all distinctions, well yes, we're all composed of a whole lot of similar carbon atoms and water and a whole bunch of other stuff, therefore... we're "no better" than people who butcher pregnant women while they beg for their lives? 'Don't really know where to begin with that and keep this forum kid-friendly.

I'm not certain what you mean by "only one single difference," but I suppose that could be an acceptable proposition if that "one difference" is: Civilized human being vs. Bloodthirsty barbarian. I don't "feel better" about myself based on any comparative standard - rather what I've done and how I've conducted myself, so I won't pretend to understand enslaving oneself to the real or perceived approval of others. But your final line just underscores what I wrote in my previous post: Evasion of the crime that is the sole cause of everything we're discussing here.
The one distinction is that none of us (I'm assuming here, correct me if I'm wrong) murdered anyone. If that is the outlet of some innate "evilness" that the murderer possesses but normal people don't, then yes, that is a distinction between civilized human being vs. bloodthirsty barbarian. If it is not, however, if the distinction is only the act of murder and the circumstances that led to it, then none of us can say for sure that we won't ever do anything like that at all. We can just try really hard to avoid it.

And "...why should we be treated very much better?"

Because we-did-not-butcher-a-defenseless-pregnant-woman for the "fun" of it.
Notice that I'm talking about very much better. Assume you had a person, and you had a definite probability of how likely that person would be to butcher a defenseless pregnant women for the fun of it. He or she just didn't do it yet. How would you treat that person?

I'm thinking we all are that person, me, you, everyone. I'm also thinking that knowing that is the first and most important step to get our own probability down.

I really don't understand why I'm having to spell that out. It disgusts me to have to put it into words. That animal is gone; I will be relieved when Manson and the rest of those whack-jobs have similarly assumed room temperature. That's not just a "feel good" statement, it's an ethical statement.
If you really don't want to put this into words, then put me on your ignore list, I promise I won't be offended. I think, though, this is an important topic to talk about, and judging by the amount of words you disgustedly wrote, I guess you think so too.

[UQOTE="SpaceChild;4056458"]The subjectivist theory of ethics is, strictly speaking, not a theory, but a negation of ethics. And more: it is a negation of reality, a negation not merely of man’s existence, but of all existence. Only the concept of a fluid, plastic, indeterminate, Heraclitean universe could permit anyone to think or to preach that man needs no objective principles of action—that reality gives him a blank check on values—that anything he cares to pick as the good or the evil, will do—that a man’s whim is a valid moral standard, and that the only question is how to get away with it. The existential monument to this theory is the present state of our culture." - Rand, The Objectivist Ethics (http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ari_ayn_rand_the_objectivist_e thics), 1961[/QUOTE]
Ah, quote-dropping. I'd comment on that, but I'd really first like to know what you want to say by including this specific quote in particular.

violentblossom
27-09-09, 15:34
On a related note, Sharon Tate's husband, Roman Polanski was finally arrested for the rape of a 13 year old girl some years back:

http://www.tmz.com/2009/09/27/roman-polanski-arrested/