Beyond Retribution: Bin Laden’s Death in its Cosmic Context


At the root of our desire for retribution is the wish that those who have wronged us feel the full weight of what they have done, suffering remorse proportionate in severity to the gravity of their crime. In short, we hunger for their redemption. And so, when the retributive impulse is finally satisfied, it naturally resolves itself into forgiveness. The darkness is lifted, because the evil—the dissociation from the good that inspired the crime—has been destroyed.

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