An ‘in-spite-of’ joy

The Armenian genocide and the Holocaust took place decades ago, but the novelist William Faulkner was right when he said that “the past is never dead. It’s not even past.” It had been hoped that
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The Armenian genocide and the Holocaust took place decades ago, but the novelist William Faulkner was right when he said that “the past is never dead. It’s not even past.” It had been hoped that “Never again!” might be more than a slogan, but in April 1994, the Rwandan genocide began and was soon in full cry. In just 100 days between 500,000 and one million Rwandans, predominantly Tutsi, were killed. As the violence of ISIS reveals presently, the impulses that lead to mass atrocity crimes—genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, ethnic cleansing—continue to wreak havoc and inflict horrific suffering. The French philosopher Albert Camus thought that even by its greatest effort humanity “can only propose to diminish arithmetically the sufferings of the world.” But, he insistently added, “the injustice and the suffering of the world… will not cease to be an outrage.” That outlook led Camus to contemplate the fate of Sisyphus, the mythical Greek king who passionately loved. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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