Pact with the Devil

whyQ: If you want the same things as a horrible person or group of people, are you then a bad person?
A: No. At least not necessarily.
Q: If you support the horrible person or group of people because you happen to be on the same side, then are you a bad person?

A: It depends on what your support looks like.

If you are a Republican, disgusted by Donald Trump, but vote for him or even endorse him because you dislike the other candidate’s policies or because of your concern about supreme court appointments, does that make you a bad person?

If you are a Syrian or Iraqi Sunni, who relies on rebels for your protection against Assad, then are you a bad person? Are you responsible for their horrible deeds because you accept their help? We tend to view people as either ”ISIS” or ”against ISIS”, while in reality, it’s not that simple.

If you are a Swedish senior citizen, worried about rising crime, burning cars, and the economy, and therefore ignoring the racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric of representatives for Sverigedemokraterna and root for them, does that make your responsible for said rhetoric?

We have (had) separatist movements in Europe. IRA in Northern Ireland, Corsican freedom fighters, ETA in Spain, not to mention the war in former Yugoslavia, and a lot of people support(ed) their cause but felt horrified by their deeds. So at what point did their support for the cause become support for their actions?

There are no easy answers.

I can say one thing about these questions: We all tend to be much more forgiving with people we agree with. We have all at some point been ashamed of what people who represent our views or values are capable of. And we all had to make that choice: what is really important to me? My values? The group I identify myself with? Or not supporting people who do evil?

I am myself in a situation where I chose to distance myself from people who claim to represent my values. I know that is hard.

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