Monday, May 2, 2011

Emotions in Justice

The death of Osama bin Laden has been the biggest news for the past day. This article on Osama bin Laden shows the reactions of people around the world in response to his death. Excitement was shown through the cheering crowds in Washington D. C. and NYC. Many Americans, including Muslims as well, were relieved. The reactions across the world. Israel supported this, whereas the president of Afghanistan voiced his confirmation that terrorism was not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan. Indian officials used this news to confirm their thoughts that Pakistan has different terrorist groups within its borders. Leaders from Pakistan were concerned that this news will make their country look bad now. There are also several warnings occurring about possible future attacks.
At a time like this, there is a lot of emotion toward Osama's death and the implications that it has for different people. Most people were excited and relieved while others were scared or concerned. I know that this news is especially a relief to the loved ones of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy. In class, we discussed how one's cognitions can relate to the emotions experienced. These cognitions can then trigger a physiological response. Excitement and relief were seen last night in the USA. Finally, the social context influences the cognitions and the physiological response. The emotions and responses shown in the USA last night may have not been the exact same shown in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Now that there is a greater security alert, some of the excitement that Americans had may turn to fear.
Emotions can change rapidly based on cognitions, physiological responses, and the social context. Americans have experienced several positive emotions in the past few hours: relief, joy, and gratitude, to name a few. As a Christian, I am thankful for God's justice. So many people have given their lives throughout the past few years for this cause. Through the appreciation, may we continue to seek God in this situation in order for our response to be Christlike to the world.


  1. It is a relief that Bin Laden is dead; however, the reactions of the American people are upsetting. I am very upset with how Americans and especially Christians have responded over this event. Brian McLaren said this about the death of Usama Bin Laden,"Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us." I'm thankful that he was killed, but I'm still grieved for this man's soul.

  2. Emily, I definitely agree with you. I honestly am struggling to know what a biblical response should be when justice is served to the wicked, but it troubles me to see many Americans reacting immaturely--expressing extreme positive emotions, while coming across as prideful and egotistical.


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