Stoned

Posted on July 17, 2009

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Do you know the principle of a stoning? I don't mean the physical act, but the social principle. Stoning a person to death is a surprisingly subtle thing – more than just a barbaric punishment. It combines several things.
Firstly there is catharsis: the population expresses its revenge and outrage at the transgression of its rules, but also at its own oppression.
Secondly, and more insidiously, the stoning reinforces existing dogma. In stoning to death, one becomes a murderer. So ones belief in the system of rules, or at least transitory anger, must be fervent enough to drive one to this. But should this fervor fade, well one has already become part of a murder. Only by accepting the rules of the society can one avoid the guilt of this act.

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