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When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's death?

Unread postPosted: 11 April 2013, 22:24
by Edward
First of all, a quick definition of terms. Openly disagreeing with a specific person's views after their death is obviously different from having parties and cheering outside in celebration of their death.

If you've paid any attention to UK news (and I'm guessing posts here/GTF) you probably know that Margaret Thatcher's death has sparked very mixed reactions here. Here's a small sample:
David Cameron (Prime Minister) wrote:We have lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton

Ed Milliband (Leader of the Opposition) wrote:The Labour Party disagreed with much of what she did and she will always remain a controversial figure. But we can disagree and also greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength.

Ken Livingstone Former (Labour) Mayor of London wrote:Her legacy was all the great problems we face today. Her strategy was wrong. She destroyed the trade unions by allowing our manufacturing to collapse.

George Galloway MP, Respect Party wrote:Margaret Thatcher described Nelson Mandela as a "terrorist". I was there. I saw her lips move. May she burn in the hellfires.


On top of this though, there have also been parties by a small minority of people in celebration to her death which have generally been condemned by most political figures. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22080238

However, the first thing I thought of when seeing the celebratory reaction of other people was when Osama Bin Laden was killed and the celebrations in America that I saw on the news. And there was something that made me feel inherently uncomfortable about celebrating the death of anyone, no matter how bad the things they did to you were.

Now in no way am I comparing the actions of Thatcher to that of Bin Laden but it has to be acknowledged that not everyone benefited from her legacy and there was increased skills mismatched unemployment as a result of the mines being closed down at such a fast rate. Thus, some people may have a strong reason too intensely dislike her. Is it wrong for these people to celebrate her death?

I guess my very vague question is where do you draw the line at when it's acceptable to celebrate death? When the said dead person had the intent of making others lives worse? Or is it (as in my view) never quite right to celebrate (as opposed to being indifferent or at most, bittersweet relief) death?

On a related side note, I found this article interesting: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22066540

Also, I just wanted to make a quick comment about silly people who have been posting on my Facebook that because you weren't around in the 80's you shouldn't have an opinion on Thatcher. If you can't have an opinion on something before your time then that would make history a very useless subject :lol:

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 11 April 2013, 23:19
by Ferry1
It's never morally justifiable. You can be happy that someone is dead, if that's what you want to do, but to publicly appear as if you are actually enjoying the fact that someone is dead is just wrong.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 12 April 2013, 03:17
by Josh
This was all pretty well summed up with the first response in the post above to be honest.

And in regards to Thatcher, you're perfectly right that it is fine to have an opinion on something from before your time. However, a lot of 90's kids are simply quoting the media or their relatives and passing that off as an opinion, rather than looking at the facts and forming a substantial opinion of their own - that's where the problem is.

I pointed out that many of the people partying over Thatcher weren't old enough to have been around during her time and they used the 'it's my opinion' card to justify their celebrations. All the same, my own relatives have faced detriments from the woman and her Government... none of us were celebrating or partying last Monday afternoon. A lot of it was of course just jumping on the bandwagon, which is usually just an innocent nuisance, but where death is concerned an element of serious insensitivity comes into play.

I think that in light of death, you're making a stand or screaming a point to somebody who can no longer respond to you and so it essentially does no good. People need to understand that the woman and her ideologies do not go hand-in-hand nor do they get buried together. The latter will keep going today, and if people have such hatred then they should focus it on the ideology rather than the woman who brought them about, and who is now no longer here. You can hate the ideology without the iron lady, just as you can criticise her without being spiteful.
People define themselves by what they're against rather than what they're for, and by being so they sell their self-respect and common decency out by taking cheap shots about a dead woman who suffered dementia in the last decade of her frail life, and who is now no longer here.



Random anecdote-y thingy: Osama Bin Laden's death happened at a time most peculiar for the British public. It was the Royal Wedding weekend up until before that and "wedding fever" had kicked in (and suddenly everyone was aware of next years Jubilee and Olympics as well)... no matter who died or what happened, it had been a crap long time over here, and nothing was going to stop a party. :D :lol:

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 12 April 2013, 03:37
by Ferry1
Szazomy wrote:a lot of 90's kids are simply quoting the media or their relatives and passing that off as an opinion


I agree completely.

The amount of 17-19 year olds I have on Facebook who sit on a computer all day, on benefits and who don't look for work, who then slate the Tory government constantly because they might lose their benefits and who think, despite not knowing everything, that Thatcher was Cameron 2.0 and was awful because of the whole milk thing (completely skipping over the Fawklands) is horrendous.

People can be so annoying.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 12 April 2013, 06:59
by baileyscheesecake
Hang on a minute now lads. Okay, it is never justifiable to celebrate a person's death, but that also doesn't mean you have to give a shit, or that you have to be sorry. Thatcher did a lot of shit in order to make the middle classes richer, the effects of which are still being felt by kids today. She created absolutely no new employment for working class people in her great efforts to boost the tertiary sector, creating unemployment black spots and creating significant social inequality, which was a very poor decision considering social inequality contributes more to societal problems than a lower average income. I thought the woman was a bitch while she was alive, why suddenly respect her just because she's dead. She was an elitist cunt. All this respect for the dead thing is bollocks anyway, living people are more deserving of our respect, the dead don't need it, they're dead. And nothing's less consoling after a loss than some dickhead feigning sympathy so they can seem like a nice guy. Thatcher was a high profile person, her death got a lot of attention, not all of it will be positive. She brought that on herself, so why whinge about it. Even if the whole country decided to suddenly love the woman, she'd still be dead so who gives a shit?

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 12 April 2013, 07:13
by Ferry1
I agree. You shouldn't have to give a shit. The only thing I give a shit about in this who fiasco is the fact that people are being so damn disrespectful. I didn't like her politics at all, but she's still a person who had a strong following of supporters and many close friends and family, who can't mourn because people are being so rude.

'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' is the song used by the protesters, and it's now number 1 on the iTunes chart. I just don't get it.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 12 April 2013, 07:43
by Lucas
I'm not British, but with regard to celebrating a death, if the person wasn't a mass murderer, then it really doesn't warrant a celebration. It is really hurtful to the family, I'm sure, to see people celebrating their family members death.

Something randomly related to this, some Cher fans on twitter were horrified to read the #nowthatcherisdead hashtag being posted on twitter because they mistakenly read it as, "now that Cher is dead."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... shtag.html

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 12 April 2013, 07:47
by Adam88
I do wish for some people to die, but I dont think the death of anyone should be celebrated. From Hitler to Pol Pot, the dead are the dead and should be left alone. It bad luck to mock the dead.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 12 April 2013, 12:22
by Josh
baileyscheesecake wrote:Hang on a minute now lads. Okay, it is never justifiable to celebrate a person's death, but that also doesn't mean you have to give a shit, or that you have to be sorry.

Exactly. You don't have to be sorry...I'm not sorry, I didn't like the woman either. Being indifferent to her passing is just as fine as it is to criticise her career since Monday or beforehand. But out of respect, I'll still defend her and her family's rights to respectively pass and mourn with a shred of dignity, as nobody deserves to have their death paraded as an excuse to booze up and party. :nod:

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 12 April 2013, 15:05
by rxxli
You should never celebrate someones death. It doesn't matter if it is Osama, Hitler, the queen, ... OK there may be an exception when it comes to mass murderers but even that is a bit shady. You can be happy that someone died, you may be relieved, you may continue to say that the person in question was a bitch and that you didn't like him/her, but you should never say that it is good that that person is dead. That is just rude. You can of course think whatever you want, you can drink a bottle of wine in celebration by yourself, but don't make it public because that person probably had a family or friends who are mourning his/her death and you aren't helping by telling them how you are happy that their loved one is dead.

On the other hand I am also not a supporter of someone being nice after somebody dies if they were a heated enemy before. You may express your condolences to their family but don't start talking about that person as if he/she was your best friend. It is as disrespectful as celebrating their death.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 12 April 2013, 19:27
by Edward
baileyscheesecake wrote:Hang on a minute now lads. Okay, it is never justifiable to celebrate a person's death, but that also doesn't mean you have to give a shit, or that you have to be sorry.

The question is more about whether or not it's right to celebrate someones death, not over whether or not you're entitled to an (lack of) opinion.

rxxli wrote:You should never celebrate someones death. It doesn't matter if it is Osama, Hitler, the queen, ... OK there may be an exception when it comes to mass murderers but even that is a bit shady. You can be happy that someone died, you may be relieved, you may continue to say that the person in question was a bitch and that you didn't like him/her, but you should never say that it is good that that person is dead. That is just rude. You can of course think whatever you want, you can drink a bottle of wine in celebration by yourself, but don't make it public because that person probably had a family or friends who are mourning his/her death and you aren't helping by telling them how you are happy that their loved one is dead.

On the other hand I am also not a supporter of someone being nice after somebody dies if they were a heated enemy before. You may express your condolences to their family but don't start talking about that person as if he/she was your best friend. It is as disrespectful as celebrating their death.

Very well put, thank you.

Ferry1 wrote:'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' is the song used by the protesters, and it's now number 1 on the iTunes chart. I just don't get it.

I think this sort of shows the age group of the people 'protesting.' There were plenty of anti-Thatcher songs from the 80s that could have been used instead.

Related, do people think Radio 1 should play the song on Sunday in the chart countdowns? It's an interesting debate because to ignore it would be wrong, and even Nigel Farage of UKIP and Tory MPs have acknowledged this. No matter how much you condemn what's going on it's hard for the BBC to censor or gloss over truth. And I feel bad for them as the right-wing tabloids have used it quite violently against them, before they'd even made a decision (ironically just a month after they campaigned for their right to free speech.)

At the same time, it's obviously terrible that her family should have to put up with stuff like this when she's not even buried in the ground.

This is the strange but probably most effective compromise they've come up with: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22126940

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 13 April 2013, 02:50
by Adam88
I guess I'm out of the loop, why was this chick so hated?

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 13 April 2013, 03:25
by Blaz
It's easy for those of us who have not been touched by the influence of a person to say "My goodness how can people rejoice over the death of an individual?" In the case of former PM Thatcher I initially shared the same thought as many of you. However having thought about how people can rejoice over the death of an individual made me remember when the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced. Now let's be clear here that Bin Laden did purposely slay people to further his cause. However the citizens that were effected during her time probably felt a similar type of anguish caused by her.

Simply put it is human nature to rejoice over the death of whomever is labeled an enemy. That being said morality is defined by the group or individual. While we may find it immoral that people celebrated Thatcher's death those that lived during her time and labeled her an immoral person. Find that they can justify it in that manner.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 13 April 2013, 03:33
by Adam88
Blaz wrote:It's easy for those of us who have not been touched by the influence of a person to say "My goodness how can people rejoice over the death of an individual?" In the case of former PM Thatcher I initially shared the same thought as many of you. However having thought about how people can rejoice over the death of an individual made me remember when the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced. Now let's be clear here that Bin Laden did purposely slay people to further his cause. However the citizens that were effected during her time probably felt a similar type of anguish caused by her.

Simply put it is human nature to rejoice over the death of whomever is labeled an enemy. That being said morality is defined by the group or individual. While we may find it immoral that people celebrated Thatcher's death those that lived during her time and labeled her an immoral person. Find that they can justify it in that manner.


I have never rejoiced over the death of anyone. Not my enemies in Iraq or people on the opposite political spectrum.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 13 April 2013, 03:36
by Blaz
Adam88 wrote:
Blaz wrote:It's easy for those of us who have not been touched by the influence of a person to say "My goodness how can people rejoice over the death of an individual?" In the case of former PM Thatcher I initially shared the same thought as many of you. However having thought about how people can rejoice over the death of an individual made me remember when the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced. Now let's be clear here that Bin Laden did purposely slay people to further his cause. However the citizens that were effected during her time probably felt a similar type of anguish caused by her.

Simply put it is human nature to rejoice over the death of whomever is labeled an enemy. That being said morality is defined by the group or individual. While we may find it immoral that people celebrated Thatcher's death those that lived during her time and labeled her an immoral person. Find that they can justify it in that manner.


I have never rejoiced over the death of anyone. Not my enemies in Iraq or people on the opposite political spectrum.


Do you want a congratulations or something? My initial statement presented why others rejoice. It did not target anyone.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 13 April 2013, 03:39
by Adam88
Blaz wrote:
Adam88 wrote:
Blaz wrote:It's easy for those of us who have not been touched by the influence of a person to say "My goodness how can people rejoice over the death of an individual?" In the case of former PM Thatcher I initially shared the same thought as many of you. However having thought about how people can rejoice over the death of an individual made me remember when the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced. Now let's be clear here that Bin Laden did purposely slay people to further his cause. However the citizens that were effected during her time probably felt a similar type of anguish caused by her.

Simply put it is human nature to rejoice over the death of whomever is labeled an enemy. That being said morality is defined by the group or individual. While we may find it immoral that people celebrated Thatcher's death those that lived during her time and labeled her an immoral person. Find that they can justify it in that manner.


I have never rejoiced over the death of anyone. Not my enemies in Iraq or people on the opposite political spectrum.


Do you want a congratulations or something? My initial statement presented why others rejoice. It did not target anyone.


Didn't say you were. I was just making a point, just like you.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 13 April 2013, 04:16
by Paragon
I think the dance parties are a bit much, but mostly because they're tacky. When I die, and if people ever celebrate that fact, it would at least mean I was powerful enough to make that happen. Which is pretty cool, really.

That being said, I personally don't cheer about death in general. My mind first wanders towards soldiers' funerals and how I believe such rites should be respected. And then I think, well, housewives and politicians and school teachers aren't any different. All people deserve a modicum of respect - not because of what they did, but because of what they were as human beings. Respect, mind you, does not have to imply reverence. She was a snobby elitist cunt who was openly (and semi-ironically) opposed to feminism. But she was still a human, who is now dead.
Yes, Chris. The dead don't care. But it doesn't matter. It's human to pay at least a little respect for the dead.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 13 April 2013, 10:57
by Adam88
Apollo wrote:I think the dance parties are a bit much, but mostly because they're tacky. When I die, and if people ever celebrate that fact, it would at least mean I was powerful enough to make that happen. Which is pretty cool, really.

That being said, I personally don't cheer about death in general. My mind first wanders towards soldiers' funerals and how I believe such rites should be respected. And then I think, well, housewives and politicians and school teachers aren't any different. All people deserve a modicum of respect - not because of what they did, but because of what they were as human beings. Respect, mind you, does not have to imply reverence. She was a snobby elitist cunt who was openly (and semi-ironically) opposed to feminism. But she was still a human, who is now dead.
Yes, Chris. The dead don't care. But it doesn't matter. It's human to pay at least a little respect for the dead.


This is what I'm sayin'.

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 13 April 2013, 14:02
by Mod
upthebracket. wrote:
Ferry1 wrote:'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' is the song used by the protesters, and it's now number 1 on the iTunes chart. I just don't get it.

I think this sort of shows the age group of the people 'protesting.' There were plenty of anti-Thatcher songs from the 80s that could have been used instead.


I know I'm using it as an excuse to blast The Final Cut.


Anyway I feel that if it is mostly youth celebrating. They only know of Thatcher through several abstractions and the people who were more deeply affected are too exhausted to go through celebratory motions.
Not to mention how petty it is.

Closure's a tricky thing that I often find misleading. It's a sublime state where you can have it and feel it and get something out of it but even when you have it escapes you. Now some of that is due to exhaustion. But I feel that more of it is due to the individual having changed and what they desired then isn't what they desire now. That's where I see youth coming in with borrowed anger and indignation which may still be justified by the effects of policy. But as others have said shouldn't be used to justify a party.

Simply put we are better than that and if we are not then we must strive to be.


And that said
Imperator Fish wrote:Others eagerly put aside the usual convention of not speaking ill of the dead.

It’s a convention that probably doesn't apply in the case of a public figure whose legacy affects almost every aspect of our public lives, not just in the UK but here in New Zealand (remember that Rogernomics was the bastard child of Thatcherism), and an uncritical appraisal of such a dominating figure is best avoided.

---
So rather than condemn the dead, I have chosen to focus on the things we can all accept. Left and right may be bitterly divided on Thatcher’s legacy, but surely we can all agree on some things.

We can all agree, for example, that Thatcher’s reforms changed the entire British nation. Changed it in a way that left it profoundly, um, changed.

And while many people questioned her humanity, nobody can deny that ultimately she was a human being. In a sense this was her greatest achievement: losing so much of her humanity, while still remaining a member of the human race. That she was homo sapiens means we are entitled to draw comparisons to the likes of Mozart, Lincoln and Mandela, because they too were members of the human race.

And who could deny that she had hair? Or eyes? Doesn’t that mean she was just like us?


A Tribute to Margaret Thatcher

Re: When (if ever) is it morally justifiable to celebrate someone's de

Unread postPosted: 13 April 2013, 15:36
by Edward
Adam88 wrote:I guess I'm out of the loop, why was this chick so hated?

Giving your political leanings you might have quite liked her. As Prime Minister in the 1980's she oversaw the rapid closure of the mining industry in Britain (which was primarily located in Northern towns and cities) leading to long term unemployment due to existing miners not having the right skills to move into other services.

Lots of other reasons too, but that's the one most people have a gripe with.