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Scott Atran is research director in anthropology at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris; presidential scholar in sociology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City; and visiting professor of psychology and public policy at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He is the author of the forthcoming "Talking to the Enemy; The Dreams, Delusions and Science of Sacred Conflicts " (Ecco/HarperCollins).
Monday, April 20, 2009(1 comments)
The Moral Measure of a Civilization Is in Its Treatment of Enemies
In the heat of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made a speech in which he referred sympathetically to the Southern rebels. A member of the audience lambasted him for wanting to treat his enemies kindly when he ought to be thinking of destroying them. Lincoln's answer:
"Why, madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"