Last night’s news that Osama Bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces quickly spawned celebrations in the U.S. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), From a moral perspective, this raises a couple questions:

  • Is it ever appropriate to celebrate the death of a person? Why or why not?
  • Does the fact that it cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives to get Bin Laden have implications for the appropriateness of celebrating his death? Is a somber, reflective mood more befitting?
  • What, if anything, do you think these celebrations say about us as humans, or as Americans?

One quick note: there is an important difference between “celebrate” and “welcome.” We can certainly welcome news of Bin Laden’s death without celebrating.

Your thoughts?