Couple pay with their lives for embrace of progressive delusions

This is a "tragedy" in the original Greek dramatic understanding: people undone by their fatal flaw, based on pride.

Benny Johnson reports in the Daily Caller:

An American couple decided to bicycle around the world in an attempt to prove evil does not exist.  They chose to bicycle through ISIS territory and ISIS killed them.

Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan left their D.C. government jobs nearly two years ago to embark on a worldwide bike tour.  The wide-eyed, optimistic couple kept track of their trips on a website where they posted stunning photos of their travels and whimsical musings on evil, the media and the goodness of people.

In one post, Austin – who is a vegan – said he worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development during Obama's presidency explained how he and his girlfriend were planning to bike around the world with hopes to meet "generous" and approachable people.

He did acknowledge that biking makes one more "vulnerable." ...

In another post, right before entering the ISIS hotbed recruiting grounds of Tajikistan, Austin waxed about how "evil" does not exist in the world. ...

"I don't buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we've invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own—it's easier to dismiss an opinion as abhorrent than strive to understand it. Badness exists, sure, but even that's quite rare. By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind. No greater revelation has come from our journey than this."

It is a lovely fantasy, to be sure.  It's the same mentality that attaches a bumper sticker reading, "Mean people suck" to a Volvo.  


Image from simplycycling.org via the Daily Caller.

At the root of the difference between progressives and conservatives is a contrasting view of human nature.  Conservatives believe that humans are fallen, as the Bible teaches, that we are prone to temptation, and have a sinful nature.  The Founding Fathers understood this well, which is why they insisted on a government made up of contending branches and the opportunity to have selfish interests balance each other out in the political branches.

Progressives, by contrast, follow the teaching of Rousseau, the founder of progressivism, who believed that in a state of nature, human beings are uncorrupted, and the ills of the world are due to bad social arrangements.  If only the right rules are in place, evil will disappear.

Communism, which told its followers that the perfect system awaits, killed over a hundred million people in its quest for a workers' paradise.  This young couple died because they embraced a cognate progressive view – that evil doesn't exist, only people responding to bad signals.  Their friends and family have my sympathy.  I hope they will eventually come to understand why their loved ones embraced a fantasy that cost them their lives.

This is a "tragedy" in the original Greek dramatic understanding: people undone by their fatal flaw, based on pride.

Benny Johnson reports in the Daily Caller:

An American couple decided to bicycle around the world in an attempt to prove evil does not exist.  They chose to bicycle through ISIS territory and ISIS killed them.

Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan left their D.C. government jobs nearly two years ago to embark on a worldwide bike tour.  The wide-eyed, optimistic couple kept track of their trips on a website where they posted stunning photos of their travels and whimsical musings on evil, the media and the goodness of people.

In one post, Austin – who is a vegan – said he worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development during Obama's presidency explained how he and his girlfriend were planning to bike around the world with hopes to meet "generous" and approachable people.

He did acknowledge that biking makes one more "vulnerable." ...

In another post, right before entering the ISIS hotbed recruiting grounds of Tajikistan, Austin waxed about how "evil" does not exist in the world. ...

"I don't buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we've invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own—it's easier to dismiss an opinion as abhorrent than strive to understand it. Badness exists, sure, but even that's quite rare. By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind. No greater revelation has come from our journey than this."

It is a lovely fantasy, to be sure.  It's the same mentality that attaches a bumper sticker reading, "Mean people suck" to a Volvo.  


Image from simplycycling.org via the Daily Caller.

At the root of the difference between progressives and conservatives is a contrasting view of human nature.  Conservatives believe that humans are fallen, as the Bible teaches, that we are prone to temptation, and have a sinful nature.  The Founding Fathers understood this well, which is why they insisted on a government made up of contending branches and the opportunity to have selfish interests balance each other out in the political branches.

Progressives, by contrast, follow the teaching of Rousseau, the founder of progressivism, who believed that in a state of nature, human beings are uncorrupted, and the ills of the world are due to bad social arrangements.  If only the right rules are in place, evil will disappear.

Communism, which told its followers that the perfect system awaits, killed over a hundred million people in its quest for a workers' paradise.  This young couple died because they embraced a cognate progressive view – that evil doesn't exist, only people responding to bad signals.  Their friends and family have my sympathy.  I hope they will eventually come to understand why their loved ones embraced a fantasy that cost them their lives.