Charlie Hebdo became, probably, the most controversial incident of recent memory in the EU. Everyone felt in duty to say a word. And everyone wanted to have an unambiguous answer about who's guilty. Most people were protecting one side, blaming the other, not being ready to blame both journalists and their assassins. Meanwhile, if one part is obviously wrong, it doesn't mean that the other part is right. It often happens that no one is right – and this is the case. Such opinion was expressed by the Russian psychologist Dmitry Leontiev in an article published earlier this week at Psychologies.ru. And I support it.


Dmitry says that in the Paris massacre and its aftermath, one moral system faced the other. And both have one common feature – all-permissiveness. One part was assured of knowing the highest truth which gives the right to hold court and punishment. The other was ruled by a feeling that there's nothing sacral if there's no God. “But that is not freedom. True freedom always has its own limiter which differs it from chaos and mayhem. Self-expression without thinking of consequences brings us to freedom without responsibility. Grown-ups don't act like that. And irresponsible lawlessness is not a part of European values but a teenage disorder.”


Actions of terrorists cannot be excused. Human life is the most sacred value which anyone can hardly argue. If we choose to say that they were right killing Charlie Hebdo caricaturists – then we support the power of chaos and all-permissiveness. This is a dead end.


Yes, I am a journalist. And I am not religious. But still it is hard for me to completely excuse actions of the French journalists, even considering the huge price they paid. Of course, they did not deserve to die, but is abusing someone's beliefs really a part of free speech? “Psychologists know well that making jokes of others is one of the forms of aggression – the highest, creative, refined, socially excepted, endlessly better then all other forms of aggression, but still aggression,” Dmitry Leontiev said in his comment.


By the end of the article the Russian psychologist calls us to find out what is going wrong and come to more mature understanding of values without changing them. “We should remember not only about freedom and guilt, but also about responsibility and conscience.”   #Religion #Terrorism