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“Meeting With a Killer” by Linda and Amy White

Meeting with a Killer is a documentary showing the severe tensions and emotions that Linda and Amy White experience when preparing to meet a murderer of their daughter and mother, Gary Brown. In religious tradition, the advice on responses to respond to evil and suffering vary. In the Christian framework, it is advised to cope with the challenge through prayer and to forgive others just as people have been forgiven by God. However, such an approach can be hard to take when reconciling with the idea that someone has murdered someone you love and lives their life while the close person is gone forever. Meeting with a Killer presents the issue realistically and digs deeper into the emotional turmoil that Linda and Amy had to go through when encountering a person who took their loved one away. Gary Brown should be considered an evil person for everything that he had done. Even though he is remorseful and accepts his guilt, there should not be any other response to him other than contempt and disregard. The best way to approach the presence of evil and suffering is not giving it the attention it wants to receive as often criminals act immorally to shock others and get publicity to boost their ego.

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Morality is deeply rooted in the religious tradition, which shapes cognitive traditions and constraints relevant to specific cultural variants. However, there is disagreement as to whether it is religion per se that makes people moral as there are many non-religious people who act morally. To those questioning why they should act morally and considering unethical decisions, the example of how Buddhists approach morality can be offered. For instance, within the Buddhist tradition, ethics plays an essential role and is one of the components of the Noble Eightfold Path. Acting morally and ethically means embracing the commitment to harmony and self-restraint with the principle idea of being non-violent and causing no harm to others. While the individual approach to morality applies, the Buddhist framework of ethics also placed value on integrating the principles in Chinese society. Thus, morality and ethics are parts of society and do not always depend on self-interest but rather on the ideas of doing good for the improvement of a group to which one belongs. Self-restraint and harmony with one’s spirituality are more likely to prevent a person from being a drug dealer or committing business fraud because of the considerations of creating a society that moves beyond immoral actions.

The TED Talk by Jill Bolte Taylor explores the scientist’s experience of having a stroke and the surprising outcomes that it had. Most importantly, Taylor remembers an intense sensation of inner harmony within herself and a deep connection with her awareness. She believes that the sense of peacefulness is available to all people if they understand how to look for it. Her experience was different from a religious one because she did not encounter any ‘other-worldly’ things nor saw God. However, it is similar to a spiritual experience in the sense that her consciousness was separate from her body and the detachment to reality. The religious experience, in such a situation, depends on the perception of an individual. While Taylor does not align the detachment of her spirit from the body as religious, a person with a system of religious beliefs will attribute another meaning to the same or similar experience.

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