It is the mark of an adolescent, writes Dalrymple,
to think that if you regard life as sacred, particularly but not exclusively human life, then you are morally prohibited from picking and eating a cabbage. Indeed, it requires many years of education. A similar number of years as it took Satoshi Uematsu to come to the conclusion that the residents of the home whom he killed were better off dead from everyone’s point of view, and that it was incumbent upon him, on society’s behalf, to kill them. He was 26—about the time a student of philosophy might expect to receive, or to achieve, his doctorate.