“Far from being brave, Karkare, in trying to take on the terrorists on his own, was reckless and even senseless”, was my comment on one of Guru’s posts.
Jonah Lehrer, at Frontal Cortex, explains that cold-hearted comments such as mine are the result of “Just-world hypothesis” – a phenomenon by which we tend to rationalize injustices away, so that we can maintain our naive belief in a just world. This is the tendency for people to want to believe that the world is "just" so strongly that when they witness an otherwise inexplicable injustice they will rationalize it by searching for things that the victim might have done to deserve it. This deflects their anxiety, and lets them continue to believe the world is a just place, but at the expense of blaming victims for things that were not, objectively, their fault..
This is also the tendency to justify a rape, on the grounds that the victim ought not to have gone out alone in a taxi in the first place. “She was simply asking for trouble” someone would invariably comment.
A victim always deserves sympathy and the perpetrator of the crime our strongest condemnation. No caveats to either of these.