Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Colorado Shootings and the Nature of Evil

It has been a while since I have had the time or inclination to post.
I apologize to my loyal readers for this, but it could not be avoided. I do have several pieces to add in the next while, including some more instalments in my 'History of Evil' series.
This recent incident in Colorado has got me thinking and writing on my various facebook pages, blogs,  BB's and such about the nature of what drives men to commit such acts.
In a thought provoking back and forth with some friends on a FB profile I came up with this little blurb.
It is rather concise and does not truly express my entire opinion on the subject, but I do think it reflects my reaction to this horrific incident quite well; and so is worth reproducing with some minor editing on the Faustian.

Evil is elemental. It is a CHOICE to indulge evil whims, fancies, and acts. Evil is no more a fairy tale than free will or the mind.
Saying someone is 'ill' or insane when they do something like this is hiding your head in the sand. The act is evil and done by a person who has COMMITTED himself to an evil instinct.
We al have our crosses to bear, we all have feelings of discontent and that is when evil attempts to seep in. It pulls at us, begs us to do the worst we possibly can. To lash out, to hurt, to sneer, to lie, distort, to steal others hard work, to kill others and ourselves in the most horrible and cruel ways. Even to value our life as NOTHING. Evil is futility and the conditional worship of one's self. It is the embracing of purposelessness and the meaninglessness of other people's lives and emotion.

Evil is as real as you or I, [commenter's screen name]. Pretending it is not real opens you to it. It makes you both blind to it and susceptible to it's temptations.
We CHOOSE evil or good ALL the time.

The subjectivity you display is dangerous; and most of all to yourself. There is a VERY old saying 'The biggest lie the devil ever told was to convince the peoples he did not exist'. Only evil wants you to think there is no evil. Evil is the forces that compels people to fear it so much they want to pretend it does not exist or is a subjective term. Why? So they can freely engage in 'do what thou wilt' and not struggle with their conscience and morality.
Think about it: Is there such a thing as 'good'? Can people be good people? Can people do acts of goodness? If so, how do we judge and contrast that good? Answer: with EVIL. They are two polar opposites in the moral spectrum. Why is goodness not hidden? Why is it so apparent? Why is goodness something mankind cherishes? These questions cannot be shrugged off with materialistic 'hows' and false reason. They are philosophical questions about the one immaterial force we ALL know exists: The mind. Deny choice, the mind, good and evil - and what is left but an instinctive automated drone that seeks pleasure and avoids pain? If that is all man is, then what is wrong with what this murderer did? If it pleasures him to kill, then what is the problem if he shoots a baby at point blank range? The baby, is after all not good, or innocent, or anything but just another thing.

[Another commenter's screen name]gave an excellent breakdown of why this man is evil and why the act he committed was one of cold, calculated, ever-selfish evil.

As for people being born 'neutral', the word is innocent folks.
There is no neutrality, only free will: Choice. Grey is a mix of shades, not an absence of evil or good. That absence of mind is called death. Only the corpse is neutral.
The mind is all about will, choice, and decisions.
They are born with potential to do both good and evil. Anyone who has had a baby or small child in their care will tell you they are all 'good' little things. They are inclined to good, but are tempted by evil.
The baby, like all people, often succumbs to mild evils like selfishness. But it has not built up in them and grown in strength to the point it can drive them to truly evil behaviour.... not in most children anyway. I will concede there are very rare exceptions to this; but, generally children inhabit a cherished state of innocence.
They may choose. As they grow they accumulate those choices. It is the balance of these ideas that makes us who we are. It is our reaction to the good and evil we see and do that moulds us into our morality. A man who revels in evil and eventually comes to see goodness as weakness is EVIL. It is easy for a good man to become evil, but much harder for a man swamped in evil to become a good man.
Evil is the easy path with immediate reward, but that destroys the mind in the long term. Evil leads to solitude and hate. It destroys the will.
Good is the hard path that's reward is in itself. It leads to love and community. It leads to freedom and loyalty of the kind that evil may never have: Loyalty to OTHERS.
A man who aims to be good, strives to be kind -even at the cost of his personal pleasure or well being- is a good man. The evil man sees only his own efforts as good (ie is subjective in morality), and all others as competition. He is jealous, deceives (even himself) and is never (or very rarely) sorry for the wrongs he commits. He seeks to destroy goodness and innocence. He hates what he cannot have.
A good man knows he is imperfect, feels he could do MORE good than he does, and pities the evil man for his blindness - even though he is the enemy in the truest sense. The good man sees mercy as a strength. He seeks to free the evil man from the evil.
Some evil men are barely evil, they don't even understand it. [Which grips them]
Some good men are barely good, always failing and crawling back to position.
Many swim back and forth between these two border lands that could be described as shades of grey.
In fact, I would dare say most of us fall into these categories.
I know I often do. But I STRIVE to be good. I want to be good. In the very least that tells me NOT to kill babies, not to slaughter innocents, not to hurt, rape, steal, and defile the sanctity of others minds.
So, [original commenter's screen name] when you say he has 'gone over the edge', I suspect you mean madness. I agree he has gone over, but not to insanity. He is not talking to unicorns or running about nude. His mind has gone over alright - but to evil. Can he ever come back? Not easily. Not from the point he is at.... and I do not think it is worth the risk to give him the chance. Throw away the key for this one, is my take.

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