One of mankind's deepest, longest asked questions is "Why is there evil?" It is a valid question to be asked. I'm not sure if anyone has the correct answer, or if there even is a correct answer, or if there is an answer at all. Certainly many theories have been proffered, and many reasons given even by those who create evil in the world, but do any of these truly answer the question of why it exists? There are explanations as to why it becomes physically manifest, but how far does it stretch into the metaphysical? As a writer of both fantasy and horror, a study into the nature of evil is essential in helping me to create good fiction. It can also help explain why it exists and how it can be conquered.
When studying any subject it helps to start with the basics. In this
case, one might want to define evil. What, exactly, is evil? Does one
know how to define it, or is it like pornography, tough to define but
one knows it when one sees it? Well, I suppose one can define evil as
something that is done against the wishes of another. Of course, that's a
rather over simplistic way to look at it and it can be easily argued
that sometimes one has to do something against the wishes of another for
that other person's own good. So, for this essay, I will define evil as
something done against the wishes of others which is detrimental or
causes harm to some even though it might be to the benefit of others,
and which somehow benefits those carrying out the harmful behavior.
Evil is as evil does. In other words, evil doesn't just sit there in the
world looking, feeling, sounding or smelling ugly, evil is evil because
of its behavior. Thoughts and feelings are not evil. Fear, hatred,
anger, envy, greed, et al. aren't necessarily evil, but they are more
likely to lead to evil behaviors. Conversely, courage, love, passivity,
generosity, et al. are more likely to lead to good behaviors. All the
thoughts and emotions described above, however, can lead to either good
or evil behaviors, depending on how they're channeled. The key lies in
expressing freewill, and most importantly in allowing others to do the
Evil, by its very nature, subverts the freewill. This can be done either
overtly or covertly. When done overtly, fighting it is easy. Of course
the easiest way to subvert freewill is to take the life of anyone who
would exercise it. The evil of this behavior is obvious and self
evident. The evil is just as self evident when one resorts to brute
force, threats, bullying and other such methods to subvert freewill. Men
of power who resort to such methods often come to a violent and
untimely demise. Their evil is so manifest the people see it clearly and
rally to depose it. It is for this reason that men of evil designed
systems that would perpetuate their evil under the guise of doing good.
The less resistance they encountered, the easier it would be for them to
subvert individual freewill. And if they couldn't accomplish this in
their lifetimes, then they wanted to be sure their progeny would be able
to complete what they started.
Evil in its subtler forms can lead to evil in its more overt forms. This
happens because a few might start to recognize the evil that is being
perpetrated. They may try to point out that the good intentions of the
many subvert the freewill of a few. This isn't readily accepted by the
many, or by the powers that be, and so they move to silence those who
speak the truth. They will ostracize these people, keep them from
speaking in a public forum, shout them down, censor them, call them
names, question their sanity, whatever it takes to discredit them or
keep them quiet. If the powers that be think someone's message is
dangerous enough or if they worry that too many people may be listening,
they can use the power of authority to make someone's life a living
hell, even to the point of causing the death of that person, again
either overtly or covertly.
Then there is power, and the lust for it. People like to be in power.
They like to have power over others. They like to be idolized and adored
by the masses. They like it so much so that many will stop at nothing
to obtain such power. Even if it means subverting the freewill of those
who would oppose them. Even if it means engaging in evil behavior. They
may not want to admit this is what they are doing, they may not want to
look at themselves in the mirror and think of themselves as evil, and so
they will put on the mask of claiming that what they are doing is for
some elusive greater good.
I don't believe in the idea of a Utopia. Those who would try to sell
that idea are usually doing so for their own benefit. A collectivist
society claiming authority to do the greatest good is also capable of
doing the greatest evil. By allowing individual freewill to flourish as
much as possible, any evil that may occur is mitigated because it will
only have the power to flow through the individual. It will not be able
to flow through the powerful collective as a whole. In this way evil
does the least amount of damage possible.
In modern society, political debates have come to the forefront
involving prohibitions against certain goods and services. What are
prohibitions if not an attempt to subvert freewill? People on both sides
of the issues point to this statistic or that scientific study to make
their points about building a better society through prohibition, but
politics is not about science. Most politicians aren't scientists.
Politics is about philosophy. Politics is about who is going to control
your life, and the lives of others, who is going to pay for it, and how
much are they going to pay. Politics is about forming a collective with
enough power to subvert the freewill of anyone who questions the motives
of that collective. Government has become about forcing everyone else
to submit to the will of that authoritative collective.
Evil may have come into being because of the desire to do good. It may
have come into being because of a desire to keep others from harm. Those
who have been through the school of hard knocks may wish to keep others
from experiencing the same pain and disappointment as they've
experienced. While explanations and the way of gentle persuasion is
fine, restrictions subverting the freewill of the individual are not the
way to go about teaching. This is not how humans learn. The freewill of
others needs to be respected, as you would want others to respect your
freewill. We must allow for mistakes to be made. We must allow for
failure if genuine learning and human growth is to take place.
From the drug war to the war on the second amendment, from free speech
zones to TSA warrantless searches, from the monopoly on currency
creation to the corporate cartels dominating world trade, the evil in
the system has become obvious to anyone who cares to look. You can turn
your eyes away from the ugliness and claim it doesn't exist, or you can
make the claim that these are "necessary evils," but denial and excuses
aren't going to solve the problems faced by modern society. Ignoring a
problem does not make it go away. A necessary evil is still an evil.
Until we as a society recognize this and stop tolerating the subversion
of freewill, evil will exist because we want it to exist, because we
believe it can be tamed and domesticated.
Evil will likely always exist. There will always be those who wish to
control others, who wish to subvert the freewill of individuals for
their own benefit. The trick is to minimize the effect these people have
on the rest of us. This is done by dissembling centralized institutions
of power and decentralizing government. This is done by creating a
voluntary society where there is no ruling class claiming authority to
steal from a working class. This is done by creating a system that does
not allow for force to be used against the individual, unless that
individual is somehow harming or stealing from others. This is done by
condemning the ideals of collectivism and exalting the ideals of
individualism. This is accomplished when the governed refuse to give
consent to those who would govern them.
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Ron Paul's Wisdom, A Layman's Perspective. A Collection of Opinion Editorials. By Szandor Blestman
Galaxium. A screenplay By Matthew Ballotti
The Colors of Elberia; book 1 of The Black Blade Trilogy. By Matthew Ballotti
The Legacy of the Tareks; book 2 of The Black Blade Trilogy. By Matthew Ballotti
The Power of the Tech; book 3 of The Black Blade Trilogy. By Matthew Ballotti
The Edge of Sanity. By Matthew Ballotti
The Ouijiers By Matthew Ballotti