Decoding Evil: It’s not about morality.
Before I dig into the meat of this post, I want to clear up some language conflicts. I am using the word ‘Evil’, which carries a lot of baggage with people. A lot of that baggage is centered around religion. This post is not about religion. I was raised by christian parents, and while I do not personally follow any religion, the influences of christianity have made themselves apparent in my vocabulary. I am using the word ‘Evil’, you are free to substitute another word in it’s place if you like, so that you may better understand this post.
What is Evil?
We need a common definition of evil. A quick websearch suggests the following:
Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful
Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous
These aren’t the only definitions, but they are what we’ll be using for this post.
Why is Evil ‘Live’ spelled backwards?
This is not accidental. Nothing in popular language is accidental. Someone made a conscious decision to teach us all the word Evil, and the word Live. Someone made a conscious decision to make them the reverse of each other. Whoever that was, I believe they were trying to pass knowledge to the next generation in a way that would survive the storybooks.
It is my belief that we are to learn to recognize evil, and work to counter it. It is in this way that we find the best path to ongoing prosperous life. That is why Evil is shown as the reverse (or opposite of) Live.
How to recognize Evil?
Recognizing evil is a lot easier than you might think. It’s got nothing to do with morality. Philosophers spent years debating morality, and found themselves at an impasse. Evil is easier. Evil actions create Evil results. I’ll use an example. Smoking cigarettes is a deadly activity that causes cancer and heart disease. It is a habit that is guaranteed to kill you if something else doesnt kill you first. Many of us would say that makes it Evil. Smoking cigarettes often leads to fires, people fall asleep with lit cigarettes, they discard their cigarettes or matches in the brush of forests which starts forest fires, and so on. Evil actions lead to Evil results.
We can recognize the results are ruinous, and look backwards to see the actions which created those results were Evil. This doesn’t allow us to predict the future but it does allow us to learn from mistakes, which is a critical skill for any species which wishes to survive itself. We can use this method to recognize and discourage Evil, without ever invoking morality. I could go on and on with examples of corporate greed, warmongering, and so forth. The examples of Evil being practiced and tolerated every day by Human beings is endless.
What should we do?
Every person must ask themselves if they want to live or die. If they want to be happy or miserable. If you want to live, if you want to be happy, if you want to be prosperous, then logic dictates you should not act in Evil ways, and you should discourage Evil where you see it. Practitioners of Evil such as overpaid CEOs need to be brought down. For-Profit prisons need to be eliminated. Profiteering at all costs needs to be discouraged. The power and wealth of those who have benefitted from these Evil actions is undeserved and belongs to the community which they have harmed. We are not obligated to tolerate their activities.
By persuing Evil means to their selfish goals, those people invade the liberty of the citizens who they share this nation with. One man’s liberty only extends so far as to not invade the liberty of another man, so with their actions they have forfeited the right to liberty, at least until they bring their activities back within the boundaries of ‘Not Evil’. It is up to us to discourage Evil wherever we see it, both for our own protection and for the protection of our communities and families. Inaction will lead to ruin.
I believe I have made the case today that Evil is ‘bad’ for us, like a poison or dangerous narcotic. Evil kills people, destroys communities and families, and topples empires. Evil is the kryptonite that defeats Human Ingenuity. IF we can minimize the Evil in our societies, together we can accomplish greater things than many can even imagine. People do not need Evil to prosper. Perhaps they lack an understanding of consequence, or they have not been taught how to succeed without using Evil methods. We can address these issues without ever bringing up the confusing topic of morality.
I read today an article that reminds us how the abuse of anti-biotics in abominable industrial farming techniques is creating deadly bacterial mutations which cannot be killed with medicine. If the human race does not act to eliminate the Evil it has allowed to flourish, then the results of that Evil are going to kill the entire human race. We all have choices in our lives, I encourage you all to make the right ones, and stand up to those who do not.