[February 3, 2023] Is there a way to conduct your life in such a manner that the inherent susceptibility that characterizes your life is not just acceptable but desirable? That is the central question of existence.
With regard to tragedy, humans are vulnerable. And that is tragic. But if that is the price we pay for existence, then okay, as long as existence is justifiable. Tragedy itself, which is mere exposure of our vulnerability, can’t be regarded as evil.
And so, it’s necessary to distinguish the tragic conditions of existence from tragedy (as a condition of existence), and you should be capable of distinguishing it from evil before you can even address the problem.
This means that you should not blame the terrible failings of humanity that can be laid directly at the feet of human beings. For example, earthquakes aren’t evil, mental illness is not evil, cancer is not evil, and predators aren’t evil. They are part of the way things are.
Certain actions by humans are definitely outside the scope of the mere tragedy, and those are the things we really have to get a handle on.
Evil is different from tragedy by its lack of necessity and its conscious application. One of the unintended consequences of that is that we’ve tended to ignore much of human misbehavior and attribute it to insufficiencies in material conditions, which is not an acceptable theory.
Many cultures were characterized by a virtually complete absence of material luxury, whose cultures were highly functional and highly moral. And to describe the bias toward misbehavior as a result of economic inequality is entirely wrong.
Evil is more malignant than that which is generated by social inequality. Evil is more. The motto on the gates of Auschwitz during WW2 was Work will make you free. It’s a terrible ironic joke, and it’s helpful to think about what kind of human arrogance would tell such a terrible joke. The concentration camps were classic examples of evil. And yet, the Soviet Gulag system was worse in terms of human lives destroyed.
A developing but strong movement in academia has revealed what appears to lie at the bottom of excesses of behavior that characterize evil. The two are tightly and perhaps causally related. Arrogance and resentment. Both are tied up with the vulnerability of humans in the face of a dangerous world.
As far as we can tell, stories of evil are very old. Evil stories predate Judaism (the world’s oldest monotheistic religion) and go back as far as perhaps the capacity of humans to tell stories. And people can easily remember these stories.
Please read my books:
Very philosophically deep. 😉
Many folks will not read this article but, IMHO, they should do so. There is some personal crucial knowledge here and that arrogance and resentment are the terrible twos of human emotions. They are what drive our ideologically-driven political liberals today and they are a path of horror and destruction. Just look at Pres Joe Biden and his balloon folly. They cannot make a good decision and their justifications are always lies.
It is important to better understand evil and why evil is so attractive. Failure to do so is the folly of most of us.
Pow, got that right Wife.
Nailed it. Thanks Wife and DocJeff.
Evil. We all know it when we see it, hear it, and feel it. Have the courage not to turn your back on it.
“Evil is more malignant than that which is generated by social inequality. Evil is more. “
Evil is different from tragedy by its lack of necessity and its conscious application. One of the unintended consequences of that is that we’ve tended to ignore much of human misbehavior and attribute it to insufficiencies in material conditions, which is not an acceptable theory. Many cultures were characterized by a virtually complete absence of material luxury, whose cultures were highly functional and highly moral. And to describe the bias toward misbehavior as a result of economic inequality is entirely wrong.
Lots of things happening in the world today that pushes us toward evil. If you read and study the Bible, you can appreciate this. The Bible gives us a warning and we are ignoring it.
Gen. Satterfield starting to answer the central question of existence. He will need help to do so. I hope we can add to that in this leadership forum.
I’m game for it, Purse. So, what is the baseline? Should we start with ticking off a list of evils by Communism and Socialism? That would be a good start.
Yes, important but I don’t think many are listening to this. Sad. 😢
YES! Learn the difference in tragedy and evil. That distinction is important to live a better life. Also, if you want to learn a bit more on this, and to do yourself better in your life, then read “55 Rules for a Good Life” that came out last year and is now on Amazon. Get a copy and read it. Learn to read. Learn to speak properly. Learn to be a better person and you will do so if you stick to it.
evil needs more explaining
Jerome, you are making an excellent point here. Evil is misunderstood. Evil is also very attractive for many reasons that we cannot really know, but the attraction is there. For example, communism is an evil (100+ million killed by it in the 20th century) but a large portion of the world is still under it’s thumb and many love it. Just look at the American liberals that love communism and are trying to bring it here.
— and they will try to use any excuse to bring in “democratic socialism.” Prove me wrong! There is no such thing.
Gen. Satterfield, another great article and very readable. Thanks. I see that you continue to be influenced by several contemporary social scientists like Dr. Peterson. Well done.
True enough, and he gives them the credit all the time. ❤❤❤❤❤