Our Obligation to Study Evil

By | March 17, 2024

[March 17, 2024]   In an interview with Dr. Jordan Peterson, Abigail Shrier discussed the challenges of understanding evil and how evil masquerades as benevolence while manipulating trust, truth, and morality (see the full interview here).  This is why we must study evil.

The foremost challenge to figuring out evil is that we are given a false view, making it challenging to recognize and overcome.  For example, Hollywood gives us Dr. Hannibal Lecter and the screaming of Adolf Hitler, two icons that distort how evil operates.  These caricatures exude evil, but the insidiousness of evil is that it misleads good people because of the wrong idea of evil.

Dr. Jordan Peterson says that evil comes to us best in the guise of benevolence.  It is easy for good people to be manipulated by compassion, especially in Western societies that are rich socio-economically.

“The most evil people take the highest good and invert it.  And then they cast dispersions on the existence of the highest good.  That’s what Christ accused the Pharisees of, and that’s partly why he was crucified because he told the religious leaders by claiming they were religious only for what it benefited them in the marketplace.  That’s complete hypocrisy.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson

Dr. Peterson notes that it is the psychopaths that manipulate the religious order to destroy what is highest and to benefit from its moral authority for their glorification.  He uses the Mullahs of Iran as an egregious example because they use the authority of Islam to gain political power over their nation.

In the West, we do the same thing, but we use compassion to obtain power.  Compassion is used as a weapon and an effective weapon.  Abigail Shrier used the example of people tearing down the posters of kidnapped Israeli children while those doing so are smiling and happy.

Two good books to read that help put this into perspective: The Great Mother by Eric Neumann and Mephistopheles: The Devil of the Modern World by Jeffrey Burton Russell.  Both lay out evil’s particulars and give us a better idea of how it manifests itself in everyday life.

“You don’t understand evil until you understand how you could be enticed by it … You have to see how it would attract you, how it would because if it’s completely divorced from you, it’s a caricature.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson

 We are ignorant of evil’s many forms and where it comes from.  Dante’s Inferno attempts to lay out the levels of evil, in nine stages of Hell.

I will be describing evil in the future as I come to grips with its most insidious parts.  You can find more of my past writings on evil at this link here.  The first one you will see is “Americans Aren’t Taught about Evil.  To prevent evil, you must first understand it and know what it is, which is no simple task.


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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

22 thoughts on “Our Obligation to Study Evil

  1. Harold M. Smith II

    “In the West, we do the same thing, but we use compassion to obtain power. Compassion is used as a weapon and an effective weapon. Abigail Shrier used the example of people tearing down the posters of kidnapped Israeli children while those doing so are smiling and happy.” – Gen Doug Satterfield. Very interesting point.

    1. Peigen

      I noticed this too, Harold. Gen. Satterfield is very interested in the study of evil and I know that he is working out his ideas right here on his blog. We are seeing his development and improvement in action. This is a very important lesson, speak about those things you want to improve your knowledge on.

  2. Frank Graham

    Gen. Satterfield, this is a spot-on article. I agree, we simply do not know enough about evil, and then stupid people start to call anything that goes against their beliefs (at that moment in time) as racist, etc (meaning evil) or calling them Hitler, etc. Notice they never call anybody Stalin (who is their fav guy of the 20th century, no mind he was a mass killer). We can’t ignore the stupid people because there are more of them everyday in political power like the nutcase AOC. Well, I could go on but I think everyone gets the picture.

  3. Pastor John 🙏

    🙏 Nothing like waking up in the morning and reading another article by Gen. Satterfield. Hey, sir, are you going to be publishing a book this year? I hope so. There are so many topics I’d like to read your take on. I know that many here have asked you to put your “letters to my granddaughter” into a book. But I think it better served if you put out a book on educating young men. Young men today, or teenage boys, are being destroyed by “modern feminism” that devalues the family, devalues our nation, devalues men, and encourages lewd, aggressive, reputation destruction, and other evils upon people that dont’ deserve it. Keep up the great works you are doing in your blog. You have many many fans. We protect your six. 🙏

  4. Max Foster

    Wow, another great article from Gen. Satterfield an one that again made me think about EVIL and the byproduct of its insidiousness. There is no one alive who has not experienced evil. It comes in many forms, as Dante pointed out in Inferno, one of three volumes. I read the book many years ago, and I think that I will get a copy on my Kindle and read it again. His ideas are both sophisticated and primative, but Dante’s views are a great place to start. Gen. Satterfield, please continue with your journey to better understand evil, as we will as well. For that is how you learn to avoid it or destroy it. The idea of evil today is watered down. Let us not fall into that trap.

    1. Jerome Smith

      Yepper, Max. You certainly wrote what I was thinking. Well done! ✔

  5. Veronica Stillman

    “You don’t understand evil until you understand how you could be enticed by it … You have to see how it would attract you, how it would because if it’s completely divorced from you, it’s a caricature.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson

    1. JT Patterson

      Elizabeth, this is why so many of us are his biggest fans. We learn so much. Thanks for being on his site and writing in the leadership forum. His message is simple, know evil, or be consumed by it. This is a take off of his philosophy to know yourself and walk with the knowledge you can destroy to protect others. Weakness is just a lower level of evil. Don’t be weak.

  6. Sadako Red

    Gen. Satterfield has written about evil in many ways but I see now that he is trying to consolidate his views. This is going to be a good ride.

      1. Eddie Gilliam

        Genesis 3:3-4 states the fall of man by disobedience of eating of the tree of knowledge. This is where evil comes from in the world.
        3. but God did say, `You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die. ‘” ”
        4. You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
        5. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing GOOD and EVIL.”

    1. Forrest Gump

      Sadako Red, so wonderful to see you are still here. We miss your articles, and we all – and I think I write for all of us regular readers – hope for another piece of wisdom from you soon. We are looking forward to catching up on the terrible state of affairs in our nation’s capital with the old senile man in the White House run by a nursery to keep the diaper-wearing president conscious long enough to read off a teleprompter. 😊

      1. Nick Lighthouse

        Forrest, you are always on it. Thanks. I got a good laugh out of your comment today.

      2. Dog Man

        Hi Red, like Gen. Satterfield said, it is good to hear from you again. We surely want you see you more on his blog. I know you are busy helping keep the government together as long as stupid Joe Biden is in office and throwing America under the bus every chance he gets. thanks for being here for us all patirotic Americans.

        1. Patriot Wife

          Dog Man, nailed it.


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