Friday, October 14, 2011

Good and evil?

For awhile I've been wondering about good and evil.  I'm not sure I believe in the evil.  I understand that people do try to hurt other people... but from my perspective they're reacting from a place of pain.  Some kind of social interaction goes badly, there are hurt feelings, and people often say or do things just to hurt someone else.  That's not evil.  That's human nature (at least, it is for my 5-year-old).  Most are never taught how to manage their emotions (anger is often taboo and rarely are people taught how to process anger without lashing out).  People act from hurt place... often without thinking... and it gets perpetuated by a string of people who don't have the coping skills.  But I don't think I've ever met anyone or felt any spirits that were just evil.  Maybe I'm just lucky.

Or maybe, we have a hand in creating what we believe in.  Maybe we can only see what we believe it's possible to see... thus creating our own reality.  So, someone else wants to see something "bad" as outside of them... so they call it an evil being... and I want to believe that people are basically good... so I attribute it as processing (badly) some kind of hurt.  But then, I suppose, the question still stands... is there such a thing as evil?

Maybe we get into "good" and "bad" because our brains like the easy dichotomy.  My experience is that people really don't like grey areas... where there can be paradox or a scale of responses.  They want to categorize so that they can take short cuts and not think it out.  Isn't that how stereotypes work?  And the result of the shortcuts is that things get unfairly categorized... one aspect of a situation defines the whole (like the color of the skin determines a "good" or "bad" person)... and the underlying truth that we're all people is removed from consideration once categorized.

So I'm acknowledging that it's my conscious preference not to have "evil" wandering around where I cannot control it... where it can strike anytime and without warning... or someone might put an "evil spell" on someone else... that I am going to hold onto my belief that we all carry the potential to inflict pain on others, as well as the potential to be kind, compassionate, and generous with our fellow humans.  I reject the notion that there is an evil entity out there just screwing with people... we do so much of it to each other... do we really need random evilness out there helping us?

And that brings us back to... do, re, mi... ahem... I mean... back to my word for 2011... proportion.  Meaning the "relationship between quantities such that if one varies then another varies in a manner dependent on the first"... such as a single person having varying amounts of asshole and charitable fellow citizen... rather than being entirely one thing or another.  


  1. I like your way of thinking better than the idea that some "monster" lurks around trying to cause problems.

  2. Thanks Cora, me too. I guess that's why I've worked so hard to justify it! :)

  3. HERE I AM!

    I believe that there are evil actions. These kind of conversations always make me think of Hitler when I try to say there is no such thing as evil.
    I do not believe in evil incarnate, but every now and then people like Hitler come along and make me realise I cannot say there is no such thing as evil. It is not lurking around every corner, but it is there. Truly sometimes the human race frightens me - we have such immense capacity for acts of love but equally immense capacity for acts of atrocity.
    Some people are nasty, just nasty - which isn't the same as evil.Evil isn't as rampant as some branches of Christianity would have you believe, nor do I think it takes the form those same branches would say it does, but I do think it's there.
    Gods I know how to bring the tone down huh!
    I'm going to slink off now LOL!
    ~ Nellie @ abitofgardeningspirit

  4. Not at all Nellie... glad to have you here!