Saturday, July 28, 2012

Good and Evil

Just as explained below, if you look for images of the good on Google it is always found embedded like this image of the Good Samaritan helping the wounded traveller.

And just as explained below, here is evil as a power that stands alone, virtually pure.

"It's true that someone will always say that good and evil don't exist: that is a person who has never had any dealings with real evil. Good is far less convincing than evil, but it's because their chemical structures are different.

"Like gold, good is never found in a pure state in nature: it therefore doesn't seem impressive. It has the unfortunate tendency not to act; it prefers, passively, to be seen." - Amélie Nothomb, Les Catilinaires

In the above quote there is an unfortunate translation from the French. The word "chemical" actually means something more like "basic" as we would say. Thus the statement is more like "Good is far less convincing than evil because their basic structures are different."

Thus it is not true that good and evil are opposites. They are not. They do not rely on one another to exist in that way. They are not linked. And yes, I agree. Real evil does exist though it is doubtful that it is a manifestation of a kingdom nor is it a rebellion. However evil is a "power" as it has been expressed and similar to "powers and principalities", though it is as I have already claimed, not a kingdom.

While the "dark side" exists, again it is not an opposite to the light. And yes, good is never found in a pure state in nature. Evil in contrast can be remarkably pure at times. However, evil relies on secrets and in that sense attempts to remain hidden.

The reason evil attempts to remain hidden is that unless it reaches epic proportions in its own locale it remains remarkably fragile when it is exposed. Ordinary men can squash evil rather easily when it is exposed under normal circumstances. Evil persists because it is so good at hiding and the lies it tells. Often evil can masquerade as the good as so many of our religions very well know from their own disastrous experience. It is religion's misfortune that it can be and has been branded for the evil done in religion's name.

M. Scott Peck wrote in People of the Lie that evil was the first identified insanity (mental illness) found in humans, that evil is a special manifestation of illness. Religion has tried to be the answer, to banish evil and to heal its after effects. I do not think religion has done so well.

Wiki says: Amélie Nothomb (born Fabienne on 13 August 1967) is a Belgian writer who writes in French. She was born in Kobe, Japan to Belgian diplomats. She lived there until she was five years old, and then subsequently lived in China, New York, Bangladesh, Burma, Coventry and Laos. She is from a distinguished Belgian political family; she is the grandniece of Charles-Ferdinand Nothomb, a Belgian foreign minister (1980–1981), and great granddaughter of writer and politician Pierre Nothomb.

I find it remarkable that I rejoice in the wisdom of the young. I rejoice in Amelie. I am very grateful for that, both that the wisdom is there to be found and that I am humble enough in my dotage to embrace it and be guided by it.

A final note: I am especially fearful that the latest sally of evil is to masquerade beneath the widespread outbreak of the varieties of so-called positive thinking, the idea that if I only think it well enough, evil will vanish and prosperity and the good will arrive. Tell that to the six million Jews and the other thirteen million undesirables all executed within the good orderly direction of freeing Aryans from pernicious bondage and creating Lebensraum. Thus was evil administered by the Nazis and their representatives during World War II. For most of the war this evil was hidden in plain sight.


  1. What reflection does it see

    What is the pathos of evil
    Under what guise
    Does it toil
    Laboring long into
    the night
    Does it make
    Pipe bombs and chemical
    Weapons to take out
    It's neighbors
    while shooting movie goers
    or, is it the man
    In the nice shirt
    With perfect teeth
    Offering you the five
    Year adjustable rate
    Rock bottom low
    home refi loan
    Under what pathos
    does evil lie...

  2. And still today a small contingent of people deny the Nazi reality and revere the perpetrators of that genocide.

    To make matters ever more complex, there has been a large group of politically well positioned people who have choosen to permit certain survivors of that genocide the latitude to behave in a remarkably similar way in order to survive themselves. The victims of the Nazi Holocaust given the chance show themselves capable of a defensive posture that is dangerous to their neighbors while their neighbors show themselves capable of a continued hostility. Anti-semitism definitely exists but sadly has sufficient cause. Evil continues to thrive as it always has.

  3. The blueprint for Hitler was the genocide of Armenians (mostly Christian) at the hands of the Turks (mostly Muslim) in the years running up to the worst event, 1915. I have always believed the opposite of love is indifference. The opposite of evil is only found in the actions of those willing to take it on.

    Christopher, I agree than anti-Semitism is still rampant, and yet, when I criticize the actions of the Israeli State, I am called an anti-Semite. I have to remind them that not only do I have a Jewish daughter, but I'm not talking about Jews. I'm talking about Politics. Therein lies the difference, and I think your final comment above may be misconstrued by many, even though I understand it. Mr. Netanyahu, TAKE DOWN THIS WALL. Shalom, Amy

  4. This post is shortly to become the second most viewed and referenced post on my entire blog collection of over 1250 posts. It strikes a global chord. It's readership is rising still, exponentially. It will soon be the top post, I am sure. God bless Amelie. I hope it serves the cause of world peace.

    Om shanti, shanti, shantihi.

    1. Weird. For awhile now, this post has shot to top position on my blog with 6544 hits overall. But now it has stopped dead in its tracks despite a meteoric rise. Good and Evil was key, but now the post concerning Trivial Pursuit is continuing it's steady climb and if it continues will be more important than the question of good and evil.

      This is probably some kind of meaningful statement but I am not sure what it is. :D

  5. Even weirder, update... this post got exactly one more hit and nothing... It is now three years later. No one comes here. This is true of all the top posts, however.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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