Monday, February 13, 2012

Evil in stages

We humans are quite good at rationalizing evil.  When attempting to achieve a good end we oftentimes succumb to temptation to take a "shortcut."  Evil is such a shortcut.  Evil says to us that as long as we do this "quick" thing we can achieve the good end with only a little evil.  Often we think this will be the only time, or it will be a "rare" thing.  Evil but necessary to bring about the good. end.

But this is the insidious trap of evil.  Once we establish that we can use an evil means to achieve a good end, the evil means becomes a valid (if distasteful) way of achieving a good end.  Slowly but surely as we do the evil more often to achieve the end the evil becomes a legitimate path toward the end sought.  Little by little the evil way transitions from "evil but necessary" to "just another way of doing things."

Eventually we must ask ourselves a question though: Why bother with a moral path to the good end?  If we can achieve the good end by either means, why not do the "taboo" path?  Why is it even wrong, when we achieve the same goal either way?  Everyone is doing it already.  Who am I to judge?

Eventually the evil used to achieve a good end is rationalized as a good in and of itself, by virtue of it achieving a good end.  What was supposed to be a difficult but necessary compromise is now just another way to achieve the same goal.  And if it is just another way to achieve this goal, then it is just as good as the other ways.  And if it is just as good, no other means has a higher moral ground.

In the final stages the evil end becomes a "right" in and of itself.  We rationalize that we should have the right to perform this evil action.  The good end is all but forgotten.  And not only is the evil means a "right" but that others must recognize it as such.  To even comment on the possibility that such means are evil is seen as judgmental, bigoted, and intolerant.

And for dramatic irony, the evil now supplants the original good as that which society must be ordered around. All must recognize and celebrate this new "good."  Not participating, supplying or even attempting to criticize the new "good" is condemned as "evil" and "wrong".  Evil is now the good, and the good evil.

It is an interesting thought to see how contraception has progressed.  Its initial beginnings with the infamous Lambeth conference in 1930 for "hard cases" has transformed into a "right" to enforce at gunpoint by the Obama administration.  It is now the new good.  And anyone not participating will be forced to.

Such a growth of evil should sober us when we think of the evil in our own lives.  How often since the first time we gave into temptation have we come back to the same sins?  Does that sin now rule your life?  Do you struggle against it?

Evil offers nothing but more evil.  It seeks to destroy all that is good to sustain itself.  Do your part to exterminate evil.  Do not feed it.  Do good. And evil will die.  

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