Evil Rant #31- Evil Standards and Philosophical Flaws
Often, people will tend to have some very flawed ideas about the nature of villainy, and its standards. There are many individuals out there who associate the concept of “evil” with anarchy, chaos, and instability. And in a sense they are correct. However, this is due to the fact that the standards of villainy or what I would call “evil”, are so grossly different than the standards which they are used to. Society is full of situations and environments which, to the casual observer, may appear to be nothing more than mindless chaos, until you begin to realize how they work.
My point is that villains do have philosophical standards. And, in fact, you could easily consider some of these standards much more rigid then many of the more common types of ideological structures. The absence of morality, as the term is generally understood, does not, in any way to negate the existence of principles; in the most broad and technical sense of the word. In fact, there is an entire universe of possible philosophical standards and principles out there, which are completely unconcerned with concepts like “right and wrong” (and this could include mindless chaos, though is by no means limited to it). One reason I feel I need to point this out, is the fact that I’ve noticed that many people seem to have a very one dimensional view of immorality. Basically, they act as if all “evil” is the same. They fail to grasp all of the subtle nuances and variations behind things which could generally be placed under the all too generic category of “evil”. Part of the reason for this is undoubtedly the fact that they simply have no practical or philosophical reason to explore these differences. To them, if it’s “evil” then it’s bad and that’s all they need to know. I do understand and even respect this pragmatic attitude, to a certain extent.
To really sum up the standards of villainy, I’d say it comes down to intelligence over morality or practicality over principle. These ideas can be applied to how an individual conducts themselves personally, as well as how a society might operate (of course there’s no way in hell that our current society would ever agree to these standards, so just consider this a philosophical example of villainous ideals; to be applied on an individual basis). Obviously, concepts like social Darwinism are very villainesque and, even if the physical application may seem somewhat chaotic, the ideas and end results definitely have method and purpose behind them. That’s one of the major problems that I have with the standards of morality. Often, there seems to be no game plan, no desirable end result and these ideas seem to be designed with only the means in mind and with complete disregard to the ends. It’s like a complete inversion of the famous quote attributed to Machiavelli: “the ends justify the means”.
The lack of standards which morality seems to thrive on, really disgusts me. In the most grossly simplistic moral views, the only real standard is “as long as you don’t do anything to hurt anyone else, then it’s OK”. Google, the very popular search engine/web company, really summed up the new goodness style thinking, when they said, simply: “don’t be evil”. Unfortunately, that (and occasionally some slight variations of that) is the only standard that many people have for their fellow human beings. You don’t hear them say, don’t be irrational, or don’t be useless, or insensitive, or unproductive, or uncreative, or unmotivated, or don’t be a complete idiot. It’s perfectly alright to exist as a parasitic barnacle on the underbelly of society, whose sole function in life is to drag everyone else down with you, as long as you’re trying to be a good person when you’re doing it. You’ll notice that these attitudes have some distinct parallels to the hippie culture of the nineteen sixties.
When I was younger, I used to sympathize with people who just wanted peace and for everyone to be able to get along happily. But upon further examination I realized that this simply doesn’t work (see Great Wall of Stupidity rant). In fact, this concept was an abomination of nature itself. It’s funny; looking back I can actually trace my growing disdain for humanity. Where I once would have sympathized with many political liberal type arguments against the corrupt, greedy and powerful members of our society; now I sound more like a right wing conservative when it comes to such matters. I used to feel sorry for people that I saw as victims, and thought to myself “that’s not fair, that shouldn’t happen”. Now, I see the necessity of human predation. Where as such weakness used to inspire my sympathy; now it only earns my disdain. It’s not so much about the actual conditions in which people live, but the attitudes that they choose to represent. Regardless of your social and economic status you still choose whether you’re going to think like a victim or a predator. And I see gross dissension from reality in people who choose to indulge in these pathetic utopian delusions about no one having to prey on one another.
I believe that the most fundamental problem with many moral ideas is simply a lack of decisiveness. Theodore Roosevelt once said "In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." I find this quote to be an affirmation of decisiveness, and one that I’m quite fond of (in other words, don’t be surprised to see it again, in any of my future rants). There comes a point in which you have to make a decision, draw a line so to speak. This is something which new goodness type morality, and indeed all morality, fails to do. This is why morality itself, tends to lead towards hypocrisy. I see the belief in morality as a blatant denial of the darker realities of this world. Humanities attempt to avert their eyes from the truth.
Joe citizen’s attitude about money will serve as a good example of what I’m talking about. Many people, as a philosophical principle, would prefer to say that money really isn’t that important. Meaning, they don’t want to consider money an important part of life. Morally, too much interest in money is a bad thing to them. However, on the other hand, they cannot deny the practical importance of money. They realize that they need it to survive and live comfortably. This creates some common, but very irrational behavior and attitude problems in regards to many people’s desire to make money. Simply put, they’re constantly on the fence about it. Now, compare that to a villain’s ideas about making money. I’m fully aware that money isn’t everything; however, I feel no moral obligation to try to downplay its importance. On top of that, I have no problem admitting that I can be a very greedy bastard. This attitude, as you can imagine, has a direct impact on my behavior and decision-making process. This is the kind of decisiveness that I’m talking about. And it applies to how I approach everything.
There is a certain clarity when working under a philosophy or worldview which is only concerned with practicality and personal desire; and does not factor morality into the equation. There’s a simplicity to it, which in turn, results in a lack of hesitation and helps to bring about more decisive action. Your mind is never clouded over issues of what should be versus what is.
One tragic thing that I have noticed is that many people use philosophy to actually break down worldly standards and, by extension, decisive action. The truth is that I only find philosophy useful up to a certain point. My only interest is in the practical applications of any particular worldview. Go too far in dissecting the nature of reality and you will inevitably come to the conclusion that nothing is real and, therefore, nothing matters. It should be pretty damn obvious that this kind of thinking could lead to a fundamental breakdown of standards. This seems to be what’s currently happening within new age type movements. It’s been observed that religion and spiritualism seems to thrive in places that are hard up materialistically and earthly. Basically, the rule seems to be that if this world sucks, start looking for another one. And by becoming more spiritual, you’re able to devalue the standards of this world. It’s no wonder why abstract philosophy and spiritualism go so well together.
I believe that this is often the true (though unrecognized) appeal of going too far with abstract philosophies. This intention becomes laughably obvious if you’ve ever tried to debate or question someone who is very into new age (type) philosophy. Their first line of defense in any conversation or accusation is, inevitably, to say something which will throw off any quantifiable, material standard of reality; something like “that’s just your point of view” or “that’s just one way to look at it” or “you should be more open to new possibilities and the universe” or “don’t be so judgmental and you will see” or even “once you reach a new level of consciousness, then you will understand”. Holy McFucking Jesus! This is their argument?! Their rationale? It makes me want to just throw up my arms and say, “All right, let’s just flush all standards of rational judgment down the crapper and dance around like a bunch of idiots in magical elf land, because material reality obviously no longer matters!” It almost makes me miss the old, strict religious explanation “because the Bible said so”; at least they could cite a source for their bull shit.
By throwing out earthly standards, we are also opening the gates to widespread worthlessness. Of course, this is not a problem for many people, as most of them are worthless by any quantifiable, earthly standard; which is why they encourage such b.s. in the first place. I know that many of us are tempted to try to look beyond the obvious and the tangible. I’m guilty of this as well. We want to keep looking, searching and questioning. But let’s not forget that the most valuable things are often the most obvious things of value. The material and the tangible; and any biological, physical or psychological gifts that we may possess. The most valuable things are the rarest, and by definition, that means that only a few people get to have them. The world is not fair and equality is a myth. And the fact that we, as villains, recognize this means that we have far higher standards than any “good guy” out there. We believe that the human species should be geared towards quality rather than quantity.
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