Evil Rant #3- Concepts of Evil - Part Two

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Evil Rant #3- Concepts of Evil - Part Two

Postby FalseProphet » Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:17 am

Evil Rant #3- Concepts of Evil - Part Two

Although, what constitutes being truly evil is debatable, realistically, what we consider evil can only be determined by the types of things people refer to as evil, as it is an abstract and subjective concept. This however, can lead to a very broad spectrum of possibilities, so we will stick with general topics for now. You're average man has one very distinct idea of what will be called evil: anything that isn't him or too different from him and his ideas about any given topic. If it sounds as though I'm suggesting that most people are a bunch of petty, closed minded, self absorbed, hypocrites then you know that we're still on the same page.

Think about classic fictional "bad guys", they tend to take two basic forms: primal and beastly or intelligent and superior. As well as any conceivable combinations, all of which could easily present a threat to the mediocrity. A good, every man type construction worker, or an upstanding, white collar middle management type can hardly sympathize with a werewolf or evil master mind. The brutish thug or the coldly logical cyborg, would seem to represent extremes in human nature. And people tend to hate and fear such extremes, often because they are so different and sometimes because they hit a little too close to the mark.

It has been noted that people often demonize their enemies. One reason for this, is people tend to call things that can hurt them evil (which may help to explain why religions tend to reject the most earthly and primal elements of life, everything can kill you). People, of course, being the egotistical beings they are, prefer to think of themselves as good, so anything which is against them must be evil. A lot of the good and evil line drawing which occurs stems from the basic fear of the unknown. Anything which is alien or unknown to a person can be scary, and naturally; that means it's evil.

It's very telling that two of the most frightening and common ideas about the future of the world are the deterioration or destruction of society, and that of significant technological advancement. The earth as we know it ending, or progressing further. It would seem that people would like things to remain the same, or in other words, fear of change. This is of course, extremely irrational, considering the fact that change is the only constant. It's no wonder why concepts like ambition, technology, scientific advancements, evolution and other progress related ideas are often considered evil. Many people have observed that it's often easier to remain in an unpleasant situation than to dive into a new one.

However, that same progress which others dread, can be an extremely wonderful tool for someone who has the will and means to use it. A good predator will always utilize methods which the victim would rather not even think about. It is that very apprehension that insurers any respectable villain will be seen as evil, after all, no "good guy" could ever embrace so many concepts that others hate and fear, that would be far too unexpected.
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Postby ahimel » Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:26 pm

It seems to me that a lot of what you're talking about here is deviance. For whatever reason, (I don't know whether it's just western culture or a universal trait) deviance is associated irrevocably with criminality in our society. You can't even study psychology of deviance without taking a class on criminality -- they're the same subject. To be different is to be wrong.

I spend a lot of time banging my head against a wall, as it were, trying to convince people that they're not the same thing. That the elevator works just as well if everyone faces the back as if everyone faces the front. You, it seems, decided instead to embrace the label; if being different is inherently evil, then you must be evil.

For another possible definition of Evil, I recommend M. Scott Peck's book People of the Lie . He's a devout Christian, and so his ideas may not mean much to you. But I thought it was an interesting look at evil from a psychological point of view.
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Postby Vicious » Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:08 pm

What we where talking about does fall under the category of deviance quite nicely and it is true that, a large portion of the time, being deviant is not criminal. But we don't feel the need to change people's minds about an argument that is either just semantics or beyond the philosophical scope of most people; instead we've gone with the more popularized version of what "evil" is and just ran with it.
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