Saturday 23 March 2013

Good vs. Evil

I am in the midst of reading a book which deals with good and evil. Specifically, the fight between good and evil, and although I have known since page twenty or so that good will eventually triumph, the back and forth makes for a good and exciting book. I know that good will win in the end, because it almost always does. Well, it does in the books that I read.

I have been thinking about good and evil for some time now and although the concept makes a great story line, I just don’t think there is evil. Yes, our politicians are bastards, lawyers do come as close to being evil as anyone on the planet and I am really unsure about clowns. I know that in life and nature we need extremes to quantify the degree of anything, one being low and ten being high. You can’t have hot without knowing what cold is, you can’t have dark without having light, male vs. female, yin and yang, life and death which will lead us to good vs. evil.

The problem as I see it is that all of those other things actually have a tangible opposite whereas good and evil are man made concepts. We all think we know what good is, but good isn’t the same for everyone. It would be good for me to win the Rav4 in the Tim Horton’s contest, but it would be bad for millions of other people. I used to take my holidays in the winter when I delivered mail and I thought it was good when the weather was cold and snowy while I was inside and warm. For all of the other working carriers, that kind of weather was bad. Good and bad seem to be a matter of opinion.

I am sure that Napoleon or Hitler didn’t set out to be evil. They more than likely wanted to improve conditions for their people and believed their solution was the best one. I suspect that if we looked closely at the early days of their reigns we would find that a lot of good was actually done. Yes, there was also colossal evil done as well, but I know that those caught up in the fervour of the times would be hard pressed to decide if they were good or evil. Hind sight is as they say 20-20.

When I was in grade ten, I went out with a lovely girl for a couple of weeks. I don’t know why I stopped seeing her, but I assumed that she just stopped seeing me. Forty five years later I found out that I had indeed just stopped seeing her and I broke her heart. I am devastated by this evil that I did. Perhaps more devastating and potentially more evil is the fact that I didn’t recall this incident at all. I guess for me it was a good thing, but for her it would definitely be evil. Sorry.

When we say good or evil, I suspect that what we actually mean is right or wrong. We all know right or wrong, at least we should. Okay, lawyers, politicians and CEO’s of large corporations don’t, but they are assholes anyways and don’t count. So, when you are doing the right thing, you are doing good and when you are doing the wrong thing, more than likely you are being evil.  

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