Comment: Good And Evil

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Good And Evil

Thank you for your kind words. As for calling out by name, rather than simply discerning the character of agents of darkness, I suspect you recognize they are not easy to keep track of by name tag.( In the real world such names don't change to protect the innocent).

I will carry further discussion to the front page, but allow me to briefly address our topic by invoking the fitting words of an article I came across when looking at the fundamental question which effects all of our perceptions:

"Personally speaking, I find evil a difficult topic to entertain. Like others, I am predisposed to want to do good, to be good not in the do-gooder sort of way or the goody-two-shoes but good, the genuine article, good enough... like finding a way to leave the world a better place than when I found it, or something like that. We like good. It makes us feel good, it makes us happy. We want to surround ourselves with goodness, to embrace it, to steep ourselves in its warmth and nourishment. Good is good. On the other hand, I'd just as soon not have anything to do with evil. It makes me feel bad. It is sickening and repugnant. It robs us, rapes us, tortures us and ultimately kills us, body, soul and spirit. We want it out of us and away from us. It is to be feared and hated. Evil is, after all, evil.
But evil is real and present in the world, inside and out. It's easy to recognize evil out there for anyone who reads the paper or watches the news or has lived long enough. It's another matter to recognize evil inside. To choose to ignore evil, though, only increases the likelihood of being surprised and perhaps overcome by its appearance."

Your comment supplies an excellent catelog of mis-, mal-, and nonfeasance by the bureaucratic and policy arms of government operating to provide motive and opportunity to extremist suspects on 9/11. But we should be able to agree there are differing ranges of culpability between disregard and the highest moral turpitude even within government which is, in and of itself, aggression (and as your post agrees, is always ultimately destructive; in any event, never ultimately constructive).

I will attempt to address our topic more concretely elsewhere, but I will conclude here where the thread thins to allow you to have the last word. Our respective characters and experiences shape our individual perceptions, and thus our responses to reality. Thus, paradoxically, I view the answer to your seemingly objective question of how best to skepically deal with reality, even physical deceptions, to be a personal moral response requiring a somewhat surreal embrace of metaphysical truth as a matter of faith:

" Karl Menninger was an old man when he spoke to the World Congress of Psychiatry in Mexico City in 1972. The Vietnam War was on, ... He spoke about aggression. He said he had studied it for many years and had come to the conclusion that there was one and only one way to lessen the amount of aggression at large in the world, and that was to absorb it. He knew it was an unpopular idea, but he said as individuals if we wanted to combat evil we needed to contain our own inner aggressive urges and then, when faced with aggression from outside, to "turn the other cheek." Yes, that idea is about as popular today as it was 2,000 years ago, I suspect.
The battlefield of choice is within ourselves. The enemy is evil. The enemy is us."


I'm an agnostic ... faithfully engaged in a skeptical, peaceful search for Truth.

I'll turn my cheek, but not my back, nor tale (sic).