Great responses everyone, really made me rethink and ponder a few things.
@liminal I like what you said about living within a space of privilege. Outside of that space who are we to judge? How do we really know what actions we would take if we found ourselves in endangered positions. I guess its easy to moralise when your not a victim to such scenarios.
In fact when I reflect on what I believe It’s for that reason that I have big issues with the criminal justice system. Whilst I don’t condone crimes such as murder, rape, gang violence, thievery etc. Sometimes frequently ask myself how would I have turned out if I had been born and brought up in a broken home, in a rough neighborhood. What would of happened to me if I had been abused by my care givers as a child, if I had no positive role models to bring me up? That’s when I think the way we treat such people doesn’t make any sense, you don’t have to condone their crimes but to treat them as being totally lost, as being inhuman doesn’t help anyone. If I had spent my entire life being made to feel worthless, like a total outsider from society and to then be put through a system of punishment and incarceration, which only reinforces how deplorable a human being I am, why on earth would I change? Would such change even be realistically possible?
It takes me back to my original thought of ‘evil actions’ being the most likely by-product arising from people who have received little love in their lives. Which results in a psyche built upon pure fear for ones own survival, when someone is viewing reality through that lens, it’s impossible to trust others or build loving relationships which results in a profound lack of empathy. Anger, rage, hatred, violence and ultimately destruction to one’s self and others usually ensues. On one end with have common ‘petty’ criminals on the other end we have high functioning sociopaths and psychopaths who often make it to the top tiers of human influence and power.
The resulting behavior from such people could then quite aptly be termed ‘evil’ because it is behavior that is being acted out from a void of love. In a biblical sense evil became manifested when Satan fell from heaven and God’s love. Thus, being completely separate from the original source of love the consciousness of Satan become a creative force of evil that ensnared Humanity into delusion. Hence, evil arises in Humans when one is separated from love and is ignorant of the cause. (The esoteric explanation is much harder to understand but the ‘result’ is basically the same) This story is what plays out in the microcosm of Human consciousness. It’s why sociopaths are so good at deluding others into accepting such behavior. It’s why those who most as risk to falling prey to such behaviors vote for leaders who appear to condone them, as it means they need face whats inside themselves.
I think the real problem, as you guys have highlighted, is the lack of distinction between the individual, the behaviors and the context. A criminal commits a crime, society labels the crime as being bad yet labels the person as being bad also. The conclusion, up til this point, has been they need to be punished to learn that such behavior is unacceptable and then they won’t commit such crimes again.
It’s clear that this method does not work however, even when there is the threat of execution, people still get executed. There’s something more going on beneath the surface. Maybe our reluctance to acknowledge such things as a society makes us all culpable in aiding and abetting criminal behavior because we expect people to be able to pull themselves up their own boot straps. If not, then it’s the O’l sparky chair for you my boy. If a child hits another child we don’t put them in prison, we tell them the behavior is unacceptable but we don’t incarcerate them. When an adult hits another adult, it’s ‘assault’ and they may well end up in prison. Yet if that adult had no emotional education as a child, no supportive, loving or guiding background at what age does one expect them to just suddenly ‘mature’ into a fully functioning and emotionally stable member of society? 18? 21? 30? The belief that ‘they should know better’ and therefore deserve harsher punishments needs to be thrown into the trash because it’s completely useless. I’m coming to believe there’s no such thing as a ‘mature’ adult, rather we live in a society of atrophied and damaged children.
Prisons should be front line therapy centers. Check out the below trailer and the accompanying review that explains what’s happening. Whether you agree with such therapy or not and I wouldn’t judge until you’ve tried it, the results in terms of rehabilitation have been very positive. Especially when it comes to individuals where nothing else has worked.
It’s why I don’t necessarily agree with everything you’ve said @supernokturnal
I think it’s too easy to just say there’s a time for this and a time for that. Yes I do agree to some extent, purely because we don’t live in a perfect world and it’s not going to turn into paradise anytime soon. If me and my family were being attacked by someone who was intent on killing us, I doubt I would try and engage them in therapy to try and uncover their inner demons, by then it would be too late and I would be forced to defend myself. I’d just hope I could so with the utmost compassion.
The same could be said for two nations engaging in war with each other, once it’s started, it’s started and yes then conflict, defense and killing can all be explained away in such contexts. Yet all your really dealing with is the effects, your not looking at the cause, since all things that happen on this planet are the product of the human mind and whatever else influences it. By ignoring the possible causes the only choice we then have is to play philosophical words games to try and justify the effects.
Just think about war for a moment.
Does anyone here, and I’m guessing your all mostly westerners, do anyone of you have any desire to go and kill someone living in Russia, China or North Korea?
Just a normal everyday person trying to get on with their life just as you are. I know I don’t, yet on an almost daily basis we are being led to believe that war between these nations is becoming increasingly likely.
If that’s what the leaders of such nations want and they are prepared to go to war then should they not go find a small uninhabited Island somewhere and fight it out amongst themselves. Because I want no part in it all, yet people on both sides get duped into believing that the other people are the ‘bad’ guys and so accept the possibility of war in the guise of fighting for their country. It’s pure insanity when you actually think about it, it’s literally insane. On a mass scale it’s just the same mentality that is present in the individual criminal who is raised to believe that they have to ‘attack’ to survive in case someone else attacks them first.
In regards to Hitler, WW2 only started because he was able to convince enough Germans that going to war was perfectly reasonable and essential for the survival of the German people. He whipped them all up into a frenzy of national pride whilst targeting specific groups as being the cause for all personal dissatisfaction. Whether he understood the deeper psychology of what he was doing or was being unconsciously driven to self-destruction is up for debate, yet the exact same tactics and psychology is present in our leaders and societies today. It’s happening everywhere.
That’s what I meant about the ability to ‘trick the world’ you could go as far as saying it’s ‘Satanic’ because it basically amounts to pure deception.
If people were more psychologically self aware (Yes I’m sounding like a total INFJ here) then they simply would not comply with their leaders wishes or demands, on both sides. It’s why people have to be brainwashed to the extent they are in somewhere like North Korea, but don’t kid yourself that such brainwashing does not happen here. We’re the ‘good’ guys remember?
I know I’m talking in the realm of absolutes here, but really to make sense of any of this that’s where you have to go in my opinion, and then trace outwardly through all the resulting subjective dualalities to see how it all plays out. I’m not saying that such dualaties and subtexts should be ignored because they do take a life upon themselves. Without them we may never learn, nor feel the need to grow. They do serve a purpose in ‘higher context’.
Yet we can’t change the world by just wrestling with the external effects and trying to justify the reasons why. You have to come to at least some understanding that everything that happens ‘out there’ is the result of what happens inside the collective mind and is being projected and played out. At least we then all have a starting base with which to work on. In the same way the prisoners in the above video are being taught to do.
Also @supernokturnal I’d be interested to hear your ‘spiritual’ understanding and reasoning’s for evil. Am I right that you have an interest in such things? I’ve seen some posts where you mention Jesus, how do you reconcile ‘evil’ and the belief that ‘Killing is absolutely necessary’ with the teachings of universal brotherhood and ‘love thy neighbor’?
For me, I believe to really understand all of this you have to be prepared to venture into those realms.