Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why even think about evil?

If you've been following my blog, you know that I like to think about good and evil. Especially evil. I question evil. What it means. Does it exist?

But what does it matter? This question in my mind? Is it all semantic? Does it matter that the guy who abuses his wife is not technically evil? What use is it to say that Hitler was just mentally derranged instead of evil? He still did evil acts. Isn't that what matters? Don't they just need to stop doing evil things? Who cares if someone is evil or just crazy? They did evil! Right? Is my thinking about all of this just mental masturbation? Unproductive thought?

Then I get a grip and remember what prompts these thoughts of mine to surface. The reason I concern myself with these issues is because other people don't. People don't make movies about the bad guy. Not trying to understand him anyway. It seems aside from the law enforcement and psychiatric communities no on wants to understand the evil mind. But I know that there is a PERSON inside that "evil" body. Someone who loves and fears and dreams and wants good! Yes! Even so called evil people want to do good! They may have a twisted idea of what good is. But they still want to do good. Everyone on Earth thinks it's good to do good. This I truly believe. (And it's something I feel is proof that God exists. C.S. Lewis gave me the idea.)

All of these thoughts and ponderings of the evil mind I do because when we start to think of these people as PEOPLE and stop thinking of them as demons, maybe we'll be able to, you know, help them and reduce the number of evil people in the world. Evil people are evil for a reason. Maybe it can be controlled, or handled differently, or the unstable person can be reached before he becomes maniacal dictator bent on genocide. I don't know. The point is we shouldn't just wash our hands of someone and resign them to hell just because they do evil. They are people too. Sure, they need to be punished. No doubt about that. But they are victims too. Hitler was a victim. Yes he was. His life didn't end well, did it? Do you think if he was sane he would have done everything he did? No. He was a deranged drug addict.

I know this is a hard pill to swallow. I know the real victims deserve justice. But don't confuse revenge for justice.

Would it not be fruitful to get into the mind of evil people and see what makes them tick? I don't think enough people consider the mind of bad people. They are "just bad" and need to "just stop being bad," right? But it's not that easy. You can't just "stop being bad" any more than you can just "stop being male." We are who we are and we do what we do for a reason and the more we study those reasons the better understanding we can have about these people. Maybe we can actually stop the next Hitler.

THAT is why it's important to consider the PERSON contained within the evil body. And THAT is why I think about evil. One day I would like to write a book taken from the perspective of an evil person. I wonder if I could do it. I'm not evil enough. I hope I'm not. Is my imagination good enough to compensate? Actually I really don't want to get into the mind of another Hitler. I really would like to get into the mind of a jerk though. What makes a jerk tick? That might be an interesting story to ponder.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I think an interesting story to write would be taken from the perspective of a husband who "goes out for cigarettes" and doesn't come back. What is it like for him? What prompted him to abandon his wife to raise the kids all by herself? How can he live with himself? What is life like for him now? Is he riddled with guilt? Or is he so twisted he doesn't see anything wrong with what he did? How did he get so twisted?

This would make for an interesting movie. I bet it would be award winning.

Who could write that story though? Man. It would take a lot of research because I have no idea what would prompt a man to leave his wife. And I'm not sure I would even WANT to research that story idea. I'd have to meet quite a few men who did leave their wives. Yuck. I really wouldn't relish that.