I think we all know that philosophers throughout the ages had and still have a knack for trying to explain and answer difficult questions. Before Thales man has wrestled with evil; his understanding of it or the lack of understanding, and why, if at all, it exists.
So here are a few questions for the philosophical among us;
Is humankind intrinsically evil?
Is evil, intrinsic to our nature?
Is it possible that say Hitler was born evil, or are we all born with a propensity for evil?
Is evil, like mathematics, abstract and part of our universe, like the binary code of ones and zeroes?
I don’t propose to have any definitive answers, but I do contend the following; That the world as we know and understand it relies on evil- has been designed to be evil, and benefits from it!
Allow me to share a few examples with you:
The Internet and its technologies experienced growth because of the pornographic industry-an industry in which roughly 60 per cent of websites have been geared towards our carnal desires. People were willing to pay for it, and thus payment gateways and applications were invented.
Wars, strife, and the resultant human suffering has often been credited with being “the mother of invention,” so indeed space exploration nuclear energy and most modern-day technologies benefitted from the Nazis desire to conquer the world and that drove those innovations.
Barely a few years ago, Bitcoin was only worth a few dollars and viewed as a highly speculative venture. A side hustle by budding investors intent on overthrowing the Wall Street oligarchy. Today Bitcoin is worth tens of thousands of dollars because the “Dark Web,” the largest trading platform in human history- where everything from grenades to marshmallows can be bought- required anonymity, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin was the answer. We have all come to accept the economic construction of bourses as de facto pillars of our economies yet, it’s nothing more than a giant, legally privileged Ponzi scheme, that filters money from the poor and middle-class to the rich and powerful, with absolutely no external material on the products these companies offer and we so willingly buy.
We’ve all harboured terrible, even murderous thoughts about some person or persons that did us wrong and nurtured “revenge fantasies” which psychologists assure us is perfectly normal. The FBI estimated that there are at least 500 serial killers as yet undiscovered in the United States of America- and at least 1000 known white supremacist, armed militias waiting for war or as recent events had proven, willing to start a civil war.
For a large part of human existence on earth, war, armed conflict, social strife and murder has been as much a part of “human civilisation” an obvious oxymoron if you asked me, as has living in harmony and desiring peace.
Is it not perhaps that we as a species are first or fundamentally evil, but one that strives against its “better nature” to be good? Why are acts of kindness, forgiveness, magnanimity and love so intensely hard to carry out and carry through?
Our newspapers, were arguably started to broadcast our evil deeds and the evildoers amongst us first and foremost; else, what exactly is “sexy news” stories? Is our fascination with “evil” so intoxicating that crime thrillers, movies and books though not all-time bestsellers? Do we not sometimes secretly admire the crooks, the bad guys and wish they would make a clean getaway for a change?
Who, among us could forget Hannibal Lecter, in the all-time classic movie, “Silence of the Lambs,” for the cunning way he murdered his victims. His soul seering stare- his gravelly voice loaded with menace and, his ability to rationalise away his murderous nature!
Is the Sound of Music not an anomaly in a world of sights and sounds dominated by newer versions of ever more frightening genociders, mass murderers and serial killers?
Consider this fundamental question folk; how many books were written, by the greatest minds seeking a solution for the “problem of evil” versus the number of books that implicitly celebrates the genius of a gallery of crooks and monsters? Perhaps the question isn’t much “are we intrinsically evil, but do we understand why it haunts our existence, like a malevolent spectre since we crawled out of “Plato’s Cave?”