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Friday, June 17, 2011

Midnight in the Garden

Recently read another blog on the subject of good and evil. I enjoyed it very much. To me though these are merely constructs of the human mind. These are not things that occur in nature. A wolf killing the cute fuzzy bunny is not and act of malice, but one of survival. The earth quake that devastated Japan was not a dastardly deed put on to satisfy the need for vengeance of mother earth. Most things just are.

That I think is where the issue lies. We as the great human race are so wrapped up in what we could be, and thinking so hard of all the ways we can kill ourselves, we forget to just be. So we label things in and out, and file concepts like good and evil in out brain. We breathe life into them. We give them power. We also hold the exclusive rights. I think a man can be good, while a cow can't. I think a man can be evil, while a howler monkey can not.

Many people would argue that this is the burden of the soul. I would argue that they are full of a self righteous pile of crap. Yes we have a higher level of conscienceness, or at the very least an increased level of self awareness. That however does not make us better or worse then entire universe around us, it just makes us. Some things just are.

Many people argue that some divine creator imbued us with the concept of good and evil. They may be right about that, but I am not sure why they would unless there is a cosmic joke that I am not getting. Do I believe in a higher power, sure, but I do not think that any divine higher being is going to waste much time stroking my ego and answering my prayers. I do not believe in a single embodiment of good or even one of evil. I believe that actions are our own, and we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions.

What I think the whole concept and good evil boils down to is human nature to not except responsibility for their own thoughts and actions. Its about blaming something intangible for your actions and the actions of others. We as the higher thinking species seem to be fine with being as morally bankrupt as possible, even though we are the only species that even recognizes the existence of morality on our planet.

Me personally I place my own beliefs in concepts that are more tangible on the human spectrum. I do not worry about good or evil. I invest effort into truth, justice, and desire. Truth is a much more powerful word, because it can be used in so many aspects of our overly complicated lifes. We can tell the truth, seek the truth, live for truth, or even bend or break the truth. Justice is balance and order in the world to me. Justice is a concept that will find its way into your life. Desire is what motivates us to exist, from the desire to procreate, eat, seek shelter, to the quest to keep up or surpass the Jones.

We spend more time wrapped up though in things that only have value that we give them. I mean really what is good but a construct of truth and desire. Good is also not a concept that can really be measured, and is not something a dog would know on sight. For a dog they either trust you, or they don't it is a simple truth. The same could be said about evil.

So we follow into these concepts of good and evil on order to inflate our own self worth as a species, or justify the elimination of one aspect or another of our own species. We do so in the name of an absentee divine creator, and we pretend we want them to pay attention to us. I personally think our ancestors had the right idea in that regard. They did not pray to their gods so much as they made offerings to be left along and unnoticed. They just wanted to be left alone to worry about being warm, dry, and full. They did not have time to concern themselves with good or evil.

I think that we put to much stock in these concepts and make them a self fulfilling prophecy. We dream up the concept of evil and it is visited upon us. We dream up the concept of good and see it visited upon others so as we don't appear selfish. If we are going to dream up concepts and add them to the collective, can we at least think of cooler shit?


  1. The whole time I read this the phrase "good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun." kept popping into my head. As a race of creatures we often forget that our views on anything are totally subjective. It is just that, our view. There can be truth behind our thoughts or facts but in the end it is still all just interpretation.

  2. Crap, man! I had a nice response lined up and this friggin' system insisted I log into my Wordpress account, which wiped out what I wrote!

    To sum it up, you are still looking at good and evil, right and wrong through an egotistical lense. Justice is a purely human endeaver to impose right for wrong. As you pointed out, this is not the natural order of the universe. Nothing is imposed, it just happens. Justice simply strokes our egos for what we perceive to be right and wrong in our lives.

    Truth is possibly the closest to "God". However, we can never find truth alone. It is discovered only through the interactions of multiple people who have shed enough of their egos to stop yakking and pulling their own direction and settling on the silent equilibrium of truth. It is infinitely more divine than justice, but like the crusaders of religious wars throughout history who used God to justify war, truth is used to justify justice.

    Desire is possibly the most fanciful projection of the ego. Anytime "I" desire something it is only by chance that anything worth desiring is stumbled upon. The more people involved in "we" desire something the more likely it will be worthwhile.

    We are egotistical creatures and as such we think our egos surely have something to do with the universe. Nope. The ego exists purely to drive us to share what we have learned and to strive to learn more. Collectively, we will strive to glean truth from every individual's experience. In order to do so, however, we must think highly enough of ourselves to share what we know. A silent wise man is a useless fool.

  3. Great post. Very eloquently delivered.

    "So we label things in and out, and file concepts like good and evil in out brain. We breathe life into them. We give them power."

    So true.