Does the above question not trouble you because you know for certain you are evil? Then what I will present in this web book will not interest you. Further more, you are not just evil, but you are a sociopath and in need of far greater help than I can offer.
Does the above question not bother you because you don't believe there really is any good or evil? ...that you believe everything is relative, and what's good or evil is purely subjective? If so, then I can easily declare you as evil, because there most certainly is good and evil in this world, and your refusal to recognize this makes you an enabler of evil.
Does the above question not concern you because you know for certain that you are good? Then yes, that's right, you too are evil. The more certain you are that you are good, the more likely you are a sociopath. Just look at the jihadis. They are very evil, and are quite certain they are good.
Yet if the above question does cause you a moments pause, and makes you wonder whether you are good or evil, then there is a chance you might be good. Only people who know they don't have all of the answers, and are actively evaluating what is right or wrong can possibly be good. Being a good person is a process; not a state. It is a journey; not a destination.
On this page I'll present concepts and opinions about judging whether anyone is good or evil. This is not about what good and evil are, because there is no consensus there, and it's pointless to try to come to one. I could say that being good requires that you respect your fellow man, but what liberals constitute as respect, I consider to be very evil. Heck, I have even had them accuse me of being evil just because I have the temerity to judge others as evil.
Judge not lest yea be judged.
You cannot have any good without identifying the evil. So if you are not pointing out who is evil, you yourself cannot be good.
When I ask someone how they determine whether they are good or evil, I am often told that they live by the simplistic Golden Rule. 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' What this tells me about them is that they are evil, or they really haven't given much thought into being good, which means the same as they are evil.
In order for this saying to be good, we would all have to be the same, but we are not. We all have different hopes, dreams, wants and needs. I know for certain I don't want done to me what liberals want done to them. I have no desire to be a slave. I would rather slit my throat than live in their 'utopia.'
Being good requires you to evaluate each person and arrive at an appropriate action for them, not you. Even still, 'Doing unto others as they would have you do based on their hopes, dreams, wants and needs,' can also be evil. Not only could what they want be inappropriate for you, but it could also be inappropriate for them, such as a bum wanting the change in your pocket – more on this later.
Doing good does not make you good, and doing evil does not make you evil. It is the context of your actions that make you good or evil. I even go one step further and state that a person stranded on a deserted island can neither be good nor evil. A person on his or her own has no context.
Take the two people that I admire most after Jesus Christ. They are George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. These were two great men whose actions brought about more freedom in this world than any other two men before or since. Yet they were both slave owners. In this day and age, I would never consider admiring anyone who owns slaves. Yet anyone who does not recognize what great men George and Thomas were, is evil, because they cannot – or choose not – to evaluate people in context.
A simple fact of life is that no one chooses to be evil. Even the sociopaths didn't wake up one day and decide they were going to be evil.
So how do we end up with all of these evil people in this world?
It's even more complicated than that. Most evil people don't believe they are evil themselves. Only a sociopath would think he is evil, and even then not many of them do. Discounting these statically irrelevant numbers, all people have a line of evil they will not cross. All people consider certain actions to be too evil to commit, and why? Because all people consider themselves to be fundamentally good, and they won’t cross the lines they have determined to be evil, because they believe that only by crossing those lines will that make them evil. Any person who didn’t believe they were fundamentally good, would have no restraint on their actions beyond what they think they can get away with, and that’s what makes them a sociopath.
So only sociopaths are evil?
Oh no. Not by a long shot. In fact, there are lots of evil people. They just don’t believe they are. Just because you believe yourself to be good, that doesn’t make it so.
To understand the mechanism of how people become evil, there are two things to consider. The first is that no one believes they are evil, and the second is that no single decision makes them evil. Becoming evil is almost always a progression that starts when they are a child.
They first begin with small things like shoplifting a pack of gum from a store, or teasing the kid in class who stutters. No one would declare a child as evil solely based on these actions, and more importantly, neither would they. Yet these actions are evil, and they did commit them. So if they do commit them, and they still consider themselves to be good, it makes the next small step towards evil that much easier.
You see, everyone is presented every day with many opportunities to commit evil acts, but most – yet not all – are rejected because they consider them to be too evil. The only difference between an evil act that is OK to commit and one that is too evil is that the too evil act is one they believe will make them evil if they do it. Nothing else. So they avoid making the too evil decisions, but everything else is open for consideration.
So what exactly is too evil?
It all depends on where you are at the time. A person can reject several evil decision that are just too evil, but eventually select the one that is not so much. And once they do, then the next small step will actually bring them closer to making the decision they had rejected before. Instead of one large step, they still wind up at the same sense of morality by several small ones.
So when an evil man looks back on his life, he does not see a single decision he has made to become evil. And since he does not see that step, he erroneously declares himself to be good. Yet if that same man could look instead into the future from when he was young, with the sense of morality that he had at that time, he would declare that he had become an evil man.
So what makes a man evil?
Anyone who believes that you can commit evil acts and not affect whether you are good, will be evil. There is nothing good about evil. You would think this would not be in dispute, but it is. If you commit evil acts, then some part of you will be damaged, and living in denial of that damage will only lead to greater evil. No exceptions.
Surely someone who has committed murder would think they were evil?
Not really. This is actually a great example, because someone already has to be evil in order to commit the murder. The act only confirms they’re evil; it doesn’t make them evil. Take my word on this. It is very difficult to look back on your life and determine when you became evil, and as such, most evil people think they are good just because there are things they believe that are still too evil to do. Only people who still believe they are fundamentally good would consider this.
Remember. Once you get to the point where you truly know you are evil, then the only thing that limits you is what you think you can't get away with.
What if you do something bad that is actually in the best interest of the person you did it to?
That’s even worse. A criminal at least stands a chance of turning his life around because he still considers what he is doing as evil – just not too evil.
Keep in mind that the only reason the thought of ‘acting in their best interest’ is passing through your mind is because you know you are doing evil, and the reason you are thinking that way, is because you want to deceive yourself into believing you are doing good. You can plant whatever name you want on it, but evil is always evil, and you can never do good with evil.
In fact, acting in the best interest of someone else is actually an oxymoron. What is in the best interest of everyone is that they decide for themselves what is in their best interest.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need to. Such as a parent should always be acting in the best interest of his or her child. Yet a very poor parent is one who is not preparing that child to decide for his or her self what is in their own best interest. It’s safe to say that a parent doesn’t actually believe the child has become an adult until they do let them decide for themselves what that is.
Wait a second. You just said that it’s evil to act in someone else’s interest, yet it’s good with our children? That doesn’t make sense.
I never said it was good for parents to act in the best interest of their child. I only said they should.
Shouldn’t we only do the things that are good?
Life sure would be a lot simpler if that were true. The problem you are having is that you are confusing right and wrong with good and evil.
Let’s try a little morality exercise. When we dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, did we do something that was good or evil?
Quite correct. It was an immensely evil act that shook that country, and eventually ours, to its core.
Next question. Was it the right thing to do?
You’re wrong. I might also add that you are not evil – just wrong.
Even the most conservative estimates put the death toll of Japanese if we had to do a land invasion at more than a million. That’s the problem with mankind’s pacifist tendencies. They never factor in the horrors that have resulted when good men don’t do the right thing by committing lesser evils.
Sometimes wars are necessary. At the same time, you shouldn’t fool yourself into thinking that you are doing something good by fighting them. If you want good, then you have to do good. Many – me included – believe that we fought World War Two because we didn’t do good at the end of World War One. All we did was defeat the Germans then left them to fend for themselves. At the end of World War Two, we did not repeat that mistake and we helped our enemies to recover. Now those very same enemies are our allies.
Let’s take a closer look at the decision to drop those bombs. Since it saved so many Japanese lives, you could argue that we did it in their best interest. But try asking the Japanese if they appreciate the bombs we dropped on them. See if you can get one of them to agree that it was in their best interest. Of course you won't. The only valid reason to drop those bombs was to save the lives of the tens of thousands of our soldiers that would have died in a land invasion.
Further more, I don’t care what good you think you are accomplishing, I can pick apart any justification to do things in the best interest of people in the same manner. This gets to the heart of why it’s so bad to do this. With a criminal, there is at least some chance to turn him around because he isn’t involved in self-deception. Most of them at least recognize that they are still doing evil, even though they don’t consider themselves as evil. As such, there is some hope that when they look back on their life they will see the evil they have done, and change their ways.
But not people who do things in the best interest of others. When they look back on their lives, they will only see their good intentions, and never see the evil they have committed. Yet as I stated earlier, you cannot commit evil acts without damaging yourself. There is a price to pay, and that price is that you will become evil. No exceptions.
Liberals want to do good. How can you accuse them of doing evil?
First of all, I didn't mention liberals. There are plenty of things conservatives do that are evil that they believe are good (the drug war comes to mind). Second of all, as I have stated earlier so now I think I have to scream it: NO ONE CHOOSES TO BE EVIL!!!!! What your intentions are do not mitigate the evil you commit.
The only advantage that conservatives have over liberals in this area, is that they are more likely than liberals to see government as a source of evil. Government is nothing but force, and all forms of force are evil. No exceptions. And as I'll go into more later, laws are what you pass when you no longer wish to respect those that you disagree with.
Looking back at criminals again, just because a kid steals a pack of gum, that doesn’t mean he’ll wind up as a bank robber. What he has working in his favor is his God-given humanity to act as a break against him sliding into a complete sociopath. A liberal on the other hand has no such break. He believes he is doing good. And the more things he believes it is appropriate for the government to take over control now, the more he’ll believe should be taken over later.
My only point is that evil is evil and you must do good to get good. Slapping a good label on evil will never make it good, nor will it ever accomplish good. So nothing good will ever come from using force or disrespecting people, which is the only thing that the government is good for.
Now I'm really confused. You seem to think it's OK to drop atomic weapons on people, but it's not OK to use government to help them. Man, you're one warped dude.
(sigh) You're still confusing good and evil with right and wrong. I sincerely hope that one day I'll live in a world where all of the right decisions are good ones, but for now, the world we live in requires us to commit lesser evils in order to prevent worse ones. One thing is for certain, we are not going to get a good society by believing that if our intentions are good then we must be doing good.
Take parents who refuse to spank their children. I know it is quite possible to raise a wonderful, healthy, well-adjusted child who is a positive contribution to this society without ever spanking him. I also know it is possible to do the same with a child who is spanked a lot. Yet spanking is evil, so if the only thing they do is spank the child, I'm quite certain he will turn out evil.
More to the point, if you show me a parent that states that they will never spank their child, and one that states they will spank their child every time he does something wrong, I would place my bet on the one who spanks their child as the one most likely to produce a good one. It's not the evil you do or avoid that produces good children. It is the love and respect that does.
So it's good to spank a child?
Boy, are you thick. It is always evil to spank a child. Just as liberals go astray by doggedly adhering to a no spanking policy, conservatives can go astray by thinking they are doing good by spanking their child. The right policy (as opposed to the good policy) is to raise a good child. Parents should always do what they believe is right. So if they know no better way to keep their child on the straight and narrow than spanking, then they should, by all means, spank them.
If on the other hand you believe these parents are wrong, then show them some respect. Treat them as if they really do want what is best for their child and teach them a better way. You need to understand that unless you convince them that this other way is better, they will only harm their child in the long run if they can't do what they believe is right.
Edmund Burke is a man that I greatly admire. He is considered by many to be the father of conservative politics, and I have found much of what he wrote very influential. Probably his most famous quote goes 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'
Well... he was wrong. Good men do not allow evil to triumph. Where ever evil has triumphed, there are no good men.
This leads to the one opinion that I espouse that gets me the most condemnation from liberals and moderates alike. It's when I state that all pacifists are evil.
What!?! How can you believe any pacifist is evil?
I can, because I am a conservative. A significant difference between conservatives and liberals, is that conservatives judge people by their actual accomplishments, but liberals only care about their intentions. So for all of their good intentions, pacifists may as well be evil, because they allow evil to triumph. There is a lot of blood on the hands of pacifists due to their failure to prevent great evil in this world when they had an opportunity to do so, and what rots their soul is their failure to recognize their guilt.
Further more, the sanctimonious pacifists in this world, like Jimmy Carter, really piss me off. To begin with, they are hypocrites. They have no problem with inflicting on everyone the great evil that is the government, yet arbitrarily draw a line that the evil of violence is just too much. Never mind that all forms of force, which is what government is, are violent.
Then there is the fact that all pacifists are parasites. They cannot exist except in societies that will do the evil they won't for them to be free to be the pacifists that they are, and then like parasites, they weaken the society they are in by their actions that undermine our efforts to remain free.
So yes, all pacifists are evil.
If you are a person that allows, not just causes, but allows evil to prosper, then you are evil. Only people that are effective in diminishing the evil in this world are good.
Put bluntly, a good man does not standby and watch an evil man rape a woman. If he has to, a good man will pull his 'conceal and carry weapon,' and shoot the f%$#er in the head.
Damn straight, Skippy. In a harsh world, a good man has to be harsh.
So in your demented little world, if someone does something wrong, you get to be a good person by killing them.
Spoken like a true liberal who only hears what he wants.
I specifically said 'If he has to.' I have also stated that if you want good, you have to do good, but just doing good is not good enough. Everyone should always employ non-evil means to resolve conflicts whenever feasible, but if they aren't working, then you need to do something else besides saying, 'Oh well. I've done everything my conscience will allow. Whoever is now being harmed will have to fend for themselves.'
The point I'm trying to make is that you don't get to do nothing and still be able to call yourself good, because doing nothing accomplishes the same thing as doing evil. It's the results of your actions that defines what your are; not your intentions.
So what's so bad about defining people by their good intentions?
What are you, a mind reader? Only a liberal would define anything by something that they will ultimately never know.
Ok. Ok. I get it. You hate the government. So are you some kind of anarchist?
I don't hate the government. I simply recognize the truth of it, and that is that it's evil. As I should have made clear by now, I believe that sometimes evil is necessary, so of course, sometimes the government is the best solution for certain things. Doing evil is the only thing that government is good for.
With what you said about rape, you at least advocate vigilante actions. Isn't that a form of anarchy?
You're completely missing the point. Let's try altering the storyline a little. This time it's a husband that comes home and finds his wife curled up on the floor wailing hysterically about how the neighbor across the street had just raped her. If the husband takes his gun and kills his neighbor, then he should be arrested and tried for murder.
Arresting someone; throwing them into prison; executing them if they have murdered someone (such as the husband above); these are all very evil acts, and so are a proper function of the government.
The difference here is the difference between protection and justice. The government does a pretty good job at protecting its citizens from invading armies, but it does a terrible job at protecting its citizens from themselves. Criminals are not all that dissuaded from committing crime by concerns of them being caught after the fact by the police. The only thing proven effective at dissuading them is running into a citizen prepared to deal with them during their crime.
The more we prepare our citizens to protect themselves, the less crime and the less evil there will be in this country, and there isn't enough money in the world to hire enough police officers that can accomplish the same thing.
Let the government focus on what it does best, which is justice, and not interfere with the citizens protecting themselves.
...that's it? That's all a government is good for?
Pretty much. If it's not evil, the government has no business doing it. Libertarians say that government should be limited to nothing more than protecting its citizens from force and fraud, and as I have already stated, I don't even credit it with being able to do that very well.
I'm speechless. Don't you at least want the government to stop polluters?
Why is it that whenever I try to describe the proper role of government, I always get accused of wanting to let people pollute? Pollution is a form a force used against us all, and so is a proper thing for the government to regulate.
I was, at one time, a liberal. I once believed that anything worth doing was best done by government. Why did I believe this? Because of the honest and sincere claims of liberal politicians. To this day I believe those claims were, and still are, honest and sincere. Yet no matter how honest and sincere those claims are, that doesn't make them true.
It would be easy to claim that I left liberalism for conservatism because I became disillusioned by the lack of success of liberal politics, but no liberal has ever left for that reason. Liberals have always blamed conservatives for their lack of success, and would never consider themselves as the cause.
No. It wasn't for the lack of success. It was because of the hatred I felt in my heart. I hated conservatives because I believed that the only reason they could object to what we were doing was because they were evil. Yet mainly because of my burgeoning Christian faith, I had to take responsibility for that hate. This forced me to look hard at the real reasons of it, and to stop blaming others for what was going on inside me.
When you commit acts of evil, you will be harmed, and if you don't recognize this, then you are a fool. If you then go further and believe your evil acts are good, solely because your intentions are good, you then double down on that damage. You loose all sense of reason, and hating those that object to what you want is the inevitable destination.
What evil are you talking about? Liberalism is about helping people who can't help themselves. What do you think it says about a nation that doesn't do the minimum to help those that can't make it on their own?
First of all, a nation is not its government, and no one – not even a nation – can be judged by what he or she is forced to do. It is what people do of their own freewill that can be used to judge them. Only when 'we the people' – and not 'them the government' – take care of those that need to be taken care of – without any coercion (taxation) from the government – can we say we are good.
Almost this entire web book is dedicated to convincing you of the evil of government, so I'm not going to get into too much of that now. Yet just to give you a sense of what I mean, let's look at a popular saying among us conservatives. It goes 'Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life.'
What I don't like about this saying is that the wording implies that both options are good, just that the latter is better. Wrong. The first option could also be evil. The saying I like to use is 'Give a man a fish, and you make him your slave. Teach a man to fish, and you set him free.' When you give a bum the change in your pocket you are not helping him. All you do is perpetuate, and validate, his living in squalor. Perpetuating squalor is always evil.
Like I said, I'll get more into the evil of government on later pages. Suffice to say that if you want good, then you have to do good, and using government for good is the least effective, and most the costly solution you can choose; and also the one most likely to give you harmful unintended consequences.
It is the belief that the government can do good that drives the main differences between liberals and conservatives, and it is why I have lead off this web book with this page. Without understanding this core difference, there can never be any meaningful discussion between the two sides.
I'm fully aware that the question I headed this page with was pointless to ask. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone reading this believes they are good. Yet for S&Gs, let's say you are concerned about whether you are, and you are interested in my opinion of it.
As I stated in the beginning, to be good, that goodness must be in doubt. That doubt originates from the need to commit evil acts to prevent worse evil. Yet you must not fool yourself into believing that you are doing good just because your intentions are good. All of the great monsters of the 20th Century – Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro – they all started off believing they were doing the right thing for their people.
It's very important to understand that the process that makes a criminal – as I explained previously – and the process that makes a liberal, is identical except for their intentions. Anyone should know that telling people how to live their lives is evil, but the more a person believes a government should decided what is best for us, the more they will believe the government should take over later.
Ah ha! I knew it! You think liberals and criminals are the same!
No, Skippy. I'm just stating that the process that creates them are the same. Intentions only matter after the fact when considering punishment. And no, I don't want to outlaw liberalism, nor do I think they should be punished. Being a liberal is punishment enough.
Getting back on topic... Never evaluate yourself through the prism of your intentions or your actions. Always evaluate yourself by your results. As in the example of the parent who spanks his or her child, if the child is not getting better, then the parent has to re-evaluate what he or she is doing. Spanking a child just because they did something wrong makes you an evil person. Only when you are focused on the right outcomes for your child can you be considered good.
Did I go too far?
Did I go far enough? These are the doubts that should be playing out in your mind – whether it is spanking your child, fighting jihadis, or passing a law – that points to the possibility that you are good. When results don't matter, and only your intentions or actions do, then you are most certainly evil.