Patterico's Pontifications


Refusing To Believe There Is Such A Thing As Evil

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:47 am

[guest post by Dana]

Earlier this week, I put up a post wherein Thomas Friedman opined that the terror group ISIS feels shame at what it is doing. I found myself simultaneously unsurprised and yet incredulous that he would ascribe a functioning moral code to a group like ISIS. Because really?

MDinPhilly commented:

Some people just refuse to believe there is such a thing as evil, and such a thing as good.
Maybe they have a deep down and intense desire to refuse to deal with the implications of such moral and spiritual realities.
MD in Philly (f9371b) — 9/9/2014 @ 7:18 am

I agree with this and as such, have been thinking about the reluctance or inability of some to assign a reality of evil in this world. Of course, the reluctance to believe it exists in human form is nothing new. More than sixty years ago, a smart man understood that in order to convince the world of a very real manifestation of pure evil and to prevent any attempts at erasure or denial, it would be necessary to record and visually preserve what had taken place. However, as this new face of evil becomes increasingly defined and personified in its brazenly brutal demonstrated reality, can a tipping point ever be reached that would actually compel the Friedmans of the world to, and without hesitation, acknowledge and agree that there is evil? A shameless, nonredeemable evil that seeks to destroy all who get in its way, an evil from which there is no coming back, no rehabilitation possible, and no want of it either for it does not value life and the currency preferred is death? Perhaps those who soft-pedal evil simply cannot wrap their minds around the breadth and depth of brutality – in spite of visual evidence and confirmation. However, I tend to believe that it’s that their own personal fear that demands any possible declaration of evil be kept at bay, lest it shatter core foundational beliefs that all people are inherently good. And if a dismantling of that core belief happens, what is one left with?

Consider the Catholic, Washington-based Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and 53 national religious groups trying to persuade the president that military efforts are not the answer to stem the onslaught of ISIS:

“U.S. military action is not the answer. We believe that the way to address the crisis is through long-term investments in supporting inclusive governance and diplomacy, nonviolent resistance, sustainable development, and community-level peace and reconciliation processes.”

Further, presenting bullet points of advisement in the name of Jesus, they claim they want to protect all people, but there are “better, more effective, more healthy and more humanizing ways” to accomplish this:

*Stop U.S. bombing in Iraq “to prevent bloodshed, instability and the accumulation of grievances.”
*Provide “robust humanitarian assistance” to refugees fleeing the violence, “in coordination with the United Nations.”
*Engage with the UN, all Iraqi political and religious leaders, and others in the international community on diplomatic efforts.
*Support community-based nonviolent resistance strategies to transform the conflict and meet the deeper need and grievances of all parties.
*Strengthen financial sanctions against armed actors in the region by working through the UN Security Council.
*Bring in professionally trained unarmed civilian protection organizations.
*An arms embargo on all parties to the conflict.
*Support Iraqi civil society efforts to build peace, reconciliation, and accountability at the community level.

With what I consider a mind-boggling view of human nature, I question if that elusive tipping point would come even if these Friedmans of the world most horribly found themselves with their own necks under the murderous blade of ISIS.


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.0563 secs.