The Line of Evil?
Welcome to my blog “Discovering An Adventure Called Life.” I thought, for my first written expression for this blog I would keep it light and simple. So I have chosen the subject of evil. Yes, I am being facetious, about keeping it light and simple. Several months ago, or perhaps more I was on the Eldon Taylor show and he asked me the question, “Does evil exist?”
Of course I had 5 seconds for my answer so I did not, I simply responded, “What is evil?” Had that been the subject matter of the show I would have loved to go into it in more detail.
It is not my purpose to state evil does exist, or no, evil does not exist. It is my purpose to bring many questions to your mind, using events from history to allow for deep searching that you may come to your own answer from within yourself. When an answer is discovered what is it based on, beliefs or knowing?
At this time in history an easy pick for one, who most of the world labels as evil, is Adolf Hitler. He ordered the deaths of millions of Jews, Christians, Homosexuals, Gypsies, and yes even his own Germans citizens. He put his own people (Germans) into concentration camps first. At that time concentration camps were just that, a place to concentrate certain undesirables, so they were labeled concentration camps. These devolved into death camps for millions. One man who convinced a nation? An interesting point about Adolf Hitler, he never killed anyone by his own hands, yet ordered the killing of millions at the hands of others. Adolf Hitler was obsessed with creating rules and laws when he came into power. Much of history states he passed laws against the Jews, smoking, homosexuality, and political parties who spoke against him. History even states he was responsible for the Reichstag Fire. He showed up at the scene of the fire and placed blame on the Communists. It was discovered that before the fire, Hitler and his chief lieutenants had already made up lists of enemies to be arrested for the fire. He was obsessed with forcing German citizens to be a certain way. Of course, when one looks back at history and sees the end result one can see he was priming his country to accept without question his laws, thus demanding obedience.
Hitler was abused and beaten as a child by his father and he was bullied in school by his classmates. Hitler developed the belief that if he could have power he could punish those responsible. He could punish the evil ones of society that he deemed evil. He believed the Christians had grown away from the laws of God. He believed he was blessed by God, for allowing him to live at such a time that he could have the power to create a supreme race, God’s chosen people. He learned to use propaganda. He stated, “The correct use of propaganda is a true art which has remained practically unknown to the bourgeois parties. Only the Christian-Social movement, especially in Lueger’s time achieved a certain virtuosity on this instrument, to which it owned many of its success.” “Mein Kampf”, Vol 1, Chapter 6.
Where did Hitler arrive at the concept of a pure race, could it be the Rockefeller Foundation who helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program Josef Mengele worked at, before he moved his medical abilities to Auschwitz? Could it be the past president of Stanford, David Starr Jordan who in 1902 wrote “Blood of a Nation” in which he declared talent and poverty were passed through human blood. Or perhaps the Carnegie Institution, which established in 1904 a laboratory complex on Long Island, New York, that plotted the removal of families, bloodlines, and select races of people? Who also lobbied the legislatures of America, as well as the American social service agencies for support, as reported by Edwin Black, author “War Against the Weak.”
So I ask again, what is evil? Was Hitler evil? He did not kill anyone with his own hands. So if he is evil he must be so charged because of his actions of speech and the written word in which he used to blind a nation, and turn a nation against a race or sect of peoples. What about the Rockefeller Foundation, David Starr Jordan, or the Carnegie Institution, were they evil if the above charges are to be believed as truly occurring?
Edwin Black goes on to state that Hitler studied American eugenics laws. He tried to legitimize his racist views by giving it medical support. Hitler claimed science was on his side. This gave Hitler the approval he was looking for in 1924 to establish himself as God’s chosen ruler using the eugenics programs that were established in America.
What about Martin Luther, the founder of the Christian Protestants who lived from 1483 to 1546? Hitler used his messages as proof of the evil race. Martin Luther wrote the following about the Jewish race, “Be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self-glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them.” It is known in history that Hitler would often quote Martin Luther as reason to exterminate a race of people.
If Hitler is evil for the laws he enacted, the orders he gave, the words he wrote, then what about Martin Luther who also wrote about exterminating the Jews? Being that Martin Luther is the founder of Protestantism, what about Protestants? I can hear it already; no you have gone too far. But what if Protestants are true followers of Martin Luther who advocated the extermination of a race of people, in his own writings. What about Martin Luther’s statement, “First that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire.” These are quotes from Martin Luther’s “On the Jews and their lies”, 1543.
If one is going to be condemned as evil then must not the condemner use a set of principles equally upon all he or she would condemn as evil? If one is to draw a line, which side would evil be on?
What about the more resent wars in Iraq or Afghanistan? The former president of the United States, president George W. Bush, and our current president Barack Obama have both sent young men and women to war. What about these young service men and women who kill young or old men and women? What about the children who were killed by American forces? Can a set of principles be equally applied here? Would the two presidents be evil, or just the president who invaded the countries? Are the solders evil? They were just following orders. What about the soldiers who killed an entire Iraq family, because they were approaching too fast and the soldiers became frightened? Where does the line of evil reside? Some say it depends on whose side God is on. If God is on the side of the United States, it is not evil. But then Iraq has said God is on their side, so that would make the United States evil if that were true. Does God pick sides? Is the United States God’s chosen country? Is Christianity God’s chosen religion? If that is true does it change the balance of what is evil and what is not evil? In the Old Testament the God of the Hebrews, which many Christians claim to follow gave orders for war, to kill men, women, and children, and all their animals. God gave laws to stone your daughter if she was not a virgin. In some instances entire families were stoned, meaning the throwing of stones, not stoned in the other way. Yet this same God gave a commandment you shall not kill. So what gives? Perhaps you can kill if God is on your side? Perhaps this is why each side claims God is on their side?
What about evil that has nothing to do with war? What if a father got drunk and abused his son year after year? What if that son grew up and abused his own son to the point of savagely killing him? Many would call this man evil. What about this murder’s father who got drunk and abused him, programming the son to kill his own son in a fit of rage because he never healed his own childhood abuse? What if the abuse started with the grandfather, great grandfather, or great great grandfather? What if the great great grandfather beat his son because his religion told him to? Who or what is evil here? The great great grandfather or the church? If one says it is the father who killed his son that is evil, is that the line? What if the grandfather had several sons, and one of his son’s committed suicide? Is the father evil for committing such abuse as to push his son to suicide, even though he may not have killed him with his own hands? Where does the line of evil exist?
The point being, all have done something in their life that someone from some faith would call evil. So what person or faith holds the truth, any of them? If you were to disagree with that person or faith, then perhaps you would be considered evil. But you could state, “I do not accept their belief or faith therefore, I am not evil of what I may have done.”
What if Hitler were still alive, would he use that same argument? Would he say I was following the teachings of Martin Luther? Would he state I was following the information from the Rockefeller Foundation or the Carnegie Institution because they supported my beliefs? He stated his purpose was to create a pure race, God’s chosen people. He believed he was God’s chosen warrior.
The God of the Old Testament was helping his chosen people to the land of milk and honey. For those who got in the way God gave permission to kill entire villages, men, women, and children. Since this was sanctioned by God, the killing was not deemed evil. What about the ones who held contrary beliefs on killing? Were they judged for not obeying God? Were they condemned, purged from the Hebrew tribe for not following the rule of God? So in asking the question, where is the line for evil?
It is true, Hitler committed indescribable atrocities against humanity, Martin Luther wrote and incited his hatred of the Jews, the father, or great great great grandfather committed savage acts against his own son, the Hebrews of the Old Testament killed men woman and children for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you followed the God of Hitler, would you justify his actions? If you followed the God of Martin Luther, would you justify his actions? If you followed the God of the Old Testament, would you justify his actions and or the actions of the ancient Hebrews?
What savage acts occurred to the above peoples when they were children? What caused them to learn such hatred? Hatred is not a genetic trait it is a learned trait, often learned from abuse. It is easy to use the word evil against another religion, race, or philosophy. What if the concept of evil is not a genetic trait but simply a learned trait? What caused one to learn it? From what generation did it originate?
If one is to believe in evil at what point does it occur, and is there a lineage to that point?
Thank you for the wonderful comments on The Line of Evil. One comment by Jeffery P. especially caught my attention. I am aware of teachings from different philosophers that teach, “If evil does not exist then there cannot be an existence of good.” My question on this comment, who wrote this rule and most importantly why has it been followed or accepted as true? If one does a good deed such as assisting a child out of great pain. Does this mean that the same person would then abuse another child? What if a person teaches a child to love? Must one also teach this child to hate? Must it be, one cannot know evil without good, or good without evil?
I do understand we live in a plane of duality, but is it not to understand we also live in a plane of free will choice? What if each were to use their free will choice to do good and reject doing harm to another? Oops, would that create world peace? Of course many are taught by parents, schools, and social intolerance, the art of war, control, and greed. They would use their free will choice to do harm, but this has to do with free will choice. Choices based on free will choice can and do change. The philosophical teachings there cannot be good without evil puts humanity into a box of continued suffering. The old philosophical teachings there cannot be good without evil is not subject to change, therefore in my philosophical teachings I reject this as being true…Hossca