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Oppose Evil
Published on May 11, 2016 By Phil Osborn In Philosophy

This blog is intended to be derivative of my blog "On Morals."

Suppose you have the misfortune to be born to wealth, but with no apparent talent for greatness.  If you have good examples to emulate, you may still do ok.  However, as I demonstrated in "On Morals," the crucial impetus for consciousness - what drives it - is feedback of the form of reaffirmation of reality.  It is seeing the abstract made concrete - "the Word made flesh" - that fuels our passions,  our loves, our creativity, and our sense of personal worth and honor.  The poor rich kid, however, finds his own relevance to be over-shadowed by the products of his parents, their talents, etc., which may drive him to greatness or vast evil.

A similar set of incentives apply to kids - particularly teenagers, who are typically in a transitional phase between integrating authentic independent value structures and accepting what adults and peers have passed on to them.  This uncertainty of course becomes self-compounding when there is more than one teenager involved, as we have long known.

I suspect that most sociopaths are born rather than made, in the sense that there appears to be a class of brain deficiencies or structural problems that defeat the normal processes of mental/emotional maturation, especially the capacity for empathy.  This structural paradigm for evil of course can be turned to a less destructive path in a good environment or worsened drastically in a really bad environment, such as most orphanages historically.

Here's a snippet from something else I'm working on that may eventually be woven into this blog:

There is a mix of human predators and normal people of about 20~25 to one. I.e., about 3~4% of us are sociopaths, out not for money but rather power. Most people just want to live their lives, have good friends and family, be productive and a force for good. The sociopath contingent, however, turns all those normal, positive values on their heads, turniing cultural pride into racism, fear, pre-emptive action and war and genocide. To see this clearly and recognize it in the real world, you almost have to put yourself in harm's way, volunteer to be the victim, the scapegoat that the sociopath willl turn into the universal object of loathing, demanding allegiance to evil in the shape of sacrifice of the hapless victim as the price of safety. Some people willl go along on the basis of fear of being on the wrong side, with the victims - Jews, blacks, catholics, Muslims, whoever is a convenient target, or simply not part of the group. Other people will find it too frightening to reverse a position taken with poor evidence and high emotions because of how it makes them feel about themselves.

This paradigm operates everywhere, at every level, all the time. It is responsible for most war and injustice.

 


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