False peace

29 Jan

It is easy to get a false sense of peace and security if one has never faced evil directly. We encounter people we don’t like or who are unpleasant and we think that must be what evil looks like. We feel emboldened and empowered to stand up to this “evil” and think we can defeat it if we shout long or loud enough. Unfortunately what you see is not evil, but merely your own bias against someone you disagree with. 
Real evil does exist in the world and in the hearts of men and women. Some have faced it head on and do not have the luxury of childishly labeling those with whom they disagree. A demonstration or a speech will not stop it, but it will join you in those to maneuver closer and achieve its ends. There is an evil that allows someone to chain another human being to a bed and daily or hourly torture them before heartlessly killing them slowly. There is an evil that will herd children across a minefield to clear a path. There is an evil that will smile and speak of enlightenment, while sending assassins to secretly kill political opponents. And there is an evil that will buy you into submission until you are completely dependent and no longer capable of thinking or caring for yourself. It is this evil that allows one person to believe they can decide whether or not another person is fully human and deserves equal consideration for life. 

Not all of us have had to look into the hoary face of overt evil, so we convince ourselves that our lives and our opponents are harder than they are. But as I’ve said, not everyone has had such luxury. 

Yet nearly everyone has encountered evil in his or her daily life. It’s just that without the experience of having seen evil up close for ourselves, it is difficult to recognize it behind a veil of half-truths and seductive lies.

Evil does exist, as does virtue. The only way to stop the former is to be able to recognize it for what it is and crush it through acts which are often themselves terrifying. The only way to ensure we are really being driven by virtue is to be able to distinguish correctly between it, our simple dislikes, and true evil, seeing all of these for what they are.

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