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Monday, April 22. 2013
Have Americans lost the sense of evil? I don't really think so. Some say that, nowadays, the cognoscenti can only use the word ironically, but I don't agree with that entirely either. After all, I have read too much vitriol from the Left directed towards people like me, labeling us (non-ironically) as evil.
In other words, I think "evil" has been secularized or politicized. At the same time, attempts are made to psycho-babbleize it away.
Without writing an opus on the topic, I'll make just a few points about evil (from a non-religious standpoint). Evil thoughts and impulses exist in everyone, to varying degrees, whether consciously or unconsciously. It never appears in pure form.
A normal human conscience, along with social pressures, fear, a desire not to be destructive, etc. permit most of us to live without enacting very many evil deeds. Some people, in denial of their own dark sides, project evil into others. Some people attempt to deny the existence of evil anywhere. Some people try to erase the presence of evil by what we call "identification with the aggressor", of which the Stockholm Syndrome is an extreme example.
To look upon evil, wherever it is and however banal it may appear on the surface, is frightening. In the movies it can be exciting, but in real life it is deeply scary. Thus thoughts like this: St. Louis U. student asks, “Why don’t we talk about evil anymore?” and this: Why Does Evil Make Liberals Stupid? A quote from that:
I am sorry to say that Mukasey has it right: Make No Mistake, It Was Jihad - Let's hope the administration gets over its reluctance to recognize attacks on the U.S. for what they are.
All sorts of things can help unleash the cruelty and destructiveness in people, but I won't get into all of that now because I only want to mention one of the things: communal support of evil. If only 7% of Muslims are inclined to active Jihad, that's 100 million people. That's no mob - that's a large nation of killers and would-be killers of infidels and they are all on the same page.
Jihadists believe the West is evil. "Submit or die." They are convinced of their virtuousness, but they are as wrong as can be because all that we in the West want is to be left alone and to truly "coexist" peacefully.
Here's an interesting 1996 book by Columbia Prof Andrew Delblanco: The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil
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"... 100 million people. That's no mob - that's a good-sized nation of killers and would-be killers"
More than 1935 Germany, the UK even today...
And yet they kept trying to go to the "evil," or at least the regressive obstinacy, of their political opposition here in America. Like a child dancing because he has to go urinate but dares not say that out loud, they kept veering toward Tax Day/Antigovernment/Oklahoma City speculation. And when the news broke that the criminals were terrorists who happened to be Muslim, they went into full sail, warning us not to notice this or make much of it.
I will say again, and it is not a screaming dramatic point for all caps, but in its quieter way is a deadlier accusation, that they care not for any of the evil and destruction in the world among the unimportant people. They care only for their power here, and take every opportunity to discredit their American opposition - not because they are more noble, but because they are are more base, and cannot imagine a set of values beyond their own dominance. It is all in the service of acquiring power, not of elevating the American people into a kindlier folk.
We remain the real enemy.
Progressives serve Power first and expect reality to follow suit.
This distorts their vision to the point of being patently, palpably and openly absurd. No contortion is too ridiculous so long as all evidence is bent to serve that vision. It’s like that scene in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” where the mob accuses a woman of being a witch, and goes so far as to dress her like one and make her wear a “false” nose to prove the point.
The Progressives have become ideological Witch-Callers, and the ultimate Witch is a White male who doesn’t live a Progressive life. Thus you get the assumption – and desire – that the Boston bombings were committed by White Americans. The people whose first instinct was to blame the Tea Party weren’t blowing smoke. That was their real expectation. Now that the bombers’ identities and motives don’t match expectations, the emerging facts must and will be bent to serve and flatter their first instincts.
Great, great post, Dr. Bliss.
I do wonder at the cognitive disconnect that is apparent with the current administration, an overwhelming majority of the media, academia, and a great minority of the America people. How can they live with themselves.
I'm also afraid that if 9/11 wasn't a sufficient reminder that evil exists we may have to endure much greater pain to learn that lesson.
Please remember that the Crusades was a "defensive" war, in that the European Christians were attempting to RE-gain possession of Jerusalem. The Muslim hoardes had overrum the Middle East, and Egypt, and North Africa, and Spain, and Persia, way before the Crusades. Most if not all of those areas contained thriving Christian communities, as did Asia Minor (now called Turkey), Albania, and the Caucacus mountain region, etc.
If I remember correctly, the Pope instigated the 1st Crusade because of the murder and theft perpetrated on Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Sounds like the Infitada isn't new.
AVI gets it, "...that they (the leftists) care not for any of the evil and destruction in the world among the unimportant people. They care only for their power here,..."
this is the single best explanation of the leftist response to terrorists, jihad, bombs, gun bans, Obama, the economy, etc.
Define evil out of existence. Define good out of existence. Everything just is. I'm alright, you're alright. The end of this is the end.
The Muslim attacks will continue as long as we deny reality. I do wonder how so many Jews were able to rationalize the Nazis in the 1930s. Many saw the future and got away but many did not. After it was all over, one survivor summarized the lesson, "When people say they are going to kill you, believe them."
Personally, I am more of the persuasion that says, "When you meet someone new, have a plan of how to kill them if necessary."
Mostly kidding but not 100%.