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Children are Evil and Neither is Bush

November 15th, 2004 Leave a comment Go to comments

My mother yesterday told me she thought some people are born evil. Her evidence is that some people do really terrible things. In particular, some people who grow up under horrible repression don’t do bad things while some others do.

I pointed out that even two people who grow up in the same house will have different experiences, that each life will make sense to the one living it but perhaps not to the other. One may have had a moment, a brief experience, in which they found themselves real and touched, whilst the other may never have experienced this sort of contact with another human being.

The idea that some babies are born “evil” just makes no sense to me. But then evil and good are themselves senseless words if we take them to be absolute. If we choose to see them as absolutes, they are inescapeable. When we see the relativity of these words – and the fact is that they are always relative, whether or not we see it – they are much more useful to understanding.

Of course, seeing things as absolutes is very useful to emotionality, something George Bush understands well. “Evil empire”, “Axis of Evil”, “War on Terror” – the language he uses shows his corporeal understanding. The problem here is not that G W is evil as so many counterculturalists like to presume, or that he is stupid. The problem is that he is ignorant of how his upbringing conditioned him, and determined to stay that way.

It is so much easier to stay ignorant than to remember and deal with your negative conditioning. It is so much easier that the whole world seems to be stuck in ruts, doing the same things again and again. This habitual mind finds reaffirmation of its limited world view so reassuring. I think is why M Scott Peck said, in “The Road Less Travelled”, “95% of people 95% of the time have no idea why they are doing what they are doing”.

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