Category Archives: good and evil

Trying to Understand the Incomprehensible

I have been thinking about human beings and how mixed we are. In school I study world history. The subject has become hard to take since we began learning about World War I with the massive battles and senseless military blunders. Now we are studying World War II and the Holocaust. My mind is in shock. How are these events even possible? The more I hear, the more I fight the urge to run out of the room.
I think evil must exist in human nature, just as decency must, and we choose which is to be in our behavior. If the Nazis had the idea they were doing a good deed by killing children for being useless, they gained the freedom to rationalize their horrible behavior. My mind is incapable of understanding how one slaughters unarmed, innocent people, but I am autistic so maybe I don’t have the talent that neuro-typical people do to justify and rationalize the incomprehensible. I try to make it make sense. I cannot.
I realize, even now, that evil must be faced head on. We must work to treat others decently. I hope humanity will overcome our cruel nature one day.

More Thoughts on Good and Evil

I was thinking about the response to my essay about good and evil and I wanted to comment on it. 
Is there a difference between our individual choices and mob choices? In a mob there are many individuals. I think to say mobs have a different responsibility is like denying each individual in the mob a personal choice in how to act.
The struggle internally is our life work. How do we respond in morally challenging situations? The Germans have reminded themselves that they blew it badly. It is a reflection that is necessary, and many people don’t do it. On the other hand, it is no guarantee that they will behave morally in the future. I think it is a lot easier to be moral when there is no test.
Really, I believe that certain basic human values must always apply. We must determine and decide each moment how we will behave. The mob of the Third Reich gave otherwise decent people the opportunity to stop being decent with society’s approval. I think each soul is judged for what they do. The person who watches evil passively is judged for his inaction.
It is a complicated issue. The most complicated, I think. The role of values and respect for human life is a tool to help in morally troubling times.
Thanks for a thought provoking comment.