So Artaxes Brainbench has been sparking some interesting discussion about the nature of evil. Let me back up a little bit, JP Sears, the comedian and social commentary guy released a short video about evil that was simple, but enlightening. Sklyjd, who is an evangelizing atheist, came along attempted to object in a manner that reflects his completely incoherent worldview and the pot was thus stirred.
Much like JP Sears, I also once changed my mind about evil. In my case it may go a bit deeper than that. I sometimes say God covered my eyes, much like one might cover a child’s eyes when you pass by a car wreck. Probably until my late 20’s I would just roll my eyes and go, “there’s no such thing as evil, that’s so dumb.” So I didn’t rationalize my way to greater wisdom and understanding like JP did, it was more of a heart matter, spiritual and emotional work. Ultimately I simply began to see when God decided I was ready to see.
Let me just pause and testify as to the goodness of God. How do you protect the psyche of a troubled child with no armor who has to walk through a lot of darkness? Make the monsters completely invisible to her! And “why” would you do that? Because her psyche, her soul, her spirit has great value and worth to you. Evolution doesn’t do that. In a world devoid of God, it doesn’t really matter what my emotional and spiritual condition is going to be. In fact, from a pure survival orientation, a complete lack of values, morals, and being devoid of a heart and soul, would probably benefit me much more.
So it’s more by sensing and understanding the protective nature of our Father that I came to understand we do have a God, we do have souls, and evil is a real thing and not just a metaphor.
I really appreciate how JP says “there are two types of people in this world, those who can see evil and therefore rise above it, and those who can’t see it and will therefore likely be controlled by it.” That’s a loose quote, a paraphrase, but the essence of what he means. He is absolutely correct. You are completely defenseless against what you cannot see or acknowledge.
When I was younger, I watched a lot of scary movies, vampires mostly, and I was always fascinated by how they can’t see themselves in a mirror. They have no reflection. That led me to a chilling conclusion, evil doesn’t always recognize itself. I am laughing here, but cue another existential crisis because that can be a huge revelation.
A whole lot of people do evil, thinking it’s good. We tend to just rationalize (or rational-lies) our behavior, and even the behavior of others. This is why we need to cultivate a wee bit of humility and accept the fact that “there are none good but the Father.” Ironically, those who seem to believe “there are no bad people, just good people who do bad things,” have never met a double standard they didn’t like. If you want to see what a shaky foundation and unstable worldview that is, offend one of them. Suddenly you’ll become the greatest evil there is and outside the bounds of redemption. All in good humor, but whatever happened to, there are no bad people?
So does evil love stoopid? Yes! It doesn’t “love” at all, but it sure does exploit the crap out of our innate human weaknesses. Pride, arrogance, envy, and putting your faith in human intelligence rather then God, will just open up the floodgates. True too of handing all your power away to authority figures or experts for much the same reason, you never have to take responsibility or think critically yourself.
I like the invented spelling of “stoopid,” too, because this is not so much an issue related to a lack of intelligence, as it is due to arrogance, to pride, to willful foolishness, all things that often revolve around an unwillingness to take full responsibility and be held accountable for your own self. Stoopid is a kind of willful blindness, a refusal to see, because once seen you must chose whether or not to embrace it… or rise above it.
If you want to try to rise above it, you’re going to need Jesus.