Does Evil Know it is Evil?
Does Evil Know it is Evil? by JC Collins – Philosophy of Metrics
A Hidden Secret of the Ancient Mystery Schools
Does evil know it is evil? This is an interesting question which is relevant to some of the broader conversations and topics which take place here on Philosophy of Metrics. Sitting around this weekend Marianne and I had this conversation. We both determined that the answer is no. Evil does not know it is evil. For the most part that is.
But before getting into why we came to that conclusion let’s attempt to create a common understanding, or definition, of what evil is. This isn’t as easy as one would think. Everyone has their own pre-conceived definition of evil and those who commit evil acts. Very few of us would consider ourselves to be evil, but yet are quick to point out that someone else, or the actions of someone else, are indeed evil.
It is also worth considering the level of evil which is committed. An evil scale should be developed which humanity can use to measure evil. An argument can be made that the creation of law throughout human history is in fact such a scale used to measure evil. But we find through simple observation in the modern world that the application of that law, and its punishments, against those who we consider to have reasonably committed some evil act or another, is not as balanced or effective as we would like.
Most moral people would consider the murder of another human being to be an act of evil. It is interesting today that we have mental health systems which are supported by the legal systems to create justifications for murder.
As an example, here in Canada we had a gruesome murder on a Greyhound bus back in 2008. The attacker got out of his seat during a night time trip from one province to another. The man pulled put a large hunting knife and picked what appeared to be a random passenger. Pulling the smaller man out of his seat the killer stabbed him repeatedly before beheading, dismembering and eating the heart of the victim.
Other passengers on the bus were in a state of shock as the large murderer carried the head of the victim back in forth on the bus while taunting police who stood outside watching with horror. The man pleaded insanity and is now out walking the streets unrestricted. When his release was confirmed in early 2017, just 9 years after the evil act, one of the police officers who was on the scene committed suicide.
Was it something which the officer saw in the eyes of the killer that forced him to end his own life 9 years after the actual event? We can only speculate on such things but most of us would agree that the Greyhound bus murder was a true act of evil. But did the killer consider himself to be an evil being? The fact is he did not.
Would we consider the murder of a small animal on a highway to be murder? Most such situations are an accident of course, with a majority of people doing everything they can to avoid hitting an animal on the road. But I have also saw other drivers intentionally swerve in attempts to hit animals. Is this evil? I guarantee those drivers do not think they are evil. But would you?
How about giving someone bad street drugs that you know could potentially kill them? Once again here in Canada we are having an epidemic of common street drugs being laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl. The death toll is increasing across the nation as unsuspecting casual weekend drug users, along with those on the streets, are dying every week from fentanyl. Are these drug dealers evil?