Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Is good naturally weaker than evil?

We must not be frightened nor cajoled into accepting evil as deliverance from evil. We must go on struggling to be human, though monsters of abstractions police and threaten us.
- Robert Hayden, poet and educator (1913-1980)

As Hayden lived in the middle part of the last century and died a generation ago, he was speaking in general terms (so far as our purposes here are concerned), not of conditions we may be experiencing today.

I say that not excuse any association that a reader may make based on their personal experiences or interests, but to remind you that it's not my motive to bring any specific situation of today to attention with this quote.

The forces in the world that we generally consider to be good are large, but usually not aggressive, presumptuous or that wish to enslave or harm any life. Seldom enough are they organized into an effective force that could implement the good they wish to convey. And to receive, as they are not entirely altruistic by any means. They tend to be empowered by tragedy, especially disasters that affect others.

Forces that we generally perceive to be evil (lots of interpretation there, I understand) are more aggressive, often better organized and even manage to find financing to support their campaigns.

Good does not always win out over evil due to its massive numbers. We can see this with Nazi Germany, any of the other examples of genocide that have occurred over the past century or from most wars.

If good has such large numbers of people, why can it not get organized and quickly defeat the forces they believe are evil?

Because, by nature, good people do not want to defeat anyone by violence. They don't believe that violence is essential in most situations, though they are prepared in most cases to engage in violence when no other options are left to them.

Evil wants to organize for the purpose of having power. Good wants to live and let live, to help and to be helped, to do good as they believe it should be done.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, striving to show the difference between good and evil.
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