Good thread, DD!
I personally think the word 'evil' is pretty subjective. One man's evil is another's self-preservation.
History has quite a few individuals to choose from that would be considered evil by many, but were heroes to others. I bet today, there is a soldier,
'fighting for America' in some foreign land, the picture of patriotism and a hero to his country, but decidedly 'evil' to those whose country he
It would seem that our nation, and most others, base their legal system on their religious beliefs. Crime, for Americans, typically falls right in
line with 'sins' in Christianity.
In theory, I think that the 'justice' system we have plays the part of God to it's creators, enforcers and maintainers. We have a very powerful
entity that will 'punish' us when we 'sin.' Again, in theory, once we have been punished 'enough' (served our time, paid our fine, etc,) We will
Somewhere that system got broken. Probably because it was inherently flawed, being based on a religious system that is so easily misinterpreted.
What we have now is a very blurry line. 'Forgiveness' is BOUGHT and is far more accessible to the rich. A man that commits a heinous crime may
'serve his time,' and be released from prison, but he can never be a part of society again. He can't vote, or exercise quite a few of the
'rights' he was granted by the founding fathers. What that means is that if his 'sin' was 'bad enough' he will not ever be forgiven by the
system that was supposed to mirror God's grace. We have a silly little phrase 'paid his debt to society.' The problem is, that the 'debt' to
society is never satisfied. Your 'record' follows you around until you die. It acts a permanent reminder to society that they should keep an eye on
I personally feel that some people can never be rehabilitated. Some people are so fundamentally flawed that they can never exist within a
'civilized' society. What we do with those people now, is either kill them, again playing god, or just keep them locked up forever so we don't have
to be afraid of them any more.
Killing is wrong, it's ugly and it is rarely completely fair. If I shoot the guy that broke into my house because he's a burglar, I'm within my
legal 'rights.' When I find out that his children were starving and he had reached the end of his rope and had exhausted his ability to reason
through the problem, my 'rights' get a little more selfish and distorted.
I think crime and evil are definitely related in the human consciousness, but that the problem is that we are too shallow to really understand what's
happening. If there were no reasons to steal, there would not be theft. No reason to see your children starve, or have an uncontrollable addiction,
there would be the elimination of so many crimes, and so much evil.
I know it probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but I honestly feel that evil, and crime are both just labels that are created to allow us to be
comfortable in our superiority of one another. Rather than address the core needs, the fundamental REASONS that people do these things, it's much
easier to slap a label on them and sleep well at night knowing that we aren't as 'bad' as they are. Then when we ignore the problems facing our
society, we can just chalk them all up to crime, or evil and forget about our need to be involved, generous and compassionate.
If my neighbors children are starving, it's as much MY fault as it is his.