Thursday, November 15, 2007

Solving the hard problem of evil

Evil is archaistic. It is a carryover from primitive man. Primitive man could not survive without human action that contemporarily would be considered evil. To have the ability to perform an evil act was necessary for survival in that era.

When man first met man, it aroused fear, ambivalence, and then curiosity. Curiosity led to social binding, even though there was no clear way of communicating. That first meeting was intuitive and came solely of the sense one had of the other -- a telepathic interaction; an interaction that was the result of the very essence of consciousness. This first interaction was completely void of any associative material value or objective value consideration. It was purely subjective. At some point, man met woman, or woman met man, and the inevitable resulting copulation was the progenitor of the human race.

After the first copulation, all other sexual relationships were incestuous, and there was inbreeding. Incest is considered immoral by today’s standards. Incest, and in some instances inbreeding is unlawful in our contemporary world. Evolutionary biology and evolved human psychology persisted and we grew out of the existential need of incest and inbreeding to a human aversion to it.

Social binding evolved into groupings of individuals. As these groups evolved and became larger groupings, they split into tribes. Cultures developed. Increasingly the competition for resources came into being. The first acquisition of property was the result of theft. This first acquisition of property may or may not have been violent, but surely, when there was no way of clandestinely acquiring property, coercion ruled the day. Evil and good became cofactors to a viable life.

As man evolved, he acquired knowledge of tool making, and developed language to communicate his knowledge. He developed concepts of law and justice, as well as a means of exchange. As he became more knowledgeable, the choice of evil over good became not as necessary. In our contemporary world, for entertainment we no longer roast a cat or throw men in arenas with lions; burn witches at the stake; embrace blatant misogyny; or embrace blatant racism. However, the psychology involved in some of this evil still persist, but has evolved and taken a different form: the brutality and violence of boxing and in other sports; the incivility we accept and even idolize in our viewing of reality shows and its voyeurism; the acceptance of expressions of incivility, immorality and evil in our music, art, and theaters, and in the decisions we make in our viewing preferences, which are clearly exemplified by the electronic and print media who elicit virulent reaction to maximize viewing or readership.

Exploitation of evil came into being with man’s invention of religion. The parable of Adam and Eve is a perfect metaphoric example of how man got it wrong.

Man created the universe. The first man in our universe created that first image of that other man. Man therefore created good and evil, and so man can eliminate evil if man’s desire is to do so.

So, evil is not a problem associated with free will; nor does it exist to complement good in that evil is the balance for all that is good; nor is it necessary to have the confliction of an omnipotent God, or any other theodicy of evil. A solution cannot be mandated nor can a solution be within the purview of religion, which is in itself archaic. It is going to take the process of evolution to a higher level of consciousness, a greater evolution to complete knowledge that will eventually marginalize evil.

There may be a day, and I am hopeful that there will be that day in the very, very distant future when our evolution has taken humans to a place where evil is not part of the decisional process. A place where man will have complete knowledge, knowledge amongst other considerations that religion (all religion) was, and is, a bad idea, and the evil option will be hopefully nonexistent.

War, in anyway one might define it, is the embodiment of evil. War causes destruction, injury, pain, and suffering characterized by hate, anger, maliciousness, and injustice. All evil by anyone’s definition are cofactors of war. In war, you will find every evil known to man. It is the greatest of all evil because in spite of its inherent immorality, man, whether religious or secular, still support military action as necessary, or will use the reasoning: after all, the bible says there will always be “wars and rumors of wars.” With our allegorical myths of war, we glorify war, and instill in our children that war has a benevolent association with nationalism and patriotism, heroics and idolatry, morality, and glory.

Peace Warriors must imbue in others that evil is a primitive impulse, that there is an underlying reality, a metaconsciousness, a better way, which is beyond and transcendent to our current understanding. A consciousness that was so authentically expressed when man first met man.

Peace Warriors must create an understanding in others that everyone has a different “here and now,” and how important to each of us is the discovery that “I Am.” We are the creator of our Universe. Consciousness is not inherent in the Universe but the Universe is inherent in consciousness.

The solution to solving the hard problem of evil is embedded in a new way of thinking. Evil is a result of not having complete knowledge, and so, because of man’s limited knowledge and therefore limited options, man’s choice continues to be a choice between good and evil, at least for the time being.