Topic category: Other/General
Equating Evil with Insanity
The current debate about whether or not the President of Iran is crazy or not should bring us back to the central importance of morality in our lives. It does not matter whether Ahmadinejad is mentally stable or not. It only matters whether he is good or evil. We moderns try to finesse good and evil by pretending that moral issues are not moral issues.
So, we are told, if we were only well educated, all would be well. Education does not cure moral illnesses any more than science and technology cure moral illnesses. Nazi Germany had one of the best educated populations in human history and it had technology so advanced that, in some areas, it took the rest of the human race fifty years to catch up with the Nazis. And yet the Nazis were as near to pure evil as we are likely to find. Such of the brightest minds in Great Britain loved Stalin and Mussolini and yet both these apologists and the monsters they admired were evil.
So, we are told, if we were affluent and prosperous, all would be well. Wealth does not cure moral illnesses at all. Hollywood is a perfect example of how wealth makes people morally depraved. Bin Ladin was much richer than most Americans. Wealth, without moral purpose, leads to boredom then nihilism then envy of those with moral purpose then to evil.
So, we are told, if we were physically healthy, all would be well. But health is relative. Life is the process of dying. While it is good to be joyful to be alive, the inevitability of death makes an obsession with life at any cost a flaw in human nature. Good health, like education and prosperity, are tools which can make moral purpose much more useful in reliving the troubles of life.
There is a causal connection between education, wealth and health, but we easily confuse which is the cause and which is the effect. When people live good, moral lives, then they tend – on the whole – to become better educated, to gain more material blessings, and to be healthier. That is the history of the Jewish people. Serious interest in learning Torah, serious interest in productive work, temperance, integrity and marital fidelity – all have a long-term cumulative effect on how well any people do in the real world.
So, we are told, evil is a form of madness. Is evil simply a variety of mental illness? Only if we deny that evil exists at all. Jews, Poles, Kulaks and other good people crammed into cattle cars without light, without water, without air, without room to sit down, without sanitation of any sort, would often be driven insane in their Hellish journeys from one part of the Nazi camp system to another. Did that make them evil?
Adolph Eichmann, the man who implemented much of this incomprehensible wickedness, was rigorously examined by psychiatrists and determined to be perfectly sane. Many of the high ranking Nazis at Nuremburg were also found to be both very smart and perfectly sane. Evil throughout history has often been shrewd, clever, clear-eyed, stable and calm.
When Mike Wallace visits with Ahmadinejad and says that he is friendly, rational and open, we do a disservice to moral purpose by pretending that this might not, indeed, be true. It is the evil of Ahmadinejad that should trouble us, not his mental state or his education. Grasping this salient fact requires something systematically removed from popular consciousness: moral absolutes. Good and evil exist in the world. Both are very real and are not matters of perspective or relative positions. Murdering people, for example, is evil. Creating ridiculous libels about Jews or about America or about Christians or about Israel is evil. There is no wiggle room. Good and evil are not matters of taste. Good and evil exist.
Can men like Ahmadinejad have a different “good” than other people? No. Dying to gain entrance to some celestial brothel is not goodness. Faith is not identical to morality. History is full of men who have absolute faith in the power of evil. The Aztecs committed unspeakable crimes based upon faith that torture and mass murder would be rewarded by evil powers. Japanese doctors in China did horrific things which drove good people insane with a blind faith in a metaphysical system that was fundamentally evil. Good and evil are absolutes, and faith in evil is not goodness. Ahmadinejad is not crazy. He simply worships evil.
Biography - Bruce Walker
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and MenÕs News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.