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Re: is evil real?

Jan 03, 1994 11:25 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

These are big questions which no one can claim to answer
thoroughly. But I would submit that in Vladimir Zhirinovksy we
are seeing as pure an expression of evil as has manifested
since Hitler. The essence of human evil is, in my tentative
view, the compulsion to destroy those who are different from
ourselves. In Bosnia this is apparent on all sides, especially
among the Serbs, even though the alleged "different" ones are
racially and linguistically identical to their persecutors. There,
and in India, adherence to the "wrong" religion is reason enough in
itself to be killed. For Zhirinovsky's ilk, Latvians, Belorussians,
etc. all deserve to die because their independent existence is
somehow threatening to Russia's identity as a power.

Destructive impulses toward those different from ourselves can
manifest much more subtly than in these cases. Anyone pursuing
a spiritual path faces the temptation to denigrate everyone on a
different path. Despite Theosophy's proclamation of tolerance,
Theosophical attitudes seem no better or worse in practice than
the average.

As to where this evil comes from, I suggest that it is natural
biological "fight or flight" mechanisms that remain part of our
genetic inheritance. In animals, this is a morally neutral
part of nature. In humans, it becomes the root of all evil.

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