Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Epoch Ch4 Good vs Evil

Among all the millions of inhabitants sharing planet earth, humans are the only species capable of spirituality. Even those who proclaim themselves agnostic exercise a measure of spirituality.

Spirituality is not falling on your knees and praying to a supernatural deity whose existence you accept on faith alone.

Sharks, lions, and eagles do not pray. As I previously pointed out, their existence revolves around food and procreation. With humans, another force is at play, and that’s the pursuit of happiness according to a moral compass governed by spirituality. 

Regardless of religion or origin, every human confronts life with an individual understanding of right and wrong. The vast gray areas between these moral extremes raise questions that are best left to be answered by Yahweh, Jehovah, Zeus, Allah, Buddha, Ra, God, Jupiter, Shiva, Inti, Odin, The Sun, The Moon, and other forms of higher power humans deem worthy of worship and adoration and in some cases, omnipotence.

The universal mandate of each of these deities is to be a good human, but what exactly does it mean to be good?

The concept of good is not written in stone. It’s fluid. It’s interchangeable. It manages to justify extreme actions, and good is deemed good by the victorious side of an argument. Isn’t it?

Bad is the opposite of good, but it doesn’t mean it’s been defined any clearer. The concept of bad is also fluid, and much like good, it’s defined by the victorious side of an argument.

Allow me to better illustrate this concept. American soldiers are sent overseas to battle Nazi forces in the Second World War. The allies battle their bloody way into France through tremendous sacrifice and sheer determination. They kill thousands of Nazis and defeat them, eventually freeing France. The heroic triumph results in history bestowing the title of good guys to the Americans.

Now try switching perspective. 

German boys and men rush to defend a beach head to guard the Aryan ideals and secure the future of their nation. They gallantly defend their right to make France a part of the German dream, but the evil American war machine breaks through and chases the once mighty German Army back to Berlin.

Good and bad. Good and evil. Although every master of higher spirituality has commanded you love your brother as you love yourself, both combatants earn both labels depending on their place in history. The German people of the 1930’s regarded their Nazi troops as the good guys, and the opposition was the villain.

As it turned out, the Allied forces claimed the right to enter the annals of history as the good guys, and most of the world has acknowledged this fact.

Evil is a tangible phenomenon that has been demonstrated by every single protagonist of human history at one time or another. 

Hitler murdered hundreds of thousands, Russia wrote their history in blood through the deeds of their ideals and monsters like Stalin, the Spanish destroyed entire civilizations in the New World under the pretense of spreading God's word. Kofi destroyed the lives of countless children in his pursuit for a deranged army. An American President and his team of elite scientists left their mark in history through decisions that annihilated Japanese cities, and a crazed, hateful group of backward, bearded, zealots plotted the destruction of two famous towers, resulting in the death of innocents who did nothing more than go to work that September morning. As horrid as it is to contemplate, these protagonists of history are deemed heroes, depending on the way their contributions to history affected people. 

Oh how far we’ve gotten away from my initial purpose as a manuscript. My most sincere apologies.

However, some points demand an argument, and the subject of good vs evil and hero against villain is worth exploring from my point of view because of one undeniable truth: a manuscript such as myself, a compilation of pages incapable of taking a spiritual stance, cannot possibly bring you a story without the conflict of good versus evil.

And thus, we begin.

to be continued...


  1. I agree, bad and good are relative terms. I came to accept their relativeness when I moved to the States. Whatever I thought was based on my personal history and culture. But, there's also absolute good and bad when it comes to killing/abusing and every nation and culture is culpable of such absolute evil. It becomes tricky when the individual acts in name of his/her nation and culture.

    1. I understand perfectly about personal history and culture's influences on views of good and evil. I agree with you a hundred percent

  2. Duality is always more interesting than a rigid viewpoint. I would also agree it is a writer's work to help the reader to understand the perceptions of others. When looking at good vs evil though, I guess the difficulty lies in what's accurate vs fantasy - and the line we tread within this. Not such a problem if your written world is a fantasy world, but it can become more tricky to navigate when writing about historical events. For example, America joining the war was clearly an important turning point, with countless acts of heroism, but they made a late entry. It was the allied forces as a whole that stopped the Nazis achieving their aim (my father would have been able to spend hours talking on this - he read virtually every book written on the Second world War..! I grew up feeling as if it was his life's work, even though it was simply a consuming interest). Yet Hollywood continues to rewrite history in its own image, despite ample documented evidence to present the 'real story'. It can be dangerous to play with perception - views can be changed, but is the change for the greater good and is it factual? Does factual matter? You only have to look at the effort spent in developing wartime or political propaganda to question the power of writing in regard to good and evil. Persuading people to follow particular factions is clearly open to corruption in itself. Is propaganda the stuff of fantasy or simply a calling to the people to inspire them to patriotic duty? Is it evil to do this if it means the death of innocents? Or is it good if the final result means a greater number of innocents are saved? Does a Machiavellian viewpoint, where the means justifies the end, actually have a moral compass? Does it matter if it doesn't, as long as you win? Is survival of the fittest all that really counts - and if so, where is that leading the human race? Will we become better people or more evil from this? Each individual's analysis probably depends on who gets hurt. Big questions Javier - so where are you leading us in this? Interesting.

    1. Only time will tell. It's all up to the script itself, believe it or not, that's the challenge. I love everything you brought into it. Lots of directions where to go next. Stay tuned.