# Terrorists # understanding evil #Socrates # Jeremy Corbyn
I want to understand evil. I want to know what goes on in the mind of a person who wakes up one day…decides that today is the day and goes out and blows himself up. Taking with him anyone in his path. Including 8 year olds. Does he brush his teeth that day? I wonder. Does he kiss his mother? I know we are not supposed to talk about terrorists. Jeremy Corbyn will probably lose the election for suggesting such a thing. But I am not Jeremy Corbyn and I want to talk about them. I want to go there. I have always said to anyone that would listen that the only way to deal with a problem is to deal with it. Ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t exist makes matters worst. It gives it more power. Saying we are not afraid of terrorists doesn’t mean we are not afraid of terrorists . Who are we kidding? Talking about them is not the same as talking to them. Talk about them is not the same as befriending or sympathising or colluding with them. Talking about evil is acknowledging that evil exists.
But while I’m at it…who said we shouldn’t talk to terrorists. Why does talking to terrorists just to find out what the fuck they want from us weaken our resolve. If we are right…then we are right aren’t we? Who made this universal unwavering law…who? Based on what? And…and…and if not talking to terrorists worked then why hasn’t it worked?
Back on topic.
If we have no problem talking about good stuff we should have little problem talking about bad stuff. If there was no evil we wouldn’t know good. If there was no evil, we would have nothing to measure good against.
Could evil have a purpose. Hard to contemplate. I don’t know what it is about the human condition but it always takes something really awful to happen to get our attention. Why does it take something as mind numbing as a terrorist attack to make us remember kindness and empathy. Why do we gives thanks to the people who put themselves on the line to protect us on special occasions only?
Is the purpose of evil to remind us to connect with each other? When evil strikes everyone starts talking about a better world. Strangers talk. When evil presents itself we push back with love and good deeds. Out of evil comes good. Always. But if this is the case…and it is because we have seen it…does it mean that out of good comes evil? Are people born evil or is it their experiences that offer them no alternative than to go down the evil route?
This takes me back to my first question. What is it that causes someone to get out of bed and decide to kill? Are the terrorists psychopaths or sociopaths? Well we’ll never know because they are never around to ask. But what we do know about psychopaths is that they are not in the habit of blowing themselves up. That’s not their modus operandi. The terrorists evil is different. Their evil is prepared to destroy itself in the name of itself. This is the mother of all evil. We can’t get our heads around such awfulness. We can’t comprehend why and how someone could blow themselves up. But maybe if you were a child in a war torn country where stuff is blown up around you…it becomes away of life. If you had witnessed your family and friends blown to smithereens then maybe the only thing that could stop your pain is to hate. How many people do you think you would need to see blown up before ‘being blown up’ is the norm in your head? If you had been raised from a small child to believe that when you died you would get to see all your family again, pick up 77 virgins and sit next to Allah into the bargain, then maybe death becomes an easy decision to make. We in the West don’t get it because we are so messed up when it comes to death and dying. Evil can tap into our fears. We are obsessed about not getting old. Evil can tap into our weakness. We are crazy about technology and what’s going on but they are not getting our attention. So evil make us sit up and pay attention.
Classifications of evil
I wonder why we tolerate the fact that thousands of woman die each year violently at the hands of their husbands or that thousands of children die through child abuse…that millions of young girls will be sold in to slavery and die at childbirth. Aren’t all these things evil. All of these things we seem to tolerate in our society. We swipe to the left when we see children living under terrible conditions in distant countries. Do some children have more rights to life than others? Does evil have a grading system?
Socrates believed that no one willingly chooses evil. No one would do harm to themselves because the human instinct to survive is too strong. So the reason why people do evil things is as a result of ignorance and a lack of understanding rather than an intention to do harm. He said that no one in their right mind would harm themselves if they new a way not to. When people know better they do better. All those years ago Socrates advocated that the way to combat evil is through knowledge. In order to get knowledge you had to ask questions and seek to find out. He said that using evil to get rid of evil would never work and it only brought more evil…and that was just before they killed him.
They didn’t listen then…we are not listening now!