Damien on… Good And Evil
Good and evil are only objective concepts.
I mean, supposing I’m an office-worker who’s on his way to a cafe to buy lunch. I only have a two-pound coin on me. Just enough for a sandwich, a coffee and a Kit-Kat. And then an attractive young girl buttonholes me, waves a tin under my nose and asks me if I can spare something for Children With Hairy Backs.
I have three courses of action. One – tell her I’m sorry, but I have no change (or I gave at the office, or some other excuse). Two – give her my two pounds, while letting her KNOW it’s my last cash (I’ve a season ticket to get me home and do not possess plastic) and I’m giving up my LUNCH for her. Or three – give her my lunch money and a smile and say nothing.
Now most people would say option one was the LEAST noble and three, the MOST noble. But to me, NONE were “noble”. With option one, I was brushing her off in favour of feeding myself. With two, I was forcing her approbation. And with three, I was simply trading a slightly empty feeling at around four pm for the girl’s smile.
People do stuff for a reason (or for no reason – in which case it’s a pointless act) and it always benefits THEM – albeit sometimes obliquely. Only viewed from the OUTSIDE does an act appear generous or mean – good or evil. From the point of view of the doer, it is always justifiable and simply IS.
Even someone who gives all they HAVE to charity may simply be doing so when they see how f***ed up the World is and decide they cannot LIVE with themselves unless they do everything they CAN. Thus, by their action, rather than gaining a warm fuzzy feeling inside, they are simply protecting themselves against feeling BAD.
Did Hitler wake up every morning and think, “What a bastard I am”? Of course not. He just saw himself as a strong leader with tough decisions to make. Did Mother Theresa wake up every morning and think, “What a wonderful person I am”? No again. She had a calling and just got on with it.
So there IS no SUBJECTIVE good and evil. Only the EFFECTS of our actions. So don’t feel smug next time you do something good. You’re as selfish as the rest of us! (But give the girl the money anyway).