The Sea of Holes

Have you ever tried to imagine a world without evil? One of the things that gets in the way is that you first have to define just what evil is, and that is a very slippery thing indeed.

Does evil require intention? One of the things I was taught as a young Catholic was that major sinning requires knowing that you are doing something bad. That’s why if I kill a man for the sport of it, it’s evil, but if a lion kills a man for the sport of it, it’s still bad, but it’s not evil. So what about other animal actions. Anybody that has had much contact with dogs and cats knows that they can be taught that some things are bad to do, but that knowing they are not supposed to do something doesn’t necessarily stop them from doing it; especially when their owners aren’t around, and especially, especially if they’re upset about their owners not being around. So when these animals do bad things with the intent of punishing their owners, are they being evil?

And one thing I really don’t want to get into is the notion of how far down the spectrum of human intelligence does someone have to drop before they lose the capacity to do evil. And what about sociopaths? Does it matter that they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong even though they know that the rest of us think what they’re doing is wrong?

The world is a messy muddy place. Sometimes trying to define things is just an exercise in frustration.

I brought my musings to God and asked him if he could clear things up. He told me that my problem was that I wanted language to be something more than the imperfect representation of thought that it is. He told me that language is a vast bag filled with all sorts of pegs, round ones, square ones, triangular ones, and reality is a sea of round holes. He told me that I would just have to accept that some pegs can never be properly fitted to their holes. But you know, I think I’ll still keep on trying. I may not find a perfect fit, but I may find a better one.

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