Evil Is to Blame


#1

This isn’t exactly a Left vs. Right kind of issue - though it seems to end up that way sometimes. But for lack of a better place for this article:

Evil Is to Blame


J. Christian Adams
December 14th, 2012 - 6:12 pm

Pay close attention to what gets blamed for the Newtown school shooting. Evil is to blame for these horrific murders and nothing else. Listen closely to the rhetoric over the coming weeks. How often will evil be named as the cause of the horror?

Not often, I suspect.

Failing to name it evil lets evil flourish. If the sight of planes slamming into the World Trade Center towers wasn’t enough to comfortably believe in evil, maybe the horror in Connecticut will be.

Denial of conscious, deliberate evil makes it easier to deny the existence of conscious and deliberate good. If deliberate evil exists, then deliberate good must also. Otherwise human history would be one long ruinous loop of Stalin’s gulags and Pol Pot’s murder factories. Thankfully, those black times are broken up by goodness.

Evil seeks to destroy human life, human dignity, and even civilizations. Goodness and light offer an alternative. The sort of world we have is determined by what you and those around you choose. A man in Connecticut accepted evil.

A culture that values goodness is a necessary prerequisite to discouraging evil. A culture of light and life relegates evil to the diminishing margins. This is a story as old as time. A culture of violence toward life and toward the dignity of every human eventually produces violence toward life, period. What else would you expect to happen?

The Romans were dumbfounded by the strange stubborn Jewish sect that prayerfully martyred themselves to Roman savagery. The intoxicated and bloodthirsty roars of the coliseum could not overcome the transformational power of the new alternative. Rome crumbled while the philosophy of those martyrs transformed the world.

That’s the story of this Christmas, and that’s why the evil in Newtown must be called by its true name.

Do not miss that brief but critical paragraph in the middle of the excerpts I quoted. Adams is not committing the error he condemns - blaming the slaughter on something inanimate. Rather, he is condemning what the murderer decided to be, in the hours, days, months and years before the moments when he murdered his mother and when he slaughtered those children. He didn’t wake up one day and decide, “From now on, I will be evil.” Like other monsters - those worse than him and those less than him - his evil was the culmination of 10s, 100s, even 1000s of thousands of “little” decisions that took him step by step to mass murder.

When are we going to stop blaming inanimate objects - like guns - and take a long, hard, look at ourselves for the monster-wannabes that may be raging inside us, looking for outlets to wreak pain and destruction?! And for good we can cultivate in us to bring human and Divine grace and mercy to those around us?


#2

And maybe we ought to take a good, long, hard look at how responsible we’re being by forcing people who are mentally deranged to fit in with main stream society.
**Note, I didn’t say, “mentally challenged.” I said, “Deranged.”

I realize that’s going to bring forth a lot of questions; such as, "How do we measure ‘deranged’, and who does the measuring?"
They’re good questions because they’re tough questions. But the longer we avoid them, the longer we put off our responsibility to the individuals who need care, and to society, in general.
Which can be pretty darn evil, itself.

Of course we don’t want to go locking up everybody who’s had a bad hair day. But this handing out psychotropics and depending on the psychotic to take them so he can function hasn’t been working out too well, either.

There’s got to be a better way.


#3

America has lost it’s morals.

I could fill a page with examples, but if you chose not to see, nothing will open your eyes.


#4

Bingo!


#5

But this handing out psychotropics and depending on the psychotic to take them so he can function hasn’t been working out too well, either.

That’s something-or-other-ist, and as soon as I figure out what that something-or-other is I’ll report you to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to that Something-or-Other! Seriously, people like that populate many cities’ parks and other homeless hang-outs. But the pols can’t admit the abject failure of the past 5 decades or so of thus dealing with the mentally ill.

But at this point I don’t think this murderer was deranged to the point of thinking he was plinking watermelons. His were planned and directed acts of hatred, not random.


#6

Exactly, Columbine had been planned over a year in advance, the Colorado theater shooting was planned in advance as well. Western society does not believe in evil anymore, however, as it is inconvenient.


#7

Yeah. I remember the day of ‘letting them all out of the asylum because we have no right to keep people jailed who haven’t commited a crime against their will’ day.
How’s that working out for us so far?
No, we don’t want to go back to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but at the same time, it seems society and the medical field has learned a thing or two since that time.

But at this point I don’t think this murderer was deranged to the point of thinking he was plinking watermelons. His were planned and directed acts of hatred, not random.

So? We have to wait until a guy gets to the point of “plinking watermelons” before we judge that he’s not stable enough to deal with society on a rational level?
And, fwiw, I’d say “planned acts of hatred” at this level only proves my point.

That’s not ‘normal’ behavior. It’s psychotic.

Western society does not believe in evil anymore, however, as it is inconvenient.

And that is evil of us.


#8

“Psychotic” is often just another word for evil.


#9

Certainly EVIL is to blame this begs the question: Where was GOD?

Where was GOD?

Ask the ACLU, ask the federal, state, local and school adminstrators

Ask where prayer is

Ask where the Christmas play went

Ask where the cross went

Ask where the Constitution is displayed

Ask where the American Flag is

Ask where the Pledge of Allegiance is

Ask where “one nation under GOD” is

Where GOD is NOT, EVIL reins supreme, we pushed GOD out and invited EVIL IN!!!

You are right GOD was not there, NOT by his choosing but by our choosing[LEFT][/LEFT]


#10

I’m going to have to watch, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest again.
It taught us a lot; some of which we may be able to take away with us when revisiting the idea of separating the sane from the insane.


#11

On the topic of the mentally ill/deranged:

One problem is many disorders linked to homicidal and suicidal tendencies present themselves with symptoms that cause the afflicted to minimise their interactions with others and therefore minimise the chance of their disorder being identified. The deficiency in functioning of the brain’s systems linked to emotional response means they may not draw pleasure from social interactions, and symptoms leading to avoidant behavior like social anxiety are often present. A lot of the time when you read about suicides and homicides the people interviewed who knew the perpetrator say they would never have expected it. Also, some those who openly show violent (towards self or others) tendencies don’t actually have the intent of acting on them, instead some imbalance is causing them to seek attention and they resort to things like self-harm, etc.

Another problem is that if you look at the diagnostic manuals (DSM-IV and ICD-10 in the West), they are really subjective. Studies have been conducted where the same people are sent to different psychiatrists and describe the same symptoms but get radically different diagnoses, or even one where the researchers for the purposes of the experiment easily faked symptoms to get themselves committed. Wish I could remember more from the psychology course I took, I used to be able to name some specific studies. Much of the diagnosis is dependent on self-reporting by the patient, who may simply be asked whether he has any thoughts of harming himself or others, and if he answers no it goes no further until the next session.

You’re invariably going to end up with a lot of people being diagnosed with the wrong disorder, not being diagnosed with anything when they actually should be, or diagnosed with something when they are actually fine.

All of this poses a huge problem to justifying involuntary commitment on the scale that would be needed to significantly reduce the number of tragedies. Some system needs to be put in place to strictly monitor whether outpatients with violent tendencies are taking their medication as directed. Except that also poses a problem as feeling like they are being watched will exacerbate symptoms like anxiety and paranoia. It’s a hard issue to deal with.


#12

Children need and thrive on direction.
Without it, they are lost.
It won’t save them all, but it sure would save a lot.

(Ack! I can’t get the underline to disappear! Sorry for the overkill on point.)


#13

Whether you call it “evil”, “mental-illness”, “psychotic behavior”, “Godlessness”, “Satanic-possession”, or whatever, it’s pretty clear “it” exists. It also seems clear “it” comes from a lack of moral bearing. My guess is that if you looked at societies that had some kind of religious belief system as part of their culture, you would find less of this nonsense. But then the “religious” angle includes Extreme Islamic societies, which we know has bred Terrorism lately. So the morals provided by religion need to come from religions that are a little more tolerant than Extreme Islam (understatement). It can’t be “You follow MY religion or it’s OK for me or my God to condemn and kill you.” That’s pretty much an amoral promotion of hate, and an excuse for hate crimes . . . the very thing we’re trying to prevent.

So “morals” for sure, and religion . . . well, it has to be a belief system that decries hate, in all its forms.

But to convert a society to have a moral compass, which a good many in the US have lost, is not something that’s going to happen overnight or something that’s going to happen through legislation. You can’t make it a law to believe a certain way . . . that’s what the Extreme Islamic states (Saudi Arabia?) have done and just look at the results if you think that’s the solution.

People have to be convinced that the moral/religious path is something that they voluntarily trust and want because it’s good for them and others. That’s a Herculean task, even moreso considering the materialism, instant gratification, and the other trends in the US these days.

Another Herculean problem we have on this, which 2cent mentioned and is pretty much a reiteration of what Volk said, is identifying the “deranged”. Never mind who’s going to do the identifying (which is a whole 'nother issue), but even before THAT you’re going to have to figure out HOW to identify them.

Not all “deranged” people present those symptoms perpetually. Certainly there are some where the symptoms are obvious and on display all the time. Those are the ones where we may say they should be in the looney bin. But, there are plenty that have lucid moments frequently, enough to make the judgment that they are looney on a slippery slope. To use Cuckoos Nest as an example, Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) was kind and pleasant (“normal”?) with Billy, the kid that stuttered and eventually committed suicide because Nurse Ratchit herself was “deranged”.

My wife, God Bless’r, is another good example. She has advanced Alzheimer’s, but if you met her on the street, she’s very pleasant, sociable, sweet, and kind. You’d think, “Hey, here’s a nice lady, certainly NOT somebody that should be in a looney bin.” But she has fits of rage and violence and sooner or later I’m going to have to have her committed, but not right now. At the moment she’s only a danger to herself and I can control her. But the minute she becomes a danger to others or I can no longer control her, I’m going to have to make a hard decision.

Bottom line, it’s sometimes hard to even identify evil until it pops it’s ugly head. And it’s going to take a long time to get this US society back to a moral one. Quick fixes, like gun-control legislation, ain’t gonna’ do it.


#14

O-Not, I didn’t realize that Alzheimer’s could lead to fits of rage. Oh, bless your and wife’s hearts. It’s easy to tell that you are of a kind sort, and could only have chosen a woman who is kind-hearted. It grieves me what you must be going though. The only people I’ve known who’ve suffered Alzheimer’s became docile, so that’s completely new to me.

But I hear what you’re saying about how we must be careful as to who we relagate to hospital care, AND those who will do the caring. It’s a quandry, to be sure.

However, there is one pattern we know to keep eye on; children who torment animals, then start starting fires. It invariably leads to very violent behavior, in one form or another.
I’m not saying lock up the kid at first sight of seeing him kick a cat. A wonder if there’s a boy in this world who hasn’t done that.

I don’t know what we, as a society can do. Wish I did.
I know of a couple who did everything in thier right mind to get one of their sons to come around. (Mr.2 is more acquainted than I.) IIRC, they wanted to have him committed, but no hospital would take him 'cuz by then, he was 18. You don’t want to hear what he went to prison for…and got out. (How the woman he mutilated lived, even doctors do not know. But she managed to crawl to get help, and that’s how he got caught. How many others?, is the only thing one can ask.)
Bastards like that don’t only need to be locked up for life, they need to be exterminated.
Yet, we keep foisting them back onto society.
WHY???!!!


#15

ObamaNOT,

My thoughts and prayers are with your wife and you. Even though her Alzheimers makes her become violent, she is not evil.

We lost a member of our extended family to Alzheimers a few years ago on Christmas Eve. She and her husband stood in as my wife’s parents at our wedding. They were effectively grandparents to our son.

While she never really became violent, she would become easily irritated. Fortunately, her husband and the rest of the family were able to see it coming re-direct the situation. She loved children and worked many years as a pediatric nurse. Any time small children were present, her attention always went to them. I never saw so much unconditional love and interest for all children within some one’s view. Even as her Alzheimers progressed, you could tell that she still loved children. However, happy children usually get excited, become more active, and can become louder. This would trigger irritation.

She also didn’t like strangers in the home (even if everyone else knew them). Our neighbor has a side cleaning business and she was hired to clean their house. On cleaning day, they would have to find an activity outside of the home for her or she would become angry that someone else was in her house and cleaning it.

While she never became violent, it seemed that detecting the irritation and diverting her attention to other things diffused the situation.

She was a wonderful lady. She was able to visit with all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren before she quietly went into a permanent knap on Christmas Eve on the couch in her own family room. A place where she had knapped many times before. If this lady is not in Heaven now then no one is.


#16

And for the record, I call it evil.
2. My belief is that we don’t do the actual converting, although we can choose to participate.
3. I’d say a Godly task, which why mere men can’t do it.


#17

Is evil to blame? Certainly! But nothing makes evil more efficient than a high-powered rifle with an extra-capacity magazine.


#18

And NOTHING defeats evil better than than a gas operated, high capacity magazine fed, AR 15 the FREE worlds RIGHT ARM and the BRAVE Principal who confronted the evil one, might have won the battle had she been armed…


#19

Happiness is a warm gun, I see. While I do understand your point in the abstract, I am appalled at the notion of requiring educators to carry loaded firearms while on the job. This was a nut-case, plain and simple, and I disagree that we must arm those who care for our children in order to “fight fire with fire”.

Gun violence is an epidemic in this country, but our Constitution demands that citizens have easy access to as much guns and ammunition as they desire. As I’ve posted on the main Sandy Hook thread, if these rights are of such value to gunowners, then gunowners should be ready and willing to take responsibility for the predictible costs of gun violence. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. If you want to be able to assemble an arsenal, then you should be required to obtain insurance against the potential of that arsenal being misused. That’s what any responsible member of a “militia” ought, fairly, to conclude.


#20

Can you PLEASE show me where I said that??? Or anyone else on here…An armed society is a polite society…

No YOU want to have your cake an eat it too.

One of the top serious accidents comes from ladders, so I guess anyone who owns a ladder should pay for someone who falls.

DWI, then we should randomly take away drivers license from people in Utah when someone in NY gets a DWI.

You most likely own a hammer, I hit my thumb with a hammer the other day, had to go to the doctor, give me YOUR address, gonna send YOU the bill

Your logic like liberal logic makes zero sense…