Proof of Evil…
One of the great fallacies of liberal thinking, and one outlined by both John Keke’s in Against Liberalism and Irving Kristol in the essay ‘High, Low, and Modern” is the idea that human nature is inherently good. The position adopted by many, and necessary to justify removal of any restriction liberal autonomy, is the notion that we possess a nature docile and altruistic by default, or perhaps a blank slate, whereby our individual personality is either corrupted or impressed upon us by the society at large. If one adopts this mode of thinking, and very many have, they reject the notion of outright evil existing in the world. Well, today, I wish to offer an anecdote that outlines just how dark the nature of man is. I am not asserting a proof, but rather introducing an example that stands testament to the case that the heinous acts taken by one man against another are evidence of a darker soul then one that could be produced purely through societal corruption.
The Boy in the Hospital
I work in a Hospital in Canada, and for my own privacy’s sake will not say, which, however the place I work has one of the most important Children’s Hospitals in the world, where just last month we received a patient who had been horribly mutilated. The patient, who arrived during my shift, was a 14-year-old boy who had been found left in the foundation of a house under construction after RCMP received a noise complaint. When they found the boy, little that mattered was left. A machete wielding assailant had attacked him. The boy was unconscious missing his thumb numerous defensive founds covered his arms, he had been beaten nearly to death, and worst of all, he had been sliced from cheek to cheek and all around his skull giving him a Chelsea smile that covered the full 360 degrees of his head and required hundreds of sutures to fix. Upon the arrival of more police to investigate I had to assist them with belongings, the individual was so maimed it took days to I.D him. If you search the internet you will find the story reported from various news outlets, because the mother disclosed it to the media.
I do not wish to say much more than this act, inflicted on a child, involved in drugs, gang activity, or any other kind of misbehavior is not a fitting response for anything. Rather it is indicative of a malevolence scarcely imaginable. Reprisals are common, but the egregious nature of the crime, and the victim’s age, make the foulness of the act that much worse. Perhaps I assume to much about the conditioning of the human psyche, but currently the RCMP believe that the injuries were inflicted by a 15 year old; I scarcely believe that a 15 year old could be so traumatized and disturbed by his or perhaps corrupted by his environment in such a short period of time to be convinced that what I encountered was not extant evil.
I could indulge the readers in endless historical examples of disgusting, disturbing, and inexplicably violent or malevolent behavior perpetuated by mankind, but I think that I furnish a strong enough anecdote that the reader may come to their own conclusions. However, suffice to say that world is not place where man can rely on comfortable and promissory notions of human redemption and goodness. Rather, I believe that people adopt a delusional position when they insist upon an objectively ‘good’ human nature. Rather the denial of the diversity within the human soul is one that puts us all at risk due to naivety. This denial leads to not just personal risk, but political consequence.
What do I mean by political consequence, I mean that we often objectively advocate for rights, freedom, and rehabilitation of the individual and society as if it were some form of panacea. We convince ourselves that we live in a world were freedom and autonomy may only enhance our lives when we neglect to remember that the same freedom we afford ourselves is freedom given over to, and destined to become, an instrument of humanity’s evil. The failure to inculcate in society positive habit, positive morality, moral stricture, and an awareness of human frailty leads not societal ailments exasperated by dogmatic individualism and community suffering. Society' become unable to take a moral stand. Pope Francis denying the air of religious war manifest in the activities of ISIS… the abolition of death penalties for even the most heinous crime, and the enabling of recidivism amongst violent criminals who we still hope to rehabilitate come to mind immediately. When people fail to delineate or recognize a bifurcation of right and wrong and good and evil we all suffer except those that would take advantage of the closed eyes of the good. Alternatively, perhaps, I am pontificating.