Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Which is Evil: The Killer or the Weapon

It is not the killer that is evil, but the object that gives him the ability that is. Is this true? The killers of this world would probably want to believe in this. It would shield them from blame and from their own guilt. Yet, why would this be true? Wouldn’t the killer be able to have an idea of what he is doing? Wouldn’t the fact that he fought his conscience make him evil?

The first thing to examine is what evil means. If evil is defined as the action of going against morals, then the killer is the only one that is evil. However, if evil is defined as anything or anyone that allows actions going against morals, then the weapon and the killer are both evil. If evil is defined as something that only gives the ability to go against morals, then the weapon is evil, and the killer is not.

How can one decide which definition of evil fits? After all, there are consequences of choosing each definition. If evil is defined by the action, then the focus would be on the person. The blame would be put on the killer. The punishment might be much more severe for killers, and it might even escalate to capital punishment. There would also be more of a focus on developing people the right way, and schools would be considered more important than it is now in society.

If the blame was put on the weapon, then there would not be any blame for the killer. The focus of society would be on removing weapons from areas where they can be reached. There would be no punishment for the killer because they would not be at fault. This is because the killers would not be “evil”. It is the weapon that created evil. It was the fruit that created sin.

Finally, in society today, there seems to be somewhat of a balance between the focus on weapons and the focus on the killer. The killer is punished, and weapons are regulated.

Most people would agree that the last definition of evil that blames both the killer and the weapon is correct (After all, it is because of these people that this definition of evil is used in society). No one really knows for sure, however, which definition of evil is correct. The only way to move through reality is through assumptions after all. However, there is a way to somewhat “test” these definitions. That is to think about worlds without the killers and the weapons and see which world would have eradicated evil. If one does this, he comes to the conclusion that the weapons are evil and not the killer.

There are a lot of things to be said against this assumption. The most common of these are that there would still be violence and the killers would not be blamed. First, remember that in a world in which the evil lies with the weapons, the people are not evil. Therefore, there is no point in blaming then. Second, the weapon that is used here is not the normal gun or knife. It is knowledge, and since knowledge is impossible to eradicate, there will always be a need for a jail.

If guns and missiles are eradicated from society, the people would fight using swords and knives. And even if those are eradicated, there will always be some sticks and stones lying around. The main weapon is knowledge. If knowledge of the weapons is not available, the person would not be able to do evil. One might say that evil is just having the thoughts. Yet, the killer would not only lose the capability of killing, but he would also lose the capability of wanting to kill. After all, what everyone wants is for someone to go away, something that is not against any type of morals. If the idea of killing was not imprinted in the minds of people, then they could not think evil for they would not know what evil is.

Some might still say that people are evil since in a world without people, there would be no one to do evil. There would only be the weapons lying around. However, that is also a flawed idea, for the morals that evil depends on to exist also depend on people to exist. If there were no people, there would be no morals. If there were no morals to go against, the idea of evil would cease to exist. There is a difference between defeating evil and not even having the idea of evil.

Therefore, the object that is evil is the weapon, knowledge. Yet, since it is impossible to eradicate knowledge, society must continue combating evil the way it does in the status quo. To conclude with some food for thought, consider whether eradicating knowledge would be something you would do if you had the ability to. For me, eating the fruit might have doomed us, but I’m glad that we have knowledge.

No comments:

Post a Comment