Thursday 8 March 2018

Purposive evil is complex and strategic... (And this is good news!)

Good is simple and immediate - in the sense that good ends are a consequence of good means; and goodness here and now is the route to good futures.

By contrast, we see more clearly Now, then ever before, that Purposive Evil is complex and strategic... Why? Because evil ends must incorporate good means.

(Purposive Evil refers mainly to Satan and the demons, and their human servants and personifications - and to a lesser extent to those in charge of the long term plan for the subversion, destruction, and ultimately inversion of good.) 

If something approaching pure and immediate evil can be imagined - it would be utterly short-termist and self-gratifying; thus all evil in the world would be at war with each other and there could be No long-term increase of evil. Evil would, no doubt, to be found all over the place - including every human heart... But each little spark of evil would consume itself, and compete with each other spark. Evil would be a constant background but would not increase.

For evil to increase (which is the plan of Satan) then it must be woven with good over the short term to ensure the expansion of evil over the long term.

But this is a complex business - since it is desired (by purposive evil) that the proportion of evil should increase over the long term.

If we think of the admixture of good as the price paid for the long-term strategic triumphal expansion of evil - then part of the plan is that this admixture will increase in the percentage of evil as time goes-on.

So that in the early days of Leftism, it was mixed with considerable good (compassion for the poor, despised and enslaved) - so there were good socialists, even real and great Christian socialists... But after several generations the dominant Leftism has diminished and diminished the proportion of goodness until it is fuelled mainly by resentment, envy, despair... There is still goodness permeating and woven in - but as a much smaller proportion than five generations ago.

Abstraction is an evil - in an ultimate sense. (This writing, here and now, is an abstraction - and one can see the problem.) Because abstraction is a complex strategic tool - abstraction is dishonest about the ultimate nature of reality - it 'models' reality - for some long-term purpose... this abstraction (like evil) sacrifices short term goodness in pursuit of something long-term that is referred to as a good; yet that is not the way of goodness...

By contrast good is personal. Hence Jesus.

Anyway... my point here is that evil must be complex and strategic if it is to increase; and that this is a great weakness of evil.

We look around at the complex strategies of evil in the world today, and we are bewildered - and may feel intimidated by its sheer complexity and interlocking nature. What can we - such small and simple creatures - do against such an edifice?

Well, the real implication is the opposite. Evil has built this edifice slowly over generations because that is what is necessary for the expansion of evil in the world.

In sum - it is very difficult to be strategically evil. Simple good will destroy it; even simple evil will destroy it! The business of corrupting humanity to invert good and evil - such that we will reject salvation and embrace our own damnation... well it is is extremely difficult to manage, and innumerable things to to go-as-planned for it to succeed.

Thus evil is the part of global government, of international trade, of a single all-pervading and interlinked bureaucracy, of a populace locked-onto mass media 24/7... It is all terribly complicated, inter-dependent, terribly brittle.

Each individual person who is motivated by good can, potentially, inflict very considerable damage to strategic evil - simply by being good here and now; just doing the right thing - a tactic that is simple and obvious, and requires no Master Plan. 

This is one message of The Lord of the Rings... Evil is a vast and complex network, the product of many decades of planning, organising, building... Good is 'merely' a couple of hobbits and their friends; doing good things in specific here-and-now situations (assisted by divine providence); and (yet) triggering avalanches of consequences destructive to the vast-and-imposing, but actually-fragile, edifice of evil.


William Wildblood said...

Another brilliant analysis of the situation, Bruce. People don't realise that, as you say, the pill of evil is always coated with sugar so that it can go down more easily. And also that the demons are working over a relatively long term timescale so they can increasingly corrupt us without our noticing - though we should if our hearts were pure and our motives true.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Thank you.

I wanted to make clear that we do Not need to understand the strategy of purposive evil in order personally to resist it effectively. Which is fortunate! Because it is not only vast and complex; but also secret, inaccessible, and surrounded by deceptions and lies.

Nathaniel said...

Thank you Dr. Charlton, it does feel overwhelming (especially if you tune into the mass media). Even the conservative/traditional religious criticisms of mainstream tend to be depressing in this regard.

I picked up some books about the saint's lives for my children though and I think they too have your same message. So many things "going around" them like a storm, but rather not worrying about it and trying-your-best to do good in every individual situation is what it amounts to.

Nathaniel said...

(Of course, also trusting God and constant prayer!)