The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 December 2007

Quote of the week

"Those who torment us for our own good," said C. S. Lewis, "will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." And lest you think such folks will be easy to recognize right off the bat, Tam reminds us that Evil won't necessarily be wearing a nametag:

[W]e are raised believing in self-identified Evil. From the bad guy in every movie and fantasy novel to the opponent in every video game, there is this persistent belief that Evil will be easily identifiable because it will wear a black outifit, cackle maniacally, and announce itself as such.

The world don't work that way. As [Will] Smith attempted to point out, not even the most despicable characters in this planet's history thought of themselves as Evil. Nero never said "MWA-HA-HA!" when barbecueing dangerous subversives from Near-East mystery cults. Hitler never woke up and rubbed his hands together and thought "I think I'll be Eeeevil today!" The most heinous crimes perpetrated throughout the millennia have been perpetrated by people with clear consciences because they were doing what they were doing For The Common Good.

Watch out for that. When evil comes, it won't be easily identifiable, with a hunched back and a crazed glint in its eye; it will be nicely dressed, sound reasonable, and have a great team of policy wonks and spin doctors to explain exactly why you need to climb into the cattle car, please.

If your immediate thought is "Well, at least it said 'please'," you get to go first.

Posted at 8:43 AM to QOTW

Another quote, to go with this one: "...Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness...." 2 Cor. 11:14-15.

Posted by: Kirk at 8:56 AM on 28 December 2007

Even Bin Laden -- whom just about everyone not a follower of his recognizes is evil -- thinks he's doing God's work. But the most dangerous evil is not necessarily that which masquerades as righteous, but that which masquerades as reasonable.

Harry Truman once said he thought he could do business with Josef Stalin.

Posted by: McGehee at 9:01 AM on 28 December 2007

And to further Will Smith's point, (and to some extent C.S. Lewis as well) ol' Adolph thought God was on his side as can be seen in this bit of propaganda here.
Evil is subtle indeed

Posted by: Guy S at 10:44 PM on 28 December 2007