A conversation I had a while ago with a work colleague has been stirring in my head for some time now, so I wanted to bring it to the table and see what the collective thoughts of wordpress’ finest thought about it.
Let’s see where all your opinions lie on this one.
Take these two people
One is literally an angel on earth, incapable of being bad, evil, intollerant, wicked or anything of the sort. They don’t hold malice towards anyone else and generally try to help all whose path’s they cross. They have peace at their hearts and more importantly peace of the soul. They are the embodiment of everything that is good in this world and their shit smells better than the finest rose.
The other person has all the cumulative properties of the devil instilled in him. They have been predisposed to have the capacity to be the most evil person on this planet. Either through genetics and then tragedy in their upbringing, accidents rendering certain regions of their brains (relating to apathy, empathy, compassion, rationality) to not function correctlyinlcluding a limited social circle. Basically everything you would imagine and everything a leading psychologist would suggest in leading someone down the wrong path is present.
Now they both end up leading pretty much identical lives, nothing special mediocre existences. They work, they pay their bills, they went to college and both are working their way to the capitalist dream.
Now here’s the billion dollar question!!!
Who Do you think is the more honourable candidate?
I presume many of you would immediately point to the first one. He exhumes all the qualities that society would class as good and honourable. This question is a no brainer, non?
But there is one thing that alot of people would miss.
Being bad is just not in his nature. Trying to get him to perform an act of deceit or malice is really like trying to get an elephant to jump. It’s physically impossible (unless you happen to be touring as part of an Asian Circus act)
This person is absent from the choice of performing bad things. It’s like a piano not capable of hitting a specific note, you can’t judge someone ability to stay good when they have no capacity or literal understanding of being anything but.
However The other candidate has managed by some miracle, to overcome their natural disposition. All his natural instincts have told him to succumb to their circumstance and all the corrupt doors have bee nleft unlocked for him to walk through, with very little options but to conform.
But they manage to over come and fight against this tide, and it’s not a battle that just starts, it’s ongoing, day in, day out, and perhaps for far little reward (at least in the commodity sense) than they would otherwise. And all this while still being looked at and untrusted by society as potentially going to lose it.
Don’t you think the second candidate demands more of your respect now knowing what you know?
This might be hard for you to understand in this format but If i was to flip the situation and now have both candidates performing heinous acts, You could almos tolerate the candidate who has gone through crap all their live becoming a victim of circumstance and also his nature. But to take someone who pretty much has everything and have them
Some would say those are the components that make people a real monster in other people’s eyes.
The Question is incomplete
But in fairness, an external analysis of people and their actions alone do not make anyone honourable at all. The key factor missing from both of these hypothetical situations is how the individuals ultimately see themselves and the capacity they have to fulfill said acts. External judgement of an individual is utterly pointless without a base point for their motivations and their skillsets.
It’ all comes down to ability and intent
Being good out of a real selfish need to either overcome personal anxiety or not be judged badly by social groups or even to try and buy your way to a better existence in a subsequent existence isn’t Kosher either.
And how goood is doing just enough to curb your conscience, without actually doing the best you can, even though it’s just as much as everyone else?
On the flip side, partaking in crime or deceit for a noble cause will probably hold more weight in gold in the long run, especially if your sacrifices are for some sort of selfless reasons
Then again, if you are of a completely indifferent stance on the actions taken, can you really be seen as doing anything that is good or bad in the first place, your actions are simply actions, perhaps a reaction to something else, with a resulting consequence as well. Nothing more, nothing less.
But if you are completely indifferent and have the ultimate capacity for both good and evil, what does that make you?
An Ascended God?
A Descended demon?
Or Perhaps Both?
Or simply just human?