'Am I Evil?' -- Beyond Good and Evil (WiP)

Started by Twisted Crow, April 04, 2019, 05:46:04 PM

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Twisted Crow

I had this conversation with my step-mom a couple of weeks ago on the notion of Good and Evil. A peeve of mine is sometimes turning things "black-and-white" when it blurs the root of a given ordeal.

In my experience, few things in life are as simple as good and evil. What makes me laugh, is that I can't seem to escape this mentality in writing stories... even knowing full well that human problems are more complicated and not easy put into a box.

A "good" thing, for example, is to be a good Samaritan. One, however, might avoid helping one in need for many reasons. And it isn't necessarily "evil".

One could fear danger in falling in a trap; a false situation designed to prey on good natured people. A simplistic view couod brand them a coward, but whether this is true or not in the situation... it isn't actually "evil". The same person might not get involved because they may not have time or resources to help the one in need. They could also have selfish reasons, of course... but I don't know if I could call it "evil". Even if there are some deeds I would brand as evil... I think it may be too binary to attribute every thought or deed under the lens of good and evil, right and wrong.

[Note: Find rest of paper version to type up].


It's interesting to note that the parable of the 'Good Samaritan' is designed to highlight the danger of 'categorizing'.  The people of Samaria practiced Judaism in a different way, and were often held in low regard by the Israelites of Biblical time.  In addition to the 'Good Samaritan', reference is made to how 'only one' of ten lepers healed by Jesus returned to give thanks 'and he was a Samaritan'. (Luke 17:11)  Also, a story in the Gospel of John where Jesus asks a woman at a well for water 'even though he was a Jew, and she was a Samaritan.'  (John 4:4)

I've seen a number of retellings of the Good Samaritan where the characters are replaced with other 'upstanding' and 'undesirable' people in place of the anticipated rescuers and the eventual Samaritan. 

A lawyer, a priest and a Muslim <-modernized, but fairly cut-and-paste
A pastor, a church-lady, and a biker <- this one actually goes into the 'reasons why not', as you pointed out in your last paragraph.
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Twisted Crow