Humanizing the enemy empowering a nation through nonviolence.One of the first things First Things is a monthly ecumenical journal concerned with the creation of a "religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society" (First Things website). parents feel they need to teach their children is the difference between right and wrong. And when a nation goes to war, its leader tells the people, "The world is divided into good and evil. And it's certainly a good thing that we are on the good side"--after all, movies always show good triumphing over evil.
But right, wrong, good, and evil are blanket judgments that deny the complexity of humanity. The myth of evil is the most detrimental of false convictions as it functions to depower humans by suggesting that an illusive il·lu·sive
il·lu , random, and unprovoked will of evil causes the violent acts perpetrated against us, and not individual human will. Until we humanize hu·man·ize
tr.v. hu·man·ized, hu·man·iz·ing, hu·man·iz·es
1. To portray or endow with human characteristics or attributes; make human: humanized the puppets with great skill.
2. our enemies--until we acknowledge that those who commit violent acts have reasons for their actions--we surrender our lives to this erroneous illusion of evil and continue to rely on violent acts of our own to squelch squelch
v. squelched, squelch·ing, squelch·es
1. To crush by or as if by trampling; squash.
2. our adversaries.
Furthermore, when we call our enemies evil we, by default, classify ourselves as "good." And when a nation blindly believes that it is good it generally fails to examine the various deeds, both intentional and unintentional, that it may be committing against other nations and people. Thus it fails to take steps to take action; to move in a matter.
See also: Step to remedy its behavior and policies. When the offended nation or people attempt to "fight back" (under the false assumption that violence and terror are the only ways to achieve change), the offending nation which believes in the myth of evil assumes that such evil must not go unpunished unpunished
without suffering or resulting in a penalty: the guilty must not go unpunished, such crimes should not remain unpunished
Adj. 1. . More blood is shed and the cycle of violence perpetuates.
This cycle will be broken only when one or both parties adopt a policy of nonviolence and abandon the myth of evil. In her essay, A Pacifist Dictionary, Kate Maloy recalls a time someone explained, "My pacificism pa·cif·i·cism
Noun 1. stops when someone declares war on me." But the individual who adheres to nonviolence only in times of peace fails to acknowledge that a people tend to declare war under provocation. When we discover the causes behind any act of violence, we can take steps to address them rather than fuel the cycle through retaliation.
In acknowledging the humanity of its enemy, then a nation can be proactive in preventing future acts of aggression and can begin at last to find nonviolent resolutions to conflicts. This doesn't mean "doing nothing." It means actively working toward achieving peaceful resolution by discovering the causal factors and taking steps to address them. Only through such non-violent courses of action can a grievance be resolved with permanent results.
Thus, the myth of evil is a prevailing invention of the human imagination that has no place in a relevant, humanist discussion of human interactions.
Carly Heath of Clayton, California Clayton is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 10,762 at the 2000 census.
Clayton is also the location of the Clayton Club Saloon, which was established circa 1873. , is twenty years TWENTY YEARS. The lapse of twenty years raises a presumption of certain facts, and after such a time, the party against whom the presumption has been raised, will be required to prove a negative to establish his rights.
2. old. This is an abridged version of her essay which earned honorable mention in the eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-old age category of the 2001 Humanist Essay Contest for Young Women and Men of North America.