Thursday, May 01, 2008

Evil Is Additive

Did you ever have a friend that you got into trouble with? Bad things that neither of you would have ever dreamed of doing on your own seemed to "just happen" whenever the two of you were together? Or: How about a friend who, when you were with them, the two of you just did spontaneous good things that were far beyond anything you would have dreamed up on your own? Of the two scenarios, I am guessing the first one is much more likely.

The reason is that, unlike goodness, evil is additive. By "evil" I mean actions which hurt others.

Think about this for a minute. Groups of people do come together to do good things. With lots of planning. Normally the only people who join such groups are those who are already reaching out and doing nice things on their own. They seek out others of a like mind and together can do more good than they could do separately. It takes a lot of work and planning to fight off the entropy that keeps trying to tear such groups apart. Most such groups fail after a short time.

Yet, evil is spontaneously additive. People who have no driving need to harm others will gather into groups and, without planning for it or even meaning to do it, start harming others. Either they just go along with things that are already occurring, or they become convinced that their victims "deserve it" after a short indoctrination.

This is why government is an unworkable utopian delusion. There are too many people who are simply joining the collective, and without an extremely strong moral awareness, they gradually sink into doing evil things without thinking about it. They begin proposing or enforcing "laws" that should never be. They begin to believe it is OK to tell other how to live, even if their actions would harm no one other than themselves. They become obssessed busy-bodies. They begin to excuse murder, kidnapping, and theft as long as it is done under "color of law".

Few people have a morality strong enough to resist the additive evil that becoming part of government exposes them to. And of those, the ones already flawed enough to join government are so outnumbered that they can't stop the tide.