Saturday, April 9, 2011
More Thoughts on Good and Evil
I was thinking about the response to my essay about good and evil and I wanted to comment on it.
Is there a difference between our individual choices and mob choices? In a mob there are many individuals. I think to say mobs have a different responsibility is like denying each individual in the mob a personal choice in how to act.
The struggle internally is our life work. How do we respond in morally challenging situations? The Germans have reminded themselves that they blew it badly. It is a reflection that is necessary, and many people don’t do it. On the other hand, it is no guarantee that they will behave morally in the future. I think it is a lot easier to be moral when there is no test.
Really, I believe that certain basic human values must always apply. We must determine and decide each moment how we will behave. The mob of the Third Reich gave otherwise decent people the opportunity to stop being decent with society’s approval. I think each soul is judged for what they do. The person who watches evil passively is judged for his inaction.
It is a complicated issue. The most complicated, I think. The role of values and respect for human life is a tool to help in morally troubling times.
Thanks for a thought provoking comment.