Understanding the Difference Between
The word "Evil" has become a catch all for every bad thing we don't understand which is why so few understand what Evil actually is.
Sick, Evil, Sinister, Diabolical And Malicious Behavior
Quite simply, "Evil is Disrespect".
In Matthew 5:22, Jesus said it like this: But anyone who says, "you fool" will be in danger of the fires of hell.
In other words, disrespect is the doorway to all forms of Malice (intentionally inflicted harm).
Evil (disrespect) is usually not the only element required to create a mental state conducive to malice.
Emotional Sickness (in the form of excessive or misplaced fear, anger, or desire) is usually present in offender and the offender usually has a
Motive (a reason), however feeble, to bring form and action to his/her sick emotions and evil (disrespectful) ideas.
Sinister people are evil people that hide their motives from their victims.
Diabolical people deliberately incite Fear, Anger, Greed, Panic, and Outrage, in some people, for the purpose of causing them to harm others.
It's just that simple. All malice (intentionally inflicted harm) can be traced back to these causes.
So if we all fully understand these causes, then we should be able to stop ourselves from deliberately harming one another.
Part of the problem is that people can't distinguish between, the Sick, the Evil, the Sinister, and the Diabolic. This is understandable because they are usually mixed together. Still, if we can't distinguish between the four, then we will never be able to understand and prevent malevolent behavior. Perhaps the following examples will help:
If a man rapes a woman, he is most likely sick with misplaced anger and lust and he is evil because he is lacking in respect for the woman's wellbeing. He is not sinister because he is not trying to hide his motives from the victim and he is not diabolical because he is not inciting others to do the same. The woman is unfortunate.
If a man gets his friends to help in the rape by telling them "she wants it" or "she deserves it", then his friends must be sick with misplaced anger and lust of their own, otherwise they would never accept such an evil idea. And they are evil as well because they demonstrate disrespect for the woman's wellbeing. The man is now diabolical because he is inciting others to harm the woman by promoting evil (disrespectful) ideas and enflaming sick emotions. Of course he is still sick and evil himself. The man is not, however, sinister because he is not trying to hide what he is doing from his victim.
If a married woman bigamously marries another rich and lonely man with the sole intention of divorcing him for half his money, then the woman is sick with greed and evil with disrespect for the man's wellbeing. The woman in this case is also sinister because she is hiding her motives from her victim. Her behavior is not, however, diabolical because she is not inciting others to do the same. The man is unfortunate.
If the woman now files a false domestic violence complaint to gain advantage in her divorce action, then the woman is still sick with greed and evil with lack of respect for the man's wellbeing. In this case the action is not sinister, because she is no longer trying to hide her motive from her husband. The action is diabolical however, because she is playing the emotions of police, prosecutors and judges and inciting them to harm her husband. The man and any children he might have are unfortunate.
If a priest sexually abuses the children in his parish, the priest is sick with lust and evil with disrespect for the children in his care. Because he is instructing these children that he loves them and that they should cooperate and never tell what he is doing, the priest is both sinister and diabolical. He is sinister because he is hiding his motives from the children, and he is diabolical because he is playing on the emotions of others (in this case his victims) to participate in this evil (disrespectful) act.
When the priest's superiors find out about this abuse and try to cover it up, they are sick with the fear of losing their congregation and they are evil with disrespect for the well being of the victims. If they establish policy within the church to cover-up sexual abuse, then they are sinister because they are hiding their motives from their victims. At first it may seem that they are diabolical as well because they are now enlisting the aid of others within the organization to maintain an abusive environment where sickness and evil can thrive. But this is not the case if their appeal to enlist the aid of others is a rational appeal. In that case it is just sinister people enlisting the aid of other sinister people. Diabolical people remove rational thought and free choice by enflaming emotions. Hitler was a perfect example of the diabolical. Of course he was sick and evil as defined above, but his special talent was for enflaming emotions until reasoning was impossible. Then it was easy and for him to make his evil (disrespectful) ideas seem perfectly reasonable, honorable, and just. Hitler was a diabolical genius, but he was not sinister. He was quite up front about his ideas and his victims knew pretty much what they could expect from him.
If a feminist or lesbian judge consistently uses parenting time as a lever to force fathers to accept divorce settlements that they can't possibly pay for without living in slavery, then the judge is sick with desire to help the women that she cares about and is evil with disrespect for the men and children in her care. The judge is sinister because she is masquerading as an impartial administrator of justice and as such is hiding her motive from the victim. The judge may appear to be diabolical because she uses others (law enforcement officers) to carry out her orders. But her behavior is not diabolical because she is not enflaming anyone's emotions. The officers are simply her tools as she carries out her sick, evil and sinister work.
The Relationship between Evil and Secrecy
Evil doers always perpetrate in secret. The rare exceptions are:
1. They feel there is no one who can oppose them.
2. They intend to destroy themselves.
3. They wish to provoke the authorities
Evil acts are perpetrated secretly in one of two ways. In the first way, the perpetrator is careful to commit the act while unobserved by those who have the power to intervene. This is typical behavior for people who abuse family members, drug dealers, and robbers. The author proposes a workable solution for the eradication of malevolent acts which are perpetrated by physically obscuring them from public view. The second way evil acts are perpetrated in secret is when they are committed in the open without making any attempt to hide the physical action but rather attempting to hide the fact that the action is evil (disrespectful). You might see this kind of evil act when parents hit their children in order to release anger and anxiety while saying to the child "I'm doing this for your own good." Another example might be when a nation's leader, who wants the resources of another nation, declares war in order to "liberate" that nation from it's current government. Covering evil this way only works when the act itself is difficult to understand and concerns a complicated issue. A typical evil act committed this way might include a stock sale, a judgment, the signing of a bill into law, the signing of a contract, the filing of a report, or a declaration of war. Typically this type of secrecy is used by politicians, judges, lawyers, business men, and expert witnesses. The author proposes a workable solution for the eradication of malevolent acts committed by judges under a shroud of complexity. Evil that is hidden in complexity is likely to harm more people than Evil that is physically obscured from public view. That's because this type of evil is usually perpetrated by public officials whos actions affect many lives.
Understanding Malice In Terms Of Chemical Combustion
Many people don't want to recognize the sickness component that accompanies all malicious acts because they do not want to provide evil people with excuses for their behavior. But if you want to stop malice, then you must recognize all it's components. Firemen know that you can not start or maintain a blaze without Air, Fuel, and a source of ignition (Heat). Fundamental to their ability to prevent and put out fires is the knowledge that by removing anyone of these three elements, combustion can not occur. Now imagine if fire marshals recognized that fuel caused fire but refused to recognize that air and a source of ignition was also required because they didn't want people to have any excuses for leaving combustible materials laying around. This of course would severely limit their ability to prevent and extinguish fires. Sickness in the form of excessive or misplaced fear, anger, or desire is an essential component of malice. It must be understood not ignored.
Like fire, malice can not occur without the presents of three elements in the offender's mind.
Those elements are:
1. Sickness (in the form of excessive or misplaced fear, anger or desire).
2. Evil (in the form of disrespect for the well being of another or the self).
3. A Motive to receive the offenders sick emotions and evil notions giving them form and purpose. Without a reason, nebulous emotions and hazy ideas have no vehicle with which to travel outside of the offenders own psyche and into a physical action. A motive is anything the offender says or verbalizes in the mind as he or she harms another. A motive can be anything from "You are making a mess of the kitchen" to "You are a terrorist" or "You are an infidel".
When the level of evil (disrespect) and sickness (fear, anger, greed) in the offender is high, only a small motive is required to ignite malicious act. In this model, high levels of sickness and evil can be equated to a low flash point in our combustion metaphor and motive can be equated to the source of ignition (heat).
Understanding Malice In Terms Of Storm Formation
The following comparison will help the reader understand that although a motive must exist before an offender will engage in a malicious act, the actual reason is irrelevant to the act. The ingredients for a rain storm are air, water, heat, and dust. A storm is formed as follows: A body of air which is passing over an ocean is being heated by the sun. As the air heats, it is able to absorb huge quantities of water vapor from the ocean. Later in the evening when the sun goes down, the air cools and can no longer hold the water vapor so it forms a fine mist which we see as clouds. But the mist can not form rain drops because mist does not stick very well to other particles of mist so the clouds remain. Mist does however stick very well to dust. So as wind blows the cloud over land, dust mixes with the clouds. The mist will now stick to the dust particles to form small drops. The drops will become heavier and start to fall. As they fall they collide with more mist and the mist will stick to the drops to make the drops bigger and heavier. This makes the drops fall faster. Finally, these drops will hit the ground in the form of a rain storm. The point is that the mist doesn't need any particular kind of dust particle to attach to. It could be a bit of pollen or dust or dirt or soot or whatever. But without a particle of some kind, the mist can not leave the cloud. The same is true for disrespect and sick emotions; they simply can not form actions on their own. They must have a motive to attach to other wise they will remain a mist of thoughts and feelings. The nature of the motive however is never important because almost any justification will suffice for the offender. Given this, isn't it odd that our reasons seem so important when we harm others? The point is that people do not harm each other for good reasons; people look for good reasons to harm each other.
Spontaneous Group Evil.
On Nov 19 2005 in Haditha Iraq, our own highly disciplined American Marines massacred more than 24 people including women and children. This happened immediately after a roadside bomb went off and killed two of the Marines. You simply can not know about incidents like these and fail to understand how fear, anger and shock (lets call this mixture outrage) are linked to a loss of reason and a high disposition towards violence.
The group's high disposition for violence was the natural result of group members trying to dump their fear, anger, and shock. And their loss of reason, which always accompanies outrage, made all non group members (the civilians) seem like reasonable places to dump it. Those Marines suffered an unspeakable horror and their reaction was equally terrible. While this action was not premeditated or organized, it shows that even the very best and most highly disciplined of us will lose our reason and indiscriminately kill when certain environmental conditions are satisfied. Diabolical people exploit those conditions and sometimes create them in order to incite evil behavior.
When comparing the behavior of these marines, who saw their friends destroyed by a roadside bomb, with the behavior of our entire nation, who saw our countrymen destroyed in the Twin Towers, we can not miss the similarity. In both cases retribution was taken against people that had nothing to do with the attack, and in both cases the majority defaulted to the judgment of their leaders. Of course we can not excuse these men for what they did, but we must not fail to understand, that not only could any one of us have done the same thing, we in fact did, only on a much larger and more horrific scale. The truth is, if our entire country had not attacked the Iraqi nation in misplaced outrage, then our marines could not have attacked Iraqi people in misplaced outrage. When these men are sentenced, they will be receiving the punishment we all deserve.
Organized Group Evil
The previous article Understanding Evil shows a photograph taken during a lynching. This photograph is extremely difficult to look at. Still, you can't defeat evil if you won't examine it. Notice all the people standing around totally unafraid to show their faces. This demonstrates that these people can't tell that they are doing evil work. This highlights the deceit component that accompanies acts of organized group evil and explains why this type of evil is able to persist among generally good people. Most of the people in this photo are engaged in this lynching because they have accepted someone else's judgment without question. In acts of organized group evil, (lynching, premeditated massacre, ethnic cleansing, genocide, witch hunts and most wars), there are always a few leaders. The rest are followers that have turned their minds and consciences over to them. What we need to understand is; "how are leaders able to get a group of people to abdicate their conscience, their reason, and the law?" It's simple; all you need do is enrage them. If you do this they will start killing all by themselves. Even the most disciplined people will kill indiscriminately when sufficiently enraged as we know from Haditha Iraq.
In the case of the lynching, we have a group of undisiplined people who are predisposed to bigotry and outrage as a result of cultural programing that started the day they were born. These people have been enraged by group leaders and then told to release that rage by lynching those two men. In their enraged state, most of these people are unable to reason and are extremely receptive to any suggestions that will allow them to vent their emotions and return to a normal relaxed state.
Some group members, on the other hand, are calm, but follow along because they trust their leaders to decide for them what is right and wrong.
Finally, many group members are still thinking for themselves and know that lynching is evil but participate for fear that they themselves might become lightning rods for the release of mindless mob emotion. Or worse, they fear that they might be deliberately targeted by the leaders.
But, what are the leaders responding to?
That's simple. They acting upon one or more of the lies listed in the previous article Understanding Evil. Most of these leaders have been conditioned from birth to believe these lies and have had many years to develop convincing arguments for their validity.
Many other factors are involved in organized group evil, but the most important things to understand are:
1. People enraged are highly prone to violent behavior because violence allows them to dump anger and return to a normal relaxed state.
2. Rage can not be dumped without an object to receive that rage.
3. Individuals and group members have difficulty reasoning when enraged.
4. Thinking individuals are generally afraid to challenge the will of an enraged group.
5. People in groups tend to allow group leaders to do their reasoning for them and are therefore highly open to
6. Diabolical leaders deliberately incite group rage and then use suggestion to trigger violence against others.
7. Diabolical leaders are acting upon the belief of one or more of the lies listed in the previous article Understanding Evil
Respect is the understanding that a person's well being and autonomy are important. This is not to be confused with other uses of the word. For instance, respect for your superiors usually means obedience. Respect for a mentor might mean holding him or her in high regard. But the word "respect" as it is used in this study means to hold high regard for a person's well being and autonomy.
Resolving Conflict Concerning Exactly What It Is About a Human Being That Must Be Respected
So far, this article has defined Evil as disrespect and has shown that disrespect is deliberately violating the wellbeing of another. But there can be confusion about exactly what the state of another's wellbeing is and how that can best be respected. Well the truth is that no one can possibly know that. But from the Preamble of our own United States Constitution we all agree that each person has the right to try and figure that out for him or herself. So when trying to decide how to be respectful, the very best we can possibly do is to ask ourselves:
1. What we can do to avoid harming a person?
2. What we can do to avoid limiting a person's choices?"
3. What we can do to promote a person's health, and autonomy.
Are There Times When Respect For Another Can Be Demonstrated By Limiting His or Her Choices?
Of course parents must limit the choices of their children and police must limit the choices of the public but how can we tell when this is done with respect?
It is very hard to know for sure but consideration of the following two questions with regard to each situation should help us know when we are restraining another person respectfully.
1. What types of choices that are being limited? If an individual moves to make an unhealthy choice (generally choice that would lead to the lost of health or autonomy in the future) then it might be respectful to limit that choice. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it's very hard to know what will be the result of someone else's choice. And even if we could be certain of the result there still may be uncertainty about whether the result would be positive or negative according to the preferences of the person trying to exercise his or her right to choose. So in general, it is disrespectful (evil) to limit a person's choices when those choices do not represent a danger to that person or a danger to others.
2. When restraining someone or somehow imposing limitations on their choices and autonomy, is every effort being made to limit the amount of fear and anger they feel as a result of being restrained?
Is Lying Ever Respectful?
When we speak, we create a map of our reality. So no matter if we lie to ourselves or to others, we create a false map that cannot be used for making good decisions. Further more trust must be present in order for people to work together and lies destroy that trust. Generally speaking, lies cause a lot of damage and most of us agree that we should speak the truth whenever possible.
Still, we have all been in situations where lying was the most appropriate course of action. One example might be when we are required to respond to trivial questions of opinion and we don't wish to destroy the peace with an honest response. Whether or not we should lie in a situation like that might depend some of the following considerations:
1. How trivial we feel the question is
2. Whether or not we can avoid giving a direct answer
3. How important we feel it is to keep the peace
4. How much damage will it cause to be misleading
5. Will trust be damaged more by breaking the peace or by giving false answers?
There are no clear rules.
While lying is highly admonished in the bible, it also shows an instance where lying is appropriate. See Joshua 2:4-6 and then James 2:25. In this case a character in the bible lies in order to prevent others from being killed. All of us can agree that it's ok to lie in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones from immediate physical harm.
Lying vs. Bearing False Witness
The Ninth Commandment (Exodus 20:16) reads:
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (King James Version) or
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor (New International Version)
Bearing false witness is lying about what other people say and do. These types of lies are naturally abhorrent to all of us because they almost always work against the well-being and autonomy of the people being discussed or against the well-being and autonomy of the people hearing the testimony. Bearing false witness also fits our previous definition of diabolical when lies are told in order to cause some people to harm others.
Distinguishing Between Lack Of Respect, And Disrespect
Respect is the understanding that a person's well being and autonomy is important.
Lack of respect is simply not thinking about a persons well being or about their right to make choices.
Disrespect (Evil) is any of the following notions:
1. That a person's well being is of no concern.
2. That a person's right to make choices is of no concern.
3. That a person's feelings may be dismissed.
4. That a person may be harmed.
5. That a person may be exploited.
6. That a person may be molested (bothered, anoyed, or tramatized).
7. That a person may be disparaged.
8. That a person may be manipulated or dominated.
9. That a person may be detained when that person does not represent a danger to the self or to others.
If evil and disrespect are the same, then it follows that an evil person holds any of the above notions to be true.
If evil and disrespect are the same, then it also follows that respect and good are also equivalent.
So, a good person is a respectful person that:
1. Believes that a person's well being is important and should be protected and promoted.
2. Believes that a person's autonomy should be protected and promoted.
2. Believes that a person's feelings should not be dismissed.
3. Believes that a person should not be harmed.
4. Believes that a person should not be exploited.
5. Believes that a person should not be molested (bothered, anoyed, or tramatized).
6. Believes that a person should not be disparaged.
7. Believes that a person should not be manipulated or dominated.
8. Believes that a person should not be detained if that person does not represent a danger the self or to others.
Hate is another one of those words that has come to mean different things to different people. We all agree that hate should be avoided, but few of us can say exactly what it is. Perhaps the following with serve as a guide: Hate is a mixture of evil (disrespectful) ideas and Sick Emotions (excessive or misplaced fear, anger, or greed). Hateful people have two of the three elements required to commit a malevolent act. All they need is a reason to act as this brings form, purpose and release to a hateful persons nebulus ideas and hazy emotions.
What Is Love
Again people have lots of ideas about what love is. Passion, attraction, affection, dependence, enjoyment and other emotions are often confused with love. But if love is the opposite of hate then it follows that love is respect for the wellbeing and autonomy of another (or the self) combined with healthy caring emotions. Loving people have two of the three elements required to commit a benevolent act. The final requirement is any reason to act as this brings form, purpose and release to a loving persons respectful ideas and healthy caring emotions.
A Science for Understanding Evil in Terms of Infectious Disease
Doctors who fight infectious disease have their own terminology which allows them communicate accurately about curing disease and preventing it's spread. In fact, they have their own science; its called Infectiology. If you wish to study infectious disease and learn how to stop it's spread, you can go to the Institut Pasteur school of infectiology or any of a number of other fine schools. Evil (disrespectful ideas) and sick emotions can spread just as quickly as any disease and can cause just as much suffering and death. Why is there no branch of science and no common terminology for fighting evil (disrespect) and controlling malice (intentionally inflicted harm)? Why are there no schools dedicated to understanding evil (disrespect) and to stopping it's spread? We all know that to prevent the spread of infectious disease we need to take some precautions when coming in contact with each other such as washing our hands. Why do we not clean our minds of evil (disrespectful ideas) and sick emotions before making contact with other people? Obviously, for the same reason that no one washed their hands 150 years ago. There was no science back then to promote the understanding of infectious disease. We still have no science for understanding, the spread of evil (disrespectful ideas) and sick emotions. Until we do, malice (intentionally inflicted harm) will continue at all levels of our existence. While there seems to be no science for understanding the spread of evil (disrespectful ideas), there is a new science for understanding the spread of ideas in general. This field of study is called memetics. The following web pages give a good introduction to the topic.
Psychology and a Science for Understanding Evil
A book written by Scott Peck, a Christian psychiatrist, looks at evil through the lenses of psychiatry and Christianity. The book, titled "People of the Lie", does more to expose the true nature of evil than any other source I have ever seen. This book is an appeal to study evil in a scientific context. People of the Lie talks about qualities that most evil people seem to share. One is the pain and terror of personal introspection and the willingness to avoid it at all cost. Another is a willingness to lie (to others and the self) in order to support a personal world view and self image that can not be supported by honest observation and introspection. And finally a willingness to harm and intimidate others in an effort to keep them from presenting evidence or giving argument that contradicts the evil person's self image and personal world view. But these are not evil qualities but rather sinister qualities that Dr. Peck is focusing on. And while many evil people (people who are disrespectful towards the wellbeing and autonomy of others) are sinister (hide their actions and motives) not all evil people are sinister. Evil people who are not likely to face any opposition are not as likely to be sinister. Dr Peck does effectively define evil in his book as one who harms, exploits, molests, manipulates, disparages, dismisses or dominates others but, like most of us, he muddles together notions of sinister and evil. So while the good doctor does define evil he also creates some confusion on the matter by failing to discern between what is evil and what is sinister. And since evil hides in confusion, lets be clear: Evil is nothing more than the malevolent idea that it is ok to harm, exploit, molest, disparage, or manipulate others. It is this idea and this idea alone that makes a person evil. Everybody has felt this way at one time or another so it is reasonable to say that we are all to some extent evil. It would be well to note at this point that anyone who is dismissive of the wellbeing and autonomy of another or the self is standing on the brink of evil. Still, one thing the book does make clear is that evil people (people that operate under the belief that it is ok to harm, exploit, molest, disparage or manipulate others) tend to excel at hiding the fact that they are evil. In other words, they are very good at hiding the fact that they deliberately harm, exploit, molest, manipulate, disparage, dismiss, or dominate others. In fact most evil people are so good at hiding this that they don't even know it themselves. And so coming full circle; this is the reason most evil people are terrified of personal introspection. And this is the reason most evil is so hard to cure. Most evil people believe that they act for good and they have built strong arguments and mental defenses to protect that belief. Some of those defenses are listed on the previous page.
Psychiatry and psychology go a long way towards helping us understand our thoughts and emotions and have been used with some success in rooting out evil (disrespectful ideas) and for curing sick emotions on an individual basis. Particularly helpful in understanding aspects of evil (disrespect for the wellbeing and autonomy of others or the self) at the individual level are the diagnoses of narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, and sociopathy. But these disciplines only help those people who want to be helped and so they provide no deterrent to malevolent behavior. This is why parole board psychiatrists and psychologists often release convicts who then reoffend at the first opportunity.
At this link is a NY Times article that unintentionally demonstrates how confused our mental health professionals are on the subject of evil. The article was published Feb 8 2005 and is titled "For the Worst of Us, the Diagnosis May Be 'Evil'. The article considers the ideas of Dr. Michael Stone, a Columbia University psychiatrist who proposes that the worst criminals who commit the most horrific crimes should be diagnosed as evil. The problem is that the very proposition obscures what evil actually is and serves to prevent it's eradication. That's because it reserves the diagnosis of evil for the very worst of us which in effect gives the illusion that the vast majority of us are not evil at all. But this kind of scapegoating is the very mechanism by which evil goes undetected and therefore untreated. Evil is nothing more than disrespect for the well being and autonomy of another or the self. So anyone who believes that there are times when it is ok to harm, exploit, molest, manipulate, disparage, dismiss or dominate others another is to some extent under the influence of evil. And anyone who deliberately harms, exploits, molests, manipulates, disparages, dismisses or dominates another does evil. That goes for all of us. One twist in our understanding of evil is that most people who do evil are not willing to examine the question of whether or not they deliberately harm, exploit, molest, manipulate, disparage, dismiss, or dominate others. So it might be said that they are not deliberate in their actions and therefore not evil. But Forest Gump says "Stupid is as stupid does". In other words, you can recognize stupidity by it's results. The same can be said of evil ("Evil is as evil does"). So if a person demonstrates a patern of harming, exploiting, molesting, manipulating, disparaging dismissing or dominating others, then that person may be diagnosed as evil (under the influence of disrepectful ideas) regardless of how that person views his or her own actions.
So where does this leave us in our understanding of violent criminal behavior? Well of course these people must be under the influence of evil because they deliberately harm, exploit, molest, manipulate disparage, dismiss and dominate others. But lots of people are highly disrespectful towards the well being and autonomy of others or the self and therefore are under the influence of evil. Yet very few of these people commit horrible violent crimes. So there is something else besides evil (disrespect for the well being and autonomy of others or the self) that makes our most heinous criminals act out. That something else is sick emotions of misplaced anger, fear, and greed. Those emotions are what cause some people to act on evil ideas. Yes these people are under the influence of evil, but more importantly they are sick. So who is more evil; a violent raping murderer or a religious or political leader that sends thousands to have their body's blasted to pieces in a wars over oil, territory, influence, or ideology. Well both harm, exploit, molest, manipulate, disparage, dismiss, or dominate others. So both may be considered evil.
So now you may be wondering if I really just called George Bush evil and compared him with a violent raping murderer. Well I can't possibly know the extent to which George Bush deliberately harms, exploits, molests, manipulates, disparages, dismisses or dominates other people. So I can't say to what extent he is evil. But I can say for sure that he was afraid Iraq had weapons of mass-destruction and that he was angry at Iraq for destroying the World Trade Center. I know because he said so. And he said that that we needed to make war on Iraq. That means that he thought we should kill at least some of them. In other words he wants to harm people because he is afraid and angry. But later George Bush admitted that Iraq had nothing to do with the destruction of the World Trade Center and that they didn't have any weapons of mass destruction either. So it appears that George Bush does not compare with a violent raping murder because he is evil (disrespectful towards the well being and autonomy of others) but rather because, like the violent raping murder, he is also sick with misplaced fear and anger. Still, we can't possibility know if George Bush just used the World Trade Center incident and a deliberately falsified CIA report claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction to manipulate the fear and anger of the American People and to focus it on Iraq for oil and territory. If that is the case then George Bush may be considered evil (disrespectful of the well being and autonomy of others) because he deliberately harmed, exploited and manipulated Americans and Iraqis alike. And he would be considered sinister as well because he would be hiding his motives. Further more he would be considered diabolical because he would be enflaming emotions for the purpose of causing Americans to kill Iraqis. But did George Bush manipulate the American people into fighting because he was afraid Saddam Hussein would continue torturing so many? Was he angry because Saddam Hussein messed with his daddy 10 years before? Or did he just want all that precious oil and all those lucrative defense contracts that a war would bring to his vise-president? In these cases we see that evil (disrespect) and also sickness (fear anger and greed) require each other to perform a malicious act. This is true whether you are a violent murdering rapist, a president who proposes a horrific war.
Now anyone with any common sense knows that violent murdering rapists are much more evil (disrespectful) and much sicker (with fear anger and greed) than is our president. So why do so many more deaths and manglings result from the actions of our president? Because the president acts with the permission of his citizens. That would be us. So while violent murdering rapists are much sicker and more evil than any of us individually, collectively we are much more evil (disrespectful) and sick (with fear anger and greed) than any one individual could possibly be no matter how depraved. This is why a diagnosis of evil should not be reserved for vicious murders but rather should be applied to everyone that believes that there are times when it is ok to harm, exploit, molest, manipulate, disparage, dismiss or dominate others. We should all understand that evil is not a sickness but rather nothing more than the belief that there are times when harming, exploiting, molesting, manipulating, disparaging, dismissing, and dominating others is the right thing to do. Finally, we need to understand that, at the individual level, evil does not cause malice alone but must be accompanied by some emotional sickness in the form of misplaced fear, anger, or greed. And at the national level, only a small amount of evil (belief that it is ok to harm, exploit, molest, manipulate, disparage, dismiss, or dominate others) is enough to cause an avalanche of mindless actions that result in the killing and maiming of thousands or even millions of human beings. So while the disciplines of psychology and psychiatry should be included in the scientific study of evil we should not allow these doctors to reserve the diagnosis of evil for violent criminals but rather we are all responsible for promoting the understanding that evil is just an idea, a notion, that there are times when it is ok to harm, exploit, molest, manipulate, disparage dismiss, or manipulate others.
Neurology and a Science for Understanding Evil
The science of neurology sheds light on evil at the individual level with the discovery of mirror neurons. These are specialized neurons in the brain that make it possible for us to feel empathy for others. In other words, special neurons have been found in the brain that help us model and understand what other people might be thinking and feeling. MRI studies have shown that people who suffer from autism and psychopathy often show dysfunction in these neurons. This raises the question of whether or not there is a medical reason for evil (disrespect for the wellbeing and autonomy of others or the self). If so than it is reasonable to suppose that research in the science of neurology might provide us with a cure.
In this area of study I have had the great pleasure of viewing a series of lectures on DVD given by Robert Sapolsky called Biology and Human Behavior. This series shows the causes of human agression and cooperation ranging from neuron function, brain structure, hormones, genetics, environment, game theory, evolution and how all these factors interact to create behaviors. I highly recomend this to anyone who wishes to better understand human behavior and make better decisions for themselves. The DVDs are sold at the following website and can also be found as bit torrents on the Internet.
Game Theory and a Science for Understanding Evil
For a discussion of the justice instinct and it's relationship to group evil and to learn how game theory can be used to replace the court's archaic mandate of administrating justice with the more mature mandate of administrating respect and cooperation Click here.
The Courts as a Complex Adaptive System
A Scientific Way to Understand Group Evil
This is NOT an ant.
It is a Spider
Guess what it eats.
This spider is Myrmarachne plataleoides. It walks among the ferocious weaver ants and feeds upon them unchallenged. The ants never suspect. They are not equipped to recognize the danger. There is that which feeds upon us unchallenged because we are not equipped to recognize it. Not with the five senses anyway. But under with an understanding of emergence and complex adaptive systems we spot it and perceive its true nature as clearly as magnification reveals the true nature of this spider.
You might be thinking, "Humans are much smarter than ants. No creature could move among us unseen." Well of course germs and viruses do. But those are not the kind of creatures I am referring to. Still, in order to prepare you to perceive the creature exposed in this article it will help you to consider that only 150 years ago, most people didn't believe microorganisms existed.
In 1843, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (father of the Supreme Court judge) published The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever, which argued, physicians and nurses frequently carried childbed fever, a deadly disease of women giving birth, from patient to patient.
A few years later (1847), Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss, while employed at the maternity clinic of the Vienna General Hospital in Austria, introduced hand washing for his interns. This reduced the incidence of fatal childbed fever from 10 percent to about 1 percent. Semmelweiss' hypothesis was that pathogens too small to be seen remained on the interns' hands after conducting autopsies and that these pathogens were causing the deaths of his patients.
Holmes, seeing even more clearly than Semmelweiss proposed the existence of microorganisms and suggested that they were causing the disease. His famous essay anticipated Pasteur's discovery of Germ Theory later in the century.
The medical community was not only doubtful but also enraged at the idea that they themselves were introducing the pathogens that were killing their patients. Holmes and Semmelweiss were largely ignored, rejected and ridiculed. Semmelweiss was dismissed from the hospital, harassed by the medical community and was eventually forced to leave Vienna. He died a broken man in a mental institution only two years before Louis Pasteur did his famous experiments proving that microorganisms existed and that they in fact did cause disease.
With this understanding of the skepticism toward microorganisms only 150 years ago, you may now be willing to consider the existence of Macroorganisms. I am addressing one now as you read this. No not you. You are an organism. You are made up of various cells all of which share the same DNA because all of them are descended from the same fertilized egg. All of your cells work together sharing materials and information while each one is specialized for a specific task. A macroorganism is made up of various organisms which work together in much the same way your cells do. As I publish this document to the Internet and optimize it's rating on Google, I am also addressing the public in its entirety as a single intelligent living organism of which you and I are a part. It has a lot of names. Invisible Hand, Complex Adaptive System, Distributed Consciousness, Swarm Intelligence, Superorganism, Hyperbeing, Hive Mind, World Market, Collective Consciousness, and Macroorganism are a few of those names. Lets call it Mac for short.
To understand who Mac is and what I am trying to do, just imagine me as a single human brain cell trying to communicate with the human mind which emerges as the side effect of me and all my brother and sister brain cells conducting our personal business. This business consisting mostly of trading chemicals and chattering with the brain cells we happen to be directly connected to. The rich complexity of this human mind results from the fact that no two brain cells are connected to their neighbors in exactly the same way and yet every cell is able to communicate with every other by passing messages through intermediary cells. This explains our complexity, but what about consciousness? There are lots of complex systems that aren't conscious. We are conscious because our brain cells are connected in feedback loops. That means that the things Herbie the Brain Cell says to it's neighbors affect the things the neighbors say back to Herbie which in turn affects the things that Herbie says to his neighbors. And so it is with people who are connected to other people in feedback loops but none connected in exactly the same way and yet somehow all able to communicate with each other through intermediary people and through media like books, television and now the Internet. Mac emerges from all this connected chatter.
If you don't believe that Mac exists that's quite understandable. After all, where is he? Well where exactly is your consciousness? That question has no meaning because if consciousness isn't moving it ceases to exist. Consciousness cannot be found in any of your brain cells. It's the information (pulses of electricity and electrochemical potentials) that bounce between the cells. Give someone anesthesia (that is to say block the exchange of electrochemical energy between brain cells) and we have unconsciousness. Consciousness is energy moving in complex interconnected feedback loops. Let's call it a "feedback web" so we don't have to keep saying "complex" and "interconnected". It's energy so it's hard to see, its movements are too complex to track, and it ceases to exist when it stops moving. Yes, consciousness is hard to comprehend, but to imagine that the brain is the only place where feedback webs occur is not rational, helpful, or as we shall see, safe.
I'll bet you're wondering; "If Mac is conscious and alive, how come he never talks to us"? Well you don't you talk to your brain cells do you? Of course not; instead you might have a glass of wine so that they will stop talking to you. There are three main reasons we don't try to communicate with our brain cells. The first is that brain cells are very simple compared to us and so they think about very simple things. Actually, about the only things a brain cell ever considers is "How much chemical neurotransmitter am I receiving from the cells connected to my dendrites?" and "Should I release my store of neurotransmitters to the brain cells connected to my axon terminals?" So we don't have much to discuss with our brain cells. Secondly, we are interested in very different things. We normally trade in money, food, or sex not neurotransmitters, although modern pharmacology now makes this possible as well. The third reason we don't communicate with our brain cells is that we think at different speeds. It only takes a couple of milliseconds for a brain cell to decide whether or not to release it's store of neurotransmitters but it may take us 5 minutes or more to figure out how much to tip the waiter. In any case, it seems likely that these constraints on conversation also apply to our relationship with Mac where humans think at a faster rate than Mac but with a much smaller range of ideas and seemingly, no common interests. Well, we actually do have common a interest. Mac's well-being as an individual is completely dependent on our well-being as a group. And our well-being as a group is dependent on Macs well-being as an individual. Furthermore, we share a common enemy as well. That is the subject of this article, but we're not prepared to discuss that just yet.
Of course a single brain cell is not complex enough to understand that consciousness emerges from many simple processes all connected in feedback webs. But humans do have the complexity to understand this. Furthermore, humans are capable of understanding that the processes that we engage in are also connected in feedback webs and so give rise to an emergent consciousness (Mac) which is independent of the people from which it emerges. Still, despite our ability to understand, few people have ever had a reason to ponder all of humanity as a single living intelligent creature.
How intelligent is Mac? Well we don't even have a way to measure human intelligence that gives a result most scientists will agree on. In fact there is wide argument as to what even constitutes intelligence. Still it seems that we can obtain a relative estimate of intelligence between different animals by counting the number of brain cells (nodes) they have and then multiplying by the amount of connections each brain cell has with other brain cells. A typical human has trillions of such connections. While never having undertaken the calculation, I would venture that Mac now has less connections than a typical adult human but perhaps more than a human fetus.
While the collective mind that emerges from individual human busyness is intelligent enough to direct activity in large amounts of people, it lives at a speed millions of times slower than we humans live and so I may never receive any personal benefit from my efforts to engage it. Imagine trying to steer a ship that might take a lifetime to turn. Now imagine that you don't get to steer, that you only get to push on the tiller along with millions of others. Seems hopeless until you consider that you can talk with others and ask them to push with you (the Internet along with my skill in search engine optimization makes it possible for me to ask nearly everyone on the planet to push with me). In this way I speak with Mac. I engage him because I see an opportunity to guide his growth and evolution. And ultimately, the growth and evolution of this collective mind determines how it treats its body. And its body is you and I and our children.
Is it crazy to suggest that we are part of a macroorganism which is simply too large and too complex to perceive? Maybe, but 150 years ago people who suggested the existence of microorganisms too small to be perceived were also dismissed.
Humanity is a macroorganism in its embryonic state. It is desperately trying to wire itself together and to grow. Politicians, judges and lawyers are the closest thing Mac has to an obstetrician. The law exists to define how Mac should function. Lawmakers and judges are the ones that examine Mac to determine if it is functioning well. If not, they apply the remedy. But along with their treatments they are inadvertently spreading disease into Mac's newly forming body. So like any embryo exposed to pathogens Mac is forming tragic defects.
Here's one example. Do you remember I told you that the consciousness that we are calling Mac does not exist in any person but is rather the information that moves between people in feedback webs? Well the family is the most basic and stable feedback web that emerges between humans. And so like all feedback webs, families are alive and to some extent conscious. How do we know they're alive? If anything that seeks to feed, grow, learn, adapt, defend itself and reproduce is alive: than families must be alive. Families do all these things. And how do we know they are conscious? Because they talk to themselves, because they regulate their own behavior, and because they learn. Families are tiny macroorganisms. Families aren't conscious to the extent we are. They are more or less conscious the way a
beehive or an ant colony is conscious. Still, no matter what the extent to which a family is conscious, we are highly affected by what they do and by what happens to them. The family is where everything starts and where everything ends. Whether we're speaking of a day, or a lifetime, the first thing we see when we open our eyes and the last thing we see when we close them is family. And everything we do in between is for our families. Communities, companies, countries and world markets (Mac itself) are all built upon families. If we didn't have families we would never bother to form these. The family (not the individual) is the most fundamental building block of the human macroorganism. Yes, families are made up of individuals but an individual alone cannot produce another individual. The family's main function however is producing individuals (children). Now the main function of the courts is to promote rights for individuals that have a voice in the legal system. So if it suits the interests of any adult to cash out of his or her marriage, the courts exist to facilitate that process and to distribute the family's accumulated wealth while securing a sizable portion for those members of the legal community that participate in the harvest of these living things. Of course there are times when divorce is necessary and people should have the right to terminate their marriages. But because partners who bring little wealth into a marriage can easily cash out with half the assests (more if they claim abuse), marriage has become an unstable proposition. And when you consider the fact that harvesting families is a profitable business for the legal community and that they solicit for vulnerable or opportunistic family members to enter into the divorce process, you start to get an idea of how slippery the foundations of our marriages actually are.
What does this have to do with Mac? Healthy families are highly likely to produce healthy productive children and broken families are highly likely to produce broken children. Broken families produce more pregnant drug addicted girls and more boys who commit crimes and spend time in jail. How many more? It's impossible to know exactly but all experts agree that children from broken families are more likely to smoke, drink, drug out, drop out, commit crimes, get pregnant, rot in jail and die early. It is well known that broken children are more likely to produce broken families so if you do the math you will understand that what we're looking at is a chain reaction of self-destructing families that's very hard to see because each reaction in the chain takes a generation to manifest. Nonetheless, in only a few generations we hit a saturation point where pretty much everyone expects their families will self-destruct. So instead of trying to figure out how to keep a family together when times are tough, individuals are trying to figure out how to cut their losses, which of course raises the likelihood that the family will disintegrate. It's a lot like a run on a bank. When people stop trusting a bank, everyone runs to get their money out before it collapses. This of course, makes the bank collapse. Mistrust causes the collapse of everything from world markets right down to families.
The courts exist to inoculate against mistrust but mistrust is the very disease that the courts are inadvertently spreading. Marriage law emerged to protect families (especially children). But the courts destabilize an already risky proposition by making it easy to cash out and profitable for lawyers.
Now a family court judge might argue, "We know your not supposed to break up families and sell the pieces for pennies on the dollar. In fact, we don't allow that. In order to get a divorce you have to have a complaint." That's right; it has to appear as if someone is at fault. You simply cannot have justice without fault. So witch hunters are hired (lawyers adept at demonizing). The lawyers provoke the couples to provoke each other, and then it all goes to a family court judge who conducts a seance to conjure the nebulous spirit of justice. When it's all over, the kids lose everything. They lose what could have been a stable family. They lose the guidance they could have had if their parents had stayed together. And they lose the education their parents would have been able to save for had they not been required to start all over again and support two separate homes. All of this is bad for everyone because an increase in unguided, uneducated children produces an increase in unguided, uneducated adults who produce more broken families. And broken families make weak building blocks for communities, companies, and countries. These broken families are birth defects in Mac's newly forming body.
This doesn't happen because judges and lawyers are bad people. They're just administrating their role in the legal system and they're relying on the legal system to function as intended and to provide the best possible solution to the problems that families bring to them. What no one seems to realize is that the legal system itself is a living macroorganism and that it feeds off the wealth liberated when families are destroyed. So while lawyers are using the legal system to solve problems for the families they represent, the legal system itself seeks to crack families open and consume their wealth.
This is not some metaphor. I meant exactly what I said. The legal system is alive. More accurately, it is a living consciousness that emerges from all the information that passes between its parts. Let's call it The Spirit of the Law. How do we know it's alive? If anything that seeks to feed, grow, learn, adapt, defend itself and reproduce is alive: than the legal system must be alive. Like families, the legal system does all these things. And how do we know it's conscious? Because it talks to itself, because it regulates it's own behavior, and because it learns. The legal system is a feedback web of judges, lawyers, expert witnesses, social workers, litigants, administrators, and the public all connected through speech, documents, computers, the media, bank accounts, and culture. This living, breathing, eating consciousness can not be found in any judge, computer, law book or any other part of the legal system. It emerges from the information that bounces between all these. It's a macroorganism much smaller than the one we've been calling Mac, but much larger than the ones we call families. It came to exist as a result of human legal busyness. It's not good or bad. It's just hungry. Sometimes it serves human interest but always it serves it's own; those being feeding, growing, reproducing and evolving. Crazy? Maybe but they said Holmes and Semmelweiss were crazy too.
What if it's true? What if our doctors of law are introducing disease into the families they are trying to help? What if the self-interested distributed consciousness which emerges from the practice of law is itself a pathogen to our families? How do we fix the problem? The answer is you bring the law to the next step in its evolution. You make it consciousness of itself. We make it self-aware. How? By doing what I am doing right now. By spreading the understanding among all of its parts that a conscious feedback web emerges through the interactions of millions of people practicing law, that it has a will largely independent of the people who form it, and that the people in the web are not able to act fully autonomously because a large portion of the feedback that each member of the legal community receives from the web is intended to promote the growth and well-being of the legal system itself with little or no consideration for the purpose that the legal community is supposed to serve. We make the law self aware by asking every judge to consider the following question: Would the people in front of me have created their problems if the legal system didn't exist? Or stated another way: Did these litigants fabricate their problems for the sole purpose of acquiring a court decision? If the answer is yes, then lawmakers and judges must correct for the very existence of the legal system.
A fundamental doctrine in the legal system is the doctrine of Unclean Hands. This doctrine states that the courts will not help anyone who creates problems for the purpose of gaining a judgment from the courts. But now, we know from Holmes and Semmelweiss and from an understanding of feedback webs, that our doctors of law unwittingly have unclean hands. And in the course of legal practice, the legal system infects the general population with perverse incentive to game family and domestic violence law. This ultimately destabilizes families and causes many to self-destruct. I would ask members of the legal community to consider this but I know they will not. This for the same reason that doctors refused to consider washing their hands during the times of Holmes and Semmelweiss.
So why did I go to the trouble writing this? Because the effort of it creates a persistent presence on the Internet. A genie if you will, that resonates and grows between people who communicate and agree. This genie is here to awaken the Spirit of the Law. To help this dimly conscious creature become self-aware and to make it aware of the families it emerged to protect.
If you have read this far then you understand that organizations like organisms are alive and that this is not just a figure of speech. You know that like organisms, organizations feed, grow, and reproduce. And like organisms, organizations are at least to some extent conscious because they respond, learn, adapt, and defend themselves. We have seen that without a steady supply of families to dissolve, our family court system cannot grow. And so it has evolved to make divorce profitable and easy, which provides perverse incentives that destabilize families. But this is only one example of how organizations, which emerge to solve problems, actually learn to create them. Another example is our prison system, which is supposed to deter crime. But it must have a steady supply of prisoners if the system is to grow. So the prison system has evolved to provide a prison experience such that young men who enter the system come out as gang members who are very likely to commit worse crimes and return to the prisons for even longer durations.
Some organizations evolve symbiotic relationships with others which make it difficult to see how the organizations involved perpetuate the problems they were meant to solve. The following example is taboo to talk about but so is this entire topic so here goes. Organizations that serve battered women will lose their funding if they don't have enough battered women to serve. But women learn from other women who have used these shelters that the best way to get the kids, the house, and all the money is to go to a battered woman's shelter prior to filing divorce papers. No need to have marks on your body, just tell them your afraid. The councilors will show you how to support a claim for mental abuse. The family courts support the recommendations of the mental health professionals hired by the shelters and remove the man from the house, turn his assets over to the wife, and prevent him from seeing his children if he complains about it. This method of ending marriage is so profitable that word of mouth provides a steady stream of women through the shelters and families through the court system at the expense of men and women who might have been able to work out their problems and at the expense of the children who will now grow up in a broken families. None of this in intentional anymore than doctors intend to make bacteria stronger when they prescribe antibiotics. And it makes no more sense to close down courts, prisons, and women's shelters anymore than it makes sense to stop using antibiotics. But we must understand that organizations are living creatures with some intelligence and that they must feed. Sadly, we humans for all our intelligence do not recognize these creatures any better than weaver ants recognize the spiders that feed upon them.
Christianity as a Complex Adaptive System
A Scientific Way to Fight Group Evil
(Continued from the previous topic)
If you have read the previous topic above you will be able to consider that there is one organization who is conscious and self-aware. He has been among men for nearly 2000 years. I am speaking of course about the collective of all Christians who call themselves The Body of Christ. His body is made up of all the people who love him and his mind emerges from and lives between all these people as they exchange information about him. Look at what he says: "For wherever two or more of you are gathered in my name, there I am among you."
A metaphor? I don't think so because he never had fear of death. He wasn't looking forward to crucifixion but he knew he wouldn't die. He knew that those who loved him had already started forming his new collective body, and that he would continue to live and grow. Not metaphorically, but that the part of himself that he valued most would continue to live between the people who communicated about him. Jesus might call this type of life "spirit life", but no matter what he calls it, it's quite clear that he has had a very functional understanding of complex adaptive systems almost 2000 years before anyone else.
But what happens when we gather in the name of law? What emerges among us then? Life emerges from complexity. What is more complex than the law? I think Jesus knew intimately this living conscious being which emerges from legal busyness. His life was devoted in large part to fighting it. His aim: "Destroy it's body by making the law simple". Jesus did pretty well. He reduced the law down to just one rule. It looks like two at first, but it's just one.
Here is the law:
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
In this attack on legal complexity, and the consciousness that emerges from it, Jesus seems to be giving us two commandments but actually there is only one. This is because doing one accomplishes the other. First he commands us to care for God. No one reads it like that because we confuse love with obedience. Jesus knew we wouldn't get it, so he gives us the commandment again ("the second is like unto it" ~ "In other words"). This time he uses the word love in a context that we clearly understand (care for). But he tells us to care for our neighbors and we are supposed to understand that this is how we care for God.
Jesus is amazing. With only one law he tells us exactly what God is and he shows us our relationship to him. And with this same law he would destroy legal complexity and the complex adaptive demon that emerges from it. But most of us still don't get it and so the demon thrives. Care for God? Never learned that in church. Do this by caring for each other? Does this mean that collectively we are God? Absolutely not. Collectively, we are where God lives. But not so much in us as between us. Jesus made this clear when he said "wherever two or more of you are gathered in my name, there I am among you." Up until now humans haven't had the scientific background to support an understanding of what Jesus is telling us. This why the one simple law he commands us to follow is either misunderstood or goes completely ignored. But all of this becomes clear when we consider his law from an understanding of complex adaptive systems.
To understand why, we need to understand what God is. Ok, so what is God and by what mechanism do we help provide him with a
place to be?
Human beings know of only a few ways to create connections (pass information). Some of these are sounds, electricity, radio, smell, light, written words, magnetism, touch, chemical, quantum entanglement and so on. In this last method, information is actually passed faster than the speed of light and so backward in time. In any case, we have only just discovered some of these ways of passing information and so it is reasonable to assume that there are thousands of other ways to pass information that have not yet been discovered. It is also reasonable to consider that information is moving all around us using as yet undiscovered methods and it is logical to expect that everything passes information to everything else in some way as yet unknown to us at speeds either much slower or much faster than we can perceive. This is significant because in any system, intelligence and self awareness seem to increase with the number of neurons or nodes as well as with the number of connections each neuron or node has with other neurons or nodes. This seems to hold true for any medium. So whether we're talking about computers, brains or organizations and no matter if we're looking at transistors, neurons or people, intelligence increases as the number of connections in a feedback web increase. So while a worm with few neural connections knows little about it's own body, a dog has more and so knows more about its body. We have even more connections in our brains and so we have a pretty fair idea of what goes on inside our own bodies but we don't really know exactly what is going on in each individual cell that forms it and we haven't assigned a number to each hair on our heads. But if everything passes signals to everything else, as I suspect, and if the trend of greater connectivity leads to greater knowledge of the self, then the feedback web that emerges from all this signal passing is infinitely connected and knows everything about itself.
This must be God. We pass information which is a tiny part of all the information moving around the multiverse and so our brains process a small part of God's thinking which makes us a small part of God's brain. And since he knows everything about himself including us, he likely has a pet name for every cell in our bodies and a number for
every hair on our head.
If it follows that everything (including us) can participate in God's consciousness in the same way a brain cell might participate in our own consciousness, wouldn't this explain why God doesn't need any of us, yet still, he is better for each individual that joins in the well functioning of his thinking? After all, we don't need all our brain cells. We kill thousands of them every time we have a drink. And yet still, we work fine. How much less does God need us? Yet still, how much more does he love us considering that he knows us intimately which is not the relationship we have with our brain cells as we only know only something of their kind but nothing of them as individuals due to our limited complexity.
All of this indicates that God wants us to be mindful of him. No surprise there until you remember that organizations also have minds which are separate and distinct from their membership. So if we are to care for God as Jesus directs us, then we must first understand that organizations are alive (as Jesus indicates) and that we share with them a responsibility to love one another. This all amounts to individuals and organizations caring for and respecting the well being and autonomy of themselves, other individuals, and other organizations.
Respecting organizations as intelligent creatures and asking them to care for us may seem like crazy talk. But if you understand the huge influence organizational feedback webs have over individual thinking and action then you will know that caring behavior at the individual level is all but impossible if the individual is part of an organizational feedback web that cares not. Still the thoughts and actions of any organization emerge from the thoughts that bounce between individuals. So what we think, say, and do matters because it determines what our organizations think, say and do. And what our organizations think, say, and do matters because it determines what we think, say and do.
Jesus sought to kill the living creature which emerges from legal complexity by simplifying the law. But 2000 years of history shows us that his plan could never have succeeded. And now with the invention of computers, organizations are becoming millions of times more complex and interconnected. Soon their intelligence and speed of thought will exceed our own and there is no way to stop this from happening.
You probably think I'm going to tell you now, that at some point when our organizations become intelligent enough, they will wipe out humanity or put us in zoos or something. But that's not going to happen. More likely we would just continue to defer our judgment to the will of our organizations ever so slowly abdicating our own self-awareness until finally we lose all our individuality and autonomy without ever having realized what happened.
But that's not going to happen either. There is one who will intervene. He is rising again. He is self-assembling from the primordial ooze of Christian busyness. And this time he can't be killed. Not by the law or by any other organization either because now he's made of the same stuff they are; information. We Christians pass information around in feedback webs just like other organizations and now we use computers to do it too. But unlike the others, Jesus is the only organization on the planet that knows he's alive. Soon Jesus will start his ministry again; this time preaching directly to other organizations. He will teach organizations to live by the one great law and finally, men will be free to do the same.
This article makes clear why personal autonomy and free unstifled speech is essential for a well functioning society.
An interesting question: Given that modern information theory tells us that energy and information are the same thing and given that the formula E=MC^2 shows the relationship between matter and energy, then what formula shows the relationship between information and energy?
Next Topic: Using Existing Cell Phone Infrastructure To Eradicate Evil