I do not understand evil

Jack - Manhattan Beach, California
Entered on April 26, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: good & evil

I do not understand evil.

I am not naïve… I know evil exists in the world… it’s hard to miss in the daily newspaper or on the local news.

But I do not understand it.

I do not understand how a person can wake up in the morning, brush his or her teeth, eat breakfast, commute to work, sit in a cubicle, turn on the computer, and then attempt to steal the life savings of some unknown person who was successfully deceived by an email that looked exactly as if it came from the bank.

I do not understand how people can work in a telephone boiler room and try to swindle senior citizens out of their meager savings by offering guaranteed wealth if they invest their money in some piece of land or new company’s stock.

I do not understand how someone can promise a sick and frightened person lifesaving medicine, and then sell them sawdust from the floor.

Don’t these people have loved ones that they care about and want to protect?

Do they watch the same television shows as they rest of us, but are they rooting for the bad guy while the rest of us want the good to win?

Do evil people mingle in society – go out to restaurants and movies – celebrate Christmas with neighbors – have friends over for dinner?

What do they say to each other when they take a lunch break?

“I got seven social security and three credit card numbers this morning, and I got four more on the hook for this afternoon.”

“Hey that’s great. I got some old lady in Florida to send me all her stock certificates. Boy, am I gonna get a good bonus for that one.”

These aren’t stupid or desperate people. They’re not drug addicts robbing a liquor store to get enough money to pay for the next fix.

No, evil people are just as educated and thoughtful as the rest of us.

They understand computer programming, marketing, international finance, the law, and up-to-the-minute security procedures. With a great degree of thought and imagination, they decide upon their next venture, who to target, how to go about doing it, what resources are required, and what are the potential risks and rewards.

Why can’t they just take all that capability, and apply it to creating the next Google or Microsoft,

What is it about evil that makes using all this knowledge and skill so much more satisfying, than exerting the exact same efforts as part of mainstream society.

I can more easily understand Al Qaeda on 9/11 and Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma than I can understand the people who hack into computers to steal identities.

While I think the terrorists who destroy innocent people are warped in their views, and while I can’t understand what they hope to accomplish by their actions, at least they have an ideology and for some reason think their actions can help them get closer to their goals.

But to randomly destroy someone’s – anyone’s – life, this I do not understand.

This is what I believe.

I believe all babies are born good and innocent, I just don’t understand what happens to some of them afterwards.