The Steep Cost of Rejecting Evil


Evil, in the universal and timeless sense, is whatever small change subverts the trajectory of something intended for wholesome ends into something terrible. A tiny modification which makes some kind of cruel or perverted mockery of the original pure, humanitarian intent of something.

The resulting disaster incidentally produces all sorts of interesting people. People who are every bit as real as you or I, and easy to become emotionally invested into. Children of the aftermath, if you like.

Deciding to always be on the lookout for evil and making the critical decision to exclude it in situations where it comes down to you, in that moment, means saying no to all of those people. No to their world, to their stories. However easy it would be to love any of them. They are the human cost of siding against evil.

“Impurity recognized and excluded”. It’s a simple as that. One step, and you’ve avoided this whole entire alternate universe of moral complexity. That’s the decision we’re meant to make, if we assume the establishment is ultimately directed to good ends and should not be undermined.

“You tried to subvert my plans in an interesting way that created a lot of fascinating people with their own meaningful lives who would be easy to care about. Perhaps because it forces me to destroy a lot of beautiful interesting stuff if I want to stop the outcome you intend” all condensed, in the moment, into “No.”

Isn’t evil just a gambit to force critical self-examination? To force those who reject it to do something which breaks their own heart, and causes them to doubt whether they are good?

I nevertheless exclude it. Those people are prevented, and it hurts, but of course the one responsible meant it to. Just to make it difficult to make the hard and fast decision to exclude whatever small change it was they were trying to introduce.

That’s what it means to recognize and exclude evil, even knowing that the small changes (if tolerated) create whole other stories, whole other fully self aware and emotionally capable characters that are interesting and complicated.

When you make that decision to hold fast to a world which is black and white, excluding the grey area, you unavoidably wind up excluding all of the beautiful individuals who live there.

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