Sunday, October 3, 2010

Satan? Human Nature? Whatever.

I'm still making my way through the Australian Screen website.  Today, I watched a clip from a documentary about Poland. It's on the Australian Screen website because it was made by the Australian filmmaker, David Bradbury.  

In the clip I watched, a Polish woman visits Auschwitz for the first time.  She says she doesn't see the atrocities as being on the shoulders of any particular nation. She blames the evil side of human nature.  And she says stuff like Auschwitz happens in many places. 

I totally agree with her.

People are often wanting to point fingers.

Atheists blame religious people.

Christians blame Muslims, Atheists, New Age believers, and anyone from the "wrong" Christian church.

Right wing people blame left wing people.

Left wing people blame right wing people.

Jews blame Muslims.

Much of the world blames Israel.

Maybe capitalism is the root of all evil. Or is it Communism?  Those who voted for Obama? Those who voted for George W. Bush?

Does Islam promote violence? Is the Koran a book that promotes violence and evil?   

No, probably not. But it's read by cruel and violent people. They're not cruel and violent because they're Muslim.  They're cruel and violent because they're human.  

I write all this mostly as a reminder to myself.  I am prejudiced at times.   Sometimes I have ill feelings towards Christians and Christianity. Sometimes I have bad feelings towards Muslims.   Sometimes I think negative thoughts about white people. Sometimes it's easy to believe that one group of people is more likely to cause harm than others.   It's nice to imagine that if things were reversed during the Holocaust, that things would have turned out differently.  What if it were the Gentiles who were rounded up to go to the death camps?  What if the Hitler in the story thought the Jews were the master race?  Would the Jews have acted any different than the Gentiles?    Are Jews genetically programed to be more benevolent?  What if the white people lived in Australia first?   What if it were the black people who invaded?  Would they have treated the white aborigines more decently?

In history, there are bullies and victims. But when the victims gain power, do they become bullies as well?  

Are certain types of humans inherently more evil than others?  Does following certain religions and philosophies increase one's chance of becoming a wrongdoer?

Maybe.   It's a possibility that can't be ruled out.   If genes can influence hair color, math ability, tongue curling ability, etc....why can't it influence good and evil behavior?

Unfortunately if genes do play a part, I think these genes have infiltrated the whole rainbow of humanity.  I do NOT think wrongdoer genes are more dominant in certain populations. Perhaps at one time in history they were. But not now.

There's no need to look towards warring nations and those playing games of genocide.   We can look within ourselves and those in our immediate surroundings.   There we shall see cruelty, bigotry, indifference, apathy, selfishness, and greed.  Some of us MAKE bad things happen to others.   Most of us ALLOW bad things to happen to others....usually out of willing ignorance.  There's very few of us who are not guilty.   

It's easy (and kind of fun) to point fingers at the others, but it's probably more honest to point fingers at ourselves.   We can blame our genes. We can blame our id.   We can blame Satan. We can blame the force of darkness.  We can blame our childhoods.  We can blame garden gnomes.    Really.   Whatever floats your boat.    Something....whatever....causes us to be BAD.

On the bright side....most of us have good within us as well.  We make selfish choices and hurt others.  But then on another day, we might make really nice choices and help someone else.    I was about to say it all balances out, but sadly I don't think it does. I may be a pessimist, but I think the bad in the world outweighs the good.   Sorry.

Maybe THAT will change one day.  Okay. No.    don't really believe that. I just didn't want to end on such a sour note.   But I guess I'm going to.