Thursday, September 30, 2010

The question of evil

This is a big question and one I was very reticent to embark on. It is a huge leap from saying that an act is evil to that person is evil. We have all done bad things, things we are not proud of, in moments of weakness or anger.

Big question.... Can we define someone as evil? If so under what context? Someone commented on this blog that PICA is evil. Can an organisation be evil?

Before we go on lets examine the burden of proof. Lets say we see 2 balls hitting each other and one of them goes into a pocket like in pool. And we see this happen many times. Can we now say that the one ball going into the pocket is caused by the other ball hitting it? It seems apparent right? But in science that is not proven. To prove something we also need a fully tested theory to explain it. So proof is not easy. Even Einstein's theory is not proven. However Newtonian science is disproved.

So the burden of proof is not easy. Even the Courts say beyond reasonable doubt. So how can we function in everyday life? How can we say a person is evil? Where is the proof?

Do you see where I am leading to? This is what an evil person relies on, if he exists, of course.

So lets examine this scenario. Lets take PICA as an example. But let me say here that PICA is not unique. I only use it as an example because I was part of the organisation and a witness to these acts. I witnessed persons playing around with the programs to see how it can be manipulated. I see results wrongly announced. I see minutes manipulated. I see a funny system of rating exclusive to PICA. Isolated incidences? Can be explained away? No proof. No cross tables are announced and only certain people have access to information. So how? I cannot demand for information like a Court can.

Science may be able to help a little here. In science what the scientists do is to build a hypothetical model with some known facts. Its a model that is in part from the imagination. (So long as the verified known facts fit the model.) So we now have a hypothesis. Better than nothing. (It's the beginning of judgement.) And we test this hypothesis over many many scenarios. And if carefully constructed sometimes it proves to be predictive. This hypothesis tells you that when certain people are involved then certain things happen. Not proven in the strict sense of the word. Remember, even Einstein is not proven.

Is that enough? Is that enough for everyday life? Afterall we dont want to be cheated by the same person or organisation over and over again because we have no proof.

Furthermore in the Courts they categorise premeditation as a greater evil. If we see a person who reacts emotionally because he had a bad day somewhere else, is he evil? Or is the person who knowingly and calculatingly perform these acts more evil. I personally do not categorise the first person as evil. He just has a problem. But the second....

So we have a tested, working hypothesis where we can see premeditation. Is that enough? Can we now say that person, that organisation is evil?

In everyday life we have to make judgement calls. Just like in chess. Sometimes we cannot wait for the proof. The "evil" person knows how to hide that. Do you wait for the proof that someone is killing off the spirit of your child? If you do that, what would that proof look like?

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