Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter
I have always been fascinated with what makes people evil. Frankly, I could never relate and still have a hard time understanding the lack of compassion and empathy in evil rotten broken people, specifically pathological narcissists and psychopaths. But since most religions address good and evil, it was natural for me to use them as sources of information.
This is what I found:
- Pretty much all religions are founded on reconciliation of good and evil and the search for truth or enlightenment.
- They use anecdotes, short accounts of a real incident or person not supported by scientific data, to make a point.
- All discuss the consequences of committing evil deeds or violation of moral or ethical codes more commonly referred to as “sins.” Most define what these moral and ethical codes are and list them and provide examples in anecdotes. Sins are graded by severity from least to most harmful as are good characteristics from least to most beneficial.
- Most provide some leeway for those who truly unknowingly commit sins or repent them.
- Punishments for breaking the rules are commensurate with their severity and the level of intent in committing the sin. In all religions, evil people pay the ultimate price for the worst “mortal” sins and good virtuous people reap the benefits. For example, the ultimate price, in Christianity, for the truly evil who do not repent is hell and eternal damnation. The benefit for the righteous is enlightenment and eternal life.
- Some claim evil is passed down from generation to generation.
- All are founded in faith, belief without justification or what I refer to as “internal truth” or “internal beliefs.”
Let’s examine now in the discussion of evil, the worst of the sins referred to as the seven capital sins, deadly sins or mortal sins and their relation to the seven virtues.
The Roman Catholic Church recognized the Seven Capital Virtues as opposites to the Seven Deadly Sins. According to Dante’s The Divine Comedy, the sins have an order of greatness, and the virtues a respective order of greatness as well.
This order is shown below from the least significant to the most significant. Note that pride or vanity otherwise known as narcissism, then, is listed as the worst of the mortal sins. It is considered the cause of the other six, hence, the “root of all evil.” Note also that the virtues identify what are the most desirable character traits.
Seven Mortal Sins
- Lust (excessive sexual appetites)
- Gluttony (over-indulgence)
- Greed (avarice)
- Sloth (laziness/idleness)
- Wrath (anger)
- Envy (jealousy)
- Pride (vanity)
- Chastity (purity)
- Temperance (self-restraint)
- Charity (giving)
- Diligence (zeal/integrity/Labor)
- Forgiveness (composure)
- Kindness (admiration)
- Humility (humbleness)
So aren’t we, the compassionate loving virtuous ones the targets of narcissistic evil beasts who the scriptures describe as the root of all evil?
What are we to make of the evil narcissists with deficient characters in our lives who mucked with our belief system, abused us, exploited us, shadowed their brokenness and evilness on us and tried to turn us into them? What are we to make of those who as discussed in the Bible “call evil good and good evil and put darkness for light and light for darkness.”
This is what I profess, that in all religions, at a point in history when the level of man’s thinking was less mature, when psychology did not exist and we relied on the heavens for answers, folks were describing narcissists and psychopaths. Compassionate loving empathic virtuous people from every corner of the world who were being targeted and scapegoated by narcissists and psychopaths (Jesus being the most famous of scapegoats) were desperate for answers in their common searches for truth. And they wrote their answers in their scriptures and described them in anecdotes to educate and warn us of the evil among us and the impending doom. This is what preempted “psychology” before its birth and we could put a name to these disordered humans. And they were pretty much spot on.
As they all described, when all is said and done, people will remember those kind compassionate people, the enlightened ones who live in truth, and will miss them and share those memories with others. We can learn from our mistakes, course and thought correct, and repent from our “sins.” Our souls can be nourished and we can heal. Our spirits and souls do live forever. This, I profess is eternal life commonly known as “heaven.”
And those evil ones, the narcissists and psychopaths, when they pass, people will rejoice and forget them and no one will share memories of them or miss them. They cannot be cured. They are evil unrepentant sinners who cannot create their own energy and leave no memories to sustain those who remain. Their spirits and insatiable souls are gone forever. This, I profess is eternal damnation commonly known as “hell.”