Submitted by Terence Blackett
The year is 1066 AD. William (Duke of Normandy), later to be crowned King William 1 of England after his war and conquest of King Harold. After setting himself up as Regent – commissioned a survey of his realm and has the research findings compiled in a document called The Doomsday Book.
By royal decree – the survey legalized the confiscation of property, livestock, and anything of value in lieu of a taxation levy which would bring money into the Exchequer. The peasants, serfs and villagers across England rebelled – likening their experience to Judgment Day or the Day of Doom – hence the name given to the document.
King William subsequently died without the book being completed however; the book was used as the foundation for tax assessment during the medieval Middle Ages. Then in the 18th century, English jurist Sir William Blackstone used it as a voting register to decipher who was eligible to vote. And so for a 1000 years this document has been used to verify land ownership in Britain (TITLE), rights of passage and planning permission for the establishment of towns, hamlets, villages and even businesses.
A similar Doomsday Book called the HOLY BIBLE* holds the keys to The Ancient of Days – His decrees, laws, commands, and rules. Inscribed within this document are fundamental truths which determine the outcome of “ALL” of our lives but most importantly, it also shows the topography which exist between the forces of “GOOD” arrayed against the alliances of evil in a quantum cosmic battle (being fought here on earth) where “LIGHT” and darkness are vying for supremacy.
This battle is the final frontier of human duality – the eternal confluence between freewill and/or determinism. A 21st century battle where pseudo-philosophies have become the anthropocentric soteriology of man’s quest to divine salvation at his own hand; an apotheosis which answers the words of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden – “Ye shall be as gods”; a chronocentric bifurcation of epistemological truth housed in Scripture but now jettisoned to the wasteland of superstition to be replaced by a nouvelle form of socio-chemical Darwinism which seeks to manipulate the metaphysics of good v evil.
If intellectually honest – we must ask ourselves: are there forces behind acts of goodness as well as feats of colossal evil? How are these polarized opposites explained in the light of day? Is mankind deterministically bent towards “EVIL” as well as having the freewill to do major “GOOD” and if so why?
Day by day, the cosmic controversy between good and evil rages on with intense ferocity. In 1994, General Romeo Dallaire of Canada – the supreme Commander of the United Nations forces in Rwanda remarked that during the genocide “he had shook hands with the Devil”. A later commentary stated – “if anyone still dares to deny ‘SATAN’, they can meet me at the mass graves in Rwanda”. This is the unquestionable paradigm that “EVIL” presents which bears no logical human answer other than dark, sinister, satanic forces at work.
Time and space does not allow me the luxury to look at all the philosophical angles in this debate, however, I am sure that there will be strong arguments on both sides of the divide as the pillars of “GOOD” v evil stretch back to a primordial time when the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good & evil” would adumbrate millennial ramifications for those that eventually would dwell on the earth. This argument has been the proverbial quagmire from which many have not yet emerged – battling in their own understanding to make sense of a simple, divinely spiritual explanation for the manifestation of “GOOD” v evil with all its connotations.
It would be extremely difficult to discuss an issue of such moral pertinence without flavouring the debate with what Scripture describes as the “ULTIMATE” choice made by man and the catastrophic results of the on-going choices that are made even today.
Good v evil is not easily understood after almost 6000 years of religious, philosophical, ideological, epistemological, political, social, psychological and now biological gestalt. There are however serious questions to answer in this ongoing debate.
Amongst others questions: Is the framework for morality based on our “freewill or are there outside esoteric and spiritual influences? Does our genetic makeup based on the concept of “determinism” decide whether we become evil or remain a good person all our lives? How do the structural effects of environmental conditioning again “determine” who we become in the light of our childhood socialization model? And finally, do mass murderers like Anders Breivik in Oslo, Norway several months ago, be attributed to biochemical and other factors beyond his control?
This article though controversial, looks at Dr. Paul Zak research findings and his methodological use of “Oxytocin” described in his book due to launch in 2012 entitled: The Moral Molecule: Vampire Economics and the New Science of Good and Evil which will be published sometime in 2012 by Dutton Press. The underlying premise of Dr. Zak’s research is found in the manipulation of a key chemical process within the human brain (OXYTOCIN) which would create the right environment for “LOVE”, empathy and other virtues which seem lacking in the vast swathe of persons with psychopathic tendencies – notwithstanding, the nebulous nature of human affairs and the interactions which often foment into outright chaos and anarchy.
The brief of our short discourse within the public square of human opinion is not to dissect Dr. Zak’s findings but to amplify a more important issue as was cited early last year with the finding of Dr. Craig Venter and the supposed creation of synthetic life and the ramifications that holds going forward. Dr. Zak has however designed a pharmaceutical product in the form of a nasal spray with goes directly to the brain and will produce the necessary oxytocin levels needed to create the desired human response.
But what if it were possible to prescribe a “moral” pill for narcissists, megalomaniacs, serial killers, paedophiles and others as a way of circumventing possible future evil actions? Most would argue that would be a good thing! But what about the other side of the coin? Could this kind of biological science be used as a form suppression by governments and pharmaceutical giants in their quest for civil obedience and immoral compliance? And to what extent does the biochemical manipulation of human species affect our legal rights in issues of criminal law and the transgressionist areas of crime and punishment?
Researchers like Dr. Zak have produced empirically-based, chemically synthesized, foundational evidence that supports the possibility that the inherent human propensity for “EVIL” can be altered by the infusion of a drug or cocktail of drugs – in what some believe is further promulgation of the neoeugenics agenda with perceivable social disadvantageous repercussions. What is regrettable are the good intentions which mask future tyranny!
Written in the WORD* OF GOD* are  mysteries: “The mystery of godliness”; and “the mystery of INIQUITY”. We understand the word “mystery” to mean just that – “something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain; the condition or quality of being secret, strange, or difficult to explain.” The Bible is clear on the mysterious nature of EVIL* – choosing to simply explain it as an “ENEMY”, an invisible “shadow”; the opposite of what is good, pure, holy and noble. The exegesis on this difficult subject has been the bone of contention for eons and men are still trying to see how best to create empirical scientific formulations to explain something that is deeply and profoundly spiritual transcending the boundaries of scientific or moral human existence.
Most of us refuse to see that the titanic struggle between the forces of “GOOD” v evil harps back to a cosmological time that is oblivious to the faculty of human cognizance and understanding. No rational explanation is forthcoming without a clear interpretation of the Bible – especially within the light of the intergalactic war which took place in Heaven.
Lucifer – that fallen angel became the cognitive power that man would ascribe to. In the process, Lucifer (now SATAN) the epitome of evil has been able to successfully deceive the world according to 19th century poet Charles-Pierre Baudelaire, “persuade us into believing that he does not exist” while the proponents of this self-eviscerating belief system called “Evolutionary Science” (Atheism in its many forms) portrays God as the Gnostic hypostasis of the Archons – a cruel, abusive, repressive principle of superstition that limits man from transfiguring and transmogrifying into “gods” themselves.
Hence the realignment and reiteration of Pythagoras’ mantra that “man is the measure of all things” belies the philosophical and metaphysical construct of this belief system that is construed as socio-political utopianism. A philosophy of determinism where man has become the arbiter of his own moral law and is able to decide what is good & evil outside of the Word of God – where man is now beyond the gamut of those said paradigms and is essentially his own “god” – for once he is able to reconceptualize good and evil according to his own self-interest and agenda – soon enough “evil” itself becomes non-existent.
C. S Lewis in his piece on “EVIL AND GOD” (7th February 1941) suggest that “since neither ‘mechanism’ nor ‘emergent evolution’ will hold water, we must choose in the long run between some monotheistic philosophy or the dualism between a single, good, almighty source of being, and two equal uncreated, antagonistic Powers, one good and the other bad.”
Lewis believes that “the metaphysical difficult is that two Powers, the good and the evil do not explain each other. For if evil has the same kind of reality as good, the same autonomy and completeness, our allegiance to good becomes the arbitrarily chosen loyalty of a partisan. Theories of value demand that that good should be original and evil a mere perversion; that good should be the tree and evil the ivy; that good should be able to see all around evil (as when sane men understand lunacy) while evil cannot retaliate in kind; that good should be able to exist on its own while evil requires the good on which it is parasitic in order to continue its parasitic existence.”
However, Dr. Michael Tooley provides a slight philosophical variation to C. S Lewis in the structural application between how the axiological v deontological paradigms posited within the debate between good and evil must be elucidated. For Tooley, “the problem, in short, is that any axiological formulation of the argument from evil, as it stands, is incomplete in a crucial respect, since it fails to make explicit how a failure to bring about good states of affairs, or a failure to prevent bad states of affairs, entails that one is acting in a morally wrong way.”
“Moreover, the natural way of removing this incompleteness is by appealing to what are in fact controversial ethical claims, such as the claim that the right action is the one that maximizes expected value. The result, in turn, is that discussions may very well become sidetracked on issues that are, in fact, not really crucial – such as, for example, the question of whether God would be morally blameworthy if he failed to create the best world that HE* could.” Something which feeble men use as an argument to supposedly discredit His existence.
“The alternative to an axiological formulation is a deontological formulation. Here the idea is that rather than employing concepts that focus upon the value or disvalue of states of affairs, one instead uses concepts that focus upon the rightness and wrongness of actions, and upon the properties – right-making properties and wrong-making properties – that determine whether an action is one that ought to be performed, or ought not to be performed, other things being equal. When the argument is thus formulated, there is no problematic bridge that needs to be introduced connecting the goodness and badness of states of affairs with the rightness and wrongness of actions.” This philosophical bridge must be crossed in order to have a proper understanding of the differences inferred.
As men like Dr. Paul Zak may have good intentions in their research, historical evidence based on the science of eugenics has done nothing to improve mankind’s ability to live harmoniously with eachother. Moreover, our history is replete with diabolical examples of human carnage caused by our inability to stave off the primordial effects of evil in our world.
In conclusion, the (1996) Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder by Richard Dawkins, remarked that “If you want to do evil, science provides the most powerful weapons to do evil; but equally, if you want to do good, science puts into your hands the most powerful tools to do so. The trick is to want the right things, and then science will provide you with the most effective methods of achieving them. But perhaps the rest of us could have separate classes in science appreciation, the wonder of science, scientific ways of thinking, and the history of scientific ideas, rather than laboratory experience…” I concur wholeheartedly with Dawkins as far as the limitations of science goes in its quest to make the world (materially) a better place based on equity and fairplay. What science (SADLY) is unable to do is to regulate man’s virtues or his psychopathologies. That domain is outside of the realm of empirical science – but borders on the metaphysical (yet that too is deficient to solve the ills of human-kind because God is the only ONE* source of true spiritual, moral and aesthetic transformation) when it comes to how good we are or how evil our hearts have become.
HE* alone can make a sinner a SAINT* and a saint* fit for glory!