Comment // Faith

The question of evil revisited

To many critical contemporaries seeing the world with open eyes and a penchant for rationalism and metaphysics, it seems that evil prevails in the Christian Occident in a way that we have not witnessed since the 1930s and 1940s—if we reckon Russia to our cultural sphere, to which it certainly belongs in a broader sense, despite the differences between the cultural heirs of Roman and Byzantine Christendom.

In a recent interview with the radical Tea Party libertarian (and Mormon) Glenn Beck, the alternative media author and investigative journalist Whitney Webb expressed—in a way that is characteristic of the thinking of many dissidents— that we are witnessing events of a transcendent, spiritual dimension and that an epic battle between good and evil is unfolding before our eyes, in which evil apparently prevails. We will see below that while that evil indeed currently dominates our culture, this apocalyptic view is inadequate.


Today’s Western face of evil

Where do we see evil on a large scale? Evil is ultimately the negation of life. This has now become political mainstream. Let’s see how.

The global élites have started a panic campaign about the mildly pathogenic respiratory virus SARS–CoV–2. The virus was at least three times less lethal than the influenza strains which were endemic in the winter of 2017/18, B–Yamagata and A–H1N1pdm09. No-one would have noticed the presence of the Covid virus without massive fear propaganda. After preparing the population using epidemiologically nonsensical lockdowns and massive restrictions, the ruling class proceeded to harm five billion humans with the injection of nucleic acids that force the body cells to produce a toxic protein, the SARS–CoV–2 spike protein.

It was clear from summer 2020 onwards that these nucleic acids would not have any efficacy against contagion with the virus, but would rather be toxic, because the nucleic acids encode for a protein highly homologous to the SARS–CoV–1 spike protein that had been tried and failed as a vaccination antigen ten years earlier; an aspect initially described by S. Hockertz, a German pharmacologist. Among the injected in the global rollout since the end of 2020, there were many young people not endangered by the virus at all and still at reproductive age or even younger.

Because the nucleic acids, especially the chemically modified hyper-stable mRNA (modRNA) manufactured by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna, can remain in the body for up to four to six months in the lymphatic follicles, this is a chronic intoxication which can do great damage to the body, especially if repeated injections are undertaken. Many people were forced to take the poison: for example, to keep their jobs or to attend university. As a consequence of the campaign, reasonable estimates reckon that worldwide, five to ten million died from these injections, among them many children and young adults as well as the unborn children of injected mothers, and an additional five to ten times as many are now chronically ill or disabled, as well as suffering from reduced fertility. We do not know yet whether damages to the reproductive system of the young are temporary or irreversible.

The main reason why the casualty rate from the injection campaign is relatively low, despite the toxicity of the spike protein, is the low quality of the pharmacopoeia of the nanoparticle in this unprecedented mass production, as Dr Mike Yeadon has also noted. In other words, the nanoparticle technology is not ready for scale-up. Due to this ham-fisted batch production, only 15 to 20 per cent of the doses are fully effective, and at least two effective doses per injected victim are required to yield the full toxicity potential. However, BioNTech and Moderna are intensely seeking to improve production quality. The whole vaccination campaign was a eugenicist, transhumanist programme in which population reduction might have been a motive. Nevertheless, it is still being portrayed as a great success of modern genetic-recombination-based medicine.

We witness other examples of deadly evil: the constantly high abortion rates, which range as high as 25 per cent of all pregnancies on average in OECD countries; the mutilation of children and adolescents under the cultural pretext of transsexuality; the new euthanasia of the mentally ill in Canada, which Western countries have not tried since the end of the Nazi state terror; or the industrial-scale trafficking of children for sexual abuse and murder.

All these examples of evil have a common factor: hatred for life and devotion to murder. This devotion to death and evil now so dominates mainstream culture that speaking up against it or naming it is called a “hate crime”, “conspiracy theory”, “trans-hate”, “Covid denial” or “cruel denial of women’s choice” and “enforced pregnancy”.

The wider context that enables this evil to be politically implemented is an almost perfect usurpation of the Western republics. It is fair to say that what little remains today of the rule of law and checks and balances designed to prevent abuse of state power in most Western countries no longer forms any impediment at all to authoritarian rule in the interests of the oligarchy.

In other words, we live in plutocratic states, and what is left of the free republics is merely a façade which simulates the old system to create some legitimacy, very much as Augustus Caesar maintained some of the procedures of the Late Roman Republic in order to conceal and legitimise the real character of his nascent empire. However, like all historical comparisons, this one is flawed as well, since Roman law continued to be honoured for several centuries into the imperial period, whereas we are obviously in a process of dwindling practical relevance both of the common law and the civil law in the West.


Theodicy—the theology of evil

Where does this evil come from? There is no philosophical answer, and some thinkers are consequently prone to deny the existence of evil. These include Konrad Lorenz, for whom it is merely an expression of biological aggression; Lorenz does not make the traditional metaphysical distinction between man and all other animals. Nietzsche likewise tends to diminish the significance of evil, writing that malignity (evil behaviour) is not done “for the sake of the suffering of the other, but for one’s own delight”, and contriving to see in this the “innocuous character” of evil.

On the other hand, Kant describes malignity as an attitude in which evil is taken as the dominating force of one’s life; one’s fundamental principle of action. Schopenhauer summarises this maxim as follows: Omnes, quantum potes, læde (Hurt all whenever ye can).

Today, our high culture appears to have lost this knowledge of evil which characterised Christian civilisation. Being wise to evil is currently neither a cultural topos nor a concept at the core of the modern individual’s consideration, which instead focuses on paying lip service to values of hyper-morality that do not have to be lived in practice, such as diversity, inclusion, “equity” (now superseding equality), or selective tolerance (Marcuse) for propositions of the “true [Marxist] consciousness” (Adorno).

This cultural blindness to the reality of evil enables malignant institutions such as the CDC, the FDA and the MHRA to proceed with their large-scale malignancy. The profoundly wicked bureaucrats working there, and the politicians who oversee their malignancy, maximise harm for everyone by approving and promoting the distribution of poisons such as the nucleic acids against “Covid” or ineffective and toxic drugs such as Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir (Paxlovid), thus horribly embodying Schopenhauer’s maxim.

From a theological perspective, evil is the denial of God. Luther calls it the theft of the deity of God; John the Evangelist calls it the “murderous lie” (John 8:44, free translation of ἀνθρωποκτόνος [...] ψεῦδος). Ultimately, it is the denial of life and the cult of death. Pagan, pre-Christian mythical nightmare figures of evil which contributed to our cultural mainstream—such as witches, ghouls, vampires and zombies—are indeed allied to the devil or are undead monsters bringing death and contagion to the living, confirming the view that evil is ultimately the lust for killing and death.

Be that as it may, the really difficult question is: What is the difference between sin and evil? According to the New Testament, our whole existence is sin, which Luther characterises as “forgetting God” (Gottesvergessenheit). We are all sinners, and each of us is always in need of God’s grace, which is freely given to us if we turn to Him. So, if sin and evil were one and the same, we would all be evil. Yet, obviously, not all of us do live out the precept Hurt all whenever ye can.

But then, how does evil arise? Rudolf Bultmann may have been the first theologian to venture an answer. According to him, evil comes into the world by means of sinning, but then induces more sinning. The individual is swept into a cycle of evil which corresponds to Schopenhauer’s maxim. The sin itself is a privatio veri (denial of truth).

This is conducive to the absence of freedom, the slavery of the soul. By that stage, the enslaved soul lacks faith, love and hope, which if present would have enabled it to escape the cycle of evil. Instead, the malignant human falls into normlessness (anomie): he has no relation to other humans nor to God any more. That is to say, couched in mediaeval terms, he is by this point the possession of the devil, or demon-possessed.

All of this is very characteristic of the classical Christian view of our existence as an individual relation (or non-relation) to God. Evil is nothing other than complete detachment from God. But Christianity does not say much about evil as a phenomenon in society. John of Patmos, the author of Revelation, is an exception in the canonical texts of the Christian faith.

John describes an epic battle of good and evil according to the scheme of the Gnosticism that influenced him. This battle involves the entire human race, which is divided into those following the devil and the faithful. John describes how society (as we would call it today) is shaped by this unrelenting war.

Though magisterial Western Christian (both Lutheran and Roman Catholic) teaching acknowledges theologically important and beautiful aspects of Revelation (such as the ultimate promise of grace for the faithful at 21:4: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain”), nevertheless, in both the Lutheran and the Catholic reading of the New Testament, the world is not shaped by an epic antagonism of good and evil.

Rather, we are asked by the Gospels and Epistles to see the world from the perspective of my relationship to God, which concerns only me and God. It is an introspection which excludes any inspection of or speculation about my neighbour’s state before God. In other words, the perspective of society is out of scope of the core concern of the New Testament, which addresses souls. The Christian Scriptures, by design, do not afford us the means to explain historic, social and political developments.

Therefore, from the point of view of our Christian faith as individuals, what we are witnessing today is not a Manichaean battle between good (God) and evil (Satan), but we are rather watching the default devolution of human nature empty of faith and thus in rebellion against God. Evil always prevails in our fallen world, but its extent can vary over time and from society to society. If the number of members of a society who are devoid of faith becomes the overwhelming majority, secularly speaking, social norms erode, there is not enough “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13) left to preserve the repast.

Theologically speaking, culture and state power become dominated in such circumstances as ours by individuals who are indulging in riotous, unrestrained sinning in total self-syntony, i.e. these evil individuals are totally penetrated by malignancy yet experience this state—and the thoughts, intentions and emotions pertaining to it—as to belonging to themselves, as natural, as being free to be themselves.

Such a collective state of malignancy among those who shape society via their public utterances and their decisions as rule-makers and executive office-holders regularly recurs in history. It was clearly present, for example, during the 1620s in my own country, Germany, at the height of the last witch-hunt, and certainly also during the peak of National Socialism in the early 1940s, before a silent majority became disenchanted by Hitler.

Interestingly, in each of these periods, we saw what we see now again: Western mainstream churches are full of leaders who live in a state of malignancy. For example, they praised measures that preceded the Covid “vaccination” campaign and prepared the population, Jim Jones-like, to accept its mass poisoning as “Christian duty”; and they support abortion outright as liberating, or fail to stand up against euthanasia. In Germany, both of our mass-membership Christian denominations raise funds to support what is frankly human trafficking, which leads to human misery and which increases death rates both on the migration pathways and in the societies which end up having to host the migrants.

Certainly, many church leaders believe that they are acting in accordance with morality, but they fail to see that they are massively misinterpreting faith and are ultimately engaged in a religion of their own fashioning and in a haughty rejection of life, and of God as its Creator, by their endorsement of evil policies directed against life and creation. Because (as noted above) the contemporary postmodernism which now prevails in our culture is not concerned with evil, published opinion fails to realise what is going on and indeed participates in the indulgence of evil. Public voices are vying to applaud the obvious malignancy of our politicians and magistrates.

This is a remarkable state which we have rarely witnessed in such a homogeneous distribution across the entire domain of Western culture before, though the Crusades and the pan-European (and colonial) Early Modern witch-hunts come to mind.

How can faith cope with the gaping affront now that evil openly prevails in our societies and its institutions?

By realising that God promises to free everyone who turns to Him from evil and to forgive his sins; a promise which is exemplified strongly in the story of Legion, the squad of demons which Christ exorcises from the Gadarene victim whom it has possessed (Mark 5).

But does that suffice? Oughtn’t God Almighty prevent large-scale evil in the first place? Independently of this question of theodicy, which will be addressed in another piece, the question of evil has a political dimension as well.


The political philosophy of evil

Because the New Testament deals with the relationship of the individual to God, in order to understand the prevalence of evil in our society, we need to turn to political philosophy, with which the authors of the New Testament were certainly familiar. From this perspective, evil prevails in society when the élites which control it grasp to accumulate too much power, and when—for various reasons—the mechanisms to stop and reduce the abuse of power fail. In urbanised societies, power is always organised as a state monopoly, because the alternative is chaos and civil war (Hobbes’ war of all against every man).

Since the dawn of urbanisation five thousand years ago, there has been a permanent struggle for the prevention of the abuse of state power by politicians (who until recently were the nobility) and their magistrates (literally, those empowered by that ruling class; composed today of the administrative bureaucracy) via the checks and balances on the cultural, economic, social and political levers of power. Whenever this control fails, power leads to evil (Lord Acton’s power corrupts), because from the perspective of the individual holding the power, the absence of control is a temptation to use power for his own purposes.

Currently, we see a multi-layered failure of the control of power. Our culture fails to demand the control of power and, as we have seen, fails even so much as properly to recognise and name evil. The traditional economic control of power via a broad distribution of property is failing, because we have a massive dichotomy in the ownership of the means of production, which has become more pronounced at an accelerating speed since the 1970s. This dichotomy is itself the main reason for the exacerbation of power abuse.

Social control of power is failing because the interest groups which advocate the wants and needs of the dependent masses, such as trade unions and classical left-wing labour parties, have dissipated or altogether lost their focus on the weaker members of society. Political control of power is massively reduced because the plutocratic élites have bypassed democratic procedures for forming political will by compromise.

This has brought us to the pitch where unrestrained power is enabling the triumph of evil in Western societies, and it is not yet clear when this process will be overturned. There are many historic precedents for such phases lasting for more than a generation.