Illustrated City Part 3

P-ure Evil

I hope I don’t sound too preachy with this post.

I don’t know if the tagger was proclaiming himself or herself evil, making a statement on society or the world, protesting against or celebrating evil.  He or she certainly didn’t do any good by desecrating public property in Hamilton’s Gibson neighbourhood, which citizens have to pay for through taxes.  Taxes; now there’s something that most people are inclined to think of as evil!  Seeing that graffiti there brought an old argument back to my mind.

“People are carnal by nature.”  I’ve heard that philosophy so many times.  The notion is actually inspired by verses in the book of Romans of the Holy Bible, and not in those specific words.  The book of Romans of course condemns evil.  I have always heard this similar statement, however, espoused by people who openly boast of their carnality.  They use this phrase as an excuse for the world’s malice.  There are many who want to convince everyone else that it is inherent for everyone to be insensitive, irresponsible, sardonic, sarcastic, impatient, hateful, violent, belligerent cheaters and liars who are arrantly incapable of controlling these lower aspects of the human condition.  So we all might as well give up trying to be decent, and just enjoy raising all hell upon the earth.

I think the last person to actually say this statement to my face was a convict who was staying at a halfway house in the Landsdale area.  He was finishing his time for committing armed robbery.  Figuring himself as being a tough guy criminal mastermind, he would often brag about sticking up corner stores; crimes for which he was in fact caught and convicted twice, each time serving five years.  That’s Canada’s legal system for you.  He must have been armed with a small knife each time that for his second sentence to not be greater than the previous.  A middle-aged man, he admitted to spending most of his life behind bars and not being there for any of his children who grew into adulthood.

I told him that I think his point of view is rubbish.  Sure, there is mathematical chaos theory which might suggest–I’m not entirely certain, that things in nature naturally tend to move toward their destruction but in reference to the human carnality issue, we are not talking about natural phenomenon like wind patterns, the constant change in space fabric and death.  Such things or systems are truly natural because their functions are truly beyond anyone’s control, even if–as chaos theory explains, they are shown to be deterministic systems.  When speaking about base human behaviour, we can control much of this if we really want to, and certainly should if we really want to advance as a species.

Yes, there are times when we choose to do things with good intentions and they still go horribly awry, that is the real flaw in human nature, but this is still different from deliberately abusing another human being.  It requires a conscious and calculated choice to violate someone’s fundamental human rights, even if you’re violating your own.  So, although I’m not big on philosophy, I counter that rubbish philosophy with my own that says, “People are carnal by choice.  Where we can choose to do evil, we can also choose to do good.”

2 thoughts on “Illustrated City Part 3

    • Thanks, Joshi. Sometimes I push a deliberately grainy look which has an interesting way of emphasizing the mysteriousness of shadows and dark features. It also ages some images.

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