My first challenge topic comes from a dear friend of mine in Brazil. It started with a rambling discussion while he was still half asleep yesterday morning, but I managed to get him to condense it enough for me to understand the general idea; Necessary Evil. Being limited to a short format such as the 5 paragraph essay, this allows me to keep it brief. First, I’ll cover “What is necessary evil”. Next, I will give a historic example of what some term as a ‘necessary evil’. Finally, I’ll cover my own personal thoughts on the topic.
Simply put, according to Wikipedia, “A necessary evil is an evil that must be allowed for a greater good to result.” This brings into question; what is evil? Well, according to multiple dictionaries (I’ll leave it up to you to look it up if you so desire) evil falls into 2 categories: 1. (something) profoundly immoral and malevolent. and 2. profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force. I present these separately because the first relies on the motivations of fellow humans while the other implies a supernatural entity normally outside our control. For the intent of this essay, we will focus on our fellow human beings.
So, with the focus on “necessary evil” being implemented by a person or group of people, I will bring up one example easily found on the ‘net’. I want to make note that many of the examples you will find stem from times of war. However, we will not be discussing whether or not war, itself, is a “necessary evil”. The example I have chosen was the English WWII code breakers having to allow the Luftwaffe bombers to strike at times so the Germans wouldn’t know they had deciphered their codes. According to The BBC, “Millions of lives were saved” because of this. The lives of those lost during the allowed bombings in exchange for saving so many more lives is a frequent example of “necessary evil” that appears in Google search engines and questions. I recommend a movie based on these events called “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch to get a good understanding of the situation.
Here is the difficult part for me; Making my own stance on this topic. I know many like to have things presented in “black and white”. That a stance always be one way or the other. I am afraid I can not do that. People and situations or not black and white and I have come to learn in my 42 years on this earth the need to take each person and situation as it comes and to apply my experience at that time. This does not mean I have fluid values, but as we are not dealing with perfect people and situations, it is a “necessary evil” that I have to be willing to be flexible and ready to do things I would never have thought I could do at any other time. An example would be protecting my family from a violent intruder intent on rape and/or murder. I would never consider killing a person under normal circumstances and I believe murder to be evil, but if I were to be presented with allowing another to commit it and the ability to prevent it using deadly force as being the only means; I would do just that.
I want to thank Maverix, my gamer friend, for this topic idea. It was a bit of a challenge in that I needed to look up a few things and link them to give proper credit. However, I enjoyed it immensely and hope that by covering this topic as I did, you appreciate the nature of “necessary evil”. Not only what it means, but understood the historic example I gave and my own stance on the matter. Using the comments section below will provide ample opportunity for you to let me know your thoughts and opinions on “necessary evil”.
Until the next one.