After the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Ct, some are asking the question WHY? Not just why these particular 20 kids and 6 heroic teachers died, but why any evil exists in the world. We can understand accidents and natural disasters, but true, real evil is just mind boggling.
There are two main answers to this heart rending question.
1) It's our fault. Yes, you, the reader. And mine. This answer is founded on either a benevolent God granting free will or the non-existence of a benevolent God. In either case, mankind has control of our own world, we get to make our own decisions, and therefore we, as a collective whole, are responsible for the evil in the world. Which brings me back to you, the reader. Are you a cop, prosecutor, judge or at the very least, politically active? If not, WHY NOT? Don't you know there's evil in the world? Why aren't you personally taking action to stop it? Yes, not all of us are suited to work in the field of criminal justice, but this is a free democracy, and as such, at the very least you have the power to vote, lobby or run for political office. Evil exists because not enough of us take the necessary action to stop it. Most just look the other way - or worse, put other things ahead of justice. That's our fault. Do something. Run for office, vote, or just lobby. But DO SOMETHING, FOR GOD'S SAKE, THERE IS EVIL AFOOT! *
2) Evil is not so bad. This argument is founded on the idea of Heaven. Once you postulate a pleasant afterlife, then death just isn't so bad. So they went to heaven, what's the big deal? If you don't believe in the afterlife, then this argument doesn't work. If you do believe in the afterlife, then why are you so upset? Well, the honest answer to that is God has gone out of God's way to ensure that we don't have proof about the afterlife. In other words, God wants us to take death seriously. He wants us to DO SOMETHING, FOR GOD'S SAKE, THERE IS EVIL AFOOT! *
If you don't believe in God or look at God as a parental figure, then the answer is more of #1. If however, you believe in God and think of him more as a creator/author/artist, then the answer is more of #2. But in either case, you should become politically active. If you are political, then you can create change. Not just in your own community but in the country as a whole. We can make this world a better place. If we don't, then it's our own fault.
But honestly, neither of these answers give me much solace. They are not about comforting the grieving, but instead about inspiring action. In my heart, death is tragic, as opposed to not so bad. As for accepting personal responsibility, that just makes me feel worse.. What could I have done better, what could I have done right to stop the horrible events in Newtown? Discussed gun control more? Fought harder for liberal causes?
But this isn't about comforting the grieving, this is about preventing future evil. Evil is at heart wronging the innocent. These 26 people were very innocent. They have been wronged greatly.
What it comes down: Evil exists because there are consequences to our actions. If we do not regulate actions, then evil has a free hand. If we over-regulate actions, then we ourselves do evil. The trick is to find the middle ground. When we go too far in any one direction, evil happens. When it comes to gun rights, the conservatives have gone way too far in their actions. They have prevented many sensible and necessary laws out of ridiculous ideas.
* Yes, saying 'afoot' is corny. The word corny means excessively sentimental. Maybe it's just me, but after Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14th, 2012, I am feeling sentimental. If you think I'm being excessive, that's your opinion.