Enlightened Evil...Definitely Maybe

6 Enlightened Ideas Brought to You by Evil Empires is an interesting entry from Cracked.com.  It reveals as the title indicates compelling ideas that we generally appreciate in the modern world from some rather unlikely sources.  Thus from Nazis we get anti-smoking campaigns, childhood education from the Aztecs, egalitarian society from the Mongols and the Soviets, cultural diversity from the Akkadians, and essential elements of modern government from the Persians.  

But one paragraph I think is particular striking here:  " We put this on the list at great risk to our future political careers. You really can't say anything good about the Nazis without it getting taken out of context in a campaign ad, and obviously pointing out that, say, Hitler's soldiers were well-groomed doesn't excuse their many, many, many atrocities.”

Indeed, it’s quite hard to say positive things about a people whom we use as our epitome of “evil.”  You quickly draw the comparison of being a “Nazi” yourself.  However, I think the core of the site’s post is clearly revoking this idea.  To avoid any doubt, let me first say.  Yes, the Nazis and other groups talked about committed horrible acts.  I’m not refuting that in the least.  

Yet, that’s not the point of the post.  Reducing any of those groups into a strict category of “evil” misses what the post has to offer or rather exposes the issue that humans tend to categorize everything into “good” (could also be read in evolutionary terms as “nonthreat”) and “evil” (“threat”).  The Nazis are a great example.  In hindsight, we see them as evil.  In fact, they are the monsters we tout out every so often for our different stories whether it’s Indiana Jones fighting them, Edward Norton aspiring to be one of them, or Nazi Zombies (the movie Dead Snow  and also present in mini-games in the Call of Duty video game series).  

Monstrosity Over Humanity

In doing so, we’ve emphasized their monstrosity and ignore their humanity.  We think of them as a class of monsters that did horrific acts that invalidate their humanity.  When we discuss the Holocaust and other events surrounding World War II, in common talk, we say “Nazis.”  Not Germans; Nazis.  And yet, they didn’t rise up out of nowhere and become a force for the world to reckon with.  They were first humans and gained support from the people they ruled over.  That is, their message (scary as it is to believe) spoke to the people.  And ordinary people were needed to ultimately run the smokestacks of Auschwitz.  Some books have looked at and considered this at some length including Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning and Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

People—not inhuman monsters known as Nazis—were committed to the cause and that’s hard to swallow for many because if “ordinary men” can commit these acts and people consider themselves “ordinary” that means those people are not too far removed from these same evil acts.  Of course, there is truth to this; after all, the Holocaust was supposed to be the last genocide, yet the 20th and now 21st century is speckled with additional genocides.  

But we’re not comfortable equating ourselves with such evil (I already have enough trouble looking at my face in the mirror-hahaha); thus we think of them as a separate category and have trouble finding anything about them redeeming (for it will just remind us of their and our common humanity).  Thus this post reminds gets to the heart of the issue in that, we cannot completely remove all human elements from such groups that we have seen as inhuman.  While it is easier to see Nazi Germany or the Mongol Empire as completely evil, it denies the complex course of events that allowed them to become the power they did or what the ways in which they may have influenced us (beyond serving as a negative role model for much of history).


What are some other examples of deriving positive results from what are seen as negative/evil/malicious groups/societies/civilizations?

Do we have examples of civilizations/groups that were once considered "evil" and now are considered less so (or even "good")?  Or the reverse (civilizations that were considered "good" and now considered either "less good" or "bad/evil"?)?  

What does it mean anyways when we discuss groups/societies/people/cultures/nations in such terms as "good" and "evil"?  What kind of context are we talking about?  Should we be suspect of such contexts?

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  1. one example of a group/civilization that was once considered evil not only to the U.S. but other countries as well was Japan, and now we consider them "good" or at least "less evil." Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and this eventually carried into war. (World War) As time went on, we grew closer and closer to Japan and now present day, Japan is one of our country's allies. We were once so hateful towards them and now the two countries are best of friends. Time went on and people moved on and forget about the past. This is only on example of how peoples/civilizations change. We think about the past (the HISTORY) of what happened and we never really take a minute to think that even our biggest enemies are all human beings. War is war however both sides consist of people just like all of us. Every day people that live their lives. Yes we might have resented the Japanese years ago when all this occurred however now we have forgotten and moved on. All humans are capable of different things, some being stronger than others, smarter, etc.. however if we look at the overall big picture in the end, we realize that all humans in the world have something in common. We are all people, we share the same world, and we are all capable of doing whatever we set our mind to . So after all is said and done, all humans are alike whether we want to believe it or not.

  2. One group that was once considered evil was the Native Americans. Back in the time that people began coming from England to settle in North America, they would run into the natives of the land who did not live the same lives that the English settlers did. They were not considered as civilized and advanced as the settlers and for this they were forced off land that was originally theirs. Because of this, they began fighting back against the settlers to protect their land and themselves. They were considered crazy savages by all the settlers and were hated by them. For most of the history of America once English settlers had come here and started to expand, Native Americans were forced off of their land and were killed in enormous numbers for being considered evil savages just because they were different. Now looking back at the Native Americans who were killed for no reason by white settlers, people have realized that what they did was wrong and that the Native Americans were not actually evil and crazy savages. They were just a group of people who lived differently than the white settlers that came into their land, and were hated immediately because of it. In the present day, Native Americans are not hated at all and are exempt from paying taxes and school bills because we have recognized that this is rightfully their land and we are the people who came here and took it away from them. They are no longer hated, but considered equal to everyone else.
    In the case of the Native Americans, they were only considered evil because they were different from the white European settlers. This tends to happen in many different situations all over the world. Just because a group of people lives differently than others they are considered wrong and inferior. They are automatically looked down upon and hated by others without even being able to defend themselves. This is not right and hopefully one day people will realize this and it will all come to an end, however, it does not seem like it will ever end and that ignorant people will never learn and will continue to live this way forever.

  3. Some positive results that came from the evil empires is change. Without these things that occurred all those years ago than we would not have peace. People would hate each other and all it would do is prolong the process of what happened. Now we all basically have peace from what happened all those years ago. I hate to say it but that is one positive outcome from what happened all those years ago in the days of the Nazi's. The jews were considered evil back then. Which was not true at all but the Nazis did consider them as a civilization to be evil and that now to this day is one hundred percent false. What it means when you say if a group or society as good or evil is basically what you think of the society. If a society does good things and help people than no, they are not evil. But if they do bad things to harm people then yes they are obviously evil.

  4. Some positive results that came from the evil empires is change. Without these things that occurred all those years ago than we would not have peace. People would hate each other and all it would do is prolong the process of what happened. Now we all basically have peace from what happened all those years ago. I hate to say it but that is one positive outcome from what happened all those years ago in the days of the Nazi's. The jews were considered evil back then. Which was not true at all but the Nazis did consider them as a civilization to be evil and that now to this day is one hundred percent false. What it means when you say if a group or society as good or evil is basically what you think of the society. If a society does good things and help people than no, they are not evil. But if they do bad things to harm people then yes they are obviously evil. It depends on the actions that the group does, a group like the klu klux klan obviously they hate people that are not of the white race so they are scum bags. But MAD mothers against drunk driving is a good group because they are trying to help people out.

  5. One example of a civilization that was considered evil was the Soviet Union in the Cold War. One part of this war dealt with the United States, Russia, and Cuba in the Cuban Missile Crisis. During this time, there was much competition between the United States and Soviet Union dealing with the race for nuclear arms. During this time everything was a competition between the two countries that were looked at as the powerhouses of the world. Whether it was sports, conventional and nuclear arms races, proxy wars, and or even technology races they were always competing against each other to see who was all powerful. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the first crisis that could have resulted in a World War between the United States and Soviet Union. Castro and Khrushchev were caught by a U.S U2 spy plane showing missiles aimed at U.S soil. This was a huge confrontation when the United States threatened to use deadly forces against both Cuba and the Soviet Union if they did not take away the missiles and bring them back to Russia. They made an agreement which stated that the United States would not invade Cuba. This crisis created the Hotline Agreement between the United States and Soviet Union which was a direct way to communicate with one another to solve crisis’ like this one. Since then there have been no crises between the two superpowers. An example of a personal gain that each country received is how they are beginning to merge in sports. People from all over the world are coming into the United States to play professional sports. It is not just one way either because some athletes in the United States are moving to different countries to perform there. This War was the beginning of nationalism between the United States, Soviet Union, and their allied countries.

  6. Some examples of groups that were once considered evil, but are not considered less evil are any groups that white people have treated as subordinate to our own white race. Some examples of this are Indians, Africans, and Native Americans. Although these people are equal to any other race, white people treated them unequally and treated them as if they were barbarians because they are different. It is not until later on in history until white people start treating these groups as equal, and therefore less evil. When Africans were brought to America they were seen as evil and an example for this were that they were used as slaves. White people obviously did not respect people of color, or value their lives. Although after slavery ended, many white people began to respect people of color more, it was not until the 60s that it was recognized that all people, despite color of their skin are equal. This is similar to what occurred India when it was under British rule Indians were treated poorly by British people, and treated like they were less of people and evil. Finally when Indian people gained equality and respect were they seen as good. Building off of what Zach Sousa said about Native Americans. Similar to the way Africans and Indians were treated in history. It is a pattern that any one that is different from powerful white nations, are treated poorly and are deemed as evil. It is not until later in history, to white people realize that these other races are equal to their own

  7. What are some other examples of deriving positive results from what are seen as negative/evil/malicious groups/societies/civilizations?

    In current events, a positive result from a negative topic could be how people are seeing legalizing Marijuana as a way of helping the economy. So called “pot heads” that were used to be portrayed as lazy individuals, have been recognized as having a good idea to help the community as a whole. Certain musical artists whom have had been labeled as “controversial”, have been raising money for charity and promoting positive messages of peace and love.

    Do we have examples of civilizations/groups that were once considered "evil" and now are considered less so (or even "good")? Or the reverse (civilizations that were considered "good" and now considered either "less good" or "bad/evil"?)?

    As far as the current economy goes, most people don’t trust banks and the government especially since most of them need bailouts and gave money for bonuses towards executive and “important” people in said company for no reason. Most of my peers and people my age have skepticism about law enforcement and their abuse of power. That notion changed from having a positive outlook on police as heroes when we were children, to now seeing them as ruining parties, arresting teens, police brutality etc.

    What does it mean anyways when we discuss groups/societies/people/cultures/nations in such terms as "good" and "evil"? What kind of context are we talking about? Should we be suspect of such contexts?

    When we discuss groups/societies as being “good” and “evil”, we generally mean “good” as on our side despite of what said groups do. For example, we saw our government as “good” during WWII because we were fighting the Nazis and Fascists, but we were not completely honest about everything that occurred during the war. FDR set up “Internment Camps” across the United States to hold Japanese-American citizens hostage because of the prejudices towards the Japanese especially since we were against them. Although these camps were not nearly as bad as the Concentration Camps during the Holocaust, the U.S. government was playing dirty too. We see “evil” when thinking of our enemies, denying that they think the exact same as us. We should be suspect of these contexts because we may end up doing something bad without thinking about it.

  8. Although it has already been said on this blog, the need for elaboration is in order. Yes, the Native Americans were persecuted by the early settlers in America. However, the torment was not only based on the fact that they were different than the early Americans. Native Americans did indeed live differently than the settlers for obvious reasons: their resources were not the same as the newcomers, which required them to live off the land, and move when their food source moved. However many reasons can brought up about the purpose of American’s running them off the land and fighting against them, one underlying fact is the most prominent among the rest: the early colonists were Puritans and Quakers, while the Native Americans did not practice any set religion, yet they referred to themselves as spiritual beings, worshipers of nature and the elements.

    The colonists were in search of religious freedom and freedom from the Church of England when they landed in America. It is funny enough how when they arrived in the New World they almost immediately began repressing the Native Americans for their religious beliefs. Since the Native Americans did not worship God, and did not have a set religion, the new Americans took that as them being pagans, and some even worshipers of the devil. Today, Americans realize what they did was wrong, and see Native Americans as total equals, no more or less than themselves.

    Kimberly Frost
    Making Monsters MW

  9. Definition of good: “In good standing, friendly, a good name”

    Definition of bad: “Not good in any manner or degree”

    When we sit down and discuss groups like societies, people, cultures and nations we put each one into a certain category, good or bad. Depending on the groups actions and reputations and even beliefs is how we determine where we should place them in our good or bad categories. We are all suspects of doing this because it’s just how life works, it is how we look at certain groups and what those groups are known as. It is normal.

    You made a great point about the “ordinary men” who were involved in such crimes, making it so “ordinary men” such as ourselves, not being too far from doing the same evil acts. But think about it, there is history behind each group. Every ordinary man is brought up a certain way, taught and made believe certain things, and has different issues. Although what the Nazis did was completely wrong and awful, each one of the participating men might not have been what we see them as “bad”. Of course the whole thing should never have happened and the situation was BAD, each man might have actually been a good man, not including what they did.

    I am not backing up the Nazis or anything, just saying that there are good men out there if they were a part of terrible assassin or crime.

  10. Some other examples of deriving positive results from what are seen as negative/evil/malicious groups/societies or civilizations is the gay community. People that are “coming out” are doing for positive reasons like being accepted for who they really are and not hiding who they are from the people they love. But these people and community of people are seen as evil in some people eyes just for being who they are. As times goes on these groups are becoming more and more accepted or becoming seen as “less evil”. I believe that this is because more people are coming are coming out now a days because of the groups that have been created to support them. What we mean when we say that groups/societies are “good” and “evil” all has to do with what the people that are making the accusation think is right and wrong. If a group or society does something that people think is wrong they will consider those people as “good” or “evil”. It all has to do with people’s beliefs and opinions. It will differ from person to person and some will not agree with others. I think we should not believe what other think of people as “good” or “evil”, we should make that decision for ourselves.

  11. In High School my friend had a History teacher that he would joke around with a lot. My friend started to gain a reputation of saying things that would get many people mad but were actually true. The history teacher was assigning topics for a research paper and because of my friend’s reputation he gave him the topic of justifying how Hitler was a great man. Obviously the things Hitler did were horrible, but aside from the fact that he tried to destroy groups of people to form a perfect race, he accomplished many tasks that no one else could have. Germany was in a state of depression during the 1930s. Hitler was able to rise from once being very poor to taking over power of an entire country and eventually almost an entire continent. He was able to get the people of Germany to agree with what he was saying through his speeches and people became so interested in him. The Nazi empire may have accomplished the most out of any country during the last century by being able to take over so much. So the argument was that although Hitler ordered many horrible things to happen, he was great in the fact that he was able to rise up from nothing and take over an entire continent.

  12. Unfortunately, the public has almost everything to do with the configuration of someone who is “good” to “evil.” Hell, someone may not even be known at all who is just publically misconstrued as evil. Adolf Hitler was certainly one of these people. To achieve his dream, he is responsible for the numerous deaths of Jews and homosexuals, but it is often overlooked that the reason he did this was because of his dream to make his world better. He had a dream for the German people, one that required them living together in harmony. The majority of the public must have had some sort of desire to ensure that people were able to see only the negative sides of what had happened during the Holocaust. That being said, it is sometimes hard to figure out if such characters were actually truly evil.
    Evil is naturally based on the public and violence. There are killers who murder for their own enjoyment. Each human has developed a particular mental scale over time telling each how evil someone is. Violence is something that is socially accepted as disrespectful, not to mention inhuman.
    As for being “suspect of such contexts”, it essentially depends on each individual person and their perception of others. If someone is naturally suspect, then they will probably be so for the rest of their lives. Anyone who is not suspect could probably benefit from reading an article like this. It could teach them to be more suspect of evil.

  13. I don’t believe that nations or people should be branded as entirely “good” or “bad”. I believe that there is simply too much gray area to label anything nowadays. For some bizarre reason, people are completely okay with getting the quick, short, version of everything and forming an opinion on just that. There are a number of groups, societies, people, etc. that fit both the “good” and “evil” category. Wal-Mart for example, has made headlines over the years on several controversial scandals ranging from consciously hiring illegal immigrants and exploiting them, to violating child labor laws and forcing employees to work in poor conditions. On the other hand, Wal-Mart has been credited for benefitting the community by selling products for low prices. The Coca-Cola Company has faced a number of controversies as well. One of the most recent scandals was the killing of 8 employees in Colombia, while others were threatened on terrorist charges. A handful of critics paint the Coca-Cola Company as heartless, cold, and money hungry while other individuals view the company with warm feelings. Overall, it is unfair and ridiculous to judge a company or a group of people by one act that they may or may have not committed. Reputation nowadays is formed way too easily and based on more assumptions than facts. I think everyone should be skeptical of everything they see and hear mainly because so much is swept under the rug and even though we may believe that we know everything about a certain topic or subject, we could be completely mistaken.

  14. Blog post

    When we describe nations as good or evil it can be out of context. When one thinks of a certain people being good or bad they are either disagreeing with their ways or agreeing with their ways. So if an ordinary citizen highly disagrees with the Nazi’s they are considered evil to them, while a citizen who is under Nazi control and agrees with their ways then the allied forces would be considered evil. Therefore there can and should be suspicious thoughts about the way people categorize certain people in the good or in the evil category. The context is what makes opinions differ from one person to the next. Two people could be “ordinary citizens” under different forms of government, possibly conflicting forms of government and they could think that the other side was very evil. Yet if they met one day unchanged personally with their surrounding have changed they could be friends
    What this means is that we cannot always trust some persons’ context of good or evil; they can be extremely bias and have a possibility of being taken out of context when considered by an outside opinion. While an organization like the Nazi regime is obviously an atrocious evil one could get the point and apply it to others.

  15. An example of deriving positive results from what is seen as negative/evil/malicious groups/societies or civilizations are the Jews and Nazis. During the Holocaust, to the Germans, the Jews were seen as a group of people who didn’t fit into the Aryan race and were seen as different and because of that they were considered evil. Hitler did everything in his power to make sure that this “evil” source was terminated and rid of in Germany. However to the Jews, they thought the same way towards the Nazis and Hitler. As we look back the Holocaust, most people would agree with the Jews and see Hitler and the Nazis as being an evil and malicious group that changed society. When I think of a group that is considered “evil”, I think reasons why they would be considered evil. Most people see evil as being something bad and something that could bring harm o others. This relates back to Hitler and the Nazis; they are seen as people who brought harm to other people. Although, what can be defined as good. Everyone has their own interpretation of what is evil and good and the different groups that they come in. In the public eye, violence is the main contributor to evil and a threat to society. Good and evil has been throughout history for years and is still happening now through our generation.

  16. I completely agree with Zachary Sousa in saying that the Native American’s are a prime example of a group that was once considered “evil” and are now considered less so, or even “good.” When people from England arrived in North America they were shocked to see these Native American’s who looked and acted different then them. They had darker skin, spoke differently, dressed differently and came off as uncivilized because of they way they lived. This difference in lifestyles and the natives’ fear of losing their land caused a battle between the English settlers and the Native American’s because the natives felt like they had the right to protect their land and themselves from the settlers. This fighting made the Native Americans look like savages because they were not as civilized as the settlers and automatically they were considered as “evil.” However, we now know that without the Native Americans our lives would be very different today. North America was rightfully theirs and they showed us a lot about the land we live in.

    The only reason why the English settlers saw these Native American’s as “evil” in the first place was because they were different. In reality, there wasn’t anything evil about these people other than the fact that they were protective of what was rightfully theirs, as anyone would be. They were seen as different to the English and that automatically put them in a negative light. They were not looked at for the type of people they truly were but instead were judged based off of appearance and their lifestyles.

  17. I also agree with Madeline McCoy and Zachary Sousa's perspectives on this blog. The Native Americans are absolutely a perfect example for groups in society that were once considered evil and are no longer considered that way. However the reason people's images on Native Americans changed is because they realized that this group of people did not do anything to deserve to be named "evil". Yes, they were different and that's why Europeans felt threatened by them. They looked different, acted different, white people were not used to their lifestyles and it scared them. That is why Native Americans were considered barbaric or "evil". But the difference between this example and the Nazi's is the fact that what the Nazi's did was truly evil. They were not considered evil because they were different, they were considered evil because they performed unspeakable, gruesome tasks to take people's lives for literally no reason at all. They were truly the definition of barbaric. I absolutely agree that they were ordinary men that were simply following orders. I also believe that just because they were following these orders did not necessarily make them "evil" people overall. However, it does change the way this group of people is viewed. It will be very difficult to ever change the fact that Nazi's are considered evil. Does this make people ignorant? Maybe it does. People are quick to judge, that is how humans are. However it's hard for me to sit here and try to defend Nazi's or any other group like them that caused a genocide, whether they were truly good people or not. Because what they did was beyond evil, so there actions will leave and imprinted judgement on them forever.

  18. 1. Though not exactly made out to be evil and malicious, Mexicans could be used as an example for this. Many Americans will stereotype Mexicans because we have so many illegal immigrants in this country. It does not make them a bad person just because they are struggling to make money. We may not like the fact that a lot off illegal immigrants are coming into our country in order to make a living, but if we had to most people would do the same thing. Illegal Immigrants are not trying to upset people or hurt anyone in any way; they just need to do what is right for them and their families. So we may look at them as bad people but in the end they are just trying to do a good cause for themselves.
    2. We have many cultures or civilizations that have changed from being good or evil over time. One example of this would be African Americans. At one point they were hated by most of our country just because of the way they looked. This was very wrong because African American is no different from any other people but back then people did not always understand this. They were considered to be bad and evil even though they never did anything to make themselves seem like this, it was just an assumption from others from a different race. This has changed because now in the modern day everyone is treated equally. We see people for who they are and what they do, not the way they look. So in the African American case, it went from a whole race of people from being bad and unaccepted to being good and equal to all other races.
    3. When we talk about different cultures or groups being good or evil we usually look at how they were portrayed through other views. There is so many ways to judge people and every one of us could be considered either good or evil to another person. There are some qualities that may stand out and make someone seem evil but there also would be qualities that can make that same person good if you get to know them. Overall, people are all the same no matter what they look like or what they do. We are all humans but we live our lives differently and to some it may be good while to others it could be seen as bad. It just depends on the way you look at it.

  19. When thinking about the Nazi's it is hard to think of them as anything but evil. The acts they committed were horrible. After reading this post, I am realizing that we did learn some stuff from them. For example the Nazi’s were the first to link tobacco with lung cancer. They developed the anti smoking campaign.

    Also we have gained a lot through the Aztecs. Even though they ate their children, they had some respect for them. They were the first to educate all their children, not just the rich. Also we can learned from the Mongols. They were big on feminism. While the men fought, they were handling business at home. Females could own property and even remarry. They could also join the military if they wanted to.

    We remember these empires to be evil because of the acts they committed. What a nation does can make them to be considered evil or good. The Nazi’s are considered evil because of what they did to Jewish people. There is no way to justify what they did. I believe that any good they did before the Holocaust does not change them from evil. To consider evil or good, I think you need to look at what a nation has done. Did the government protect their people. For all those evil empires there was no security. The Nazi’s killed Jewish people, the Aztecs killed their kids, and the Mongols killed many.

  20. After reading both this blog and the entry entitled “6 Enlightened Ideas Brought to You by Evil Empires”, I found it quite interesting as it is stated in the blog that society tends to categorize the “good” and the “evil”. I never considered the fact that we often dehumanize the Nazi’s and strictly view them as being evil and monstrous. It is scary to think that these German Nazis were ordinary people before the war who followed Hitler into what became a violent and saddening time in history. Many of these Nazi soldiers have had everyday jobs and families before the war.
    It is perplexing to think that normal people could be influenced by one man and turn into evil killers. These people must not have been so normal. I feel that under no circumstances can killers be normal people; there has to be something wrong with them. In fact, I don’t think there is anything normal about the Holocaust.
    Even though there is no excuse for this horrifying genocide, it is interesting to consider the fact that “ordinary people” committed this act. If people such as Nazi’s could have been considered normal before the war, it is interesting yet frightening to wonder what other “ordinary people” out in the world could be capable of.

  21. I agree with other post by when they say that Native Americans and African Americans were treated like the were “evil”. As we know today, they were not the same kind of “evil” as the Nazis were though. Native Americans and African Americans were discriminated by their race and just because they were different from the white Americans. English settlers came to America were the Native Americans were living and took over their land. With me agreeing with what Zachary Sousa said in his blog, The English settlers considered the Native Americans to be “evil” or savages because they were fighting back to protect their land. African Americans were taking from their homes in Africa to America to become slaves. Down South was were there was a lot of selling slaves and discrimination against African Americans. Doesn’t this prove a lot back then that many white folks were more considered the “evil” one than the poor innocent Native Americans and African Americans that did no harm to no one during this time period?

    There are people in society today that are considered to be “evil”. There is “evil” surrounding us everyday if we like it to really think about it or not. Sex offenders, terrorist, murderers, and rapists are every where and they are all considered to be evil. It is scary to think that anyone could do awful things like that. That is why I question, What truly makes someone want to be “evil” or do “evil” things?

  22. Health wise a cookie is bad for you, and spinach is good for you. However cookies taste good and spinach tastes bad. This analogy can be applied to any one person, group, society etc. A “good” man can commit a “bad” act, and vice versa. A government can run its country and bring wealth and peace and prosperity to it, but perhaps to achieve this success they committed “bad” acts. We label things as “good” and “bad” based on our own personal opinions. Many religions view homosexuals as ”bad”, that doesn’t mean they are bad. For decades members of the homosexual community have had to hide who they are, and today it’s become acceptable (in my opinion, I think the pope would disagree though)for gays to be open about who they are. This is just another example as to how something can be both good and bad, depending on who you ask. When we label groups/countries etc. as “good” and “evil” we have to tread cautiously, because we may not be right, we may be forming a conclusion without taking in all the facts. Hitler and the Nazis did terrible things, but Hitler brought back a country that had sat in ruins. As Americans we believe our country is “good”, however we set up internment camps and forced every Japanese citizen to stay in them after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. We dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People may argue that we did things terrible things (and others- War in the Middle East anybody?) for a good reason: to defend our country. But wasn’t Hitler doing the same thing? Was he not trying to protect Germany from the Jews and bring back the glory they had allegedly stolen? Are we really all that different? As Americans we are first to point a finger at what is “good” and “evil”; what we fail to see is that our country is filled with evilness and prejudiced strong enough to rival that of the Nazis. Our country is responsible for godhatesfags.com, for an endless and pointless war, for creating the hatred most of the United States citizens reserve for people living in the Middle East. I don’t think Hitler was more “evil” then the U.S., I just think he was more obvious about it.

  23. I completely agree with this article. Nazi can even be considered an insult nowadays if when someone is being strict or controlling about something they may be called a Nazi even though their actions are nowhere as bad as the actual Nazi’s. It is very hard for a group that was once considered “evil” to become perceived as “good”. Once history is recorded as one side or the other it will stick forever and even if that perception is changed, then it will always be there in history. For example, the same things happen in life and politics and sports. Michael Phelps is a tremendous athlete and swimmer but when he was photographed smoking, his image to other people was completely changed and even though he won 8 gold medals he was still judged. Once bad history is recorded, it never leaves.


  24. I actually once wrote a paper about all of the advances that Nazi Germany made during their time as a power, and some of them were things that, had they not been discovered and pioneered by the Nazis, may never have come into their respective uses in our society. Much of the modern knowledge about the brain derives from Nazi research and experiments, and even though the way that they conducted said experiments was grisly and horrific, it's gone on to allow generations of science and medical surgery progress to the point that it's at today, and has essentially saved thousands of lives. The Nazis also discovered magnetic tape, or reel-to-reel recording methods, which pushed the art of sound recording into the electrical generation and allowed for it to expand into the digital realm and beyond. The Nazis were doubtlessly one of the most evil groups to ever exist, but some of their discoveries and advances are nearly invaluable to modern society and the world as a whole.

    (comment by Jake Gilbertson)

  25. One example of a country that is looked kindly upon now that was seen as evil is Japan. They did unspeakable things in World War Two that just as bad if not worse than the Nazis. The Rape of Nanking is one of the best examples of the evil of humanity there is and many people in my generation don’t even know about it. There is not a Rape of Nanking day on December 7. Which event do you think is worse? Regardless, my point is that Japan was not looked at kindly after World War Two. I have a few theories to why they are looked upon kinder today. First, atomic bomb sympathy, they are the only people to have the atomic bomb used on them. Second, the Japanese have molded into western like society. They maintain some of their cultural roots but they have adapted full swing into the twenty western world dominated century. Their constitution was designed by American World War generals. It seems to be working for them. Lastly, Toshiba and Sony. Think about it, if Germany had come out with big screen TVs and high end electronics after World War Two we would want to be their best friend to. To concluded, for a society to become well liked all they must do is adapt to the rest of the world, get a little sympathy, and make huge TVs.

  26. In addressing the question about being suspicious of texts labeling one group, nation, etc. as evil...

    We should always be suspicious. Evil and good should, in my opinion, be terms saved for religion and the arts (films, novels, so on).
    This is simply because evil and good are labels given by all sides.
    In terms of Nazis, do you think Germany viewed themselves as evil? Do you think ANYBODY actually views themselves as evil? Everyone would like to believe that their side, whatever the seriousness of the situation, is the side of justice and good.

    No matter how mindful we are, we can only ever view the world through our eyes. In our eyes (America), we saw evil men carry out a terrorist attack on 9/11. But that is us, not everybody. We labeled them evil because they wronged us, and they threatened us. It's understandable, but I believe wrong.

    There are no authors writing the story of planet earth. No group, be it Nazis, terrorists, republicans, democrats, or anybody else, are supposed to represent evil and fear like so many characters encountered in Making Monsters. Therefore, it is nobody's place, business, or right to label anybody evil.


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