Activism vs. Evil

Mark Pottenger


“The problem of evil” is an old theological issue, but I am curious about a modern variation.

Does a metaphysically-correct way of dealing with evil exist?

If a person is aware of concepts like an equation of inner and outer yet also aware of what they see as societal problems beyond their personal world, how does the person deal with this?

Societal problems can include drunk driving, corporate corruption, political corruption, excessive government secrecy, authoritarian governments, pollution, habitat destruction, etc.—anything a person can view as harmful to people in general.

How can a person even discuss problems and solutions without risk of negativity?

Other than playing ostrich by avoiding all news sources with a social conscience, what can a person do?

Can a person do anything to improve human welfare by solving / preventing / reducing / eliminating any societal problem without bringing manifestations of the problem into their own life through the equation of inner and outer worlds?

To quote Martin Niemöller on moral failure in the face of the Holocaust: “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.”

Copyright © 2005 Mark Pottenger

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