05 February, 2007

Life: Opinions of Evil

A survey.

This may be tough. You tell me. Of course, I doubt any of us have a high opinion of evil, but I'm curious where each of us believes evil begins. Is some bad stuff evil, and other bad stuff emotional damage? I expect that if everyone is honest, the answers to this survey may be all over the board.

The idea for this post and its followup came because of a frank discussion of a problem I'm having, but it was only a rabbit trail from the discussion. In other words, there are things on my mind right now, but oddly, none of those things are why I am curious about this subject.

So tell me whether each of these degrees of problems is Evil or Unhealthy. I look forward to some of the funnies that may come from this, but I am on the edge of my seat with curiousity about your answers.

(example:
Your spouse comes home after a frustrating day it work, and -
Berates the dog: Unhealthy
Kicks the dog: Evil
Berates you: Evil)

+ Your spouse obsesses about a hobby, and -
Makes you listen to long stories about it for years:
Devotes far too much of his time to his hobby:
Schedules hobby events during your only free time to avoid you:

+ Your steady boy/girl friend -
Says he'll be somewhere and is not three times in a month:
Says he wants to marry you someday then backs off 3 times in a month:
Leaves you and then begs to come back three times in a month:

+ Your best friend is forced to see that he may be wrong on a subject and becomes -
Inordinately sullen:
Inordinately loud:
Inordinately loud in public:

+ Your best friend is deeply hurt by something that does not involve you, and -
Starts putting in long hours at work:
Withdraws from everyone:
Invests in his alcohol of choice:

+ Your spouse is having a hard time getting motivated, and -
He forgets to do things he's promised:
He promises to do things he knows he's going to forget:
He stops doing things he likes if he suspects you like them too:

+ One of your friends is worried about the time two other married people are spending together, and -
Calls to ask you to spy on them:
Calls to tell you his observations and conclusions:
Calls to tell you who agrees with him about this:

6 comments:

pearlie said...

If you don’t mind I am adding one measure in between. Evil to me is evil :)
So: unhealthy, bad (worse than unhealthy but not evil), evil (pre-meditated, causing hurt to others)

+ Your spouse obsesses about a hobby, and -
Makes you listen to long stories about it for years: that’s ok :)
Devotes far too much of his time to his hobby: unhealthy
Schedules hobby events during your only free time to avoid you: evil

+ Your steady boy/girl friend -
Says he'll be somewhere and is not three times in a month: evil
Says he wants to marry you someday then backs off 3 times in a month: evil
Leaves you and then begs to come back three times in a month: bad

+ Your best friend is forced to see that he may be wrong on a subject and becomes -
Inordinately sullen: unhealthy
Inordinately loud: bad
Inordinately loud in public: evil

+ Your best friend is deeply hurt by something that does not involve you, and -
Starts putting in long hours at work: unhealthy
Withdraws from everyone: bad
Invests in his alcohol of choice: bad

+ Your spouse is having a hard time getting motivated, and -
He forgets to do things he's promised: unhealthy
He promises to do things he knows he's going to forget: bad
He stops doing things he likes if he suspects you like them too: evil

+ One of your friends is worried about the time two other married people are spending together, and –
(This one depends on the intention of the friends. I find it difficult to answer without sufficient data. So I can't answer!)
Calls to ask you to spy on them:
Calls to tell you his observations and conclusions:
Calls to tell you who agrees with him about this:

I spent too much time on this! And if I re-read it I will be changing it again.

Anonymous said...

Hands down, all the hypotheticals are downright evil--just like me. Tom

Milly said...

+ Your spouse obsesses about a hobby, and -
Makes you listen to long stories about it for years: that’s ok, you knew he loved it from the start. Find something for you to enjoy and spend time talking about it.
Devotes far too much of his time to his hobby: unhealthy, how are you defining too much time? Do you need a hobby?
Schedules hobby events during your only free time to avoid you: evil I suppose, you need to take a long look at the marriage.

+ Your steady boy/girl friend -
Says he'll be somewhere and is not three times in a month: evil if he’s cheating on you or doing something wrong. You might need to find out what’s going on
Says he wants to marry you someday then backs off 3 times in a month: unhealthy, he is not able to commit. Why?
Leaves you and then begs to come back three times in a month: unhealthy for both of you.

+ Your best friend is forced to see that he may be wrong on a subject and becomes -
Inordinately sullen: unhealthy, but could be working it out so it might be healthy
Inordinately loud: unhealthy needs to work on the anger issues
Inordinately loud in public: bad and unhealthy needs to work on the anger issues

+ Your best friend is deeply hurt by something that does not involve you, and -
Starts putting in long hours at work: unhealthy but may just need time to work things out.
Withdraws from everyone: unhealthy
Invests in his alcohol of choice: unhealthy and inching towards evil

+ Your spouse is having a hard time getting motivated, and -
He forgets to do things he's promised: unhealthy, why is he forgetting?
He promises to do things he knows he's going to forget: bad write it down for him and post it where he will read it.
He stops doing things he likes if he suspects you like them too: evil, you’re heading down a hard path. You might need to back off he might need the space, we don’t need to spend all of our free time together.

+ One of your friends is worried about the time two other married people are spending together, and –
Calls to ask you to spy on them: unhealthy with a dash of evil. Why worry about other people like that? If you are so concerned pray for them.
Calls to tell you his observations and conclusions: evil gossip is evil
Calls to tell you who agrees with him about this: evil gossip is evil


Well that’s how I feel. And as always Milly’s way. ?:-}

Weekend Fisher said...

+ Your spouse obsesses about a hobby, and -
Makes you listen to long stories about it for years: You’ve got to learn to love what the spouse loves as best you can. I don’t think I’d fault the one telling the long stories. Lots of people wish their spouses would talk to them.
Devotes far too much of his time to his hobby: Let’s give it the kindest plausible construction and say it’s just weakness; assuming that's still plausible since I don't know these hypothetical people
Schedules hobby events during your only free time to avoid you: Cowardice, probably culpable cowardice, which has crossed the line to at least neglect if not spite, so there’s at least low-grade complicity in evil. Usually that "avoidance" thing is a symptom of a larger problem in which the other person is also involved.

+ Your steady boy/girl friend -
Says he'll be somewhere and is not three times in a month: Let’s give it the kindest plausible construction and say he’s forgetful. Unless you want to sign up for that kind of thing permanently, it's still time to move on.
Says he wants to marry you someday then backs off 3 times in a month: Is the person is evil or just so confused that it hardly matters whether he’s good or evil? You don’t want to bind your life to someone that untrustworthy anyway. When you can't tell the difference between what the boyfriend is doing and abuse, run don’t walk to the nearest exit.
Leaves you and then begs to come back three times in a month: See answer to previous, or if you don’t have that much time, just run don’t walk to the nearest exit.

+ Your best friend is forced to see that he may be wrong on a subject and becomes
Inordinately sullen: Nobody likes to be forced to do anything, much less to see that they’re wrong. The silence could be anything from “I hate being wrong” to “I have to rethink my worldview” to “My friend is a jerk who can’t stop playing topper.” Can’t tell if it’s a sin just from the silence, though if it’s mere moping about being wrong, or even resentment of a friend(?) who likes to play dominance games, we’re again into low-grade evil. Not that the hypothetical hyper-competitive friend gets a free pass, but the sulker has his own responsibility.
Inordinately loud: Like a display of anger, that kind of loud? If it’s hateful or abusive the evil is there, or if the volume is cranked up just to hurt the ears then evil has crept in. And if they didn’t care they were too loud, then we’re into sin territory instead of just “not thinking” territory.
Inordinately loud in public: Oh, I’d rather have someone be inordinately loud in public than in private. Maybe it’s embarrassing in public, but there are limits to what most people will say in public. Other than that, same answer as previous.

+ Your best friend is deeply hurt by something that does not involve you, and -
Starts putting in long hours at work: Is it occupational therapy, or sticking to a safe and stable base? Or is there something more sinister going on?
Withdraws from everyone: Everybody withdraws sometimes. If done in small doses it can be restorative. But at the other end of the spectrum it’s possible to be unhealthy and sinful at the same time. If it goes beyond small doses, we're getting into lovelessness and neglect, so it could become evil.
Invests in his alcohol of choice: If it’s the same withdrawn guy we’re talking about, I’m guessing this is not a friendly beer during the Super Bowl party but alcohol as a crutch. Again, something can be unhealthy and sinful at the same time.

+ Your spouse is having a hard time getting motivated, and -
He forgets to do things he's promised: Honest forgetting? No problem, may even just be overworked. But convenient memory lapses? More of a failure to actually confront a problem, they may be a low-grade evil and may (while still wrong) be a weaker person’s mechanism of choice for dealing with a bossy tyrant who is more evil.
He promises to do things he knows he's going to forget: Well, how’s that any different from lying? I don’t see a difference.
He stops doing things he likes if he suspects you like them too: Now that’s messed up. There’s some spite and hatred going on there, so there’s some level of evil involved. Again, there’s a possibility there’s a control-freak on the other end and the “unhealthy” part is a defense mechanism.

+ One of your friends is worried about the time two other married people are spending together, and -
Calls to ask you to spy on them: (Spying? Music to Mission: Impossible starts in the background.) I think on this one you may have put the most offensive case first instead of last. The way I read the question, the caller is not just personally sinning by spreading gossip and suspicion, but trying to recruit someone else into that whole mess. Time to review “how to confront” and “whether it’s your business to tell other people, and if so, which people” with friend caller.
Calls to tell you his observations and conclusions: Is friend caller looking to gossip (evil) or fishing for advice?
Calls to tell you who agrees with him about this: Again, is friend caller looking to gossip (evil) or fishing for advice? But he’s been “fishing for advice” already. So if it’s gone over into gossip, it’s gone over into evil.

DugALug said...

CP,

Okay. This is a little too dualistic, but it brings up some great points:

+ Your spouse obsesses about a hobby, and -
Makes you listen to long stories about it for years: Unhealthy
Devotes far too much of his time to his hobby:Unhealthy
Schedules hobby events during your only free time to avoid you:Evil

+ Your steady boy/girl friend -
Says he'll be somewhere and is not three times in a month:Evil
Says he wants to marry you someday then backs off 3 times in a month:Evil
Leaves you and then begs to come back three times in a month:Evil

+ Your best friend is forced to see that he may be wrong on a subject and becomes -
Inordinately sullen:Unhealthy
Inordinately loud:Unhealthy
Inordinately loud in public:Unhealthy

+ Your best friend is deeply hurt by something that does not involve you, and -
Starts putting in long hours at work:Unhealthy
Withdraws from everyone:Unhealthy
Invests in his alcohol of choice:Unhealthy

+ Your spouse is having a hard time getting motivated, and -
He forgets to do things he's promised:Unhealthy
He promises to do things he knows he's going to forget:Evil
He stops doing things he likes if he suspects you like them too:Evil

+ One of your friends is worried about the time two other married people are spending together, and -
Calls to ask you to spy on them:Unhealthy
Calls to tell you his observations and conclusions: Evil
Calls to tell you who agrees with him about this: Evil

God Bless
Doug

Milly said...

I wonder if women respond differently then men to this question. I could read everyone's again but I have to sew on scout patches so the boy can camp in tonight only to wake and go take the ACTS.