Warfare, between gangs or tribes or nations.
Homicide or suicide.
All the above are obvious and terrible dis-empowerments, the taking of somebody's life.
But there is also:
Theft, of so many kinds, from plagiarism to safe-cracking to 'white-collar' crime to
shoplifting, to the theft of reputation by slander or libel.
The illegal drug business.
Pimping and prostitution.
All such crimes are dis-empowerment.
The two groups of examples above are indefensible and obvious evils; the examples that follow will be defended.
Bigotry, whether based on race or creed or origin.
The entrenched class system, within a society.
Carnal knowledge of children.
Cheating on taxes or on tests or on spouses.
Family violence, but also subtler forms of child or spouse abuse; the violence of fraternity
or sorority hazing; abusive treatment of animals; practical jokes.
Slavery, including economic slavery.
The subjugation of women by a society; other forms of sexism and ageism; pornography.
Religious intolerance and discrimination.
Yes, you can bet that these latter examples will be defended. In fact, for many readers, your False Mind is defending them right now!
The only argument against the list immediately above is that these actions dis-empower and that is the only argument necessary.
But then, there are also the really subtle dis-empowerments:
Telling a child that he/she is 'not good enough', once or over a period of years.
Passing over excellence in favor of the common or mediocre.
Social strata, from the schoolyard to the United Nations.
Scoff-law practices, such as: parking in handicapped zones; tossing empty beer cans, or
any trash, out of moving vehicles; running red or yellow traffic lights; smoking tobacco
where prohibited; jaywalking.
Rudeness, from cutting lines to talking during artistic performances to high-pressure sales
tactics to modern 'road rage'.
Stiffing the wait-person and-or putting less than your fair share on the table for the check.
All gossip even if it is objectively true.
Spurious lawsuits. Heck: most lawsuits.
Every instance where someone 'gets away with something', some other person or persons have been dis-empowered. We are all very well trained in dis-empowerment. And we dis-empower ourselves by allowing others to perpetrate such acts.
All the stuff of our existence was not put here on Planet Earth 'for a purpose'. You can argue that matter, but you can only cite belief for your argument.
We are indeed here, on this blue orb circling a star-sun named Sol. And the birds and beasts of the field and of the sea are here, all the flora and fauna. That is objectively obvious. We are here, and we call ourselves 'Mankind'. And that which is here with Mankind is available for use. Mankind has long-established rules of property and so on to manage things.
But that which is here alongside Mankind is not available for wanton destruction.
Poisons in our rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans, and in the soil.
Toxins in the air, and the destruction of the ozone layer.
Alar on apples, or any other nasty agricultural chemicals.
Corporate abandonment of clear-cut forests and of strip-mined valleys and hillsides.
Endangerment, even extinction, of entire species for the profit of some corporation
that is headquartered half a world away.
Burning of the Amazon watershed.
All the behaviors that contribute to global warming, down to leaving lights burning
Such destruction, however minor and traditional and 'necessary', weakens the Planet, our Holy Biosphere, by its steady onslaught. This Culture-Structure-sanctioned destruction of the environment, the sum of the practices of millions and billions of unthinking residents of the Holy Biosphere, steadily weakens the ability of Mankind to survive.
This too is dis-empowerment.
Evil is simply the dis-empowerment of oneself or another being.
The preceding is Chapter Four of my forthcoming book, "Working Minds: A Philosophy of Empowerment".
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