Dec 18, 2023
We're up to number 666 Quackcasts so our topic this time is evil! Evil is a complicated subject, we all think we know what it is but we really don't, there are just so many aspects to it so it's very hard to fully encompass. Broadly “evil” can be something very subjective: anything that runs counter to our own well-being as individuals- people, things and situations that do us harm. You can expand that to your property, your family, friends, acquaintances, pets etc. As that definition gets bigger though to encompass your neighbours, street, suburb, city, state, and country it becomes more objective bit by bit, till we come to the idea that “evil” is something that runs counter to human rights, or the existence of life in general, or the right to self determination etc. A more objective view of evil.
Topics and Show Notes
But there's MORE! There's an embedded idea in our culture that “evil” is caused by external forces, smoothing that's quite popular in a few religions and myths. Characters like the devil, Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, or demons which encapsulate, perpetuate, influence, control and characterise “evil”. They embody it, they work to spread it, they influence people with it. The idea is that everything evil in the world is caused by them. It's often wrongly assumed that all religions are structured like the Abrahamic ones (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity) with a good and evil duality and “evil” being associated with the underworld in some way, but that's really just caused by looking at them from a mainly Christian lens. Death and the underworld aren't evil in most religions and rather than having strictly good or evil characters, “evil” is usually a matter of context and any character can be a mixture of both good and evil.
There's a good reason for this type of externalisation of evil though- by characterising it in such a symbolic way it helps us better understand different aspects of it and look at it from different angles. After-all characterising, symbolising and simplifying is how we better understand all reality, that's what's behind mathematics, physics, and all sciences really.
The last big evil factor we chat about is something we could also call “malice”, that is the active act of deliberately committing evil as opposed to simply doing something that is defined as “evil” for, another reason, i.e. taking your parking spot because they need it, killing a person in the line of duty as a police officer, not holding the elevator doors open for you because they were in a hurry… Instead they do those things because they want to cause harm and they enjoy it. This is how we like to portray psychopaths and serial killers in fiction. But even with malice there is a spectrum: on one end the person does the thing because they want to cause pain and distress, on the other end they do it simply because their own needs and pleasure are all that matter, they know that they cause you to suffer but that's irrelevant to them.
So the big take away from this is that there are a lot of different ways of thinking about “evil” and it's often a spectrum rather that just one solid thing. But how do you define evil? How do you use it in your creations?
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme inspired by On The Edge - Star Trek Adventures - I wager 20 Quatloos on the Vulcan… This is an epic, awesome intro, it builds steam from a portentous beginning with digital French horns and strings, gathering urgency and energy as it rockets into something grander and more dangerous. Trumpets blast us to a new dimension.
Please note that the ‘comic’ is by Tantz, Banes, Ozoneocean, Genejoke, not just me. And if other people want to submit drawings to it we would be more than happy to look at them and make it a true community project.
Topics and shownotes
Romancing Lucifer - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/dec/12/featured-comic-romancing-lucifer/
On The Edge - Star Trek Adventures - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/On_The_Edge/ - by Gunwallace, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
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