Explaining the bad things

A curiosity I noticed during my run today- the overwhelming manifestation of ideological bias is focused on describing why bad things happen. And this seems to be independent of the particular ideology, which is why it’s such a neat insight. If I were an advocate of evolutionary psychology (which I am, seemingly by accident), I might propose that this unfortunate trait is akin to compulsively re-experiencing the memories of traumatic events. And I suppose that’s my first instinctive explanation, so I guess I’m an evopsyche ideologue.

This arose, in turn, from a national news story I caught last night at work. Rich men are restricting access to public California beaches by buying up the land around the beaches, effectively erecting a wall of private property around the property they’re unable to buy. (And for some mysterious reason, the police are arresting trespassers with greater efficiency than usual.)

Now, everybody reacts to this story according to their ideologies: Marxists see the immediate narrative and want to eat the rich (the Marxist panacea, I call it). Capitalist apologists say A) there’s still plenty of beach, B) poor people suck and leave their trash everywhere, and C) if you care so much, try being successful and buy your own public beaches. You can see how these arise immediately from their ideological prejudices. Marxists attribute bad stuff to class warfare. Capitalists attribute bad stuff to inefficiency and political corruption.

(I’m instinctively an eccentric radical individualist, so I attribute this particular badness to the failure of individual people to realize their personal moral responsibilities. The cops’ superiors oughtn’t take contributions with strings attached, and trespassers should continue trespassing until the law no longer exists. And poor people shouldn’t leave their trash everywhere- this is approximately the point where I realize my instincts are not well-tailored to modern society.)

I may be overstepping, but this theodicean bias seems to be the primary psychological power of ideologies. Maybe that was always the point.

That said, I’m going to spend some time thinking about the problem of evil (or “badness”, if your ideology is secular) from an observation-induction framework. What categories of human action do I observe to cause everyday bad things to happen? What about less quotidian bad things of greater individual significance?

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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3 Responses to Explaining the bad things

  1. Heaviside says:




  2. hiper says:

    Evil is merely contemptuous indifference.
    By that reasoning Jennifer Lawrence is extremely evil, except for the fact she isn’t even contemptuously indifferent towards me.

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