Manifesting the Bit by Bit and Hidden Evil

Os Guinness in his discourse “Addressing the Question of Evil In An Age of Genocide and Terror” dialogues on the questions of evil: “Where on earth does evil come from? How are we to understand evil?” Guinness asks us to consider the possibility of magnifying evil in modern times:

“The dreadful evil of the Final Solution was not carried out by monsters. Hitler was a monster.  Goring was a monster. Goebbels… They were monstrous. They didn’t carry any of it out. It was carried out by millions, and millions and millions of “good ordinary people.”

“You could see how in a world of bureaucracy with division of labor and diffusion of responsibility and a distancing,.. people don’t actually see the effects of the decisions they make.   You can see how a modern world and its procedures and its way of doing things has made possible evil on a scale the world never imagined. (paraphrased)

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.- Edmund Burke

Loosing the World of Face to Face?

How much of your world is face to face?  Twitter, Facebook,virtual networking, email; all “thin community”.  “Thick community” is eye to eye, face to face and human.

Os Guinness says that four things are important to humans: meaning, belonging, identity (Who am I?) and  purpose (What am I here for?) Reminding me of Socrates’ “The unreflected life is not worth living.” Guinness writes:

“We are, quite literally, spread thin across space and time, potentially everywhere and nowhere at once. We thus tend to have, in the words of Gilbert Meilaender, ‘not an individual identity, but fragments of experience; not the narrative of a life that is in some sense a whole, but a decentered flow of experience.’ “

As I peek in on Facebook, I leave feeling as though I don’t know anyone anymore, just shouts and waves as comments and faces rush by. (Twitter’s even worse!)  Am I alone in feeling this?

Guinness has an engaging discussion:  “Survival of the fastest: Living sanely when life is fired point blank.” on the Veritas Forum .