Andy Schmookler said one of his biggest thoughts has been on A Secular Understanding of ‘The Battle Between Good and Evil.’
Andy Schmookler on good and evil.
Andy Schmookler establishes, what he calls “A Secular Understanding of ‘The Battle Between Good and Evil.”
This is the biggest idea he’s come up with since his breakthrough experience of 1970 (“the parable of the tribes”), and it is the main insight that’s the fruit of his study of the American crisis continually starting in 2004.
He conveys that something that might reasonably be called “The Battle Between Good and Evil” can be seen at the heart of the human drama. Put in other terms, he says he can show that there are at work, in the systems of human civilization, two coherent forces that push the human world in opposite directions, one to push to make the human world better (more life-serving) and one to make it worse (life-degrading and/or destroying).
These forces can be seen. And seeing them turns out to be very important in America today.
This idea of a “Battle Between Good and Evil” does not involve anything supernatural. The two forces are natural dynamics that inevitably grow out of the two evolutionary processes that are at the center of the human story: the biological one operating through “natural selection,” then the social-evolutionary one described by “the parable of the tribes.”
Something worth terming “the Battle Between Good and Evil” would arise inevitably in the world of any creature that takes the Fateful Step onto the path of civilization.
This insight involves building on the Force of Brokenness that inevitably emerged when humankind stumbled into the Disorder of Anarchy, which generates the “war of all against all,” which in turn generates the “selection for the ways of power,” which entails giving “the Spirit of the Gangster” a disproportionate role in shaping human civilization.
The way to perceive how the Force of Brokenness continues to impact the human world through the generations and the millennia is to examine “the dense web of the connections between cause and effect” in the human world. We can get a good sense of how forces of Good and Evil work in the human world by asking two questions about anything notably broken in the world, or notably “whole.” About any specific
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