In the recent past I have been thinking somewhat on what might be called spiritual virtuousness. Perhaps that isn’t the best description, but it most closely approximates what I am trying to convey. At the heart of the matter is the question of what is the True good and the True evil. Why do I use the adjective “true” in the previous sentence? I have come to believe that there is present in our society a deep confusion about what is good and what is evil. Things that are evil are very often dressed up as good. Pigs with oceans of lipstick. While good things are maligned as horrible evils.
In other words, positive and negative polarities exist on an axis which is most often extremely poorly perceived. The common or worldly axis of “good” and “evil” does not match the true axis very well, yet is not fully disassociated with the original either. The deception must be plausible. The most common type of distortion is to take an act or belief which is ostensibly of the true good, then warp it in such a way as it loses its virtue from the perspective of spiritual evolution. Roughly speaking, true good is freedom (respect for the free will of individuals) and service to others.*** True evil is control and service to self. This is imprecise and a non-exhaustive description, but it is sufficient for this post. It it is also NOT an argument for allowing fiends to run rampant. “Live and let live” is a good idea insofar as possible, but I acknowledge its limitations.
Perhaps the easiest example to understand is the act of charity. Charity, in its true good form, happens when one individual takes pity on and helps another who they can see, hear, touch, and (if unfortunate) smell. A real person right in front of their eyes that they directly interact with. This is real service to others. Importantly, the perception of bystanders and other third parties should not be a factor in this interaction. It is self-serving to use public acts of charity to boost a personal reputation and doing so, while not super evil, is more closely associated with true evil than true good. At least in so far as it spiritually polarizes the charitable. That is why virtue signalling and holiness spirals should be severely frowned upon. They are self-serving and are anything but virtuous.
Many people have made quite correct arguments on why wealth transfers (I.E., Forced “charity”) don’t work from the pragmatic standpoint that it just isn’t affordable and provides bad incentives, which is true. However, very few have explained why the process is in fact spiritually evil as well. For one thing it is hard to do. How can any decent person believably explain why it is spiritually right and just to let anyone, anywhere starve to death? Well, the main reason is because help is not being offered willingly. An important ingredient to make an act spiritually polarizing is that it must be done voluntarily, of the person’s free will, and with sincere intent. You can not force a person to be true good, they must choose to be that for themselves. Defying the principle of free will is the main way, as far as I can tell, that is used to distort from the axis of true good to that of the axis of worldly “good,” which is actually evil.
In the case of charity, genuinely and freely given aide on a personal level is converted into forced wealth transfers like welfare, social security, and other forms of socialism where there is no personal connection between the benefactor and the recipient. Since the transfer is mostly unwilling and impersonal, there is no potential for any sort of polarization along the true good axis. Moreover, since such transfers come with high taxes it can and does severely limit the discretionary budget of large swathes of the population. The high taxes ensure that these people don’t have as much to spend on spiritually polarizing acts like charity than they otherwise would. Moreover, since they know all these various government programs exist, they are much less inclined to act charitably in a personal way. The incentive to help is lessened substantially if you know the needy can and will just go to the government to gain access to the money you already had forcefully taken from you. For the most part, it is this deprivation of opportunities, or catalyst, for positive spiritual polarization which makes socialism evil in a metaphysical sense. Additionally though, it also constitutes a way to deceive the useful idiot variety of leftists. They falsely believe that forcing people to pay for others is good because of its superficial similarity to genuine charity. Thus they confuse control (evil) with love and adopt an ideology which moves them along the negative polarity axis. And it is almost impossible for them to realize it since it superficially seems like the right thing to do. The gravity of this distortion can not be underestimated. Socialism is truly an insidious and subtle form of evil.
It is my belief that many or most perversions of virtue in the modern world follow this template of distortion from true good to wordly good. From free will to control. The method is a deception which subtly makes people confuse compassion with control.
***As a side note, while charitable acts are of the true good, they should not be done in excess or for the wrong people. Wisdom is no less important a virtue than love, and it is unwise to help ingrates or those who refuse to learn from their mistakes. The pathologically charitable, or martyrs, and the ingrate both (hopefully) learn valuable lessons in wisdom when charity is withheld for just reasons. In some ways, wisdom is just another word for tough love. Pathological altruism, ethnomasochism, and idiot compassion are all different terms describing love without wisdom (when the charity is genuine and not a product of virtue signalling).
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