It is an almost gentle word, with a lot of rounded letters, yet only the i hints at something that could affect the greater population.
Diseases grow within, and sometimes out of us. But it is often perceived as a foreign entity that captures our body and mind [against our will].
A bacteria, virus or other form of parasites (though biologist don’t call them that) takes hold of all our senses, and unless our physical constitution allows it, we perish and give in to being a host.
Now, this can sound all very dramatic and I am sure there are fundamental processes changing in our brains while we are “under attack”, however, what does this do to our mind – and is it wise to look at mental capabilities without inspecting the brain first.
The definition might surprise us (and other languages surely could come up with a less vague explanation):
“A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury” (Oxford English Dictionary)
No injury. No mentioning of a virus or illness hmmm.
And then there is this rather disturbing additional line titled 1.1 :
“A particular quality or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people” (Oxford English Dictionary)
Let’s take the hint at what’s going on here: a disease can affect an individual or a group of people. This means a disease is contagious and can move from one person to another – in whatever form.
The dictionary does not give any clues as to how a disease could show itself, through coughs, blisters or bumps. With physical alterations our mind adapts to what is in us. Behaviour, thoughts, ideas suddenly adjust to different nerve patterns. Transform our mind so far that our own will to live becomes distorted – common suicidal zombie behaviour has been observed throughout the animal kingdom in crickets, wasps, fish and even mammals.
So what has happened to, for example, the dozens of dogs that jump over bridges or sheep that fall off cliffs? Every animal has the will to live and we believe that animals, with their stronger instincts, have greater reason to do so than us humans who have lost obvious survival instincts with evolution. Worms, larvae and parasites may be picky on occasion but, as animals ourselves, we are not safe from these micro predators. Often enough they even depend on the host’s death to keep their life cycle continuously flowing.
They feed on us, something clicks causing a chain reaction – pretty close to the new world record for the largest human mattress dominoes – and by the time we realise something actually pulls the strings, it’s too late.
What a cheap trade, with little in return for the host.
But are we equally affected by
Or even what the outcome could be – ultimately death.
Now scientists have suggested that evil, as a distinctive character trait, could possibly be a disease, an illness of the mind that can be cured.
There are so many issues with this hypotheses that I had to start with zombie animals.
Slim forms of desperation
Mankind must be desperate if they seek to explain evil – really a mental constitution that has been part of everything on the planet up from the moment its core separated from the moon.
Let’s for a moment consider what evil could be: a) either a conscious willful decision or b) an unconscious decision. So, we cannot accept a), simply because there is no chance that a civil form of cohabitation could possibly take such a decision by its own choice. Self-destruction is out of the question..
This leaves us with the most innocent option, where something (parasites, god or other members of a group) control what we do.
You must excuse this question, though, how can any human being – intelligent and surely beyond Hobbes wildest utopias – give up his/her free will and not be aware of such manipulation?
If we claim to be so far developed, why then is this possible? Only an in-depth scientific study with a solid number of mass murderers and serial killers could provide an answer here.
The rest is just fantastical speculation. However, this begs some other more fundamental questions, such as What is free will? or Can it truly exist while we are bound to a physical form?
I have no doubt though that with greater ignorance we claim a many fanciful traits to be our own, and lost sight of our true roots.