Flickr Badge

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Frivolity of Evil

Theodore Dalrymple writes a fantastic article in City Journal on "The Frivolity of Evil". The article touches on the meaningless violence and exploitation that goes on in the lower strata of society. He touches on his experiences with British society, having spent 14 years in hospital and prison work in a run-down neighbourhood, trying to answer the question of why people do evil. Quoting,
The men in these situations also know perfectly well the meaning and consequences of what they are doing. The same day that I saw the patient I have just described, a man aged 25 came into our ward, in need of an operation to remove foil-wrapped packets of cocaine that he had swallowed in order to evade being caught by the police in possession of them. (Had a packet burst, he would have died immediately.) As it happened, he had just left his latest girlfriend—one week after she had given birth to their child. They weren't getting along, he said; he needed his space. Of the child, he thought not for an instant.

I asked him whether he had any other children.

"Four," he replied.

"How many mothers?"


"Do you see any of your children?"

He shook his head. It is supposedly the duty of the doctor not to pass judgment on how his patients have elected to live, but I think I may have raised my eyebrows slightly. At any rate, the patient caught a whiff of my disapproval.

"I know," he said. "I know. Don't tell me."

No comments: