What is The Root of All Evil?

The First Contribution

The Tree of Knowledge by Lucas Cranach the Elder

~ The Contributions is a collection of work not personally done by me but by friends who with sincere generosity have allowed for publication here.

Therefore, work found in the contributions may not be similar with my general line of thought. Thus, I will not comment, scrutinize, plagiarize, and justify anything that has been written here.

However, work posted in the contributions is in my sincere and humble opinion worth reading not only for knowledge but for pleasure!!

And like Voltaire, I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

~ ESZ, James Ee

Niccolo Machiavelli

John Conrad, an English writer once wrote, “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary. Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” Simply put, evil is unspectacular, evil is simple and most importantly, evil is human. It is we, humans, who slowly pave the way for bigger evil acts by committing small ones.

When asked what is the root of all evil, my friends gave me all sorts of answers…materialization, greed, alcohol, money and some friends even said women(and the one who said it was a woman). In my opinion, I believe that these are just mere motivations and the feelings invoked by the evil that has already been planted within. So what would a satisfactory answer be? I took my time to ponder, looking for an answer that I would truly believe in. I finally came to a conclusion, and even to me, it was a scary one, for it was actually an act, an act that none of us can ever deny of ever doing, and most of us commit this everyday! No matter it is big or small…to others or to ourselves. We lie! Lies are the very foundation of all evil!

Of course, you could argue that what if a doctor lied to a dying patient, telling him that everything will be alright, isn’t that praiseworthy or even necessary sometimes? I would say that you are right… but I would also then have to tell you, any of the so-called root of all evil mentioned before, under the best intentions, would also be as praiseworthy.

Let me tell you a story. A story of a holy man, who devoted his entire life to God, to study God’s teachings. Dedicated to walk and talk in ways that are pure and holy. One day, he finds himself in a house with 4 rooms, the first had a holy book on an altar, gracefully turning the pages with respect and chanting the prayers with sincerity and passion. When he was done, he decided to move on to the second room, where he found a boy playing with his toys, the holy man stayed for awhile, entertaining the boy until the boy fell asleep. This is when the holy man proceeded on to the third room. In this room, he found a woman scantily clad, he quickly reacted by turning his head away, as a holy man, he has been forbidden from intimacy with women, knowing this, he quickened his footsteps and moved on to the fourth room. A jar of wine was placed on a table, waiting for him, with a glass next to it. Alcohol was forbidden in his religion, but here he was wondering if he should take a sip. Finally, he decided to take a drink. Just one! He told himself that he was parched with thirst and therefore it was a need, a necessity. He also told himself that one glass would not hurt. But it didn’t just end with one glass for it was one glass after another. The next thing he knew, he was heavily drunk, he raped the woman in the third room, the boy who was sleeping woke up to the noise, and by accident, he stumbled on the ordeal by accident, in mad panic, he killed both of them.

In shame and guilt after the ordeal, the no-longer-holy man burnt the holy book in the first room, for he knew he has forsaken the years of praying and meditation. He has betrayed himself and everything that he once stood for so dearly, he knew it was all gone now…and with that, he took his own life.

In this story, the holy man committed 5 acts of evil… 1. he raped, 2. he killed, 3. he burned a holy book, a representation of his God, 4, suicide… but the 5th sin was his very first. It all started because he lied. He lied to himself and by lying to himself, he allowed himself to become a monster. You may say temptation was the cause, but I would tell you, had he not manipulated reason for his own cause, this would not have happened.

There was a story in which a mother refused to see the violent inclinations in her child that even when he has tried guilty as a criminal for hurting or even killing someone else, she still refused to admit it…think about who could have prevented that had she not lied to herself. And how about the one junkie who told himself “It’s only this once” at his very first try and it ends up being one time after another. Or what about a child who steals, knowing that by lying he could get away without any problems… would that not prompt him to repeat the action again and again throughout his life? A wife beater tells himself that he hits his wife because he loves her. A murderer may kill, telling himself that killing is necessary.

Evil acts are built on lies. Lies allow us to do evil deeds without us seeing it as such, it also allows others to do evil deeds without us seeing as evil. Lies are the seeds that are planted within us by our very hands and they grow and take root when done in excess.

It would be too much for me to ask anyone to never tell a lie. But to overcome the evilest of deeds, firstly you must overcome your self deceptions.



3 Responses to “What is The Root of All Evil?”
  1. princeparadox says:

    The root of all evil is a difficult statement because it attempts to define something that gains power from being left undefined.

  2. Helm says:

    Though what is evil was not properly defined or obvious for that matter, based on his story,I believe there is a pattern in which the evil that the author has in mind, is perhaps along the lines of causing damages to one’s self, to others or in general God’s creations. I cannot be too sure but I actually find this concept of deception being the root of all evil rather refreshing compared to the irritatingly common answer of money.

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  1. […] In my opinion , I believe that these are just mere motivations and the feelings invoked by the evil that has already been planted within. So what would a satisfactory answer be? I took my time to ponder, looking for an …Continue Reading […]

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