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Their Weltanschauung worldview has been shattered. Many will never be the same. Like Humpty Dumpty, the bits and pieces cannot be put back together exactly as they were. Rather, victims of evil must somehow rebuild themselves anew, psychologically assimilating this devastating experience and its implications into a more mature, realistic, meaningful Weltanschauung , a reconstructed, sturdier, more flexible platform or foundation upon which to stand in life--one which can withstand, accept , and even embrace the existential facts of anxiety, loss, suffering, disease, death and, at times, seeming meaninglessness.

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A revised philosophy or worldview which recognizes and honors what philosopher Alan Watts called the " wisdom of insecurity. Or a more sophisticated psychological understanding of the non-dualistic concept of the daimonic in psyche and nature. These existential, philosophical and theological questions run deep, and can be consciously or unconsciously stirred up by such unsettling events. Natural disasters psychologically shake the very ground of our existence, causing us to question the fundamental nature and meaning of life--and death.

They force us, in the starkest possible way, to face the existential fact of life's slender, tenuous thread: Such calamities sometimes lead to precariously dangerous states of mind: So it is imperative that psychotherapists are properly prepared to address such philosophical and spiritual issues in ways which will help victims courageously face and cope constructively with the perennial problem of evil: As the late existential psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor Dr. Viktor Frankl indicated, if it can be found, some meaning or sense of purpose makes almost any suffering more bearable.

Nature is just nature. A tiger isn't evil because it eats a man. There is not evil intent. A man behaves in an evil way if he knows that what he does is wrong and does it. To say he IS evil is nonsense. Yes, nature is just nature. A tiger does what tiger is born to do. There is no question that choosing to use the term "evil" as a psychologist is controversial precisely because of your critique and due to its long-standing religious associations.

But there are psychologists and psychiatrists who, like myself, feel that the concept of evil is not only helpful but essential today. We need language that reflects the extreme destructiveness of natural disasters such as this, and the excessive malice, cruelty and depravity of certain horrific human behaviors. The problem of evil is both an existential and spiritual challenge. As Jung put it: We have no imagination for evil, but evil has us in its grip. In either case, the important thing is how we define evil: Your point about intention is well-taken. So any definition of evil must address not only conscious, but unconscious intent or intentionality.

And you are right that in regard to human evil, bad behavior doesn't necessarily make a person evil. It is certainly tempting--and we have given in to this temptation in the mental health field--to dismiss the reality of evil entirely due to its inherent subjectivity and relativity. But to cite Justin Martyr on this subject, "The worst evil of all is to say that neither good nor evil is anything in itself, but that they are only matters of human opinion.

Depending on your religious point of view, natural disasters may or may not have intention. But either way, they bring about tremendous human tragedy and existential suffering, which comports with my and Webster's definition of evil as "something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity," or as the existential "fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing. For more of my thoughts, see the online version of "The Psychology of Evil" from my book at http: I'm inclined to agree with the previous poster.


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I do not think it makes sense to label the movement of tectonic plates as evil. That said, this particular movement of plates has resulted in human trauma on a grand scale. I cannot imagine the magnitude of the pain that the Haitian people are experiencing in the face of such massive loss.

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Such widespread disruption of their society from their largest institutions to their most intimate relationships must lay bare for them the undeniable truth of how temporary and fragile humans and their creations are. Even so, they will rebuild both their buildings and their psyches not in denial but in defiance of that truth because that is what humans do.

We rebuild, we recover, we assimilate. Yet the earthquake may well seem evil if we presume a god who caused it or even one who could have prevented it and, thereby, the ensuing suffering, but then it would seem more that the proposed god was evil and not the earthquake. This is perversely part of the appeal of just such a god. We long to assign agency so we can assign blame so we have someone with whom we can be angry. Anger is a great temporary salve to pain. The only problem is we cannot maintain it for any great length and stay sane.

Although we assure ourselves we can sequester it to one part of ourselves, gradually, it insidiously invades and infects all our relationships and our world view. I, personally, have found it impractical to live with such a god or to live, despite much effort, without a god. So, I've chosen to construct my own which isn't bound by the thick, clear outlines of dogma but rather forms itself in a fluid, ad hoc, way according to my needs. My current conception of god is something like the force of humility inside me. You can see that it would be nonsensical to blame this sort of god for things like earthquakes and cancer and the Holocaust.

So I get the benefit of a prayer life which changes me and helps me accept the truth that we are temporary and fragile and at the same time I get to sidestep the initially comforting but ultimately destructive anger that flows from calling earthquakes evil. This is just my personal and current way to cope with pain. Like so many other things in life, I find it is best attacked from the flank. Yes, plate tectonics are not evil. Just an existential fact of life and physics. As I said above, for me, evil is not the earthquake per se, but rather the severe sorrow, distress, calamity, misfortune, suffering and death such natural occurrences create on such a "grand scale.

Would he reject his faith in God when ravaged by natural evil. But I agree that a traditional belief in God or the Devil is not the only way to come to terms with the existential or archetypal phenomena of natural and human evil. Growing up, I had the most evil parents one could imagine.

I have struggled for decades to just trust, or not push people away, fearing they have some secret agenda. It just destroys so much, evil does. I have a deep sense of empathy for Haitians, especially anyone who has had prior trauma. I know that any added trauma can sometimes cause me anguish, to this day.

It's been seven years since you've posted, but I feel the same way you do.

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However, I'm still experiencing the last remnants of my parents evil, as I'm only twenty-two and I must still occasionally interact with them. If I may ask, were there any steps you have taken that helped restore your trust in fellow humans?

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Just like you, I've developed trust issues that are so deeply rooted, I even dream of people breaking my trust on a regular basis. Any techniques you've found helpful would be greatly appreciated. With reference to your main quote about God that got my attention, let me use the words of Bertrand Russell. He said, "Unless you assume a god, the question of life's purpose is meaningless. But if God exists, and God is good, and God is all-powerful, why all this mayhem? Well, let me answer from a Christian's perpective, and please give me a chance OK.

Laws, God's Laws, govern all creation. Break these laws and the result is confusion, abnormality and evil - cosmic evil. But where did this evil begin? Evil began to exist, therefore it had a beginner. The devil is the one who started evil by rebelling against God's government See John 8: To answer that let me ask another question. What do you call king, or president, who without hesitation, smashes without mercy anyone who dare questions his style of governance?

Are the words despot, dictator or tyrant sufficent? Yes indeed, and God is known of those.

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God wants His creatures to follow Him from free choice that's how we are able to love by the way and not from force. The devil chose to reject God and in order for the devil's choice to be seen and understood for what it really is, it needed time to develop. When God says, enough is enough and finally crushes the devil, and He will, there will be no more dissent, and all creation will lovingly chose to follow God, fully recognizing that His way is best. The devil offered our first parents that choice and they chose it, thus rejecting God, following the devil and plunging Earth into evil.

What we are experiencing is the manifestation of that choice. No, plate tectonics is not evil, but what is happening is the result of it. Automobile accidents, in an of themselves are not evil. They are simply the result of two objects trying to occupy the same space at the same time. Yes and much, much more. Some law was broken, intentionally or unintentionally. Someone was either drunk or speeding or sleeping at the while which in some cases is the result of breaking the law of rest.

Maybe someone accidentally pressed the gas instead of the brake, or was backing out without checking both ways, or unintentionally didn't stay within their driving boundary.

Whatever the cause, there was the result and the result brought hurt, pain, evil. My heart goes out to the people of Haiti, India, Rwanda, Kosovo, North Korea, Afganistan, New Orleans and the list goes on and on, or all the differnt things that they are experiencing.

Did we have fore warning that things would get like this? For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: All these are the beginning of sorrows. The fact that all these things are happening and getting worse just as the Bible said, is proof positive to me that God exists and that His word can be trusted be cause He said it would happen as a result of evil.

God is still in control.

If we believe in Him and are faithful, we will get a chance to ask all our questions directly, but till then just choose Him. The devil has his sure end. It is called Hell - God's strange act See Isaiah No, it is not burning now and no, it will not burn throughout all eternity as you may have heard. Eternal life is promised to only those who love God. The only other option is death. No one need perish with the devil. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Won't you choose God today? I would summarize your post in Nietzsche's words paraphrased that is someone has a "why" to live, they can deal with almost any "how. What an awful term, bandied about as if it has some sort of agreed-upon meaning. It has no meaning, or to put it better, it has so many meanings that it's essentially meaningless.

The author here seems to use it as a synonym for "destructive," however sometimes destruction can be beneficial to living things. The forest fire that allows new seeds to root, the building demolition that allows other buildings to be built, etc. It's like the "divine wind" typhoon that saved Japan from Mongol invaders in Please stop pretending there are absolutes in the world! That's fine for religious nuts but not for rational folks. It all depends on whose ox is being gored. I would not give any money to Haiti anyways becasue I am unemployed and cannot afford to give to others, but I will not give to Haiti of the various charities, if and when I do have money, because Pat Robertson is right.

The Haitians do not deserve my money: Haitians are hurting Haitians. Your logic is that every single solitary person on Haiti is looting, stealing, and sinning. It cannot take any more austerity. At this stage, death is inevitable. It has roads, ports, hospitals, railways, bars, industries of every necessity.

Sadly Gyros has deteriorated over time. My hard drive knows of a famous Gyrosian located close to here. Perhaps he can explain to us what is happening. Like most Brits I did not come to learn about the culture, to integrate or to think. You remember how Captain Wingclipper met the King and Queen of Fanjiboo, held their newborn son aloft and slapped the baby around the face, all because he had been misinformed in thinking it was a custom?

We had better find this expert before we offend someone. He lived there for 25 years. Apparently to him home was just an abstract concept of a vague unexplored idea. There are additional footnotes on the question of what home really is. Should I go into greater detail? Hey, who's the man in the toga? Nice to meet you. My name is Andreas Anagramakis. I am an expert in Gyros history. My ice-cream stand has been here for several generations. You look like you're in need of help, robot and I presume from the toga that you're either a bed sheet advertiser, a half-hearted nudist or you woke up in a hotel, used the curtains as a towel, opened the window and fell out.

More people are dressing like this since the collapse of the economy. We can't afford clothes but our rooms are always bright.

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Sadly I am Gyrosian so I am largely corrupt and self-pitying, but I am just the person you are looking for. That's if you are looking for a person with a soul and not a Gyrosian politician. How about a ride in my car? I have a criminal record. Gyros was founded on these principles.

We invented them and gave them to the galaxy. Next door we have the oldest open air theatre that gave birth to tragedies. Guns 'n' Roses played there once. Also incestual dramas inspired by the millions of pink skinned northern tourists like you. The two stand side by side to remind us of our principles. A politician could finish work and spend all the public money next door watching a show.