Posted in Article, Philosophy

Does Power beget evil ?

I was having a chat with one of my colleges yesterday. The topic of the discussion was -how it is evil to strive for power. I was the champion of power. I don’t believe power itself is evil.

Let me explain myself.

Power is nothing but the will to be the best. To be so good, that people would follow your advice/ teaching without question. This “advice” could be through the show of force or through show of knowledge. The power which is enforced through a show of force, though powerful in itself can always be nullified or countered with someone who is more adept in the “intelligence” department. Let’s see an example :

You are in a bar, and a few beefy bullies try to show power by pushing you around. Now you, a skinny, powerless but intelligent person can do a lot of things to save themselves. You may call the cops. But they may take some time to arrive at the place. You may simply pay the football team in the bar room, who are causing a lot of ruckus, to beat the bullies up.  If you are short of cash, simply order a drink and serve one of the groupies in the football team, hinting that the drink is from one of the bullies. The high testosterone levels in the football team members will help you to beat the bullies up to save their “honor”.

In any case, you overpowered an enemy who was in superior strength and numbers and hence – more powerful.

Now you, in this case, used your intelligence as power and saved yourself from getting bullied. Does this make you evil ? I don’t think so. It is natural to save ourselves and those we love.

Now, power itself is not evil then. But the person wielding that power, could inherently be evil, which would just mean that even though power itself is not evil, it was used to spread the evil.

Let’s take another example.

Imagine two accomplished neurosurgeons. They have the power to save people by performing very critical and complex surgeries. One of them uses his skill to heal the people and the other uses the skill to sell the body parts on the black-market.

Does this mean the power to perform complex surgeries is evil ?

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Author:

An IT professional, a Slytherin and a brooding narcissist, who lives behind his keyboard.

3 thoughts on “Does Power beget evil ?

  1. power begets evil if it is not tempered by the right things.

    think of any element in the wrong circumstances– without the power itself, or the wrong circumstances, there would be no problem. fire would only make you warm, cook your food, and be in scientific and industrial processes. water wouldnt drown. air wouldnt tear off roofs, etc. elements are classic examples of power– water carves out canyons under some circumstances. a knife can cut food or end your life.

    belevolent dicators are rare, and its extremely difficult to give a person that much power and have things go well. sure its possible for things to work out when they start that way, but its not likely– by reason or by history, its just not likely to work out in most cases.

    think of power as a drunkard in a forest with a box of matches. you want to be very careful with a drunkard in a forest with a box of matches. perhaps he will just toast some marshmellows. id keep an eye on him, just in case.

    Liked by 1 person

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