The definition of evil is profound immorality, wickedness and depravity. It exists, so why do we pretend that it doesn't? Psychiatry has inadvertently stigmatized the mentally ill by allowing lawyers and the legal system, as well as many others involved in health care at various levels to label the evil and evil acts as mental illness, even when the perpetrator is sane. The majority of the population is so preoccupied with political correctness that they like to pretend that evil doesn't exist and will go to great extremes to deny that it does, until it hits them personally. They do a great disservice to the genuinely mentally ill. Indeed, in more than half a century of medical practice that involved a great deal of psychiatry, I have encountered very few acts of violence perpetrated by mentally ill patients. My experience includes nineteen years of service to a maximum security Corrections Canada institution. Criminals with no evidence of mental illness, frequently had their punishment ameliorated by pleading mental illness, when the only evidence of the illness was their criminal behaviour. The plea of mental illness has been so successful that it is difficult to find a case of vile and violent behaviour where it is not invoked. Immorality, wickedness and depravity are so judgemental that most liberal folks don't even want to admit that it exists. "No sane person would do such things!" they say. "Who would deliberately harm another human, even a child. Cut people's throats, slash their face, chop off their head. They must be mentally ill!" Most are not.
Unfortunately, psychiatry has played no small role in this and has facilitated the guilty. How frequently one reads of the recent psychiatric decision that sets loose a dangerous killer. " Goodness, he was such a nice fellow. Wouldn't hurt a fly. Evil? Goodness, gracious me! There is no such thing! it is just an outdated concept from the days of religion and morality, good and bad. No such things!" The allegation that we just don't understand how badly some folks have been treated and how they have suffered because of cultural differences, and that all cultures are equal is political correctness and is disingenuous. Lawyers learned quickly.
The next few years are going to teach many of us that there are such things as good and evil and that we have to teach our children to discriminate between them or they are going to live in a world we can't even imagine.
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