This week’s Provocative Question put forth by Fandango is: Is there really such a thing as a necessary evil, or is it just a way for us to rationalize or justify doing something bad?
I can’t answer this question for the rest of mankind because, as I have stated before, I think a lot of decisions people make are based on their own sense of morality and justification. The question would be easier to answer if every person adhered to the same set of morals.
For myself, however, yes, I believe in “necessary evil”. And I firmly believe it is a justification for doing something not altogether good. I am going to blame my career choice on this justification.
I have been a paralegal for 35 years. I have worked in a variety of areas of law, but mostly litigation. I started my naive career as a paralegal to a criminal defense attorney. Want to talk about an eye-opener on justifiable rationalization! But over the years, I learned that the way something is said and/or presented, can sway a person (judge/jury) to view an action in a manner that may (or may not) be …um…what I personally would consider the right choice. To me, that is a necessary evil to accomplish a goal.
In my personal life (not professional), I find it hard to do any wrong and live with myself. But when I do, say, for example, find money on the ground, I have been known to pick it up – justifying that it probably was dropped by my husband or a heinous drug dealer – but the weight of the thought of taking what does not belong to me weighs heavily on my mind.
This is probably not the direction the question was intended, but as I said, I can’t answer for humanity as a whole. I can’t allow myself the energy to weigh out whether or not a decision our government (for example) makes is a necessary evil. If I started down that road, I’d lose myself. I am a person who feels very strongly about what is right and wrong – to me.