“There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
I have no idea whether J.K. Rowling believes this or not. It may very well be that she does not and uses this quote to illustrate the flawed nature of one of her fictional characters. There are people that do exist who seek power, from common criminals to despots. Despots rationalize their action’s as they impose their will under the guise of seeking the common good. Common criminals rationalize their action’s in seeking their own good. There is something contradictory about the phrase the common good, to be common means it has to be good for all. There have been millions that have been murdered throughout history under the banner of the “The Common Good.”
“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.” ― George Bernard Shaw
The shooter in Las Vegas fed the evil dog. Regardless of his reasons he planned and carried out an act that he knew was evil. The fact that he hid his plan tells he knew what he was doing was evil. He committed an act that was incomprehensible to many of us, but there is a difference between rationalization and reason.
Rationalizations are being used now to blame inanimate objects. Evil will disappear if these objects disappear. Reason tells us that there will always be those that choose to feed the evil dog. Failure to listen to, or use reason means that we have lost our way. We have lost our way because one must admit that there is good and there is evil, and that we must judge, not rationalize away an individual’s actions.