Misty wrote:WHen many people look at Hitler they look upon him as a "sick and evil man"... however what people fail to realise is that he did everything according to his reasoning. What he did, he belived to be right. What he did was follow his conscience.
-Nither was his life totally successful, nor did it seem happy.
that`s one problem I have with this word "conscience". There seems to be a general belief that we are equipped from birth with a "still small voice" which knows automatically the difference between "right" and "wrong". As though right and wrong are absolute principles having nothing to do with cultural environment or personal history. Was it "wrong" for Judas Iscariot to betray Christ to the Romans? Maybe he considered it his duty, who knows how Judas`s conscience worked? If however, he had been in a position to look inside himself and ask "Is this going to make me happy? Is it something I can live with, without having to tell myself new lies every day?" then he might not have hanged himself, and the last two thousand years could have developed very differently.
The specific case of Hitler is also very interesting. Hitler had a childhood I wouldn`t wish on my worst enemy. Did you know that as a child, Hitler was forced to run round the yard naked in the snow while being "encouraged" by his father with a horse-whip? Could it be that his conscience and powers of judjement were massively warped by this abuse?
In my opinion the whole problem starts when I want to make a moral judgement about somebody else. I can`t know if you are a "good" or a "bad" person. If I start to feel directly or indirectly threatened somehow by your actions then I start to think of you as "bad", and have the beginnings of a nice, solid moral highground from which I can launch my atom bombs at you.
The older I get, the more wisdom I find in the discipline of "not criticising". If I keep me trap shut about other folk and concentrate on being here and now in my own life, and looking out for what`s truly good for me, then I am free from the whole dualistic noise-in-the-head.