Defining evil in this presidential election | Letter to the Editor

In a well-known book, "People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil" (1983), psychiatrist M. Scott Peck explored the nature of evil from his distinctly religious as well as psychological perspective.

  • Thursday, October 13, 2016 4:12pm
  • Opinion

In a well-known book, “People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil” (1983), psychiatrist M. Scott Peck explored the nature of evil from his distinctly religious as well as psychological perspective.

In his view, evil manifests as a malignant self-righteousness with an active refusal to tolerate imperfection. This syndrome results in a projection of evil (imperfection or incompetence) onto selected specific innocent victims.

Peck points out that “sin” in the Judeo-Christian sense leads one to “miss the mark” and fall short of perfection, and while most people are aware of this imperfection, those that are evil refuse to accept this awareness actively and adamantly (self-deception, not necessarily sociopathy).

Peck’s research determined that there are nine characteristics of an evil person:

1. Self deception in order to avoid guilt and maintain a self-image of perfection;

2. Self-deception leads to consistent deceiving of others;

3. Projects his sins onto specific targets (scapegoats), while behaving normally with everyone else;

4. Publicly “hates” while pretending love as his motivation (again, self-deceiving as much as deception of others);

5. Abuses emotional (political) power (“imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion”);

6. Maintains strong image of respectability and lies incessantly to do so;

7. Consistent not in magnitude of his sins but in the level of destructiveness;

8. Unable to think from viewpoint of his target victim;

9. Has total intolerance to criticism or exposure of his defects.

Having read this far and, I hope, reflected upon our presidential election, do you see any of the candidates who seem to meet all or most of the characteristics?

Robert DuChaine

Buckley

More in Opinion

Even with postage paid, voters couldn’t send ballots on time

While those ballots don’t get counted, taxpayers still must pay the Postal Service for delivering them.

Spotting outsiders in our little city

There’s always a way to tell who’s new and who’s ‘in-the-know’ in Enumclaw.

We must move away from identity politics

Mr. Trump recognized the legitimate concerns of the “working class” and socio-economic middle class which have born a disproportionate negative impact from many of Washington’s policies.

Polarizing politics works to squash the moderate middle

The definition of identity politics: “Political attitudes or positions that focus on… Continue reading

Enumclaw VFW cites long list of community service

Our post, although one of the smallest in the state, consistently ranks near the top of all state VFW posts in the amount of community service we provide.

A victory they didn’t want means a fight they worked to avoid

De-Escalate Washington needs to restart the machinery of a campaign to pass I-940.

Windows over Cole Street

Some of you have probably seen me early in the afternoon sitting in storefront windows of The Local Coffee House or Ann’s Bakery or, my favorite perch, the corner windows in Jackson’s.

Deeply held religious beliefs do good in the world

It is truly disheartening to see the eagerness with which people jump on the bandwagon to Christian bash.

Economy rises and falls, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office

History from the time of Harry Truman teaches us that presidents have very little influence on the economy.

Most Read