The Devil's Juice... Are Hitler and Alcohol Both Evil?
I wasn't going to post this because I didn't think much of it, but, to my surprise, in the back of my mind it creeps up and bothers me!
Not an hour ago, I was performing some of my duties at work. A co-worker (loosely so and henceforth 'Loosely') walked by and made a joking request of me at which point his colleague chimed in (henceforth 'Other'). Before I could get away a conversation had been struck, something light and refreshing for mid-afternoon in an office.
Amazingly, the conversation took a very wrong turn when the ramifications of allowing workers to drink while at work time were being dicussed. We agreed that any cases in law (in Canada at least) would set a precedent if a worker was injured, but that if there was a law in place already, a waver might free an employer of responsibility if the accident took place after work even if the worker became intoxicated while at work. Loosely, insisted, however (to my absolute bewilderment) that alcohol was the devil's juice and that he'd never allow it at work were he the owner of a company. I was silent. Other said flat out that the devil did not exist. Loosely changed his tune. Alcohol was evil now. I said that alcohol was not evil and agreed that the devil did not exist. I also added that I'd not call anything evil because I don't delineate anything based on that criteria*. Loosely was miffed.
Loosely invoked Hitler, 'Thom, Hitler was the devil. Wasn't Hitler satanic?'
I answered, 'No. Hitler was a person. A very bad man.'
'So you don't think he was evil?'
'No, he wasn't evil. He was a-'
'So, Hitler was good?' Loosely cut in. I tried to cut back in, to explain the error, but Loosely began the Holocaust rant. Loosely's parents were victims of the Holocaust.
Loosely's story was tragic, but I remained steadfast, 'That's tragic. I never said that! Hitler was a terrible, hor-'
'Horrible person!' said Other and Loosely stormed off.
'I get what you mean, Thom,' said Other.
*I find evil to be vague. It's poorly defined and practically meaningless. The opposite, even as Loosely believes, is also poorly defined and is supposed to somehow create the division upon which I should have based my decision. So much could be evil. Are alcohol and Hitler really comparable? Can the two fall into the same category? Absolutely not. Hitler was a human. A powerful and briliant politician and military leader (the latter is debatable). Insane. Terrifyingly capable of carrying to fruition his plans of dominion and genocide. Hitler was scary in a way that only another human being can be scary. Alcohol is a chemical. Alcohol is both beneficial and detrimental to humans. A human could be hurt (fatally) or (fatally) hurt someone with alcohol as a factor (perhaps even primary), but alcohol can't gain political control of a country and order millions to murder millions in an attempt to carry out an insane agenda. Alcohol is not equivalent to Hitler. Hitler is worse, extraordinarily worse, in ways that alcohol can never be. They both can't be put into the same category, but people are willing to lump such things together and to divide the world into those things which are 'good' and those which are 'evil' and to storm away from conversations because someone isn't able or willing to let them get away with equating someone who is absolutely detestable to a chemical that people choose to imbibe!
In Loosely's mind now, I am wrong, I may even think that Hitler is 'good', and all because my opinion on the matter takes more time to explain than simply uttering one word that incoherently divides some of everything from some of everything else.
I don't want to know what I should have done or said. I would like it if people could consider whether my analysis of 'evil' is correct. Is Hitler indeed evil? Can Hitler and alcohol both be evil?
"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."