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18 April 2007 @ 11:11 am
Tao of the Day - Tao Te Ching #60 Excerpt (trans. Stephen Mitchell)  
Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself.
Current Music: "All This Love" - The Similou
RocketGirl: Bunnyeonen on April 18th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
I really have to disagree with this.

For evil to have nothing to oppose, the world--the very universe itself--would have to cease to exist; much like bullies, evil doesn't go away if you start ignoring it. Indeed, all evil needs to succeed is for good people to do nothing.
If evil has nothing to directly oppose it, it'll take a shit on your lawn just for the hell of it, metphorically speaking. Evil doesn't need an opposition to be a pain in the ass, and if you don't oppose it then all you are, really, is a victim.

Of course, opposing evil can turn into evil itself if taken too far (*cough*The War on Terror*cough*) and good intentions don't always yield good results, but even so...that just illustrates the necessity for not just opposing evil, but also for paying attention.

Just sayin'.
Kburgunder on April 18th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
I don't see this one as a big picture philosophy, but rather advice for small scale issues.

Example: my mom installed most of my buttons. When she pushes those buttons, it is evil. But if I don't react, she gets bored with pushing the buttons. She doesn't have anything to oppose.
RocketGirl: Artooeonen on April 18th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
I've never gotten someone to stop doing something by ignoring them. Not ever. They just keep right on doing it until I yell and blow up at them, maybe make them pay just a little for trying to push me around. Then, and only then, does it actually stop.

I used to have arguments about that with my parents all the time, mostly because of my own mother. If you try to tell her reasonably that she's doing something I really don't appreciate, she'll simply deny doing it at all. If I try to ignore her she'll just keep doing it obliviously. But if I made a scene, maybe stepped over a few line and household rules, the issue would FINALLY get discussed and dealt with.

*pshrug* That's been my experience. Ignoring badness simply allows it to continue; it needs to be dealt with.
Master Arsonist: Love/Blood/Rhetoric?apostle on April 18th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
Just for the sake of argument...
I propose that it may be a matter of perspective and translation.

If taken in the light that in order to prosper Evil requires energy in the form of input and reaction, then it makes sense. It does not say to not oppose Evil, simply that without (the expected) opposition it cannot prosper.

For example, the words of Musashi: "In battle, if you make your opponent flinch, you have already won."

"Evil" requires perceived as well as actual opposition to flourish. If one acts in a controlled and thoughtful manner, one is able to make a calculated and reasoned move rather than the expected "flinch" that empowers "Evil".
RocketGirl: Darth Danceeonen on April 18th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Just for the sake of argument...
Again, I really don't think so. This assumes that provoking a reaction is the point of "Evil's" actions, and that "Evil" needs an opposition to exist. I don't believe that at all.

"Evil" can come in many forms, and one of them may simply be for "Evil" to dominate or destroy or to simply get its own way. No opposition is needed for these things; all that's necessary is existence.
If "Evil" is allowed to do these things unopposed or without consequences, not only does "Evil" win in this case but it also learns that these tactics work and should therefore be used in the future.

Evil flourishes because good people are doing nothing to stop it. Even worse, good people may see evil succeeding and succeeding unopposed, and they may decide to get in on the action because they see it as the way to get what they want and don't have.

If that sort of behavior is allowed to continue, all of us will be victims in one way or another. I, for one, am not the sort to let others fuck me over while I just lay back and thnk of England.
Master Arsonist: Horde Shuffleapostle on April 18th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Just for the sake of argument...
This assumes that provoking a reaction is the point of "Evil's" actions, and that "Evil" needs an opposition to exist.

Yes, that is close to the assumption that I see being made. The difference is not that it needs opposition to exist, but that it needs *direct* opposition to flourish.

The art of indirect or subtle opposition is a continuing lesson in both the writings of Lao Tzu and Musashi. Both promote the idea of understanding the intent of the opponent in order to outwit them and to gain the most out of your own expenditure of energy - without lending energy or credence to your opponent. To allow them to expend their own energy while you invest a minimal amount of your own in order to promote a victorious amount of GOOD is the ultimate ideal.

I've seen several translations of this same concept, and I think that this translation itself may be the actual center point of our differences. The core of the idea is that for Good to react with direct opposition to the actions of Evil is often the entire point of why Evil acts in the first place, and that wiser minds should know when they are being drawn into actions that lend their resources to Evils desires.
RocketGirl: Chianaeonen on April 18th, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Just for the sake of argument...
"Yes, that is close to the assumption that I see being made. The difference is not that it needs opposition to exist, but that it needs *direct* opposition to flourish."

And that's where I disagree. Evil is not its own end; evil usually has a goal. To flourish, all evil needs is victory. And if there's no opposition, victory is automatic.
The problem is that, once that goal is achieved, evil usually wants more. So it becomes a cycle. Either evil is halted or evil continues; evil can't be halted through inaction.