Quality Quotes #10

“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”  –Joseph Conrad, from Under Western Eyes

Joseph Conrad

My friend and mentor Martha at I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am! inspired me (thank you, Martha dear!) to share this great quote today.  No, the quote’s not new, but it’s just as relevant now as it was in 1911.  I was a believer for my entire life until about 3 years ago, when I finally and after a years-long period of autodidactic struggle renounced my belief in all things supernatural.  Now I revel in my recently achieved agnosticism.

What do y’all think?  Is there a supernatural source of evil?  If so, what convinces you of it?

–Via Your Daily Word Prompt for 5/6/20, “revel
–Via Your Daily Word Prompt for 5/7/20, “renounce
–Via Word of the Day Challenge for 5/7/20, “new
–Via Fandago’s ONe-Word Challenge for 5/4/20, “education


11 thoughts on “Quality Quotes #10

  1. First, I do like the quote, thanks Denny. I didn’t even know that Conrad had such unbeliefs.

    Second, in answer to your question I have to say the supernatural cannot be a source of evil because the supernatural does not exist. I am not a fan of the word “evil” either. Although, it has secular uses, it religious connotations makes it unpalatable to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure of Conrad’s belief system, he put that line in a character’s mouth. I have no problem with the word, but after having followed A Questioner’s Journey for so long, I certainly understand your POV. Thank you for dropping by & commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess the cleverest and most sinister of all criminals are those who can operate in such a way that others do not believe they exist.

    Whether human or not, those who do evil, deceive or manipulate others, use superior strength, knowledge, power etc to get what they want out of them …and then watch those same pawns suffer loss, pain and despair …well anyone who chooses to do evil, to harm others for their own selfish gain is a sad waste of the wonderful capacity we have for unselfish love and kindness.

    So…I guess my view is that if someone has intelligence and free will and they waste it on being evil…I would hope for the day when one day they will no longer exist, and those who love goodness and kindness live without fear.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Evil exists, and no it’s not supernatural. Like Caramel, I see evil as a choice a person makes, maybe without even thinking that they are choosing evil. I believe, also, temptation exists, and it’s not supernatural, either. One can be tempted to make evil choices by the perceived or anticipated outcome of the choice. Enough of these choices and a person is damned, not to hell or eternal fire or anything like that, but his/her life is unlikely to be redeemed and he/she is lost. In my view it’s very serious, very dangerous and very real because it can drag others along with it. The 7 deadliest? They’re real, again, not as openings to eternal damnation, but each one of them is a temptation, a bad choice. I experienced envy this past winter for the first time (that I’m aware of) and I haven’t been that miserable in a long, long time. Until I understood what was happening, and I escaped the snare, it was not good at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I consider myself an agnostic, as well, and as such, cannot entirely discredit the supernatural, but also would not call myself a believer. There’s a lot of weird shit in the world, and I won’t pretend to understand all of it, nor pretend to have a full awareness of it. Unfortunately, evil is something that exists regardless of whether or not you believe in it, and I do believe man is the most, although not necessarily the only, thing adept at wielding it.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “Is there a supernatural source of evil?” No, there is not. Nor is there a supernatural source of good. There are evil people and there are good people and everything in between. But there is no bearded God in white robes up high in heaven above us or horned devil with a tail deep within the bowels of the earth below us. They are both fictional creations, as fictional as the character whose words you quoted from Conrad’s book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a question! There are good and bad people, and I think it’s entirely up to the individual whether or not to be good or evil. Sometimes life circumstances can push us in one direction, as an example, racism. A lot of people are racists, because that’s what they’ve grown up with. However, there’s no excuse to not learn more about other cultures and races, especially now. With everything we have at our finger tips.
    Take the horrific situation with Ahmaud Arbery. Those two may be racists, but they should know that to hunt a human being like an animal, to murder another human being. That is evil and there is no excuse for what those two did. It’s just evil.

    I don’t think there are necessarily supernatural forces that make you bad or good. Unfortunately, a lot of people in the world hide behind the “supernatural” to make their evil deeds, excusable. I’m agnostic, but I’d say 95% of the time you can choose yourself to be evil or good. Serials killers/rapists etc just have a very different brain wired.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I believe both in supernatural forces and that individuals can be evil too. Though I generally believe that it either tends to be individuals are bad, people are good (to hold someone to account), but it’s a slippery slope headed in the direction of generalisation. Supernatural forces, yes I complete believe in the existence of evil spirits. And any mention of evil spirits will push me to swiftly exit whatever scene it’s based in. I cannot!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s