“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
“Study the past if you would define the future.”
Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” This issue is one of the central themes of my horror novels Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I and Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 and is also one of the main issues that has faced humanity in the last one hundred years. From the consequences of millions slain in the Holocaust to one single person murdered on the streets of New York City while many watched and did nothing, humanity has been confronted with this dilemma. We see brutality, oppression, and bigotry towards others on an almost daily basis. When finding evil threatening others, what do we do? Do we ignore it and pretend that it is not there? Do we call authorities to try to handle the situation and hope they arrive in time? Or do we inject ourselves into situations that for both individuals and nations could be filled with the worst kind of danger?
It does not take much effort to find contemporary examples of such circumstances. In all of these situations, the observers are faced with a moral quandary, and in my novels, it is those circumstances which drive the central conflicts. What do three retired gentlemen who are trying to find the answer to the ancient question—is there life after death?—do when they are confronted with a sociopathic supernatural evil that threatens an innocent? It would be easy for them to turn aside and say—this isn’t our fight, or this doesn’t concern me.
These three retired gentlemen do decide to fight this evil, even at the potential cost of their lives and perhaps souls.
In our cynical so-called post-modern world, I feel that I am a bit of a dinosaur, because I am an unapologetic Humanist. I still believe that our connections as people are more important than that which disconnects us. My three central characters believe this ideal also. Hence, they understand Donne’s admonition—“Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” And they understand that whatever threatens an innocent must be opposed.
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(Painting by Joshua Reynolds)
I have focused on this theme before, but I believe it is always important.
While today, we would say people instead of men, the importance of the message remains. When evil or the potential for it exists, it must be opposed.
Both men from very different times and different political and social backgrounds give a moral imperative to people to stand up to evil, that it cannot and should not be ignored.
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