Evil and Justice: An Experiential Personal Construct Approach
George Kelly (1955) made a philosophical assumption that the universe is integral or interconnected. This assumption, often overlooked by scholars, has profound implications for global issues facing the world today, including the perpetration of acts that can be considered evil. I first give an experiential personal construct psychology definition of evil (the perpetration of acts, out of our own woundedness, that harm another's central ways of being). I then discuss the ways that evil acts are manifested: objectifying others, denying connectedness, numbing of inner experiences, and a limited ability to introspect. Using these manifestations of evil, I illustrate the ways that evil acts are being perpetrated against others (e.g., travel bans, border walls) as well as the greater universe (e.g., ignoring climate change, exploiting the natural world). I conclude by discussing steps each person can take to minimize the perpetration of evil in the world today. Some of these actions are public (e.g., political, speaking up); others are more personal (e.g., maintaining an attitude of humility and reverence for the greater world). I advocate that people carefully and thoughtfully consider the implications of each action for all of our fellow humans as well as the entire planet.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Greenlief Acres Farm, Colfax, Iowa, USA
Publication date: January 2, 2019