Knowing Evil: Live and Learn?

As is my daily habit, I was checkin' out The Raving Atheist's critique of the exploits of The God Squad, when TRA intrigued me with this statement:

Making the little mistakes that lead to maturity isn’t really the same as doing evil. And presumably a person who is about to do an evil thing already knows what the consequences are, or he wouldn’t be in a position to judge that it was bad in the first place. So going ahead and doing it isn’t actually necessary to the learning process.

The following is an edited version of my comments on TRA.

Satire aside, I think this is a good question. I did something "evil" when in my teens and it still occasionally bothers me when I evaluate my life and how well I live up to my professed and desired Values. This is partially because it didn't completely occur to me At The Time how wrong it was and partially because I'm Still not sure how Evil my actions were.

Two of my friends and I took our BB guns out to their pond and proceeded to shoot about 40 or 50 frogs: singularly and whilst they were coitally engaged. Yah, I had some issues even as a kid... {sigh}

TRA's posting got me thinking: was this an evil thing to do?

I think it would be generally agreed that such activity was stupid, wasteful and mean. I did feel some guilt and even somewhat ashamed afterward. As a group of puds, we definitely laughed our asses off throughout the whole thing and admired each others' skill with distance shots, etc. But as an adult, I simply don't think Our entertainment is or was a good enough reason to kill all those li'l froggers. Like I said, I felt a "twinge" of guilt and shame at the time, but the bulk of those feelings came later. The biggest empirical wrong I know that came of it was that there was an abundance of mosquitoes in the area during the following summer. So I ask myself, could THAT be enough to make what I did evil?

As far as I know, there wasn't then, nor is there now, any specific law against shooting frogs in your own backyard. The mosquito thing might logically suggest one is necessary but, other than that, I wonder if my discomfort over my action was a natural result of that act's evilness and the fact that, as TRA proffered, I already Knew the consequences of what I was about to do.

This is my first post in a while and I am quite curious what y'all Bloghoppers might think about this kind o' thang. To be clear, I would NOT do such a thing again. I've even discussed it with my younger bro's and nephews when they were around that age because I figured, since they were into similar goofball activities to what I was at their age, the issue might arise for them. I wanted to let them know that I'VE found it to be a good idea to step back and think about doing something you're not sure is right before you do it. Even if you end up doing it anyhow.

Sometimes even the Simplest Things do bear repeating. Personally, I think this is true because I've emotional baggage upon which I've yet to get a firm grip. Sometimes its just cuz there are so many things going on we miss the importance of one and, KaPow! Bad Things happen. At any rate...


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