Fandango’s Provocative Question #115

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week’s provocative question is about evil. The word evil is defined as something profoundly immoral and wicked. Recently I heard someone use the phrase, “a necessary evil.” When I Googled that phrase, I saw that it refers to an evil that someone believes must be done or accepted because it is necessary to achieve a better outcome — especially because possible alternative courses of action or inaction are expected to be worse.

So the question is simply this:

Is there really such a thing as a necessary evil, or is it just a way for us to rationalize or justify doing something bad?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

27 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #115

  1. Mister Bump UK March 31, 2021 / 3:37 am

    It’s funny, long ago I drafted a post about why the Allies didn’t bomb the concentration camps, which would have fit into this category well I feel. I pulled the post because I didn’t think it was good blog-fodder.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Mister Bump UK March 31, 2021 / 11:05 am

        It’s gone, I’m afraid. The general thrust was that by the time the Allies were within bombing range of the cames, they had gathered perfectly credibly evidence of what was going on there. Jewish leaders in particular were begging Churchill and FDR to take action.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula Light March 31, 2021 / 5:30 am

    In general, I would say no, but am open to discussing specific examples. I do believe in “no pain, no gain,” but that kind of pain (avoiding junk food, exercising till achy, giving up retail therapy, etc.) isn’t really evil.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rugby843 March 31, 2021 / 8:06 am

    My first thought was chemotherapy

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marleen March 31, 2021 / 11:51 am

    What’s on my mind, today, in that regard, is the recognition of the Armenian genocide (done by the Ottoman Empire/Turkey). No president has yet “recognized” it; both Obama and Trump said they would but didn’t. Whatever the “reason” — no, I don’t think it’s necessary to basically deny reality by neglecting recognition when we know.

    The only examples I can think of for going ahead with an “evil” would, I think, not be evil: You lie to or mislead or even bear false witness to a terrorist or a anyone trying to abduct someone; in order to save somebody from harm. Some people would feel like they’re breaking one of the Ten Commandments. Oh well. It was good.

    It could even be one or both of your parents you lie to for a greater good. Now, we’re into another “commandment” and you have to decide whether or not to honor your parent(s). I’m watching a series, right now, with two parents involved in various evils. The three (grown) siblings are trying to make sense of the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong March 31, 2021 / 12:59 pm

      A think a lie to save a life is one thing. But then there’s setting up a drug cartel to make enough money to send the kids to college. There’s a while lie — then, there’s actual evil.

      For many years, I had a close friend from Greece (Macedonia) who spent a LOT of time explaining the Armenian genocide (done by the Ottoman Empire/Turkey).

      As ever, it’s “follow the money.” We do not do the right thing because it costs more money than we want to spend or would require that we stop using Turkey as the place where we have our Air Force. Moving it would be very expensive and might not even be doable. Follow the money. It’s always amount money. And power. And land.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen March 31, 2021 / 8:19 pm

        I appreciate your input on the Armenian v Turkey (and the United States) topic. Additionally, I agree that “setting up a drug cartel to make enough money to send the kids to college” is/would be “actual evil” — is not, in any way, okay or necessary (even if you can’t send the kids to college otherwise). I also agree with you about the fangs referenced in your post at your blog site. Plus, that such behavior specified, there, was never truly tolerable… fangs or no fangs.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 31, 2021 / 1:28 pm

      Thanks. I enjoyed reading your answer and I concur.


    • Fandango March 31, 2021 / 3:05 pm

      Yes? Yes, there really is such a thing as necessary evil? Or yes, it’s just a way to justify or rationalize doing bad things?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol anne March 31, 2021 / 6:03 pm

    Yes! There is! Like, for example, me drinking coffee! I know I shouldnt drink it after a certain time, but lol, its my addiction, and a necessary evil!

    Liked by 1 person

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