Social Question

whitecarnations's avatar

Is this video proof that evil exists?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635 points ) March 7th, 2012

http://vimeo.com/invisible/kony2012

Evil cannot be measured scientifically by tools, but by the results of its actions is this correct? I know some may like Hamlet, some may practice nihilism. But is it not instinct to distinguish between good and evil?

Upon watching this video if you still don’t believe in evil, what would you call this kind of person in a human society?

*This video is 30 minutes long, please be patient with it before answering! :D

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22 Answers

tom_g's avatar

Can you define “evil”? Then can you summarize your video? Asking someone to watch a 30-minute video in order to be able to even comment on your question might limit the responses.

jca's avatar

Like @tom_g said, I definitely don’t have 30 minutes to watch said video, so I’d appreciate a summary, please.

tedd's avatar

I don’t have to watch the video to tell you evil exists. Men like Hitler and Stalin existed.

GladysMensch's avatar

TL/DW… regardless, I don’t think evil (in the biblical, satanic way) exists. However, I believe that people can be sociopaths who, when given power, can wreak a whole lot of suffering on the innocent.

MrItty's avatar

Posting a video link without an actual description of the video itself reeks of spam/scam.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I am very familiar with the situation in Uganda. I sponsored a child there for 5 years. Her name was Jennifer Arringo. I sponsored her from the time she was 8 years old until she was 13 years old. In that length of time, she learned enough English to be able to respond to my letters herself (a child who lived in a hut with a dirt floor & no plumbing). She did not master English, but all things considered, she learned enough. I kept my letters simple, I kept the subject matter simple, things she could identify with – things like I had a few goats, her family had goats, I had a garden, she worked in her family’s garden. She impressed me with her desire to get an education so she could become a nurse so she could help her people. Twice during the time I sponsored Jennifer, her village was attacked, but she & her family escaped. Then the letters stopped. I wrote to her, but she did not answer. I finally wrote to her Uncle (who was part of the Christian Organization thru which I was sponsoring Jennifer) & he told me that her village had been attacked again & this time ALL of the children were taken (23 children). I was horrified to learn about this & very angry at the organization for not telling me what had happened. I wrote to them & they said they were still trying to find out where the children had been taken & that this was why they had not notified any of the sponsors. I have no idea what had been done with the money I was paying each month (this finding out took several months) because it certainly was not being used for the child that I was sponsoring. Finally, knowing that she had been taken by this group – I did not know if I should pray that she was alive (knowing that at 13 she would have been being used sexually) or if I should pray that she was dead – because if she was dead, then she would no longer be suffering. This was the beginning of the end of my belief in God, because if God (a God who chooses what will happen & what will not happen) had allowed this child to suffer in this manner, & had allowed the other children to suffer as well….then this was an uncaring / unloving God. I have never been able to sponsor another child, I simply cannot extend my heart with the possibility that I may again experience that level of heartache. I still have Jennifer’s picture & I often wonder what happened to her. Evil does exist in our world. You can call it by whatever name you choose, but it does exist.

Blackberry's avatar

I watched the video yesterday, here’s a summary: an african rebel by the name of Kony is the leader of the LRA (Lord Resistance Army). He kidnaps children for child soldiers and is generally a bad person. The video is just calling for people to spread the message and help take him down by various methods.

@whitecarnations I’m sure you would agree this stuff has been happening before anyone saw any video. The video doesn’t prove anything, and this nothing new, so it only shows what humans are capable of. Evil is a very subjective term and can mean a lot.

Blackberry's avatar

@Jude Yes, I’m always skeptical of most charitable efforts, unfortunately. This does not mean no one should try to make a difference, though. I try not to randomly throw money at organizations.

Coloma's avatar

“Evil” is ego.
Plain and simple, not a supernatural entity. “Evil” is a highly narcissistic and sociopathic ego that has no ability to feel empathy for others, race, group or culture. Read Scott Pecks ” People of the lie” for a great explanation of “evil.”

“Evil” is the byproduct of faulty nurturing, cultural programming and in some cases deficient brain function as in the case of the sociopathic personality.

So yes, “evil” does exist, but the devil comes from within not without.

whitecarnations's avatar

@Jude Are you really going to disregard IC because of this? I remember when they a small street team and they did local community events like shows in San Diego and their donated efforts helped raise awareness and that’s good and simple enough for me.

@MrItty I didn’t want to post a description because it’s more powerful when you just watch it compared to summarizing it up. See people these days have no more patience and don’t want a story. Although the story is coming from the director and not from the opposition at all, it doesn’t negate the fact that this is going on. Spam and Scam is when I’m trying to sell you something, it’s when I would solely benefit from you clicking the link. I’m not even trying to raise awareness with this question. The original post was meant to be answered in black and white. Just like how people have posted questions like, “what do you think about this picture” it’s just that with a video, it takes time. Have patience young one.

whitecarnations's avatar

@Jude Look I know what you are getting at. He’s going to be even more richer within the next few days. But who cares? His work is his passion and his passion is working in the humanities field. 90,000$$$$ ?! I don’t give a shit. Albert Pujols get’s 250$ million to swing a bat! This guy get’s 90,000 and is making a dent in world history. Skeptic or not one cannot deny the facts of the Invisible Childrens leaders efforts. My question to you is, would his cause make it more real if he were some dirt poor joke who didn’t have a kid and a career with passion? What is it you want from this world? I respect your skepticism in the sense that you are doing some very genuine investigation but I also respect his passion for capturing Kony with the interest of saving kids. Many hippies have these thoughts of, “peace on earth” but how many people get to actually make a dent in history with a start up .org I don’t know if it’s just me that understands it takes money to get quality art out there. Even Shepard Fairey couldn’t be a cheap ass posting his version or proganda, even Hendrix had to buy the most expensive gear, John Lennon, talked about peace? A millionaire. I’m not thinking about the money, I’m thinking about those Goddamned kids who live in fear and know nothing else! And nothing is going to change my feelings toward that.

Jude's avatar

How about “this”:

“People supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re supporting the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away.” link.

King_Pariah's avatar

It’s a lose lose situation. Yeah sure, he may be evil but so is the Ugandan military. As @Jude pointed out, the Ugandan military is guilty as well for many of the same crimes. However, I can’t blame people for wanting to nail Kony to the door and make taking down the LRA a priority. My Dad lost a Ugandan friend he made when in Iraq to the LRA, and undoubtedly, many others have as well and more. But personally (and as “evil” as my opinion may be), I think that it may be best to let the region burn until the people themselves become sick of the bloodshed and can finally put aside differences for peace.

Aethelflaed's avatar

The Daily What really sums this all up, so I’m not even gonna bother to paraphrase them. (start quote)

I honestly wanted to stay as far away as possible from KONY 2012, the latest fauxtivist fad sweeping the web (remember “change your Facebook profile pic to stop child abuse”?), but you clearly won’t stop sending me that damn video until I say something about it, so here goes:

Stop sending me that video.

The organization behind Kony 2012 — Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called ”misleading,” “naive,” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes.” They have also been criticized by the Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards.

Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going.

By IC’s own admission, only 31% of all the funds they receive go toward actually helping anyone [pdf]. The rest go to line the pockets of the three people in charge of the organization, to pay for their travel expenses (over $1 million in the last year alone) and to fund their filmmaking business (also over a million) — which is quite an effective way to make more money, as clearly illustrated by the fact that so many can’t seem to stop forwarding their well-engineered emotional blackmail to everyone they’ve ever known.

And as far as what they do with that money:

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. These books each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.

Let’s not get our lines crossed: The Lord’s Resistance Army is bad news. And Joseph Kony is a very bad man, and needs to be stopped. But propping up Uganda’s decades-old dictatorship and its military arm, which has been accused by the UN of committing unspeakable atrocities and itself facilitated the recruitment of child soldiers, is not the way to go about it.

The United States is already plenty involved in helping rout Kony and his band of psycho sycophants. Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The LRA might collapse, but, as Foreign Affairs points out, it is “a relatively small player in all of this — as much a symptom as a cause of the endemic violence.”

Myopically placing the blame for all of central Africa’s woes on Kony — even as a starting point — will only imperil many more people than are already in danger.

Sending money to a nonprofit that wants to muck things up by dousing the flames with fuel is not helping. Want to help? Really want to help? Send your money to nonprofits that are putting more than 31% toward rebuilding the region’s medical and educational infrastructure, so that former child soldiers have something worth coming home to.

Here are just a few of those charities. They all have a sparkling four-star rating from Charity Navigator, and, more importantly, no interest in airdropping American troops armed to the teeth into the middle of a multi-nation tribal war to help one madman catch another.

The bottom line is, research your causes thoroughly. Don’t just forward a random video to a stranger because a mass murderer makes a five-year-old “sad.” Learn a little bit about the complexities of the region’s ongoing strife before advocating for direct military intervention.

There is no black and white in the world. And going about solving important problems like there is just serves to make all those equally troubling shades of gray invisible.

Ponderer983's avatar

@Jude Every army rapes and tortures and steals. Even the good ol’ USofA.

jca's avatar

On Huffpost today they’re saying it’s a scam video.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Ponderer983 Oh, well that makes it all okay then. ~

For all the KONY 2012 spammers: a challenge, and some perspective. I get that this is a bad thing. It really is. I also get that raising awareness is good. But if you raise awareness in a way that makes people take the cause less seriously, you haven’t done any good at all. You’ve made people apathetic, rather than just ignorant. So now you don’t even have the option of getting them outraged and interested in doing something by telling them about it because they already know and have been made not to care by a relentless spam campaign. It’s just not helpful.

Ponderer983's avatar

@SavoirFaire I never intended that comment to mean it is OK, I’m just pointing out the fact that giving money to any military force in the world is giving money to that kind of stuff that happens everywhere, very unfortunately.

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