Filipinos should stop believing in “evil” in order to progress as a society


Bizarre that a supposed “economist” like Winnie Monsod would highlight the notion of “evil” as the be-all-end-all core source of all of the Philippines’ troubles. In her latest Inquirer piece, Monsod writes a treatise on why “ordinary, so-called good, God-fearing people can move from good to evil”.

Monsod cites the notion of a “banality of evil” proposed by social psychologist Philip Zimbardo, author of the book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. On the back of that body of work, Monsod asserts that “evil” is a social affliction Filipinos have come to be conditioned to tolerate. As a result, Filipinos have turned their lot into a society where “ordinary people can commit acts that would otherwise be unthinkable”.

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Framed by this thinking, Monsod drops a bomb of a recommendation…

So, Reader, we are faced [with] three Paths: Path 1: Be an active perpetrator of evil in this country (and join some politicians we all know). Path 2: Do nothing, and let evil triumph, which is why the Philippines is where it is. Or, Path 3: Fight the evil.

Again, the word “fight”. What exactly should Filipinos “fight”? Beyond the nebulous notion of an “evil” that Filipinos are enjoined to “fight”, Monsod offers nothing tangible for Filipinos to either aim their paltiks at or define as a goal to aim for as they go about their day-to-day lives.

There is a vastly more important pathway Monsod leaves out — one she would have readily come up with instinctively as an economist had her mind not been hopelessly addled by the primitivist voodoo mentality ingrained in Philippine society. This pathway is none other than for Filipinos to achieve in tangible and measurable terms. The key to prosperity in these modern times lies in a capability, both at a collective and at an individual level, to contribute economic value to humanity. The pathway to achieving that is a lot more palpable to the human mind than the hocus-pocus references to “evil” that “thought leaders” like Monsod lazily infest the national discourse with.

Filipinos should strive not to “fight evil” but to make life better for humanity through the development of innovative solutions to real and tangible problems. These solutions should deliver outcomes that are measureable in concrete terms. How does one “win” against “evil”? The debate around the snowflakey answers to that nonsensical question will be open to pointless debate — because “evil” is not a technical problem.

Most of what ails the economy — what either impoverishes people or stunts investment and captial expansion — are technical problems that require technical skills to solve, for example. The trouble with Filipinos is they prefer to mull over non-technical issues like “evil” that only shamans presume to solve. And that is why no progress takes root in the Philippines — because Filipinos, under the “guidance” of people like Monsod, regard the solutions to technical problems as beyond the reach of their superstition-hobbled intellects.

Money is the most objective scorecard civilisation has devised to measure achievement. Perhaps Filipinos should begin their search for real pathways to progress by following where the money leads. An “economist” like Monsod ought to be one of the people one would reasonably expect to appreciate that cold reality the most.

18 Replies to “Filipinos should stop believing in “evil” in order to progress as a society”

  1. Shame, we couldn’t follow the Oriental way of life due to the Filipino’s influence of the “evil” Western cultures brought about the Spanish & American occupiers for the past 3 1/2 centuries. So that’s why the Japanese & Chinese believe on the Three Wise Monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil & speak no evil):

    So that’s why our country is dragging it down due to our “evilness” & that evilness is none other than our colonial mentality, crab mentality & lack of discipline.

  2. “Evil” is a matter of perspective. We could waste time with indoctrinating people with which is “Evil” and which is “Good” like what happened after the People Power Revolution, and what happened? Our entire country regressed, supposedly the “Good” guys won and history painted them as them as having saved us from the brink. And it continues today that supposedly the “Good” guys lost in 2016 again, and now we’re back to the dark ages. Melodramatic and hyperbolic nonsense. You can have a supposedly “Good” person lead the country like the last time, and nothing would improve but their bottomline.

  3. In my opinion, evil exist; just look at the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, that are rooted like octopus in our country, draining the wealth of the nation. Look at Monsod, who is trying to lead us to fight, another “non tangible entity of evil”. Like the Aquino Cojuangco /Cory Aquino, led us to fight the evil of the late Pres. Marcos and his Martial Law. The man and his Martial Law, is distorted, to the point, where it was known , as the, “personification of evil”.

    I believe that evil is in our country, and in our world. Most of our politicians are evil. All of the YellowTards are evil. The Aquino Cojuangco political axis is an evil entity . Mar Roxas is evil and without conscience. He stole the Typhoon Yolanda Fund, that would had helped the victims of the the Typhoon Yolanda !

  4. Same old partisan baloney. “My political side is good, anything not with me is evil. If you differ, then you’re evil too!”

    Now we have lots of people trying to be experts of a “second field.” Not only do we have instant sports analysts after the Gilas-Aussie brawl, we have economists claiming to be experts on evil. Looks like there are too many job overlaps these days.

  5. I agree with the gist of the article, though I would disagree with the title. Actually, one of the few areas I believe the Philippines is ahead of the rest of the world on is its adherence to traditional concepts like spirituality and family. While it can be faulted for its implementation of the above, the desire to take them seriously (even if only on a decorative level) is a step above much of the west and NEA these days.

    Eliminating the concept of evil and opening the door for moral relativism opens the door for the worst atrocities imaginable. It allows for the centralized state to become the sole religion, where critique of the party is seen as heresy. I would argue this push towards moral relativism in the west is the main reason for their relative decline on the world stage for the last few decades.

    I believe the fundamental issue is not believing in evil, but as you allude, the externalization of it to outside forces. When your average Filipino commits an evil act, whether it’s dishonesty, corruption, or what have you, when confronted with it, they react with denial and anger. There is no connection between cause and effect, or personal responsibility for one’s actions. Without that connection, people will see themselves more like a buoy in a sea than the captain of their own ship.

    1. I do recognise that religion was a strong contributing factor to the progressive ability of humans to organise themselves in ever larger scales over history.

      However, as the the use of religion as a power base to govern was replaced by governance by rule-of-law, the importance of religion, mysticism, and superstition has diminished. Today they may even have become liabilities.

      The concept of “evil” is superfluous in most modern societies where there is a coherent framework and a justice system that works — because in such societies, there is a systematic way of determining guilt.

      1. Incorrect. Religion is gaining ground, even in Europe, the continent where “Enlightenment” came from.

        It is common failing, even among intellectuals, to think that laws are not derived from the morality of the people. And the morality of the people is almost always predominantly shaped by the prevailing religion.

    2. ^^ This.

      I agree that it’s a bit foolish to blather about some generic and unspecified “evil”, but as Mr Rotten pointed out there, addressing specific evil acts really IS a technical problem. It is addressed by means of a competent, honest police force, and a functioning judiciary. Neither of which exists in this country at the moment.

      Aside from that, addressing specific behaviours – such as the Filipino propensity for dishonesty and stealing – could be addressed in schools, thereby lessening the need for policemen. So, again, a technical problem.

      1. Thus it comes down to an essential modern cognitive skill: Framing the problem properly.

        Solving a problem (and ensuring that the effort put into even just discussing the problem is worthwhile) begins with that.

  6. That is why moderates will never win in this game.

    As you can see, the side who wants positive change is faced against the side that does not want them because the change is “evil”. Then there is the moderate.

    If you are in the side of positive change, then your enemy is the one who is against that change. And the enemy has (OBVIOUSLY) chosen its side. Then there is the moderate.

    The moderate insists that there is a middle ground despite the enemy already forcing the rest to the draw the line and pick a side.

    Eventually, in this game, you have to pick a side despite all the protestations that NOT ALL THINGS ARE BINARY.

    Then there is still the moderate.

    1. You make a circular argument. Which side is really ‘evil’ ? and ,of course, opposing sides will refer to each other as ‘evil’. Propsing to get rid of both sides of evil is an even better idea. Then there is no need, nor a call to, the moderate.

      1. No, I’m not. You failed to comprehend my comment, proven by your statement “Which side is really ‘evil’ ? and ,of course, opposing sides will refer to each other as ‘evil’”. Read it again. Slowly this time.

        “Propsing to get rid of both sides of evil is an even better idea. ” – When you do not know if they are evil, then that is an extremely retarded idea.

  7. i think what monsod means ‘to fight evil’ is to fight the yellow dynasty for what they have done to the country.

  8. “EVIL IS NOT TECHNICAL PROBLEM…”, WHAT ? The author of the work may not have wanted to point the population into the area that involves ‘Pitchforks Torches and Ropes’, but ‘EVIL’ is surely technical and more…….I go along with ‘seeking tangible results’ as a source of idea’s to strive for as a common body of people, but I sense (without reading the article being referred to or knowing its context)that the author may have been thinking in broader multi-person activities rather than the ‘day to day’ goings on of the avg. Juan and Maria.
    Evil is everywhere I ever looked in the Philippines, the most crooked and corrupted place I have ever wandered to. I do not refer to the ‘Devil’s manipulations of people’s action’s but more about how poverty moves people away from morality based decision’s into the realm of actual criminal behaviour’s that are despicable in nature as easily as not flipping a coin.
    Finding ways to provide a decent standard of living so as to make the decision to commit criminal acts so effortlessly because it is a sure way to stave of the pangs of hunger is not so much an act of ‘evil’ but more survival based.
    The removal of ‘EVIL’ based in the corridors of power, as in ‘Get out the Pichforks etc etc….’, would be as good a place to start as any and would have more immedaite results. Unlike the author critiqued in this article, I’d spur the call to the masses to surround the SENATE during a Joint Session of Congress, have all the scumbags arrested for crimes against the people(For being ‘EVIL’) and then move on to the Palais where the resiident and his family would have 24 hours to vacate the premise’s or suffer the wrath of the 400,00 Mad as all Fuck citizens outside.
    How that for an idea about combatting ‘EVIL’ ? Specific enough ? or would anyone care to challenge it with something stupid like, say, “You have to prove a crime has been committed”, as if the political class in the coutry are not lying,thieving scumbags ?

  9. Once Filipino’s realize that the choices of Aquino or Marcos or Dueterte are actually choices of the wrong type, actually no choices at all, the sooner the country can embark to get rid of these proven scumbags/thieves. To believe that it has to be one or the other is to be trapped like a rat in a corner, with no way out. This is the biggest problem facing Filipino’s, their choices are nothing but ‘EVIL’. A cleansing is called for, TICK – TOCK, said the clock ! In 50 years if what was just stated is not heeded, nothing at all will change, NOTHING. I do not have to be a Seer nor a Sage to know that as its already over 50 years since 1965.

  10. everytime they comes around, SWS and Pulse Asia, incinuating the people only means their god is falling apart. nothing different when adam and eve ate that apple.

  11. What is it that makes us who we are and what we are? Is it only our blood, the color of our hair, our skin, and our eyes? Or is it believing in what we believe and living the way we live?

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