Sunday, December 21, 2003


POTL, n. People Of The Lie.

This useful term was coined by Christian psychiatrist and theologian M. Scott Peck in his book The People of the Lie, which is, among other things, an examination of the nature of human evil. Peck quotes Martin Buber:

Since the primary motive of evil is disguise, one of the places evil people are most likely to be found is within the church.

Additional excerpts can be found here.

"Utterly dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfection, they are unceasingly engaged in the effort to maintain the appearance of moral purity. They are acutely sensitive to social norms and what others might think of them. They seem to live lives that are above reproach. The words "image", "appearance" and "outwardly" are crucial to understanding the morality of 'the evil'. While they lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good. Their goodness is all on a level of pretense. It is in effect a lie. Actually the lie is designed not so much to deceive others as to deceive themselves. We lie only when we are attempting to cover up something we know to be illicit. At one and the same time 'the evil' are aware of their evil and desperately trying to avoid the awareness.

Peck's material, I feel, has great potential for analyzing and deconstructing the nature and behavior of the wing of the Republican party that has captured our government. With the caveats, that Peck raises, that evil is very dangerous to analyze—since we are, after all, all vulnerable to it.

corrente SBL - New Location
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~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
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