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The Frivolity Of Evil Essay

1039 words - 5 pages

The article "The Frivolity of Evil" by Theodore Dalrymple analyzes the causes of human misery. His work as a psychiatrist in Great Britains slums afforded him a great vantage point to analyze this topic "nearer to the fundamental of human existence." He concluded that the citizens of Great Britian willingly participated in precipitating their own misery. Their are three recurring theme in his article the lack of moral responsibility, extreme individualism and lack of cultural expectations. Dalrymple begins his article by showing the mind frame of a prisoner released from prison, who had the idea that he had paid his debt to society. In order to get his point across Dalrymple compares the prisoners situation to his very own, the 14 years he spent as a psychiatrist in the slums of Great Britain. He had a choice to choose a different neighborhood just like the prisoner had a choice not to commit the crime. His argument in this article is that our misery stems from the choices we make about how we choose to live our lives. He was also able to cement his arguments by comparing and contrasting the political and social differences between Great Britain and those of Liberia, North Korea and Central America. Dalrymple observed that the people in other countries had their choices taken way from them the crimes and brutality committed in these countries where not their own making. However, in Great Britain the life of violence and poverty was "unforced and spontaneous." Dalrymple argues that the evils in his country are a product of a society that promotes individualism and accepts the right of its citizens to pursue pleasures for their own self interest.

Dalrymple assert that judgmentalism is important in creating a healthy society. The idea of holding people and society to a certain standard. And because society holds them to a certain standard they have a responsibility to act a certain way. That as a doctor he has moral and professional responsibility to tell his patients they were living unhealthy lives. As a psychiatrist he observed on numerous occasions patients who claimed to be depressed instead of being unhappy with the lives they were leading. He believed that this shift in thinking leads people to imply that "dissatisfaction with life is itself pathological." The idea that this is an illness that can be cured by a doctor. Dalrymple believed that this form of thinking stands in the way of people understanding their situation and impedes moral change. The lack of moral responsibility was a recurring theme he observed in his patients. The patient who claimed "unhappiness" had three different children by three different men. The fathers of the three children lived a life of criminality and violence. Knowing this she still choose to enter into a relationship with them regardless of the consequences. What is confounding is the lack of moral responsibility the patients exhibit towards her children. Their is no punishment from...

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