It’s totally untrue that science fiction fans (and writers) are silly, nerdy, oddballs that like to dress up in Star Wars outfits, and believe in aliens. Well… they’re not silly at any rate. Sci-fi geeks are very clever people. Morgan Freeman is clearly one as the host of my favourite documentary, Through The Wormhole, and he has to be the un-geekiest person I’ve ever seen. I am a fully paid up member of the geek club.
A lot more research goes into writing science fiction than you would think. Even though you’re reading about something or some place that (apparently) doesn’t exist, the actual idea for it probably came about while the author was pulling on his Captain Spock leotard in front of the television set, watching a geeky science documentary. Theoretical science is my favourite playground, but actual science is very often a lot more mind blowing. Especially when it comes to the mind.
Good versus evil, reincarnation and time travel are all large parts of Shadow People and the stories to follow in the series. Do we have souls? Are these souls reborn good or evil? Is life all just about a physical form that is born and dies – The End. Not in Shadow People. Dragons reincarnate as humans, and angels become demons. There is lots of zooming around through time and space, and the fight between good and evil decides the fate of the universe. So. Even though none of us can prove any of these theories beyond a doubt, I do like to at least have a little insight into what I scribble about. This means that I have to find out as much as I can about these things from the actual current proofs and theories that are floating around. I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve found. Right now I’m eyeballing the evil. My dear Morgan explored the brains of truly evil people.
There is a part of the brain that controls empathy. If this doesn’t work you’re apparently not going to feel sorry for anyone or thing in pain or suffering. In the brains of psychopaths this area comes up cold blue in MRI scans. Aah, you say. It’s a physical thing then. I don’t think so. The doctor who discovered this did scans on his own family, and discovered to his horror that not only did he have the brain of a psychopath, he also had people in his family tree who actually had been cold-blooded, convicted killers. He’d never had vicious urges though. The only compulsions in his life had led only to him being an overachiever. He thinks that his saving grace was his incredibly loving family and idyllic childhood.
Aah, you say. It’s an environmental thing then. Maybe not. Another doctor conducted tests on babies around six months old. She put on little plays where one teddy was nice and another teddy was really nasty. Over eighty percent of the babies liked the nice teddies. This sort of shows that we have some small clue about good and bad way before anyone tells us the difference. She also found that even young babies tend to group with other babies who agree with them and shun those who don’t or are different to them. Again, way before their parents tell them it’s not cool to play with children that are “different” to them. These tests made it clear that while similar, babies know what they want or like from very early on. Just because they haven’t figured out how to chat, doesn’t mean that they each are not born as the person they’ll become.
I honestly didn’t come away after this particular programme with any good reason why people turn out to be killers or torturers. Definitely one or two have been made so by tumours pushing on relevant parts of their brains or have some other physical issues there, but not by a very long way for the majority of them. Some people have zero empathy and view the rest of the people in the world as objects. They don’t all turn in to rapists and killers. I’m sure there are quite a few that maybe don’t make a lot of friends, but harm nothing more than a turnip for their soup.
Then you get to that belief that both good and evil exist as forces in the universe, and that it’s up to those with free will to decide who wins in the end. I like this idea best. I’ve gotten a lot of things wrong in my life, but I like to think that once you realise you’ve done something horrible, and hurt someone or something with your actions, you really don’t have to do it again. That’s free will. If these cruel killers really and truly did not believe that what they do is wrong, why do they hide it so well? They don’t want to be caught, you say? Fair enough.
But still. I think that on some level they do know that their deeds are evil. It’s often hard to do the right thing for all of us, let alone for someone with a damaged brain, but the fact that they get through life for so long having everyone around them thinking that they actually are kind and nice, makes me think that they know exactly what kind and nice is. There are some people on this planet who get up to such awful things, that I personally would be more than happy to stomp on them with hobnailed boots. So – my opinion — Evil exists as a force in the universe, and should be exposed for what it is, and duly stomped on.