24/05/2013 13:02 BST | Updated 24/07/2013 06:12 BST

Alas, We Can Never Understand the Causes of Evil


In recent days, everyone has become amateur psychoanalysts and terrorist experts; we've done our best Sigmund Freud impression and even dabble with theology to explain why two men brutally murdered an innocent person and candidly spoke to bystanders after the barbarism. The calm and direct explanation for the crime is hard for us to understand and accept. It is rather simply to present a 1400 year old book as evidence for twisting the fragile human mind; the average person might find it easier to accept than the possibility of their being no answer or reason for evil.

I'm an atheist; I reject the principle of a single, spiritual entity at the centre of all creation and the universe. Of course, an atheist can never disprove the existence of God 100%, but the evidence points to it being highly unlikely. It would be even more naïve of me to suggest every act of malevolence and negative aspects of humanity was down to religion. Individuals have, and will continue to, invoke the word of God to justify the most horrendous crimes possible; but if someone is hell bent on destruction then they'll use any means necessary to give it credence.

Serial killers, according to studies, tend to be highly intelligent people with a unique ability to manipulate and influence others. Yet, underneath the surface, they have an irrational and illogical interpretation of reality and struggle to tell the difference between that and fantasy. But, even with this primitive profile and analysis, we still don't know what encourages them to kill multiple people. The evil is a black, meaningless void that can never be discovered.

Humans are capable of marvellously and truly awesome feats; we've put a man on a extraterrestrial object, cured diseases and have the ability to provide extraordinary love to our fellow humans. On the other hand, though, we have the power to destroy civilisations, slaughter entire populations within a matter of moments and poison the planet. As a species, humans are deeply flawed and imperfect; we're continually evolving and adapting to our environment. Our intelligence is still very primitive and many concepts are still a mystery; human behaviour is one of them.

I don't know why two men hacked a solider to pieces on a London street and neither do the readers of this article. We may know the word evil, but we will never understand its true meaning. Unfortunately, we shall always encounter this dark foe haunting our lives and lurking in the background. I recognise it is a sad reflection, but we will never know why humans commit such evil acts.