Today’s question is, is narcissism evil?
Now, this is an interesting question, it’s a kind of blend of philosophy and science but I’ve heard this question in many forms, are narcissists evil? Are narcissists bad people? Does evil lead the narcissism? Does narcissism lead to evil?
So, a lot of different questions but all the same theme, looking at this potential relationship between narcissism and evil. So, this one’s kind of difficult question to answer because it wanders into a few different areas, as I mentioned this is really looking at philosophy and science.
Now, I could talk about philosophy and science for hours, I’m a big fan of philosophy, theology, science all how we can understand the world, all the ways we can seek wisdom but usually, in my articles, I try to focus more on the science side, because psychopathology and counseling and appraisal in all these different areas are primarily scientific, and the way we understand them and apply them as counselors.
So, just a quick overview of philosophy and science and I’ll do my best to answer this question.
If we look at how we understand the world, how we gain wisdom, and we go back many years. First, we see there was philosophy, and then natural philosophy was developed and that led to science. So, what was called natural philosophy we now call science?
we have a philosophy which is the love of wisdom it’s an application of reason or logic, in order, to find knowledge and we usually think about it to find meaning and life for kind of existential purposes that why we’re here what we should do morals ethics.
Science is more concerned with the natural world. So, it looks at the material world. It looks to find knowledge in constructs that we can observe, or that we can observe indirectly. We can develop instrumentation that can detect things we can’t directly sense and then convert that into something that we can sense. But either way, science is based on the material world, it looks at the material world as the source of knowledge.
If we observe the experiment, if we replicate those experiments, we can gain knowledge that way. in order for something to qualify as a science, it must use the scientific method it must involve at some level experimentation, observation, replication. So, some if not all the principles must be there to call something science.
We really have here two different ways to get knowledge as. I mentioned I use both philosophy and science, and I’m also a big fan of theology, and theology perhaps is both philosophy and science but that’s a whole other debate, I will not worry about that right now. So, really, I’m just focusing here on philosophy and science.
Now, let’s look at the other part of the question. In order to get it evil, we have to ask is evil? Well, to look at evil to define it’s really specific to what philosophical and taking it further theological beliefs somebody has. We would say that evil is intentionally doing wrong. But here’s where things become tricky. Is it doing more wrong than good? What if you do a lot of both? What if you do a lot of wrongs but just a little better?
It’s difficult really to measure evil and even to define it in a way that kind of meets narcissism at the same level Continue reading