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Philosophy, transgression and evolution

From the necessity of the contravener

The humanity is destined to reach its perfection.

Hesse Eva, oeuvreRevolted by the presence of the "evil" (by " the scandal of the evil " according to Paul Ricoeur), appalled at the horrors of the last century and their obstinacy in this one, the current thought tends to erase the role played by this "negative strength " in the positive evolution of the humanity.

Nevertheless, the evil is the dimension without which the good would not exist… it is about the dark power without which the justice and the law would not evolve.
It is thus necessary to reflect about the problem of the transgression, it is necessary to understand the deep sense of the evil, if we want to understand the real sense of our evolution.

Definition of the contravener

I mean by contravener, every individual who breaks the main moral, ethical or civil rules of society. Obviously, it does not include morality and partisan ethics, favorable to such group and unfavorable to other one. We mean morality in the universal sense of the word, the morality capable of answering the definition proposed by Kant: “Act so that the maxim of your will can be set up as universal law”.

Therefore, a man can break the morality or the human ethics while staying within the framework of the law.
It is the case for example of the employer paying his staff at the lowest legal salary, knowing that it allows them hardly to survive. It is also the case of the very rich person which turns away the head in front of the poverty. As a matter of fact, it is the case of any legal egoism.

Even if the evil, in a way, is one of engines of the good, there is absolutely no question of valuing it or accepting it such as it is without fighting it, under pretext that it is fundamental for the human evolution.

But if we want to act most effectively possible on these negative functioning, it is necessary to understand the causes instead of treating only the effects with it.

It is thus necessary for our humanity, if we want to become aware, to decipher all the mechanisms which allow an individual to deceive his fellow men.


The law, the man, the human

The evil’s paradox

jean marc tonizzo, oeuvre sur papier kraft, coeurWhen we observe, without affectivity, the human organization, the contravener appears to us as one of the necessary actors for the evolution of the justice and the law. If the presence of the contravener is a necessity for the evolution of the humanity, its condemnation is such an important necessity.

1/ The evil, necessary but superfluous

We are thus in the presence of a strange paradox: evil and contravener are necessary and, at the same time, inevitably reprehensible. Indeed, they are necessary to oblige the good to evolve and inevitably reprehensible to reduce constantly their influence.

This necessity obliges us at the same time to understand the importance of the contravener for the human evolution and to find the best solutions to control him. The challenge is not easy because it is a question of improving our understanding of the transgression, of improving our educational and punishment systems.

2/ The evil urges the humanity to make efforts

We have to update all the motivations urging a human being to break the moral, ethical and legal limits of the humanity.
We have to improve the conditions of detention to stop aggravating the situations.
We have to improve our education of the respect for others (in the universal sense of the word) and extend this education to the whole humanity.
We have to permit the delinquents to use their potential in a positive sense.
We have to transform the imprisonment into a place of emotional, intellectual, creative development.
We have to bring a real psychological support capable of repairing the traumas of the childhood, at the origin of a multitude of crime.
We have to permit the contraveners to learn to control their aggressive and abusing drives and so that they can transform the negative vital energy into positive and constructive energy for the humanity.
We also have to show and criticize with more vigor the legal malpractice which uses the dominant to enslave the dominated.

3/ The inevitably reprehensible evil

If the necessity of the breaking is a fact for our evolution, its actual or moral condemnation is it also to direct this evolution to the good of the humanity.
John Stuart Mill, the big thinker of the liberalism, had understood well this necessity when he wrote: “if somebody commits a harmful act for the others, there is a reason to punish him, by the law, or, there where legal penalties are not applicable without danger by the general disapproval".

The general disapproval is a matter for the media. It is their role, for example, to pursue and to point the crime, to reveal the abuses of many businessmen in underdeveloped countries.
It is also the role of the media to divulge the dictatorships of the poor countries or the abuses of the celebrities. It is the only means to make decline the embezzlements of the dominant and to permit the people not to consider the abuse of others as a normality.

No malpractice has to remain unpunished or unexplained to his author. Only under this condition the humanity can progress towards always more humanity instead of declining towards always more bestiality.

It is also the only condition to bring the contravener to be at the same time a developer of the good and the instrument of its own extinction.


History of the transgression

From the non-right to the penal code

Jean marc tonizzo oeuvre sur plastique transparentWe can schematize the history of prohibitions in this way:
1/ Our cultural prohibitions originate within the natural primate instincts (to which we belonged originally). At this stage, it was about instincts (aggressive demonstrations in case of feeling of abuse, cessation of any aggressiveness of the dominant in the first attitudes of submission of the subordinate, etc.)
2/ From these instinctive prohibitions arise all our human prohibitions (taboos, laws morality, laic laws).
3/ To satisfy their desires and their drives, the contraveners break these laws or make every effort to get around them.
4/ In this way, they oblige the legislators to invent new laws to oppose to these drives (development of the law).
5/ This whole mechanism always restricts more the human capacity to deceive others.

By this joint work of the contravener and the legislator, the laic laws have evolved to the current penal code (which role is to protect the weak of the omnipotence of the strong).

Some thousand years ago, the dominant had any power on the dominated. The evolution of the law offered us a precise choice of restrictive laws. These laws condemn currently a big part of the abuses of others (authorized in past).

Nevertheless, even if the evolution of the law is successful, the legislation and the human behavior did not reach their perfection yet.

There are still legal means to deceive one’s congeners. The human psyche has not reached yet the level from which the man is capable of respecting perfectly others.


Towards an absolute respect of others

Nevertheless, the fortune of the people does not stop improving.
The violence, the frequency and the impunity of the strong on the weak, reduce constantly in intensity.

And so, from centuries to centuries, our original primary instinct (the one who condemns our cousin monkey to assert itself at the cost of its congeners) loses influence for the benefit of the new human values (justice, mutual aid, love, respect for the fellow man).

Transform a being conditioned to assert himself at the cost of his congeners into a being totally respectful of others; such is, according to us, the role of the builder humanity.

Within this evolution, the activity of the contravener also finds its logic. We thus have to incorporate all the "faults" (inherited from our primary and primate nature) among the tools of construction towards the perfection.

In summary, to have a chance to see the lamb whom will be the man for the man, sometimes the man has to be (unfortunately) a wolf for the man. (See Kant on this subject)