The good, bad and evil: Can Batman tell us why James Holmes did what he did?

The good is good and the bad is bad and there is a great grey area in-between. Right? Not really, it seems. There are different kinds of good and different kinds of bad, and this is what the Batman trilogy is all about, says Prof. Shreekant Sambrani in an insightful analysis of the story’s undercurrents.*

Here I dumb down the article to lists, with due apologies to Prof. Sambrani, because my purpose is to see if James Holmes transformed from good to bad in an attempt to understand the provocations that might have led him to perpetrate a tragedy of such mammoth proportions.

List A: Kinds of Good:

  1. Good that is racked by self-doubt
  2. Good that succumbs to evil
  3. Good that accepts evil due to considerations such as loyalty and affection
  4. Good that lacks sufficient courage to stand up to evil
  5. Good with inadequate scruples
  6. Good that is overshadowed by flawed judement.

[In my opionion, these are categories that can overlap, as are the categories of bad below]

Lst B: Kinds of Bad

  1. Pure evil [though there is no corresponding category of unadulterated good]
  2. The good that transforms into evil
  3. Cunning evil
  4. Refined evil, most seductive
  5. Raw, unbridled evil

Based on what we have got to know so far about twenty-four year old James Holmes, whose only run-in with the law happened to be a minor traffic offence, he seems to fall under the category ‘good that transforms into evil’ of List B.  Assuming this hypothesis is valid, the question then should be: What caused the change? He may fit many, though not all, of the categories in List A.

Was he racked by self doubt? Did he succumb to evil? Was his judgement flawed due to some reason as yet unascertained?

To my mind these are questions that matter. I consider James Holmes as representative of a generation that is slowly losing its moorings in the Real. If his actions resulted from something other than pure evil, – which can be discounted in this case as he has a history that shows him to be the opposite – it is time to shelve our shared grief at the loss of innocent lives and the body-blow to simple pleasures that can no longer be taken for granted and ask what caused James Holmes to change from good to evil. In finding the answer or answers to this question could lie a better life for our young.

*[See full article: The moral tales of Batman.


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