“They see they can and must stand up, because they begin to understand how genuinely monstrous they will become, otherwise, feeding on their resentment, transforming it into the most destructive of wishes. To say it again: There is very little difference between the capacity for mayhem and destruction, integrated, and strength of character. This is one of the most difficult lessons of life.”

- Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life

To be good, you must be dangerous.

Much of my life, I equated dangerous with bad. But I have come to realize that a chief aim of the good ought to be to increase their dangerousness. This is necessary when operating in and around evil.

A capacity for evil is not inherently bad. Your capacity is morally neutral, but it is up to you to wield it appropriately. C.S. Lewis illustrates this well when answering the question of why there is evil at all:

“‘Why did God make a creature of such rotten stuff that it went wrong?’ The better stuff a creature is made of—the cleverer and stronger and freer it is—then the better it will be if it goes right, but also the worse it will be if it goes wrong. A cow cannot be very good or very bad; a dog can be both better and worse; a child better and worse still; an ordinary man, still more so; a man of genius, still more so; a superhuman spirit best—or worst—of all.”

- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Jesus makes this point too, when telling his disciples that they ought to be wise as serpents. This is potent imagery considering it was a serpent that caused the fall of man.

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

Matthew 10:16 ESV

He implores them to wield the wisdom of the serpent with the innocence of the dove. Why not just tell them to be innocent as doves? Because to be good, you must be dangerous.

This then, is the aim of the good: to be cleverer and stronger and freer. To be dangerous.