Modern people have the idea that we are the most humane people ever. We are the most compassionate, the most tolerant, the most accepting of difference, the least violent and so on. We are not perfect but we have moved into a better way of being and of understanding ourselves and each other. We are progressing to a better form of humanity.
In my view this is mistaken. We are actually in danger of becoming, if we have not already done so, the least human generation of all time and this for a very simple reason. We deny the spiritual.
For modern man there is no reality outside the measurable. There is nothing that cannot be detected by material means. There is no God, there is no transcendence. Even most religious people think and act when you scratch the surface as though this were true. If they didn't think it, they would behave in a completely different way with regard to the world. As it is, they accept the world as it is and go along with its ways. The events of the last year have proved this only too clearly. Modern Christians for the most part are more than happy to burn incense to the emperor.
When you deny the spiritual you become less than human. Man is a spiritual being and if he cuts himself off from that part of his nature, which is the fundamental part, he cuts himself off from the reality of what he is. He cripples himself psychologically not just spiritually. He becomes less than human because the essence of humanity is that we can become more than human. A comment on a recent post here talked about how separating people into those follow spiritual truth and those that rejected it was dehumanising the latter and could lead to great evil. This misses the point that it is the latter group who have dehumanised themselves. The spiritual person is not dehumanising the non-believer by pointing out the evil of his choice. The non-believer has dehumanised, and in some cases maybe even demonised, himself.
I use the word choice. The same comment spoke of how it was actually just ignorance that lay behind this phenomenon. If we knew better, we would do better. Again, this is a mistake. Modern people may have the misfortune to grow up in an atheistic, materialistic society but the tools for spiritual understanding are as available now as they always have been. In a certain sense, they are even more available since the spiritual teachings of all ages are easily accessible today.
I maintain that if your heart is oriented in the right direction you will find what you need to set you on the right road. Ask and it shall be given. But we don't ask and that is the problem. And we don't ask because we aren't interested enough. We don't care enough. We have chosen badly. Of course, we are ignorant too but all human beings have the truth within them if they bother to look for it. We may be ignorant but we don't have to be ignorant. The principle fault lies in the will not the mind.
Evil in the modern world is not expressed mainly through violence, murder and the like. These are obviously still there but they are known evils and relate to the body not the soul. Modern evil is evil against the soul and relates to the denial of God and the principles of creation. It is the reduction of man to a meat machine and if that is what you do either explicitly or implicitly through the way you live and think and by your actions and behaviour then you are on the side of evil. Of course, you are more on the side of evil if you are actively engaged in promoting this deformed view of reality but even if you just passively go along with it, as the majority do, you are still on the side of evil. You are the ones who are losing your humanity and denying it to others and if that is not evil I don't know what is. It doesn't matter if you are a good person as the world judges good, personally well-behaved, honest, leading a morally upright life, even virtuous in a conventional sort of way. If you deny God and the principles of creation, which are spiritually based, then you are on the side of evil and unless you make a radical about turn you will be increasingly drawn into evil. It's a downwards slope.
Man is a spiritual being in a material body. We all know and accept evil on the material plane. We accept sin against the body (other than sexual sin but that is a spiritual matter really). We completely ignore sin against the soul which means we are losing connection to the soul and that means we are losing our humanity.
Note: Some people may not like what they see as a whiff of dualism in the idea that we are spiritual beings in material bodies. If that is the case then think of this in a hierarchical sense and see the modern error as the denial of verticality, limiting us to the base of the hierarchy. This base has a purpose and is part of the whole but it should not be mistaken, as it so often is now, for the whole.