For centuries mythologies and lore have had people believe that horns are a symbol of evil and aggression, but is this a fair label? Do horned animals really deserve to be associated with such a negative concept as “evil”?
A horn is simply a natural defensive tool, and horned animals tend to be herbivores. In fact, I cannot think of a single horned carnivore, even the Narwhal’s “horn” is actually a tusk. This means that these creatures wouldn’t normally use their horns to attack unless they felt the need to defend themselves, or were otherwise being provoked.
Most would agree that things like killing innocents, torture, and unnecessary cruelty would all classify as acts of evil. The closest things we have to this in nature are carnivores hunting and eating “innocent” herbivores for survival, but even this is an innocent act because it’s in a carnivore’s nature to kill, being that it cannot live without doing so.
Torture and unnecessary cruelty are human traits,(some would even argue that we invented the concepts). So it would be not only fair, but justifiable to say that evil should not be represented by horns, claws, or anything natural, but instead by man-made weapons. I am convinced that we as humans made horns into a symbol for evil because the horned animals we hunted were intimidating and harmful to our hunters. Horns hurt the human ego, we see these powerful built-in weapons and we want them. I would classify it as a definite case of horn envy.
Come to think of it, when it comes to determining what is evil; humanity is judge, jury, and prosecutor. Good and Evil are merely man-made concepts, and we as humans have a conscious decision to choose a side. We obviously know the rules for both good and evil, we were their authors. I’m not the least bit surprised that people would rather dump the title of “evil” onto symbols, metaphors, supernatural concepts, and even inanimate objects rather than acknowledge the evils of humanity. Sure, we label individuals as evil (few would argue if I decided to call Hitler evil) but those are just special cases for the exceptionally cruel ones among us, those who knew the rules and chose the wrong path.
They say that money is the root of all evil, but surely this can’t be true. Money can bring out the worst in people, but that’s exactly it; money brings out the worst in PEOPLE. Money can’t possibly be the root of all evil if people are the one’s who create money and allow it to control them. All of these concepts that we’ve created only further the conclusion that humanity has known of its own flaws, and ever-present potential for evil for a very long time. We have been in denial of this fact.
Horns, money, fire: these are all just examples of scapegoat symbolism. If we look deep enough, (and I mean very deep) I think the true symbol for evil should be the human brain. Without it evil would be nearly impossible.
photo courtesy http://www.sxc.hu/profile/sofamonkez