Sherlock Holmes: Evil + Lack of Conscience = Prof. Moriarty

Posted: December 16, 2011 by jperritt in Action, Comedy, Mystery
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Yesterday we considered why the character of Sherlock Holmes seems to resonate among many generations, and saw the intrigue of his intelligence seemed to be what strikes a chord among audiences.  However, it is not only the intelligence of Holmes, rather the idea of being created in the image of an infinitely intelligent God that causes mankind to have such an infatuation with the mind.

It is said of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows that Holmes has finally met his match.  His arch-rival, Professor Moriarty, is said to be Holmes’ intellectual equal.  However, because of his capacity for evil, coupled with a lack of conscience, this may give him an advantage over Holmes.  This raises several questions.  Does a greater possession of evil and a lack of conscience actually give someone the upper-hand?  Why would a perversion of intelligence be an advantage?  Is purity a disadvantage?  I’m not claiming that Holmes is pure, I’m merely playing off of the claim that Moriarty’s depth of evil is greater.

In some ways we could say that evil provides an advantage.  When someone is known for not playing by the rules they seem to gain an advantage over their competitor (i.e. steroids).  For those bound by the rules have limits, but once someone steps outside the rules, the possibilities are endless.  Rules set-up boundaries, therefore, the absence of rules knows no limits.

We can also assume that the evil Professor Moriarty exudes will be a bit more crafty than your average criminal.  First, he’s a professor – he didn’t go to four years of evil school to be called ‘Mr. Moriarty’.  Second, he’s been evading the authorities for a while, so he must be doing something right.  Lastly, not only is he evading arrest, but he’s evading the brilliant Holmes, which also tells us he’s at least as smart as the detective.

So we can see that evil can give one an advantage and when employed with craftiness, it can give one temporal freedom.  But wed this evil with a lack of conscience and it can breed a certain nuance to evil that provides another layer to the subject.

God gifts everyone with a conscience.  The law of God is impressed on every human heart.  Therefore, deep down, we all have a sense of right and wrong.  However, some people submit to their conscience and some people do not.  Someone like Moriarty hasn’t submitted to his conscience in a while, therefore his heart has become calloused to God’s gracious gift of a conscience.  Because of this, it seems that his dark heart will delve to boundless depths of darkness.

When we consider the word boundaries it tends to bring about negative connotations.  Even though we all tend to roll our eyes at boundaries, they are a gift from God.  Boundaries seem to restrict us, but they actually free us.  It is once we step out of boundaries, that we become enslaved.  Read what Ed Welch has to say in this excerpt from his book, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave:

Human beings resist boundaries.  Ever since sin entered the world, we have considered boundaries to be violations of our personal freedoms – curses rather than blessings.  Scripture, however, reveals that it is our lack of personal boundaries that enslaves us.

This is no spoiler, because I haven’t seen A Game of Shadows, but we all know that Moriarty will not win.  He breaks the rules, he indulges evil, and is completely calloused to the law that is written on his heart.  Although he seems to be free, or above the law, he is actually enslaving himself more and more to his own wickedness.  “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” (Prov. 25:28).  

So I think this answers the question raised at the beginning, would a perversion of intelligence be an advantage?  No.  Yes it may seem like freedom at first, but, in the end, all indulgence of evil will enslave and corrupt.  Let’s see how Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows answers those questions.

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