"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9, KJV
A wicked will and depraved conscience are the most destructive forces in any society. It is only within this context that we can understand why our once family and decency centered Christian-grounded culture of life and moral order increasingly resembles both Sodom and Gomorrah and decadent Rome in its death throes. Our Americanized Sodom-Rome is animated by a wicked spirit of negation (nihilism), rebellion and scapegoating manifest in hatred of higher truth and in will to power and selfishness as highest virtue together with unabashed envy as cause celebre. All of this corruption manifests in a politically correct legal license to oppress and repress (scapegoat and crucify) all who are the objects of resentment, hate and envy as well as for parasitic lifestyles, legalized sexual anarchy, plundering (thieving), subversion and perversion of youth, killing of inconvenient, unwanted human life and many other manifest evils.
The depraved conscience is an unexamined conscience.
In his Commentary on Psalm 33/2, 8, St. Augustine notes that a dirty house (depraved conscience) is the miserable condition of all whose inflexible pride makes them refuse to face their own conscience lest they be overwhelmed by the wickedness they find there. (Day by Day with Saint Augustine, Donald X. Burt, p. 107)
The narcissistic man or woman is a self-righteous hypocrite, a narcissist who refuses to tolerate the knowledge of his or her own weaknesses, failings, and sinfulness, thus is constantly engaged in sweeping the evidence of their own remarkably consistent sins under the rug of their conscience in order to preserve their carefully constructed public facades. While the hypocrite refuses to see his own wickedness he clearly sees and constantly remarks upon and gossips about the weaknesses and failings of other people, especially those whom he resents.
Self-righteous hypocrites constantly fret about preservation of self-image thus are hyper-sensitive to what others might think of them. For this reason they engage in an unceasing effort to maintain an outward appearance of moral purity and superiority. Because of this they hate the light–---the light of truth and goodness that not only exposes them but penetrates their deceptions.
Since the depraved conscience needs to "feel good" about itself, it refuses to acknowledge its’ own wickedness, this is why self-deluded hypocrites are known for hurling punishing, flaming darts at others and for transferring their personal wickedness onto scapegoats, the human objects of resentment who are made to bear an unbearably heavy yoke of false guilt. Scapegoats are thus sacrificed on the 'politically correct' altar of “preservation of self-image” (self-glorification) and "self-gratification" by narcissists like Alton Nolen, the convicted criminal who brutally beheaded a co-worker in Oklahoma.
A wicked will causes evil and suffering
Ultimately, a depraved conscience is the result of a strong will determined to have its’ own way, thus St. Augustine points to a wicked will as the cause of all evil and suffering. This is because the unholy companions of the wicked will are self-love, covetousness, envy and lust for power. Hence the wicked will seeks to impose itself upon other wills by overt or covert coercion solidified in terrorism in order to destroy the spiritual and temporal property of others. This evil is the result of envy.
Because the willfulness of the wicked will is so extraordinary and always accompanied by a lust for power idolatrous narcissists are more likely than most to gravitate to positions of power and influence within for example, academia, seminaries, politics, Hollywood, and ISIS.
When narcissism is so total that the conscience is seared and capacity for empathy and charity lost, the narcissist has descended into malignant narcissism. Malignant narcissism negates restraints that result from empathy and charity. This motivates them to not just dehumanize and scapegoat others but to spiritually and physically crucify them….to murder them--- even to behead men, women and children.
By transferring their own wickedness onto others through projection and scapegoating, narcissists and malignant narcissists cause evil and suffering in our world. For example, when they acquire domination over their own families they create miniature totalitarian societies characterized by confusion, deception, isolation, suspicion, craziness, distrust, manipulation, pathological lying, rage, paranoia, psychological bullying and physical abuse.
The more humble in spirits, though sinners, do not commit evil because they are people who feel uncertain about their righteousness, who question their own motives and who search their own conscience and repent of their sins. Unpleasant and even painful though it may be, their sense of personal sin is precisely that which keeps their sin from getting out of hand. Hence it is a great blessing because it is a safeguard against our own proclivity for evil.
The crucial distinction between evil and ordinary sin is the refusal to acknowledge it. Thus the evil in this world is committed by the wicked will of the self-righteous narcissist and malignant narcissist whose depraved conscience and disordered reasoning persuades him (or her) to believe he is without sin.