In my prior post I was posed a question for which I can’t recall having given much thought to the matter in the past. With this being the case, I marveled in the idea of spending sometime thinking about it and deciding what it was that I did think of the matter. So I give you the question asked of me…
What is My Take on Evil?
I first want to turn to my good and faithful “word” source: http://www.dictionary.com/.
1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.
1. The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.
2. That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction: a leader's power to do both good and evil.
3. An evil force, power, or personification.
4. Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction: the social evils of poverty and injustice.
Going by the term used as an adjective, I would say, I agree that genocide and beheading and murder and etc. are “evil” acts. These are topics I have discussed in recent blog entries and while I wonder if these acts are inhumane, that does not discredit them as “evil” acts.
As for the second definition—one of a noun status, I think that is getting more into what was being questioned with the posed question to me. Do I believe “evil” is a noun as in a state of being its self? Do I believe in an evil “force, power, or personification?”
You know, I don’t believe I do…
I find when most people believe in an evil state of being, they tend to reference this to a Satan character. Something of the devil or the Antichrist—whatever terminology is of your preference.
I suppose for me, as I doubt an all-powerful beings existence, by belief in an “evil” supplier—Satan, the devil, etc.—it is just as doubtful.
I question that there is a “force” over man that causes, or even influences, him to perform “evil” acts. I don’t know that I believe we are guided in any sense by a force other than our own humanity.
And as for believing that there is a strand of mankind that is in its self an “evil force,” I would say no. Yes, I believe man can have great influence over another man, thus influencing him to behave in an evil manner as well, but I do not believe people are destined for “evil acts” based on any “evil personification” that man can be born into.
So with this sort of a stance, one could question my idea of “evil” acts, while holding onto my disbelief in an “evil force.”
I do believe there are acts/behaviors man performs that are “evil.” I do not like to use the words “right” and “wrong” or “good” and “bad” much, but I can see “evil” in a different light.
Many would say murder, killing, etc. are definitely “wrong” and “bad;” maybe so, but I find it hard to denote someone’s actions merely as “wrong” and “bad” because I believe behaviors are acted out because of purposes. They have a drive behind them. That murder was performed for a purpose serving the murderer, as hard as that might be to swallow for an outsider looking in. Yes, I would agree that maybe the murderers “purpose” could have been met through different means, or that the overall purpose was not worthy, as the life was, but still a purpose was being met in the eyes of the murderer.
We all behave differently…
…and that is what I love so much about the study of the human race!
So whether the act was “right” or “wrong,” I can’t say, but I can contribute some behaviors to a descriptor of “evil.” And let me explain my reasoning behind how I can view an act as “evil” while not crediting it to being “wrong” or “bad.”
I see evil in a sense of acts made against mankind, because there is truly an issue when man will behave in unjust manners toward his own kind. This is like committing an act with negative consequences upon one’s self, in my opinion. When one will cause such painful consequences to another human being for his own purposes, I describe those acts as being “evil.” And do note I am referencing the “acts” as “evil,” therefore keeping to my belief of “evil” as an adjective.
When man behaves in these “evil” manners, I believe it is he who is choosing his actions, and not some over-powering “evil force.” As for why I believe he would “choose” “evil acts,” that is for a blog entry all in its self, which would be filled with the theories I support in reference to human behavior.
So in summary…
Evil acts are unfortunate; however, mankind brings them upon himself, in my opinion. This being that I believe there is no ultimate Evil force (“Evil” with a capital “E”).
[Note: Please understand my usage of the terms “man” and “he” in reference to performing “evil acts” is referring to both males and females (mankind in general), as I do believe both are capable of “evil acts.”]