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Does evil exist? As non-believers do we still accept the concept of evil in its pure form?

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273kelvin 8 Oct 7

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0

It is conditioning bully someone at home they will grow to be bullies unless they are smart enough to break the chain.

6

Does Blue exist can you show me an ounce of blue
Does Two exist can you show me a piece of two
Find me one grain of evil and I will accept it as existing, otherwise it is just a description of an act thought to be against the well being on a person or thing by another person.
When a person is described as being evil, it is a misnomer for a person capable of doing evil, saying "that is an evil person", is like calling a philosopher a philosophy.

Evil is simply a concept and not an objective one at that.

6

In my opinion, evil is strictly a human condition. My definition of evil is anything that is done deliberately, intentionally, with malice of forethought that causes harm or damage to another. Non-human animals, plants, non-living things are not and can not be evil as it has to be a deliberate, conscious decision one makes to cause harm.

So chimps killing another chimp from a different group and eating them isn't evil? Ever watch a cat toy with a mouse before eating it?

@xenoview Please read my comment again if you did not understand it the first time.

6

Evil does exist. Just look at the White House.

Just don’t stare at FOXNews, you’ll go blind, crazy or both.

5

Evil does exist, more in the form of what people do, but not in the form of some external force that drive people to commit bad or evil deeds. P3eople can be evil without any e3xternal influences, such as in some cases of sociopathy or virtually all cases of psychopathy.

3

Blaming it on genetics or upbringing or society is just making excuses. There are some people out there who are just plain evil. They hurt others because they enjoy it, not because someone hurt them.

3

To get beyond good and evil is the real struggle. Good and evil are only ideas, or adjectives for things. We are imprinted from birth, by the social structures of the society we are brought up in,(Jung's persona sysyem) to recognize certain things, ideas, people, mythological entites as being good or evil. Kind of a survival instinct for us to get along in the society we are initiated into. Different societies will have different ideas on what is good or evil. When in Rome....

3

Evil is a relative thing. It's what you define it. There are rights and wrongs but in a reality where you can step back far enough and look at what we are, creatures that live, grow, spread our genes and die on a tiny mote of dust in an unremarkable star system in a medium sized galaxy out of billions or trillions of galaxies, what we do is not really that big of a deal.
Just try to be the best version of yourself and don't worry too much about other people unless they are preventing you or others from being the best version of themselves.

3

I define good as that which advances life and evil as that which impedes life, so yes, there is evil. This is the basis of morality.

@Infoguy211, extreme self-centeredness does impede life, so it fits. But you can have evil without extreme self-centeredness, so I wouldn't include that in the definition.

2

What is the differences between yes and 2?

Genetics is the basis of everything.

Psychopaths are the result genetic mutations. And they are evil because of it. So YES and NO.

Jacar Level 8 Oct 7, 2018
2

Shocking to me that people can try and cover "evil" with excuses but then again many of these same people believed in god. I guess realization can't happen all at once for some. As a prosecutor for 20 years I can say that I've seen pure evil. People with no conscience. Are people requiring that you be born evil to be evil? Not a whole lot of newborns committing horrible murders. Just like I asked a friend the other day, if there is no god, would it change how you live your life day to day? Why is it so hard to admit that there is evil? Just for kicks, ask the opposite question and see if the same people think that good exists. Would they all say no, it has to be learned? It's explained by genetics, upbringing and society? By the way please show me some study that has found the "evil gene."
p.s. for some that would mean that anyone who commits murder for example must be mentally ill and should not be punished.

lerlo Level 8 Oct 7, 2018

You make a good argument. For myself, I would agree that my belief that evil doesn't exist is based in my rejection of the religious beliefs I was brought up with. I noticed that people tended to label others as evil based on whether or not their decisions met their idea of right and wrong, which were most often a list they had compiled from some authoritative source that didn't have any basis in reason.

But that's not the only reason I rejected the idea of evil. The primary reason is because I discovered that evil is an objectified label people place on others. I was deemed evil but I was able to see that other people didn't recognize why I made the choices I did. I also recognized that if they had understood me, they would have been able to help me and they wouldn't have made the situations I was in worse. At the same time, I could understand them and understand why they felt I was evil because I had once been in their position.

I think that if you say that evil is something that people develop into then you have to also say it is something people can develop out of. In which case, you can't classify a person as purely evil, which I think is what this discussion is truly about. I also don't think you can classify actions as purely evil because even killing someone can be right or wrong based on the circumstances.

@Meili I agree that all adjectives are subjective but I believe that some people are just evil--they can't develop out of it and the crimes and bad actions they commit are out of a lack of conscience. They just don't care. The fact that some people throw the term out indiscriminately doesnt take away form the word, it takes away from them.

2

i have SEEN evil. i don't attach the word "pure" to it for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that it's not a THING. it's a characteristic, and no human characteristic is pure. it's always mixed with other stuff, not necessarily conflicting stuff, but other. so "pure" doesn't apply. it's not a force. it's not the wind, or a god. it's how some people are.

g

2

It depends on what you mean by "pure evil." If it means an intelligently malignant intent independent of physical beings, then no.

But I believe that there are people who enjoy malignant (and cruel) actions for the sake of cruelty alone. Are they "pure" evil? And I say I don't care; they are evil enough for me.

2

The choices in answers are in adequate since you don't actually address the "pure form" of evil. What is that exactly? I find evil a fascinating topic mainly because of all the fictional representations we have created of what we know as "evil" - Satan, Darth Vader, Michael Myers, etc. But these characters have differing motivations and goals. So is evil the method? The ends desired? What is this pure form of evil you ask about?

How about Charles Manson?

@273kelvin If Charles Manson is an example of the pure form of evil, what is the definition of the pure form of evil? It can't JUST be Charles Manson, can it? Or is this one of those things like "I know pornography when I see it" statements? All subjective and up to personal interpretation. Because then it becomes meaningless.

2

Yes, horribly destructive behavior that cares for nothing but it’s own power driven by hate! I don’t believe I need to aprouch it from a biblical perspective since as evidenced by this platform none of us believe in a God or Devil... evil is in the White House and anyplace people suffer while the greedy stand on their shoulders!

I want to ad my definition of, “ it’s pure form” ... is it relentless? Does it lack remorse? If the answer is yes it might be as pure a form as could exist... but if by “pure” you mean somthing that doesnt exist in terms of atheism there would be no reason to answer the question.

1

What do you mean by "pure form"?

Do I believe that there are inherently evil individuals? No, I do not believe that anyone is completely evil or inherently evil. I do believe that some people are capable of evil acts, a few are even capable of truly great evil, but that does not mean they are inherently evil or irredeemable.

This does not include the individuals who are sociopath or psychopathic, those are mental disorders and are completely different.

1

There are good people and bad people. Evil comes from and was invented by religion.

1

We probably need to define evil in a sociological sense to be able to move forward on this one. Evil is an emotive word and therefore requires an agreed definition, not just a rehashed dictionary statement couched in religious rhetoric ‘such as sex outside wedlock is evil’

1

Most of what we consider evil is likely a biproduct of survival. We are a social species, with empathy and the instinct to nurture. However, in situations of attack or hunting, that empathy needs to be shut down right quick, or we die childless.

This ability to be ruthless when necessary has served us well in the jungle, but now when there is only humans around, it's causing trouble for those of us with low aggression.
Combine this quality with any of our more unsavory instinct like sexual cruelty or uncontrollable rage and we have a monster.

1

Did you watch Judge Kavanaugh's performance on the Senate hearing? The man was evil.

That was cowardice, another human failing.

1

I don't accept that evil is its own tangible force; its a cumulation of factors that commonly wind up causing people to behave abhorrently. Evil in its purest form exists as a result, not as a precipitating factor. Although evil, or misdeeds if you like, are often perpetrated on others and depending on their reaction, can breed more of the same. Hurt people hurt people, but its more like a cause and effect of a chemical reaction or recipe gone awry and not so much its own well defined force or phenomenon.

There are all sorts of ways to go tits up. A great many misdeeds are done out of ignorance, passionate haste or malice on their own, but evil in its purest form is usually a person with 2 or 3 terrible combinations of traits like that, each causing a tragic overreaction in the others. When a very dimwitted narcissist is born to fortunate circumstances and no consequences; when a very intelligent person is born into terrible circumstances and few options other than breaking bad etc. Theres two very different ways to play each hand but the most common routes for tragically ironic circumstances often find someone down a pretty malevolent path. If enough bad nature and nurture combos clash in a person not strong enough to grow and learn healthy lessons, youll wind up with an accumulation of deeds that are hard to call anything but pure evil. Its hyperbole but as shorthand for an accumulation of terribly unfortunate factors, I believe evil exists in a rather pure form and I see it in the Orangutan Oligarch every day.

1

What the heck is "pure form"? If you mean as a separate entity or being, that is just something people make up because they cannot accept that evil simply lies within human nature. Nothing should be surprising about that. There is a tremendous amount of brutality that exists in the animal kingdom. But people who cannot accept that we are part of the animal kingdom need something outside ourselves to blame it on.

1

A hammer can be used to build or destroy. Using it to destroy does not make the wielder evil, however, it may prove he's an asshole. What is my point? I have no idea.

1

I think the words Good and Evil are like the words fair or deserve.... they refer to something that doesn't truly exist.

1

I’m my mind, with the denouncement of god, comes the denouncement of the devil. Just as you would have to believe in “all or nothing” when it comes to the stories in the Bible, I believe the same is true when you decide not to believe, it’s all or nothing. Good and evil only exist in the minds and actions of all living things, in my humble opinion.

1

I even wrote a book on this subject. Idea of evil and the devil has always intrigued me. The most insight into the concept I've found is presented in William Golding's Lord of the Flies. The concept of the devil is nothing more than a primitive attempt to explain human evolution from carnivorous pack hunters. The character "Jack" is the Freudian "id" (it), the seat of feral, human emotions like rage, anger, jealousy and envy.

The character Simon says, "Maybe we are the beastie". Religion has clouded our view of our own nature. Most people just read a disturbing story about choir boys stranded on an island. There's more to it than that. It's the first attempt to study human nature, as under a microscope.

How do you say "Lord of the flies" in Hebrew?" Beelzebub.

[amazon.com]

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