What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Youngreader720
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by Youngreader720 »

From a religious standpoint, it is tough to agree that evil does not exist, and that is how I was raised. However, you make a good case for your viewpoints here. There are a lot of instances of evil in the world as well.
Florence Daniel
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by Florence Daniel »

Initially, I believe that evil exists, but from your perspective, I'm getting different meanings of evil. I think you are absolutely right; evil could generally mean something that no one wants to experience.
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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Youngreader720 wrote: February 5th, 2024, 11:36 am From a religious standpoint, it is tough to agree that evil does not exist, and that is how I was raised. However, you make a good case for your viewpoints here. There are a lot of instances of evil in the world as well.
Hi, Youngreader720,

Keep in mind that (1) what you call "evil" and (2) what call "evil" may be two completely different things, and #1 may exist even though #2 doesn't. All I am saying is that #2 doesn't exist. If you think #1 exists, that doesn't mean you disagree with me. In analogy, it's like if someone asks whether the gun-owning snake is armed, and you say yes and I say no; we may not disagree but rather just are using the same one word "armed" to refer to completely different things.

Nonetheless, if you believe what I call "evil" (i.e. should-not-have-ness) actually exists, please do reply in both of the following topics, making sure to answer each and every one of the six questions:

- To believe in an all-powerful God and think 'should-not-have-ness' exists is to therefore believe that God did a bad job

- Six Questions for People Who Believe Should-Not-Have-Ness Exists (i.e. for people who believe in 'shoulds' and 'oughts')


Otherwise, if you agree that should-not-have-ness does not exist, then we are in complete and total agreement. You would just happen to be using the word 'evil' or 'armed' differently than I do, which is not a disagreement but rather a semantic preference and beautiful diversity.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Donald Cecil Hufstedler
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by Donald Cecil Hufstedler »

Your belief in unconditional love for everyone and everything, including a rabid dog, highlights a profound commitment to compassion and forgiveness. It demonstrates a willingness to see the inherent worth and deservingness of love in all beings, even in the face of challenging circumstances.

While the concept of evil can be subjective and varies depending on one's personal beliefs and values, your perspective offers a thought-provoking alternative. It encourages a mindset focused on acceptance, love, and understanding, which can contribute to personal growth, societal harmony, and a more compassionate world.

It is important to remember that discussions around the concept of evil can be complex, and different individuals may hold different definitions and interpretations. However, your viewpoint provides a valuable perspective that challenges traditional notions of evil and invites us to consider an alternative framework centered on acceptance and unconditional love.
Alissa Nesson
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by Alissa Nesson »

I’ve often wondered if real evil exists for a different reason. If evil is thought of as acts that are harmful to other beings around us with the intention of hurting them (as I have often defined the term to myself), then it’s entirely possible that people only perform evil acts because of past trauma or some kind of antisocial personality disorder. It’s possible that the motivations behind these harmful acts is simply a problem in the brain from circumstances that have caused somebody to “go wrong” and could have happened to any of us under the right stimulus. In that case, doing evil things (things that are harmful to others) doesn’t make one an evil person. It can mean that evil things have happened to you. I suppose, even though this definition of evil is different from yours, the argument for evil not really existing is still essentially from a compassionate and loving viewpoint.

From the viewpoint of a hunted animal, the hungry person who is hunting them for dinner is evil. This shows how evil can often depend on your perspective.

As far as your definition, I can see what you’re saying, but I’m not sure I feel the same way about it. I can understand how you got there from the philosophy of radical acceptance, and I suppose the only way to disagree with you on your viewpoint is to not subscribe to that point of view. That is the crux of the debate. I can see events in the world, or things that have happened to people I know, and absolutely feel that they shouldn’t have happened. My friend should never have been raped. That child should never have been murdered. That man should never have killed all those women. I think that the only way to learn from the past is to say that it shouldn’t happen that way. During World War 2, concentration camps should never have happened. It’s through teaching that those things should never have happened that we avoid allowing them to happen again. From your stance of radical acceptance, however, the logic is sound.
ikechukwuamarachi+55
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by ikechukwuamarachi+55 »

I agree with your opinion on what evil means(that is, something that should not have happened). But, I believe that "evil" exist, including deliberate ones from people and all. Also, I also want to highlight the aspect of accepting situations or conditions that one cannot change, this comes from making peace with the situation at hand(acceptance). Even with this acceptance, I still believe that "evil" exists.
Judith Bogonko
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by Judith Bogonko »

It's possible to accept something while simultaneously aspiring for a better outcome. This combination of acceptance and a vision for positive change is often the driving force behind personal and societal growth. It's about recognizing the present while working towards a more desirable future.
Ajain12
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by Ajain12 »

Your perspective highlights a nuanced understanding of the term "evil," suggesting it's a subjective concept rather than an inherent reality. This aligns with philosophical discussions that explore the nature of morality and the complexities of human behavior. Your belief challenges traditional notions of good and evil, prompting reflection on the role of perception and cultural context in shaping our understanding of morality.
Dorine Ontomwa
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by Dorine Ontomwa »

One's perspective could emphasize the importance of considering intentions, consequences, and the intricate interplay of factors that contribute to human behavior. This nuanced outlook may lead you to seek a deeper understanding of actions rather than categorizing them as inherently good or evil.
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Re: What the word "evil" means to me, and why I believe evil (as I use the term) does not exist.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Alissa Nesson wrote: February 9th, 2024, 4:02 pm I can see events in the world, or things that have happened to people I know, and absolutely feel that they shouldn’t have happened.
Hi, Alissa Nesson,

Thank you for your reply. Since you believe things have happened that shouldn't have happened (i.e. the unchangeable past should not be the way it unchangeably is), please, if you will, do post a reply in the following topic making sure to answer each and every one of the six numbered questions:

Six Questions for People Who Believe Should-Not-Have-Ness Exists


I look forward to your answers. I love learning about different perspectives.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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