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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sanjeev maurya
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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 sanjeev maurya »

Your perspective on "evil" revolves around the idea that it signifies a discrepancy between how things are and how they ought to be, specifically regarding unchangeable reality. It seems you associate "evil" with a concept of 'should-not-ness'—the belief that something should not have occurred or that reality should be different than it is.

However, interpretations of "evil" can vary widely based on personal, cultural, or philosophical perspectives. Some may view "evil" as actions or occurrences that deliberately cause harm or go against moral or ethical principles. Others might see it as a force or presence representing darkness or malevolence in various forms.

My view of "evil" aligns with the understanding that it encompasses actions or intentions causing deliberate harm, going against ethical principles, or leading to suffering. While I respect your perspective, the concept of 'should-not-ness' doesn't solely encapsulate the diverse interpretations and usages of the term "evil" across different contexts and belief systems.
Ika Apro
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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 Ika Apro »

I have honestly never thought about the word 'evil' in such an interesting manner. This is a very good explanation of the word. The meaning gives a sense of direction in confusing times I think.
Celestine Apiche
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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 Celestine Apiche »

The concept of evil is subjective and varies across cultures, belief systems, and individuals. Some argue that evil exists as a manifestation of human actions that cause harm or suffering, often driven by malicious intent. Others attribute it to societal structures, environmental factors, or psychological influences that lead to harmful behavior. The existence of evil is often rooted in ethical, moral, or religious perspectives, with different frameworks offering diverse explanations for its presence in the world.
Penny Ann Criswell Johnson
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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 Penny Ann Criswell Johnson »

You believe that “Evil” cannot exist because unconditional love does. If we love everything unconditionally than nothing can be evil. I can see your point but Newtons Law states For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So if unconditional love is true than their had to be conditional love. If good exist than evil has to be real. We can call things evil even though we have unconditional love for them. The other day our bull dog grabbed our potbelly pig by the ear and wouldn’t let go. We love our dog but he is indeed evil.
sanjeev maurya
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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 sanjeev maurya »

You've presented a thought-provoking perspective on the concept of "evil," emphasizing the idea that it hinges on the notion of something that 'should not have happened' or 'should be different' from the unchangeable reality. Your definition aligns with the belief in unconditional acceptance and love for everything, even in difficult situations.

The term 'evil' can indeed carry various interpretations and connotations based on individual beliefs, cultural backgrounds, and personal experiences. Some may view it in a religious or moral context, while others might consider it as extreme immorality or harm.

My perception of "evil" often aligns with the concept of actions or events that cause profound suffering, harm, or significant negative consequences, irrespective of whether they 'should' or 'should not' have happened according to an unchangeable reality. While your perspective sheds light on acceptance and unconditional love, others might view 'evil' as a recognition of actions or events that significantly deviate from moral or ethical principles.

So, while there are overlaps in our understandings, the definition and interpretation of 'evil' might diverge based on individual perspectives, beliefs, and the contexts in which the term is used.
Otieno Lydia
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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 Otieno Lydia »

To me, "evil" represents a moral judgment assigned to actions or individuals that transgress what I consider morally wrong or harmful.
Jessica Azuka
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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 Jessica Azuka »

I agree with you about your notion on the word evil. However, permit me to add that there are degrees to being evil. And most times, evil is used for a stronger bad.
Omondi Peter
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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 Omondi Peter »

In my personal view, I define "evil" as a subjective and culturally influenced concept often used to categorize actions or behaviors deemed morally reprehensible. However, I don't believe in the existence of an inherent, universal force of evil. Instead, I see actions as products of complex circumstances, motivations, and societal factors. Viewing behaviors through a nuanced lens helps me understand them without resorting to a broad, absolute label like "evil."
Zanne Crystle
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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 Zanne Crystle »

Labelling something as "evil," doesn't mean we reject unconditional acceptance or love. Some philosophical viewpoints believe that "evil" serves as a moral or ethical framework to distinguish harmful, unjust, or morally wrong actions or events. So recognizing something as "evil" doesn't necessarily mean we lack acceptance or are unwilling to embrace unchangeable aspects of reality. Sometimes acknowledging 'evil' is a necessary step towards addressing harmful patterns and creating a more just and equitable world.
Ghettson1
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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 Ghettson1 »

While I understand and respect your perspective on the concept of evil, I believe that evil does indeed exist in the world. Evil can manifest itself through actions that cause harm, suffering, or intentionally inflict pain upon others. It can take many forms, ranging from small-scale personal acts to large-scale atrocities.

In response to evil, it is generally considered morally virtuous to strive for love, compassion, and forgiveness. Responding to evil with goodness can contribute to the healing and growth of individuals and communities.

However, it is important to recognize that there are situations where responding to evil with love may not always be the most appropriate or practical course of action.

In certain circumstances, responding to evil with indifference or caution can be a valid approach. This doesn't mean we necessarily reciprocate evil with evil, but it acknowledges the need to protect ourselves and others from harm. It recognizes that some individuals or situations may not be receptive to acts of love or forgiveness, and interacting with them without caution might expose us to unnecessary risks.
Anthony Ekemezie
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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 Anthony Ekemezie »

Everyone has their own perspective of different things, and I clearly understand your point of view. But to me, evil does exist in so many forms, whether we are able to change them or not. It can spring from people's actions, words, or even natural occurring hazards. I also believe we can fight evil, when we do not repay evil with evil, when we see the beauty of things around us, and try to focus on the positive.
Abraham Ozo
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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 Abraham Ozo »

While "evil" may be rare in my everyday language, I acknowledge its connotative role in expressing negative emotions, as you noted. However, sometimes labeling a situation as negative isn't necessarily driven by contempt but aims to establish a clear distinction.
Francis Kapola
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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 Francis Kapola »

I believe the word 'evil' generally denotes the capacity to cause harm, which may not align with discussions about its occurrence or existence.
Angus Zonny
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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 Angus Zonny »

Evil exists in this world. To me, it is doing to someone what you wouldn't want them to do to you.
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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 »

For anyone who believes what I call "evil" (a.k.a. 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')
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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