Evil is difficult to define. In some sense, it is potentially non-constructive to attempt to define evil. Over the course of history, many societies have defined evil as a particular belief system or a particular group of people. This has often led to atrocities that perpetuated evil because people have fallen prey to one of the most insidious deceptions of fallen beings, namely that it is justified to do evil in order to produce a “greater good.”
How to define evil in a way that does not perpetuate evil?
As a working definition, we will define evil as a deliberate attempt to influence the free will of human beings through force, deception or manipulation.
We can also define evil by referring to the level of awareness of the basic fact of life, as described in more detail elsewhere. This fact is that all life is connected and therefore, what we do to others, we are also doing to ourselves.
Fallen beings are unaware of or deny this fact, thus they think they can harm others without suffering any consequences. They will often feel justified in harming others because they have adopted the basic ethic that the end can justify the means. They think it is justified to kill people in order to produce what they have defined as a greater good.
We can therefore define evil as:
- The willingness to force, deceive or kill people. The more a being is willing to do this, the more evil it is.
- The conviction that forcing, deceiving or killing people is justified by some greater good, some epic cause. The more convinced people are that the cause they have defined or adopted justifies killing, the more evil they are.
Naturally, much more can be said about how to define evil, and more will be said in other sections.
NEXT PAGE: Evil and free will.