Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


THE IDEA OF A PERSON BEING PURE EVIL

Religion says that all comes from God and God is love so nothing is purely evil. Evil is just an abused good. We are talking about whether evil in human beings is a power or just an abuse of good.

DARWINIST AMORALITY

Religion dismisses the atheistic Darwinist view that with nature – nature is just what it is and there are no shoulds about it. There is no normal and the notion that there is just a myth we use in order to live with other people. So religion supposes that we are meant to be at our best so evil is falling short of that. Evil then is effectively good in the wrong place and time. For example, the courage to commit a murder is wasted for it could be used to help people instead.

PERSONAL MORALITY

Does it make any difference to morality, that is to justice and love, if evil is a flaw or as real as burnt porridge? Those who say that evil is an abuse of good say it is still real but not in the way a brick is. The good lacks the right use and reaching its full potential. It is “real” rather than real.

To be just means to oppose injustice and to be unjust means to oppose justice.

To be loving means to oppose what is not love and vice versa.

The good person will oppose injustice and unloving acts and attitudes equally whether they are manifestations of a power or something that is a mere lack.

But if evil is a power there will be a price. This is not your fault. It will rebound on you and attack you. As a power it has to have effects. The cup that should have water but does not is empty and the empty is not a power that can attack you. But if the empty if it could be a power can. See the difference?

If evil is a power then it will destroy the good and evil alike. Any survivor is just in a lottery.

ITS AN INSULT TO THE EXPERIENCE OF MANY

Evil must be a real experience for you can experience a lack. Evil then is real in that sense. An experience is real in its own way just like a brick is. If there is a God then God creates the experience!

To call evil a mere absence of good is an insult.

Experience shows why we NEED to and UNAVOIDABLY need to see human evil as pure evil. How many we choose to see that way and why differs with each individual.

PEOPLE PRETEND NOT TO BELIEVE IN PURE EVIL PEOPLE

People will not admit if they see people as pure evil for that is clearly a demand that the persons be destroyed and hated and dehumanised. People do not see the plague as pure evil but are tempted to see some people as pure evil. Why is it always people? Because they want it to be.

Some say certain people are pure evil. Pure evil people if you want to count the likes of Hitler as one of these hold that to be true of others not themselves!

Some say that pure evil people are a fiction. If so then evil can only be a separate force from any agent. In that view no person is pure evil and evil is always an attempt to do good in the wrong way. The idea is that a well meaning person is trying to do good but with evil and does not even see it.

But pure evil if it is a force will still try to look good if it can to get more recruits and power so the person might be using pure evil to do good with it.

The Christian view sees evil as involving a mistake - you aim at good the wrong way and end up pushing it away. In this view, evil is only a lack of a good that should be there and is not you wielding evil as in a power to do harm. This view denies evil is a power. This is the essential argument for saying evil people are not all bad or pure evil. It does not work so why should we believe those who use it to argue they don't believe in pure evil people?

If we mistake evil for good that does not mean there is no pure evil and that it is not behind our mistake.

Why is the kindly doctor who murders after saving millions of lives going to be defined by his crime as if he is pure evil? Because people feel compelled to demonise him. The only way they can wish his evil out of existence is by seeing that he is the problem. They hate him.

It is odd to say that acts can be truly evil and vile and amount to being evil powers and people cannot. It smacks of hypocrisy for surely the whole point is not so much the action but the person that devises and implements the action. No matter what evil is, it cannot be seen as something that accompanies the person as if there was no connection.

Believers in God talk as if they regard evil as a defect or flaw but that is talk for they treat evil as a thing and a reality.

PURE GOODNESS?

Surely if there are acts of pure evil there are acts of pure goodness too? Surely if there are acts of pure goodness there are acts of pure evil too? Nearly all people would answer yes. It does not matter if they are right. The point is they do believe in pure evil people and are thinking of people when they think of pure evil.

WILLING CAPTIVE OR VICTIM?

What about, "If evil really exists then it is a power that a person taps into but the person avoids being evil herself or himself. She or he does evil but is not evil. The person uses evil or is forced or manipulated by evil"? But that is not necessarily true. Pure evil does not mean that everybody who engages with it and absorbs it is a victim. It can be their fault. The person can be the evil.

What should you assume then? You cannot know if the sadistic murderer is being controlled by evil helplessly or willing to cooperate with it.

The pure evil person will try to pretend to be a victim anyway.

So you assume the person is really being evil.

But what if the evil is the problem so it does not matter if it is in the person or not? Then what matters is that it is there and the person must be classed as evil.

So if evil is like a force and power you are evil even if you unwillingly or unknowingly are its tool. The rotten throughout has to be thrown out though its not its fault it got rotten.

The evil in you is one thing but if you consent to it that is another evil so that gives two!

INTENTION

You commit an evil act. You are an “intender” – it is what being a person is all about. So if you use your intention to invite pure evil you become pure evil and so should be hated. You are worse than the evil for you are giving it the intelligence it does not have. You make its power active.

If evil is real it can infest a person and make them do harmful things with or without their intending.

To become deliberately evil you must invite the power in and join in union with it. That is where intention comes in.

God allegedly made all things for love so evil is blamed on the good gift he gave us of free will. The idea is that people "made" evil not God.

Perhaps the only real evil power is only made by and in persons? Maybe it is even one person only and that person is God?

Let us think of people being pure evil and only people.

If a person cannot be evil but everything else can be then this denies free will can be blamed for evil.

And persons being exempt would imply wishful thinking. If evil power exists in nature then it can exist in people.

If we embrace evil and evil is real then that is straightforward.

Take the view that evil is a falling short and not a thing or power. That means that when we do evil we try to make it real.

In either case what we do is not so much bad as what we are. It is about us as shown by what we do - not what we do. In a sense and in the only sense that counts, we make it real by becoming it. Our good side does not undermine the bad. It is what makes you bad for you can do better.

We can intend evil to be real even if it cannot be for intentions do not have to match reality. If you hope your curse against another starts acting like magic to kill that person you are still trying to make real evil. You can intend to kick the door down though you know you cannot. You can kick it anyway.

We reinforce the attempt to be evil by saying it is God who condemns. It is not bad enough by itself so we add to it by saying it insults and mocks such a good God. Anyway, trying to make evil real makes you try to turn an evil that is necessarily unreal into one that is real. It makes you bad. It makes you worse than any evil such as death or suffering for they are unreal and you are trying to make a real one. It follows that the least sin is worse than everybody on earth dying in agony.

Such doctrines turn morality into a necessary evil to be cursed not a celebratory thing! Those who adore God as a sign or "embodiment" of morality are doing wrong.

If pure evil is not the goal the fact remains that if it were you would be going to it so hypothetically you are still aiming for pure evil. This would suggest that evil intention though not pure evil is an attempt at it. If intention is what matters then a person should be treated as pure evil when they are trying to be. This legitimises hate.

IF EVIL IS A POWER THEN THERE IS NO PLACE FOR UNDERSTANDING

When people gleefully cause grave suffering, we refer to it as an act of pure evil. Pure evil. We want to believe this deed is purely evil and nothing else. More importantly we need to believe it. You cannot define exactly what you mean by pure evil or what it is. So it is expressing a feeling. You think you sense that the deed is wholly evil.

The victims try to keep thinking about the terrible thing done to them in order to look for reasons or answers as to why somebody would hurt them. Thus the pain directly caused has indirect consequences too. It is like the person thinks that the more he or she relives the pain and the event the bigger the chance of a breakthrough where the light of understanding and the help it brings comes in.

The deed causes suffering to those not directly affected by the atrocity. It is not just victims who are the victims.

The more you try to understand all the evil the more angry and frustrated you become because there is no way to understand it and evil is not about being understood. It must be noted that this is because evil is destruction - even if it is not really pure evil it is pure evil to us.

Is this to say that it does not matter in terms of trying to understand if the evil is pure evil or just a lack of good that we need to see as pure evil?

What matters if that if you say it is really pure evil and it is then it is a power you cannot understand for you cannot interview and talk to evil. But this is rendered into unimportance by the fact that you need to see the act as pure evil even if it is not really. Understanding is about looking at the reasons why the person did the things they did but the fact remains that these were not reasons but excuses.

If evil is pure evil then it is stupid to ask why it happened for by definition it would be happening ultimately for no reason. Thinking about the evil to try and understand it is futile. Calling something evil is not about explaining why it happened but that it happened.

Does it make sense to say that a person who commits an atrocity is insane and thus not pure evil but his action is truly pure evil? No. It would be as natural as an earthquake then and nobody resents an earthquake as pure evil. To call the act pure evil is to blame the doer of the act. Strictly speaking to try to understand an evil act is just a way of saying you are trying to understand the evil person. There is no such thing as merely understanding an action. It is people you have to understand.

To call something evil is to say it is the complete opposite of what you would do. So its too polarised for any real understanding. It is to say that the evil person is the opposite of the kind of person you are. Thus you divide yourself from the evil or supposedly evil person. If it is true that the“evil” person needs understanding and the causes of evil deeds are more complex than we will ever know then we are going to their level by excluding them and by implication treating them as less than human.

Religion's efforts to understand evil only feed evil and it cannot complain if members get angry enough to resort to war against the perceived wicked.So if you cannot try to understand evil then what do you do? You cannot just put the evil out of your mind after it happens for you need to relive it and "repeat" it long enough to grasp how evil it was. It would be monstrous to start living as if nothing happened seconds after somebody fires a gun at you or rapes you. Nevertheless in time you must try to be not a victim but a survivor or even a coping person. The worry with that suggestion is it says, "Okay you have hurt yourself by reliving what happened so you are as bad as the person who hurt you. You cannot judge." It blames the victim. We may have to live with that for moving on is essential. This idea is resigning yourself to the fact that evil happens and there is nothing you can do to stop people being evil but all you can do is stop it winning.

If evil is a power then is there any point in trying to understand why a person did something evil? No. Trying to understand them is like trying to understand why somebody has skin. Evil wants you to blame the person's psychology.

CONTAMINATION

If evil is real then what is bad about thinking it is not real? What if you can do nothing about it at all apart from avoiding it? But pure evil should be able to get to you. There is no point in evil being evil if it cannot intrude and force.

You end up if you meet a truly evil person that you don't know if evil is controlling them or they are controlling it. You cannot judge without becoming evil yourself! If you say they are victims then you are letting them be pure evil and excusing them. If you say they are pure evil you demonise them. Morality cannot then be recommended or regulated.

You cannot win!

NO QUANTIFICATION?

If evil is a power what matters is that you are trying to serve evil and what evil is matters not how much power it has.

Even those who say they regard evil as a falling short of good and not a real thing say that the principle of being pro-evil matters not the type of evil or the amount.

Opening the chink to let the Pandora box of evil in is as bad as opening the floodgates.

Pure evil does not mean something has to be as bad as you can imagine. It only means it will be as bad as it can be and wishes it could be more destructive and would be if it could. For example, if a force is only able to become evil to a degree it is still pure evil though there are bigger evils. Evil is evil in quality and quantity. A weak evil force can still be 100% evil in quality. Evil is a lie and involves lies so it stands to reason that pure evil needs to be a lie and hide its true nature.

If evil is just evil then is there any point in trying to quantify it? For example, is the person stealing a bar of chocolate as bad as the person who robs a bank and kills the workers? Yes for a murder committed with gentleness is as bad as an ugly one. You are only gentle for you don't have the stomach to do it the other way. Its still NOT about the other person.

Believers talk as if they regard evil as a defect or flaw but that is talk for they treat evil as a thing and a reality. It is odd to say that acts can be truly evil and vile and amount to being evil powers and people cannot. It smacks of hypocrisy for surely the whole point is not so much the action but the person that devises and implements the action. No matter what evil is, it cannot be seen as something that accompanies the person as if there was no connection. If evil is a power and if we create it then it follows that you are pure evil whether you steal apples or whether you are genocidal. It is about what evil is not what it does. It is about what evil is not how much damage that comes.

If evil is a real pure thing then something is evil in itself. That something then has no shades. It is just bad and vile and hateful. A person is a thing in a way so pure evil persons can exist. If it is a person then that person is not to be loved but to be violently destroyed and the grave to be danced on.

BANAL?

Religion likes to say evil is banal and its servants uninspiring. That arises from the notion that evil is only a gap not a thing. But that totally contradicts our experience for we find demons, devils, evil people exciting and murder thrillers will always outsell the lives of the saints. Its just a blatant lie. And it obscures any effort to try and reduce or end evil.


Hannah Arendt spoke of the “banality of evil.” She meant how evil emerges for the most useless reasons such as people just wanting to follow through a command or task. An authority must really be needed for authority in itself is gorged with risks and dangers. That is why a religion that is not needed is still evil no matter how harmless it seems.

If evil is banal, it will never satisfy for long which is why it will get worse. Christians have a similar idea when they say sin is never satisfied. The trouble is that view requires that you mistrust sinners and battle against them. It gives Christians away who pretend to love sinners and hate sins.

Intending to be evil leads to fear which is why evil leads to more evil for you feel you need it to protect yourself. It will not help you be happy for long.

Anything that exaggerates evil or condemns as evil things that are not in fact evil like religion does makes it worse. It is still manipulating people to think they are evil. It increases evil intentions.

The banality of evil idea tells us how ordinary evil people are. It tells us how they use cliches and superficial arguments to make excuses for what they do. This shows that we don't need people to be clearly villains or obnoxious to know they may be evil. Religion can be summarised as in, "everything happens for a reason." This is rooted in karma and God. But unpack how evil a statement that is. "I put my baby in the crusher but I have to stop condemning myself and start praising myself for clearly the baby was going to grow up to be a sadistic serial killer or something. Everything happens for a reason and when God permits me to abuse my free will he steps in so even when I sin it happens for a reason despite my worst intentions." As an anti-theist I see faith in God as evil. The evil is hidden in nasty implications which makes it more evil not less.

Equating evil people with cartoon villains then is serving evil.  It is evil to do that.  Evil is more toxic than any grotesque demonic person!

The interesting thing about evil being banal is that it means you can be ordinary and yet pure evil.  If evil is that dull then how do people stay in Hell forever?  What is God doing to them to make them think it is fun?

NATURAL EVIL

If pure evil is real then we can resent and hate earthquakes like we do evil people.

RESPONSIBILITY

John commits evil. He either commits it as real or as in a refusal to do better (lack).

In either case, you consider the evil intention of the person, the evil nature of the act and the evil consequences that flow from the act.

So whatever evil is with John, it involves evilly intending to do evil.

It involves doing something that is bad in itself but also has evil results. He is responsible for the bad results even though he did not foresee them for he should not have been evil or doing evil or whatever in the first place!

A good act done maliciously by mistake is evil in what you are trying to do with it. It will still manage to have evil results.

Pure evil may have the power to reproduce itself and grow. Nobody should think it need be a static unchanging thing. Maybe evil gives people the power to expand evil and maybe take good and convert it into evil? If a person is pure evil the person can help the evil grow! So it will grow itself and if somebody helps that is even better for it!

Pure evil as in power can be the cause of the bad consequences not John though John did the evil. Pure evil is a force.

If you still wish to hold John responsible for the results then that virtually demands hate for immoral people. Fear drives hate.

If you wish to blame pure evil then you have successfully refuted the idea of personal responsibility as a useful concept.

THE SUPER-SIN OF TRYING TO PUT MEAT ON THE BONES OF EVIL

Religion says and God belief is clear that it is good that evil is a mere falling short and not real. It is the greatest good of all. On the positive side good is good and on the negative side evil pays homage to good for it can do nothing unless it latches on to it. So both ways equally affirm good.

Some try to make real evil. We all do on some level when we act badly.

The attempt to make evil real is the worst sin. It is trying to destroy fundamental good.

It is great evil to teach that evil is real like the Manichaens. Bad teaching influences people more than bad example does.

Religion tries to make you make your evil real by telling you it will bring you to everlasting Hell and breed evil that will bring much pain on earth. It makes evil that is“really” bad really bad. Such doctrines turn morality into a necessary evil to be cursed not a celebratory thing! Those who adore God as a sign or "embodiment" of morality are doing wrong.

If evil is a power then seeing it surely lets it put seeds in us? Ugly raw evil has never repelled all who see it. Seeing is sowing. If evil is a lack it is so good at this that it would be better at it if it were a power.

TWO EVILS?

If evil is a power that does not mean evil that is a mere lack cannot be a separate form.

You cannot tell one from the other. In practical terms you may as well assume that everybody doing evil is in league with the power. You have to for the power is more dangerous than an absence of good as dangerous as the latter is.

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND EVIL

One thing that is supposed to show why evil is pure useless evil is that unconditional love is such a great good. The contrast and contradiction between the two is total. But unconditional love for a person which is engaged in to please God or because God says so is not unconditional love. God belief by default is pure evil.The good versus evil brigade are hypocrites and they worship a God who is as bad as themselves because he is their reflection and they think they are his. If you need God for morality, you won't have him for that for morality itself is full of grey and is not just good and evil. The good has a sting.

Unconditional love means that evil matters for you want to protect your loved one.

Does evil matter more or less if -

*It is a hole that should have something in it?

*It is a power?

Clearly a power is going to be worse than a mere lack. Evil can be a lack of good and be a power but not in the way the first option suggests. So evil matters more if it is real.