Thoughts on the concept of ‘evil’

I have always been skeptical about the concept of ‘evil’.  That is not to say that I believe its an erronous concept.  This is not true.  To me, ‘evil’ is a concept of the moral point of view primarily.  As such, it is only valid from that angle.  Because of this, it cannot be looked at as a general ‘world view’ angle.  In short, you cannot use ‘evil’ to describe how the world works.

But when you stand back and look at things from an overall perspective, there is no ‘evil’.  If a tree falls and kills a squirrel is it an act of ‘evil’?  If a volcano explodes and kills hundreds or thousands of animals, trees, and such, is that an act of evil?  No, not really.  Accordingly, if a person goes on a shooting spree it, from an overall perspective, cannot be described as an act of ‘evil’.  Its really no different than any other event, falling tree, volcano, or otherwise. 

But, the difference is that a man lives in a society.  As we know, morality dictates peoples behaviour and tells whats right or wrong in a society.  From that perspective only, the mans act can be described as ‘evil’. 

This shows that morality is a limited perspective point of view.  That is to say, it is not a point of view that describes how the world works.  Unfortunately, many religions tend to look at the world from a morality point of view which, I feel, creates a distorted world perception.  At least, thats my impression.

The concept of ‘evil’ can also be used in the perspective of a situation which harms a person.  In that case, any thing that harms needlessly or pointlessly or with apparent ‘evil intent’ can be described as ‘evil’.  In that sense, ‘evil’ depends on where you stand.  If your the victim it is ‘evil’.  But to someone else, who cares?  Lets say that, right now, a squirrel is being killed by a falling tree somewhere in the world.  Do you care?  No, I doubt it . . . but the squirrel cares.  From his angle, perhaps, the incidence can be described as an ‘evil’ event.  But thats his point of view.  This only shows again how the concept of ‘evil’ is a limited perspective. 

It seems to me that the concept of ‘evil’ depends on where you stand in relation to things.  It depends on your moral stance and it also depends on where you stand when an unfortunate event takes place.  It’s for this reason that I always saw ‘evil’ as a limited scope perspective.  That is, it is not a point of view that describes how the world works.  Because of this, I’ve never considere this point of view as reflecting a sacred truth.

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