For believers in a higher power, evil is blamed on human beings getting the gift of freedom and abusing that gift. The higher power is asked to keep out of your life. And it complies for it respects free will but that means nature will not have its protection and so plagues and other natural evils take place. The higher power only lets evil happen when it can be balanced with good or lead to goods that are worth tolerating it for.

For atheists, suffering is part of the way things are. Rather than be asked or commanded by anyone to deal with it, the atheist simply decides that it must be fought. Atheism takes the side of the sufferer even if this means rebelling against nature and defying a higher power if there is one. The atheist being against suffering comes from within. The atheist does what a higher power should be doing.

Suffering is that which attacks your sense that your life is worth living.

Pain is not the same thing for pain is a warning and you can love your life and be in a lot of pain.

People ask the atheist why they should consider it fair and loving to help others overcome suffering. This is assuming that the atheist may help or not bother and it matters not either way.

Evil for atheists does not need moralistic concerns but merely opposition to suffering. This redefines evil. Religion argues that this is too flimsy. It says that just because an experience is horrible does not mean it is unfair or immoral.

Now we have a conflict.  Religion defines evil as injustice and malice.  Atheism defines it as suffering.  One of these two stances must be itself evil.  There are overlaps but the core difference remains.

One of the two sides is reinventing evil.  If you look to see evil and are willing to wrongly define it or wrongly see it in order to look, then there is evil in you.

There is more.

If you see evil in a person or thing and this seeing is about saying that you are so great that you can identify it and distance yourself from it then you are inwardly glad the evil has happened and that you know about it.  So don't call yourself good then.

What is the alternative?

Christians say you have to be aware that you can turn evil too and to reach out to the person to help them rise above it.  They say that is hard but achievable and the key is to avoid any smug glows and moral superiority.

But unless you think it is only luck stopping you doing what the other has done that advice is far from inspiring.  The only way you can avoid being smug is if luck could have struck causing you to be the one to choose evil.

Let it make sense.  They say you have free will and they want to blame luck too.

So we all think we have seen evil but what do we think we see? 

Atheism means harm by evil. Religion by evil is thinking of a dark force that aims to hurt for the sake of hurting and which distorts the work of God to do it.

Both hold that there are two kinds of evil, necessary evil and wanton evil.  The latter is the "real" evil for nobody is forced by a situation to do it.

Necessary evil has two types.  You may have to shoot the burglar to protect your children from him.  You are forced to do the evil for the sake of a grave reason.  The other type of necessary evil is when you are forced not by the consideration of the greater good but say by a condition such as mental illness to do it.

Everybody pretends to be able to distinguish one from the other.  If there is something in us that needs to do evil then it follows that somebody who thinks they are committing an unnecessary evil could be wrong.  If that is the case, then suppressing an evil urge only pushes it out in a different direction.  And if you cannot be sure enough how can anyone else be?  Even if a murder is committed, nobody knows if the killer had criminal responsibility.

Even suspecting that people are pretending to know more than they do about your culpability for evil will stop their "justice" from putting respect into you.

Anyway wanton evil is never really obvious though we wish it were. Another reason for that is how every evil doer claims to have had pressing and good reasons for doing it.  We just decide not to believe the person.  We want to see them as just having done useless inexcusable evil.  We want to shine the halo.

Christianity says that evil is a slavemaster.  So despite or because of this, the Devil is another slavemaster in conjunction with it.  If that is true, an evil person is the same as a possessed one.  So how can you be evil if you are controlled?  It makes no sense.  If your abuser is possessed by some force, perhaps a demon, then it will surely know them well enough to act as if it is this person.  It will be an imposter.  It will know how to make the abuser feel responsible though he or she is not.  None of this makes sense.  Christianity clearly is using evil as a weapon to condemn and hurt while keeping up the facade that it is only opposing and trying to bring down evil.

If evil is as devious and chameleon-like as religious people say, they are very confident that they can tell what it is up to and combat it.  The definition of arrogance is when you pretend to know more than you do and isn't pride supposed to be the root of all evil and crime and violence?  If we all have pride and evil manipulates that then it will be sure to get us to misread where the evil is and what exactly it is doing and how long it will continue.

If evil is devious then you only see what SEEMS TO BE the tip of the iceberg.  As evil needs containing, and nobody else can tell you what you perceive about evil, you have to do it yourself, it follows you alone are deciding what needs to be done about it.  You alone decide how to contain.  If others agree with you that is not real unity for it is just people's individualistic, closed off assessing, that seems to happen to match.  It is still everybody doing it on their own.  The individualism here, the standpoint epistemology, the "What I think of it alone matters", is supposed to be evil itself.  Religion is clear that cutting yourself too much from others is evil for it shows a lack of love for them.  If you need to be cautious with assessing evil, this will not happen if you are detecting it as if nobody else matters.  Evil is in the eye of the beholder and it takes an evil one to know an evil.

Evil if it exists is only fought with evil.  It is that simple.  It amounts to saying that just because evil x is better than evil y and gets rid of it that evil x is good.

Both atheists and believers agree that seeing a person as somehow short of a person is evil. If this evil is necessary we must remember that it can be very damaging.

There is a tradition that you cannot see evil anywhere unless you are using the evil in yourself to help you and inform you.

Perhaps for some reason this happens even if in principle there is no necessary reason why you need to be in some way evil to see evil.  It may be down to the way we have developed.  It could be embedded in us.

There are two aspects to judging something evil.

They are

1  Guessing there is evil there.

2  You guess where the evil is and what its presence is saying.

So the evil is really in you.  You cannot try to see evil without being evil if you are largely guessing.  You want to find it.  You want it there.

Plus you cannot see the intention of the other and condemning evil means nothing if you cannot.

So for that reason as well, you are causing yourself to see the evil so it is not about the evil but you. Therefore you are evil. To see evil is to be evil. You are using evil to discern evil and putting it in yourself.

And at the same time it is in you. You are acting like you know it is there and what it is exactly but that is the evil in you talking. It is a case of, “It takes one to know one.”

Let us look at all that in the light of intention.  We tend to uphold even disastrous and stupid choices as good if we think the agent has good intentions.

Intention is done mainly for something has to be done.  The good or evil of it is an extra.

A God giving you the power to see is just giving you the power to see.  If you look at a tree or a dog it does not mean, "God gave me sight to see a tree or a dog."  You are not obligated to look at either.  So intention is not given to you to use it well.

If you want to use it in a good way, how good are you then?  You are lying that your intention ability is about being good.

That again shows us that the problem with evil is that it is in the eye of the beholder. It shows that there is evil in you if you see evil in others or in what they do.

Real life shows us that too. For example, if we make laws they will be open to corruption for we have a corrupt side and we tend to be too subjective about how to be just etc.

Should we talk about a person with a disability or a disabled person? What about person with autism or autistic person? What about person with blindness or blind person? Many point out that disability, neurology or autism is not an accessory. So they will choose disabled person, autistic person or blind person.

It cuts both ways. If you choose disabled person you are saying this person is not a person but a sub-category of person. If you call their condition an accessory you are looking at the person as if it is not there. Rapport is broken in both cases. What do you do? Toss a coin? If we have rapport then we have it in spite of them. We still have to face how nature degrades the person. The Christian view that nature is distorted but still allows the love God puts in us to shine through is nonsense. We need to see the degradation instead of having the religious put on a side-show.  We do not need religion desperately trying to take away the clear sight of how degraded we are.

This logic when you talk about evil rather than some condition or disability leads to some shocking conclusions. 

We get, "Should we talk about a person with an evil or an evil person? What about person with evil or evil person?  Many point out that evil is not an accessory. So they will choose evil person."

One difference with this and say autism is that autism is not about causing harm and evil is.  So if evil exists in a person (even against their will) they will be eliminated just the same as if they were doing evil on purpose.  It is insane to argue that a person needs stopping only if they are intentionally bad.  Intention is irrelevant.

To make intention too important is really about us wanting to be protected and praised for our good intentions even if we cause untold harm.  We want to praise ourselves after causing havoc and tell ourselves how good we are that we meant well.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The evil of shining your halo may be according to some the only true evil.  It is obvious pride and pride is supposedly the most fundamental evil..

Today in a culture that excuses bad behaviour you may yet be accused of evil when you say that immorality exists and you can point to it.

People feel that it takes an evil one to know an evil one.  Or that only an evil person can see evil in an action for they already have the evil in themselves.

Jesus told people on the individual and group level that they were evil.  He said whoever defiles a child would be better off dead as a result of being thrown in the sea.  And he spoke to his individual hearers at the Sermon on the Mount in these terms: "You being evil know how to do good things and won't give a person who wants bread a scorpion."  He spoke of this, "Evil generation and how much longer am I to endure it?"   Don't be fooled by, "Jesus alone can judge if one is evil so we cannot."  Jesus doing it for you and you calling people evil gets around how you cannot see.

If you need to be already in some way evil to see evil in another, the alternative is to get Jesus to look for you and agree with him.  But now you are trying to see evil and that does not make you any better. 

It is harder to see the evil in yourself when you delegate the power to see it in others to somebody else such as Jesus.  And that is how you want it.

And if you say a person is not evil but normal and describe that as "banality of evil" - then you are saying they are evil but also banal.  How coherent! 

Religions more than anything else warn not to fight evil with evil or sin with sin.  Yet they insist that evil is always doing more than you think and creating a fog to prolong its activity.  They say it does that for it is never satisfied.  They say that we all desire any goal good or bad hugely and when we reach it it does not feel it matters as much any more.  They say that is true of evil goals too as it is of any goal.  But as evil attacks value and meaning it has another reason to disappoint.  So reaching an evil goal is a fast-tract to making new malignant goals.  So for those reasons evil needs to be abruptly ended by force.  But forcing persons to be at least non evil or to act good means they are still evil inside. 

Preaching against evil is a necessary evil in the sense that you have to do it but it does not stop evil and is not meant to.  It is resigned to how evil will always be there.  It is trying to contain it.  Containing evil is terrifying for how much do you have to try to restrict?  It could be a lot.  There could be dead bodies and screaming orphans all around you.

And if a person does evil but is not evil then why do we shoot people who are about to shoot others?  So we shoot an innocent person who has some kind of evil force around them?  We are prepared to do that, all of us.  That is why we are evil inside even when we seem to be good and when we say, "Evil is killing the innocent.  That is a prime example of it.".  Evil or not they will be shot so it may be in practice it does not matter if you call the person evil or their action evil as opposed to them being evil.  Evil people condemn evil.   Case closed.


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