Accounts of what evil is talk about what it does, harm, invite revulsion, invite hate, as if symptoms of evil and evil are the same thing!  The flu is not the stuffy nose and the misery.  It handwaves.  It pretends it knows what it is talking about and offers answers that only satisfy temporarily and lead to evil rebounding. If you prefer to talk of harm than evil then it is harmful. Talk of evil harms for it is being definite you know what you are saying when you don't. 


Philosophers may say that evil is the result of disorder in a being meaning that disorder is the absence of order or lack of order. So there is a flaw in a person who is able to choose evil. She might not go along with the flaw but it is there. The flaw then means there is a problem with the person perceiving something as good when it is evil. If your eyesight is flawed you can mistake a leaf blowing on the ground for a mouse running away. It is hard to see how you can say anybody is really to blame for evil when their perception is dodgy. No it is not hard - it is impossible. If your perception of evil is flawed, you cannot fully trust anything you think at a moral crossroads. If it is flawed, even the stuff you have got right is called into question.

Let us put this another way. If we do evil, then it is evil because we have made an error. It is said that this would be a partial error for all the evil we do contains some or a lot of truth. Is it really a partial error? No. When you err, you cast doubt on what you know or believe to be right. You are no longer very sure of any of it.

When Jesus Christ said you must not judge another for having a mote in the eye when there is a plank in your own, he was clear that you need to get the plank out and then you can deal with the mote.  He affirmed judging but not self-righteous judging.  He said you can deal with the mote by judging the other.  He told us to agree with him when he said his generation was one of evil people.  But as evil is hard to see and diagnose his advice is impossible to follow. 

We need moral knowledge not moral belief

Is it only the results of an act that tell you if an act was really good or just evil looking good?

If yes then the problem is that everything has some bad consequences or seeming ones so you can never tell if an act is good or looking good in which case it may not be good at all!

If evil is a form of good, then the good can easily masquerade as the best. The good is evil in the craftiest way. Even evil at times can be expert at appearing good. The rest of the time it is still good at it. Sometimes you cannot know the difference between good, bad and best and they say that you will only tell the difference when you experience the terrible consequences for evil leads to bad results.  See what happens now?  If you see something that may pass as evil you have to act now and not wait until it unfolds!  You are being told to hinder and attack seemingly evil people for waiting to see the fruits of what they do will leave it too late.  Make no mistake.  The teaching about evil may warn you that you can get it wrong but if the believer could be sure you would be in a lot of trouble indeed.  And it is a fact that we do attack some evil people rather than wait.

 The "evil is misplaced good" notion turns morality into trial and error. You can say that if cheating on the spouse leads to trouble your case could be different. So you cheat and hope for the best!

And if people start turning a heinous act into an opportunity for doing great good, it is easy to end up happy that the act took place. It does not look as heinous then. It may not look very evil any more.

If evil is good that is in the wrong place and time then it will be very hard to tell good apart from evil. A lot of the time, we with our limited perspective and flaws will find them indistinguishable. It would follow that we need the resources to tell them apart. Suppose evil is that which is to be avoided at any cost. Religion says it is better to cease to exist by accident than to sin deliberately for sin the greatest evil and a degradation offered to the infinite perfect love of God. Then we need to KNOW not guess or believe that anything is harmful or evil or sinful. If evil and good are too hard to distinguish then we risk approving evil as good and creating more evil. If evil and good are too hard to distinguish we fail to give good its proper honour and due and fail to learn from it. You don't want to play into the hands of those who take advantage. They will disguise evil as good.

We must consider the act itself. You cannot do something and then decide it was bad because it had all or mostly bad consequences. That gives you too much freedom to do what you want to do. You need knowledge, not faith and not trial and error.

The margin

All on earth believe that you can do great evil and believe it is right. If morality is real, that does not mean that what we put forward as morality is accurate or real. Sincerity can blind.

Good people and evil people are really on a spectrum.  Nobody is wholly good and nobody is wholly evil.  It is all about how the scales tip.  Religion may agree but says acts are different.  They are virtue or they are vice.  They are good or they are bad.  But we know that even our actions are grey and mix good and evil.

There is a margin between good and evil.  What about it?  You are about to do something.

A  Is it worse to make it .00001% evil and the rest good?

B  Or to make it 90% evil? 

If you are patient and want the evil to be hardly noticed so that a thousand years later the damage it has done is unnoticed then A is a more effective way to serve evil than to make it too obvious.  So the smaller you make the ingredient of evil the better you are at evil.  So the answer is that the greatest and most powerful evil comes in the form of good which has a subtle hint of poison and toxin in it.  It progresses like a slow cancer.

The greater the good, then the greater the evil that it can be turned into. The greater the good the greater the corruption.  Especially if it is well-disguised and hard to notice.

We can all be accused of mixing a small amount of evil in.  These ideas may explain why misanthropists are so common.

The hazy notion of goodness that believers possess

When we speak of evil we tend to do so only in relation to the good. People say, "We know of evil, precisely because we know what is good. In looking at what a thing is and what it is not – in seeing the defectiveness, we begin to see how we can describe an action as being evil."

Is a work of art that you deliberately make ugly because it is art, is intended to fall short of goodness? No. It is not for it is meant to fit a particular standard of goodness. It is good for the art to be ugly. If it is bad then it is bad that we have the freedom do make ugly things or to say ugly things. It would be bad to make crucifixes – everything almost would be bad. Nobody really knows what they mean by good and it is too subjective.  They pretend they know it for real but they do not.  Good again like evil, is never really talked about properly.  People look at the signs of good and identify them with the good.  A person with pneumonia may feel good but how good is that if it has them leave their bed and fall down the stairs?  The good feeling lies to you that you are not too weak.

What use is an argument for God's goodness that does not know what it means by goodness? Is it not a conjuring trick and a waste of breath?

God makes fake morality even more fake!

Some say, "Evil is to good what lameness is to walking." The problem is that you should walk but cannot. This talks about purpose. It assumes you should want to walk. But should you? It is up to you. A person who dictates to you that you should be walking is worse than the person who does not walk though he can. The person is controlling. It is better to walk because you want to and not because any God or anything says you should walk. Real goodness is spontaneous and totally generous as regards motivation.  To say that God and morality go together and it is about his law and not spontaneity is immoral by any standard.

God makes immorality even more immoral if it is true that if he exists then bad offends him. If he does not exist, then bad is bad for the harm it does but at least there is no God to insult by it as well. If he does not exist, faith in him is bad for it makes you mean to be worse than you would be when you do evil.


The notion that evil is not real but is merely good that is not good enough leads to some interesting things. What if a person is a cynical malicious gossip? His friends may say, "You tell it as you see it!" That is saying, "You are to be praised for being a gossip." It does not make their condemnations of cynicism and gossip sincere. If you love the person you will be forced to praise what good they do even if it is the good of evil. That you condemn proves that you do not. To view a person as dangerous and harmful makes you hate and that is what hate is all about.

People believe that sincerity is to be praised and they even say you are good person even if you do something terrible thinking it was the right thing to do. But do we really think that say Lenin who thought that murdering people to pave the way for Communist rule was morally right in doing so? His sincerity has nothing to do with its moral rightness or wrongness. But it does show how easy it is to be wrong and do evil while being prepared to swear that you are right.

The person who forgives will reason, "That person hurts me for he sees me as a danger. He hates his perception of me and not me and so I forgive. I understand and understanding is necessary for forgiving." That is caring about how the person views you and not about what they would do to you. You need to fear evil people so that you can be safe from them. If you don't fear fire you will die in it.  To argue that a person's bad perception of you will do no harm for it is not the real you is bizarre and stupid.  Who are you trying to fool and why?  It will harm you.  The risk is there.  Threatening harm is harm no matter how you feel about it.

A person who has warped perception is worse than the person who sees you as you are and hates you for it. That person is more dangerous. It is more rational to forgive the person who hates you because he knows you. At least if the person can see you properly there is hope.

If you stab somebody insane and therefore innocent to death in self-defence this is called morally praiseworthy though the same action would be wrong if you did it for fun. Things like that cause great confusion.

How demand to renounce evil complicates things

If you have to turn evil to renounce evil that only adds to the confusion!

To renounce and fight evil you have to lie to yourself about what it means.  You feign how clear it is in your mind.  So it is fighting evil fire with evil fire.

It seems you should renounce evil for good is the best thing and is the real thing not evil. But to renounce evil is to become a slave to it indirectly. If you are sex mad you are seen as a slave to sexuality. If you torment yourself to avoid sexual impulses you are still being made a slave by them.

To renounce evil is to enter under its power for then you have to commit the evil of taking on the suffering necessary to avoid doing evil and of stopping yourself doing what you want. What you should do is mix good and evil so that you become a nice exciting person. Who likes people who are all sweetness and light? Who would want to be perfect as God is perfect though Jesus said we should want to be?

If there is a thin line between being bad and good then faith in God should not be declared important. It is not going to help. It in fact makes it worse. If a morality is paper-thin, attributing it to God is only making it sacred when in fact it is not sacred or holy but a pity. You may as well jump for joy when a baby dies for somehow it is best for the baby.

"What if?" can happen in principle

Everything you do has hypothetical implications. What you would do even if you cannot do it speaks volumes about the kind of person you are.

God if he is God of all is God of the "What If?..."  If you had to affirm that God deserves only hate and to be called evil to save the lives of the whole universe and there was no choice, then do it.  This shows that God is a cosmetic for justifying good and morality.  It does not work.

Religion and "evil is not a power"

Religion says that pure evil does not exist and evil is just a distortion of good and parasitic on it. If evil is the lack of good and you do evil it follows that it may as well be real for you want it to be real. You want it to create itself ex nihilo. You are as evil as an evil power for you mean to be. Thus even if evil is a lack it does not excuse God giving us the free will to be that evil. God not making evil as a power means nothing. It is an insult to suffering people to say it does.  Suffering is a power.  The experience is not an absence of well-being. The well-being is absent yes but something is in the absence.  Something like a malign power.

One big lie is that we do not intend evil for we only use it to aim for the good.  For example, you murder granny so you can sell her jewellery to get expensive medicine for your child.  Now all evil is intended to strike at something which means it is intended to rage but in a cage.  This is because something too destructive will backfire.  This gives the impression that evil can be turned to good for it is surrounded by good.  Good is outside the cage.  Religion plays on that to create the "God lets it happen for a loving reason" narrative. It is cynical and exploitive.


If it is not clear why believers in a loving God are so violent or bigoted, then the reason could be that the belief does something subtle to them to damage them. The lies about what evil is.  And the intention to water down evil, whatever it is supposed to be, for the sake of conserving faith in God would definitely be top of the list for doing that to people. It is intrinsically bigoted despite its sweet and consoling masquerade.


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