Schopenhauer declared, “Humanity is the only animal which causes pain to others with no other object than causing pain – no animal ever torments another for the sake of tormenting: but man does so, and it is this which constitutes the diabolical nature which is far worse than the mere bestial.” This can be found in Essays and Aphorisms, translated by RJ Hollingdale, 1970.

Aristotle argued that if we hurt somebody for fun it is for the fun not the hurting.  Schopenhauer is clearly against that.  With him we hurt, and if we have fun that is not the aim, it is the by-product.  Now a hypothetical evil person might try to look less evil, or to look more misguided than bad.  They would say they only do harm for the good in it when in fact it is darker than that.  Aren't we told that evil no matter how you define it, likes to conceal?  It likes to attract?

Christians would concede that we are animals in a sense but in fact are really more than that. Genesis speaks of God adding in something to us to make us different and to have authority over all creatures.

Christianity says animals do not have moral responsibility and are driven by instinct so how they prey on each other looks vicious to us but God’s loving plan has designed them to do that for they are essentially biological objects. It is no more evil than two monsters tearing limbs off each other in a video game.  This ignores that God sets this up and makes the force that drive the animals so they are pawns for his own viciousness. You cannot see free will absolves God of blame for when we do evil or harm and ignore the creatures that harm without free will.

Questions nobody answers.

Do animals have an inherent evil streak but it is latent until something is added to them?  Is that what happened to us?

Does the thing added to us make us able to birth evil?  It must be an evil power that we can choose to wield.

If animals have no free will and God makes them all they are and we are the only animals that hurt then does that mean the evil comes from our animal side meaning God put it in us?


Not all agree that people do harm just for the fun of it. Remember even if that is what it is about you want the feeling that comes from doing it, the buzz.

The notion that we just harm to harm comes from religion and it is nonsense. It is a slander.

Those who use the word evil all agree that evil is harmful.  But one difference is in how they define evil.  For one camp, "Evil is harming just to harm."  For the rest, "Evil is harming others in a misguided attempt to gain some good."

And how can the philosopher know if any person he can think of is doing harm for it is bestial or because it is evil? What about both?  The overlaps mean that you assume the best: that they are being beasts rather than demons.  But why assume the best?  For it gives you more peace of mind?  If there is a dark evil there then assuming the best is only protecting it.


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