Evil: A Universal Definition Of Evil

The term evil carries a multitude of stigmas, translations and forms, thus, in order to obtain a better comprehension of the concept, a universal definition must be established. Therefore, as a general base line for uniformity I will use the Oxford dictionaries definition. Evil defined: Profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force; Of a force or spirit embodying or associated with the forces of the devil; A manifestation of this, especially in people’s actions; Something that is harmful or undesirable [sexism, racism, and all other unpleasant social events] (Oxford Dictionaries)

In the same manner, the essence of evil also needs to be categorized, specifically to address matters of a philosophical nature and provide rational conclusions to theoretical questions. In particular, evil can be categorized into two main divisions; the first being of “supernatural” origins and the second pertaining to mankind’s malevolent immorality. The term supernatural also needs to be clearly and universally defined in order to obtain factual results.

Once again, using the Oxford Dictionary as a medium, we can move forward by equating the term supernatural as being: “Of a manifestation or event, attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. ” (Oxford Dictionaries) Whether evil is categorized under human or supernatural events, by definition it is undeniably immoral. That is to say, that the essence of evil itself leaves no wiggle room to be considered anything else, therefore, evil, no matter the source, is immoral.

With that in mind, evil is a fact of life that of mankind must consider, address and overcome. As Viktor Frankl put it, “humans must find meaning in their lives in order to function, and in order to endure evil. ” Ironically enough, most people spend their entire lives searching for a purpose or meaning to their existence, some come to a conclusion (good or bad) while others fail to obtain this objective. All the while, during our search for reason, we encounter countless acts and occurrences of evil.

One could even go as far to say that evil is a more prevalent factor in our lives than our actual purpose. As we consider the degrees of evil, a separation between the supernatural and human causes can ultimately assist future generations prepare a prosperous defense against these acts. For obvious reasons, human causes would be the logical category to effectively combat. Although, it would be impossible to completely safeguard against mankind’s immorality, logical and well organized campaigns surely have substantial potential to mitigate the effects of malevolence.

Take for example, the present state of terroristic acts across the globe, the media never fails to report the atrocious outcomes, yet rarely account for the countless foiled plots which occur day to day. Unfortunately, history has also taught us that immorally reprehensible acts may also come with the proverbial strings of justification attached. This contradiction is one of the most inhuman hypocrisies that can exist. The essence of evil is evil, as much as the essence of an apple is an apple.

That is to say, no matter what size, color or flavor the apple is, it can only be an apple, not an orange, a banana or any fruit, it’s a just an apple. Therefore, regardless of intentions, the fact remains evil acts can only be evil in nature. Taking into account Hitler’s or Hussein’s justifications to commit genocide may have appeared to be a moral defensive measure against immorality, the illusion of righteousness is unmistakably ignorant. At no time should evil be engaged with evil.

The only outcome that exists when such heinous measures are considered and enacted is that evil endured. In other words, if the most righteous person with the most righteous cause inflicted an evil act to combat an evil oppressor, the righteous person and their cause have become evil. Hence the old cliche; two wrongs don’t make a right! In the matters of supernatural evil, bearing in mind, nature is an observable system based on cause and effect that possesses no feelings, opinions, or emotions, therefore can be eliminated from both categories of evil (human and supernatural).

By the same token, with the advancements of technology the majority of natural events can be predicted and in turn defended against. Thus leaving the supernatural to the supernatural, rather, by definition, God and Satan. Although, the passages of the bible mark out the underlining meaning of its revelations, they can easily be subjected to various interpretations. Why does God allow evil to occur? This question has plagued humanity for centuries and continues to remain a contentious vexation to present society.

Acceptance, is the natural first step to overcome any dilemma, for example, addiction problems must first be accepted by individuals before they have any hope to conquer their dependency. Subsequently, just as there can be no logical justification for addiction, only cause, evil can also have no logical justification. Conversely, theologians, atheists and agnostics alike, all tend to render their index fingers at the heavens when “evil” or supernatural events occur. God is responsible for flooding the earth, rendering plagues upon Egypt, commanding Israelites to go to war on multiple occasions.

If a person studies the bible they would learn a trend of cause and effect is resent. In other words, God provided instructions for mankind to abide by and when mankind pushed the boundaries of these instructions God reacted. His reaction, on a far less dramatic scale, could be compared to a parent enacting disciplinary actions on a child, while these actions may appear to be made out of anger, the fact remains that they are to teach valuable lessons and ultimately provide protection for the child’s future.

In the end, as much as we want to understand God’s plans or the events he allows and enacts, we cannot, we must accept this fact in order to have an opportunity at a happy life, free from disparity. As the book of Job recounts; “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. ” (Job. 1:1) This account goes on to indicate that, Satan challenges God by wagering if God allowed him to take away all the protection, wealth and prosperity He blessed Job with, that Job would in turn curse His name.

In the end Job endured the multitude of evil acts Satan afflicted upon him, and refused to deny or curse God. In the end Job was exceptionally rewarded by God for his faith and loyalty. So, the lesson in its simplest form is that life is a test, a test of character, faith, and endurance. Hence, our position should not be to reconcile with God’s will, quite the opposite, we must forgive one another as we wish to be forgiven.