There is no debate that the majority of human beings would agree that “evil” is something that is not good both morally, socially, spiritually, politically, or in any other context. The definition of the word evil is dependent on the distinct context in which the word may be used. For example, in a religious context, some thing evil is defined or viewed from a perspective of emancipating from unnatural forces, mainly the demonic forces. In the normal world, evil is perceived from people’s action towards others and their surroundings. For instance, it is viewed evil to end the life of another individual for no good reason apart from when it is accomplished in self-defense. Evil has been existing since time immemorial and continues to exist within every society in the universe. Therefore, the word itself can be described as the opposite of the desired good and the needs of people. Moreover, many will agree that the suffering of individuals starts from something evil being done.
Evil exists in three distinct forms: physical, moral, and metaphysical. Physical evil is anything that happens to the physical body of a person causing harm to their body either through an injury or everything that deters the person from achieving their full potentials. On the other hand, moral evil originates from deviation from human volition or moral actions that are against the human course. Metaphysical evils exist in the world of spirits where there are human limitations. For example, witchcraft and sorcery are considered evil actions. Furthermore, such evil actions are invoked from the unnatural world and are meant to cause harm to people. Initially, evil was attributed to God and many believed he allowed it to excel as part of humans. Modern conceptions of evil were developed in the attempt to stop blaming God for the state of the world and take responsibility for it on our own (Neiman 4).
Usually, something evil is a not cosmic accident and does not happen just by chance. For something to be considered evil, it must have its origin from a conscious perspective. For example, in religion view, evil comes from a conscious point of the dark spirits or the devil. In the common world where spirits are not involved, evil exists due to the conscious acts of people. They commit actions that are unacceptable and meant to cause harm to their fellow humanities purposely for personal gain or objectives. From this point of view, evil is not just an idea but a deliberate action causing harm to an individual or a group. It originates from a selfish act that is inconsiderate, irresponsible and shows no remorse for the action taken. Morrow believes that evil evolves as human actions evolve (2003, 4).
Evidentially, evil is the violation of the common good or what is best for people. It is essentially clear that evil is the direct opposite of what is expected. Evil is a negative attribute of human activities committed to other creatures or nature. Evil defines human actions in relations to others, the environment, and nature. This relationship is explored from the undesirable point of view or what is considered not right. For example, it is evil dump toxic waste to a river when other people or animals benefit from the same river. This example shows the connection of human actions toward nature.
In conclusion, the word evil is a distinctive definition of what is bad according to the humanity. It entails actions that are unacceptable because of their nature of harming others or nature. Evil takes different forms and each of them relates to humans in a different way. However, what remains clear is that evil is unacceptable action by humans to the surrounding world.
Morrow, Lance. Evil: An Investigation. New York: Basic Books, 2003.
Neiman, Susan. Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy. Princeton [u.a.: Princeton Univ. Press, 2004.