Who or What is Most Evil
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Who or What is Most Evil

While I don't think any of the answers are bad or wrong. I must throw my wrench into the mix that 'evil' is our lens into history. We see as ‘evil’ what we find to be in direct transgression of the good. Our understanding of evil is thereby the antithesis of what we find best and most beautiful in life. If we say a murder is evil, then life itself is most precious. If we say that free thought and freedom are most precious something else entirely becomes most evil.

When we ask who is the most evil person or persons in history what is it we are truly asking?  While Joseph Stalin or Adolph Hilter quickly comes up as the most evil we are thinking who is the most violent of dictators.  But, that is not of necessity 'evil' each were men so devoid of the ‘common’ morality that they ordered actions we now deem evil.  Their actions, in their minds, were far from evil; in many ways they knew their actions to be good.  Many of the soldiers and direct ‘actors’ of perpetuated each individual act of so called evil are often given some sort of amnesty due to the banality of evil.  For whatever reason it is often understood that people do more morally reprehensible things as a group.  And in the course of many warrior societies it is often not a choice but to participate or die.  Often, ones family is threatened as well as the warrior’s own life.  We are tempted more to blame the head of state rather than each level of the organization which was capable of perpetuating such human travesty.  So we seem to measure our common knowledge of ‘evil’ as those who harm the most humans or destroy the most human life. 

In our own time we see the tragic fate of Darfur; we cannot find someone to point fingers at yet we know it to be an evil thing, which is being perpetuated.  We stand by.  In times past we did not have the ability to transmit such knowledge across the globe so quickly.  With such knowledge when do we become culpable to our knowledge of evil?  Perhaps we who stand by are evil.  Often we think of the times when ‘we’ fought the evil of the Nazi’s.  Perhaps their rhetoric was similar, had the Nazi’s been victorious would our fate not be relegated to the same slander?  We have always been quick to suspect first and answer questions later in relation to security.  Our racism has been accepted for purposes of necessary security.  Our founding fathers of the United States of America once believed that Freedom itself was the most valuable and necessary single aspect to our great country.  We gluttons of safety… are we not evil?

As our society becomes more and more secularized many are freeing themselves to think as they might, not as their religion wills them.  Many are finding themselves free to live and enjoy with a new sense of everything around them.  To some, this caging of the human animal by religious thought is itself an act against the human.  Perhaps our past spiritualities will soon be seen as in an evil light; that our past conformity, to bygone eras in thought, was a crime against humanity.  We have already experienced unpredictable leaps forward since our enlightenment.  Year by year we can grow exponentially.

It is not easy to track or understand what is evil.  We only know evil as we point it out in the past.  Very few actions can be seen for what they are and are usually never understood as such in the past.  We must remember that humans act for the good.  We act in accordance to our reason and its ability to point us to the ‘best outcome.’  For evil to be perpetuated we must see it in our past actions more than we can understand it in the now.

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Comments (1)

Good and evil have been the lements of destiny. Thank you Jerrod. Hope to avail your friendship and support.