Why there may be no such thing as “evil”… and why that should scare the hell out of us!


The action of choice brought about via motivation necessarily originates from an intention of striving toward something better: one’s current state is not as desirable as an imagined future state that may or may not presumably include acts of hate or love; this is the condition and continuum of human action & change.

The movement toward a changed state requires decision to move toward something – the movement you make is an action of emotion. Emotion (the inner guidance system of our experience) leads us to think, speak, and act in particular ways to gain or possess or become something closer to that which we consider an ideal. Our ideal falls on a spectrum that ranges in degree of social and cultural expectation and adaptation. Choices of “evil” are, therefore, results of the decision to move toward a preferred end-state: this “end-state“, being preferred, is by definition – at least as understood in the moment of decision – “good”.

Why should that scare us? Well, the fact that we view evil as bad and good as good is very convenient. Any conceptualization outside that paradigm will shake the foundation of certainty that builds and organizes our lives as individuals and groups. When we take away the blinders that separate so succinctly the polarities of “good” and “bad”, the astonishing terror is that these two poles are reflections and emanations of the same fundamental reality: a view not captured by either the stance of moral relativism or the stance moral absolutism.

But, then again…

Practically speaking, we all know “evil” when we see it — and we should turn the other way.

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