Is destruction evil? Why do we attribute destruction, death, and all that as evil all the time? Let us try to think about that question.
How about when someone passes away? Is it evil? Is it bad? We feel a longing feeling or sadness for whoever passes away, especially if they are important in our life, or have been a significant part of our life. When we build the time with others, no matter how good or bad it is, and when they pass away, it feels like something is taken away from us. I'm not talking about a hostage-kidnapper relationship. I am talking about a two-way relationship, such that both parties have a sense of ownership of each other. Am I saying that we should not feel bad about people passing away? No. It's just that maybe we should not view death as wholly evil, or as something entirely bad.
In mathematics, if we multiply a negative number by a negative number, we get a positive number. The same goes with life. We remove bad things so that only the good ones are left. When a man is hunted by a beast, and the only option left is to face it through bloodshed, is that evil? There is pain and death, but was the man who, if he kills the beast who plans to hurt him, evil? Also, in that sense, shall we say that the beasts in nature, especially the whole predator-prey relationship in the animal kingdom, are they evil?
So, what is evil exactly? When does something become evil? Who judges and qualifies something as evil? When and where did "evil" in the Christian biblical texts start or originate, anyway? If I am correct, the first time it has been mentioned was as a description of a particular tree in the book of Genesis -- the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the one that man ate, particularly Adam and Eve. In that sense, is it only man who qualifies as perpetrators of evil? The beasts did not eat of the fruit, or we do not know but they haven't really been told not to eat of the fruit of the Tree. Whatever commands the Creator gave to them, even those that may be unknown to us, it is their concern.
It must also be noted that in the book of Genesis, evil was only used to describe or to name a particular tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden. It did not have any exact definition. So, where did the description originate anyway? Did it exist even before the writing of the book of Genesis, which was written by Moses? Must it be that in his writing, evil already had existed, but was not defined either in text, or in a specific sense? Was it known as just an essence? What is it really?
Back to the animal kingdom. Are they excluded from evil? Well, at least let's take into consideration that the "evil" we are talking about is the man's concept of evil. Do they have their own concept or knowledge of evil? Are the able to hold knowledge? Well, if their description or kind of knowledge is their instincts, or something that they alone hold, I believe they are capable of knowledge. But, about their knowledge being compatible with the type of knowledge that man possesses, that I do not know, but I highly doubt as of the moment.
So, what is evil? Why do we judge something as evil? What is our basis? Us be an atheist or a theist, how do we define evil? How do we "discern" something to be evil in the first place? What gives us discernment of evil? Or, for that matter, "who" gives us the meaning of evil, if not what? And, I would like to ask if every human being believes in evil in the first place -- or knows of its existence, whether accepted or denied. Or, at the lack of it, is it because of ignorance, and yet despite ignorance, is there still a sort of intuition telling one's self that there is something that exists in the metaphysical plane that perfectly fits the description of those who know the word "evil"?
Take for example infinite circumstances of evil. When there are natural calamities. When there are deaths. When there is destruction. When there is judgment of someone doing "evil" acts, and damnation unto death. When an act such as those that do not fit our customs or modern practices, to the point of gruesomeness and unconventionality or "immorality" are committed. When there are outbreaks of diseases. When there is war. When there is darkness. When there is no light.
Who defines evil? How is it identified? Can we quantify evil? What is evil?
I did a Google search about "what is evil?", and what I found the most interesting was the following question -- "What is evil? Does it exist within our selves or does it originate from a force that is beyond our control?6"
Here are some of the links of the cloud searches I have found after writing this blog: