RE: The Nature of Evil

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  • Created by: Lilly_B
  • Created on: 03-05-15 14:57
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  • RE: The Nature of Evil
    • Overview
      • 'Evil' is a word often used to describe a horrible event or terrible crime, something that has caused great harm - e.g. Hitler or Stalin who ordered the death of millions
      • Most people area mixture of bad & good - even murderers with life sentences have the ability to be kind
      • Many massacres & genocides have been ordered by people who genuinely thought they were doing the best for thir country
      • An evil act suggests a deliberate cruelty done in the full knowledge that it is wrong
    • Some people think that evil is an impersonal force that draws people into doing wrong - like a magnet drawing people into performing tasks harmful to others as well as themselves
      • Alcoholics may describe their addiction as a force beyond their control; something pulls them back into their habit even though they should resist it
      • When things go wrong & it causes suffering & things don't seem to make sense, people often feel that there is an impersonal force at work that is beyond reason & the ability of humans to influence it to stop
    • Other people would describe evil as personal being or devil who causes people to sin - in Judaism, Christianity, & Islam, Satan is the source of all evil, a malevolent being who is the opposite to the Benevolent God
      • The devil is seen as someone who tries to trick people into doing wrong - just as God is seen as personal, so is Satan who is thought to be a supernatural being & an enemy of mankind
        • Most people today no longer believe in the devil pictured as a medieval horned beast surrounded by fire, but people still believe in a personal being who represents the struggle between good & evil in life
    • Some people may think that evil is a psychological phenomenon influenced by an individuals upbringing o society in general, & perhaps resulting in a damaged mind - family circumstances vary but the way someone i brought up moulds who they become
      • Young people can also be influenced by friends & may act under peer pressure, even when they know that its wrong & society itself influences the way that people act, especially the emphasis on how important riches & fame are
        • In the case of a horrific crime taking place, we look at a persons background to explain, but not to excuse, their behaviour & whether it is down to their sanity or lack of morality to make their acts more or less excusable


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