via http://ift.tt/2etn8Fq:
“Evil is … Well, that’s a complicated question. People, situations, they can be harmful, can oppose you or put themselves in opposition to you without being ‘evil’. Ignorance, carelessness, pain directed outward, loyalty, need, hunger, anger - there’s always a reason, however good or bad.

It’s comforting to say something pat and simple like 'evil is form of endless greed’, 'evil is intent to harm’, but -

Picture this. You are responsible for a small country. Your farmland has soured, your people are starving. Your neighbors to the west have arable land, that you have tried to buy from them without effect. Is it evil, to invade and steal their land? Is evil not to?

It seems dangerous, to label anything as 'evil’. Call it a threat, name it as a cause of harm. But 'evil’ is final, in a way. It shuts down empathy, keeps us from asking why someone does what they do. And we may miss when we are the ones doing harm through ignorance or lack of care, because we think we must or because we don’t see our enemies as people.

I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know if there is an answer. But I find myself suspicious of those with a too-ready answer to the question.”

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lectorel

November 2016

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