Does evil exist and if so, in what way?

Hitler is referred to as being evil. I think he was just hateful. Vlad the Impaler liked for victims to suffer a long and painful death. Is that evil? Are animal abusers and serial killers evil or just deviant? I'm beginning to think evil is a hoax. In the absence of religion, is evil relevant?

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Yes, but when you use "evil" to mean "a bad" you're really not using that particular tool in its common fashion. Especially since the sun doesn't consciously take any action and is completely amoral.
True enough.

But I feel justified describing Hitler as evil, and in the moral sense.

It conveys what I intend, and I think it does so without implying some moral absolute. I do not think that just because I use the term evil to describe Hitler, the Sun or Ryan Seacrest means I am invoking some spiritual absolute any more than when I describe Megan Fox as beautiful. Even if I describe Megan Fox as more beautiful than Gary Busey, I am not implying that Aphrodite exists as an absolute beauty.

Just because a theist uses a term in a certain way does not mean I must adhere to their standards. In fact, I refuse.

nonbeliever: Of course.
Good question. Is evil just another name for bad actions that hurt oneself and others? defines evil as an adjective that means "morally wrong or bad". In that context, evil is just a label. However, as a noun, it is defined as "the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin." In that context, I don't believe evil exists (nor sin for that matter).
NO! Evil is the same as any other opinion. It dependes on how one looks at the issue. Hitler was first praised by poop pios while he was winning the war and invading everything, but once he started loosing the war pope pios changed his tune. Vlad the Impailer felt justified in his cruelty being a tiny country constantly under threat of invasion. Had to put up a strong immage. Animal abusers and serial killers are found to have mental problems that has gone untreated.
There are THREE sides to every issue, one side is pure bad, the other side is pure good, but people forget the THIRD and most important side, the middle ground. the ability to see past the hysteria and find the common motive for the action in the first place.
In the absence of religion, evil means NOTHING. As well as RIGHTEOUSNESS, PURE, AMORAL, ect. None bares any relevance what so ever.
So there are no morals without religion?

I'm afraid I don't follow you. If 'AMORAL', and, by implication, 'MORAL' is meaningless without religion, why aren't all athiests serial killers?

Because we have empathy for our fellow man. Because we know that, by respecting another's rights, we imply our own. These are the basis of morality. Religion has had, and has always had, jack to do with the whole thing.

I assume you are talking about Pope Pious. The man was, in short, a hypocrite. When Hitler was winning, then all was good, and when Hitler starts losing, then he is bad, then you know you're talking about a person with no morals whatsoever. All you do by bringing his name into this is prove my point. Religion has jack to do with morals. A person can be pure and be non-religious. A person can be righteous and not be religious. Regardless of what you may have been taught, right and wrong do exist.

Religion was never about defining evil or good, it was always about the fictions that evil is always punished and good is always rewarded.
No. Evil cannot be quantified and never is. No reason is given for why one thing or person is more evil than another in most cases where one of them is said to be more evil than the other. Hitler isn't "three times as evil as Mussolini" or whatever; no constant of proportionality can or will ever be honestly and meaningfully drawn up comparing the evil of two evil things.

In addition to the inconsistencies within systems that use the "evil(noun)" function, the inconsistencies between systems that use the "evil" function points beyond reasonable doubt to inconsistencies within the "evil" function itself. The inconsistencies that are found from empirical observations between sufficiently different standards of evil indicate that the "evil" function is exactly as consistent as Mr. Yahweh. Looking at this with a mind open to the possibility of having been wrong, the image of evil wiggles, shimmers, and collapses out of existence, a pure a illusion.

Furthermore, going beyond killing it, burying it, the paradigm of good-and-evil is explained entirely well through evolutionary psychology as a useful social approximation meaning "Do this." and "Don't do this." respectively. Being as useful as it was to group cohesion, groups containing it were more fruitful and stable, leading to its eventual proliferation to everywhere in the developing human race. Perception of evil is a useful trait; whether it's there is questionable.
Why must one deny the "concept" of a definable word? Is it objection to the word "moral" in the definition? If so, why? morals are merely rules of conduct towards other human beings. Evil is harmful, injurous conduct towards another person or people. There is no doubt that the word in common language exists nor the concept as it is defined. Nor is there doubt that individuals intent on malicious endeavors have and do also exist. Any other argument would seem to be philosophical and not literal. Are we trying to justify the removal of the word from discourse or the act from modernity? Or maybe I've missed the point and purpose of this discussion.


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