The Meaning of Evil

People aren’t born evil. They are made evil by their upbringing. This is a popular opinion that you’ve probably heard before, and probably have yourself. The real question people aren’t asking, though, is what defined “evil” in society.

An opinion I have heard before, and am contemplating myself, is this: people are evil if the do bad things just to do them, but if they do bad things because they believe they are right in their actions and for a certain reason, then they are not evil. That is, they don’t consider themselves evil, while others may. By this definition, evil is relative, and it’s definition turns grey. People have different moral values, and, with the opinion explained before, means that evil must have countless different meanings.

But now, the opposite. While still using the explained opinion, good must be defined as what the person believes is right. An individual may believe that what they are doing is right in every way, and will make things better, while another may see the individual as wrong, and believe that what they are seeing is evil.

When brought up the real world, this opinion sparks more then controversy. Let’s take the most infamously evil person in the world, Adolf Hitler. He honestly believed that killing people of Jewish faith would help his own German people. This, of course, was monstrous to everyone else. But he believed that what he was doing was just, and it was for the best. In his own mind, he was not evil. In our minds, he was.

There is still a small sliver of black though, as I stated before, a person is evil if they do the evil thing just to do it. Kill for the thrill of the kill. Stalk for the sake of the stalking, or stealing for the rush of the steal.

This altogether leaves a debate questionable in itself about what evil means to each individual. What’s your opinion on the matter? Is evil a blur or clear black and white?


Feel free to offer critique or encouragement.

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