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The Case Against the Existence of Evil

It is easier to explain evil as a deficit of skills and capacities than to attribute evil to some dark, supernatural force.

7 min readFeb 14, 2024


I see the word “evil” everywhere. In the news. In our entertainment. And in social media. The term “evil” has been used to objectify and dehumanize people who do exhibit challenging and unwanted behavior. We often find it difficult to explain acts of evil or people we consider to be evil.

Evil has an interesting definition in the Oxford Dictionary:

The term “evil” connotes a supernatural cause of all hurtful behavior. Notice in the definition above, the relation of evil to supernatural forces. Humans often attribute things they cannot explain to supernatural forces. Evil presents a set of behaviors that are not easily explained by natural forces, so we turn to the heavens and ask why. Ancient people named gods after things they could not explain.

I remember reading long ago in Scientific American, that the oldest known god was named after the water that had been used for storage of grains. Airborne yeast would land in the water…