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What Is The Definition Of Evil In Today's Society? Why Does God, If He Exists, Allow Catastrophes To Occur?

1672 words - 7 pages

The question, after millennia of pondering, still remains: what about evil? More so in the modern era, people have been questioning about whether there is a clear definition of evil or not. It is difficult to determine where one can draw the fine line that divides evil from non-evil. In this article, Ron Rosenbaum attempts to answer the questions of what people consider to be evil, and why does God, if He exists, allow for so many catastrophes to occur? With so many different kinds of people, each with their own ideas, it is difficult to say that there lies a bridge leading back to a universal view of evil; but instead, it can be said that everyone has his own perspective on the definition of evil and the religious beliefs that follow it, or lack thereof.Rosenbaum witnesses many ways people deal with devastation and explores their logic. In writing the article, Rosenbaum seems to assume that evil does exist in one way or another; it was the question of how is it defined, that the article helps to answer. He delves into the problem of choosing between evil and misled, where a distinguished Hitler scholar, "could not bring himself to pronounce Hitler consciously, knowingly evil." However, in an event of a murder of a 2-year-old boy by two 10-year-old Liverpool boys, the newspapers did not hesitate to call it, "UNPARALLELED EVIL." And there, Rosenbaum states, herein lies the problem of defining evil where, "10-year-old boys can be pronounced evil, wicked to the highest degree, but not Hitler." Furthermore, still extant is the mental illness excuse. Most people agree that Jeffrey Dahmer is undoubtedly insane; however, it is uncertain whether that mere fact should spare him the proper consequences of cold-blooded murders or not. For someone so sick, so convoluted, the issue becomes somewhat questionable. Conversely, the general public did not hesitate to call the people who were selling Jeffrey Dahmer trading cards repulsive, perhaps even worse than Dahmer himself. Rosenbaum then moves on to the topic of "malignant wickedness," or "cold blooded evil for evil's sake," which seems to be the only incontrovertible definition of evil. He also explains Socrates' point of view where people only commit misdeeds unknowingly, in other words, that evil does not exist supposing that the definition of evil is wickedness. On the other hand, most of the people mentioned that had a faith seem to believe that evil exists, though some of their definitions were not expletively stated. The article points out many theodicies of varying degrees of feasibility following them. One theodicy, about Susan Smith's murder of her children states that God needed to liven up heaven so he "plucked" (murdered), the children to add to His own "garden." This leads one to wonder since when God was so egocentric. Furthermore, people like the Angel Man seem to agree that God is always in control, saying that the seemingly evil events that occur are all for the greater good, as if He truly...

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