What is Evil?

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What is Evil?

The Opposition
I hear the word evil a lot on this forum, but honestly I'm not sure what it means except to be anti-moral. I've heard murderers and the architects of aggressive genocide called evil, and most people seem to agree. In my thinking this would be because murder is immoral, aggressive genocide is immoral, and thus committing the act is evil.

So to know evil, one must know what is, and is not, moral.

So let me lay out what I think the basic four possibilities are for moral universes that we may live in.

1) Morality Doesn't Exist

Morality can still be a useful concept but ultimately acts are not fundamentally right or wrong. This is the relatively simple universe of "Might Makes Right" in which laws and moral principles' legitimacy is bought by the power and will to enforce them.

It's worth noting that even in this universe, laws and principles should be consistent if the goal is to get people to obey them. There's nothing wrong with a (quite correct in my opinion) set of ethics in which white people don't have rights, but everyone does have to know that or white people will mistakenly defend themselves from aggression thinking they do have rights.

2) Morality is Subjective

This is a Star Trek style universe in which the greatest attainable morality is to leave everybody alone because even though each society (or even each person; nobody ever took subjective morality that far lol) is correct despite fundamental and irresolvable disagreements about morality. If some people believe wearing blue should be a crime, so be it; leave them alone. If some people believe insults earn death, so be it; leave them alone and let them kill people for insulting them.

A critical thinker will quickly realise where this falls apart. If the fellow who says "you insulted me, you die" is automatically correct, then when his victim says, "no, I don't deserve to die" isn't he also correct, so can't you defend him? This reverts in practice to might-makes-right because the "enlightened" people simply have to leave the mighty people alone.

3) The Laws of Morality are Written Into the Fabric of the Universe

This is a C. S. Lewis style universe in which morality simply is, and God can exist as a manifestation of that morality. If you believe murder is always wrong, you believe in this universe.

The moral laws of this universe cannot be changed. They are as immutable and irrevocable as the laws of physics, and perhaps more so. This is the first universe in which a true God can exist. The previous universes can have very powerful entities that happen to be nice, or ones that can cause people to live on after death in hells or heavens they create, but they aren't true gods because they have nothing to do with morality.

4) Some Being or Beings Have the Right to Dictate Morality to Other Beings

In this universe, a fully actualised God with total free will can exist that dictates morality to mortals. It can also be the case that some mortals are either born inherently better than other mortals, or somehow become better, and have the right to dictate right and wrong for the lesser mortals.

If God can have that authority over mortals by some virtue, by some way in which he is better than they are, I see no contradiction in some mortals having it over other mortals. Clearly most humans think they have the right to kill and eat animals. So, they must believe, they, by virtue of their greater intellect and understanding of the nature of rights, have rights the animals do not have. (Reference: https://mises.org/library/rights-animals )

Extending this further I see absolutely nothing wrong with Jews believing that white people are animals. I believe them to be correct. If they did not have superior understanding they would not wield the power and influence they do. You will have trouble defining white people as human and someone born with just a brain stem as meat, and if you go the route of saying it's by the species and has nothing to do with understanding or intelligence, you will unfortunately conclude that a dead body has just the same rights as a living one, but that a fully conscious and intelligent person that has speciated (can't reproduce with other humans, perhaps because of extra or fewer chromosomes, or perhaps because of mere sterility) does not have rights.

All interpretations but the one of libertarians are problematic, and that interpretation does not preclude stupid people (like white people) from being excluded from being human.