Are All Evil Acts Equally Evil?

Photo taken by me – Question Mark
Preston, England
November 28, 2015 9:39pm CST
Is every burglary or theft both immoral and evil? No. Theft of bread for someone starving or to feed children might be seen as desperate necessitation – stealing cash or sellable jewellery, the TV set, etc. can be seen as an economic shortcut – immoral but not necessarily evil. Stealing a family photo album of no financial worth just to spitefully deprive the owner of its sentimental value might be seen as motiveless and therefore evil. Others might see any theft as evil. Someone murdering a partner in rage over infidelity is clearly not as evil as dismembering eight strangers chosen at random, or going on a shooting spree on a school campus. The motives and kinds of evil involved seem to be different too. Similarly the home defender turned vigilante might be enraged enough to see crucifying the intruder in the cellar as proportionate action as a warning to others not to attack his home as his castle again while others might see this as over-reaction and excess. Our instincts may well lie to us. We might not even stop or listen to the unarmed surrendering captured intruder’s heart-breaking sincere explanation and repentant apology before battering him with a breeze block. We are all moral creatures but our moral priorities are different – which rules apply? British soccer football, Australian Rules Football, American Football, Rugby union or league? Until we have a level playing field and all sing from the same song-book ethics is going to remain just as highly subjective and even competitive as any sport. We are all striving to be moral but not all in the same way. Even evil is similarly different in different situations – Jack The Ripper and Hitler are both rightly deemed evil but what they did and what drove them is very different and beyond just the number of people they hurt and killed. Good and evil are diverse and complex – it is never going to happen in a one size fits all design and trying to impose one on us as religious moralists often do might itself count as evil. Arthur Chappell
11 people like this
8 responses
@TRBRocks420 (66850)
• Banks, Oregon
29 Nov 15
No there are different degrees of evil for sure, like Jack The Ripper, Hitler, Charles Manson, pure homicidal maniacs right there, as bad as it gets.
4 people like this
@jstory07 (61261)
• Roseburg, Oregon
29 Nov 15
Charles Manson is pure evil and he should be locked up for life. there is probably different degrees of evil.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (131492)
• Switzerland
29 Nov 15
I agree with you, even immoral acts can be justified, especially the theft of food to feed children (or elders), or killing someone to protect a beloved one. The law cannot be the same for everybody, because every case is different.
2 people like this
• Lucknow, India
29 Nov 15
Adding to the point of @TRBRocks every person has a different line where they think beyond this evil exists!! For certain strict vegans, non veg is evil, for a certain religion, anything beyond the norms is evil, but then again when we talk about the people committing crime, it is true that some may be out of necessity and others out of hatred but it is not good!! Morality has escaped the logic of a common man and this is one of the reasons for the evil incidents to rise!!
2 people like this
@Gr8bit (177)
• Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
29 Nov 15
Excellent post, even someone stealing bread to feed a child can be seen as an evil because their pride stopped them asking a friend, neighbour or church for help? Then again selling bread at such a high price for profit can be seen as evil :-) I think we live in a world where the leaders or people in power, almost force people to do evil. I have not read into the background of Hitler or Manson but if you look at serial killers there is always something someone else does that sparks the evil inside. The most perceived evil people right now are ISIS but are they all? Even the 14yo's that joined, I think not or Hitlers German citizens? Or Mansons followers? I think a lot of gullible people get dragged into following evil
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
29 Nov 15
very true Martin, German soldiers in WW2 were by no means all Nazis - many were just trained fighting men doing their duty - as you indicate many followers are brainwashed by ideology too - outright villainy is not unknown but quite rare
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
23 Mar 16
@Gr8bit to follow others too blindly amounts to an abanment of personal moral decision making - they become your conscience for you which should never be allowed
@garymarsh6 (12768)
• United Kingdom
23 Mar 16
There is different degrees of evil.I would not call theft of a loaf of bread Evil but for someone who is hungry probably is on the lowest spectrum of being bad.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (56862)
• Pleasant Hill, California
19 Mar 16
Agreed. Not all evil is equal.
1 person likes this
@cacay1 (32401)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
29 Nov 15
A crime or act of man made illegal, unlawful, immoral if done a mortal sin punishable by law and God.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (108508)
• Bunbury, Australia
29 Nov 15
This is very true and what is punishment for one, say, burglary, is not necessarily appropriate for another.
1 person likes this