Chapter

The Human Dimension and Evil

John Kekes

in The Human Condition

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199588886
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191595448 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588886.003.0007
The Human Dimension and Evil

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The prevalence of evil is the most serious problem for the human dimension of values. An action is evil if it causes serious harm to innocent people and it is deliberate, malevolently motivated, and morally unjustifiable. The secular problem of evil is to explain why evil is prevalent. Four inadequate explanations are discussed and rejected, including the Enlightenment‐inspired secular faith. It holds that much evil is the result of ideological indoctrination that people uncritically accept because it permits them to express the part of their ambivalent nature that is normally under the control of law and morality.

Keywords: evil; ideology; moral monsters; secular faith; human ambivalence; secular problem of evil; explanations of evil

Chapter.  8082 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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