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:
The Human Dimension and Evil

Show Summary Details


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

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.