1. In a way I’ve kind of started to avoid using the word ‘evil’ lately, at least when referring to a person. More and more, wording things in terms of right and wrong, beneficial and not beneficial, etc. has made more sense to me. And with people, I’ve been more likely to call them problematic than evil.

    To me, intentions, a being’s identity and future potential matter a lot, and are often what I judge when deciding if the person is good or bad. Everyone does both good or bad things, whether or not they know it, so the person and their behavior should often be separated. Usually I’d be most inclined to say someone is evil either because, in the moment, they made me that angry, or because the person seems to knowingly hurt others for fun or vengeance or whatever, and they can’t stop because it’s within their nature.

    But if it’s truly in a person’s nature and they can’t stop, then that gets into whether or not someone can truly be blamed or hated for something they can’t help. In either case, that’s where viewing someone as a problem instead of evil can come in. Whether or not the person is evil or good, their behavior can still be an issue, and should be looked at in terms of a problem to solve in the most constructive and merciful manner possible.

    • Interesting perspective. I don’t know that the Bible ever calls anyone evil, either. It refers to the wicked and the lawless, and it says all have sinned, that no one is righteous. But evil? I can’t think of an instance when the Bible says people are evil.

      But I tend to think, in fantasy, the over-arching antagonist, the character that is truly evil, such as Jadis or Sauron or Voldemort, aren’t “people” in the sense that humans are. They identify a greater force of evil than any human can deal with. But I wonder if current stories are more “horizontal,” if you will, dealing with people and governments that are nothing more than imaginary and not intended to uncover truth about the spiritual world at all.


      • Hm…I think a lot of stories try to uncover truth about human nature, but whether or not they try to uncover spiritual truth just depends on the story and author. But I think depicting struggles in a more realistic manner and revealing human nature can uncover a lot of truth about the spiritual world, since it can give insight to our interactions with God and other spiritual matters. I don’t have a problem with Jadis and Sauron like villains, but relying on that style of story for spiritual truth can lead to toxic oversimplifications if we aren’t careful.

  2. notleia says:

    Does Halloween celebrate evil?
    I don’t think so. Whatever it was (pagan af), it’s now turned into a subversion holiday (I’m not entirely sure I’m using the right technical word), for highly structured societies to subvert that order and blow off steam.

    • I thought about that too, when I wrote that line. I’d say, it’s moving in that direction. I’ve seen it morph in the US from a holiday that was mostly for kids, with lots of fun and interaction in the community, to one in which kids aren’t safe to participate any more, and mostly parties and decorations and “safe” gatherings mark the way people treat the day. Of course, I don’t know about other places or even other cities. Might be different.

  3. Kinda reminded me about alignments. Could be fun if everyone mentioned their Moral Alignments and why they think of themselves that way. (There’s different ways of defining each alignment, so it’s probably good to include a bit of explanation as to which definition is actually being used) According to this explanation, I’m Chaotic Neutral:


    With a lot of other charts/alignment definitions it seems to be a lot harder to pin down what I actually am, though, so Chaotic Neutral definitely isn’t always a label I’d take.

  4. Travis C says:

    A good reminder of one of my favorite thought exercises: whenever I watch Lord of the Rings, I always want to be Aragorn, but I know deep inside I’m more likely to be a Boromir. That is a sobering thought and makes him one of the more “scary” characters to me. (And of course I mean watching the animated version so I can listen to John Hurt’s excellent Aragorn voice!)

What do you think?