Evil as Distinction
Updated: May 21
I don't know how true it is, but I don't think that animals are evil. They don't commit acts of infamy for the sake of infamy. However, people in general can be very evil, whether they admit it or not, especially if their actions are "justified" by conformity. Even Adolf Eichmann justified his actions by admitting that he was just following orders.
Animals are, perhaps, likely to not commit actions for the sake of evil, but for the sake of survival. People, on the other hand, can be the exact opposite, especially if their actions are supported and approved, which is an encouragement. This is the potential of evil that can be the product of the human social nature, in a system that won't necessarily see beyond the treatment of carrot and stick.
Corruption, either, might not exist within the intentions of an animal. If they commit something bad, they do not necessarily do so for the sake of being bad, but for either following their socially-unaccepted instincts or for not being disciplined enough, but probably not for the sake of being corrupt and dysfunctional.
Cats, for example, don't ruin sofas for the sake of destruction, but for the sake of expressing their instincts. Thus, even if their deeds are bad, animals surely don't do so for the sake of being evil, and so the intention at hand should be understood.
People, on the other hand, even when they are aware of the norms and have learned the local morality of good and bad, can nonetheless still be evil, and are likely to be so even more than animals, at least as far as I know. We as humanity are, after all, the causers of many atrocities, both for animals and towards our own kind, from torturing our fellow beings to genocides.
I have never witnessed an animal torturing another animal, not before my eyes, nor on nature documentaries.
Even if they kill a fellow animal, they don't do so for the sake of killing and bloodlust, but for the sake of surviving in a system that is based on the survival of the fittest.
And indeed one of our many achievements as humanity is that we have built a world where in many parts of it, the precursor law of the fittest surviving the most, is non-existent, as there are governments that are willing to raise the tax percentage for the sake of providing welfare to the more unfortunate.
This is to show that the law of the survival of the fittest is not as dominant in human society as in the animal kingdom, and thus not necessarily a proper justification for humans as for animals, as animals in the wilderness don't have governments.
Thus, what differs us from animals is our higher potential to act much more maliciously without proper justification, and conformity itself isn't a proper justification for that, because the existence of a phenomenon doesn't mean that it should be continued in one's actions, as presented in Eichmann's sentence.
Nazi Germany itself was built on extreme conformity, and nowadays it is considered one of the most evil political entities to have ever existed. Such an entity with the equivalent degree of evil in the animal kingdom, is unlikely to have ever existed.