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How Evil Is Distinct in Humans

Updated: Jun 25

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The Article Itself

I don't know how true it is, but I don't think that animals are evil, as the concept of animal-related evil remains elusive and not absolute. They don't commit acts of malice for the sake of malice, while some humans actually enjoy causing malice and mischief, as with the example of psychopaths and sadists.

Psychopaths specifically may cause malice as a means to an end, and would feel no remorse for executing their schemes over the pain of others. That's how the cold-heartedness existent in some humans can cause a great deal of immorality: When the goal necessitates it.

However, when succumbing to hedonism, 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.

But should we use fun or the norms as the justification to commit evil in this world? And yes, when you're having fun while doing evil, you're being evil by the fact that you benefit psychologically from the suffering of others. Follow evil orders, and not only you'll be enabling evil, but supporting it as an accomplice. Evil is often most optimal when done by organizations, and not by sole individuals.

Animals are, perhaps, likely to not commit actions for the sake of evil, but for the sake of survival. According to Kaiser Basileus' "Theory of Everything", evil is necessarily done by intent. Whether or not animals are capable of committing evil for the purpose of malice is not completely known.

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. It's not for the sake of being corrupt and dysfunctional. An untrained dog may cause much harm to your house, but dogs are good hearted by nature. It's written in their genes, to be good. But it doesn't mean they can't commit small-time bad actions unintentionally. The same could be with many pets.

Animals may be dysfunctional not because of ill-intent but because they are pretty much enslaved to their instincts, as instincts "drive almost all behavior in the animal kingdom". Arguably, only the smartest species can override their instincts and learned behavior. So, if an animal may do something, whether good or evil by human standards, it's not usually done by moral intent, but by instinct.

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 be evil. They are likely to be so even more than animals, thanks to people's ability to cooperate and create large-scale organizations. And as we know, collaborations, not inner-organizational competitions, increase productivity.

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, our moral sins as a race are large and ever expanding. Animals are not as evil as we are for the sole reason of not being able to cause as many deaths as we did. They just don't have the power to do it.

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. That's because 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, originally coined by philosopher Herbert Spencer, is not as dominant in human society as in the animal kingdom. Thus, not necessarily a proper justification for humans as for animals, as animals in the wilderness don't have these large scale organizations capable of providing welfare to their own members.


What differs us from animals is our higher potential to act much more maliciously without proper moral justification, and conformity itself isn't a proper justification for that. Instead, conformity is a reason, a cause for large-scale maximization of pain and suffering for the sake of some kind of profit (as even fun can be considered, in this case, "profit").

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.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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