Making Sense of Evil: An Interdisciplinary Approach by Melissa Dearey

By Melissa Dearey

By way of crime, each person turns out to take evil heavily as an explanatory inspiration - other than criminologists. This publication asks why, and why no longer, via exploring a number of interdisciplinary ways to evil from the views of theology, philosophy, literary and cultural reports, and the social sciences.

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And it would seem that the more power we get, the more prone we are to this weakness to temptation and playing the victim, or simply just surrendering to inaction in the wake of the complexity of evil as we moderns frequently experience it. The more potent human action becomes on the natural and social worlds with the development of science and technology, the more damage—as opposed to benefit—we (often unintentionally) seem to cause. This is the opposite of the optimism characteristic of Enlightenment thinking as a remedy to pre-modern, ‘dark’ ages.

Compare this with the God of the early books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament who dealt with evil in the present moment in a loving and protective way of punishment (much like a committed if frustrated father); this other God tots up infractions for final reward and/or punishment in the afterlife—a much more cold and calculating sort of entity, less interested in relationship, love and care, or the daily work of managing the evils that do and are going to happen within the community when you are dealing with imperfect beings.

For if ambition had not raised man higher than was meet and right, he could have remained in his original state . . Adam so corrupted himself that infection spread from him to all his descendants. Christ himself, 22 Evil in Philosophy, Theology and Religion our heavenly judge, clearly enough proclaims that all men are born wicked and depraved when he says that ‘whatever is born of flesh is flesh’ and therefore the door of life is closed to all until they have been reborn. Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali Indeed, all poverty and loss in this world is a diminution in this world but an increase in the next.

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