Practical non theological definition of Evil


The following post by sage source at Daily Kos is definitely worth reading. Notwithstanding the criticism of Jarod Diamond, the writer restates some truths penned by Xunzi, Malthus, and the guy who wrote the Lucifer Principle.

What the human animal often calls evil is folks acquiring resources and living as comfortably as they can which, of course, unavoidably leads to competition and/or fighting. Most people can not believe our existence is this abject, so they turn to religion or belief in some higher power or drugs/alcohol to cope/self-deceive.

You don’t like consumer culture and so you wish it would disappear. Unfortunately for you, you’re in a very small and perpetually disappointed minority. Two thousand years ago, the Chinese Confucian philosopher Xunzi held that evil  is present in the world because human desires are limitless, but materials to satisfy those desires are limited. Even if there were only two people in the world, sooner or later they would come to blows about something. And I’m sure if you looked, you’d find that he had many forerunners in different world cultures. But very few people ever listen to them.  What goods that culture is based on may change, but the love human beings have for bling will endure. It is absolutely universal, except for cultures that are so tightly controlled by some tradition or religion that very few of us would want any part of them.  And I guess you missed the diary a while back that eviscerated Jarod Diamond as a shallow and formulaic thinker. It isn’t wise to base any argument on him at all.  Modern society could(definitely would) collapse, of course. It didn’t come with a guarantee. But if it does, I’d give heavy odds that it will be from a surprise cause. It’s the one  you don’t hear coming that gets you.



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  1. Ayn Rand had the simplest non-God based definition of evil which she described in her slender tome titled The Virtue of Selfishness. Evil with respect to any living organism is anything that interferes with its survival. If every living thing was like an indestructible robot, then evil would not be a concept and there would be no need for Gods, morality, ethics, or religion. We are evil to cock roaches because we spend a lot of time trying to kill them, but cock roaches are evil to humans because they spread disease. Matthew Simpson of inexplicably has a very low opinion of the late dogmatic, capitalistic, atheistic philosopher from Russia. Not sure why Simpson denounce her…..Perhaps her looks. Maybe Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead were too long for him?

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