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On the concept of evil


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On the concept of evil an analysis of genocide and state sovereignty
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Campbell, Jason J
University of South Florida
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Tampa, Fla
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Mass murder
Dissertations, Academic -- Philosophy -- Doctoral -- USF   ( lcsh )
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ABSTRACT: The history of ideas and contemporary genocide studies conjointly suggests a meaningful secular conception of evil. I will show how the history of ideas supplies us with a cumulative pattern, or an eventual gestalt, of the sought-for conception of universal secular evil. This gestalt is a result of my examination of the history of ideas. The historical analysis of evil firmly grounds my research in the tradition of philosophical inquiry, where I shift the focus from the problem of evil, which is indebted to theological discourse, to an analysis of the concept of evil. Next, I show how this gestalt applies to genocide studies. Specifically, I show how a secular concept of evil meaningfully functions in this research program. The examination of genocide studies serves as a test-bed for the fruit of my historical examination. There, I show, first, in what way a secular notion of evil is irreducible, or elementary; second, how the concept used in genocide studies compares to the cumulative historical pattern; and third, in what way genocide studies have progressively enriched the pattern. Armed with these results, I then engage with the contemporary literature that criticizes the possibility of a meaningful concept of evil, and attempts to reduce this notion of secular evil to relativistic particulars. Here, I describe relevant arguments and objections. It is interesting to explore whether, and if so, how, some aspects of the objections may lend themselves to an actual refinement of the concept of evil. Finally, then, I present a summary account of evil on the basis of my findings.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
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by Jason J. Campbell.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 233 pages.
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Includes vita.

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On the concept of evil :
b an analysis of genocide and state sovereignty
h [electronic resource] /
by Jason J. Campbell.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 233 pages.
Includes vita.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
3 520
ABSTRACT: The history of ideas and contemporary genocide studies conjointly suggests a meaningful secular conception of evil. I will show how the history of ideas supplies us with a cumulative pattern, or an eventual gestalt, of the sought-for conception of universal secular evil. This gestalt is a result of my examination of the history of ideas. The historical analysis of evil firmly grounds my research in the tradition of philosophical inquiry, where I shift the focus from the problem of evil, which is indebted to theological discourse, to an analysis of the concept of evil. Next, I show how this gestalt applies to genocide studies. Specifically, I show how a secular concept of evil meaningfully functions in this research program. The examination of genocide studies serves as a test-bed for the fruit of my historical examination. There, I show, first, in what way a secular notion of evil is irreducible, or elementary; second, how the concept used in genocide studies compares to the cumulative historical pattern; and third, in what way genocide studies have progressively enriched the pattern. Armed with these results, I then engage with the contemporary literature that criticizes the possibility of a meaningful concept of evil, and attempts to reduce this notion of secular evil to relativistic particulars. Here, I describe relevant arguments and objections. It is interesting to explore whether, and if so, how, some aspects of the objections may lend themselves to an actual refinement of the concept of evil. Finally, then, I present a summary account of evil on the basis of my findings.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Co-advisor: Martin Schnfeld, Ph.D.
Co-advisor: Professor Edward Kissi, Ph.D.
Mass murder
Dissertations, Academic
x Philosophy
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856


On the Concept of Evil: An Analysis of Genocide and State Sovereignty by Jason J. Campbell A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Philosophy College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Co-Major Professor Martin Schnfeld, Ph.D. Co-Major Professor Edward Kissi, Ph.D. Charles Guignon, Ph.D. Stephen Turner, Ph.D. Date of Approval: May 1, 2009 Keywords: mass murder, holocaust, terrorism, violence, politicide Copyright 2009, Jason J. Campbell


i Table of Contents Abstract iii Introduction v Chapter 1 1 1.1. The Historical Approach to Evil 1 1.2. Confucian Conceptions of Evil: 551-301 BCE 2 1.3. Daoist Conceptions of Evil 13 1.4. Prescoratic Conceptions of Evil: 535-430 BCE 21 1.5. Socratic Conceptions of Evil: 424 BCE210 CE 28 1.6. Hindu Mysticism and the Concept of Evil 33 1.7. Medieval Conceptions of the Problem Evil: 160-1274 CE 36 1.8. Early Modern Conceptions of Evil: 16 th 17 th Century 62 1.9. A Kantian Account of Radical Evil 79 Chapter 2 100 2.1. Conceptualizing Genocide and Evil 100 2.2. Phase 1: The Selective Phase 114 2.3. Phase 2: The Transformative Phase 117 2.4. Phase 3: The Purgative Phase 121 2.5. Politicide and the Plight of Political Groups 124 2.6. Conflicting Paradigms: Political Ideology and Nationalism 133 2.7. Genocidal Intent and Causality 139 2.8. Genocide, Purity and Imperfection 145 Chapter 3 155 3.1. The Denial of Evil: Manichaean Dua lism and Matter 155 3.2. The Denial of Evil: Refutation through Endurance 159 3.3. The Denial of Evil: The Christian Sc ientist 162 3.4. The Denial of Evil: Tradit ional and Nontraditional Theodicies 167 3.5. The Denial of Evil: The Argument fo r Omnipotence Revised 172 3.6. Denial of Evil: Understanding Deni al through Genocide Studies 176 3.7. Coles Myth of Evil: Chapter 1 184 3.8. Coles Myth of Evil: Chapter 2 187 3.9. Coles Myth of Evil: Chapter 3 190 3.10. Coles Myth of Evil: Chapter 4 193 3.11. Coles Myth of Evil: Chapter 5 195 3.12. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 6 199 3.13. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 7 203 3.14. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 8 205


ii 3.15. Coles Denial of Evil: The Final Chapter 207 Chapter 4 209 4.1. The Mysteries of Synthesizing Evil 209 4.2. The First Boundary Condition of Evil: The Body 210 4.3. The Second Boundary Condition of Evil: The Social Realm 217 4.4. The Third Boundary Condition of Evil: The Political 219 4.5. On the Concept of the One-World State 223 References 227 About the Author End Page


iii On the Concept of Evil: An Analysis of Genocide and State Sovereignty Jason J. Campbell ABSTRACT The history of ideas and contemporary ge nocide studies conjointly suggests a meaningful secular conception of evil. I will show how the history of ideas supplies us with a cumulative pattern, or an eventual gestalt, of the s ought-for conception of universal secular evil. This gestalt is a re sult of my examination of the history of ideas. The historical analysis of evil firm ly grounds my research in the tradition of philosophical inquiry, where I shift the focus fr om the problem of evil, which is indebted to theological discourse, to an analysis of the concept of evil. Next, I show how this gestalt applies to genocide studies. Specifically, I show how a secular concept of evil meaningfully functions in this research pr ogram. The examination of genocide studies serves as a test-bed for the fruit of my histor ical examination. There, I show, first, in what way a secular notion of evil is irreducible, or elementary; second, how the concept used in genocide studies compares to the cumulativ e historical pattern; and third, in what way genocide studies have progressively enriched the pattern. Armed with these results, I then engage with the contemporary literature that criticizes the possibility of a meaningful concept of evil, and attempts to reduce th is notion of secular evil to relativistic particulars. Here, I describe relevant arguments and objections. It is interesting to explore whether, and if so, how, some aspects of the objections may lend themselves to an actual


iv refinement of the concept of evil. Finally, then, I present a summary account of evil on the basis of my findings.


v Introduction The primary focus of my dissertation is simply to define and descri be the existence of evil. Questions such as, what is evil? How can it be identified? How can we understand it? are the governing questions guiding my analysis. For over a millennium the analysis and investigati on of evil has remained firmly within the domain of theological discourse and disc ourses in theodicy, which is properly classified as the problem of evil. In traditiona l accounts, evil has been described as either moral evil or natural evil. Moral evil results from human agen cy and our ability to freely act within the world, which is simply represented by the violence and murders that plague our existence, whereas natural evil results from catastrophic acts of nature. In discussing moral evil, then, the trad itional approach, which has remained nearly unchallenged for over 2000 years, is to account for evil in terms of a theodicy, that is, a description of evil as the probl em of evil, wherein the exis tence of evil undermines the characteristics of God. Thus, the problem of evil specifically pertains to the complications that arise for the theist once both the existence of evil and the existence of God are simultaneously affirmed. If God is understood to be all knowing, all powerful and all loving, then at least one of these charac teristics must be false if one is also to account for the existence of evil. For if God were all knowing, he would know of the existence of evil, and if he were all powerfu l he would have the ab ility to prevent its occurrence. Finally, then, if he were all lovi ng, his love would motiv ate him to act on our


vi behalf. Thus, the solutions to th e problem of evil are attempts to preserve the existence of God and also account for the existence of evil Throughout the centuries, many have tackled the problem of evil, using various met hods to reconcile this difficulty. Due to the brevity of these introductory remarks, I wi ll only discuss the most salient historical arguments concerning the problem of ev il and identify the contributions these philosophers have made to my contemporary philosophical understanding of the concept of evil. For example, St. Anselm realized that al l too often those who di scuss and analyze the problem of evil are equivocating in their use of the term. Anselms account of the distinction between evil as no thing and evil as something is an important contribution to a philosophical investigation of evil. We cannot use the term evil to mean both that which is not-good, in the sense of privation, and that which results from ones voluntary actions to do evil. We are certainly ju stified in asking, In what sense is the term evil being used. In formulating an argument, we can use the former or the latter but not both. Thus, St. Anselm contributed to the discussion of evil by insisting that our use of the term remain consistent throughout our argument. In my present description of the philosophy of evil, I have incorpor ated this and other historical conceptions but I have tried to m ove beyond the description of evil in terms of the problem of evil, which has traditionally been couched in theological terms. I have also tried to account for the causes and ultimate ly the concept of evil. These distinctions among the problem, the causes, and concept of evil, serve as the foundation for my analysis.


vii My intention to move beyond the notion of describing evil in th eological terms is indebted to Professor Schonfelds readings of Immanuel Kants distinctions between entropy and order, of Chinese philosophy, pa rticularly the work s of Mencius, and Professor Guignons account of au thenticity and the ne ed, in the process of socialization, to disentangle our propensities to do evil from our capacities to live virtuously. It was in reading their accounts that I recognized the possibility that one could articulate the existence of evil in purely secular terms. Sc honfelds expertise in Ka nts early works and Chinese philosophy would offer me the conceptu al framework with which I could begin a cosmological articulation of this tension. The battle between good and evil harkens to the primordial forces of nature, between orde r and disorder, diversity and uniformity. It begins to situate the discussion of evil in naturalistic rather than spiritualistic terms. It is the start and the point of departure from theological discour se to secular understandings of the existence of evil. Within the works of Mencius the inte rchange between Mencius and King Hwuy of Leang, serves to demonstrate the corruptive forces of gree d and the responsibility of governance, which the King has long since fors aken. The kings obligation arises as a direct consequence of the function of his ro le as king. The word king carries a very specific meaning, which obligates him to fu lfill his duties, as directed by meaning; otherwise, he fails to fulfill his duties as ki ng, by failing to uphold the functions of a king. In attempting to discuss the process of our socialization it is of the utmost importance that we recognize that we are already thrown into a world of sociopol itical interactions, though evil clearly affects our embodiment, the attempt to ar ticulate the problem of evil moves beyond the body. It need not, however, m ove beyond this world. It is within this


viii world that evil exists. It moves beyond our em bodiment and infects our social relations. One of the fundamental purposes of the political is to contain and co ntrol the spread of evil within society. Even then it cannot be contained; ev il moves beyond the social to infect the political, wherein it manifests in it s greatest instantiation, namely, in the act of genocide, from the body, through the social, into the political, evil mani fest in its most heinous form in the act of genocide. I would not have been able to propose a de finition of evil, one of the primary aims of this dissertation, without the contributions of Professor Edward Kissis comparative analysis of the Cambodian and Ethiopian ge nocides. His work challenged a decade long misconception and forged the path for my inte rdisciplinary account of evil and genocide. Briefly, Kissis analysis demonstrates how genocide occurs and the similarities between the practices of the Khmer Rouge and the Mengistu regime. His description of the relationship between the stat e and the population was the point at which I recognized exactly what philosophy could contri bute to genocide scholarship. My investigation into the nature of genoc ide and evil, then, begins where Kissis analysis ended, with an exp licit formulation of the necessa ry conditions for converting a civilian into an enemy of the state, i.e., explaining how political power and a state endorsed ideology of exclusion are used to justify genocidal intentions. I then demonstrate how state intentiona lity can be assessed through the analysis of codified law and a politics of discrimination. My invest igation draws from an interdisciplinary discourse on genocide, combining key concep tions of selectivity and jurisdiction with philosophical notions of power and ethical pr escriptions on fairness. As I argue, this ability to convert members of the population into enemies of the state initiates the process


ix of extermination and, moreover, serves as the foundation for th e possibility of discussing evil. In describing how this process of genoc ide unfolds, I account for three phases of exclusion, which I have crafted as conceptual tools to articulate precisely how the state justifies genocidal acts. The description of th ese phases is a pedagogical tool to facilitate in describing how enemies of the state are created. The phases are the selective phase, were dissenters are identified, the transformative phase, where these dissenters are transformed into enemies of the state and finally the purgative phase, where they are purged by exile or exterminati on from the state demography. Thus, my definition of evil is informed by the history of philosophy and genocide scholarship. My definition of evil is a prac tical account of evil, and my subsequent descriptions of assessing state intentionality in endorsing genocide, has direct legal implications. Thus I propose th e following definition of evil: Evil, within the discourse of state sovereignty, is the intentional re duction of domestic diversity within state demography, by the formulation and pursuit of an exclusionary ideology for the purpose of en forcing a homogeneous society. I then undertake a descripti on of the notion of state purit y, which I argue, is a direct result of subscribing to an exclusionary ideology. If a states de mography is naturally heterogeneous and the state assumes an ideo logy of exclusion to enforce or create a homogeneous state, then such actions are c ounter to the natural occurrences within the state and thereby unnatural. Furthermore, the attempt to purify the state presupposes that there exists an imperfection within the na tural occurrences of diversity in state demography. It assumes that the natural occurrence of a diverse state demography is


x contaminated by the incorporation of groups that the state seeks to expel. Thus, to decontaminate or purify the state, those in power must endorse an exclusionary ideology and seek to expel targeted groups from th e state demography. The expulsion of these targeted groups from state demography is the act of purificati on. In using the term purification, I refer to the act of expelli ng targeted groups from the state demography once it has assumed an exclusionary ideology. I then offer a description of the Fascist and totalitarian state to demonstrate how this process is enacted. The Fascist state seeks to subordinate the indi vidual to the will of the state, ruled by a single party, and is thereby driven by the movement of suppor ters of the political party. The idea that the party is a m ovement of the people is merely a muse to attain political power; it is the framework with which the lead ers of the party articulate their intentions to the masses. The masses support the movement because the movement is allegedly a representation of the will of the masses, which in the case of Fascism is clearly false. The Fascist state is solely concerne d with total domination. It functi ons to ensure that its sole party occupies every facet of political power and challengers to that power threaten the existence of the Fascist state. Thus, totalitarianism is a natural consequence of a Fascist state because the drive for omnipresence is reinforced by the will to omnipotence. The desire to represent the party in every pos ition of political power (omnipresence) is reinforced by the totalization of that power (the omnipotence of the state). Despite my many examples, there are those, however, that will invariably deny the existence of evil. The majority of the second half of the dissertati on, at the suggestion of Professor Steven Turner, focuses on defendi ng the existence of ev il from those that would deny its existence. I offer a historical account of various philosophical attempts to


deny the existence of evil, and demonstrate th e errors in reasoning for each account. For example, historically, the debate between the traditi onalist and non-tr aditionalist theologians over the existence of God and the problem of evil has taken many forms, nontraditionalist invariably articulating the imperfection of God, which accounts for the existence of evil, and traditionalists denying the existence of evil, which preserves the characteristics of God. The nontraditionalist st ance, however, has the typical consequence of also resulting in the denial of God, while the traditionalist st ance has the peculiar consequence of denying the existence of evil. For the traditionalist, then, the denial of evil is logically necessary to preserve the characteristics of God. The argument becomes dogmatic, because no attempt to challenge the characteristics of G od can be entertained because to do so would undermine one of the three characteristics mentioned earlier. Thus, the traditionalist denial of evil is necessitated by the refusal to question Gods characteristics more so than it is a critique of the ontological existence of evil, as one could still on theological grounds account for the existence of evil as a consequence of personal autonomy, while preserving the charact eristics of God. This is but one of many attempts at denial that I a ccount for and defend against thro ughout the second half of the dissertation. xi


Chapter 1: Conceptions of Evil in the History of Ideas 1.1. The Historical Approach to Evil I intend to outline various arguments surrounding both the problem and the concept of evil. The problem of evil, as will be discus sed, is specifically a problem for the theist. Accounting for the existence of God and expl aining the existence of evil has presented unique challenges for monotheistic philosophe rs throughout the history of ideas. The concept of evil more fully speaks to the nature of evil and the relation of its existence to the moral implications posed to humanity. Throughout this chapter I will address th e role of humanity. Without acknowledging our shared humanity no analysis of evil can be complete. Evil affects human beings and as such, it is specifically a problem because of our sentience and our rational constitution. Understanding how evil manifests and shapes the nature of human existence has been the goal of philosophers in East and West. It has served as the conceptual foundation on the basis of which scholars have theorized on the formation of the state. It is operative in all accounts of social contract theory. In short, evil is a pla gue to every facet of humanity. Understand the relationship be tween evil and human agency or between evil and our propensity toward the good requires that we fi rmly situate the discussion of evil within the history of idea; this chapter, then, serve precisely that purpose. 1


1.2. Confucian Conceptions of Evil: 551-301 BCE Our journey through the histor y of philosophy and our analys is of the concept of evil begins in ancient China where I will focu s on four great thinkers, viz., Confucius, Mencius, Laozi and Zhuangzi. The investigation will span more than 250 years, from 551 BCE to 301 BCE, covering both Confucian and Da oist traditions, and concluding with an account of Zhuangzis mysticism. While the inve stigation is not an account of Confucian and Daoist philosophies, I will, throughout, refe r to the system of beliefs that support Confucian and Daoist texts, fu rther aligning my interpretations into a specific discussion on the concept of evil. Confucian philosophy is a moral philosophy in which the distinction between good and evil manifests itself in relation to the moral agents obligation to live virtuously. The good is always moral and the moral is always vi rtuous. Thus, the actions of those that live virtuously are good and the actions of those th at fail to live virtuously are evil. This conception of virtue is embodied by the gentleman, jnzi who represents a life lived within the mean, governed neither by excess nor deficiency. In contrast, however, the small man, sh o rn, is represented by the individual led by his desires. His desires for wealth, for social status, and for recognition, have corrupted his sensibilities, making the virtuous life impossible for the small man. In Confucian thought, the small man is a representation of ev il because of his ignorance and small-mindedness, and ultimat ely his refusal to live virtuously. The gentleman, however, is a friendly man. He identifies himself with humanity and understands his role in society. His modesty en ables him to live virtuously and thus his 2


actions are good. The actions of the small man are antithetical to the good. He is led by desire not reason. He is pridef ul instead of being modest. Th e most damaging of his traits, however, is his inability to recognize the humanity of the other person. His smallmindedness and self-centeredness contaminate his ability to em pathize with the plight of the other. Where they are famished, he is fi lled. Where they are wanting, he has excess. The moral of Confucianism is to live by virt ue and not by vice because even the king, if not led by virtue, can act like the small man. When he does, however, his kingdom fails. Where his actions are governed by virtue, his kingdom flourishes. At the heart of Confucianism are th e so called four books, which are: the Analects The Great Learning The Doctrine of the Mean and the Works of Mencius. Briefly, Confucianism emerges from the philos ophies of Confucius and Mencius, though Confucius predated Mencius by nearly one hundred years. Confucius and Menciuss philosophy, as represented through these four texts, are the grounding for Confucianism, which more accurately stated is a moral philo sophy. Within these four texts, then, it is possible to distill a conception of evil since Confucianism is primarily an applied moral philosophy, wherein the moral ag ent is taught how things ar e and how they should be. In formulating my account of evil, I will offe r an interpretation of these four books by analyzing the key conceptions presented w ithin the text. I will proceed from the Analects to the Works of Mencius which is not, however, to suggest that my account will be exhaustive. Rather, I will present my findings on the basis of their explanatory importance in an attempt to understand the conc ept of evil. My discussions of these texts 3


are surveys into the concept of evil more so than methodological inve stigations into the nature of Chinese thought. Within the Analects a number of students discuss th e nature of virtue with their master, and as the dialogue unfolds, the mast er makes reference to both government and the nature of goodness, insights that will factor into our discussion later. In James Legges translation of the te xt, the master explains th e nature of the good, saying, If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishment, they will try to avoid the punishment but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of shame, and moreover will become good. 1 The emphasis of this initial quote arises from a keen sense of duty that the moral agent has to that which is virtuous. In fact, Kants account of the Categorical Imperative harkens to this conception of a rigorous deont ological ethic. If one merely follows the law to avoid punishment, as noted by Confuc ius, then though his actions may be lawful, they will not be moral, i.e., the moral agent will have no sense of shame, according to this Confucian ethic. If, however, the moral agen t acts in accordance with both the law and a profound sense of his obligation to that which is virtuous, th en his path will follow the path of the good, and he will understand the na ture of morality. Thus morality arises from ones obligation to living a virtuous life, rather than trying to avoid punishment. It 1 Confucius, Mencius. trans. James Legge. 1900. The four books: Confucian analects, the great learning, the doctrine of the mean, and the works of Mencius, with English translation and notes Shanghai, China: Commercial Press. ( Analects Book II, Chap. III, 1-2). 4


is the moral agents respect for the moral law, the obedience to virt ue, and not fear of the legal rules that determines morality. 2 Within the Analects, then, Confucius warns of such temptations toward wickedness and the pitfalls of corruption. 3 The Confucian gentleman, jnzi is a representation of a virtuous life, and the small man, sh o rn, represents a corrupted lifestyle. From the differences in how these men choose to live their lives, emerges a greater conception of morality. The gentleman is always concerned with ma nkind. He has situated his actions within the context of a greater social se tting. He is aware of the plight of others. His is a life of reflection and contemplation, whereas, the sma ll man is concerned with himself. The one is concerned with humanity, the other motivated by selfishness These simple distinctions will invariably corrupt the small man and lead him toward evil, whereas the gentleman will always be a force for goodness. According to the master, the fundamental difference between the gentleman and the small man arises from a difference in thinki ng and acting. The master says, The mind of the gentleman is conversant with righteousne ss; the mind of the m ean man is conversant with gain 4 This distinction can be understood in terms of altr uism and greed, giving and taking. There is a balance that must be maintained between these two forces and understanding ones relations to these forces allows the moral agent to empathize with anothers lack or loss. The gentleman is capable of giving to those in need, of sharing, of 2 Ibid., (Book II, Chap. IV, 5). 3 Legge, 1900, (Book IV, Chap. IV). 4 Ibid., (Book IV, Chap. XVI) 5


understanding his role in the community. Th e small man, however, is concerned and motivated by his unending desire for more. He is consumed with and by possessions. His desire for gain supersedes his desire to act righteously. Thus, the small man will forever act immorally, as his motivation is one of selfishness. In a Hobbesian sense, the small man is motivated by his psychological egoism, as he is fueled by his desire for that which he does not possess. If the consumerist desire for possessions, however, is coupled with anxiety and fear, the conditions for immorality are sure to be met. In an insightful passage, Confucius notes, The gentleman has neither anxiety nor fearwhat is there to be anxious about, what is there to fear? 5 The fear of loss, especially for the small man, who, as we have seen, is obsessed with his attachments, comb ined with the ensuing anxiety, which often dominates his thoughts, can and often does l ead to the most deplorable acts of immorality, in an attempt to preserve ones possessions or defend ones self from an unknown threat. These angst-ridden obsessions of ten lead to the most heinous forms of brutality by defy the natural course of events, including death and loss. The source of angst is a cause for the mani festation of evil within the world. It is because of this cause, i.e., ones angst-ridde n obsessions, that the small man remains so transfixed on trivialities. As a cause for the manifestation of evil within the world, anxiety serves to remove the small man fr om the calm demeanor of the gentleman. The Analects then, is a lesson in pati ence, a lesson in the virt uous way of the gentleman, which is antithetical to th e ways of the small man. His ways are governed by selfishness 5 Ibid., (Book XII, Chap. IV, 1, 3) 6


and greed. His motives are grounded in response to the fear and anxiety of an impending unknown. One, then, must live like the gentleman rather than the small man. The contrast of small man and gentleman is actually a continuum, with the small man and gentleman being opposite extremes. The continuum between these men is comprised of the necessary learning, education and growth needed to transition from a small man to a gentleman. The small man the evil man requires cultivation to transition and evolve into the gentleman the good man. Thus, as the small man transitions into the gentleman along this continuum, that which is good point to an evolutionary progression toward learning, education and growth, and that which is evil points to ignorance, misology and destruction. In The Great Learning there is an evolutionary pr ogression toward the good. This progression begins with selfknowledge. It is written that, Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being comple te, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being si ncere, their h earts were the rectified. Their hearts being re ctified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their states were rightly governed. Their st ates being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy. 6 From self knowledge the moral agent is able to progress to tranquility and happiness. The cultivation of this knowledge allows the indi vidual to progress away from those forces that would seek to undermine these ends. Within the fourth chapter of this analysis I will return to the conception of the progression of knowledge from the individual to the state and synthesize how evil unravels this evol utionary progression toward the good. 6 Ibid., (Book I, V). 7


The very basis of this evolutionary progres sion toward the good is itself contingent on the cultivation of the self and the social and communal networks that support this progression. Where ones actions are governed by and concerned with the relationship of the individual with the surrounding world, the individuals knowledge will be rooted in the experience of his kinsmen, his country men, and the world itself, this being the greatest realization of his self understanding. In Doctrine of the Mean Confucius explains the proper mode of being in the world, through his descriptions of the way and the pa th one must take to living virtuously. He notes, The gentleman cultivates a frie ndly harmonywithout being weak, (Chap. 10, 5). The misconception, even within a contem porary context, is that friendliness and amiability are signs of weakness, whereas a ggression and haughtiness are signs of power. The gentleman, however, understands the falsity in this claim. There is power in friendship and amiability, which increases ones worldview and is itself buttressed on conceptions of diversity and inclusiveness. In clusiveness and diversity are antithetical to the concept of evil, which unfolds as an excl usionary and monolithic ideology of hatred. The conception of friendly harmony is the point to the discussion in the Doctrine of the Mean To be good, i.e., to evolve, means to attain a friendly harmony with ones surroundings. Surroundings refer both to cu lture and natureit refers to the social community as well as the cosmic environment. It is the awareness that we are intimately connected to the world and insofar as we ex ist within the world we all share a common dependence. Thus, attuning ones self to the p light of others and understanding the shared 8


nature of our experiences, requires that one recognize the friendly harmony of one to all. Without this realization, the good is unattainable. The notion of a friendly harmony relate s to the importance places on human interaction and inevitably humanity. Humans are social beings and ascribing to a conception of friendly harmony supports and fu rthers the existence of all humans. It specifically situates concerns for ones surroundings and ones countrymen as directly influencing ones progression toward the good. Incorporated within Confucian ethic, Menc ius applies the tenets of living virtuously to the political realm. His contribution to Confucianism relates to his ability to demonstrate the application of Confucian though t to both the political and social, both the king and his subjects. Mencius understands th at Confucianism is an applied moral philosophy, one that is accomplished in the ev eryday practices of its people and the obligation to live virtuously is an obligation that even the king cannot escape. Thus, in attempting to understand the influence of C onfucian thought, one must first recognize that Mencius is applying the very same tenets of morality that govern the everyday practices of the individu al to the political. Mencius even illustrates the small-mindedness of King Hwuy of Leang, which only serves as a reminder that even he can be co rrupted by evil. The actions of both the king and his subject must be virtuous. Both he a nd his subjects must accept the responsibility to live virtuously and in so doing Menciu s argues that the kingdom will flourish. Thus, since virtue is a means to goodness and living virtuously results is flourishing, then the good too results in flourishing. 9


Mencius skillfully contrasts this co nception against the small-mindedness of King Hwuy of Leang who has allowed his greed a nd desires to govern his actions. As noted earlier, these traits are excess and deficienci es from the mean and as such the king too represent how evil can pollute the political. As a result of his failure s as king, his people starve and death plagues his kingdo m. The atrocity of this destru ction is a direct result of his action. Thus, where the good leads to fl ourishing evil leads to death and decay. In the Works of Mencius the account is wholly more political in tone, though the political nature of the discourse is fi rmly influenced by a Confucian mode of interpretation. What was true for the gentlema n is also true for moral agents, but more importantly, within the Works of Mencius it is also true for government. Mencius, with great care, draws light to th e disparities between the corru ption of government and the impoverishment of its subjects. The greed for power and control of the government, mimic the corruption and immodesty of the small man. He notes, King Hwuy of Leang said, I wi sh quietly to receive your instructions. Mencius replied, Is there any difference between killing a man with a stick and with a sword? The king said, There is no difference. Is there any difference in doing it with a sword and w ith the style of government? There is no difference, was the reply. Mencius then said, In your kitchen there is fat m eat; in your stables there are fat horses. But your people have the look of hunger, and on the wilds there are those who ha ve died of famine. This is leading on beasts to devour men. 7 The oppositions between the look of hunger and fat horses, between those who have died of famine and fat meat is a st ark distinction, one not to be overlooked. Evil 7 Legge, 1900, ( Mencius Book I, Chap. IV, 1-4). 10


here has the face of destitution or depriv ation; good has the face of prosperity or flourishing. As properties of actions, good is any action that furthers general flourishing; evil is any action that promotes destituti on. King Hwuy of Leang is evil because hes been led by his desires instead of by his obligation, and in doing so, he fails to live up to the friendly harmony and thus fails to contribute to the civil evolution. What is important in my interpretation of Confucianism is intimately related to the conception of the small man and the gen tleman. To understand how these men function in the world, how their minds think respect ively, is to understand how one sets about living a virtuous life. Th e prescriptions in the Analects are primarily for the particular moral agent, whereas the prescriptions in the Works of Mencius are primarily political in nature. What is important to my analysis of the concept of evil, then, is this movement from an individual obligation to uphold the moral law to an understanding of shame and virtue, and the political obligation to the same. Though the small man corrupts himself, the King, as just noted, destroys his kingdom. It is this insigh t that will guide us through the remainder of the analysis into the concept of evil. The antithesis between good and evil is represented in the distinction between flourishing and decay. The king that embraces humanity and seeks to better the lives of his people creates the condition for flourishi ng, which inevitably le ads to happiness and the good. The king that seeks his own ends, like the small man, will eventually destroy his kingdom. There is, then, a necessary rela tionship between the notion of goodness that yields flourishing and ev il that leads to decay. 11


As noted in the beginning of this chapter, an understanding of the good facilitates an understanding of that which is evil. In the Works of Mencius this relation between good and evil are defined within the context of ones relation to the state. Mencius writes, Never has he who would by his excellence subdue men been able to subdue them. Let a prince seek by his excellence to nourish men, and he will be able to subdue the whole empire. It is impossi ble that one should become ruler of the empire to wh om it has not yielded the subjection of the heart. 8 In the Work of Mencius there is a stark contrast between the leader of the state (the prince) and his subjects. For Mencius, the people are only subjugated to the prince, insofar as he has won their heart, which is to say, he has gained the affection of the people. Mencius garners power through an a ppreciation of personal autonomy, which the state seeks to acknowledge. Mencius describe s the good statesman as concerned with the wellbeing of his subjects. Returning, then, to the doctrine of the rectifica tion of names, ( zhng mng ), it should be apparent now why King Hwuy failed as a l eader. He failed to serve the needs of his people and chose instead to satisfy his own desires. His use of power can oppress or liberate his people. Where his power is us ed for oppression, his kingdom will fail. Where his power is used for the be tterment of his people, his kingdom will succeed. Maintaining a keen sense of friendly harmony provides the king as well as any citizen with the necessary cognitive tools required to live ha rmoniously with others and with ones environment. 8 Legge, 1900, (Book IV, XVI) 12


1.3. Daoist Conceptions of Evil Like Confucianism, Daoism involves a moral philosophy, but the emphasis is placed on the way one lives. For Laozi, the Dao is represented in the natural flow of life, in the increasing complexity of life and ones progression from birth to death. This flow is a harmonious principle. It is a way of existence, i.e., a way in which the moral agent can live within the world. Thus, the ideas of good and evil relate to this mode of being in the world. Those actions that conform to th e Dao are good. Those actions that do not conform to the Dao are evil. The good is aligned with crea tion and the life-oriented flow and complexity of nature. Ones relation to another human being is of the same importance as ones relation to the natural world because the Dao manifests in bo th. A sense, then, of our interconnection to other human beings and our connection as human beings to the worl d, allow for a holistic conception of codependence on others and the world. To live ethically, then, the moral agent must remain within the harmony of the natural order. Conversely, however, evil is that which does not accord with the Dao. It is the refusal to recognize the inherent in terconnection of all life forces Where the Dao is a way of living harmoniously, evil disrupts the harmony of the natural flow. It runs counter to the Dao and as such introduces chaos to the orde r of the universe. These primal forces of order and entropy manifest in the opposition between good and evil. For Laozi, then, the good is harmonious, it accords with the Dao and it is ordered, whereas evil is disruptive, it fails to accord with the Dao and it is marked by chaos. Laozi characterizes good and evil in the Dao De Jing. In v 31, he writes, 13


Recognize beauty a nd ugliness is born. Recognize good and evil is born. 9 Weapons are ill-omened tools, Not proper instruments. When their use cant be avoided, Calm restraint is best. Dont think they are beautiful. Those who think they are beautiful Rejoice in killing people. Those who rejoice in killing people Cannot achieve their purpose in this world. 10 Laozi recognizes the disparity between good and evil. He sees that good and evil are both brought about by human action. Goodness is define d as actions that accord with the Dao and evil is recognized as the contrary. 11 Sung-peng Hsu writes, Good and evil are defined with reference to actions, because, in Laozis philosophy, they are not some substantial entities, eternal forms, or Gods commandments. They are qualities of action (emphasis added) 12 Tools are instruments of this creative action. The tools we create reflect the will of the creator, as the kinetic process of creation mani fests in that, which is created; hence, an ill-omened tool is a reflection of the ill-will of its creator. Evil is similar to goodness in that it is a product of this crea tive act. If the creative act accords with the Dao, the action is good. If the creativ e act is in discord with th e Dao, the action is evil. 9 Laozi. trans. Stephen Mitchell. 1988. Dao te ching: a new English version New York: Harper & Row. v. 2. 10 Ibid v. 31. 11 Feng, Youlan, and Derk Bodde. 1952. A history of Chinese philosophy Princeton: Princeton University Press. vol. 1, p. 170-191. 12 Sung-peng, Hsu. 1976. Lao Tzu's Conception of Evil Philosophy East and West Vol. 26, No. 3. Jul., p. 301-316. 14


At the same time, Laozi recognizes the disparity of good and evil. The good is defined as actions in accord with the Dao. The Dao can roughly be defined as the form of natures flow. This flow aims at life. Good actions are in harmony with the life-oriented flow; Evil actions are in opposition to this. In that sense, the good is aligned with creation and evil is aligned with destruction. In an attempt to approximate an understandi ng of the nature of evil, one can contrast the good in opposition to the nature of evil. In the Dao Te Ching, for example, Laozi offers many descriptions of th e good life, which can then be contrasted against the nature of evil. He writes, Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue, (emphasis added). 13 In asserting that the supreme virtue en tails, having without possessing Laozi acknowledges a conception of holding, w ithout possessing, of sharing without begrudging. If I am not bound by the law of possession, as a moral agent, I am unconstrained in my movements. The fluidity of my existence is such that I can exist without possessing. I can lead wit hout controlling. As we have seen in a previous section, the prince controls the people th rough their affection for him, not through the exercise of his might. Unlike the good, evil arises from destructi on, which works against the flow of nature. That which is evil is necessarily against the Dao. It remains in perpetual conflict with the 13 Laozi, 1993, v.10. 15


Dao. The destruction of life and the disruption of the flow of nature are hallmarks of evil and ones progression toward evil is always marked by inhumanity. The duality of good and evil is repres ented in the duality of humanity and inhumanity. The good is always a benefit to humanity. It strengthens humanity by imbuing it with meaning, with lives lived for virtue. Evil is always a regressive force, which suppresses humanity and the flouris hing thereof by motivating selfishness and inconsideration. These factor s will invariably lead to desensitization. Unable to empathize with the plight of others, war and mass exterminations are sure to follow. Our attachment to things and our selfishness interferes with our ability to recognize the suffering of others. Through our connections to material objects, then, we lose a sense of our autonomy, our connection to ourselves, which is to sa y our identity become s conflated with the things we own or possess. For example, you ma y here someone say, I am my car or I am this apartment. In truth, however, the i ndividual is not and ca nnot be these things. The person has conflated his sense of persona l identity with that which he possesses, which serves as the groundwork from the manifestation of evil. Laozi continues: Whoever relies on the Dao in governing men doesnt try to force issues or defeat enemies by force of arms. For every force there is a counterforce. Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon itself. The Master does his job and then stops. He understands that the universe is forever out of control, and that trying to dominate events 16


goes against the current of the Dao Because he believes in himself, he doesnt try to convince others. Because he is content with himself, he doesnt need others approval. Because he accepts himself, the whole world accepts him, (emphasis added) 14 In following the Way, the Daoist rejects the imposition of forceful argumentation, which brings about confrontation and violence. Rather he is patient and mi ndful of the issues, without an insistence of provi ng points or winning retorts. He understands that there is a balance, a counterforce that governs the laws of nature and moreover realizes that he too is subject to these laws. The Daos flow evolves from chaos to orde r, from uniformity to diversity, from the void to complexity. The Sage acknowledges th e role of serendipity and waits patiently. As the Sage is a representati on of the good, so too is the f ool a representation of that which is evil. As Kant has mentioned, a universal relation obtains that integrates all worlds into a single framework , which corresponds to La ozis profound insight that, Every being in the universe is an expression of the Dao It springs into existence, Unconscious, perfect, free, takes on a physical body, lets circumstances complete it. That is why every being spontaneously honors the Dao, (emphasis added). 15 This nexus of interconnectivity serves as th e ultimate condition for all creation. It is the manifestation of creation, as an infinite act of increasing diversity, all hinged upon the 14 Laozi, 1993, v. 30. 15 Laozi, 1993, v. 51. 17


possibility of utter systemic collapse. My understanding of this Oneness, in a strictly Parmenidian sense, evolves as Parmenides states in Platos Parmenides if there is a one of course the one will not be many. Consequently it cannot have any parts or be a wholeAnd, if it has no parts, it cannot have a beginning or an end or a middle, for such things would be parts of it. Further, the beginning and end of a thing are its limits. Therefore, if one has neither beginning nor end it is without limits. 16 Though there is, to use the Kantian phrase, a s ingle framework it is the manifestation of a plurality, it is the representation of one through ma ny. It is an understanding, as we have seen that the One is continually held in opposition to the chaos that seeks to consume it. It is the primordial batt le between entropy and order. Martin Schnfeld expresses this tension nicely, writing, natures stellar order is the l ogical reflection of its initial chaotic opposite in time. Th is opposite is some kind of energetic mist or smoke. Its di rty chaos of flow-vectors and explosive collisions is structurally a flip-flop of oscillating continuities and limitsNature sometimes seems chaotic, sometimes ordered, but instead of reducing the one to the otherKant accepts both: free chaos and lawful order hang together. 17 This balance between the utterly destructive capabilities inherent within a system that supports life and the proliferati on of life itself, in actuality ar e two sides to the same coin. More appropriately stated Parmenides conception of the one is manifested as a representation of plurality; it is the appearance of contradict ion without contradiction. In fact, were this contradiction to manifest, there would be no life at all. Thus, the existence 16 (137c2-137e). 17 Schnfeld, Martin, Kants Early Cosmology, Bird, Graham. 2006. A companion to Kant Blackwell companions to philosophy, 36. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub. p. 49, 51. 18


of life necessitates a balance of these dualities. These primordial dualities of chaos and order, then, manifest in our conception of evil and goodness. Evil is a force of the destructive capacity of the universe, which is only of moral concern because of human sentience. Otherwise, it just is. Conversely, good is the creative cap acity of the universe, whose end only approaches but never reaches, viz., the infinite multiplication of all life. Balance is construed as the golden mean, which allows life and nature the opportunity to flourish. Where balance is absent, evil mani fests as an excess or deficiency, which is antithetical to life. Where ba lance facilitates fl ourishing, evil resi sts stabilization. It always manifests as an extreme. Thus, evil is a totalizing force that is contrary to the balance necessary to bring about flourishing. This sense of balance was further discusse d by the greatest of all Chinese mystics, Chuang Chou (Zhuangzi), a Daoist, Chinese mystic of the 4 th century BCE. His writings are of such philosophical complexity and beau ty that his works have mystified scholars throughout the ages. In Burton Watsons introduction to the Complete Works of Zhuangzi he writes, The central theme of the Zhuangzi [as a body of work] may be summed up in a single word: freedom. Essentially, all the philosophers of ancient Ch ina addressed themselves to the same problem: how is man to live in a world dominated by chaos, suffering, and absurdity ? Nearly all of them answered with some concrete plan of action designed to reform the individual, to reform society, and eventually to free the world from its illsZhuangzisansweris grounded upon a wholly different, ty pe of thinking. It is the answer of a mystic[his] an swer to the question is: free yourself from the world (emphasis added). 18 18 Zhuangzi. trans. Burton Watson. 1968. The Complete Works of Zhuangzi New York: Columbia University Press. p. 3. 19


The world, rooted in evil and chaos, binds us by appealing to our vanity, our hubris, our selfaggrandizement, or desire for fame and kno wledge. It is this self referential mode of being that deludes our ability to conform to the moral law. It is, in effect, to believe that one is, above the law, i.e., vanity furnishes th e moral agent with the false belief that he transcends the moral law, which is a refusal to disentangle our prope nsities for evil from the act of our socialization into goodness. To recognize our place within the world is understand our need to detach from its many offerings and its appeal to our pride. Zhuangzi offers an interesting metaphor. He says, the swamp pheasant has to walk ten p aces for one peck and one hundred paces for one drink, but it doesnt want to be kept in a cage. Though you treat it like a king, its spirit wont be content. 19 We, unlike the swamp pheasant, want to be pampered. We want to be taken care of. We want to be provided for, but most importantly, we want to be king, because to be king suggests that others will have to walk those many paces to satisfy our needs, while we remain idle. The question, then, is who is freer, the king, or the servants, the caged bird, or the free ranged bird? This is where evil takes root, in the desire to be king the desire to be famous With such desires, however, Zhuangzi warns, If you do good, stay away from fame. If you do evil, stay away from punishments. 20 According to Zhuangzi, Virtue is destroyed by fame. 21 Thus, it is impossible for one to act virtuously if his actions are governed by a desire for fame. The king is the embodiment of fame, and as such is cag ed or immobilized by his status. He is 19 Ibid., 52 20 Ibid., p. 50. 21 Ibid., p. 55. 20


imprisoned by his fame. His spirit cannot run fr ee, as does the spirit of even the swamp pheasant. Fame is something to beat pe ople down with, and wisdom is a device for wrangling. Both are evil weapons not the sort of thing to bring you success (emphasis added). 22 We can see that evil, for Zhuangzi, is partly based in this desire for fame. Better stop short than fill to the brim Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow Retire when the work is done This is the way of heaven. 23 A sentiment that certainly holds true in an era of Youtube and our chance for instant stardom, reality TV and the pr ospects of immediate interna tional celebrity. To subvert evil, then, we must relinquish this desire for fame and for wisdom. For Zhuangzi, wisdom must not be used for the destruction of others. The true sage does not profess to be so, does not relish in his own brilliance, and does not use his knowledge for destructive ends. The true sage is concerned with truth rather than knowledge, as the ordinary man should be. If he [the ordinary man] is willing to regard the ruler as superior to himself and to die for him, then how much more should he be willing to do for the Truth! 24 1.4. Presocratic Conceptions of Evil: 535-430 BCE From the dawn of civilization, great thinkers have been intrigued by the concept of evil, what is it? Why does it occur? How, if at all, are we to prevent its proliferation? It was through countless attempts to answer these questions, that formal thought became 22 Ibid., p. 55. 23 Dao De Jing V.9. 24 Zhuangzi, 1968, p. 80. 21


ordered and logical; the formati on of a discipline emerged as a result of our infatuation with evil. Good versus evil, God versus Satan, man versus woman, and the individual versus the state, are but a few such polemic s wherein the analysis of evil has thrived. The Presocratics did not have a clear defi nition of evil. So to speak of their philosophies strictly in terms of th e polemics between good and evil may be anachronistic. In fact, Empedocles discussed the notion of Love or philia and Strife or neichos rather than discussing good and evil. It can be argued that Empedocles articulation of Love and Strife would later inform accounts of good and evil, but to strictly align Empedocles account of Love and Strife with notions of good and evil is too great a generalization. For Empedocles, Love and Strife serve an essential role in the formation of the universe. They are the primordial forces, w hose interplay generates the evolving universe or kosmos The act of Love is a pulling-together; it is needed to counterbalance the act of Strife. The act of Strife is a pushing-apart; it complements the act of Love. The attraction of Love or philia and the repulsion of Strife or neichos work together to mingle the elements and to combine them to more complex structures, thus organizing the cosmos. If either of Love or Strife outweighed the other, destruction would ensueStrife unbridled causes the world to fly apart into disorganized akosmia; Love unbridled causes the world to collapse in to an undifferentiated sphairos Thus, creation is represented in the balance of Love and Strife, where equi librium is maintained, and destruction is represented in a failure to preserve this balance. 22


The notion of Love and Strife are co-emergent with life and since life is an increasing progression toward complexity, Love and Stri fe are also co-emergent with complexity. Since complexity is a mixture of the elemen ts, a coming together, which Love facilitates as the attractive force, unbridled Love lead s to a singularity and an undifferentiated unity. It leads to the Sphairos the big crunch of the cosmos into a singular, uniform, even sphere, in which all is equa l and there are no qualities. To balance this extreme, then, Strife aris es as an opposing force insofar as it pushes things apart, i.e., it pushes th e mixture of elements apart. Th e purpose of Strife is to reign in Love. It prevents the tendency toward undi fferentiated unity. It preserves the mixture of elements by destabilizing the attractive fo rces of Love. Unchecked, however, Strife leads to Akosmia the big rip of the cosmos into elemental tatters, disjointed and unconnected. This process of stability a nd instability, balance and unbalance is a continual process, which is represented in the forces of Love and Strife. Thus, in either extreme, total Love, or total Strife, lies death and destruction, and as seen from the optics of life, evil. In fragment B112 of On Nature, Empedocles explains, O friends who dwell in the great city on the yellow Acragas, on the high citade l, caring about good deeds, honorable harbors for strangers, unacquainted with evil, greetings! (emphasis added). 25 Empedocles suggests that the Acragantines are unacquainted with evil, which is contrary to historical findings, as th e Acragantines waged war agai nst Syracuse in c. 445 BCE. Empedocles is suggesting that the Acragantines lack the moral sensibility necessary for 25 Empedocles. trans. M. R. Wright. 1995. Empedocles, the extant fragments London: Bristol Classical Press. Frag. B112. 23


differentiating good and evil. Clearly, evil needed to be defined, and Empedocles implores his brethren of Acragas to remain morally accountable for their action. In her analysis of fragment B112, Catherine Osborne writes, It is in the light of what Em pedocles proceeds to revel that we perceive the ambiguities of the value judgments implied in B112The Acragantines turn out to be, in a very real senseinexperienced or ignor ant of evilThey have not learnt what evil is, that the very acts which the place in such high regard are the wo rst evils, and that their prosperity, their non-acquaintan ce with misfortune and evil, is illusory. 26 The tensions among the Acragantines are reflected within Love and Strife, in an infinite battle between the two forces of nature. Em pedocles characterizes Love as a force of unity and symbolizes it as a circle. He characterizes Strife as a force of disunity and symbolizes it as a whirl. The distinctions between Love and Strife are more that mere degree, Love seeks to unify the four root s and Strife seeks th eir destruction. The destructive capacities of man arent inherently evil, but left unchecked can lead to the eradication of all. Love too, if left unchecked will overpopul ate the world and slip into destruction. Aristotle interprets Empedocles conceptio ns of Love and Strife as meaning both Good and Evil. He writes, Since it is apparent that nature also contains the opposite of what is good, i.e., not only order and beauty but disorder and ugliness, and that there are more bad and common things than there are good a nd beautiful, another thinker introduced Love and Strife as the representative causes of these things. For if one follo ws and gives heed to the 26 Osborne, Cathrine Empedocles Recycled The Classical Quarterly New Series, Vol. 37, No. 1. (1987), p 34. 24


statements of Empedocles with a view to his meaning, and not to his lisping expression in words, it will be found that Love is the cause of Good and Strife of Evil Thus, it would perhaps be correct that Empedocles in a sense spoke of Evil and Good as first principles, and was the first to do so, (emphasis added). 27 Empedocless metaphor of the circle and the whirl is best characterized in terms of a pool of water. If the pool is still, it is ideal for drinking, breeding, bathing etc. Without motion, without a disruptive current, the pool becomes stagnant. If the current is too strong, however, and the pool whirls too forcefu lly, it becomes destructive. Animals that would seek reprieve from the sun in the wate rs depths would be pulled by the current and eventually drowned. Thus, a balance must be met. The pool must be still enough to accommodate the possibility of its many functi ons, but its current must be strong enough to remove the waste and excess buildup that, if left unchecked, would contaminate its waters. Empedocles writes, for the uniting of all things br ings one generation into being and destroys it, and the other is reared and scattered as they are again being divided. And th ese things never cease their continuous exchange of position, at one time all coming together into one through L ove, at another again being borne away from each other by Strife's repulsion. 28 Empedocles recognizes that the dialectic nature of Love and Strife. L ove and Strife are a function of an infinite attempt to maintain balance between these forces. The Acragantines could not recogni ze that a balance must be attained between Love and Strife, between creation and destruction, and were, therefore, incap able of recognizing 27 Met, A. 4, 984b32. 28 Empedocles, 1995, frag 17. 1-8. 25


their own evils. Strife, then, is a necessary component of existence, but it is to be kept in balance by our recognition of its destructive nature. Empedocles predecessor, Heraclitus, sugge sted the more forceful claim that, Good and Evil are one, 29 which is not to suggest that they carry the same meaning or share the same account of change, rather, for Heracl itus, good and evil are ascribed meaning through their oppositional rela tion, i.e., one cannot understa nd goodness without evil or evil without goodness; good and evil are specif ically human phenomenon because of this requirement for understanding. These conception then, are defined in terms of their binary opposition. Heraclitus monistic view predates Empedocles pluralism. For Heraclitus, the totality of reality could be expl ained in terms of its de rivation from fire, as the primordial substance, whereas, Empedocles argues for the four root as a pluralistic account of the same. Heraclitus was arguably the first Presocratic philosopher to offer a complete account of change in his cosmogony. A conception of change is necessary in any monistic account because the world is composed of more that just one substance. Heraclitus account that everything is derive d from fire does not fall prey to Anaximanders critique of Thales, who suggested that everything is composed of water. Anaximander challenged his teacher (Thales) one the not ion that everything could be derived from water, on the basis that at least one thing could not, viz ., fire, since fire is in opposition to water. Heraclitus account differs insofa r as fire has the capacity to account for the plurality of substances. If there is fire and paper (2 subs tances) and the paper is placed into the fire, 29 Bywater, I. Heracliti Ephesii Reliquiae. (Oxford, 1877) frag 57. 26


the product is ash, which is neither paper nor fire. The destructive capacity of fire is capable of creating new substances. Thus, Heraclitus cosmogony can account for change and the multiplicity of substances. William Chase Greene writes, Heraclitus includes both Good and Evil, as correlatives, within a natural system which presents an analogy with primitive moral law; human good and evil, however, are related to a specifically human attitude and activity, as with the Atomists and Stoics. 30 This binary opposition facilitate s in identifying each half, that which is good is defined by its oppositional relation to evil, and that which is evil is defined by it oppositional relation to good. Thus, the Presocratics sought to articulate the concepti on of evil in terms of its relation to that which is good. Through an understanding of the good, one is better equipped to understand evil and the nature of this relationship. A cosmogony and the descriptive account of how thi ngs came to be must incorpor ate these conceptions of good and evil as fundamentally and inextricability bound to the origins of the universe. As noted in the previous section, the associat ion of order and entropy, the balance of life always teetering on total systemic collapse is a facticity of not only the formation of the universe, but also our lives. The duality of thes e forces is in effect two sides to the same coin. To reject one is to reject the other a nd to affirm one is to affirm the other. The forces of good and evil, like fire and water, ar e the primordial forces of the universe. 30 Greene, William Chase. 1936. Fate, G ood, and Evil, in Early Greek Poetry Harvard Studies in Classical Philology Vol. 47, p. 128. 27


1.5. Socratic Conceptions of Evil: 424 BCE210 CE Like the Eastern philosophers that predated them, Ancient Greeks also had conceptions of virtue and morality, which prescribed proper moral action. Plato, for example, suggests that our act ions should reflect moderation, sphrosyn 31 In the Charmides he and Critias discuss the nature of mans search for happiness, which is inextricably bound to moderation and the knowledge of good and evil. Socrates. Yet I should like to know one thing more. Which of the different kinds of knowledge makes [man] happy? Critias. The knowledge with which he discerns good and evil. Socrates. You villain! I said. Y ou have been carrying me round in a circle, and all this time hiding from me the fact that it is not the life accord ing to knowledge which makes men act rightly and be happy, not even if it be knowledge of all the sciences, but one science only, that of good and evil (emphasis added). 32 For Plato, the form of happiness is intertwi ned with our acts of moderation and the knowledge of good and evil. The form of our ha ppiness resides outside this world it is transcendent yet moderation functions as a vehi cle, within this world, leading us toward that transcendence. Unlike Plato, however, Aristotle champione d the idea that function and form were one in the same, that material objects attained formal cause not in their matter (thisness) or in the work needed to bri ng about the object (the efficient cause) but in the form itself. Form inheres within matter, thus, substance equals form and matter. For Aristotle, good 31 32 Charmides 174a-c. 28


and evil were kept in balance by arte (virtue). Like the pre-Socratics, Aristotle sought to resolve the polemics of good and evil. He writes, And also for the sake of mere life (in which there is possibly some noble element so long as the evils of existence do not greatly overbalance the good) mankind meet together and maintain the political community. And we all see that men cling to lif e even at the cost of enduring great misfortune, seeming to find in life a natural sweetness and happiness. 33 For Aristotle, moderation is the path to arte, between excess and deprivation, which he investigates at length in the Ethics In discussing the nature of evil, Aristotle notes, excess can be manifested in all [includi ng love]yet all are not found in the same person. Indeed, they could not; for evil destroys even itself, and if it is complete becomes unbearable. 34 He suggests that evil eventually destroys itself. It undermines its own end, which correlates to Laozis claim that, T hose who think [weapons] are beautiful, rejoice in killing people. Those who re joice in killing pe ople cannot achieve their purpose in this world. 35 The commonality between Laozi and Aristotl e is shared by Platos account of evil in the Gorgias The following discussion between Po lus and Socrates demonstrates the point. Socrates. Which do you consider the worse, Polus, to do or to suffer wrong? Polus. I? To suffer wrong. 33 Aristotle. trans. Benjamin Jowett. 1900. The Politics of Aristotle New York: Colonial Press. Politics III Part VI. 34 Aristotle. trans. Jonathan Barnes. 1984. The complete works of Aristotle: the revised Oxford translation Bollingen series, 71:2. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Ethics, Book IV, Part VI. 1125b35. 35 Dao Te Ching v. 31. 29


Socrates. Well, and is it more shameful to do or to suffer wrong? Polus. To do wrong Socrates. Then to inflict wrong is worse than to suffer it through an excess of evil. 36 Plato offers an inte resting account in the Gorgias by trying to reconc ile the difference between inflicting evil, on the one hand, and bein g made to suffer evil, on the other. It is important to see that for Plato, ones atte mpt to inflict pain, to exacerbate another persons suffering, is more heinous an act th an having to endure suffering. Thus, Plato describes two properties of evil. On the one hand, he discusses suffe ring as a property of evil, but on the other hand, he also acknowle dges the troubles of deliberately inflicting harm. In our continued discussion of the cause s of evil, then, one must acknowledge that deliberately inflicting harm is a fundamental cause of evil. In attempting to forego evil, Plato demarcates its types, there is the evil of intent and the evil one suffers. In demarcating its type s, one is better equipped to analyze the concept of evil, so as not to confuse one fo rm of evil with anothe r. The type of evil associated with the intent of causing one to su ffer, is worse than the type of evil wherein one is made to suffer. Recognizing this distin ction between types allo ws one to moderate or ultimately forgo engaging in acts of evil. In our attempts to understand the many causes of evil, as moral agents, we must recognize the role of suffer ing and the deliberate attempt to inflict harm as essential sources for the proliferation of evil. In the next chapter, I will incorporate th ese conceptions of harm a nd suffering into an overall discussion of genocide theory and the act of genocide as the greatest manifestation of 36 Gorgias 474c2-8/475c12. 30


evil. Genocide, as enacted w ithin the external world, howev er, is itself buttressed on notions of deliberate harm and the perpetration of suffering. The stoic philosophy of Seneca ushered in the dawn of the Common Era with an insightful investigation into the nature of providence and evil, wher ein he addresses the difficulties faced by the deterministic aspects of providence, and the obvious presence of evil. If our lives are fated and deviations from that fate are impossible, yet we experience evil in our daily lives, what sense can be ma de from the relation of its existence and providence? One may argue that such an outlook of pessimism ultimately dooms, i.e., fates, the moral agent to suffer the ills of evil without the possibility of reprieve. Seneca suggests that evil makes us stronge r. It makes us more resilient. Why do many misfortunes fall to the lot of good men? It is not possible that any ev il can befall a good manHe maintains he poise and assimilates all that falls to his lot to his own complexion, for he is more potent than the world without. I do not maintain that he is insensible to externals, but that he overcomes themAll adversity he regards as exercise. 37 Though Seneca offers neither a metaphysical acc ount of evil nor a description of how it manifest within our lives, he does offer insight into coping with its existence. For Seneca, evil builds character. It allows a man to overc ome adversity, to define himself as resilient, capable of enduring great sufferings. He suggests that, No one is more unhappythan a man who has never met with adversity. He has never had the privilege of testing himself (emphasis added). 38 37 Seneca, Lucius Annaeus. trans. Moses Hadas. 1968. The stoic philosophy of Seneca; essays and letters of Seneca. New York: Norton.T o Lucilius. On Providence. II, 1-5. 38 Ibid, III. 31


With regard to that privilege, Seneca is suggesting that through suffering, we grow callous to suffering, which serves as a testam ent to the resilience of human beings. We identify ourselves through our abilities to overcome suffering. He writes, By suffering misfortunes, the mind grows able to belittle suffering. 39 Our endurance, then, our ability to persevere despite great adversit y, is the hallmark of a good man. Though Seneca speaks to the resilience and ch aracter that is cultivated through ones sufferings, if it is believed that a divinity is the ultimate creator of the universe, and that good men exist alongside evil, Why does G od allow evil to happen to good men? 40 This question speaks more to the problem of evil and the causes of evil. For Seneca, evil is an instrument of perseverance. The more one perseveres, the more one experiences evil. The more one experiences evil, the be tter equipped one is for facing the brutal realities of life. Thus, the more one persever es, the better equipped one is for facing the brutal realities of life. Perseverance allows us to overcome a lifetime of struggle. Seneca suggests that our suffering is, to te ach others to endure [suffering] 41 The ultimate end of suffering is a greater ability to endure mo re suffering as evident in the claim, Scorn pain: either it will go away or you will 42 Death becomes trivia l and unlike many other that characterize death as the ultimate evil, fo r Seneca, death is a release, an escape from a lifetime of suffering. One would certainly be justified in labe ling Senecas stoicism as pessimistic. The more dubious claim that human beings are co ntrolled by providence ra ther than freedom, 39 Ibid, IV, 6. 40 Ibid, V,1. 41 Ibid, VI. 42 Ibid, VI. 32


all the while enduring the gr eatest evils, distur bed a new generation of philosophical skeptics. Thus, in attempting to underst and the concept of evil one cannot truly conceptualize the grandeur of its destructive capacities without also acknowledging its ability to exacerbate suffering and ultimately destroy human life. The willful attempt to proliferate the suffering of other and the w holesale destruction of human life is the greatest manifestation of evil. Through its manifestation, however, t hose that survive the onslaught of evil will retain a greater resilien ce to survive. Through their survival, former victims of evil serves as the greatest source and hope for understanding the nature of evil, and as Seneca has suggested, th eir struggle emboldens future generations of sufferers to persevere through the ills of evil. 1.6. Hindu Mysticism and the Concept of Evil In articulating this balance, there were variations in how the concept of evil is formalized. Patajali was a Hindu mystic believed to have lived between the 2 nd -3 rd century C.E. and author of the widely influential Yoga-S tras. His Yoga-S tras is based on the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, which teaches that all matter is derived from prakrti (primal Nature) and its th ree constituent gunas, viz., sattva (being, existence, light), rajas (change, energy), and tamas (resistance, darkness). The three gunas are the foundation for all existing things There unification results in the creation of the external world, which are but manifestations of their essences. Patajali explains, The nature of each different Guna is influenced by the nature of the other two Guna s. Gunas are perceived in objects which are manifestations of their mutations. In each manifestation, the three G unas are combined. When analyzed, it shows Sattva on one side, Tamas on the other, and Rajas in the middle. When we speak of Sattva, Rajas 33


and Tamas are bound to be there[Thus] Gunas combine to produce all objects and they act by mutual cooperation. 43 It is our attachments to others to wealth, and even to our own minds, which serves as the true source of evil. In the highest stage of self-liberation, Patajal i writes, the highest form of detachment is achieved in the mind ceasi ng to act, the Seer is said to be in a state of Kaivalya or liberation. 44 Patajalis account of the Yoga-S tras and the conception of self-liberation spread to foreign countrie s and were quickly translated by others. Some of the first known translations of Patajalis work were by the Persian philosopher and natural scientist, Ab ar-Rayh n Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-B r n also known as al-B r n (973-c.1050), who translated the orig inal Sanskrit text into Arabic. There is some debate, however, over the accuracy of Al-B r n s translation of Patajalis Yoga-s tras, 45 but there is consensus on the in fluence and purpose of Patajalis philosophy. In a further elaboration of this process of self-liberation, Al-B r n translates Patajali, writing, Q6 How can the quelling of the soul and the compression of its faculties away from external things be accomplished?... Ans This may be accomplished[by] intellectual, namely mental asceticism, which consist of contemplating the consequences with the eye of the heart, and considering the evil of the existents, which come into being and pass away. For nothing is worse than decaying and passing away, these two being inherent in (the existents)For they are the 43 Patajali. trans. P.N. Mukerji. 1983. Yoga philosophy of Patajali containing his Yoga aphorisms with Vysa's commentary in Sanskrit and a translation with annotations including many suggestions for the practice of Yoga. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 162. 44 Ibid p. 109. 45 Pines, Shlomo, Tuvia Gelblum, Al-B r ni and Patajali. Al-B r n 's Arabic Version of Patajali's "Yogas tra" Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Vol. 29, No. 2 (1966), p. 302-325. The authors acknowledge the debate over Al-B r n 's translation of the original Sanskrit text without refuting its importance and historical significance. 34


causes of attachment to thi ngs existing in the world, and add to the evils of bondage, and prevent him from addressing himself single-mindedly to his liberation. 46 Death is part of life. To relinquish our attachments, then, is to transcend death, as death is but a loss of ones attachment to another. T hus, in self-liberation and the ultimate act of Kaivalya (liberation of the mind), one transcends death and all attachments including ones attachment to ones self. According to Patajali, this is tr uly the triumph of good over evil. This mystic conception of self-liberation di ffers from the conception of original sin insofar as the power to overcome evil reside s within the individual. We are not burdened by the guilt of original sin a nd the process of overcoming ev il is clearly defined. This process is undertaken by rec ognition of ones need to attain Kaivalya and total selfliberation. Evil can have no hold of the Yogi sinc e he is without attachments, and the fear of loss will not motivate an evil action to pres erve that which is inherently mortal or prone to decay. Thus, Patajalis Yoga-S tras serves as an alte rnative, non-Western, nonChristian, account of our relations hip to evil, which exists and arises from a fear of loss. Remember it was Menciuss discussion of fear and anxiety that led to the corruption of the small man and the king, and the act of a ttempting to circumvent the process of our socialization that led to the greatest injusti ce, which is the appearance of justice without an obligation to the moral law. Later in the discussion, I will return to Patajalis mystic conception of self-liberation in a co ntemporary account of political evil. 46 Ibid., 317. 35


1.7. Medieval Conceptions of the Problem Evil: 160-1274 CE The discussion of evil reached its peak during the middle ages. As a point of clarification, I will discuss evil, in this section of the analysis, in terms of the theological problem that pertains to the tr aditional argument for the existe nce of evil in light of Gods characteristics, viz., his omnipotence, omni science and his benevolence. Towards the end of this section, I shall return to a di scussion of the concept of evil and draw my conclusions. St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo Regius, reje cted the notion that God has abandoned us in a cosmos where everything is evil and proposed an alternate account: man, not God, is the source of evil. This goes against Sen ecas stoic conception of fate and providence, and is an embrace of mans freedom of will. For centuries, theologians have grappled with the existence of evil, attempting to reco ncile its presence with the existence of an omnipotent and benevolent God. 47 On this account of Augustine, Paul Vincent Space writes: There is a paradox about evil in the world, at least there is a paradox if you believe in any kind of traditional God. If God (a) knows about evil by his omniscience, (b) has the power to prevent it by his omnipotence, and (c) is benevolent and just and so will arrange things to avoid evil wherever he can (which in virt ue of (a) and (b), means that he will avoid it everywhere), then it looks as though there can be no evil in the world. It has been successfully prevented by a power strong enough to do so. And yet God 47 Augustine. trans. Henry Bettenson, 1984. Concerning the City of God, against the Pagans New York: Penguin Press. p. 447-481. Tooley, Michael. 1991. The Argument from Evil Philosophical Perspectives. Vol. 5, Philosophy of Religion, p. 89-134. and Mackie, J. L. 1990. Evil and Omnipotence The Problem of Evil New York: Oxford University Press. 36


is supposed to have all these properties, even though there is evil in the world. 48 If in attempting to account for the problem of evil, one denies Gods love, one raises the issue of absentee deism. Absentee deism is the belief that G od created the universe but that after the creation of the universe he abandoned his creation, l eaving us to fend for ourselves. Thus, it accounts for the existe nce of evil by denying Gods benevolence. St. Augustine explicitly deni es this suggestion. His cont ribution to analyzing the problem of evil arose from his refusal to de ny Gods characteristics or the existence of evil, i.e., he embraced both the belief in th e existence of evil and all three of Gods characteristics. In order, th en, to integrate both, St. Augustine had to find an account for the existence of evil, one that did not co mpromise Gods characteristics. St. Augustine found this alternative in mans free will. Within the will, man had the ability to exercise his freedom, and God, being the benevolent be ing He is, could not limit mans freedom. Evil, so St. Augustine, enters the cosm os through the corruption of mans will. The fundamental account for this initi al corruption arises from mans original sin. The original sin occurred when, according to biblical text, Adam and Eve transgressed and disobeyed Gods commandment not to ea t of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In their transgression, their eyes were opened to the evils of this world and they realized that they could act as they pleas ed. In breaking Gods la w they were punished, ejected from the Garden of Eden and forced to fend for themselves. Augustine discusses the nature of mans will in relation to Gods power and the ramification of orig inal sin, writing: 48 Paul Vincent Space, Medieval Philosophy (The Course in the Box), typoscript 1990, p.159. 37


the first evil act of will, preceding as it did, all evil works in man, was rather a falling away from the work of God to the wills own works than any one work; and those works were evil because they followed the wills own pattern and not Gods. Thus, the will itself, or man himself in so far as he was possessed of an evil will, was the evil tree, as it were, that bore the evil fruit that those works represented. 49 Augustine argues that it is mans weakness of will and his inherent freedom to exercise that will, which has lead to the proliferat ion of evil. Since Augus tine is not denying the existence of evil, and he acknowledges that God is the creator of the cosmos, and evil exists within the cosmos, then his account of mans freedom of the will, offers an explanation as to how evil exists and how its existence cannot be at tributed to God. Through exercising his freedom, man is able to follow his own will instead of the will of God. After eating of the tree of the know ledge of good and evil, man became aware to corruption and disobedience. His awareness is a direct result of his disobedience. Thus, in disobeying Gods will, man placed primacy on his own will. The will of a man, however, is often incapable of properly distingu ishing between instances of good and evil and therefore prone to the proliferation of evil throughout the world. Augustine writes, The eyes of both we are told, were opened, yet not that they might see, since they c ould see already, but that they might distinguish between the good that they had lost and the evil into which they had fallen. This also explains why the tree itself, which was to enable them to make such a distinction if they laid hands on it to eat its fruit in spite of the prohibition, what named for that fact and called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 50 49 Saint Augustine The City of God Against the Pagan: IV Books XII-XV eds T.E. Page, et. al. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956), Book XIV. xi. 50 The City of God Book XIV. xvii. 38


The true nature of man, however, is to obe y the will of God. The fall was a contingent event wherein we chose to disobey. In disobeyi ng the will of God, those that now attempt to walk in the faith, as it were, face add itional evils that are not faced by nonbelievers. 51 Thus, the righteous will be made to bear not only the suffering of evils common to good and bad but also a species of evil of their own. Augustine writes, [Evil] would never have existed anywhere if our nature had still remained upright as it was created. Hence also this conflict of ours, on which depe nds our salvation, and from which we desire to be freed in final victory, is one of the evils of this life. And so by the evidence of these evils, so many and so great, we prove that this life is one of condemnation. 52 This life is condemned. It has been defile d by mans freedom of the will, which has placed his desires above the will of God. N onetheless, there is reprieve in heaven. Augustines dualism shuns this world for the af terlife, shuns desire for abstinence, and attributes the problem of evil to mans corru pted will and his ability to exercise his freedom. 53 Ernesto Bonaiuti and Giorgio La Piana discuss Augustines interpretation of evil in terms of his account of original sin and his st rict tenets of predes tination. Though it is not often noted, Augustine argued in De libero Arbitrio (On Free Choice of the Will), that the original substance of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden was one of an ethereal 51 The City of God Book XXIII. The title of Book XXIII is, Of the troubles which ( in addition to the evils common to the good and the bad) belong to the distress of the righteous (emphasis added). 52 The City of God Book XXII. xxiii. 53 While I am inspired by Augustines attempts to situate the problem of evil in our freedom of the will, the analysis of evil, in terms of its relation to Augustines theological account, is of little use in a contemporary discussion of evil. One of my main objectives within this investigation is to divorce the analysis of evil from theology. 39


substance. 54 Bonaiuti and La Piana then argue that, under biblical inte rpretations, Adam and Eves bodies were made physical, i.e., the punishment of sin is death. Death is the decomposition of physical substance. An ethereal substance would l ack divisibility and therefore lack the ability to die. What is of in terest in my analysis of the concept of evil is not the view which argues for death as the gr eatest evil, rather I am interested in St. Augustines conception that our punishment for disobeying Gods laws was embodiment. An ontological question arises with Augustines conception of ethereal substances, one which, until now, has yet to have been addressed, i.e., does the ontology of evil require embodiment? The answer, for Augustine, is simple enough, as he affirms that it does. Quite obviously, contemporary metaphysicians may classify themselves as idealists or materialist. Those supporting the existe nce of evil can certain ly be found in both camps. Thus, the question arises, in an Augustin ian sense, as to the nature of evil and embodiment. The idealist may argue for the ex istence of evil but deny the requirement for embodiment and the materialist may also ar gue for the existence of evil and affirm the requirement for the same. It would be very interesting to see how this argument would develop within the discourse of evil. I w ould anticipate that as the difficulties of defending these two stances would unfold, one would further gain insight into the ontological nature of evil and its specific relation to embodiment. St. Augustine also faced the further hist orical pressure of differentiating Roman Catholicism from both Manichean and Pelagian interpretations of the gospel. Gillian Evans captures this tension nicely writing, 54 Bonaiuti, Ernesto and Giorgio La Piana. 1917. The Genesis of St. Augustines Idea of Original Sin The Harvard Theological Review Vol 10. No. 2 (April), p. 162. 40


The Pelagian regarded the lust of the flesh as a natural good; the Manichees think that it has been an evil thing from all eternity; the Catholic date the evil in it from the fall of Adam. The Pelagian says that even a wicked man can do good by his own free will; the Manichees deny that it is from a mans free will that evil takes its beginning; the Catholics maintain that each man is the source of his own evil and that no one can do good of himself. 55 It is interesting to note that the main c onceptual difference between each of the three systems of belief pertains to the role of evil within a devotees life. Though Augustines account is theological in its nature, he is more accurately, here, concerned with articulating various concepts of evil, rather than couching the discourse in terms of the problem. As noted in Evanss account, the concept of evil and the effect it has on a parishioners life, unfolds in vastly differe nt ways. For Pelagians, sexual pleasure is a natural good, whereas for the Manicheans it a na tural evil. Catholics locate the existence of evil within the moral agents exercise of the will, whereas the Manicheans deny this claim. It is not so much that these arguments regress into relativism, which is of any concern here. Rather, that the discourse on evil was st ructured in terms of its manifestation and proliferation instead of atte mpting to consolidate its existence with that of Gods characteristics, at least demonstrates that the concept of evil, though tenuous, was of interest even within theological discourse. Separating the two, however, i.e., totally separating a discourse of evil from theol ogical analysis would have been sacrilege. 55 Evans, Gillian. 1981.Neither a Pelagian nor a Manichee Vigiliae Christianae, Vol 35 No 3. Sep., p. 232. 41


As has been noted, various philosophers at the beginning of the Common Era tackled the problem of evil by relating it s existence to our freedoms, some suggesting that we are free to determine the course of our lives, ot hers arguing the contrar y. Nevertheless, Gods relation to mankind as the creative force be hind our existence was contrasted by the conception that human beings are inherently free. On the one hand, the existence of evil and Gods divine providence for mankind, as noted by Seneca, is divorced from a conception of a caring God, insofar as Gods providence includes evil, on the other hand, the existence of evil is necessitated by our freedom of will. Thus, either God is uncaring or, as Augustine noted, it is man that exercises his will and as such serves as the source for the proliferation of evil. Sextus Empiricus of the Pyrrhonian School o ffered one of the first arguments for the problem of evil, which directly challenge d the conception of a monotheistic God. He argues that evil becomes a problem for the th eists because there is an inability to reconcile the obvious existence of evil with th e existence of God. He argues that God is attributed with three character istics that are incompatible w ith evil. God is said to be omnipotent, omniscient and omni-benevolent. If God were omnipotent, he would have the power to prevent th e occurrence of evil. However, evil exists, which challenges the not ion that God is omnipotence. If God were omniscient, he would know that evil exists and would use this knowledge to prevent its occurrence. Since evil exists, we are led to be lieve that God is not omniscient. Finally, if God were omni-benevolent his love for us would motivate him to prevent the occurrence of evil, but evil exists, which leads us to believe that God does not love us. 42


The implications of Sextus argument challe nge the core beliefs of Christianity. In defending the existence of God, some have denied the existence of evil and thereby preserved the characteristics of God. I will di scuss such attempts in chapter 3. Others have suggested that God is not omnipotent as his has created the laws of nature to which even he is bound. But few deny the omniscience and omni-benevolence of God. For centuries after he first presented his argument, philosophers and theologians alike have attempted to resolve the fundamental conflict between the existence of evil and the three characteristics of God. The attempt to resolve this tension ca nnot arise within the context of a theological account for the problem of evil. One must shift the analysis from the problem of evil to a discussion of the con cept of evil, a discussi on that can be fully articulated within secular terms. In his descri ption of the problem of evil, Sextus writes, Anyone who asserts that God exists either says that God takes care of the things in the cosmos or that he does not, and, if he does take care, that it is either all of things or some. Now if he takes care of everything, there would be no particular evil thing and no evil in general in the cosmos; but the Dogmatists say that everything is full of evil ; therefore God shall not be said to take care of everything. On the other hand if he takes care of only some things, why does he take care of these and not those? For either he wishes but is not able or he is able but does not wish, or he neither wishes nor is able. (emphasis added) 56 The discussion of evil shifted si gnificantly from the more modest claim to live a life of balance and moderation, espoused by so many be fore the Common Era, to an indictment of Gods inability to shield humanity from the evils of the world. Effectively, then, the discussion shifted from an analysis of the conc ept of evil to an analys is of the problem of 56 Empiricus, Sextus. trans. Benson Ma tes. 1996. Outlines of Pyrrhonism, The Skeptic Way: Sextus Empiricuss Outlines of Pyrrhonism, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 175. 43


evil, the former accounts for the conceptual na ture of evils mani festation within the world and the latter accounts for how that ma nifestation affects the nature of Gods divine existence. The concept of evil can be articulated pure ly in secular terms, whereas the problem of evil is primarily a theological discussion. A dramatic shift, then, has occurred in the discussion of evil: rather than bemoaning the harsh nature of suffering that we must b ear, rather than labeli ng death as the greatest evil inflicted upon humanity, Sextus implicat es God as bastardizing His creation. We have been left to fend for ourselves, irrespec tive of fate or divi ne providence; God has abandoned us in a cosmos where, everything is full of evil. Despite Sextus skepticism and his indictment of God as absentee deit y, he does offer an account of good and evil: If, then, there exists anything good by nature or anything evil by nature, this thing ought to be common for all men and good or evil for all. For just as fire which is warmthgiving by nature warms all men, and does not warm some but chill otherswhat is good by nature ought to be good for allbut there is nothi ng good or evil common to alltherefore there does not exist anything good or evil by nature. 57 Surprisingly, Sextus account of good and evil is to refute the possibility of their nature. Unlike the capriciousness of Gods care, or ev en more forcefully said, his responsibility to his creation, which follows no conceivable logic, Sextus applies the most rigorous skeptical doubt in conceptual izing the nature of good and evil. Since being good or evil by nature would entail an ability to universalize, under every circumstance, either conception, and interpretations of these fact s are (arguably) subjective matters, Sextus 57 Empiricus, Sextus trans R.G. Bury 1997. Against the Physicists, Against the Ethicists Mass: Harvard University Press. Books 69-71. 44


suggest that it is impossible to generalize the nature of good and evil. Thus, he concludes, there is nothing that is inherently good or evil. Though this conclusion may seem to follow fr om the premises, there are a number of problems in Sextus argument. First, that the nature of good and evil, if the existence of such things are called into que stion, is contingent on subjec tive interpretations, in no sense serves to refute the possibility of their existence. It only demonstrates a difficulty in distilling their nature from an event, a feat that presents no lo gical contradiction. Determinations of good and evil are complex assessments that require not only moral determinations, but political de terminations as well, which is essentially an empirical process. Determinations of good and evil can be made in this regard, which is not to discredit Sextus claim, by appealing to pol itical rather than moral determinations. Furthermore, all human beings have bodies a nd those bodies are eith er healthy or sick. Sickness or disease yields su ffering and misery whereas health points to wellbeing and an ability to flourish. On the level of embodime nt, then, good and evil are physically or biomedically universal. Our embodiment is a necessa ry feature of our humanity and as such, our identification with these conceptions directly pertains to how an understanding of these concepts affects our bodies. As we have seen in the previous section, in account for evil one must also acknowledge the role of suffering, which is itself contingent on the idea of an embodied being. Thus, embodiment as the nature of our exis tence serves as the requisite framework with which we truly come to understand notions of good and evil. Secondly, his use of the word nature is vague. One can argue that the attempt to define the nature of evil, as an essen tial component to understa nding how we identify 45


events as evil is a meaningless prospect, sin ce determinations of evil depend on the nature of the event rather than the nature of evil. In fact, one could grant Sextus the claim that evil has no nature and still demonstrate conditions wh erein its manifestation yields the judgment that an event is evil. I will pr esent such a case in chapter two. The very thought that one can either prove or disprove the existence of evil based on defining its nature, presupposes its existenceinevitably begging the question. The question is not whether there is a nature to evil, but whether we can identif y conditions that lead to the determination that an event is evil. Evil, then, does not ex ist as a concept whose nature can be articulated based on some set of unive rsals. Rather, evil exists as an empirical phenomenon of our shared reality which can be logically asse ssed from the nature of the event in questionnot the nature of evil itself. Sextus critique of God in light of the pr oblem of evil challenges the conception of Gods characteristics. Omnipotence, omni science and omni-Benevolence are three characteristics that are attributed to God. For most, the existence of evil is readily apparent and, therefore, undeni able. However, Gods attri butes, viz., his omnipotence, omniscience and omni-benevolence, are incongruous with the existence of evil. If (1) God is omnipotent, (2), God is omni scient, and (3) God is benevolent, and one acknowledges the existence of evil, then the following truth table represents the problems with adhering to all four claims. It is argued that God cannot retain all three attributes simultaneously. If God is omniscient and benevolent, and one acknowledge s the existence of evil, then God cannot be omnipotent because if He were, His love and His knowledge of evils existence would 46


compel Him to act on our behalf. Thus, though He may be said to be omniscient and benevolent it cannot be true that He is omnipot ent in the face of such evil, (2&3) are true but (1) is false. If it is argued that God is omnipotent and benevolent, and one acknowledges the existence of evil, then God cannot be omniscient because if He were, his love and his unlimited power would allow Hi m to prevent the occurrence of evil, were He to know of its existen ce. Thus, though He may be said to be omnipotent and benevolent, it cannot be true that He is omniscient, (1&3) are tr ue but (2) is false. Finally then, if it is argued that G od is omnipotent and omniscient, and one acknowledges the existence of evil, then God cannot be benevol ent because if He were, his power and His knowledge of evil would compel Him to prev ent evil from ever occurring. Thus, though he may be said to be omnipotent and omniscie nt it cannot be true th at he is benevolent, and this presents the ultimate critique against Gods existence. If he knows that evil exists and He has the power to prevent its existen ce, but He does not because He does not love us, there can be no God, or at best, He would be an absentee deity that has bastardized all of His creation, (1&2) are true but (3) is false. These references to the charac teristics of God and the difficulties that arise over evil, is properly termed the problem of evil Essentially, then, the problem of evil is a theological puzzle, rooted in monotheistic religion and only incide ntally related to philosophical analysis. More specifically, however, a di scussion of the problem of ev il requires the historical context with which emphasis was placed on the individual moral agents use of free will, as the problem of evil is inex tricably bound to the agents ex ercise of freedom and Gods 47


knowledge that such freedom would invariably result in the existen ce of evil. Thus, on moral grounds, since freedom is being assu med, responsibility and knowledge for proper actions, in accordance with a governing moral code, must also be assumed. There were those philosophers who combin ed the discussion of free will with an analysis of political life, more so than simp ly discussing freedom in terms of particular moral agency. Within Islamic culture, al-F r b (Alfarabi), whose full name was Ab Nasr Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Tarkh n Ibn Awzalagh al-F r b was such a thinker. He is regarded as the founding father of Islamic political thought. He commented extensively on both Plato and Aristo tle. His theories of political life were heavily influenced by the Republic For Alfarabi, accounting for evil was simple. Evil resulted from the misery of our voluntary actions. In expressi ng our freedom, human beings have the ability to choose how they will govern themselves and in so doing it is inevitable that some will deliberately seek to inflict su ffering on others. For Alfarabi, th is capacity to act is an existing fact for all human beings. There are, however, alternatives to this cap acity. Alfarabi discusses the virtues of the soul, such as self restraint. These abilities serve to counter our inclinations toward evil. In seeking to cause other people to suffer or to increase their misery, Alfarabi suggests that we think in terms of how th at desire may undermine the stability of the state. If every citizen within the st ate were to seek to inflict suffering on others, quickly the state would slip into chaos and cease to exist. To prevent this disaster, Alfarabi suggests that we learn to control our impulses and th ink in terms of our in terconnectedness rather 48


than our difference. In appeali ng to our similarities rather th an our differences, Alfarabis account of evil and its relation to the political speaks to the shared obligation of humanity to preserve life. For Alfarabi, our voluntary actions define who we are as human beings. The person who chooses self restraint and moderation will invariably lead a virtuous life. Living a virtuous life strengthens the state, whereas seeking to harm othe r and increasing their misery leads to evil and the ulti mate destruction of the state. Within Alfarabis political philosophy, he discusses the nature of evil ( sharr ) and characterizes its two types, a characterization that preceded St. Anselms discourse of the same. 58 In The Political Writings Alfarabi suggests the following: Evil does not exist at all, not in anything of these worlds and, in general, in that whose existence is not at all due to human volitionThat is because ev il is of two types. One is the misery opposite to ha ppiness. And the second is everything such that misery is obtained by means of it. Misery is evil in that it is the goal one comes to without there being beyond that a greate r evil to which one comes by means of misery. The sec ond is the voluntary actions such as to lead to misery. 59 Alfarabi clearly defines the ex istence of two forms of evil, both of which are described in terms of misery, as the ultim ate goal of evil. In analyzi ng evil, a difference in typology does not reflect a difference in teleology, si nce misery is the goal for both types. Distinctions in type, however, do reflect distinctions in the nature of their existence. For Alfarabi, one form of evil results from the misery opposite to happiness and the other 58 I am unsure whether Anselm was familiar with Alfara bis work, but his charact erizations of evil, and the insights gained by his analysis, were investigat ed by Alfarabi nearly one hundred years earlier. 59 Alfarabi. trans. Charles E. Butterworth. 2001. The Political Writings Ithaca: Cornell University Press, Aphorism 74, p. 47. 49


from the voluntary actions [that] lead to misery. 60 With respect to the relationship between evil and free will, then, it is important to note that free will, i.e., ones voluntary actions, only account for the second type of evil. With respect to defining mans predisposition toward evil, Alfarabi continues, It is not likely to find a human being endowed so perfectly from the onset that no disparity is found in him at all and that the rest of his actions, his way of life, and his moral habits flow according to ju stice and equity without inclining to any of the extremes or to the tyranny of some contraries over others. 61 For Alfarabi, it is evil if our voluntary actio ns are such that their occurrence leads to misery. Granted, our imperfections as human be ings will always lead to faulty reasoning, which in turn leads to misery, but the intent of our actions must be governed by virtue. The virtuous person will shun evil and embrace goodness, and will be an asset to the city, whereas, the person without virtue will embrace evil and must be cast from the city. Alfarabi writes, Evils are made to cease in citi es either by virtues that are established in the souls of the people or by their becoming self-restrained. Any human being whose evil cannot be made to cease by a virtue being established in his soul or by self-restrain is to be put outside the cities. 62 For Alfarabi, then, evil threatens the stability of the city and thus the state. If we are to safeguard the state, we must seek to instill virtue into the lives of every citizen; otherwise, it will spread, destroying the popul ation and inevitably destabilizing the state. Thus, for Alfarabi, evil is defined in term s of the misery that results from voluntary 60 Ibid, Aphorism 74. p. 47. 61 Ibid, Aphorism 97. p. 65. 62 Ibid, Aphorism 16. p. 20. 50


action. Since laws are passed by governmental officials to protect the lives and wellbeing of its citizenry, the existen ce of malignant forces within the population, seeking to proliferate misery, undermines th e ability of the state to protect its people, which justifies Alfarabis claim that, Any human being whos e evil cannot be made to ceaseis to be put outside the cities. As noted earlier, in our discussion of Menc iuss critique of the king and his greed, the security of the state rests within the hands of its government. For Alfarabi, evil arises from two sources and either of these sources may also corrupt those charged with safeguarding the lives of its citizenry. His conception is well defined and articulated. Despite the variations in typology, however, the teleology is the same, the end being exclusion. If the goal of a given ruler is to exclude those that would otherwise benefit from inclusion, be it inclusive rights or acce ssibility to services, then the government directly participates in exacer bating the misery of those within the excluded group. On an Islamic conception of evil, the actions of the government would equally warrant reproach. Thus, under Islamic code, both th e moral agent and those charged with governing the population are bound to proper moral action. Any intention, whether vocalized or not, whether writ ten or thought, to enact or pr olong the misery of another human being is deemed evil. Anselm of Canterbury co ntinues the discussion writing, Let us turn now to a considera tion of the will and recall the conclusion to which we have come: namely, that the will for happiness, whatever it wills, is not evil but a good before receiving justice. From which it follows that, when it abandons the justice received, if it is the same essence as it was before, it is somethi ng good insofar as it exists, but 51


insofar as justice is not in the thing that it was in, it is called evil and unjust (emphasis added). 63 Anselm returns to a Platoni c conception of justice ( dik ) and further elaborates on the interrelation between that whic h is just and that which is good. The conception of justice, in a political sense is not novel to Anselm; it is a conception as old as Western philosophy. What Anselm was able to contribute, however, was the un ion of justice and injustice with the conceptions of good and evil. A further investiga tion of Anselms quote revels that the deliberate attempt to remove justice from moral cons iderations is both evil and unjust. If, in determining the morality of a given action, the moral agent willfully removes or overlooks conception of justice and equality, fairness and inclusion, for the intended purpose of excluding member s of the community th at would otherwise be included in moral consideration, then th e moral agents action ought to be considered, according to Anselm, as evil and unjust. What is important to understand from Anselms articulation of evil is the emphasis he places on the agents will and the exercise of his freedom in determining which action to take. If in determining the appropriate course of action, I intentionally di sregard the moral considerations of an agent, how, then, am I to hold claim to proper moral conduct. To remain consistent with proper moral conduct, I ought to respect and recognize the freedom of other moral agents, all of whom hold the same claim to exercising their freedom as I do. Thus, essential to a discussion of evil, especially if the discussion focuses on c onception of justice and morality, is the 63 Anselm, Brian Davies, and G. R. Evans. 1998. On the Fall of the Devil. In The major works Oxford: Oxford University Press. 19, p. 221. 52


recognition of other wills, and other, possibly competing, modes of interpretation. Otherwise, the moral agent cannot hold claim to inclusivity. The argumentative difference between An selm and Augustines conception of the nature of the will, differ in the slightest re gard, but it is an esse ntial distinction. For Augustine, we are free to determine our actions and evil is an abse nce of goodness, which also holds true for Anselm. The differe nce being, however, that for Anselm, the nature in which injustice is found is something evil because it is something real and differs from injustice which is evil and is nothing Therefore, what is real is made by God and comes from him; what is nothing, that is evil, is caused by the guilty and comes from him (emphasis added). 64 Anselms argument here is a bit complex and arguably confusing, but it is important to understand what is being said. The circumstance s wherein we identify an act or event as unjust, is itself an instance of evil, i.e., the particular, real world event, wherein an atrocity occurs is an identifiable instance of evil. This identification of an evil event, however, differs from the lack of goodness, which is also evil but posits no identifiable existence. It is evil insofar as it is not good but it posits no positive (i n the sense of actual) evil. He later writes, When the we hear the word evil we do not fear the evil that is nothing, but that which is something real and follows the lack of the good. Many sufferings follow on injustice and blindness and t hose in fact are nothing, but these sufferings are evil and ar e something real and it is these we fear when we hear the word evil. 65 64 Ibid, 21, p. 223. 65 Ibid, 26, p. 230 53


Anselm has two radically different conceptio ns of evil; there is, what I will call, the conception of evil as nothing and evil as something. I will argue two points. First the conception of evil as nothing is synonym ous with, that which is not-good, and second, that we equivocate in the use of the term ev il if we are interchangeably using evil as that which is not-good, (evil as nothing) on the one hand, and evil as a positive act of exclusion and destruction, on the other. The two are not interchangeable. In the following chapter, I will disregard the concept of ev il as nothing or the lack of goodness for a positive (being actual) account of evil, which will require me to define and qualify what is meant by the term. Anselms account of the distinction between evil as nothing and evil as something and Alfarabis discussion of the two forms of evil are important contributions to a philosophical investigation of evil. We are fr equently equivocating in the use of the term evil, which Anselm recognized and all too many have overlooked. We are not using the term evil in the same sense if we are defining an event that was not good from ones voluntary actions that led to evil, which has se mantic rather than ontological importance. For example, there is a difference in sayi ng Though he could swim, Bob did not save Mary from drowning, and saying, Bob drowned Mary. Many would suggest that both are instances of evil, and they may be correct, but the use of the term evil in formulating an argument, cannot have two senses, i.e., we cannot use the term evil to mean both that which is not-good and that which results from ones vol untary actions to do evil. Thus, we are certainly justified in asking, In what sense is the te rm evil being used. In formulating an argument, we can use th e former or the latter but not both. 54


In this analysis, in referr ing to the term evil, I will always be referring to the conception of evil as positing something posit ive. I will never use the term evil to describe an instance of not being good. Though it is also correct to discuss evil in terms of not being good, I will refrain from using this sense of the term. In the following chapter, I will define the positive attributes that I have ascribed to evil and further define what I mean by the term. Furthermore, it is not being suggested th at these are the only two senses of the term, to add more woul d only strengthen my point. My argument is based on Anselms explanation of this difference, and as such, I will limit my use of the term evil to a positive account of evil as something. Both Alfarabi and St. Anselm discuss evil in terms of the concept of evil, one form of evil arising in opposition to that which is good, and the causes of evil as arising from ones voluntary actions. If voluntary action is based on ones freedom of will, and the will is the source of evils existence, then ones voluntary action is the source of evils existence. Might there, however, be some third omni-malevolent cause of evil? This question is posed and answered by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Saint Thomas Aquinas offered a comprehe nsive analysis of evil within his magnum opus, Summa Theologica Rather than surveying Aquinas discussion of evil, however, I have selected two key points of interest for investigation. First, does Aquinas believe in the existence of a supreme evil, as the cause of all lesser evils, wh ich would function as alternative cause of evil? And second, what is the signification of evil? Regarding the first question, St. Aquinas ul timately disagrees with the conception that a supreme evil could exist, but he poses the following argument. 55


Further, if one contrary is in nature, so is the other. But the supreme good is in nature, and is the cause of every goodTherefore, also, there is a supreme evil opposed to it as the cause of every evil. Further, as we find good and better things, so we find evil and worse. But good and better are so considered in relation to what is best. Therefore, evil and worse are so considered in relation to some supreme evil. 66 In formulating his reductio ad absurdum Aquinas suggests that one could argue for the existence of a supreme evil based on the conception of the greatest good, summum bonum Since nature is comprised of contrary existences, 67 and the summum bonum exists within nature, it seems logical to conclude that the summum malum or the greatest evil, also exists. If the summum malum existed, it would be the cause of every evil in existence. 68 Thus, Aquinas considers the possibility of its existence, but refutes the infinite regress of causes and effects, which would result from a lack of a summum malum He writes, Further, the evil of the effect is reduced to the evil of the cause, because the deficient effect comes from the deficient causeBut we cannot proceed to infinity in this matter. Therefore, we must suppose one first evil as the cause of every evil. 69 Assuming the logical necessity of a summum malum which prevents a regression of causes and effects ad infinitum Aquinas argues against the possi bility of its existence by appealing to the conception that evil is the lack of that wh ich is good. In ch apter three of 66 Aquinas, Thomas, "Summa Theologica", Fathers of the English Dominican Province (trans.), Daniel J. Sullivan(ed.), vols. 1920 in Robert Maynard Hutchins (ed.), Great Books of the Western World Encyclopedia Britannica, In c., Chicago, IL, 1952. Part I, Q. 49, article 3, objection. 2-3. 67 Aristotle, Heavens II, 3 (286a23). 68 Summa Theological, Part I, Q. 49, article 3, objection. 4. 69 Summa Theological, Part I, Q. 49, article 3, objection. 6. 56


this analysis I will argue against the sugges tion that evil is merely a privation of goodness, as this line of reasoning is prone to error. Nevertheless, Aquinas writes, But there cannot be a supreme evil, becausealthough evil always lessens good, yet it never wholly consumes it; and thus, since good always remains, nothing can be wholly perfectly bad. 70 Aquinas even makes the stronger claim, which was discussed in my analysis of Aristotle and Laozi, that evil invariably de stroys itself. Aristotle writes, [Anger] can be manifested in al l the points that have been named (for one can be angry with the wrong person, at the wrong things, more than is right, too quickly, or too long); yet all are not found in the same person. Indeed they could not; for evil destroys even itself and if it is complete becomes unbearable (emphasis added). 71 Aquinas concludes that the summum malum cannot exist because it would destroy itself. Furthermore, Aquinas must reject this conception of the summum malum because the existence of an all powerful force of evil would further exacerbate the problem of evil and particularly undermine G ods love. As the creator of the universe it would be impossible to account for the exis tence of absolute evil, whic h would be the cause of all minor instances of its instantiation. Theo logically, then, Aqui nas cannot support the notion of a summum malum because he would then be left with the terrible task of accounting for its existence in light of Gods characteristics. On these grounds, then, and based on his religious beliefs, Aquinas must deny the existence of the summum malum 70 Summa Theological, Part I, Q. 49, article 3. 71 Aristotle. trans. W. D. Ross, J. O. Urmson. 1988. The Nicomachean ethics (Oxfordshire): Oxford University Press. IV.5, 1125b35. 57


Evil, then, is said to approach supreme ev il but it is incapable of utterly destroying that which is good, since it is de fined as that lack of goodness. 72 If the existence of evil is inextricably bound to goodness, and is more pr operly defined as a lack of goodness, then the complete lack of goodness would serve as a sufficient condition for the destruction of evil. I turn now to the question of signification. Concerning the signific ation of evil, and I quote here at length, Aquinas writes, One opposite is known through the other, as darkness is known through light. Hence, what evil is must be known from the notion of good. Now we have said above that good is everything desirable; a nd thus, since every nature desires its own being and its ow n perfection, it must be said also that the being and the perfection of any nature has the character of goodness. Hence it cannot be that evil signifies being or any form of nature. Therefore it must be that by the name evil is signified a certain absence of good. And this is what is meant by saying that Evil is neither a being nor a good. For since being, as such, is good, the taking away of the one implies the taking away of the other (emphasis added). 73 Aquinas suggests that being has the character of goodness, which is to assert that, that which exists (being) is signified by goodness, i.e., all of reality is signified by goodness. Thus, goodness is a signifier, and it signifies being. What is intere sting about Aquinas claim, though he doesnt make it at all clear, is that evil is not, and cannot be, a signifier, i.e., evil does not signify being. In fact, if one defines evil as a l ack of goodness, and a lack constitutes privation, if the signifier is deprived, that which it signifies must also be 72 Though Aquinas refutation of the summum malum follows from defining ev il as a lack of goodness, it does not follow from a definition of evil based on ones voluntary actions, which is not a privation of goodness but the willful attempt to proliferate evil. 73 Summa Theological, Part I, Q. 49. 58


deprived, which is reflected in his claim th at the taking away of the one implies the taking away of the other. The taking away of goodness (the signifier) is the taking away of being (that which is signified by goodness) Thus, if one accepts the premise that evil is defined as a lack of goodness, and th at goodness signifies being, then one must recognize that it is incorrect to conclude that evil, too, si gnifies being. The signification of being cannot be ascribed on these gr ounds, by a privation of goodness, since the privation, the lack, has no signification. As we have seen the summum malum or supreme evil destroys itself because if the existen ce of evil is inextricably bound to goodness, and is defined in terms of privation, then the complete privation of goodness serves as the sufficient condition for th e destruction of evil. Being is signified by goodness, without wh ich it would cease to exist. Since evil cannot signify being, we are made aware of evils existence because of a privation in goodness. Without goodness, then, being would cease to be, i.e., it would cease to exist, since it is signified by goodness. Thus, to argue for the possibility of the summum malum necessitates the absence of goodness, and goodness is the only source of signification from being. Thus, the summum malum eliminates the signific ation of being (goodness) and thereby being itself. On this ground, the summum malum is impossible since it results in the total annihilation of being. As we have seen in the discussion, Aquinas introduces the notion of the summum malum only, in the end, to argue for the ontological impossibility of its existence. The question, however, one must ask is, Why does Aquinas deny the ontology of the summum malum ? In denying the ontol ogical existence of the summum malum Aquinas 59


preserves the monotheistic sentiments of an omni-benevolent God. Aquinas theology has informed his philosophy and as such he cannot allow for the existence of the summum malum as such an acknowledgment would undermine his theological beliefs. Though he ultimately denies the ontological possibility of the summum malum as noted earlier, Aquinas does consider its existenc e. It is of the utmo st importance that one recognizes that Aquinas refutation of the ontological existence of the summum malum assumes a theistic cosmogony, wherein the origin of the universe is ultimately traceable to God. If one denies the ex istence of God and assumes as secularist or naturalist cosmogony, then one is certainly justified in reexamining the plausibility of the ontological existence of the summum malum Again, for Aquinas, the summum malum is refuted on theological grounds as the theist cannot accept the ontological existence of the summum malum Nontheistic accounts are not ob ligated by such limitations. If one attempts to conceptuali ze the ontological existence of the summum malum given a secular humanists stance, then two key assertions arise. First, in articulating the ontology of the summum malum one can argue that its reality is not a result of continuum wherein absolute evil dominates all of existen ce. Rather, one can certainly argue that the ontology of the summum malum arises as a fleeting occurrence that rushes to the surface, destroys all within its path, and then collapses under its own heinousne ss. It is a pulse or a spike. It is pronounced and totalizing. Within the history of the world, the summum malum manifests as total deva station. Secondly, then, th e ontological basis of the summum malum can to be affirmed in the context of the unyielding attempt to destroy human life. Unlike the problem Aquinas faced in describing a transcendent evil, i.e., a 60


supernatural evil, the secular humanist can certainly account fo r the ontology of evil without also appealing to the tr anscendence of evil. Thus, the summum malum is ontologically sound if its manifestation is rele gated to this world. Whereas the theist may represent the manifestation of the summum malum as the ultimate conquest of the devil over the force of good, the secular humanist can offer a more pragmatic account of its manifestation in genocide and extermina tion of massive portions of the human population. Thus, the ontologi cal impossibility of the summum malum only results from accepting a theistic cosmogony. If one accepts a naturalistic cosm ogony of the universe the ontological possibility of the summum malum can be explained in terms of a totalizing attempt to destroy human life. Medieval philosophers desperately fought with an attempt to understand the problem of evil and how one, especially one of faith, is to reconcile the exis tence of God with the existence of evil, their solutions to the probl em of evil, however, manifested in a broad spectrum of alternative accounts. Whether God was implicat ed as an absentee deity or man was implicated as the source of evil in the exercise of his freedom, throughout the Middle Ages the discussion of evil was always articulated within the context of the problem of evil, i.e., it was articulated in theological terms. The problem of evil, however, is only a problem for the theist, which left many secularist a nd atheists to view an investigation into the nature of evil as essentially fruitle ss. This wholesale rejection of the existence of evil will be discussed in greate r detail in chapter three of this analysis, but the notion that the contemplation of evil is essentially a theological enterprise is a direct result of the proficie ncy with which medieval philosophers engaged the topic. 61


1.8. Early Modern Conceptions of Evil: 16 th 17 th Century In conceptualizing the form ation of society, Thomas H obbes addresses the concept rather than the problem of evil. It is, th en, the natural attempt to return to a nontheological discussion of the concept rather than the problem of evil, which motivated Hobbes inquiry. Thomas Hobbes was adamant to offer an account of evil in political rather than theological terms. Like Alfara bi, Hobbes describes evil in terms of its manifestation within and affect on the state. Fo r Hobbes, evil arises in the state of nature, which is both a pre-moral and pre-social state. Within the state of nature there are no rest rictions in how individual power is wielded and those with limited power will fall prey to those with more power. Individuals will use force to attain the limited resources available. However, all individuals within this state of nature share an equality of needs. Sin ce there is a limited capacity for altruism, each person within this pre-social state will use force to acquire the resources he needs to survive at the expense of the lives of ever y other person within the state of nature. The resulting situation is st ate of constant war, in which each person is feverishly fending for his own wellbeing. The formation of the political result s in the recognized need to allocate and resources fairly and e fficiently. The problem, however, with such a state of affairs is that one quickly realized that if one is to preserve ones life it will require an impartial third party. However, all are motivated by self interest, which only complicates any attempt to protect the lives of others. Thus, a sovereign must be elected and the power to take ones life is transferre d to the sovereign, who is now obligated to protect the lives of his subjects. 62


The constant war that defined the state of nature is offset by the protection guaranteed by the sovereign. Thus, for Hobbes, evil prolifer ates within a state of nature, where our unregulated desires result in constant chaos. With the formation of society, however, human beings establish codependence and as such the necessary norms to govern our actions. Evil, then, is the natura l and logical outcome of the given nature of our pre-social setting. A limitation on resources in a setting where each must fend for his own can only be described in terms of evil. It is proliferated by unobstruc ted greed and self centeredness. Only through our socialization, then, are we able to overcome evil. There is an explicit account of evil in Hobbes conceptua lization of the social. For Hobbes, evil is, the object of his Hate, and Aversion [which results in]three kindsEvil in promiseEvil in effectand Evil in the means Molestation or Displeasure [is] the appearance or sense of evil (italics in original). 74 Though Hobbes offers an account of these three kinds of evil, he does not articulate there function, which suggests that he recognized th ere existence, but felt no need to define each kind or relate each to its sociological corollary. If, on the other hand, one argues that no account of Hobbes social contract theory can be reduced to psychological egoism, incl uding the mechanics of behavior, then it is imperative to demonstrate the necessary conditio ns for the existence of evil in terms of pure mechanics (i.e., in terms that do not include human mo tivation), which is substantially more difficult. In his an alysis of Hobbes, Gert concludes, 74 Hobbes, Thomas, and Richard Tuck. 1996. Leviathan Cambridge texts in the history of political thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 39-40. 63


In showing that psychological egoism cannot be validly deduced from Hobbes mechanism, in either version, it was not necessary to investigate the concept of self-interest, only that of motive. By showing that a motive entails having a belief and that ne ither version of Hobbes mechanism entails having any beliefs, it was possible to conclude that Hobbes mechanism could not entailpsychological egoism. 75 While this account of Hobbesian mechanics se vers the association between psychological egoism, by disassociating motivation and belief from Hobbes mechanism, it may seemingly sever a mechanistic account of Hobbes social contra ct theory from a discourse on evil. For those accounts that do not have thei r basis in freedom, evil manifests as a consequence of providence or Gods divine will, i.e., our will is determined. The existence of human motives results in an ab ility to exercise our freedom, which often leads to evil. The alternative account is to s uggest that our actions are mechanical (their function is independent to our beliefs), resu lting in pure determination, either by God or nature, which also has the tendency of lead ing to evil. Thus, evil has two sources and these sources are mutually exclusive. 1. Motivation Freedom Evil 2. Mechanical Determination Evil What if, wonders the defender of Hobbes mech anism, there was a third account of evil, which could be articulated su ch that one combined a mech anical account of behavior with the freedom of will, which still resulted in the existence of evil? 3. Mechanical Freedom Evil 75 Gert, Bernard. 1965. Hobbe s, Mechanism, and Egoism The Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 15, No. 61, Oct., p. 341-349. p., 347. 64


Such an account would allow for a confluence of mechanistic behavior, on the one hand and freedom on the other, which is the only logical conclusion since Hobbes believed that we were free. It is suggested that huma n behavior exists inde pendent to motivation, which, for Gert holds true, Whether we say that ones action is caused by some more elaborate physical, chemical, biological, or psychological terms, nothing follows about motivesnot eventhat one did or did not have a motive in doing [an] action. 76 Such an account would suggest that evil exists as a cons equence of human behavior, which is mechanical insofar as there is no identifiable association between action and motivation. Thus, our behavior is shaped by forces beyond our control, which is not to say that our behavior is dete rmined. Granted, it would require an extensive investigation to successfully prove the possibility of mechanical-freedoms resulting in evil, an investigation I would certainly love to rea d, but it is difficult to see how one would go about formulating such an argument. In discussing a Hobbesian account of th e social, whether one holds psychological egoism as applicable to his account or not, one has the challenge of incorporating his conception of evil in either case. For those who deny a psycho-egois tic read of Hobbes, explaining evil is all the more difficult (t hough not impossible) as one would have to account for the concept of mechanical-fr eedoms resulting in evil, which could conceivably exist but w ould certainly be difficu lt to demonstrate. The most consistent account of good and ev il, then, according to Hobbes discussion of the emergence of the social order and tr ansference of power to the sovereign locates 76 Ibid 348. 65


the concepts of good and evil within his sociopolitical framework. For Hobbes, then, goodness is located within social order and give s rise to a well governed society, whereas evil results from the four factors mentioned earlier that inform the state of nature limited altruism, equality of needs, equality of powers, and scarcity of resources. This juxtaposition between war and peace, good and ev il is best exemplified in the following: For moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good and evil Good, and evil, are names that signify our appetites and aver sionsAnd therefore so long as a man is in the condition of mere nature, which is a condition of war, as private appetite is the measure of good, and evil: and consequently all men agree on this, that peace is good, and therefore also th e way, or means of peace, which, as I have shown before, are justice gratitude, modesty, equity, mercy, and the rest of the laws of nature, are good; that is to say, moral virtues; and their contrary vices evil (emphasis in original). 77 Hobbes describes the condition of mere nature as a state of wa r, that is, an existence in a pre-social setting must be dominated by continuous war and anarchy. Evil prevails within this setting as there are no political systems yet in place to enforce peace. Consequently, after transitioning from the state of nature into the social order, not only does one transition from a continuous state of wa r, one also realizes, for the first time, an opportunity to actualize peace, wh ich is inconceivable in the state of mere nature. Thus, for Hobbes, good points to peace and civility a nd evil manifests in war and the state of nature. The veracity of Hobbes account rests in his ability to articu late the existence of both good and evil within the understanding and discretion of the sovereigns judgment. Emphasis is placed in the power of his judgment, which of course is not infallible, but for 77 Hobbes, 1996. p. 123-124. 66


Hobbes, judgment is an essential element in identifying and describing what one means by evil, thereby removing any mystery from its discussion. In the transition from the state of nature to a socialized sett ing, the transference of judicat ory power shifts from the mob and their continual warmongering to the sovere ign and his efforts to preserve peace and civility. Hobbes describes the ease with which we can discuss and understand conceptions of good and evil. Here is confirmed the right that sovereigns have, both to the militia and to all judicature; in which is contained as absolute power as one man can possibly transfer to another. Again, the prayer of King Solomon to God was this: (I Kings, 3. 9) Give to thy servant understanding, to judge thy people, and to discern between good and evil It belonged therefore to the sovereign to be judge and to prescribe the rules of discerning good and evil : which rules are laws; and therefore in him is the legisl ative powerTo these places may be added also that of Genesis, (3,5) Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And (verse 11) Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee thou shouldest not eat ?" For the cognizance or judicature of good and evil, being forbidden by the name of the fruit of the tree of knowledge (emphasis in original). 78 For Hobbes, then, in the transf erence of power from the stat e of nature to the sovereign also results in transference of the power to judge and exercise capital punishment, as such powers are necessarily reserved for the state. The state of nature is plagued by evil and war precisely because everyone has the ability to serve as judge and executioner, whereas in the social settings these powers are rese rved for the sovereign, which is exactly how society is spawned. Thus, peace and goodness are predicated on proper judgments, 78 Ibid, p. 156-157. 67


whereas war and evil arise from a diffusion of judgment and the ability to exercise capital punishment throughout the population, a condition th at can only give rise to anarchy and violence. In his Ethics Baruch Spinoza formulates an a ltogether different account of good and evil in terms of pleasur e and pain. He writes, Knowledge of good and evil is nothing other than the emotion of pleasure or pain in so far as we are conscious of itso far as we perceive some thing to affect us with pleasure or painwe call it good or bad; and so knowledge of good and evil is nothing other than the idea of pleasure or pain 79 Spinozas account of good and evil, in terms of pleasure and pain, cove rs a wide range of topics from the emotions 80 to desires, 81 human nature, 82 to knowledge 83 and fear. 84 Of the many issues discussed by Spinoza, I am in terested in the relationship between fear and evil. Concerning fear, Spinoza writes, He who is guided by fear, and does good so as to avoid evil, is not guided by reasonThis corollary can be illustrated by the example of the sick man and the healthy man. The sick man eats what he dislikes through fear of death. The healthy man takes pleasure in his food and thus enjoys a better life than if he were to fear death and directly seek to avoid it. 85 To continue with Spinozas metaphor I will briefly discuss two approaches to medical treatment. Within the health sciences, one may approach the di scussion of medical 79 Spinoza, Benedictus de, Samuel Shirley, and Seymour Feldman. 1992. The ethics: Treatise on the emendation of the intellect ; Selected letters Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co. (IV, prop 8) 80 Ibid., (IV, prop. 14) 81 Ibid., (IV, prop. 15-17) 82 Ibid., (IV, prop. 29-31, 68) 83 Ibid., (IV, prop. 19, 27, 64-66) 84 Ibid., (IV, prop. 63) 85 Ibid., (IV, prop. 63, scholium ) 68


treatment in one of two fashions. Either one may discuss medical treatment in terms of preventative medicine or one may discuss treat ment in terms of reactionary medicine. A preventative approach to medical treatment is informed by precautionary and proactive measures taken to maintain a healthy standard of life. A reactionary approach to medical treatment, however, begins as a response to a decline in the patients quality of living, by the onset of disease formation, sudden illness etc. The motivation of a patient seeking treatment for a preexisting illness is one of fear, viz., fear of death. The patients fear, however, could have been minimized or comp letely eliminated by informing the patient of the necessary steps that could have been ta ken to prevent disease formation in the first place, which is evident in the claim, The si ck man eats what he dislikes through fear of death. 86 He eats what he dislikes because he believes that in so doing, he will live longer. Thus, eating what he dislikes is mo tivated by fear, since he would otherwise shun the thought of eating it. Similarly, Spinoza is arguing, that our actions must be guided by reason rather than fear. The most rational people will make a hasty decision if fear is motivating the decision. It is bett er to act in light of all th e facts, make a decision based on the information presented, which requires ti me, and an understand ing of these facts, than to make a hasty decision based on fear. Fear, then, is a powerful tool in hasteni ng faulty decisions and the prized tool of terrorists the world over. If a state of terror manifests, there is no opportunity for preventative measures to combat its existen ce. The immediate state of terror requires a visceral reactionary response. This response is typically in the best inte rest of the 86 Ibid., (IV, prop. 63, scholium ) 69


population at large, but it is most certainly ba sed on fear rather than reason. Was the state of terror not to exist, the decision to act out of desperation would assuredly differ given adequate preparation, time and information. The man eats what he dislikes because he has to in order to survive. To refuse to do so expedites his death. But the man could have lived a different, a more self reflected lif e. Similarly, the state that engages in a reactionary war as a means of combating terrorism, only demonstrates the lack of preparation and intelligence gathering, which may have prevented such a state of terror from arising in the first place. In his discussion of good and evil, Spinoza addresses these concep tions by means of their relations to pleasure and pain, but mo re importantly, howeve r, he discusses the nature of rational thought and the capacity for decision making in the face of ones own mortality. The threat of death, the recognition of our fragility yields a fear so powerful, a terror so great that it impede s the capacity for rational thought. The mechanization of this terror, this fear, hampers the states ability to sufficiently protect members of it population, by forcing hasty decisions. Thus, to prevent such terror from undermining the sovereignty of the state, and protecting its populations, the state must learn to prevent a state of terror from forming rather th an reacting to a state of emergency. More so than merely describing fear as a cause of evil, Spinoza discusses the concept of evil as it pertains to an investigation of nature and our knowledge of good and evil. In an insightful passage he writes, Every man for the laws of his own nature, necessarily seeks or avoids what he judges to be good or evil. Knowledge of good and evil is the emotion of pleasure or pain insofar as we are conscious of it, and th erefore every man necessarily 70


seeks what he judges to be good and avoids what he judges to be evil (emphasis in original). 87 To judge Spinozas account of the distin ction between good and evil as hedonic is a mischaracterization. It is more than the si mple affinity for pleasure and the judgments that moral agents make, with respect to th eir specific desires and proclivities, which influence their nature. Again, Spinoza write s. Every man for the laws of his own nature though it may certainly sound as if Spinoza is defending a relativistic account of good and evil, insofar as the laws of good a nd evil seem to conform to the nature of each individual, such an account would be incorrect. In a later passage Spinoza notes, pleasure consists in the tran sition to a state of greater perfection, blessedness must surely consist in this, that the mind is endowed with perfection itself. 88 This account harkens to the Platonist account of the forms, wherein the semblance or the imitation of the true form of perfection, i.e., the good, is represented in a lesser instantiation, namely the mind of the perceive r. The suggestion is that if we have a conception of perfection within our minds and we are obviously not perfect beings, then there must exist this perfect thing, namely, God or goodness th at allows or justifies our ability to conceptualize perf ection. Goodness, then, for Spinoza is undeniably attached and associated with perfection and God, thereby accounting for his pantheism. The inverse relationship also holds true. Spinoza writes, So perfection and imperfec tion are in reality only modes of thinking notions which we are wont to invent from comparing individuals of the same species or kind; and it is 87 Ibid., (Part IV, Prop. 19) 88 Ibid., (Part V, Prop 33, Scholium). 71


for this reason that I previously said that by reality and perfection I mean the same thingSo in what follows I shall mean by good that which we certainly know to be the means for approaching nearer to the model of human nature that we set before our selves, and by bad that which we certainly know prevents us from reproducing the said model (emphasis added). 89 Based on what Spinoza has himself stated, it would be incorrect to attribute more importance to the conception of goodness and evil beyond modes of thinking. Remember, Spinoza has argued that, Knowle dge of good and evil is the emotion of pleasure or pain, and he says that, pleasure consists in the transition to a state of greater perfection, thus, goodness is a state of greater perfection and evil, then, a state of imperfection. Insofar as our conceptions of good and evil reflect modes of thought, our conceptions of these notions are not bound to the exactness and specificities of the natural world, as our thought is limitless, universal. Thus, in conceptualizing good and evil each moral agent faces the infinitude of their limitless intellectual capacities. Spinozas practical account of evil as simp ly a state of imperf ection, results in an interpretative advantage insofa r as one can now describe the existence of evil in relation to an inherent imperfection with in the system, that system be ing either the nature of our social interactions, namely, our socializati on, or the nature of the universe itself. The problem, however, with such an interpretation of evil is that it trivializes the grandeur and the willful method with which human life is de stroyed. It is not me rely that Hitlers conception of morality was imperfect, or in so me sense flawed, but that he categorically rejected morality. For him, everything including the norms that govern human interaction 89 Ibid., p. 153. 72


was subject to the will of the state. And as the leader of the state, Hitler positioned himself as God and as the ultimate source for moral justification. T hus, despite Spinozas insight, there is grave danger in conceptualizing evil merely in terms of imperfection. Leibniz situates his account of the problem of evil within a traditional account of mitigating the tension between the existence of evil and the charac teristics of God. It should be noted, however, that for Leibniz, God is not to be understood in the traditional conception of God. Rather, God is un derstood in terms of nature or a cosmic force. As such, Leibniz was able to offer new interpretations in attempting to resolve this tension. Like St. Augustine, Leibniz acknowledged the role of freedom. He argued that this world, with its misery and suffering, with the ev il that plagues humanity, is still is the best of all possible worlds. For Leibniz, at each level of emergence, things are as complex as they possibly can be. So at each stage, the world is the best possible world. Thus, God, as defined as nature or cosmic force is himself bound to the laws of nature. Mans freedoms, then, cannot be limited. In allowing for the existen ce of evil, however, unlike former articulation of the problem, for Leibniz, is it precisely because God loves us why evil exists. God, in His infinite wisdom realizes that He must allow for the existence of lesser evils if He is to prevent the existence of the greatest evil, an evil so powerful that it would destroy all of existence. Leibniz is able both to account for the problem of evil and Gods characteristics without denying either. In fact, he is able to define three forms of evil, namely, 73


metaphysical, physical and moral evil, none of which undermine Gods characteristics. For Leibniz, then, evil is a necessary cons equence of our existence which he expressly defines in terms of imperfec tion. Imperfection results from our flawed reasoning, which necessitates the existence of ev il. Thus, as long as human reas on is prone to error, evil will always exist. Leibnizs Theodicy takes an unexpected stance with in the historical narrative and discourse on the problem of evil, by claiming that our agency and will are undetermined, i.e., our will is free, without denying th e omniscience or benevolence of God and acknowledging the existence of ev il. Until now, the combinations of these characteristics were thought to be incompatible but Leibniz is able to over come the apparent disparity by arguing for the best of all possible worlds (BPW). Concerning the BPW, he writes: Thus I shall say that God, by virtue of his supreme goodness, has in the beginning a serious inclination to producegood and every laudable action, and to preventall evil and ever y bad action. But he is determined by this same goodness, united to an infinite wisdomto produce the best possible design of things. This is his final and decretory will. And this design of the best being of such a natu re that the good must be entrenched thereinGod could not have excluded this evil, nor introduce certain goods that were excluded from this plan, without wronging his supreme perfection. So for that reason one must say that he permitted the sins of others, because otherwise he would have himself performed an action worse than all the sin of creatures. 90 The importance of Leibnizs BPW argument is th at it lays bare the claim that this world, with its many imperfections and the obvious exis tence of evil, is the best of all possible 90 Leibniz, G.W. 1998. Theodicy Chicago: Open Court. p. 402. 74


worlds. The key difference between Leibnizs th eodicy and traditional theodicies is that Leibniz does not recognize a disparity between Gods love and the existence of evil. For Leibniz, Gods love is governed by his omniscience, and his Supreme reason, 91 which allows God to instantaneously conceptu alize all possible worl ds, this particular world being the best of all possible. God, th en, had to allow for the existence of lesser evils, so as not to introduce even greater ev ils into the world. Note, that it was Gods reason that determines this course of action. Fo r Leibniz, reason dictates that if one is to ascribe to the belief of the inherent fr eedom of our will, and one acknowledges the existence of evil, while holding steadfast to a belief in God, th en the only means of coherence within such a theological system is to necessitate that God is ultimately rational. His reason could not prevent the ex istence of evil as it was necessitated by our freedom. Thus, Supreme reason constrains him to permit the [existence of] evil. 92 In discussing the problem of evil, Lei bniz had finally bridged the gap between the characteristics of God, on the one hand, and accounting for the existence of evil, on the other. He neither denied the characteristics of God, nor denied the existence of evil, but suggested, rather, that both conceptions are compatible given an understanding of the best of all possible worlds. The BPW, then, afford ed Leibniz an ability to rationally explain the problem of evil without offending thei sts or denying its ob vious existence. The only possible offense to a theist is the a ppeal to evolution in Leibnizs theodicy. In contradistinction to the literal exegetic conception of the Creation, the world according to Leibniz suffers discrete stages in its de velopmenta contention that also comes out in 91 Ibid.,129 XIV, p. 201. 92 Ibid.,129 XIV, p. 201. 75


his work on the early history of the Earth, Protogaea. As the world develops, it unfolds its implicit dynamic potential along ever greate r stages of actuality. At each level of emergence, the beings in the creat ed world are as complex as they possibly can be. Thus, already in this ontogenetic sense, the world is at each successive stage of its development the best of all possible worlds. Evil is si mply a symptom of evolution, a sign that the world, in its self-realization al ong stages of possibility, is not yet done. God, the driving creative force, may well be omnipotent, omnisc ient, and benevolent, but as the expression of the force is bound by the very structure it ex presses, God, defined as cosmic force, is Himself bound to the self-created laws of nature. Leibniz differentiates among types of evil. He notes, Evil may be taken metaphysically, physically and morally. Metaphysical evil consists in mere imperfection, physical evil in suffering, and moral evil in sin. Now although physical evil and moral evil be not necessary, it is enough that by virtue of the eternal ve rities that they be possible. And as this vast Region of Ve rities contains all possibilities it is necessary that there be an infinitude of possible worlds, that evil enter into divers of th em, and that even the best of all contain a measure thereof. Thus has God been induced to permit evil. 93 In attempting to account for the existence of evil, which must then be reconciled against the existence of Gods grace and love, Leibniz of fers three instantiations of evil, namely, metaphysical evil, physical evil and moral ev il. Though he acknowledges the existence of both physical and moral evil, he suggests that their existence, be not necessary. Thus, of the three forms of evil that he describes, only metaphysical evil exists with necessity. Moreover, Leibniz defines metaphysical evil as mere imperfection, which as has been 93 Ibid., Part I, 21. 76


demonstrated by Spinozas account of good and evil, is the same, i.e., metaphysical evil is defined in terms of an inherent imperfection within the system. Since that system of existence is the univ erse in its entirety, and though there are laws of nature and regularities with in the system, the system is necessarily balanced by the forces of entropy and chaos, black hole s and lacunas in thought. An infinite multiplication of diversity would inevitably overpopulate existence. Thus, multiplicity and diversification must be, that is, they are necessarily balan ced by, destruction and chaos. Metaphysical evil exists with necessity because the nature of the universe is the continual refinement and evolution of life it self. The continuous evolution of species, knowledge and the universe itse lf, necessitates an acknowledged understanding that the universe cannot be a perfect cr eation. Were it to be a perf ect creation evolution would cease to fulfill its function and a state of pe rfect would have been reached. Metaphysical evil, as described by Spinoza and Leibniz in terms of imperfection, follows as a necessary consequence of existenceas such. Where there is existence, and assuming a state of perfection has not been attained, then there must also exist imperfections inherent within the system, which is continually mitigated by the gradual process of evolution. Thus, the very notion of evolution is itsel f buttressed by the conception of metaphysical evil. The imperfection within the system is also an imperfection within all human beings, i.e., moral imperfection. This imperfection, how ever, is itself contingent on the existence of human beings, as moral evil is solely a problem for humanity, ba rring the existence of 77


other sentient life forms. Moral evil is an im perfection of moral, which is mitigated by virtue, a notion that Leibniz shar es with the ancients. But in the description of evil and its necessary existence within the world, for Leibni z, one can only articulate its existence in terms of metaphysical evil and the notion of inherent imperfection. Early modern philosophers found themselves competing with the old paradigm of evil, viz., the problem of evil and the theologi cal underpinnings that inform that analysis, and the new paradigm of evil, which is rooted in an increasingly secularist account of the same. The shift from the problem of evil to th e concept of evil, duri ng this philosophical age, swung like a pendulum, wherein philos ophers attempted to divorce their theories from theology, at one end of the pendulums swing, but were essentially unable to divorce the concept of evil from digressing in to discussions of the problem of evil. Thomas Hobbes, however, was able to finall y realize that the means of discussing evil without also enacting a theological discussion of the problem of evil was to articulate evil in terms of its sociopolitical manifestation. The manifestation of evil purely in terms of its sociopolitical dynamics, as mentioned earlier in my analysis of Mencius, is a return to the ancient concepts of government and th e regulation of the masses by the prince. Though Hobbes merely points to this ability to articulate evil in term s of its sociopolitical instantiation as rooted in the moral agents psychological egoism, I will continue, and more thoroughly describe the concept of evil and its greatest manifestation within sociopolitical terms in the act of genocide Thus, without a proper understanding of the historical analysis of evil one cannot anticipate how the di scussion will progress and as such the concept of evil w ill lose its relevance to contemporary thought. It is my 78


intention, then, to rekindle the investigation of evil in terms of its historical situatedness. To do this, however, requires that one understand the preconditions for a globalized society, and the need for international juri sprudence. To this end, Immanuel Kant articulated the conditions that would lead to the formation of the United Nations and he conceptualized the process and pr oblems of globalization in the 18 th century, which is why the analysis will culminate w ith a Kantian account of radical evil. 1.9. A Kantian Account of Radical Evil Kant suggested that evil is best understood in terms of maxims rather than the consequences of actions. The maxim is the driv ing intention of an act ion. It is one of the conditions for the possibility to act. The maxim precedes the action. It informs the act. To describe evil strictly in terms of an ac tions performance or consequences is to misidentify the root of evil. The power of a maxim rests in the fact it can be universalized. The moral agent can universalize the maxim and in the example of an evil person, Kant argues that those maxims that fail to be universalized are ev il. The potential for evil presents a greater threat in ascribing to a failed maxim than in committing an evil act. If, in attempting to universalize a maxim, the moral agent realizes that it is impossible, i.e ., the benefit is lost after universalization, but does so anyway, such an attempt is evil. Later, I will describe Kants specific example of cheating to demonstrate this point. Thus, the good is universalizable and sustainable, whereas evil is self-reducing and unsustainable. The attempt, then, to act on a failed maxim is precisely what Kant defines as evil. 79


Thus, Kants account is a hybrid between those account that suggest that evil is imposed on moral agents through misery (Alfar abi) and those that suggest that evil results from free will (St. Augustine). Kant then, bridges the gap between strictly external and internal accounts of evil. For him, evil manifests as a union of both accounts. The internal notion of evil, as resulting from ones freewill is instead articulated in terms of maxims, which prescribe action. These actio ns affect the world as a consequence of the maxim. For Kant, then, it is impossible to discuss evil in terms of action without also discussing the maxim. The benefit of Kants account in a contemporary analysis of universal secular evil is his articulation of how evil is universalized. It is not, as Aquinas may have argued, universalized in the summum malum Rather, Kant describes the attempt to universalize evil in terms of ascribing to a failed maxim. In the next chapter I will argue that this maxim or an ideology of exclusion is th e unnatural attempt to universalize a failed maxim. The greater point for Kant, in discussing the attempt to universalize evil is that such an attempt is inherently unsustainable, i.e., like the ancient Chin ese philosophers, Kant contends that universal evil destroys itself. Evil is a f unction of collapse entailed by unsustainable actions. If, for example, one di scusses murder and attempts to universalize it as a categorical imperative, one progre ss from murder to mass murder, from mass murder to genocide and from genocide to the total destruction of life, which is contradictory to the intended imperative. One cannot universalize mu rder because it is unsustainable, i.e., perpetual murder is impo ssible. Thus, on Kantian grounds, genocide is 80


evil because it is a representation of the specific attempts to universalize this failed maxim. Such attempts seek to universalize murder for some but quite obviously not for themselves. Kant defines evil in the following terms: Well-being or ill-being always signifies only a reference to our state of agreeableness or disagreeableness of gratification or pain, and if we desire or avoid an object on this account we do so only inso far as it is referred to our sensibility and to the feeling of pleasure or displeasure it causes. But good or evil always signifies a reference to the will insofar as it is determined by the law of reason to make something its object; for, it is never determined directly by the object and the representation of it, but is instead a faculty of making a rule of reason the motive of an action (by which an object can become real). Thus good or evil is, strictly speaking, referred to actions, not to the persons state of feeling, and if anything is to be good or evil absolutely (and in ever y respect and without any further condition), or is to be held to be such, it would be only the way of acting, the maxim of the will, and consequently the acting person himself as a good or evil human being, that could be so called, but not a thing. 94 Thus, for Kant, the maxim determines the mo rality of the act. Whatever is moral is a priori. Anything of moral rele vance, and thereby anything th at can be called good or evil is formal, i.e., its morality is contingent on the agreement between the action and the maxim. An action is evil, then, insofar as the attempt to universalize the maxim has failed yet the action is still performed. An ac tion is good or moral in sofar as the attempt to universalize has succeeded and the acti on performed conforms to the maxim. 94 (tr. M. Gregor, Kant: Practical Philosophy, Cambridge Ed, p. 188) 81


What is material, or concerns the empirical, however, amounts to being contingent and a posteriori. Hypothetical imperatives do not count so, as moral notions, good and evil cannot be defined in empirical terms. That is to say, for Kant, determinations of morality are based on the maxim not the action, since actions are empirical. So benefits and harms, being empirical, are improper assessments for determining morality. Essentially, good and evil concern th e formal structure of action. Crucial, of course, in the Kantian account, is the Categorical Impe rative as the unified principle of morality. According to the firs t version of the Categor ical Imperative, good turns out to be what is universalizable, wh ich is to say, an action is good if anybody can replicate it and, in doing so, continue to replicate it indefinite ly. According to the second version, good is a property of ac tions that accord humanity it s appropriate respect, which is to say that good involves the tr eatment of autonomous beings as autonomous beings. According to the third version, good is whatev er helps the evolution of complexity along, or whatever empowers heteronomous bei ngs to develop into autonomous beings. Thus, good actions are sustainable, appropr iate, fitting, realistic, progressive, liberating, and empowering. Evil is the opposite. Ev il is what fails to be universalized (by the first version of the categor ical imperative), what treats ends as means (by the second version), and what enslaves (by the third). Put differently, for Kant, evil actions are selfreducing by the first version; they are inappropriate, misfits, and irreal, by the second version; and they are regressive, ensl aving, and disenfranchising, by the third version. Thus, evil results from a failed attemp t to universalize a maxim, where the action 82


was performed despite this failure. G oodness, on the other ha nd, rides on successful attempts to universalize maxims. Our historical investigation into the nature of evil culminates with an analysis of Immanuel Kants conception of radical evil specifically, and the nature of evil in general. Evil has plagued humanity from the origins of time, as we have forgone paradise to suffer the brutality of an increasingly evil world. Rather than bemoaning the fact, Kant addresses this demise in his discussion on re ligion. He suggests that nature itself would be promoting the cultivation in us of th is ethical predisposition toward goodness. 95 His account of nature as a force, driving mankind toward the cultivation of goodness, is contrasted from an underlying fail ed maxim, which if enacted defines the act as evil. The locus of power in any discussion of evil, the n, is situated in the moral agents maxim, rather than the agents actions. It is the maxim that motivates action, and as such, the maxim that is inherently evil. According to Kants account, it is wholly inco rrect to label the individual as evil if such an assessment is solely based on the act. Rather, it is the maxim that motivated the moral agent to act, which serves as the true source of evil. The specific act, however, is limited by the pe rpetrators power. The more power the perpetrator has, the more pervasive the affect s of evil. Kant, nevertheless, identifies the true source of evil within the maxim rather than the action. The maxim is universalizable. It contributes to our judgments about the natu re of human morality, but is all-the-while inferred from consciously evil action(s). 96 The moral agent cannot be deemed evil by 95 Kant, Immanuel, Allen W. Wood, and George Di Giovanni. 1998. Religion within the boundaries of mere reason and other writings Cambridge texts in the history of philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 46 96 Ibid., p. 46 83


the actions he performs, without also regarding his maxims as evil. Since, ones maxims inform ones actions, the person is properly la beled as an evil person not because of the action he has performed but by the maxims that drove him to perform such actions in the first place. Kant describes this relationshi p between the action and the maxim in the following quote: we cannot observe maxims, we cannot do so unproblematically even within ourselves; hence the judgment that an agent is an evil human being cannot reliably be based on experience. In order, then, to call a human being evil, it must be possible to infer a priori from a number of conscious evil actions, or even from a single one, and underlying failed maxim. 97 Kants conception that evil is rooted in the a ttempt to universalize a failed maxim, rather than simply identifying evil in particular ac tions, is the keystone of my research. The attempt to locate evil in ones maxims, rather than ones actions, suggest that Kant is emphasizing our specific obligations to uphold the moral lawfor its own sake, i.e., the moral law is good in-and-of-itself, and for the sake of itself. Prima facie, then, a failed maxim is universalizable and therefore presents a greater metaphysical threat than any particular acts of evil, which is why Kant suggests that the determination of an evil person is based on his maxims rather than hi s actions. Moreover, the universalizability of a failed maxim, according to Kant, speaks to th e general universal conception of evil that is at the heart of this discu ssion. At the heart of the discus sion is the assertion that evil cannot and should not be limited to mere harm s and torts, for specific instance of moral infractions. To do so is to rela tivize the scope and grandeur of evil to petty and trite moral 97 Ibid., p. 46 84


infractions, when in effect, evil is th e deliberate and contemplative attempt to universalize a maxim that would endanger, ha rm, maim or kill a substantive portion of the population for personal gain. This attemp t at universalization, however, ignores the fundamental principle of fairness and the va lue of human lifeheld with such esteem in Kants first and second formulations of th e categorical imperative, wherein he asserts, Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal lawSo act that you use human ity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means 98 Contrary to Kants imperatives, the moral ag ent seeking to universalize a failed maxim is inherently seeking reprieve from the very maxim universalized. That is, the attempt to universalize a maxim for personal gain is nulli fied during the process of universalization, wherein the sole benefits of th e maxim is lost as it is a c ontradictory stance to attempt to universalize personal gain. More clearly states, then, personal gain is null ified if everyone benefits. Under a strict Kantian approach to both formulations of the categorical imperative, such indiscretions are not supporte d in the process of uni versalization. In the attempt to universalize evil, however, the moral agent is obliged to him or herself i.e., the duty is to ones self, rather than to the mora l law. This strict obligation to ones self, this adamant refusal to acknowledge the plight and sufferings of the other this contradictory and unnatural attempt to universalize a maxim solely for personal gain, not only violates both of Kants formulations especially the second it deifies the moral 98 Kant, Immanuel, and Mary J. Gregor. 1998. Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals Cambridge texts in the history of philosophy. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. 4:421 & 4:429. 85


agent and grants him or her reprieve from th e very maxim in question. Such biased selfcenteredness universalized as the sole maxim of the moral agent is the very definition of evil. It is unnatural. It is unfai r. It runs contrary to the moral law and whenever it is universalized, it necessitates evil. The attempt, then, to universalize a faile d maxim is unnatural. Evil runs counter to nature, which requires Kant to qualify just how he is defining the term nature. As we have seen, Kant has suggested that nature is a force promoting goodness. The unnatural attempt to universalize a failed maxim eschews the moral law and both of Kants formulations of the categorical imperative fo r the exacerbation of suffering and death. So as not to confuse his use of the term nature, Kant writes, by the nature of a human being we only understand here the subjective groundw herever it may lieof the exercise of the human beings freedombut this subjective ground must itself always be a deed of freedom. 99 Kants emphasis in the subjective grounding of our nature within deeds rather than the ability to choose reflects his understanding that the pres ervation of freedom and the justification for punishment requires pers onal accountability. Concisely, then, for Kant, our nature is inherently governed by fr eedom. We are free to choose, and thus accountable for the choices we make. Acco rding to Kant, ones choices cannot be determined. Thus, the ground of evil cannot lie in any object determining the power of choice through inclinatio n, not in any natural impulses, but only in a rule that the power of choice produces for the exercise of its freedom, i.e., in a maxim. 100 Evil, then, 99 Kant Religion p. 46. 100 Kant, Religion p. (46-47) 86


according to Kant, arises from our choice to universalize a failed maxim. Evil does not determine our choice, since our nature is inherently free. Evil follows from our choices, specifically our choices to uni versalize failed maxims. In short, evil results from human freedom. It is not merely that evil results fr om human freedom, but that evil manifests as a condition of ones maxims. Kant notes, the will is in all its actions a law to itself, indicates only the principle, to act on no other maxim than that which can also have as object itself as a universal law. This, however, is precisely the formula of the categorical imperative and is the principle of morality; hen ce a free will and a will under moral law are one in the same. If, therefore, freedom of the will is presupposed, morality together with its principle follows from it by mere analys is of its concept (emphasis added). 101 The moral agent has at every instant the opportunity to conform to the moral law as is his obligation; his duty under the a priori conditi ons of his judgment should always be in accordance with the moral law, for the sake of the law itself. Remember, Kants cautionary tale of the shopkeeper. It is only wh en the shopkeeper acts in accordance with the law, for the sake of the law itself, rath er than out of fear of discovery, that his action is considered moral. The exercise of freedom then, cannot be determined by nature nor can it be objectified in experience, since it serves as the very condition for morality and human agency. Nevertheless, the exercise of freedom directly informs the maxim the moral agent chooses to universalize. Properly speaking, then, one is held accountable by ones choice of maxim rather than the result of ones acti ons, which is contrary to a purely consequentialist interpre tation of morality. This is no t, however, to suggest that 101 Groundwork 4:447. 87

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Kant deemphasizes the role of ones actions, as it is to stress both the capacity of the moral agents freedom of will, which is universal, and the resulting moral assessment of ones actions, which necessarily conforms to the given maxim. Thus, the exercise of ones freedom informs both the maxim and the action. If one freely chooses to universalize a maxim that is grounded in se lf-centeredness, wit hout consideration for others, for ones own personal ga in, the resulting action, must, and can only be, labeled as evil and cannot arise as a natural pr opensity among human beings. For Kant, the adoption of a failed maxim cannot arise from a natural propensity within humans, because, as he notes, the human being is alone its author, its referring to the maxim. 102 The preservation of freedom and our ability to choose to universalize a good or failed maxim is prior to any and all experiences we perceive within the given world. Thus, experience cannot dictate future ac tions, i.e., Kant is denying the possibility of social determinism. For Kant, the ability to choose and the preser vation of freedom are independent to our experience. Our actions do not determine our maxims; rather, it is the choice to universalize a partic ular maxim that determines our actions. Thus, an act is classified as evil not merely because it is an in fraction of the moral law, for such errors in reasoning are redundant or tautological. In stead, the act is evil because the maxim necessitated an evil act. The ma xim, then, serves to determin e the nature of the action. There are some, however, that focus on the nature of human beings, suggesting that, The human being is (by nature) either morally good or morally evil . 103 Kant argues that this disjunction isnt entirely a ccurate because it might also be true that human beings are 102 Religion, p. 47 103 Religion p. 47 88

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neither morally good nor evil. The condition of being good or evil, then, according to Kant, functions independent to the moral ag ents natural propensities. He writes, freedom of power of choi ce has the characteristic, entirely peculiar to it, that it cannot be determined to action through any incentive except so far as the human being has incorporated it into his maxim (has made it into a universal rule for himself, according to which he wills to conduct himself); only in this way can an incentive, whatever it may be, coexist with the absolute spontaneity of the power of choice (of freedom). 104 The moral agents actions are governed by his maxim, and the maxim is a consequence of his freedom. Thus, the agent s actions are a consequence of his freedom. The maxim, then, separates the agents actions from his freedom. Since his actions are a reflection of his maxim, a change in maxim is a change in action. The ease with which we fluctuate between good and evil is reflexive of our change in maxims. This fluctuation is characterized by the manner wherein we desc ribe some actions a good and others as evil. Such a description pe rtains to the action and, as Kant has describes, does not speak to the nature of human beings, sin ce to do so would eliminate human freedom. This, however, is not to suggest th at a moral agent can be partly good and evil with reference to a particular act if, to deem ones actions good or evil means that it has followed from ones choice in maxim, becau se one cannot universalize contradictory maxims. Take for example, the second formul ation of the categorical imperative. One cannot simultaneously treat others as ends in themselves and also se ek to exploit others for personal gain. Evil, then, is the deliberate selection of a maxim with disregard for the universal law, wherein the resulting actions ar e solely meant to benefit the moral agents 104 Religion p. 49 89

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self-interests. To be a good person means that the individual has properly selected the moral law as his maxim and has universalized accordingly, whereas to be an evil person means that he has not. This classification, however, in no sense speaks to the moral agents natural disposition. Kant allows fo r a flexible transition between classifying a moral agent as good and evil because such cl assification does not rely on a natural propensity, i.e., no one is inherently good or evil. The moral agents character is based on the choices he has made, especially which maxim he has chosen to universalize. In discussing an agents actions, th en, one should recogni ze that good and evil emerge as properties of acti on, the existence of which cont inuously challe nge the very notion of morality and the agents maxims Unlike Platos notion of transcendent goodness, which is otherworldly, Kant has lo calized good and evil wi thin the inferred presence of either good or failed maxims. Thus with respect to th e relationship between good and evil as properties of action, it is not th e action itself that serves as the emergent property for the existence of good and evil, but the maxim that informed the agents action. Kant is very clear in his account of this relationship between action and morality. He writes, We call a man evil, however, not because he performs actions that are evil (contrary to law) but because these actions are of such a nature that we may infer from them the presence in him of failed maxims but a mans maxims, sometimes even his own, are not thus observable; consequently the judgment that the agent is an evil man cannot be made with certainty if grounded in experience. In order, the, to call a man evil, it would have to be possible a priori to inferthe presence in the agent of an underlying 90

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common ground, itself a maxim, of all particular morallyfailed maxims (emphasis added). 105 It is, then, correct to assert that good and evil are emergent properties of actions because the underlying maxims informing those actions are themselves the true source for the existence of both good and evil. As suggested by Kant, we can observe the existence of good and evil from an agents actions, that is, through the process of direct observation, but such a process cannot speak to the emergence of good and evil as properties of action. It is the action, then, that serves to manifest the existence of either good or evil. But as Kant has rightfully noted, the action is itself informed by the maxim. Thus in discussing the emergence of good and evil as a property of action, one must recognize that we cannot properly speak of action without fu lly acknowledging its relation to the maxim. The association of both the maxim and the ac tion as one conceptual unit [maxim-action] is the very fabric with which all discu ssions of good and evil, and furthermore, all discussions of morality are based. To discuss the maxim in itself is incomplete because assessing judgments of morality would be impossible without the conformity or disconformities of action. Likewise, to also discuss an action by itself is also incomplete because there would be no standard or law w ith which assessments of morality could be referenced against. Thus, to truly understand the meaning of good and evil, one must first recognize that the exis tence of these concepts are them selves supported by the unit of maxims and actions. 105 Kant, Immanuel, Allen W. Wood, and George Di Giovanni. 1998. Religion within the boundaries of mere reason and other writings Cambridge texts in the history of philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 16. 91

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In a contemporary discussion of evil, Kants articulation plays an integral role in bridging the gap between the substa ntive claims that evil is re lative or has little bearing in political discourse and our emotive often visc eral abhorrence to catastrophic abuses of political power, viz., genocidal and holocaustic level events. There is a cognitive discontinuity between the claims that, evil do es not exist and the sight of innumerable decaying bodies, plied in towering heaps of amputated and mutilated piles. There is a gut level feeling of injustice, inhu manity, and repugnance, often coupled with numbness, paralysis and terror at even the mere thought of such wantonness destruction. Kants discussion of evil bridges this chasm because, as he writes, we are only talking of a propensity to genuine evil i.e., moral evil, which, since it is only possible as the determination of a free power of choice and this power for its part can be judged good or evil only on the basis of its maxims must reside in the subjective ground of the possibility of the deviation of the maxims from the moral law (emphasis added). 106 This ability to deviate from the moral law is the necessary consequence of our freedom; it is the price we pay for freedom. Insofar as a moral agent is free, he or she is free to deviate from the moral law. If one holds free dom as an essential aspect of human agency and accountability but denies the existence of ev il, then such a person bears the burden of proof in demonstrating, how on the one hand we preserve our freedom, i.e., our actions are not socially or biologically determine d, and simultaneously, on the other hand, refute the existence of evil. In chapter three of this investigation I will discuss the many historical attempts to deny the existence of evil, using the same line of reasoning and 106 Religion, 6:29. 92

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disprove the reliability of all such attempts. It is, therefore, imperative that one recognize Kants mediation between freedom and our pers onal duty to universalize the moral law. Maxims by their very nature require universalization, and universalization cannot be implemented without the conscious choice of the moral agent. Moreover, the choice of the agent cannot refer to the agents nature because to do so undermines the agents freedom, thereby necessitating his action. T hus, labeling one ev il, if by evil one means morally evil or genuinely evil, is a misrepresentation of the metaphysical conception of evil, if one is referring to the agents acti ons rather than the agents maxims. Remember Kants is not a conse quentialist account and Kant would undeniably disapprove with the general conception that al l human beings have an inherent propensity to evil. He himself writes, the statement, The human being is evil, cannot mean anything else than he is cons cious of the moral law and yet had incorporated into his maxim the (occasional) deviation from it. He is evil by nature simply means that being evil applies to him considered in his species; not that this quality may be inferred from the concept of his species. 107 The structure of Kants argument in the preceding quote follows a similar line of reasoning as presented in Platos Euthyphro, wherein Socrates asks, Is the pious being loved by the Gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the Gods? 108 With respect to Kants claim, being evil is a natural characteristic of a particular human being only if by n atural we mean somethi ng like, this human being is more inclined to evil, than others within his species. What Kant is not saying, which is 107 Religion 6:32 108 Euthyphro 10a-e 93

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clear from the above citation, is that being ev il is a (natural) characteristic of humanity, i.e., of humans in general. In his discu ssion Kant even emphasizes the occasional deviation from the moral law, which strongly suggests that there is no natural propensity for evil. Humans, according to Kant, irrespectiv e of their past moral infractions can never be labeled as inherently evil, as to do so would rob them of their freedom. For Kant, there is always the possibility for change, for the opportunity to conform to the moral law, for the sake of the law. The suggestion that a ma n is genuinely evil is a dangerous claim, as it, in effect, absolves hi m both of his actions, but more importantly, his choice of maxims, insofar as, on such grounds, he could ar gue that he was a victim of his natural inclination. To then punish such a man, if one agrees with this concep tion of his natural inclinations toward evil, would be sadistic. Clearly, Kant refutes any such claim. We are accountable for our moral infractions because we could have done otherwise. We could have done otherwise, because we could have chosen to universalize our maxims in accordance with the moral law. Deviations from our duty to follow the moral law are a necessary consequence of our freedom, which in turn furnishes each and every moral agent with the opportunity to participate in evil. This, how ever, does not mean, nor does it follow that every human being has a nat ural propensity for evil, since such an assertion would eliminate the possibility of deviating from the moral law in the first place. Thus, the moral law is the very condition for which we arrive at a choice, the choice either to follow the law or not to. In either case, there is no natural, i.e., determined, propensity for evil. Evil, then, is a result of this choice and as such, everyone choosing to participate in evil, i.e., enact a failed maxim, can be held accountable. The 94

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apparent gap, then, between freedom and nature is substantiated by the conceptual gulf between our ideas of freedom and our embodime nt. The two are often and mistakenly set in opposition. Kant, however, attempts to rami fy this conceptual oversight, writing, Hence, freedom is only an idea of reason, the objective reality of which is in itself doubtful, whereas nature is a concept of the understanding that proves, and must necessarily prove, its reality in examples from experience. From this arises a dialectic of reason since, with respect to the will, the freedom ascribed to it seems to be in contradiction with natural necessityPhilosophy must therefore assume that no contradiction will be found between freedom and natural necessity in the very same human actions, for it cannot give up the concept of nature any more than that of freedom. 109 This dialectic of reason is the attempt to re solve this apparent gap between nature and freedom, which is further complicated by atte mpts to account for the origins, existence and definition of evil. If evil is natural, then we are absolved from any wrongdoings. If evil arises from freedom, then, why should we cling to the concept of freedom, knowing that it necessitates the existence of evil? Kant resolves this apparent disparity by denying the possibility of natural evil, which, in turn, gives his account the flexibility needed to de scribe situations wherein a moral agent, naturally inclined to evil, can su ddenly forego his previ ous habits to act in accordance with the moral law, or conversely, wherein a moral agents track record of conforming with the moral law can suddenly deviate from the moral law. As human beings, beings capable of freedom, which as Kant has suggested must be presupposed, it is important that we have the abilit y to deviate from the moral law, not that we deviate 109 Groundwork, 4:455. 95

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from the moral law. In laymans terms, I could do wrong, but I wont. The recognition that one could deviate from the moral law is in itself sufficient for freedom. One need not actually deviate from the law to exercise ones freedom. It is specifically how moral agents choose to exercise their freedom that determines the morality of their action. Those choices that conform to the law are moral and those that do not are immoral. There is however, a greater level of unders tanding with respect to freedom and the existence of evil. As noted earlier, evil cannot strictly be assessed through an observation of action. It must be assessed in terms of the unity of the maxim and the action. Those actions th at acknowledge human beings as ends in themselves are good because the act of recognizing ones autono my [particular] is justified by the law, namely, the second formulation of the categorical imperative [universal], which demonstrates that one can simultaneously speak of both particulars and universals without contradiction. The particular actions are justified by universal law, which govern the actions. Again, the two are inseparable. Kant understood that in making assessments of evil, we would be tempted to merely ba se our judgments on the action, which is only partially correct. If his acc ount were to stop at this poi nt, it would be weakened by objections of relativism. Kant is able to overcome these objections, however, because of the biconditional relation be tween actions and maxims. One cannot effectively describe morality or account for the existence of good and evil without simultaneously discussing both conceptions. Thus, our unde rstanding of good and evil, a nd Kant would agree that we have the cognitive abilitie s to understand good and evil, is itself contingent on how the action relates to the moral law. 96

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It follows, then, that good is a property of action that is future oriented, that anticipates the conformity of the action with the moral law. In fact, the moral agent should always be able to asses the moral ity of the action at any time, since the determination of morality is it self time independent. The mora l agent is recognized as an autonomous agent capable of understanding th e moral law and acting accordingly. All that is required for the proce ss of proper moral action is for the moral agent to have the cognitive awareness of the moral law, whic h raises an interesting point. Those humans that lack the ability to fully comprehend their moral obligation and duties to the moral law, cannot and should not be held account able for their actions. This may include infants, patients afflicted with dementia or those in comas. Human development is a process of transforming individuals from mere means into ends. The relationship between freedom, ones maxims, and the moral agents action, serves as a source for determining morality and accountability. Strict determinists encounter the problem of accountability if th ey ascribe to the so cial or biological determinism of human beings, since such an ascription denies the possibility of punishment, and thereby undermines the grandeur of evil. Therefore, an understanding of evil requires the recognition of both freedom and the universalization of maxims. Maxims universalized in accordance with th e moral law result in good actions. Whereas, maxims universalized from deviations from th e moral law result in evil actions. For those actions deemed evil, it is the maxim, specifica lly the choice in universalizing a particular maxim, which is deemed evil, if the maxim deviates from the moral law. The hallmark of evil is a disregard for benefits that would otherwise be lost in universalization and an 97

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adamant stubbornness to retain such benefits de spite the contradiction in universalization. For example, my attempt to reap the benefits of getting better grad es than my peers or better grades than I am othe rwise capable, by cheating on my midterm exam and stealing the teachers answer key, is lost if I attempt to universalize the maxim that everyone should be able to steal the teachers answer key. If we all cheat, there is no value in cheating. Thus, the act of cheating loses its benefit if universalized. Hence, the hallmark of evil is the stubborn attempt to univers alize a maxim that is grounded in selfcenteredness, without consideration for others, wherein the resulting maxim takes the form of a personal gain under all such circumstances, and the benefit is not universally transferred. It is, in effect, the bizarre and contradictory at tempt to universalize personal benefits that is the telltale sign of evil All actions resulting from such maxims are necessarily evil and all moral agents freely choosing to universalize such maxims are recognized as evil. The stigma of being evil, however, is transien t, as the individual always has the opportunity to realign with the moral law. Immanuel Kant, then, was able to describe th e concept of evil in terms of a perversion of our maxims. Cognition offers each moral agent the accessibility to that, which is universal, that which informs our actions. Norms or morality need not descend from religious texts, as humanity is fully capa ble of cognizing proper moral action based on the universalization of ones maxims. Thes e maxims, however, are inextricably linked with the actions they inform. Thus, as Ka nts account of space-time and momentumenergy would later revolutionize physical sciences and astron omy, so too has his account of maxims and action revolutionized morality. The articulation of evil in wholly secular 98

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terms is feasible insofar as one procee d in such a manner as to recognize the subordination of action to maxi m. The attempt to disentangl e our propensities toward evil is only feasible within the socializati on of each human being, and the process of socialization is itself regulate d and subordinate to the power of the political realm. Thus, a contemporary account of evil, must one th e one hand, account from the role of our socialization in making good moral agents a nd, on the other hand, describe how that process is polluted, while also discussing the ro le of the political a nd the conflicts each moral agent faces in mitigating social and pol itical obligation with the moral law, i.e., maxims. A contemporary analysis into the concept of evil, the n, must be guided by sociopolitical investigations. 99

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Chapter 2: Genocide and Evil 2.1. Conceptualizing Genocide and Evil The concept of genocide evolved in 1933 when Raphael Lemkin coined the term. Fifteen years later on December 9, 1948 the United Nations General Assembly, in light of the events of World War II, adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide popularly known as the Unite d Nations Genocide Convention (UNGC) Article II of the UNGC States: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical racial or re ligious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring a bout its destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intending to prevent births within a group; (e) Forcibly transferring ch ildren of the group to another group. 110 Since the UNGCs adoption, scholars w ho study genocide have criticized the convention and offered suggestions for its amendment. The foundation of genocide 110 Chalk, Frank Robert, and Kurt Jonassohn. 1990. The history and sociology of genocide: analyses and case studies New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 44. 100

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studies, irrespective of the many definitio nal disagreements on the UNGC, is firmly rooted in Lemkins thoughts on genoci de. Lemkin had defined genocide as By genocide we mean the dest ruction of a nation or of an ethnic groupGenerally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immedi ate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions ai ming at the de struction of essential foundations of the lif e of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. 111 Thus, for Lemkin, sterilization and the de struction of a groups culture, language, religious symbols, i.e., the basis of a group s identity, without the extermination of the groups members, constituted genocide. Nearly sixty one years after the adoption of the UNGC, genocide research has grown exponentially. In his 1975 article entitle d, Ethnic Genocide, Rene Lemarchand discussed the 1972 genocide against the Hutu by Tutsi militia in Burundi, in Central Africa. Lemarchands analysis of the genocide in Burundi furthered genocide scholarship because it dealt with the concept of selective genocide. The selective genocide that Lemarchand discus ses pertains to the selective targeting of the educated members of Hutu society. A ny Hutu would be killed but members of the educated class were specifical ly targeted for extermination. The act of selective genocide, then, demonstrates the calculated capac ity and forethought in exterminating a potential threat. The selective approach to killing in Burundi highlights Lemkins idea that a perpetrator of genocide could aim at the destruction of an essential pillar of a groups 111 Lemkin, Raphael. 1973. Axis rule in occupied Europe; laws of occupation, analysis of government, proposals for redress New York: H. Fertig, p. 79. 101

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strength. By targeting educat ed Hutus, the Tutsi perpetra tors of genocide in Burundi destroyed the basis of Hutu power and identity. In an analysis of the ideological motives perpetrators use to justify acts of genocide, Edward Kissi describes the specific proce sses wherein ethnic groups become enemies of the state. 112 Kissis analysis is significant. It converges with my specific conceptualization of genocide and evil, because it shows how the state converts members of its population into enemies, through the im plementation of ideologies for the sole purpose of extermination. Kissi addresses this issue from the very be ginning of his book, in his discussion of the Dergue (the Ethiopian military government, which replaced Haile Selassie I) and further expands on the notion of selectivity. He writes: given the domestic political climate under which the Dergue operated, it attempted to consider all the Tigrinyaspeaking people of Tigray and neighboring Eritrea as potential supporters of the rebel Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), which sought to overthrow the Dergue, and the Eritrean Peopl es Liberation Front (EPLF) which fought for the secession of Eritrea from Ethiopia. Here, it was the revolutionary regimes ideology of absolute national unity that tempted the Dergue to convert particular ethnic groups into political enemies to be destroyed (emphasis added). 113 Thus, despite the multi-ethnic compositi on of the Mengistu regime, Tigrinyaspeaking people were selected for extermina tion because their secessionist nationalism presented a unique political threat to the regimes ideology of absolute national unity. 112 Kissi, Edward. 2006. Revolution and genocide in Ethiopia and Cambodia Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 113 Ibid., p. xxii-xxiii 102

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Important to this analysis, however, and our ongoing investigation into the philosophy of evil and its relation to genocide scholarship, is the need to further inquire into how political dissidents are converted into enemies of the state, a proce ss I will describe later in the analysis. Kissi describes the process wherein Mengi stu and the Dergue wooed the former Soviet Union into providing military support for an attack against the TPLF and others, the Dergue constructed as enemies of th e state. Thus, in embracing tenets of communism, without actually pursuing a communistic ideology, the Dergue obtained Soviets weaponry to launch a repressive cam paign against Tigray and neighboring Eritrea verging on genocide. As Kissi has argue d, Here, a determination to crush domestic political opponents took precedence over any desire to become the first communist state in Africa (emphasis added). 114 In this description of the Dergue and its political relations with Moscow, Kissi demonstrates how the pan-Ethiopian ideology, prof essed by Mengistu and the Dergue, was used to garner arms by espousing communi st slogans in an opportunistic way. More precisely, however, with respect to my an alysis into the nature of evil, Kissis investigation addresses the problem of do mestic jurisdiction, as addressed by Hannah Arendt, and the extent to which the state will go to gain arms for its campaign of genocidal killing. Thus, any opposition to state ideology serves to locate dissenters. As Kissi has already mentioned, after dissenters ha ve been identified, and the necessary arms acquired, the Ethiopian revoluti onary state began the proces s of converting members of 114 Ibid., p. 150. 103

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the Ethiopian population into political enemies of the state, i.e., once they have been newly defined as enemies of the state, they will be slated for ex termination. Though Kissi is not arguing that the events in Ethiopia constituted genocide, the process is the same. My investigation into the na ture of genocide and evil, then, begins where Kissis analysis ends, with an explicit formulation of the necessary cond itions for converting a civilian into an enemy of th e state, i.e., explaining how political power and a state endorsed ideology of exclusion are used to justify genocidal motivations. My investigation, then, draws from an interdisciplinary disc ourse on genocide, combining key conceptions of selectivity and jurisdicti on with philosophical notions of power and ethical prescriptions on fairness. As I will ar gue, this ability to convert members of the population into enemies of the state initiates the process of extermination and, moreover, serves as the foundation for the po ssibility of discussing evil. In part, I will be addressing the preco nditions for genocide and Evil, but most importantly, I will systematically define what I mean by Evil. The purpose of this analysis is to engage the entire spectrum of interdisciplinary resear ch in a discussion of Evil, of which genocide is its most insidious manifestation. Thus, it will be argued that the preconditions for the manifestation of Ev il, as manifested through genocide, exists where a states sovereignty excludes particular member s of the population, residing within the limits of the st ates domestic jurisdiction, from state-protection, when the following premises are true: 1. there exists reluctance to accept state endorsed ideology; 2. such ideology excludes a portion of the population within the limits of the st ates domestic jurisdiction; 104

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3. a refusal to accept state endorsed ideology is punishable; 4. the manner of punishment is contingent on both mutable and immutable identifiers. A mutable identifier is a particular demographic identifier that can be changed, viz., political affiliation. An immutable identifier is a particular demographic identifier that cannot be changes, viz., race. 5. mutable identifiers that are changed to conform to state ideology are not punished; 6. mutable identifiers that are not changed to conform to state ideology are punished; 7. all immutable identifiers are inherently incapable of conforming to state ideology; Therefore, all immutable identifiers are necessarily subject to punishment. The term identifier simply refers to demographic identifiers, which are used to identify groups within a nations census, like a groups race or its ethnicity. The conclusion, all immutable identifiers are n ecessarily subject to punishment is the absolute conceptual foundation for the gr eatest conceivable evilgenocide based on immutable identifiers. Since these demographic identifiers cannot be changed, genocide is necessitated by their presence, i.e., if a state has assumed an excl usionary ideology and the target of its exclusionary practice is base d on an immutable identifier like race, then since ones race cannot be changed, the process of state endorsed exclusion is necessitated by the presence of an excluded r ace. If, unfortunately, my race has been excluded from state protection, th en every member of my race is a potential target for extermination. Genocide based on immutable identifiers, howev er, is to be contrasted with genocide based on mutable identifiers. Mutable identi fiers can be changed. Thus, ones political affiliation, for example, is classified as a mutabl e identifier because it is a flexible state, 105

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i.e., it is subject to change, whereas ones et hnicity or race is an immutable identifier because it is a fixed state, i.e., not subject to change. Thus, punishment is a necessary result of genocide based on immutable identifiers but only a contingent result of genocide based on mu table identifiers because once the state assumes an exclusiona ry ideology, those possessing i mmutable identifiers cannot (by definition) conform to state ideology b ecause immutable identifiers like race and ethnicity are fixed states. Thus, it is certain that they will be targeted for extermination. Political affiliation, however, is a mutable identifier, i.e., poli tical affiliation can easily be changed. Punishment based on mutable identifie rs is contingent because if the person changes his political affiliation to conform to state ideology he will no longer be deemed an enemy of the state. Those who refuse will be slated for extermination. Thus, punishment will not result from genocide base d on mutable identifiers when there is compliance with state ideology. The concept of Evil, then, arises because of the forced punishment of those whose identity is a function of nature. It is as if these demographic identifiers were solely selected for their immu tability so as to expedite the purge of those bearing such demographic identifiers from state protection and ultimately from existence. Thus, punishment is inherent in state ideology where members of the population are excluded based on immutable identifiers. Evil, then, arises as a consequence of an exclusionary ideology , since exclusionaryideologies necessitate genocid e based on immutable identifier s. Exclusionary ideology is defined as state ideology that excludes me mbers of particular groups. Simply put, evil, within the discourse of state sovereignty, is defined as the intentional reduction of 106

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domestic diversity within state demography by the fo rmulation and pursuit of an exclusionary ideology for the purpose of enforcing a homogeneous society. As mentioned in the previous chapter in the discussion of Empedocles, the polemics between good and evil are balanced by their co existence. Unbridled, both Love and Strife lead to destruction. Thus, homogeneity presen ts a specific problem to how we must assess and interpret ou r social relations. Again, I have defined evil, within th e context of stat e sovereignty, as the intentional reduction of domestic diversity within state demography by the formulation and pursuit of an exclusionary ideology for the purpose of enforcing a homogeneous society. I will qualify this definition by analyzing its two co mponent parts, which are (1) the reduction of domestic diversity, and (2) the formula tion and pursuit of an exclusionary ideology. After I have fully qualified the definition of ev il, I will offer a defense against objections. In his account of state so vereignty and the role of th e sovereign, R.B.J. Walker argues, Entry into the modern system of states enables any particular sovereign to decide on an exception to the norms of human conduct within a particular territory Sovereigns make the final decisionThe modern states system is always susceptible to war, to the necessity of sovereigns declaring a state of emergency and an exception to all norms. (emphasis added). 115 Within a states domestic jurisdiction, th e sovereign is fully capable of enacting exceptions to the norm, by attempting to c ontrol the demography within the states jurisdiction. The demography within a states jurisdiction is its domestic diversity. For 115 Walker, R. B. J. 2002. International/Inequality International Studies Review Vol. 4, No. 2, International Relations and the New Inequality Summer. p. 21. 107

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states whose demography is very homogeneous, e.g., Somalia, any means of differentiating Somali, legitimate or ad hoc, can always be used to endorse an ideology of state exclusion. Thus, even where a state s demography is homogeneous, the state can still form an exclusionary ideology. By domesti c diversity, I am spec ifically referring to (1) every member of the population within a states domestic juri sdiction, men, women, children, foreigners, residents and so on that are subject to the stat es authority, which does not include diplomatic personnel or representatives of foreign governments because they are not subject to such authority. Specifical ly, regarding the use of the term diversity, (2) it should only be applied to those subordi nate members of the population, living within the domestic jurisdiction and subject to the states authority. The application of the term diversity (3) refers to any quantifiable and statistically verifiable demographic identifier, i.e., any and all iden tifiers, which are quantifiable, or may be assessed to characterize and define a partic ular person within the states domestic jurisdiction. These identi fiers (4) must be incorporated in to the concept of diversity. For example, religious affiliation, language spoken, ethnicity, and variations in culture are all quantifiable and statistically verifiable demographic identifiers and ar e to be included in what is meant by diversity. Since these demographic identifiers are necessarily associated with particular individuals i.e., they describe members of the population, then any attempt to purge or reduce those identifiers (decrease the level of diversity) from the collective state demography, requires (5) e ither extermination or the forced mass expulsion of all portions of the population bearing those iden tifiers. Essentially, however, there is little resistance that can be eff ectively wielded against a state determined to 108

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cleanse or purge its population of those i ndividuals bearing undesi rable identifiers. Martin Shaw writes, Victims have no choice but to or ient their actions to the overwhelming power of the enemy that attacks them. (emphasis in original). 116 Though resistance is a necessary feature of genocide prevention, there is little that can be done from within the community of targeted groups to thwart their extermination. Thus, third party intervention is necessary to aid in resisting extermination. As discussed in the previous chapter, however, Senecas thoughts on evil would undermine this notion of resistance. Succumbing to evil in the hopes of building character is antithetical to genocide prevention and di scourse. Unless some of the intended victims resist genocide, all will perish and there will be none to bear actual witness to their suffering. Thus, on this account Senecas discussion of resilience could not be implemented because the intent of genocide is the total annihilation of targeted groups. Unless, of course, mutable identifiers defined some members within the targeted groups and they were willing to change thei r affiliation to prevent extermination. Political, ideological, and religious affilia tions are but a few examples of mutable identifiers. Ethnic, racial, and physical disabilities are but a few examples of the immutable identifiers. Particular demographic identifiers that are subject to change are classified as mutable identifiers Particular demographic identifiers that are not subject to change are classified as immutable identifiers Robert Melson captures the concept perfectly. He writes, Especially vulnerable are ethnic groups and/or social classes that have traditionally been difficult to integrate into 116 Shaw, Martin. 2007. What is genocide? Cambridge: Polity, p. 95. 109

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the larger society, or have been refused assimilationWhether such conditions in fact lead to genocide depends on the ideology of the perpetrators the identity and situation of the victims(emphasis added). 117 Thus, within any collective demography there exist both mutable and immutable identifiers. As Melson has e xplained, ethnic minorities are especially vulnerable since their ethnicity is immutable. Thus, if their ethnic group is selected by the state for exclusion, it cannot be changed, thereby neces sitating the extermination of all members from that ethnic group. These identifier s can be arbitrary and completely ad hoc but they serve the same endidentifying those member s of the population that are to be purged from within the states domestic jurisdicti on. In his analysis of the Khmer Rouge, Kissi writes, The Khmer Rouge leadership ga ve each Eastern Zone cadre evacuated to the northwestern province of Pursat a blue scarf, not as a token of honor or of loyalty to the state, but as a sign to distinguish them from the other Khmer. The object of this unusual identific ation was to make cadres of the Eastern Zone more visibl e as the dissident and impure Khmer to be exterminated. 118 The sign that Kissi is re ferring to is a means of id entifying a distinction, which carries with it the difference from those in power, so as to exclude them from us despite the fact, however, that Khmer were targeting fellow Khmer. Thus, the basis for their extermination was one of ideological differences which means that their extermination was one based on mutable identif iers, since they could have conceivably changed their ideological stance. 117 Melson, Robert. 1992. Revolution and genocide: on the origins of the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 278. 118 Kissi, p. 125. 110

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The necessity of wearing a blue scarf is of even greater importance because those targeted for extermination were Khmer. As evident in Kissis example, the process of identification may be entirely ad hoc but its function will always be to identify those to be cleansed from the population. The use of genocide in this example is a contingent condition based on the ideological refusal of so me Khmer to assimilate to the Khmer Rouges state endorsed ideology. Thus, this id eological refusal led to their eventual extermination. In this example, Kissi is de scribing the targeting of those Khmer, by fellow Khmer, for extermination based on th eir refusal to conform to state ideology. Therefore, the subsequent act of genocide was itself based on mutable identifiers that were not changed to conform to state ideo logy, which was carried out by fellow Khmer. As we have seen, genocide based on immutable identifiers is the most heinous manner of reducing the diversity within a st ates demography, because these identifiers cannot be changed by members of the population. There is, however, as demonstrated in Kissis example of Khmer targeting fellow Khmer, the ability to base genocide on mutable identifiers, if one defines political a ffiliation as such. This in no sense suggests that there are better or wors e forms of genocide. What it does demonstrate, however, is that unlike genocide based on mutable identif iers, where members of the population are given a choice to conform to state ideology and their lives, possibly spared, members of the population bearing immutable identifiers have no choice a nd face either mass exile or extermination. In my articulation of domestic diversity, then, I am sp ecifically discussing the attempt to remove any number of demographic identifiers from the population by means of persuasion, exile or extermination. Th is decrease in both ethnic and ideological 111

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diversity is accomplished by an abuse of stat e authority within its domestic jurisdiction. Thus, the process of converting a former civilian into an enemy of the state is as easy as identifying or aligning all members of the population bearing those demographic identifiers as enemies of the state. The final solution, then, is to purge the state or exterminate all members of the population bear ing these identifiers, in the case of immutable identifiers, or enforcing conform ity for all members of the population bearing mutable identifiers. In either case, thr ough the process of a reduction in domestic diversity, the state eliminates those demographic identifier s from its demography and its domestic jurisdiction. In defining evil, by the formation of excl usionary ideology I am referring to (1) a state endorsed ideology that makes specific references to demographic identifiers represented within its populati on. The state (2) further associat es these attributes (i.e., the particular demographic identifiers) as poten tially corrupting the remaining members of the population within a states domestic juri sdiction. The association, then, of these demographic identifiers with a contaminated portion of the population is included in what I will label as the selectiv e phase of exclusionary ideology. It is important to recognize that perpet rators of genocide vi ew both ethnic and ideological diversity as esse ntially corrupting and contamin ating the state. As already discussed in Kissi analysis of the Khmer Rouge, targeting fellow Khmer facilitated Khmer Rouge attempts to purify the state. This act of genocide best exemplifies one that is based on mutable identi fiers, as their ideological assumptions could have been changed to conform to state id eology. What Kissis example demonstrates is the extent to 112

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which a state can enact an id eology of exclusion, even within a substantially homogenous demography. The attempt, then, to purify or force conformity within the state is inherently antithetical to its natural occurrences. Thus, forced conformity is an unnatural attempt to modify state demography. The unna tural attempt to modify state demography through mass exile or genocide is the clearest manifestation of evil, as it is contrary to the natural dispersion of these characteristics within the state. Thus, any attempt to modify a states demography through the use of coercion or force assumes a godlike stance similar to the manipulation of naturally occurring characteristics. After the state has selected those demographi c identifiers that pose the greatest risk to state sovereignty, it must (3) then associat e members of the popul ation bearing those identifiers with risks to state sovereignty or the good functioning of society. This process concludes what I will label as the transformative phase of exclusionary ideology. I have briefly discussed the process of converting a civi lian into an enemy of the state, a process that I will examine in greater detail shortly. Through the transformative phase, nonetheless, civilians are disenf ranchised from the protection of the state. Measures that would have otherwise safeguarded them fr om exploitation and extermination are now nonexistent. Once enemies of the state have been identified, the state must begin the process of cleansing or purging itself of t hose members of the population. I have identifie d this final phase as the purgative phase of exclusionary ideology. This is not specifically the act of genocide, though genocide is certainly to be included within the purgative phase. In order to understand how civilians are turned into enemies of the state, one should identify 113

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each of the three phases of exclusion : (1) selective phase, (2) transformative phase and (3) purgative phase. It should be noted, howev er, that I am not s uggesting these three phases are in any sense exhaustive. It is likely that there is a wide spectrum of explanatory approaches that would account for such a process. Nevertheless, I have selected these three phases as tools in anal yzing state endorsed excl usionary ideology. 2.2. Phase 1: The Selective Phase Peter Uvin, in his discussion of the social relations between the Hutu and Tutsi of Rwanda in Central Africa, comments on existi ng prejudicial ideologi es in the country, In Rwanda, basic psychocultura l images of the Tutsi and the Hutu have beenand still arethe basic building blocks of society. These profoundly ingrained, widely shared images treat Hutu and Tutsi as radically and unchangeably differentThese images can be observed inand from childhood are transmitted bya multitude of proverbs, stories and mythsThis prejudicial ideology can properly be called racist, for it is widely perceived as referring to races. 119 As Uvin explains, this ideology has been profoundly ingrained into every psychocultural facet of Hutu life and, accordi ng to Uvin, their perceptions of the Tutsi have been shaped by their psychocultural development. The cont inual references to proverbs, myths, and the press, of the differences between the Hutu and the Tutsi contri buted to the growing tensions among members of the Rwandan popula tion. Though the Tutsi were selected as potential enemies of the state, under Hutu control the dissemination of information required extensive governmental support. Uvin continues, 119 Uvin, Peter. 1998. Aiding violence: the development enterprise in Rwanda West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, p. 30. 114

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More generally, at political rallies, in speeches, and in extremist local language newspapers and radio stations, Tutsi were constantly the subject of hateful propagandaMuch of the freedom of press that was suddenly (and only partly) allowed was invaded by newspapers with an incendi ary and racist position. The most (in)famous case were Kangura a radical newspaper created in early 1990 and Radi o-Tlvision Libre des Mille CollinesThese genocidal and extremist voices were not only tolerated, but also mora lly and financially supported by people at the highest levels of the establishment, including the government. 120 Like Kissis example of the Khmer Rouges extermination of fellow Khmer, which represented an ethnically homogeneous state, in Rwanda the same can be said, as the Hutu and Tutsi speak Kinyarwanda. Even apart from the colonial history of Rwanda, the alleged ethnic differences between the Hutu and Tutsi groups may well have been socially constructed and fabricated by the Hu tu dominated state, as a means of preserving power and subordinating Tutsi. The difference, however, is that unlike the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer, which was ba sed on mutable demographic identifiers, Rwandas genocide was based on immutable identifiers, namely, ethnicity. What the comparison between Rwanda and Cambodia illust rates, however, is the extent to which an exclusionary state ideology can arb itrarily assign both mutable and immutable demographic identifiers to a portion of th e population to justify their extermination. Kissis account of the Cambodian genocide a nd Uvins of the Rwandan genocide both share the arbitrariness with which the state transforms formers citizens in poor standing with the state into enemies of the state. 120 Ibid., p. 64. 115

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As is evident in Uvins discussion, the government selected those members of the population, namely, Tutsi and moderate Hutu who challenged its power and slated them for extermination. Propagandist newspapers a nd television networks that are supported or subsidized by the government have great influence among members of the population because the source of information is viewed as credible. Moreover, the pervasiveness of anti-Tutsi ideology throughout nearly every facet of Hutu lives, led enough Hutu to participate in the government supported genocide. In discussing Hutu-Tutsi relations, Joshua Wallenstein refers to the enemy within, writing, The duty of the Hutu, then, was to erase the enemy within i.e., to fight to preserve his family, his race, a nd his nation, (emphasis added). 121 Wallenstein discusses the role of Radio-Tlvision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) in justifying the state endorsed massacre of Rwandas Tutsi, in 1994, on the grounds of protecting and defending Hutu solidarity. The portrayal of Tutsi as subhuman by the Hutu dominated state, demonstrates the antagonistic approach used to justify their extermination. The Tutsi were the enemy within, which refe rs to the scope of the states domestic jurisdiction. The Tutsi were to be extermin ated and RTLM and other propaganda media were to conduct the business of justifying th e extermination to sympathetic Hutus. Thus, in creating an enemy of the state, the state also creates its sympathizers. Those sympathetic to state ideology will justify their discrimination as nationalism, a concept which will be thoroughly discussed later in the analysis. Those disenfranchised by the 121 Wallenstein, Joshua. 2001. Punishing Words: An Analysis of the Necessity of the Element of Causation in Prosecutions for Incitement to Genocide Stanford Law Review Vol. 54, No. 2. Nov. p. 351398. 116

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states exclusionary ideology will be targeted for exile or extermination and those needing motivation will be subject to state endorsed propaganda. 2.3. Phase 2: The Transformative Phase In analyzing the definition of evil, I am attempting to qualify what is meant by the formation of exclusionary ideology in the pr oposed definition of evil. In discussing the formation of an exclusionary ideology, I have identified three, phases of exclusion, namely, the selective phase, the transformative phase and the purgative phase. The transformative phase of a states exclus ionary ideology converts members of the population who are subject to state sovereignty into enemies of the state. This process is transformative insofar as a judgment of value is placed on otherwise valueless demographic identifiers which state officials then a ssociate with barbarism, or attempt to dehumanize those individuals beari ng these identifiers. For example, the shape of someones nose is an empirical fact that is devoid of value. The shape of someones nose is of no particular consequence, but if one seeks to dehumanize this fact one must also espouse the bizarre claim of what a proper or normal nose should look like. 122 Leslie Fiedler describes this as physiological normalcy. With respect to this particular act of excluding members of the population based on their physiology, Leslie A. Fiedler offers an interesting account. She writes, But other unfortunate human be ings regardedat that time and in that societyas undesi rable deviations were also destroyedIt is a development which should make us aware of just how dangerous enforced physiological 122 Fiedler, Leslie A. 1984. The Tyranny of the Normal The Hastings Center Report Vol. 14, No. 2. Apr. p. 40-42. 117

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normalcy is when the definition of its parameters fall into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. 123 Again, this conception is not exclusive to ge nocide, as enforced assimilation, ethnocide, alienation, and many other forms of intoleran ce work toward the same end, discomforting members of the population so they conform or exiling others that will not. If members of the targeted population are capab le of assimilating their de mographic identifier, their identifiers are mutable. If they are incapable of assim ilating their demographic identifier, their identifiers are immutable. With respect to punishment, then, immutable identifiers necessitate punishment, whereas mutable iden tifiers are contingent on an individuals willingness to assimilate, albeit enforced assimilation. Within the context of a states domestic jurisdiction, the c oncept of enforced assimilation is integral to fully understanding the precise meaning of evil. In formulating an exclusionary ideology, state officials attempt to ensure that political power remains centralized. Political power re mains centralized if members of the population are forced to conform to state ideology and state authority is not mitigated by a judicial system of checks and balances. Assimilation, then, is enforced as a means of centralizing state authority. The decentralization of state author ity is possible by mitigating sovereignty and embracing cultural and ethnic pluralism. This process of transforming particular me mbers of the population into enemies of the state is the attempt to homoge nize demographic identifiers within the states domestic jurisdiction to conform to an ideology of sameness. In discussing evil, then, the attempt to enforce assimilation is morally reprehen sible because it is a willful disregard of 123 Ibid., p. 41. 118

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physiological properties that are natural and factual within a group. Centralizing political power, then, will invariably destabilize sel ect members of the population, because they pose a threat to that centralization. The threat may not be a political threat i.e., those labeled enemies of the state may not have an armed force or aspirations for political power, but they threaten polit ical power insofar as they physically embody variation. Their naturally occurr ing physiological differences ar e dehumanized, which lays the groundwork for their extermination. It is evil to target others for extermination based on biological properties beyond their control. It is evil when an ascription of value seeks to enforce physiological homogeneity. The desire to attain political power, by any means necessary cannot relate to the use of human beings as a means to an end. In so doing, human beings become tools for advancing a particular ideology of exclusi on. Those targeted for exclusion are excluded from the political process without measures to safeguard their lives. Insofar as these members of the population are excluded, they are not identified as an end. To be identified as an end is to be identified as human. Therefore, they are not identified as human. Once this conclusion is reached, the state has successfully completed the process of transforming particular civilians into enemies of the state. Their extermination is justified by their socially cons tructed inhumanity, which is itse lf based on an artificial or unnatural attempt to control physiological homogeneity. They are a pest, a plague, roaches, vermin, lice to be purged or extermin ated, effectively cleansing the state from their infestation. As mentioned in the previ ous chapter, however, the fate of humanity rests in our ability to maximize goodness and minimize evil. 119

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As has been demonstrated, the dehumani zation of targeted groups requires an exclusionary ideology, typical ly fueled by government sponsored propaganda. If these members of the population are seen as subhuman, their massacre will not be inhibited by moral considerations. Nazi anti-Semitic propa ganda characterized Jews as disease, bacilli, thieves, lice, subhuman, parasites, alien bodies and so on. 124 Dehumanization is essential in this tr ansformative phase. The continual use of propaganda aimed at dehumanizi ng members of targeted gro ups, as exemplified in the example of the RTLM, facilitates the ease w ith which potential genocide sympathizers can be spurred into participation, as participants essentially fail to recognize the humanity of their intended victims. 125 Nazi-Germany viewed Jews as subhuman, as threatening the racial purity of the Aryan r ace and as a direct threat to the German state. Once perpetrators are unwilling to recognize human beings as moral entities the dehumanization of these human beings follows without much effort. The misrepresentation of members of a targeted group as nonhuman and thereby unworthy of moral consideration serves to bolst er an exclusionary ideology. The process of selecting members of the population for exclusion and transforming those individuals into enemies of the state is a process that seeks, as its ultimate end, the consolidation of political power. A unified and consolidated state, which has already enacted specific measures of enforcing an exclusionary ideology, has truly progressed through a selective and transformative phase of exclusion and approaches the final 124 Hinton, Alexander. 1998. Why did the Nazis Kill?: Anthropology, Genocide and the Goldhagen Controversy Anthropology Today Vol. 14, No. 5. Oct. p.14. 125 Dower, John W. 1986. War without mercy: race and power in the Pacific war. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 11. 120

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purgative phase. It is in the attempt to c onsolidate power under the banner of an ideology of exclusion, where governmental resources contribute to disenfranchising members of its population, that we can begin a discussion of evil. This consolidation of power is not consolidated within an individual. It is an inherent m echanism of human relations and as such is subject to abuse and dominance. The disenfranchisement of individuals by a state endorsed ideology of exclusion, exhibits an inc lination to participate in acts of genocide and other crimes against humanity. 2.4. Phase 3: The Purgative Phase The final phase of exclusion is the attemp t to purge enemies from the state. Though some speculate whether genocide existed duri ng antiquity, there is no speculation about its unfortunate prevalence in our contem porary lives. Quite possibly one of the unforeseen effects of the scie ntific revolution of the Enli ghtenment, coupled with the advances made in military grade weapons, is our increasing proficiency with killing. In his book, On Killing Lt. Col. Dave Grossman discusses terrorism and the cycle of violence, Another powerful process th at ensures compliance in atrocity situations is the impact of terrorism and selfpreservation. The shock and horror of seeing unprovoked violent death meted out create s a deep atavistic fear in human beings. Through atroc ity the oppressed population can be numbed into a learned helplessness state of submission and compliance. 126 State endorsed terrorism is facilitated by the daunting sense of helplessness throughout the population. The ease of extermination is facilitated by an ove rwhelming recognition 126 Grossman, Dave. 1995. On killing: the psychological cost of learning to kill in war and society. Boston: Little, Brown. p. 225. 121

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of state authority and its capacity, within the confines of its domestic jurisdiction, for mechanizing mass deaths. Terrorism, then, is inextricably bound to an ideology of exclusion and necessary in fulfilling th e purgative phase. Arendt writes, [it] reigns over a completely subdued population Where the rule of terror is broug ht to perfection, as in concentration camps, propaganda disappears entirely; it was even expressly forbidden in Nazi Germanyterror, on the contrary, is the very essence of its form of government (emphasis added). 127 Terrorizing members of the population slated for extermination or mass exile, as mentioned by Arendt and Grossman, serves to subdue the population into accepting the inevitability of their banishment or deaths. Th ere is a very serious danger, however, if an oppressed group usurps the government to gain control of power within the states domestic jurisdiction. Grossman warns, Once oppressors begin to think of their victims as not being the same species, then these victims can accept and use that cultural distance to kill and oppr ess their colonial masters when they finally gain the upper hand. 128 Clearly, then, matters of authority and subordination are circumstantial. If the circumstances are such that the state has embr aced an ideology of exclusion, it is certain that terrorism is surely to follow, and moreove r, that those slated for purgation will be in part pacified by the use of terror. If, however, the oppresse d group attains c ontrol of the state, it will likely commit sim ilar acts of depravation agains t its former oppressor within the states jurisdiction. 127 Arendt, Hannah. 1973. The Origins of Totalitarianism New York, Harvest Books. p. 344. 128 Ibid., p. 162. 122

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As noted earlier, within that jurisdiction, the st ate is capable of exercising absolute control over members of its popul ation, an act that frequently flirts with genocide as a means of purifying the population. As mentione d earlier in the disc ussion, genocide is but one instantiation of state power The act of cleansing the state is more precisely viewed in terms of the implementation of governmental power within the c onfines of a states domestic jurisdiction. This is not to suggest that genocide sc holars are less equipped to critically analyze genoci de, but the focus must involve a discussion of the implementation of power and a thorough invest igation of killing. Once the role of power is incorporated into the discussion, we have the even stricter ob ligation to remain on topic, i.e., not to fall into a discussion of th e geology of power or its infinite incarnations. Rather, we are bound to the bodies of millions of victims to fully acknowledge the states power. The goal of this analysis is to recognize and acknowledge the existence of evil, its viability, and its importance, in attempting to interpret atrocitie s throughout the world. Philosophy must have something to contribute to the discussi on of evil, as so many lives have been exterminated in the name of ideological contentions based on philosophical suppositions. While genocide is the greatest manifestation of evil, it is but one of its instantiations. The purgative phase of exclusion is the final eradication of those members of the population transformed into enemies of the state. The power to transform and add value to demographic identifiers, to enfor ce physiological normalcy, to dehumanize the intended victims, are mostly done with word s, with philosophical ideas. Thus, before even one person is killed, before the purg ative phase has even begun, much has been 123

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done to create a state of terror and ultima tely evil. Philosophy can contribute to the discussion of genocide by incorporating concep tions of power, evil, and the formation of ideology into that discussion but it requires that philosophers embrace an interdisciplinary discussion of evil, one that addresses both philosophical and historical concerns. 2.5. Politicide and the Plight of Political Groups It would be dangerous to assume that genocide occurs as a consequence of rapid political developments wherein the state brutalizes a portion of the population. More often than not genocide results from the ideological refusal of a segment of the population to conform to a particular ideology. The systematic attempt to exterminate an entire political group that would otherwise seek political power or undermine state sovere ignty is an act of politicide. It is the deliberate attempt to eradicate any and all political opposition. The festering acts of subversion from political dissidents fuel governmental paranoia, which, in turn, stigmatizes the opposing political group, as su ch. Evil manifests in this tension between warring political groups in struggles for political power. The assumpti on is that political power is mutually exclusive, i.e., only the victor or the dominant political group may wield political power. A winner-takes-all inte rpretation of political power reproaches egalitarianism and any conception of shari ng. Evil, as manifests in political power, assumes the characteristic of an act of exclusion. Political dissidents are caricatured to fit the ideological mold of a threat against the state, or a threat against the assumed purity of a nations people. In their act of defiance, 124

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dissidents offer the state, and those within the state that subscrib e to a conception of unilateral power, the ab ility to localize or pi npoint a competing ideology. It is not the act of subversion that is of any consequence. Ra ther, it is the ideologi cal grounds that have motivated those acts of subversion th at are targeted for exclusion. To approximate an understanding of evil is to recognize that it is a lie to suggest that political power must be maintained with unilatera l political force. It is a lie to suggest that political power cannot be shared between comp eting political groups. Fi nally, it is a lie to believe that in usurping the current ad ministration anything other than a new administration of dominance and oppression w ill arise, if ones ideological basis for understanding political power is rooted in its mutual exclusiv ity. This perpetration of evil is important in discussing genocide because it demonstrates that if one assumes an exclusionary ideology then overthrowing another government that also assumed an exclusionary ideology suggests that the cycle of genocide wi ll continue. Thus, the only way to mitigate the spread and appeal of ge nocide is to ensure that the state never endorses an exclusionary ideology. Otherwise, despise ceaseless revolutions the appeal of genocide and state purification will always be an option for those who have newly acquired political power from th eir former subordinators. Once political dissiden ts are able to convey the injusti ces that have been inflicted on them they pose a very real threat to the establishment. The private meeting between dissidents and sympathizers to educate the population about their oppression is conversely enough, a public act. It requires use of public meeting halls once the movement grows beyond secretive meetings in alleyways. This, however, is precisely 125

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the moment when their intentions are brought to light, when the authorities are made aware of their motivations. As ideologies of political dissidents compete with the establishment, so too will their intentions co mpete for political power, which poses a very real threat to those already in power. After governmental officials have been informed of the intentions of dissidents attempts to infiltrate their movements the killings will soon follow. Since, to usurp political power requires the dynamism inherent within the public sphe re, then the counter response to such an attempt must be to first destroy the group from within. What dissidents are attempting to make public, must be kept secretive. Thus, typically, the initial killings will be secretive, i.e., they will be private killing. Evil culminates in the systemization of d eath. It is the death squad, the assassin, the lynch mob, the death camps and so on. The greate st proof of the existence of evil is in how we redefine and reconstruct instruments of death, which must not be relegated to machinery. The assassin, the lynch mob, and death squads are all examples of such instruments. But overwhelmingly the greatest ability to systematize death, either in drafting the structural bluepr ints for death camps or the economic expenditure in amassing weapons of mass destruction, rests who lly within the scope of political power. The sheer magnitude of accessible capital or th e ability to negotiate capital for weaponry further entrenches the problem of evil within political discourse. In attempting to contain potential political threats from dissidents, members of the establishment have already begun to think of the various methods of implementing death, i.e., they have already begun the process of systematizing death. Evil begins on a very 126

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slippery slope and once it has gained momentum, there is little that can be done to stop it until it has run its course. To infiltrate dissident groups for the preservation of political power and to use force to do so, suggests that were such a use of force to fail in successfully hampering their attempts at usurping the government, more force maybe required. The attempt to suppress such a poli tical group necessitates their exclusion from governmental protection. In fact, the situa tion is far bleaker since the government is actively seeking to exterminate members of this rival political party. The problem, however, which is far more sinister than the attempt to kill those that have aligned themselves with opposing political and or ideological gr oups, is that ones political group can be an identifying characteri stic for that individual. Take for example, the sharia the Islamic religious law. Ones identi fication as a Muslim, as practicing the sharia, is an essential means of identify ing not only ones political and religious affiliations but, more importantly, it is a means of identifying the individual as a practicing Muslim. Thus, when Serbian nationalists attempted to exterminate Bosnian Muslims during the early 1990s, their attempt was not only directed against the political threat posed by a growing Muslim community, it was an attempt to deny the validity or even relevance of being Muslim, that is, their political affiliation was an incidental fact to their being Muslim. Muslims challenged Serb ian nationalists for political power, thus anyone practicing or following Muslim law could be identified as Muslim and slated for extermination. The further manifestation of evil, within the scope of political power, results from an inability to engage in tolerance. 127

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From the description above, one can form ulate the following syllogism: To be a political dissident is to threaten the power of the establishment, and such threats are punishable by death. Muslims are political dissi dents insofar as they pose a very real challenge to the conception of Serbian nationalism. Any group contending for political power is perceived as a threat. Therefore, be ing Muslim is punishable by death since the act of being Muslim runs counter to the ideo logy of Serbian nationalism. Faced with such fallacious reasoning, one must ma ke the decision whether being Muslim is worth the risk of being branded as an enemy of the state. Thus, the example of political affiliation and state endorsed ideology, as also demonstrat ed in Kissis example of the Cambodian genocide, serves as a representation of genocid al events based on mutable identifiers, i.e., those capable of being changed. Since being characterized as such may result in ones death, individuals within the targeted group must conform to state ideology or face extermination. In the example of the tensi ons between Serbian na tionalists and Bosnian Muslims, it would require practicing Muslim to renounce thei r faith, culture and system of beliefs. Quite obviously, these demands from Serbian nationalists could not be granted, which led to the extermination of countless Bosnian Muslims. In the selective targeting of groups, as evident in the practices of Nazi Germany, such threats are to be taken seriously. The threat of competing political groups is a sufficient condition for the systematization of death. Pol iticide quickly evolves into genocide when it is no longer ones political affiliation that jeopardizes the unilateral power of the current political party, but the representation of targeted groups as increasingly vying for political power, which most threatens the curr ent bid to retain power. This manifestation 128

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of power is classified as unila teral because there is a strict refusal to share or diversify power among respective or sele cted minority groups. In the previous example, it is the refusal by Serbian nationalists in power to shar e power with Bosnian Muslims. It is that fact of being Muslim that necessitates the states opposition, which begins the process of formalizing an exclusionary ideology and ultimately serves as the justification for state endorsed genocide. Killing, then, as an in strument of political power, has been systematized and used to specifically target members of a competing political group for the sole purpose of maintaining a unilateral hold of political power. There is no greater display of might than the public execution of human life and there is no greater display of evil th an its public mass extermination. Corporal punishment is the ultimate instantiation of political power, whic h has informed the political theories of every philosopher since Aristo tle. Fundamentally, social order is only maintained, according to Hobbes and many others, if the power to kill, to take life is transferred to the state and ultimately the sovereign. When the st ate abuses this transf erence of power to publicly exterminate millions of lives, it is the greatest conceivable misuse of political power and necessarily voids the social contra ct between the citizenry and the sovereign. Members of opposing political groups knowingly risk their lives for their respective ideologies, which they hope to bring to the fore front as a better alternative to the one they oppose. The difference, however, between polit ical groups vying for political power and the Establishment, is a key difference. The social contract is hypothetically formalized between the citizens and the state and as su ch the corresponding ob ligation to preserve the nature of this agreement is solely the states responsib ility. One must be cautious, 129

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then, in how an ideological war is waged against the government, for such a war may result in the extermination of human lives as it undermines the power of the state. The attempt to increase the efficiency with which human lives are destroyed or to maximize casualties requires a deliberative process wherein assessments are made and consequences compared to the ultimate goal or solution. The goal or the ultimate solution for a state actively engaged in the process of disenfranchising me mbers of its population and specifically excluding particular political groups from state protection can only be the mass extermination of those excluded from such protection. The states possession of both money and military force means that genocide is only suppressed by the ability for government propagandists like the RTLM to su ccessfully convince protected portions of the population that the extermination of politic al or ideological competitors is not the same as the wholesale slaughter of human beings, which is why the act of dehumanization serve such an essential role in state endorsed genocide. The greater the desire for extermination, the more likely thos e groups will be infilt rated and labeled as enemies of the state. The actual mass public k illing of people, however is facilitated by the disenfranchisement of such people in the first place. There are many who argue that the politic al is founded on contrasting us from them wherein they are dehumanized and la beled as threats to national security issue and economic progress. Such was the case duri ng Nazi Germanys rein of terror. More heinous than the military campaigns waged throughout Europe was the ideology that informed those campaigns. It was an ideol ogy of blame and exclusion. Laborers inability to afford the very product of their labor disenf ranchises them from that which they helped 130

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to create. Similarly, if nations are built on th e backs of many, the product of their labor should be governmental protection, equality and access to opportunitie s and resources. If the Establishment excludes some member s of the population from enjoying these protections for ideological reasons, then thos e that helped to produ ce the prosperity the state enjoys, have systematically been dise nfranchised from the very product of their labor, viz. freedom. Another feature of evil as expressly manife st in the discourse of political power and genocide is the methodical attempt to s uppress individual freedoms, where those freedoms do not infringe on the rights of others within that society. The micromanagement of social freedoms, i.e., the attempt to regulate, with policy, the actions of a nations citizenry pertaining to private matters and personal beliefs, especially the latter, is a precondition for th e abuse of political power. Freedom must be an expression of the will, otherwise, it is socially or politically constructed and therefore no longer an instance of freedom. Acting in acco rd with political power is drastically different from the motivations that cause one to act in such accord. As Martin Luther King has rightfully noted, there are instances where citizens are morally obligated to break the law in acts of civil disobedience. The attempt to justify the extermination of human life while others within the population are able to enjoy their freedoms is certainly one of the biggest paradoxes known to humanity. Our complacency with the status quo, is an act of evil, which means th at evil can and does manifest both actively and passively. There is blame to share in engagi ng in an act of genocide, be it planning or executing the act itself, but there is equally blame to share in pa ssively stepping aside 131

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while an act of genocide is o ccurring, the differentiation be tween the two rather minute. Thus, in discussing the nature of political groups and their opposition to the established political power, one must revisit the notion of freedom and the struggle for political power. One cannot enjoy the benefits of freedom at the expense of those who helped to make its realization possible. To do so is hypocritical and it puts some groups beyond state protection. Moreover, in addressing the sup position that political power is to be held unilaterally, one denies others the opportunity of participating and sharing in that power. It is this notion of sharing that is the kernel of political power It is the recognition that insofar as there are bound to be individuals within societ y that have been alienated, all are entitled to th e same protect under the auspices of political power. The political must embrace diversity as the social contract binds the state and th e sovereign to every member of society. Thus, to be political is to be constantly in flux, it is to adapt to the ever-changing needs of ones constituents, which can only facilitate tolerance and inclusion. The philosophical concept of evil is salient in the discussion of genocide and the abuse of political power b ecause it affects how we associate with other human beings. The nature of that association is determined in part by the level of political acceptance of the other. Where my government is intolerant, I am more likely to express similar sentiments. Where my government is tole rant, I am more like to act accordingly. Thus, in a Kantian sense, there is a sh ared obligation, a shared duty between each individual as a moral agent and his or her government as a protector to embrace the diversity of political and personal beliefs. Granted, there will be, on occasions, genuine threats to national security. The state cannot politicize national secur ity and in the same 132

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sense target particular groups within th e population for extermination, to do so is inherently contradictory. If th e state is dedicated to nationa l security, then it must extend that commitment to every member of the national community. Otherwise, the state selectively decides to exclude particular groups from state protection, thereby forfeiting the social contract in failing to protect portions of its citizenry. Safeguarding political groups despite their opposition to the established political party is an act of confidence. It demonstrates to the public that competing views will be tolerated as long as they do not infringe on the wellbeing or safety of others. In the event that force is required to suppress a legitimat e threat, the criteria of which is itself problematic, the acts of government cannot pr ecede the actual threat. The attempt to preemptively strike before the threat is even ac tualized is often based in fear and fear is the seed that spawns evil. 2.6. Conflicting Paradigms: Politic al Ideology and Nationalism Essential to the concept of statehood as political author ity over defined geographical boundaries, is also the importance of protect ing the lives of those, both citizens and foreigners, who reside within the borders of states. The noti on of solidarity is an equally important conception in any attempt to discus s statehood, which is often couched in terms of nationalism or patriotism Solidarity, then, would seem ingly necessitate protection, since nationalism would function as an esse ntial attribute of st atehood, and the state would be bound to protect members of its population. There is, however, a dangerous gulf between state ideology, on the one hand, and nationalis m, on the other, which surfaces in an analysis of genocide and the problem of evil. 133

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Though the state is undeniably the most lethal agent in the systematization of the mass extermination of human life, the stat e should not be conceived as inherently ominous. Any attempts to do so, misses the thrust of my argument. It is not simply that the state is an instrument for the systematiza tion of death, which is all too evident in acts of genocide, but that the state, as discussed in the last s ection, has the ab ility to share political power. The emergen ce of evil as a consequence of political power arises when one assumes that such power is meant to be absolutely held and unilaterally exercised rather than shared. Of course the state can exist as a sovereig n entity, capable of protecting its population, wit hout having to resort to genocide to safeguard its own power. The difficulty in articulating such a position, however, without sounding ethereal, requires a firm understanding of th e dual natures of nationalism. The aim of this section is to explicate th e dual nature of nationalism and demonstrate how one conception of nationalism facilita tes genocide by focusing on distinctions between us and them, while an alterna tive conception of nati onalism avoids these troubles by addressing the common thread bindi ng all members of the population, viz. the nation. The idea of belonging to a nation or a state is integral to how we see ourselves as human beings. A shared sense of belonging is fundamental to defi ning human beings. We are after all social creatures. The problem ar ises, however, when nationalism and the idea of social cohesion are conflated with an exclus ionary ideology and political intolerance. Since so much of who we are is bound to our literal geograp hy, and since that geographical location is governed by an authoritative body which implements codified laws to govern our social interactions, and since those laws help to shape our sense of 134

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justice and injustice, then, if through the abuse of polit ical power, the government willfully choose to exclude or suppress a part icular group of people, and codifies their suppression in law, then the y cannot be entitled to the same benefits under the protection of the law as we are. They rema in outside of the protection of law. This was, in effect, what happened during Amer ican internment of Japanese-Americans. As discussed in the previous chapter, Pa tajalis account of our attachments leading to evil, stem from a fear of loss. Since antiq uity, the philosophy of ev il has been rooted in the conception of this primor dial fear. With regard to the internment of JapaneseAmericans during WWII, both the government and the average American feared losing their freedoms to, the Japanese. Insofar as they were Japanese, they constituted a danger to national security. T hus, ironically even Japanese -Americans posed a significant threat to the safety of Americas borders. The example of the internment of Japanese -Americans is a clear example of just how quickly citizens in good standing with their government can be casti gated and labeled as enemies of the state. Though the United States government did not seek the mass extermination of those held in internment camps, the ease with which their freedoms were denied was frightening. In attempting, th en, to address the a ssociation between evil and political power, the adamant refusal to r ecognize basic human freedom, in the face of a national security crisis, demonstrates th e potential hostility that exist between the government and those members of the population deemed as enemies of the state. Evil is most effective in breaking the hu man spirit and reaching genocidal levels when those in control of political power have taken specific steps to suppress the 135

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freedoms of some members of the national population. There is a clear recognition of injustice when Americans are not interned, but Japanese-Americans are. The sense that they arent really like us, that they arent really Americans, begs the question, What does it mean to be an American? Duri ng the rein of Nazi Germany, Jews were segregated then sent to death camps. Their segregation was part of the process of stripping them of their freedom It was allegedly a demonstration of political might. The reality, however, was that such actions simply cloaked the true in tention of the Nazi regime, which was the mass extermination of Jews in Germany and Nazi occupied Europe. It should also be noted that the state, or those in control of it, during times of extreme crisis, may redefine citizenship or membersh ip of the political community over which it exercises jurisdiction. The power to include or exclude one in the nation becomes an act of the state and not one of birth. Thus, the jurisdiction in which citizenship is typically conferred, as to the location of ones birth, is now reinterpreted by state power. This practice, however, problematizes the conferral of citizenship, insofar as the justification for inclusion or exclusion becomes increasingl y arbitrary. Especially in the case of the exclusion of citizenship, those denied citizensh ip are more readily targeted for potential abuse and extermination. The concept of statehood is intimately ti ed to the notion of nationalism. As I have suggested, when the idea of nationalism includes an ideology of exclusion, all efforts to defend nationalism will only result in an excl usion of a portion of the population, which only undermines the solidarity of the nation. 136

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The difficulty of analyzing the concept of evil and incorporating it into a larger discussion of genocide, relates to complicati ons in assessing the ro le of nationalism and statehood. As previously mentioned, the con cept of nationalism is essential to an understanding of statehood. The state is a sing le authoritative extens ion of political power and nationalism is the unifying means of construc ting identity. It is, in effect, the point of focus for any attempt to assimilate the public at large. The need to assimilate, then, is the force that informs nationalistic ideals. Nationali stic ideologies reinfo rce norms, which are substantiated by practice. The idea of democratic freedom and free market economics is a governing norm for much of the West. One need not speak of specific instances of nationalism because they all serve the same ideological function. Nationalism is the driving force for socio-cultural assimilation. Thus, for the nation to diversify, for the nation to grow, it must allow an assimilation of its ideals. Since political ideology informs nationalism and nationalism is an essential facet of statehood, wherein it is the driving force for so cio-cultural assimilation, then any attempt to infuse political ideology with an ideology of exclusion, compromises the process of assimilation and therefore compromises the st ate itself. The strength of the state should only be measured by the diversity of its population, for where there is a diverse population there is a need for ideological tole rance. For the state to endorse an ideology of exclusion undermines the natural interrel ation and interaction between diverse sociocultural groups. Thus, an enforced ideology of exclusion unnaturally seeks to control the state demography. Furthermore, this attempt to control state demography runs counter to natural occurrences and therefore requires the use of force for its implementation. The 137

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manifestation of this force, as an unnatu ral means of controlling state demography, is most heinously instantiated in the act of genocide. Thus, the use of genocide as a tool of unnaturally controlling state demography is itse lf justified by an ideology of exclusion. The purpose of an exclusionary ideology is to serve as a means of justifying state endorsed genocide. Genocide is necessarily se lf-referential, insofar as the ideological construct of exclusion presumes the act of genocide, and the act of genocide is itself justified by the ideological construct of excluding members of its population from protection. Thus, the jus tification for genocide is always dogmatic. The state appeals to is exclusionary ideology, genocide manifests as a result of this appeal and is subsequently justified by similar appeals to the same id eological basis. The only means, then, of thwarting the occurrence of genocide is to attack and undermine any appeal to an ideology of exclusion. If every attempt to appeal to this id eology is meant with diligent and logical arguments to the contrary, the jus tification for genocide, and also the attempt to dehumanize potential target ed groups, becomes all the more difficult. The more difficult it is for the state to justify the exte rmination of targeted groups, the more likely it is that genocide will be thwarted. Thus, the most effective means of decreasing the occurrences of genocide results from a refusal to endorse an ideology of exclusion. The problem lies not in the idea of nationa lism but in the concepti on of an ideology of exclusion, which I have demonstrated, leads to a weakening of the state. Nevertheless, nationalism devoid of an ideology of exclusi on, which is based on tolerance and a respect for diverse populations, can only contribute to the welfare of the state. Exclusionary nationalism is, therefore, a construct becau se it breeds intolera nce and facilitates 138

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genocide. As discussed in the previous chap ter, intolerance is a core cause in the perpetration of evil. Thus, the manifestation of evil, through acts of genocide, is firmly rooted in intolerance. To practice ideologi cal tolerance is to strengthen nationalism, which reinforces the conception of state hood by incorporating a diversity of political views. 2.7. Genocidal Intent and Causality One of the most difficult puzzles to so lve when discussing the relation between genocide and the problem of ev il is assessing the intenti onality of state ideology. A political ideology of exclusion necessitates a specific intentional act, but proving that the intent was to commit genocide is very difficu lt. As has been demonstrated in the last section, to incorporate an ideology of exclusion into the conception of nationalism is to undermine the efficacy of the state, and st atehood as such. Philosophers, however, can demonstrate that the intentionality of the state was in fact evil, if the means of justification was itself referen ced by an ideology of exclusion, i.e., if the states attempt to justify genocide is based on state ideol ogy, then the state dogma tically justifies its actions by appealing to itself, which was most heinously and continually done by Hitler and members of the Nazi party. An ideology of exclusion mu st first be assessed as a thought. The thought in question must also pertain to the deliberate and systematic extermination of a portion of the population. If this thought is realized in the act of genocide, i.e., if th e incorporation of an exclusionary ideology could possibly manifest as an act of genocide, then both the attempt to incorporate such an ideology and the resulting genocidal act are evil. 139

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Demonstrating that the thought of exclusion is evil, however, require s that one assesses the intent more so than the causal relations hips between state ideology and nationalism, on the one hand, and the mechanics of systematizing death, on the other. Evil is most easily understood as the willful systematization of death as a result of a states exclusionary ideology. If, because of an ideology of exclusion, members of a population are willfully targeted for extermin ation, and the process of expediting their deaths is systematized to result in maximizi ng causalities, then both the intent to act and the act itself are evil. Such an ideology is evil because it brings death to the public, it politicizes and systematizes death and then s ubsequently justifies the act of genocide by appealing to its ideo logy of exclusion. The legal difficulty in proving that a state has engaged in an act of genocide can be eased if acts of exclusion ha ve been codified by law. Stat e ideology can be an amorphous and often abstracted sociopolitical or philosophical concept that has little applicability to legislative bodies or internat ional tribunals. Since, however, it has been demonstrated that an ideology of exclusion can result in an act of genocide, if one is trying to locate blame for a proven act of genocide, one need only l ook for exclusionary practices codified in law. The law, then, is a repres entation of state inte ntionality. It is the law that seeks to regulate conduct within the domestic jurisdicti on of a states borders. Thus, in assessing the often elusive conception of state intent ionality, one need on ly investigate the execution of law. Every law that enforces acts of discrimination or exclusion or fails to punish acts of discrimination or exclusi on, sponsors an ideology of exclusion. Where such ideology is supported by law, the state is specifically responsib le for the acts of 140

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members of its population. As I mentioned earlie r, this construction of state intentionality is broader than simply assessing instances of state endorsed genocide. Under this interpretation, for example, the United Stat es government would be directly responsible for the mass lynching of Afri can-American men during the 19 th and 20 th centuries. One should note, then, that participation is not necessary for implication. The state or the individual can be implicated without ever having participated in the particular act. It is the intention to act, the ab ility to incite hatred, the inability to prosecute acts of discrimination, or the failure to intervene, to protect the abused a nd vulnerable, all of which expose state complicity in the perpetrated acts. At this level of the investigation, however, it would be presumptive to suggest that the state was participating in an act of evil or, of that matter, that the states ideo logy was evil. There is agreement that it is exclusionary, which is justif ied by instances of discrimination and exclusion codified law, but it is not evil. The ideology of exclus ion is only evil when, based on the principles of exclusion, the state then begins the process of systematizing death. It is the systematization of death and an ideology of exclusion that is evil. One may argue that a standing militia is a represen tative example of the attempt to bureaucratize death, which may be true, but one may also argue that they are a defensive force charged with protecting the population. To understand the coupling of evil and genocide, one must recognize the necessary causal relation between state ideology and the systematization of death. It is only when a state ideology of exclusion commands some militia to exterminate all members of a population bear ing a specific demographic identifier that one can truly understand the coupling of evil and genocide. 141

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Though much has been said of intentionali ty, little has been said of the causal relationship between an ideology of exclusion and the systemization of death. Insofar as state intentionality can be inferred from codi fied law, one can assess the nature of the causal relation between the intent to commit genocide and the act of genocide itself. More important than this causal relation between the intent to act and the act itself is the attempt to understand, in the Aristotelian sense, the causal distinction between the potential to commit genocide and the actua lization of evil through genocidal acts. In discussing the relationship between an acorn and an oak tree, one is justified in classifying the acorn as having the potential to be an oak tree. Similarly, the oak tree is the actualization of the acorn. This, however, is a cursory interpretati on of causality. It is more than simply the fact that the acorn has the potential to become an oak tree and the oak tree is the actualization of the acorn, but that the acorn is, in fact, incomplete, i.e., it is not an oak tree. An oak tree, however, by definition, produces acorns, such that an oak tree is the production of its ow n actualization. In s hort, the oak tree is sustainable given the requisite environmental factors. In discussing the association of genocide a nd evil in terms of th eir causal association, the potential for evil is inhere nt an ideology of exclusion. The ideology is the seed for spawning evil. As I have mentioned in prev ious sections it is not enough to say that genocide will necessarily follow from such an exclusionary ideology, as demonstrated in the lynching of African-Americans during the 19 th and early 20 th centuries, though genocide is certainly one manifestation of evil. More is needed to actualize evil. Though an acorn is a necessary condition for an oak tree, it is not sufficient, as it will need 142

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sunlight, water and shade if it is to actual ize that potential. Similarly, an ideology of exclusion may suggest the intent to co mmit genocide, there maybe a potential for genocide, but without the proper condition, viz. discrimination codified in law coupled with the systematization of death, all the n ecessary conditions will not be met to define the act as evil. Again, I am here classifying ev il as the willful systematization of death as a result of a states exclusiona ry ideology. The intent to enga ge in such action serves to foster the potential for the manifestation of evil through an act of genocide, but that potential is not enough without satisfying other conditions. The greatest actualization of evil, then, is genocide, as a causal result of a states exclusionary ideology. The formation of an exclusionary ideology is a demons tration of the states intent, and the systematization of death and th e act of mass public killings is the actualization of that intention. Thus, in understandi ng the causal forces that dete rmine the manifestation of state intentionality, understanding how evil unfol ds within the political structures will aid in localizing its existence in acts of genocide. Also implied in the discussion of an ideol ogy of exclusion is the attempt to determine the nature and composition of society itself, by the creation of a monolithic society. We have often heard of the social construction of race or the social construction of gender, but this is a political construction of so ciety through unnatural means. Societies are naturally constructed and determined by any number of fact ors and sociologists disagree on what all those factors may be, but there is consensus that migration patterns and accessibility to natural resources are determin ing factors in the formation of society. Hobbes, notoriously spoke of the state of nature, but one needs not revert to such 143

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hostile origins to understand the formation of society. The attempt to link genocide and evil strictly through a discourse of political power would be incomplete, because although an ideology of exclusion seeks to remove members of society from the population and thereby from political protection, it also implies that the state is artificially manufacturing the social. There is the potenti al for a whole host of research surrounding the political construction of the social, but my concern pertains to th e artificial creation of a monolithic society. If one delves deeper into the idea of st ate intentionality, one begins to uncover the most heinous attempts to thwart the natural migration patterns of hu man beings and their accessibility to resources. Within human commu nities, the maximization of diversity is inherent in biological reproduction, as a fact of human survival. This is the natural facet of life, i.e., nature tends to maximize divers ity as a defensive mechanism against genetic disorders and diseases. Thus, any attempt by a state to thwart the natural progression to maximize diversity, even within the domestic jurisdiction of a states borders, is unnatural. Evil, then, is unsustainable. If as mentioned earlier, its ha s been suggested that evil is defined in terms of an exclusionary state ideology that seeks to enforce homogeneity, and the demography of the state is naturally heter ogeneous, then those in control of the state must realize that to maintain such a c ontrol of state demography requires perpetual genocide and mass exile, a fact that is ultimately unsustainable. The attempt to enforce homogeneity weakens society, as it requires excessive us es of force to physically manipulate state demography. Within biological communities, a similar advantage exists 144

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for sexually reproducing organisms. Sexual reproduction increases diversity, whereas asexual reproduction creates uniformity, but al so weakens the viability of the group. The viability of social groupings is dependent on the diversity of the society. Without a keen understanding of the intricacies of social ne tworking, one cannot assess the benefits of diversity, which is a job for sociologis ts. But the unnatural attempt to enforce homogeneity through the abuse of political power undermines the natural occurrence of a diverse state demography. 2.8. Genocide, Purity and Imperfection Within this section of the analysis I will undertake a description of the notion of state purity, which, I will argue, is a direct result of subscribing to an exclusionary ideology. If a states demography is naturally heterogene ous and the state assumes an ideology of exclusion to enforce or create a homogeneous st ate, then such actions are counter to the natural occurrences within the state and ther eby unnatural. Furthermore, the attempt to purify the state presupposes that there exis ts an imperfection within the natural occurrences of diversity in state demography. It assumes that the na tural occurrence of a diverse state demography is contaminated by the incorporation of groups that the state seeks to expel. Thus, to decontaminate or purif y the state, those in power must endorse an exclusionary ideology and seek to expel targeted groups fr om the state demography. The expulsion of these targeted groups from state demography is the act of purification. In using the term purification, I am specifically referring to the act of expelling targeted groups from the state demography once it has assumed an exclusionary ideology, either through genocide or mass exile. 145

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As mentioned in the previous chapter, the anxiety caused by the presence of targeted groups, as a perceived challenge to state au thority, suggests that a state willing to exterminate or to impose exile for members of its population behaves in a similar fashion to the small man (sh o rn). As Mencius warned King Hwuy of Leang, the state is obligated to it people just as a man is obligated to live a virtuous life. Thus, in the process of attempting to purge members of the populat ion from the states domestic jurisdiction, those in control of the state fail to re cognize this obligation to their people. In the description of purification and the at tempt to expel imperfect groups from state demography, I will focus my analysis on Fasc ism and Totalitarianism. In my account of these two forms of government, I will demons trate the comparative association between the purification of the state, on the one hand, and the endorsement of an ideology of exclusion, both supported by Fascism and Totali tarianism, on the other. Thus, the aim of this final section of the analysis is to demonstrate how the concept of purity is specifically deduced from an exclusionary ideology in both Fascist and Totalitarian states. If it is then demonstrated that the c oncept of purity is deducible from the initial premise of a state endorsed ideology of exclus ion, and also shown that the concept of state purification inevitably results in genocid e, then the attempt to thwart genocide is intimately tied both to demonstrating the lo gical inconstancies in subscribing to an exclusionary ideology and demonstrating how the idea of purification fails to purify the state. 146

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The power of Fascist and Totalitarian state is grounded in the logic of their respective ideologies, which according to Hannah Arendt is their ability to weaponize their ideologies. She writes, The device both totalitarian rule rs used to transform their respective ideologies into wea pons with which each of their subjects could force himself intoproceeded to drive ideological implications into extremes of logical consistency which to the onlooker, looked preposterously primitive and absurd: a dying class consisted of people condemned to death; races that are unfit to live were to be exterminated (emphasis added). 129 The power of the Fascist and Tota litarian state rests in the st rict logical consistency with which it governs and subordinates targeted groups within its populat ion. For the state to weaponize its ideology, no arguments against the state can be warranted. An exclusionary ideology is inherently prone to weaponization because it seeks to alter, by force, the state demography by excluding targeted groups fr om membership. My emphasis of Arendts claim that these forms of government seek to drive ideological implications into extremes of logical consistency is a means of further demonstra ting the necessity for rigorous and formulized logical coherence wi thin state ideology. T hus, the attempt to undermine these forms of government cannot truly be successful by waging wars as the strength of these governments rests in thei r logic not their military. To undermine the logical consistencies inherent in subscribing to an ideology of exclusion and specifically demonstrating how a contradiction is drawn from assuming a the initial premise of an exclusionary ideology, is all that is needed to undermine the motive, the driving force behind these forms of governance. This w ill be my objective, i.e., I will attempt a 129 Arendt, 1973. p. 471. 147

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reductio ad absurdum from the initial premise of an exclusionary ideology and if it is shown that assuming such an ideology act ually weakens the stat e, then one cannot assume such an ideology. With respect to the nature of an ideol ogy Arendt writes, the real nature of all ideologies was reveled only in the role that the ideology plays in the apparatus of totalitarian domination (emphasis added). 130 This conception is of key importance in discussing both the Fascist and Totalitarian st ates. The Fascist state, in its opposition to pacifisms, seeks to subordinate the individual to the will of th e state, which is ruled by a single party, and is thereby driven by the movement of suppor ters of the political party. Once the movement has attained political power, i.e., it has occupied all facets of government with party members, the Fascis t state can become totalitarian in the omnipotence of its political power, which accord ing to Arendt, is wh at happened in Italy under Mussolinis Fascism, which up to 1938 was not totalitarian but just an ordinary nationalist dictatorship developed logically from a multiparty democracy. 131 The idea that the party is a movement of the people is merely a muse to attain political power, it is the framework with which the leaders of the party articulate their intentions to the masses. The masses support the movement because the movement is allegedly a representation of the will of the masses, which in the case of Fascism is clearly false. The Fascist state is solely concerne d with total domination. It functi ons to ensure that its sole party occupies every aspect of political power and challengers to that power threaten the existence of the Fascist state. Thus, totalitarianism is a natural consequence of a Fascist 130 Ibid 470. 131 Ibid 257. 148

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state because the drive for omnipresence is reinforced by the will to omnipotence. The desire to represent the party in every pos ition of political power (omnipresence) is reinforced by the totalization of that power (omnipotence). The problem, however, with attaining and ma intaining complete political control of power is that it requires ceaseless attention to all those forces, both malignant and benign that may otherwise seek to usurp political power, or even seek representation within political power. Moreover, the Fascist state, by default, since it is a single party state, which is representative of the peoples move ment only represents to population insofar as those not represented within the party cannot be considered as members of the state. The assumption that the state represents the peopl e, is only true to the extent that single party rule cannot, by definition, represent the entirety of a states demography. Thus, in subscribing to Fascism, it follows that there will invariably be members within the state demography that will, necessarily, be exclude d from state participati on. Even prior to the formation of an ideology of exclusion, then, th e Fascist state, in particular, as a means of its existence, is itself buttressed by the conception of selectiv e exclusion. Those not represented by the single part y will be subordinated by state bureaucracy once the political movement to occupy every facet of political power has been accomplished by the Fascist state. There are two points of importance with respec t to the rise of the Fascist state and its relation to state demography. Firstly, the Fascis t state is inherently exclusionary, which seeks to govern to the advantage of a few than to satisfy the concerns of the masses. Insofar as the Fascist state is not representative of state de mography, it follows that there 149

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is an ideological unwillingness address the concerns for those th at do not support state power or for those that seek to diversify the state. Secondly, in strategically dominating all forms of political power within the state, there can be no resistance by state officials to the ideologies espoused by state leadershi p. In fact, those ambitious for power need only parrot the sentiments of state ideology to virtually ensure thei r rise to political power. What results from these two instantiatio ns of Fascism is the fundamental inability of those in power to address the concerns of the masses not represented within the states sole party, and an a further reluctance, by defi nition, to allow the incorporation of diverse political ideologies within the states governan ce. Thus, what results from this political rigidity is a formulation of an ideology of exclusion, which is justified by the insistence on a single omnipresent political party that only represents a por tion of the states demography. In enacting an ideology of exclusion, wherei n the state specifically targets and selects particular groups for exclusion and inevita bly expulsion from the state demography, the state need only refer to the omnipresence of its political power. Power, in this case, has been consolidated by all those espousing a similar political ideology. The stateargues the Fascistis the manifestation of the peopl es will, i.e., it is the peoples movement. Thus, any who espouse political ideologies th at differ from the states endorsed ideology, fundamentally undermine the power of the stat e, since power has been consolidated by one party rule. Moreover, since the state is a manifestation of the peoples movement, to endorse any political ideology other than stat e ideology is tantamount to subvert the will of the people. This attempt to subvert the will of the peopl e corrupts the very essence of 150

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how the state rose to power and successf ully occupied every facets of political governance, thereby challenging the state for power. This threat need not be met by military actions against the state. The very act of introducing an alternative stat e ideology essentially corrupts the purity of the state. Knowing this beforehand, i.e., understanding that there will be those that oppose and wish to introduce alternativ e forms of governance before even attain political power, necessitates that once power is attained all t hose that would seek to corrupt the current Fascist state, by challenging its political ideology, must be expelled from the state demography. As mentioned in the introducti on of this section, by the process of purification, I am specifically referring to th e process wherein the state seeks to expel all those who challenge state power from the states demography through mass exile or genocide. Using the concepts that I have formulized ea rlier in the chapter to specifically analyze this practice of purification within the Fascist state, it must be said that such an attempt, if it were to result in an act of genocide would have as its foundation genocide based on mutable identifiers. Since political ideologies are given to change, those who have an ability to embrace the new st ate ideology will be spared. Those that refuse will be exterminated. Granted there are aspects of Fasc ism that speak to racial superiority, which would only strengthen my point by satisfy ing conditions for both genocide based on mutable identifiers (the refusal to embr ace the new political ideology) and genocide based on immutable identifiers (the extermina tion of life based on th e victims race). 151

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In assuming an exclusionary ideology the state must enact the process of purification. Otherwise, it w ould be contradictory to embrace such ideology while also recognizing the diversity of st ate demography. Thus, to remain logically consistent, the acceptance of an exclusionary ideology necessi tates the act of purification. The act of purification, then, is the sp ecific act of expelling those ex cluded in the state ideology from representation and state protection. Howe ver, those targeted groups are comprised of those selected on the basis of mutable and immutable ch aracteristics. Clearly it is easier to exterminate those within the population that have been targeted because of their immutable characteristics because these char acteristics are readily apparent, e.g., race, ethnicity, disability. For the sake of argument, then, assume that the state was successful in its attempt to purify the state of all those members of target groups excluded on the basis of their immutable demographic identifi ers. There would still be, what I will argue, the impossible task of purifying the state of all those that ha ve been targeted on the basis of their refusal to embrace state ideology. How conceivably could this process be completed? If officials were to ask those se lected for extermination about their political affiliations, and those targeted for extermin ation understand that espousing and ideology other than state ideology result s in death, then the simple th ing one can do is to falsely acknowledge state ideology in the hopes of saving ones own life. The state, however, has to know that this will most naturall y be the instinctive response of potential dissenters, which leads to the conclusion that the state will have to continually seek out kill dissent ers. Note that it would be ill ogical to assume that the state could ever remover all potential dissenters from state demography, because the very 152

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nature of their political affiliation is ba sed on mutability. Thus, even more dangerous than seeking out dissenters is the danger of losing those that once affirmed state ideology to competing ideologies. Thus, subscribing to an exclusionary ideol ogy results in at least two contradictions, which complete the reductio ad absurdum Firstly, purification is impossible because the total removal of a ll target groups from state demography is expressly impossible, because some of the char acteristics that may be targeted are subject to change. It is impossible, then, for the st ate to verify that all contaminants have successfully been removed from the st ate demography. Secondly, and even more importantly, if the state endorses an ideology of exclusion, then there for the state to have power there must be those that need to be excluded. If the stat e were to truly purify itself, there would no longer be a need for the state, as the very ideology of the state is based on the process of exclusion. Thus, what is actu ally being stated and endorsed in subscribing to an ideology of state exclusion, is the eter nal extermination of human life. As long as the state is in power there will always be some group that needs to be purged from its demography. That is the trut h behind subscribing to an id eology of exclusion. To support my conclusion, I cite Arendt at length, To the extent that the Bolshevik purge succeeds in making its victims confess to crimes they never committed, it relies chiefly on this basic fear and argues as follows: We are all agreed on the premise that history is a struggle of classes and on the role of the Part y in its conduct. You know therefore that, historically speaking, the Party is always right At this historical moment, that is in accordance with the law of history, certain crimes are due to be committed which the Party, knowing the law of history, must punish. For these crimes, the Party needs criminals ; it may be that the Party, though knowing the crimes, does not quite know the criminals ; more important than to be sure about the 153

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criminals is to punish the crimes because without such punishment, History will not be advanced but may even be hindered in its course. You, therefore, either have committed the crimes or have been called by the Party to play the role of the crimi nalin either case you have objectively become an enemy of the Party (emphasis added). 132 It has been my specific goal throughout this chapter, to precisely itemize exactly how an individual becomes an enemy to the Pa rty. In following Ki ssis lead and his explanation of how the proce ss of genocide unfolds, it was my attempt to describe how the state manufactures enemies. This proce ss of manufacturing en emies is essentially arbitrary. What is not arbitrar y, however, is that there will be victims if the state endorses an ideology of exclusion. Once that endorseme nt is made, the entire population slips into absurdity because it is fundamentally illogica l to assume an exclusionary ideology and not also embrace contradiction. I end, then, with a final quote from Arendt, The ideal subject of a totalitari an rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist (emphasis added). 133 132 Ibid 473. 133 Ibid 474. 154

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Chapter 3: Attempts to Deny the Existence of Evil There is an air of unr eality about the suggestion that Evil is reducible to not-so-Good 134 In a contemporary discussion of events w ith negative normative associations, many social scientists, criminologists, and political theorists have abandoned the use of the term evil for more meaningful terms like viol ence, harms or torts. These theorists have argued that the term has lost its meaning or that it is too entrenched in theological or metaphysical contexts to have any significant application for an anal ysis of violence and mass murders. This chapter, then, is an attempt to outline the various ways in which these theorists, both past and present, have atte mpted to reduce evil to conceptions such as harm or violence. I shall dem onstrate the failures of each. 3.1. The Denial of Evil: Manichaean Dualism and Matter From antiquity, philosophers have had difficu lties in situating evil within the natural world. Many, unable to locate evil within mate rial substance, have argued that evil is a privation of that which is good. Insofar as evil is conceptualized as a privation, its existence, i.e., our ability to identify evil with in the natural world, manifests as a lack of goodness. Rula Abisaab explains, Evilis the absence of existence or absence of a perfection of existence or ab sence of perfection in an 134 Acton, H. B., and J. W. N. Watkins. 1963. Symposium: Negative Utilitarianism Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes Vol. 37, p. 111. 155

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existing being. What society labe ls evil, in reference to injustice and adultery, is a c onstruction and as such has no absolute reality. Evil, then, describes the person who is lacking in justice, uprightness or goodness. 135 On this interpretation, evil exist, not as a thing in the world, since there is no corresponding material substance, but as a receding gradienta diminution of goodness. Rather than the gradient being measured on a scale separated by goodness, on one side, and evil, on the other, evil is measured by privation or lack of goodness, as such. Thus, all that exists, according to this conception, is goodness. The problem, however, with defining evil in such terms is rath er obvious. Acton and Watkins explain, From Plato on, the attitude of objectivistshave mostly been confident about the re ality of Good but rather skeptical about Evil. They have mostly been antiManichaeists. More precisely, in place of a scale with Very Good at one end, Very Bad at the otherthey have put a scale which just has Very Goodat one end. On this scale one cannot approach Very Ba d, but only recede from Very GoodThere is and air of unreality about the suggestion that Evil is reducible to not-so-Good and that we recognize evil situati ons from a prior knowledge of missing goodnesswhich is palpably false (emphasis added). 136 Alexander of Lycopolis was a staunch critic of the Manichaeists and of Manichaean dualism. For the Manichaeist, dualism arises from their refutation of Gods omnipotence, which accounts for the problem of evil, i.e ., if God is not omnipotent then one can rationally argue for the existence of evil within the world. For the Manichaeist, there is the recognition of evil on the one hand, but at the expense of Gods omnipotence, on the other. Alexander recognized that Manichaean dualism jeopardized the integrity of the 135 Abisaab, Rula Jurdi. 2004. Converting Persia religion and power in the Safavid Empire International library of Iranian studi es, 1. London: I.B. Tauris. p., 77. 136 Acton and Watkins, 1963, p., 111. 156

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Christian faith by challenging Gods omnipotence. Thus, to preserve Gods omnipotence, Alexander had to deny the actuality of evil. The key, however, in refuting the Manichaean conception of God, would require Alexander to re-conceptualize the nature of matter. For the Manichaeist, evil exists within matter, which only exacerbates their dualism. The Manichaeists argue that if God is imperfect and his powers are limited, then his creations will reflect his imperfections. Ev il is an imperfection. Moreover, matter is a product of Gods creation. Thus, matter is evil. To successfully deny the existe nce of evil, Alexander had to demonstrate that matter could not contain evil, as it was an aspect of Gods creation and th at, unlike the dualistic conception defended by the Manichaeists, God was omnipotent and therefore his creations, namely matter, was devoid of ev il. Jason BeDuhn addresses the nature of Manichaean dualism within the human body, The especially pernicious character of the human body results, according to the Manichaeans, from an evil motive force that inhabits it. Augustine reports that you say that all your members and your whole body were formed by the evil mind which you call hyl and that part of this fabricator dwells in the body along with part of your God. 137 So every living being has two souls, one of the race of light, and the other of the race of darkness. 138 The evil mixed into the whole universe manifests itself in the kind of behavior humans display outside the discipline of the Manichaean faith. 139 Alexander then analyzed the nature of matter. If God is the creator of all things, and God is all good, omnipotent, and benevolent, and matter is a product of Gods creation, then 137 Augustine, Contra Faustum 20.15. 138 Augustine, Contra Faustum 6.8. 139 BeDuhn, Jason. 2000. The Manichaean body in discipline and ritual Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 95 157

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insofar as God is the Creator of matter, G od did not imbue matter with evil. Thus, evil cannot exist, as existence results from Gods creation, and all of Gods creations are devoid of evil. According to Alexander, then, matter canno t be the source of evil. Gedaliahu G. Stroumsa explains, Alexanders argument against Manichaean ontology gravitates around the status of matterHe insists that matter cannot be considered evil since it is generated by God. 140 In his emphatic denial of any evil in connection with matter, he stands rath er lonely in the Platonic traditionFor instance he objec ts to the definition of matter as ataktos kinesis 141 which had become too closely connected to the identification of matter with evil in Middle Platonism. 142 The Manichaeists conception of ataktos kinesis (disordered movement) is a reference to the nature of matter, in wh ich, as it has been suggested, matter results as a product of Gods imperfect creation. The imperfection inherent within matter brings about its disorder. Hence, the nature of ataktos kinesis as evil results from its disordered and unperfected state. Alexander is taki ng issue with this conception of ataktos kinesis. Stroumsa writes, The Christian heresiographers seem to regard Manichaean materialism as contradicting the very concept of God. God cannot be situated in a placeth is description implies that God is limitedAlexander of Lycopoliswhowrote the first full-flegded anti-Manicha ean polemic, points out that 140 The argument is central to Alexander, and runs through much of the book; See also the annotated translation of the text by P.W. van der Horst and J. Mansfeld, An Alexandrian Platonist against Dualism (Leiden: Brill, 1974) p. 19-23. 141 Alexander 7-8 (11-12 Brinkmann); 63-66 v.d. Horst-Mansfeld). Cf. L. Troje, 'Zum Begriff ATAKTOS KINHSIS bei Platon und Mani," Museum Helveticum 5 (1948): 96-115. 142 Stroumsa, Gedaliahu G. 1992. Titus of Bostra and Alexander of Lycopolis: A Christian and Platonic Refutation of Manichaean Dualism In Neoplatonism and Gnosticism Studies in Neoplatonism V6. New York: Albany State University of New York Press. p. 340-341. 158

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the Manichaean perception entails not only Gods limitation, but also his corporeality. 143 For Alexander of Lycopolis, the existence of evil is illusory, since its actuality would entail its manifestation from an imperfect and limited God. The Manichaean conception of matter as ataktos kinesis would create not only a theore tical duality, but also an embodied duality Thus, Alexanders refutation of evil was in cidental to the fact that he refused to accept the Manich aean conception of matter as ataktos kinesis In refusing to acknowledge this conception, however, and in failing to then account for what we perceive as evil, Alexander di scarded evil for the preservation and perfection of matter. 3.2. The Denial of Evil: Re futation through Endurance Many within the Christian tradition have attempted to tackle the problem of evil by defending Gods characteristics at the expense of denying the existence of evil. The denial of evil often takes the form of a s uggestion that evil is a means to some greater good, and therefore, in order to have these greater goods, we must endure some degree of evil. In his discussion of this attempt to reduce evil to more meaningful conceptions, Le Bosquet notes: There are religious men today who assert and believe in the reality of evil and there are those on the other hand who deny its essential existenceThe blatant optimists are ever to be met with, they who are sure that, however things may seem, everything is bound to come out right[All,] consciously deny[ing] th at evil is a fact There is harm, calamity, anguish, but our idea that these are evil is due to our limited and distorted vi sion which is unable to see things whole (emphasis added). 144 143 Stroumsa, Sarah and Gedaliahu G. Stroumsa. 1988. Aspects of Anti-Manichaean Polemics in Late Antiquity and under Early Islam The Harvard Theological Review Vol. 81, No. 1 Jan., p. 43. 144 Edwards, John Le Bosquet. 1912. The Evil One: A Development The Harvard Theological Review Vol. 5, No. 3. Jul., p. 381. 159

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The attempt to reduce evil to harm is appeali ng because there is an ease, an ability to remain optimistic, an ability to cope with being harmed by another person, whereas ones attempt to confront evil and r ecognize it as such is often de bilitating. It runs counter to the optimism needed to cope with ones ordeal. More importantly, however, if one can avoid evoking terms like evil, one can likely endur e ones ordeal at hi gher intensities and for longer durations. Thus, the process of reduc ing evil to harm is advantageous insofar as it allows those suffering, the possibility of remaining optimisti c about their plight. Denial, then, is a cognitive a nd evolutionary advantage, a coping mechanism, wherein the moral agent may be said to deny the existe nce of evil, reducing it to a more easily understandable conception like harm, for the sole purpose of coping with ones suffering. The denial of evil, then, is an effective ps ychological requirement for the preservation of ones mental and physical health. the sensation of this enduring evil must not be unremitting or at least, its unremitting quality must not always be dominant because it is inconceivable how the initial resolve to improve could ever arise under such circumstancesThe physical aspect of punishment may last indefinitely, but th e better informed sinner will no longer call it an evil ; he will no longer consider himself unfortunate, however painful it may be to his sensuous nature. What else does this mean but that the sinner can better himself, even if his punishment never ceases ? (emphasis added) 145 In facing the difficulties of unremitting evil, an evil as overwhelming as a genocidal or totalitarian state, it is surprising how quickly human beings are capable of adapting to 145 Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim. Nisbet, Hugh Barr. 2005. Philosophical and theological writings New York Cambridge University Press. p. 55. 160

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these new threats. If the threat is honestly recognized for what it is (a fully financed, state endorsed, mechanism of death, w ith near total power within the confines of its domestic jurisdiction) the individual moral agent rec ognizes his insignificance in the face of such overarching political power, and is defeated by this recognition. In normal less personal circumstances, the moral agent would easily iden tify the situation as evil, but when he is directly experiencing, when he is a recipient of the states attempt to eradicate complete portions of the population, a normal response is incongruous with an abnormal situation. In fact, Viktor Frankl has noted: An abnormal reaction to an a bnormal situation is normal. Even we psychiatrists expect the reaction of a man to an abnormal situationto be abnormal in proportion to the degree of his normality. The reaction of a man to a concentration camp also repres ents an abnormal state of mind, but judged objectively it is a normal andtypical reaction to the given circumstance. 146 I am suggesting that the denial of evil is a normal reaction to the overwhelming political force used to exterminate members of a population. Moral agents are emotionally justified in attempting to redu ce evil to harm as a means of enduring their suffering, but it does not follow that such psychological copi ng mechanisms, born from a very real sense of preserving ones own life, translate to an actual and ontological reduction of evil to harm. It should also be noted that this conc eption of denying evil through enduring ones suffering isnt only a psychologica l aspect of human cognition. There is a resilient belief of redemptive suffering throughout many religi ous traditions, which teach that through 146 Frankl, Viktor. 1959. Mans Search for Meaning Boston: Beacon Press. p., 20. 161

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suffering one attains understandi ng, immortality, nirvana etc., wh ich isnt to suggest that believers of these religions deny the existence of evil. However, as I will soon discuss, it is possible to both deny the existence of evil and deny the conception of redemptive suffering, the argument of which only the Christian Scientist defends. In attempting to cope with the existence of evil, it is often necessary for potential survivors to deny its existence for the preservation of their mental a nd physical health. In denying the existence of evil, moral agents often attempt to reduce evil to easily understandable conceptions like harm, calam ity, and anguish, which is a normal response to an abnormal situation. In truly di scussing evil, however, it is imperative that researchers try to understand the very difficult and complex nature of evil itself, which isnt to presuppose its existen ce from the outset, but all f acts of science begin with a hypothesis. Thus, we should suppos e the existence of evil and test our th eories against the facts of the world. If our theories of evil conform to the facts, we will have forged much needed headway into better understanding the natu re of evil. If it does not, we can safely dispose with the concept of evil as illusory. 3.3. The Denial of Evil: Th e Christian Scientist Christian Scientists traced their religious roots to 1866, when Mary Baker Eddy spontaneously recovered from a severe injury that authenticated her discovery that reality is completely spiritual and evil is only an illusion. Scientists had believed that Eddy had recovered the cardinal teaching of Jesus Chri st that all is good and evil does not exist. 147 147 Schoepflin, Rennie B. 2003. Christian science on trial : religious healing in America Baltimore Johns Hopkins University Press. p., 6. 162

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Mary Baker Eddy was a staunch proponent of Christian fundamentalism and argued for a Berkeleyan brand of subj ective idealism, wher ein the response to traditional dualism was to affirm idealism and deny materialism. Both her cosmogony and cosmology are constituted by the mind of God, which necessitates a world of ideas rather than objects. Her particular brand of idealism, however, had the peculiar consequence of also denying the existence of evil. She writes, Man is not God, and God is not man. Again, God, or good, never made man capable of sin. It is the opposite of good that is, evilwhich seems to make men capable of wrongdoing. Hence, evil is but and il lusion, and it has no real basis. Evil is a false belief. 148 It is important to note that Baker equa tes God with goodness and suggests that, God never made man capable of sin. Within the Christian tradition, sin is the means wherein evil is introduced into the world, which is to say, wit hout sin there is no evil. Mans ability to sin, his ability to tr ansgress the will of God, is the root of evil acco rding to this interpretation of the scripture. Thus, in denying Cartesian dualism and embracing idealism, Baker incidentally embraces anot her brand of dualism, viz., the distinction between God and his goodness, on the one hand, and evil and sin, on the other. Unfortunately, however, this puts Bakers argum ent back in the context of a traditional theodicy, i.e., how do we account for the existence of God in light of evil? What make Bakers argument and her subsequent denial of evil different from the others, is her attempt to incorporate aspects of idealism into her denial of evil. She writes, 148 Eddy, Mary Baker. 1875. Science and health with key to the scripture Massachusetts: The First Church of Christ, Scientist. p., 480. 163

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Nothing is real and eternal nothing is Spiritbut God and His idea. Evil has no reality. It is neither person, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense. 149 Bakers justification that, evil has no real ity is based on her belief that God is the source of all creation, which is merely a reflection of the ideas with in the mind of God, and as such, evil cannot exist because it w ould suggest that God is capable of its conception. The motivating force behind Bakers refutation of evil lies in the belief of the minds ability to heal. It is Bakers belief, and the belief of all current Christian Scientists that were evil to exist, the mind would not be able to heal the body. The mind is able to heal the body, they argue, thus evil does not exis t. Granted this can be a difficult conception to understand, insofar as there is no direct correlation between the ability to heal and the refutation of evil, but all Christian Scientists ascribe to this system of belief. Unfortunately, however, this refutation of evil, in the belief that the mind is capable of overcoming sickness has resulted in the d eaths of many children. Richard A. Hughes writes, As the primary advocate of religious exemptions from medicine, the Christian Science Church supports a theological form of exemptionbecause it wants to claim equality between medici ne and spiritual healing: indeed the Christian Scien ce Church defines spiritual healing as treatment, its heal ers as practitioners, even though it acknowledges that thes e concepts are really religious tenets. 150 149 Ibid p. 71. 150 Hughes, Richard A. 2004 2005. Death of Children by Faith-Based Medical Neglect Journal of Law and Religion Vol. 20, No. 1, p. 258. 164

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As has been discussed, for the Christian Scientists, there is no material world, and what we call evil is an, illusion of material sense. 151 If physicians and other medical practitioners specialize in understanding the human body (as matter), and they interact with other bodies, or they attempt to describe how chemicals affect the body then quite obviously the Christian Scientists is going to view contemporary Western medicine as fundamentally a practice of illusion, since they deny the existence of physical bodies to begin with. Evil, then, is Illu sory. Matter is illusory. Theref ore, Western medicine, that has its basis in understanding matter, is also illusory. Margaret Poloma sharpens the analysis by writing, Christian Science accepts as an assumption that illness is a form of evil, and all evil is an illusion. Each person has it within her/himself to counter illusion with truthGiven this assumption orthodox Ch ristian Science theology inadvertently undermines the notion of redemptive suffering. Since God in no way sends or authorizes illness, he cannot be invoked to redeem it. 152 The syllogism is simple but its conclusion is ra ther startling. If illne ss is a form of evil, and evil is illusory, then, the Christian Scie ntist concludes, illness is illusory. This conclusion further explains why the Christ ian Scientist refuses traditional Western Medicine. It is not only that the practice of Western Medicine, as pe rtains to the human body, is illusory, but the very thi ng they attempt to cure, viz ., disease, is also illusory. Evil manifests as disease, but evil does not exist. Thus, disease does not exist either. Baker writes, 151 Baker, 1875, p. 71. 152 Poloma, Margaret M. 1991. A Comparison of Christian Science and Mainline Christian Healing Ideologies and Practices Review of Religious Research Vol. 32, No. 4. Jun. p. 340-341. 165

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Befogged in error (the error of believing that matter can be intelligent for good or evil)that we perceive the divine image in some word or deed which indicates the true ideathe supremacy and real ity of good, the nothingness and unreality of evil. 153 In attempting to understand Christian Science and its particular brand of idealism, recognizing the role of the refuta tion of evil, within their relig ious tradition, is essential if one is to even attempt the discussion of thei r defense for medical exemption. To offer an analysis condemning Christian Scientists and their religious pr actices, no matter how nontraditional, and their aversion to Western Medicine, without incorporating an equal account of their refutation of evil, is to co mpletely misunderstand their aversion to begin with. The root of the Christian Scientists appr ehension to Western Medicine is based on the fundamental belief that matter is illusory. Since matter is ill usory, all that exists is the mind of God. The mind of God is incapable of conceptualizing evil, thus, evil is illusory. Illness is a form of evil, which, ultimately suggests that illness, too, is illusory. Baker summarizes, As mortals give up the delusion that there is more than one Mind more than one God, man in Gods likeness will appear and this eternal man will include in that likeness no material element (emphasis added). 154 In the final chapter of this analysis, I will return to this style of argumentation, not necessarily to a discussion of Christian Science, and offer a refutation of this form of logic. 153 Baker, 1875, p. 205. 154 Baker, 1875, p. 191. 166

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3.4. The Denial of Evil: Traditional and Nontraditional Theodicies For centuries, theological scholars had b een debating theodicy and the problem of evil, some arguing for traditional and others nontraditional theodicies. Briefly, traditional theodicies are such that all attempts are ma de to preserve Gods omnipotence in the face of evil, while nontraditional theodicies assu me that God does not, or could not, exercise such power over the universe. There are countle ss defenders for the former, but the most notable names defending the latter are Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. A discussion of their responses to the problem of evil is beyond the scope of this particular chapter, bu t their theodicies serves as th e conceptual foundation for a great debate between John Hick, embracing a trad itional stance, and David Ray Griffin, defending a hybrid, Whiteheadian-Harts hornean nontraditional process philosophy. 155 With respect to Griffins approach to a nontraditional stance for the problem of evil, he writes, In the first part of the following chapter [chapter 18] I will explicate Whiteheads view as to how divine causation is related to worldly activitythe basic formulawill indicate how, on the basis of Whiteheads metaphysical intuitions, it would be impo ssible in principle for God unilaterally to determine any state of affairs in an actual world. 156 John Hick, on the contrary defends a trad itional, though modifi ed, theodicy, which defends the omnipotence of God in addres sing the problem of evil. Hick writes, As a characterization of evil, within the framework of Christian theology, this privative definition must be 155 Griffin, David Ray. 1976. God, power and evil: A process theodicy Philadelphia: The Westminster Press. p., 275. 156 Ibid p., 274. 167

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accepted as wholly sound. It represents the only possible account of the ontological status of evil in the universe that is the creation of an omnipotent and good God From this standpoint evil cannot be an ulti mate constituent of reality, for the sole ultimate reality is the infinitely good Creator. Evil can only consist in a ma lfunctioning or disorder that has somehow come about w ithin an essentially good creation(emphasis added). 157 Many have quickly suggested without a further analysis of Hicks argument that he is simply denying the existence of evil by defining it as a privation of goodness, which he is not. Essentially, Hick is offeri ng a refutation of evil, but his analysis cannot simply be classified as a privative account of evil. Hick then modifies the traditiona l conception of evil as privation, writing, We are therefore not authori zed to draw any empirical conclusion from the doctrine of the negative character of evil, taken by itself. It does not entail that evil is anything other than a real fact and a grievously oppressive problemit is therefore not permissible to dismiss the privative analysis of evil [ by suggesting that] evil exists only in semblance or to say that some theist seek a solution [to the problem of evil] by denying the reality of evil (emphasis added). 158 Essentially, Hicks point is th at we cannot confuse the privative argument of evil as an argument for evil as non-being, which Hick denies as a confusion of thought. To understand Hicks position, one cannot simply assert that this conception of privation is synonymous with the attempt to understand ev il as non-being. Hick understands, as Russell first noted, that the human mind is such that the use of the term being very forcefully suggests the antithetical term nonbeing. The belief that since being exists, 157 Hick, John. 1966. Evil and the God of love Revised Edition New York: Harper & Row. p. 180. 158 Ibid p., 181. 168

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non-being must also exist is a linguistic confusion of ontological existence, i.e., the latter cannot follow from the former. In discussing negative existential propositions there are no objects that correspond (refer) to the terms (signs) t ypically used to convey mean ing. The paradox of negative existential propositions is the denial of the objects existenc e for which the proposition is said to refer. For example, sta ting that, there is no such th ing as Godzilla, the referent being Godzilla, seems to refer to the very thing that is denied in the proposition. Linguistically, we can meaningfully talk a bout the nonexistence of Godzilla. It makes sense to say that Godzilla does not exist, but ontologically, it is impossible for one to argue for the existence of nonexistence (A & ~A), i.e., the nonexistence of Godzilla exists as a thing in the world. As mentioned earlier, such attempts are linguistic confusions of ontological existence. T hus, the paradox of negative existential propositions is that the very object assume d to exist is denied within the proposition itself. Hick writes, From the point of view of twentieth-century logic, the notion of meontic non-being is an example of the inveterate tendency of the human mind to hypostatize or reify language. The term being generates the cognate term non-being; but it does not follo w that there in any sense is or exist anything of which th is is the nameRussells theory of descriptions shows thatto say of some kind of thing that it does not exist (e .g. Unicorns do not exist) is not to locate it in any metaphys ical realm of non-being, but is simply to deny that some particular description has a referent. 159 159 Ibid p., 186-187. 169

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Now, with respect to the greater concern of th e denial of evil, Hick is suggesting, rather methodically, that, within the framework of Christian theology this privative definition must be accepted as wholly sound, 160 because Hick is suggesting that the denial of evil supported by his interpretation of traditional theodicy, is not the affirmation of non-being as an ontological reality, a paradoxical and contradictory st ance, but the refutation of the existence of evil as a consequence of Gods imperfection. Hicks argument is critiqued, however by David Ray Griffin, but to understand Griffins critique, he first defines three key notions, viz., genuine, only apparent, and prima facie evil. Griffin writes, In order to make this point clear, I need to define the notions of genuine evil[,] only apparent evil and prima facie evil. By genuine evil, I mean anything, all things considered, without which the universe would have been betterPrima facie evil is anythi ng that may be judged as evil at first glanceSome prima facie evils may be considered, upon reflection, to be genuine evils. But other prima facie evils may be judged to be only apparent evils.their badness may be may be regarded as compenstated for by the goodness to which they contributed. 161 Robert Mesle adds, Griffin argues that classical theologians have tended to equivocate on the word evil so as to affirm the reality of evil in some contexts while denying it in others. He hopes to clarify the discussion and show the equivocation by distinguishing prima-facie evils into categories of genuine evil and merely apparent evil. 162 160 Ibid p., 180. 161 Griffin, 1976, p., 21-22. 162 Mesle, Robert. 1986. The Problem of Genuine Evil: A Critique of John Hick's Theodicy The Journal of Religion Vol. 66, No. 4. Oct, p. 412. 170

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Interestingly enough, however, Gri ffin does not take issue with Hicks argument for the paradox of negative existential propositions, which I believe constitute a substantive portion of his defense for the denial of ev il. Rather, Griffin suggests that Hick is equivocating with his use of the term evil. Griffin uses his distinctions between genuine, only apparent, and prima facie evil, to pinpoint Hick s equivocation and to rebut traditional theodicies in general. Since my analysis within this chapter pertains to the denial of evil, I am less concerned with Gri ffins critique of Hick, as it pertains to this perceived equivocation, than I am of properl y understanding Hicks denial of evil. Griffin overlooked Hicks argument for th e paradox of nega tive existential propositions and instead argued against his defense of a traditiona l theodicy. One of Griffins main points of criticism pertains to Hicks defense of Gods omnipotence, which he argues, require that th ere be no genuine powers besides God, 163 For me, this critique of Hick only plays into the tradit ional vs. nontraditional theodicy arguments of the past millennium, and completely avoids Hicks very compelling refutation of evil. There is an ontological nature of evil, but Hick could not see beyond the confines of his own theodicy, since both he and Griffin are still discussing the problem of evil in terms of the existence of God and the problem it causes for his omnipotence. Thus, the secularization of the problem is, at the very least, an attempt to address the problem of evil, without incorporating any theological conceptions. The nature of God, the nature of his characteristics, our fall from grace and orig inal sin, moral evil as sin, all speak to a very specific population, viz., Christians. Evil, nonetheless, is a problem for us all. Thus, 163 Griffin, 1976, p. 270. 171

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an account of evil should be constructed in such a manner that it, at its most basic, its most remedial level, affords a universal forum of interpretation. I say should because this will invariably be a moral account. Only then can we begin the process of conceptualizing the ontological status of evil. Granted, we may fail in this attempt, but success will not be measured in terms of f acts of the matter, rather, success will be measured in even attempting such a feat. 3.5. The Denial of Evil: The Argument for Omnipotence Revised In discussing nontraditional theodicies and attempting to account for the existence of evil, there is deeper level of complexity that arises with the denial of Gods omnipotence. Before the argument is explained, however, it is important to first understand the logical structure of the argument. The argument is a form of reductio ad absurdum We begin with a nontraditionalist premise and assume that in accounting for Gods imperfection, i.e., the assertion that he is not omnipotent, serves as the cause for the existence of evil in the world. Remember, however, that I am here discussing a refutation of evil, not a denial of Gods abilities. Thus, one must first rec ognize that a nontraditionalist theodicy can never offer a refutation of evil, since the point of a nontraditionalist theodicy is to account for evil by denying one or all of the characteristics typically attributed to God. Simply put, nontraditionalist theodicies deny Gods abilities, while tr aditionalist theodicies deny the existence of evil. 164 164 One should note, however, that there are traditi onalist theodicies that neither deny Gods abilities nor the existence of evil and, thus, account for the ex istence of evil be denying some third thing, e.g., freedom, the capacity for human un derstanding and so on. The point is the denial of evil can only be articulated by a traditionalist theodicy. 172

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The next phase of the argument is to th en articulate the conditi ons that would arise given the truth of the initial premise. If it is true that evil exists as a consequence of Gods imperfection, what should follow? On the one had, the nontraditionalist would have avoided the problem of evil by demonstr ating that its existence is a necessary consequence of Gods imperfection. On the ot her hand, however, we are now left with a world wherein evil exists and the source of its existence is based in Gods imperfection. The logical step may be to deny Gods existe nce, but not everyone will be willing to do so. Thus, for those that retain their belief in God, they must endur ing the sufferings of evil and continue their faith in an imperfect God. However, to be God is not to be imperfect. Thus, if one wishes to retain the belief in God, and is attempting to account for the problem of evil, then one cannot begin w ith a nontraditionalist stance because in the end, the believers conception of God is contradictory. Nelson Pike explains, by expelling omniscience and omnipotence from the theological thesis, one could solve, or rather avoid, the theoretical problem of evil. Bu t from the practical point of view, such an adjustment would be no solution, for it would involve changes in the believer s attitude toward prayer and the natural world. When Gods omniscience and omnipotence are denied, the efficiency of prayer becomes questionable and the universe can no longer be regarded as a completely dependent creationTo deny the existence of evil is not only to deny the reports of conscious, but to make nonsense of the moral life altogether. In a world where there is no evilchoice is pointless and responsibility without meaning. 165 The argument is again complicated by the affi rmation of the traditionalist refutation of evil at the conclusion of the process of the argument, insofar as the nontraditionalist 165 Pike, Nelson. 1958. God and Evil: A Reconsideration Ethics Vol. 68, No. 2. Jan., p. 117. 173

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theologian now has a rejoinder. If, in the c onstruction of the argument, we begin with the nontraditionalist stance, only to realize that it ends in a contradictory conception of God, unsuitable for believers to hold claim, which de nies the existence of evil, then we arrive at yet another contradiction. No sense can be made of moral life for believers if their God is imperfect and what we perceive as evil has been denied. The argument follows a twofold reductio It begins by assuming the nontraditionalist stance, only to arrive at a contradictory conception of God, and then assumes a traditionalist stance, only to arrive at a c ontradictory conception of morality and choice. Both arguments are equally plausible and there are many more rejoinders to each side. The point, however, is that in attempting to deny the existence of evil one is forced to address morality. If evil is illusory, how, then, are we to make sense of the world? Clearly, this is not a question for me to answ er since I affirm the existence of evil. To offer a refutation of evil without also o ffering a conception of morality devoid of the existence of evil, is a burden the traditionalist must bear. Thus, it is inadequate simply to refute the existence of evil. Henry David Aiken notes, The most drastic, if also th e most implausible, way of dealing with the problem of evil is simply to deny the ethical thesis altogether On this view, which most men would regard as highly immoral, there simply is no evil, and when someone says that something is evil he speaks falsely: evil, that is to say, is merely apparent (emphasis added). 166 Fundamentally, the denial of evil requires an alternate account of morality. If it is suggested that evil is an illu sion, then it certainly seems that this particular illusion, given 166 Aiken, Henry David. 1958. God and Evil: A Study of Some Relations Between Faith and Morals Ethics Vol. 68, No. 2. Jan. p. 94. 174

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the fact that it is utterly devoid of mean ing, nonetheless, retains great meaning. Roy Baumeister writes, The myth [of pure evil] defi nes the way people think of evilwhich is in some crucial respects quite different from the real, actual causes of violence and oppression I beganby noting that evil is in the eye of the beholder; now we can add that these be holders are generally people who suffer harm Evil does not exist by itself but only in relation to the good (emphasis added). 167 What Baumeister and so many others are pres upposing in their attempts to reduce evil to violence and harm, to articulate evil in term s of oppression and subor dination, is that all instances of violence are also instances of evil, which is certainly debatable. I would argue that it is categorically false. If one uses the term violence as a synonym for the concept of evil, then one must assert that all instance of violence are also instances of evil. If not, one would equivocate in using the term violence, i.e., violence could mean an instance of evil or violence could mean an instance of so cial protest. Logically, then, any attempt to suggest that viole nce is synonymous with evil, is also to claim that all instances of violence are always instances of evil. Thus, all conditions used to satisfy the use of the term violence must be a suffici ent condition for the use of the term evil. However, if and only if any condition used to satisfy the use of the term violence is incompatible with the conception of evil, then any such condition cannot be attributed to evil. If such is the case, th en violence and evil cannot be synonymous. In the final chapter of this analysis I will offer conditions that satisfy the use of the term violence 167 Baumeister, R.F. 1997. Evil: Inside human cruelty and violence New York: W.H. Freeman. p. 7273. 175

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but do not satisfy the use of the term evil to demonstrate both the faulty logic used to deny the existence of evil and the erroneous attempts to reduce evil to violence. 3.6. Denial of Evil: Understanding Denial through Genocide Studies Many scholars and researchers have chosen to substitute the concept of evil with conceptions like harm and violen ce. The difficulties with such attempts are due in part to the complex nature of analyzi ng evil. It is a difficult concep t to grasp and an even more difficult concept to articulate. Nevertheless, if we are to confront the problem of evil, whether we affirm or deny its essential exis tence, contemporary scholars should continue their investigations into the problem and the na ture of evil. In an attempt to address this problem, Claudia Card explains this contemporary tendency of denying evil. She writes, The denial of evil has become an important strand of twentieth century secular Western culture. Some critics find evil a chimera, like Santa Cl aus or the tooth fairy, but a dangerous one that call forth disturbing emotions, such as hatred, and leads to such dist urbing projects as revengeI want to reverse that shift, not because I am enthusiastic about hatred and revenge but because evils, the worst wrongs people do, deserve to be taken seriously and to receive priority of attenti on over lesser wrongs, which are usually easier to talk about and easier to fix. 168 Historically, the debate betw een the traditionalist and non-tr aditionalist theologians over the existence of God and th e problem of evil follows a pattern; non-traditionalists invariably articulating the imperfection of God, and traditionalists denying the existence of evil. The non-tradit ionalist stance, however has the typical consequence of also resulting in the denial of God. If God is im perfect, and evil exists, then there can be no 168 Card, Claudia. 2002. Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 28. 176

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God, at least not in any intelligible monothe istic sensean imperfect God would be a mere deity. Thus, the secular humanists often uses a theological argum ent, specifically, a nontraditionalist theological argument, to refu te arguments for the existence of God. The secularist, then, can embrace a world where there is no God. The question, however, that now moves to the forefront for all secular, nontheological scholars, is : what is the nature of evil? There are those that affirm the existe nce of evil, and those th at deny its existence. What Claudia Card is suggesting, is that for those who deny the existence of evil, they do so because they view evil in mythological terms. In the second half of this chapter, I will investigate Phillip Coles argument, based on this very conception. He has constructed his analysis as an investigation into the myth of evil. This denial of evil, as mythology, is historically rooted in a nontraditionalist affirmation of Gods imperfection, eventually leading to a categorical denial of God, which is coupled w ith a contemporary denial of evil, based on analyzing the mythology of evil. Claudia Card is correct in her assertion that, The denial of evil has become an important strand of twentieth century secular Western culture. For the discussion of evil to continue well into the 21 st century, those defending the ex istence of evil, those arguing for such a reality, are burdened with th e obligation of articulating its existence independent to the existence of God, i.e., the problem of ev il needs to be revamped and secularized. The purpose of this secularization is not to refute the vi ability of continuing to discuss evil in theological terms; it will al ways be a fruitful analysis. If, however, one is to engage the secular humanist, the attempt must be made to purge the theological underpinnings from the discussion. Simply put, a new field of discourse has to emerge in 177

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the discussion of evil, or any moral accounts wher ein evil is utilized, if it is to have any relevant impact in c ontemporary scholarship. In the previous chapter, I discussed the concept of political evil, a concept entirely rooted in an interdisciplinary discourse of political theory, genocide studies, and philosophy. The articulation of political evil functions independent to any theological concerns, and the definition is substantiated by a half centu ry of genocide scholarship. Within genocide studies, then, one has an ab ility to access the concepts, theories, and tools necessary to investigate the problem of evil. Genocide studies and the manner in which historians and genocide scholars have approached a discussion into the nature of evil, is a perfect foundation wh erein one can attempt to unde rstand the ontological status of evil. The term evil is still used, and with meaning, among genocide scholars, which indicates that there is a sense in which disc ussing evil remains pert inent and useful to understanding the landscape of political power. Interestin gly enough, however, there is a tendency within contemporary genocide studies to deny the existence of genocide. Thus, one can also attempt to unde rstand the denial of evil, by investigating a denial of genocide, which is not to suggest that genoc ide and evil are in any sense synonymous, as genocide is but one form of evil. The point, then, of this comparison, is to offer the secular humanist a means of cl arifying the conception of ev il and analyzing attempts to deny the existence of evil, without grounding the analysis in a theological foundation. Genocide scholars have been discussing the na ture of denial, both in terms of evil and in terms of genocide, for as long as they have been enga ged in research. Neither the 178

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philosopher nor the political scientist can afford to ove rlook their contributions and attempts to understand denial Relevant here is what Donald Millet et al. write: We acknowledge that the discovery of something redeeming in these tales of human tragedy has been our defense against despairWe refuse, however, to allow these examples of good to turn our attention from the awful reality of genocide itselfW e increasingly believe that there is considerable truth in the statement that to deny genocide is to repeat it Denial of evil is a defense mechanism that a just world simply cannot afford denial seems to be the final stage of most genocides (emphasis added). 169 As noted, denial is an important aspect in the use of genocide as an effective tool. It is often the final stage prior to political powers enacting the use of genocide against members of its population. 170 There is an attempt, however, among historians and genocide scholars to reconcile the problem of denial and historical memory. Historical memory and its relation to ge nocide studies is a relatively new concept. Unlike autobiographical memory where memory is directly tied to ones experience of an event, historical memory is onl y accessible through our records, i.e., the historical records of the event. In researching the problem of evil, I have had numerous interviews with survivors of the Holocaust. Th eir direct experience of the Holocaust forms for them the autobiographical memory for which they acc ess the truths of their past. Unlike the survivors, however, members of the world popul ation having not directly experienced the Holocaust, have only historical records as a means of accessing the past. The problem, however, arises when the historical record s are challenged by me mbers of the population 169 Miller, Donald E.; Miller, Lorna Touryan. 1993. Survivors: An oral history of the Armenian Genocide Berkeley: University of California Press. p., 5. 170 Smith, Roger W. 1989. "Genocide and Denial: The Armenian Case and Its Implications," Armenian Review 42, no. 1. Spring. p., 1. 179

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having not experienced the event, which poses a threat to the historical memory of the event. Thus, denial emerges as the historical memory is challenged. With respect to challenging the historical memory of the Holocaust, one name stands out among all holocaust deniers, viz., David Irving. In his account of the Irving trial, Adam Jones writes, Undoubtedly the most famous trail involving a genocide denier is the libel case brought in 2000 by David IrvingThe resulting trail became a cause clbre with prominent historians taking th e stand to outline Irvings evasion and obfuscations of the historical evidence[Irving] was cited for nineteen specific misrepresentations, and contende d that they were deliberate distortions to advance a deni alist agendaThe spectrum of policies toward deniers, from permissive to prosecutory, is mirrored by the debate among genocide scholarsstress[ing] the link between denial and genocide, including future genocides as well as the personal suffering that denial infl icts onsurvivors and their descendents (emphasis added). 171 More heinous than the injuries caused to Holocaust survivors by Irvings blatant misrepresentation of the truth, is the potential for falsifying our historical memory of the Holocaust. Clearly, however, no amount of denial can falsify the autobiographical memories of specific survivors. It is not that Irving challenged and even denied the Holocaust that made him liable in court. It was his specific fabrica tion of the truth that led to his conviction. His denial, in effect, wa s secondary to the lie that he perpetuated. Denial has the tendency of contributing to further instances of genocide, recognizing that the horrors of genocide extend beyond vic timization. For survivors, the denial of 171 Jones, Adam. 2006. Genocide: A Comprehensive introduction New York: Taylor & Francis Routledge. p. 355. 180

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genocide discredits the nature of their su ffering. It minimizes the deliberative and methodical planning required by state sanctioned political powers, which were all an essential component in fully recognizing a state endorsed genocide. The ultimate crime against humanity, then, is the crime of denial To deny acts of genocide, in the face of overwhelming evidence is to contri bute to the process as such. Next to the deliberate, willful denial of acts of genocide in the face of evidence, there is another, more subtle type of deniala timid hesitance, or a diplomatic reluctance to acknowledge genocidal events. Such was the case in the Rwanda genocide of 1994. 172 To subvert this dilemma and properly identify th e events in Darfur as genocidal events, Secretary of State Colin Powell in his September 9, 2004 address to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee noted, here is, finally, the continuing question of whether what is happening in Darfur should be called genocide. Since the United States became aware of atrocities occurring in Sudan, we have been reviewing the Genocide ConventionWhen we reviewed the evidence compiled by our team, and then put it beside other information available to the State Departmentwe concluded, I concluded, that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Jingaweit bear responsibility -and that genocide may still be occurring. 173 The simple acknowledgement that genocide was occurring in Darfur brought attention to the victims and the Sudanese government. In making his address to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Coli n Powell diverted future complication that would surely have arisen were he to de ny the events of Darfur as genocidal. A 172 Hintjens, Helen M. 1999. Explaining the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda The Journal of Modern African Studies Vol. 37, No. 2. Jun. p. 241-286. 173 Secretary of State Colin Powell, The Crisis in Darfur (Sept. 9, 2004) at: < > 181

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community of activists, filmmakers, peacekeep ers and so on, was now politically justified in voicing their opposition to the Darfur genocide. If a legitimate genocide is denied by members of the political community, one essentially absolves perpetrators of wrong doing. This absolution, however, has the negative effect of undermining, or at the very least discrediting, the suffering of survivors. Genocide studies offer us an opportunity to truly re cognize and acknowledge the full extent and capacity of human destru ctiveness. To deny genocidal events as legitimate uses of state author ity, or to minimize the suffering of victims as a necessary component of purging the state, is to risk the possibility fo r similar genocidal events in the future. In this regard, Roger Smith et al, write, Denial contributes to genocide in at least two ways. First of all genocide does not end with its last human victim; denial continues the process, but if de nial points to the past and the present, it also has implications for the future. By absolving the perpetrators of past genocide from responsibility for their actions and by obscuring the reality of genocide as a widely practiced form of state policy in the modern world denial may increase the risk of future outbreaks of genocidal killings (emphasis added). 174 The denial of genocide, then, is but one aspe ct of understanding the denial of evil. In denying genocide, the denier challenges the au thenticity of our historical memory, which in some sense is a healthy enterprise. The pr oblem, however, arises if historical memory is connected to records and r ecords are, in part, compiled by people, and people are prone to error and embellishing the truth, then our records and historical memories are prone to 174 Smith, Roger W., Eric Markusen, and Robert J. Lifton, 1998. Professional Ethics and the Denial of the Armenian Genocide Hovannisian, Richard G. Remembrance and denial: the case of the Armenian genocide Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 287 182

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error. This, unfortunately, is a fact of historical memory. Hi storical memory is prone to error. If, therefore, one is attempting to understand the nature of genocide independent to particular historical events, as theory one need only engage with the concept of genocide. In discussing the concept of ge nocide, without reference to any particular historical act of genocide, one is now capable of offering an ahis torical analysis of genocide. If the denier now denies the ahistorical attempt to articula te the various typologies of genocide, then one must recognize that such a denial is a sufficient condition for the denial of all particular accounts of genocide, i.e., all particular accounts of genocide based on specific historical events. The prima facie denial of genocide, as a concept not as a particular historical event, must serve as a sufficient c ondition for the denial of any particular act of genocide. Though, it must be added, it does not fo llow that the denial of any particular act of genocide necessitates th e denial of genocide as concept. Thus, in denying the ahistorical concept of genocide, it must be true that such a denial suffices for all subsequent historical denials of genocide. Furthermore, the denial of genocide as such (independent to any particular event) cannot be substantiated in terms of theory. Steve Chan writes, Theory is ahistorical, as it pur sues generalizations germane to entire classes of entities or phenomena. It is uninterested in particulars; proper nouns of people, places, or time periods matter only to the extent that they represent specific instances or members of a relevant category. Theory consists of a system of statements from which one can 183

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deduce observable, verifiable im plication. Its core elements are concepts, axioms, assumptions and scope conditions. 175 To deny the concept of genocide only serves to deny any future use of the term to specific historical events, which is not the same as refuting the existence of evil. The refutation of evil, as we have seen, is only possible on an ontological level. Thus, to deny specific acts of genocide or even to deny the concept of genocide as such, does not translate to a refutation of evil. As I have argued in the previous chapter, evil is the condition for the possibility of genocide. A re futation of genocide may in part, deny the facts of the event, but unlike historical me mory, ones autobiographical memory of evil, i.e., ones personal experience of evil, ones vi sceral and emotive response to evil, is a valid source for engagement. Viktor Frankl describes this in the opening line of his book, This book does not claim to be an account of facts and events but of personal experiences, experiences which millions of prisoners have suffered time and again. 176 3.7. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 1 For the remainder of this chapter I will closely analyze Phillip Coles The Myth of Evil offering a review of the literature and a critique of his analysis. Cole begins his investigation into th e problem of evil by recapping the events surrounding the September 11 th attacks. He addresses President Bushs us e of the phrase the axis of evil and the horrific discoveries of torture and human rights violations at Abu Ghraib. Then, he rather jarringly shifts focus to the devil. He suggest s, the more I examined the detail of evil, the more I sensed [the devils] presence not a supernatural pr esence, but a political 175 Chan, Steve. 2002. On Different Types of International Relations Scholarship Journal of Peace Research Vol. 39, No. 6. Nov. p. 749. 176 Frankl, 1959, p. 3. 184

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one. 177 Then, again, he shifts focus to the di stinction between human evil and pure evil, suggesting that pure evil, belongs to the supernatural (3). Cole then suggests the concep t of evil may more appropriately be labeled as a form of fiction and categorized as a mythology, a narrat ive. Narratives explain. Cole is interested in understanding the explanation the narrative of evil discloses with respect to human agency. Cole suggests that in narratives, not real ity, the human being is capable of enacting pure evil, but this he says is impossible within r eality. He writes, The human figure who pursues the destruction of others for its own sake is a fictional or mythological figure, but does not exist in real ity (7). He explores the option that human evil, rather than pure evil, may be the only conception needed to describe evil, but he eventually denies this possibility as redundant e.g., She did it because she was evil (7). Clearly, the statement begs the question. Co le suggests that in discussing evil, the importance is connecting the event with human agency, evil is easily affixed to the event but he suggests that, once we move towards the explanation of agency, the concept of evil becomes obscure (7). Thus, for Cole, the challenge will be the attempt to attribute the concept of evil to human agency and the attempt to articulate evil in terms of pure evil. In discussing pure evil, Cole reverts to a traditionalist theological argument, wherein it is suggested that evil cannot be understood, no t a denial of its existenceas such, as it is a denial of our ability to understand its na ture. He writes, If we seek to understand the social, psychological, historical conditions that act as the background for horrific acts, the 177 Phillip Cole. The Myth of Evil (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006), p. 3. 185

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notion of pure evil may disappear (8). The requirement for knowledge that Cole explores is necessary for our understanding of both evil and th e human capacity to act in such a manner. The acquisition of this knowledge allows us to conceptualize human agency and the possibility of enacting evil. Thus, knowledge of evil, according to Cole, allows moral agents to recognize their own capacity for evil. In his attempt to articulate evil in term s of pure evil, however, Cole notes, that the one fact we cannot escape is that if pure evil does genuine ly exist in the world, it is human beings who put it there (20). He argues that such a conception of evil demarcates humans from, what he labels rather vaguely as, inhumans i. e., those who exercise their freedom to purposefully enact suffering on others In a previous clarif ication of this point, Cole says, According to the monstrous conception, these are monsters in human shape, human/inhumans, or inhuman/humans, who ar e willing to inflict suffering on others purely for its own sake, capable of pure evil precisely because of their monstrosity (13). I found Coles argument wholly problematic. Even the discussion of his monstrous conception was a bit odd. Were he to be offering an account of evil throughout the history of creative writing, maybe then I would understand the logical structure of his denial of evil, but he is not. He himself concludes chapter one, by stating, I do not supply any decisive philosophical refutations of the pure conception, but rather supply moral, political and psychological reasons why we should reject it. It is, I believe a highly dangerous and inhumane discourse a nd we are better off without it (emphasis added), (21). The title of his book, The Myth of Evil suggests that he is going to engage in a rigorous historical analysis of evil a nd sequentially deny each attempt to articulate 186

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the existence of evil. Instead, Coles discus sion is without any clear directive and he himself acknowledges its abysmal lack of philosophical rigor. With respect to his assertion that he has provided a moral reas on for rejecting the pure conception of evil, I did not recognize any use of value, deontolog ical, or consequentialist theory in his analysis whatsoever. After completion of the first chapter, I was highly skeptical about the remainder of his book. 3.8. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 2 Chapter two is an analysis of Satan and th e conception of diabolical evil, which Cole equates with other forms of evil, one other common description of this pure or absolute evil is that it is diabolical (4). Cole, the n, defines pure evil as, not only the evil of outcomes, but the evil of intentions it is th e pursuit of the suffering and destruction of others for its own sake (3). Thus, according to Cole, we can define diabolical evil in exactly the same sense as we have defi ned pure evilthe two are interchangeable. Next, Cole attributes diabolical evil to Satan but refuses to acknowledge his existence and then suggests that human beings are capab le of emulating Satan s actions. He writes rather paradoxically, if diabolical evil is a human possi bility, although this does not necessarily imply the existence of Satanit doe s seem to imply that human beings can be like him (4). All of which, mind you, is done by Cole in terms of a secularist approach in refuting the existence of evil. Cole undertakes a biblical analysis of Sata n, and attempts to draw the rather bizarre conclusion, that since human beings have a capacity to emulate Satan, (which is fundamentally presupposed), then any attemp t to understand Satans character is an 187

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attempt to understand ourselves (25). Cole offe rs no clarification for any of these terms. His initial premise is presupposed without any justification, and yet he professes to be offering a secularist account for the denial of evil, which he has already stated, does not supply any decisive philosophical refutation (21). He begins by tracing the accounts of Satan throughout the Old Testament, which he later challenges; s uggesting that though the seminal elements of Satan, as deceiver, as serpent, and so on, are present in the Old Testament there is debate over this notion. He shifts his focus to the New Testament where he notes, Satan is indisputably present in the New Testament (32). A problem arises, nonetheless, when Cole retu rns to the discussion of diabolical evil, which was associated with pure evil, one other common description of this pure or absolute evil is that it is diabolical (4 ). Now, however, he distinguishes the two concepts, writing, The monstrous conception can now be understood as claiming that there are human beings who are monstrous by nature, and it is only these humans who have the capacity for diabolical evil, and the pure conception can be understood as claiming that all human beings have the capacity for diabolical evil (emphasis added), (35). Coles monstrous conception is extremel y unclear and his definition seem very redundant. The monstrous conception is about monstrous people and only these people have a capacity for diabolical evil. He, th en, tries to differentiate the monstrous conception from the conception of pure evil. Coles error in logic, however, according to his definition, is that the monstrous conception refers to a group of people that have a capacity for diabolical evil and the conception of pure evil refers to people as having a capacity for diabolical evil. Thus, the ba sic syllogism suggests that the monstrous 188

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conception necessitates the con ception of pure evil, i.e., it is a sufficient condition for pure evil, which is not what he is suggesti ng. Coles argument is fundamentally flawed and it is incomprehensible what sense is to be made of his definitions. In the concluding sections of chapter two, Cole attempts to account for the existence of evil within the world and supposes that th e devil and his demons are the cause of its existence. He then begins a very terse histor ical recapitulation of St. Augustines theodicy and his account of free will, which leads to the conclusion that human beings also contribute to the perpetuation of evil through exercising thei r freedom, which leads Cole to claim, For God to be free of responsibil ity for human evil, humanity must be capable of freely choosing to be diabolically evil. But if human beings can freely choose to be diabolically, purely, evil, Satan and his demons are redundant (50). It is unclear if Cole intends this conclusion to be a critique of the ex istence of evil or a critique of the Devils purpose in the natural world. In either case, his point is unclear. Fina lly, with respect to the Devil, Cole suggests that his existence is explained, not so much as a metaphysical presence as a literary one (50). The problem with this statemen t, however, is that Cole is constructing his analysis as a philosophical investigation, and has noted that he is, a devout atheist and an analytical philos opher by training (2), yet he has failed, nonetheless, to offer any philosophical c onception of evil, either metaphysical or otherwise. Were his analysis to be a literary account, ther e would be no problem, but in suggesting that evil is a myt h, Cole should support his work by a thorough philosophical analysis. 189

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3.9. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 3 Finally, in chapter three, Cole addresses th e various philosophical conceptions of evil, beginning with Immanuel Kants articulation of radical evil. Cole writes, For Kant, moral evil is any deviation from what morality demands, as expressed through our power of reason and stated by the moral law or th e categorical imperative (emphasis added), (58). Unfortunately, Cole has oversimplified Ka nts account of moral evil. It is not simply that any deviation from the demands of morality results in deeming one evil. In his discussion on judging moral agents, Kants account is certainly no t as rigid as Cole suggests. Kant writes, A mans maxims sometimes even his own, are not thus observable; consequently the judgment that the agen t is an evil man cann ot be made with certainty if grounded in experience 178 (emphasis added). Cole suggested that any deviation from the demands of morality is classified as moral evil. Kant has clearly stated otherwise, and acknowledges that sometimes ones maxims cannot result in a judgment of evil. Coles strawman argu ment unfairly compartmentalizes Kants conception of evil and situates Kants moral account as a dogma rath er than a philosophy. Coles strawman argument continues when he distorts a quote for Kant without properly contextualizing his citation. Cole writes, for Kant humanity cannot reject the moral law as such, cannot reject morality. Man (even the most wicked) does not, under any maxim whatsoev er, repudiate the moral law in the manner of a rebel (re nouncing obedience to it) (Kant 1960: 31). No one is that deprav ed that they can violate the demands of morality without feeling some degree of guilt or misgiving (59-60). 178 Kant, Religion 1960, p. 16. 190

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However, the full context for which the quote was taken, is as follows: Man (even the most wicked) does not, under any maxim whatsoever, repudiate the moral law in the manner of a rebel (renouncing obedience to it). The law, rather, forces itself upon him irresistibly by virtue of his moral predisposition; and were no other incentives working in opposition he would adopt the law into his supreme maxim as the sufficient determining ground of his will; that is, he would be morally good. But by virtue of an equally innocent natural predisposition he depends upon incentives of his sensuous nature and adopts them also (in accordance with the subjective principle of self love) into his maxim. 179 (emphasis added). Cole has tried to force Kants account of evil to agree with a strawman account he has devised for his own end. Nowhere is Kants account does he s uggest that man is incapable of rejecting the moral law. Kant s account is more attuned to a Daoist conception, a battle between tw o halves, viz., the sensuous na ture, which pulls the moral agent from the moral law, and the agents desi re to adopt the law as the supreme maxim. This battle is not a battle to be won by sides. Rather a harmony is always reached between the two halves of our nature. Ma rtin Schnfelds entr y in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a further re jection of Coles strawman argument. Schnfeld writes, In Daoist ontology, the dynami c principle (Dao) weaves the world by stretching out the void ( dao zhong ) and that produces things and life by indi viduating the resulting field into lingering wholes. Nature and the good are opposites but harmonize in their paralle l thrust toward sustainable complexity Moral practice is their alignment Kant was ignorant of the Chinese but ab sorbed the Daoist motifIt 179 Kant, 1960, p. 31. 191

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is an irony that one of the West's greatest thinkers was first inspired by the Dao of the East. 180 With respect to Schnfelds claim that, N ature and the good are opposites but harmonize in their parallel thrust toward sustainable complexity. Kant acknowledges nearly the same conception within his acc ount of evil. Kant writes, Natural inclination, considered in themselves are good, that is, not a matter of reproach, and it is not only futile to want to extirpate them but to do so would also be harmful and blameworthy. Rather, let them be tamed and instead of clashing with one another they can be brought into harmony with a wholeness which is called happiness. Now the reason which accomplishes this is call prudence (emphasis in original). 181 The process, then, wherein evil is harmonized, i.e., the sensuous natu re within us all is regulated, is as Schnfeld has claimed, by the process of moral practice That specific moral practice that regulates and esta blishes harmony is prudence. Prudence accomplishes the process of harmony. Our natura l inclinations, considered by themselves are good. It is only when we attempt to incorpor ate these inclination in to the total process of morality that its nature conflicts. As Schnfeld has stated, Nature and the good are opposites but harmonize in their parallel thrust toward sustainable complexity. Moral practice is their alignment. Wh at Cole has assumed is that this conflict is a fundamental one wherein there is no resolve, wherein, as he has noted, humanity cannot reject the moral law. Our sensuous nature will compel us to deny the moral law but it is checked, and kept in harmony, so as not to dominate our being by and equally forceful inclination 180 Schnfeld, Martin. Kants Philosophical Develpoment The Standord Encyclopedia of Philosophy at <> 181 Kant, 1960, p. 51. 192

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to adopt the moral law as a universal maxim. Deontological ethics is certainly more complicated than the strawman argument Cole has erected. Behind the simplicity of choosing to act, choosing to follow the moral law, or choosing to do otherwise, is a complex nexus of checks and balances, all harmonized by our duty to practice morality. Thus, again, Cole has failed in his attempt to renounce evil or to adequately conceptualize Kants philosophy of radical evil. 3.10. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 4 In chapter four of his analysis, Cole investigates Rousseaus discussion of the vampire epidemic throughout Western Eu rope, which lasted nearly 100 years. According to Cole, Rousseau wanted to refute the supernatural explanations associated with the vampire mythology, offering instead a sound scientific account of their supposed existence. In his investiga tion of the vampire accounts, however, it is suggested that Rousseau took the vampire acc ounts seriously (80), which is not to suggest that he believed in the supernatural abilities associat ed with vampires. Rather than viewing the vampire epidemic as a supernatural phenomen on, Rousseau interpreted the existence of vampires as an indication of socio-political unrest. Cole then shifts focus to a discussion of witches and witchcraft. He suggests that the spread of witchcraft throughout Europe serv ed as an indication that, The Christian community was under severe attack by Satan (8 3). With the attempt to stifle the spread of witchcraft, it is noted, that the Church a nd the judicial system often tortured alleged witches, convicted of heresy and other crimes. Cole writes, There were therefore no legal limits to the use of torture in cases of suspected witchcraftSo we can see that the idea 193

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of diabolical heresy and th e witch craze that followed it arose from a sense of fear and anxiety throughout western Christian Europe (83-84). Cole suggests that the rise in heretical cr imes and its correlation with the spread of witchcraft throughout Europe serv es as an indication that fear had established a hold of Western Europe. Clearly, however, there was an underlying motivation in the spread of heretical crimes as political opponents vied fo r power. The pattern taken by those who sought to gain authority in these regions was to accuse resistant groups and individuals of heresy, and for heresy eventually to become witchcraft (84). It is suggested, then, that the onset of fear within a society is an indica tion that an enemy will arise out of that fear, an enemy to be conquered. The focus shifts back to a discussion of vampires and Rousseaus attempts to conceptualize their relation to the social a nd political realm, rath er than a continued investigation into their supern atural powers. Unfortunately, Coles analysis within this chapter, though it is an interesting read, is quite obviously taken from a paper he presented on an entirely different subject. Th e chapter has little if any relevance to the discussion of evil, and is more closely in line with a discussion of the shifts in supernatural accounts during the Middle Ages. Earlier, in his acknowledgments, Cole wrote, I also delivered a paper called The Vampires of Moravia: Towards a Philosophical History of the Undead (vii). Im sure the paper was interesting as the chapter was interesting to read, but unfortuna tely, the title of his book suggests that he will be debunking the myth of evil and this chapter has not contributed to that goal. 194

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Nearing the end of the chapter, Cole attempts to tie in his prior paper into the theme of his book writing, What we see here is the myth of evil in action, and specifically the myth of mons trous evil, that there are monsters in disguise within our community who seek to destroy it. There can be no negotiation and no compromise against such an enemy, and certainly no redemption they can only be hunted down and destroyed (93). Cole has not defined monstrous evil. He has not connected the concept of monstrous evil to debunking the myth of evil. If his account is that in vying for political power, many create myths of monsters to subdue the population and perpetuate fear, it does not follow, in any sense that from this truth one has disproved the existence of evil. Granted, it is certainly true that this is a common political strategy, but to suggest that, therefore, evil is a myth is a non sequitur. Nonethele ss, I cannot understand how, from that point, Cole arrives at the conclusion th at What we see here is the myth of evil in action. As to the argument within chapter four, and its re lation to demonstrating the myth of evil, I am clueless. 3.11. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 5 Chapter five is an account of the political use of fear. Cole sugge sts that fear is a projection from within, it is externalized by that which we most fear and is more a reflection of our psychological fears than it is a proper re presentation of legitimate external threats. He then states that, it is this internal fear that is politically exploited and mobilised against the myth of evil in the world. And so we must explore our inner psyches to discover the source of fear (96). Much to his credit, Cole offers an interesting account of the distinction betw een terror and horror. Terror is a greater form of fear 195

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because it is not attached to readily identif iable elements within the external world. Horror, however, unlike terror, pr esents us with the image, the threat that serves as the source of our fears, while terror influences our imagination to wreak havoc on our minds by unsubstantiated fear. Cole does offer an interesting account, writing, And so while horror may be produced by the physical confrontation with the consequen ces of evil, the inability to understand the motivations of the evil agent who has brought about these macabre eff ects results in the psychic dread not so much of the unknown, but of the incomprehensible. Horror and terror are therefore intertwined in our experiences of evil (97). Much of Coles account of terror and horror is based on Dani Cava llaros analysis of gothic fiction. Cole attempts to incorpor ate Cavallaros conception of the dark narratives, i.e., a discussion of terror and horror within gothic fiction, but runs into trouble while trying translate these conceptions into a political framework. Cavallaro suggests that terrifying imager y alerts us and informs our consciousness. This suggestion, however, clashes with Coles attempt to articu late the myth of evil and its relation to the realm of politics. He writes, However, if we extend the concept of the dark narrative beyond fiction into political narratives about the world then we can see its negative power (98). While I disagree with Coles a ccount of Cavallaros analysis of gothic fiction, I do agree that he has identified an important concepti on in the discussion of evil, viz., he has attempted identify the source of our fears. Cole suggests, I believe rightly, that the conflation of boundaries, between the natural and unnatural, between the real and the unreal, serve only to exacerbate our fears. In challenging Cavallaros conception that these dark narratives inform our reality, Cole writes. 196

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[there is] no guarantee that the dark narrative will alert us to reality it may simply create more imaginary terrors, and lead us to mistake those imaginary terrors for real ones. The boundary between fiction a nd reality is blurred, or rather our awareness of where that boundary lies is blurred, and everyday life itself is framed within the fictional constructs of our imaginati on or the imagination of our political and cultural leaders (101-102). The inability to differentiate imaginary terrors from real ones, only serves to heighten ones sense of fear. In his c ontinued discussion of fear, Cole refers to Freuds conception of the uncanny. The uncanny is a form of fear we may develop for something familiar. Freud discusses the unheimlich or the unhomely, which Cole describes as the uncanny, eerie or spooky. The conception of the unheimlich is the revealing of that which was hidden. It is to be made aware of what was once concealed. The terrors we most fear are also familiar to us. Cole takes this concept of the unheimlich and mirrors his theory of the myth of evil on a similar premise. He writes, Here, we should note that we have an almost complete theory of evil, that our belief in the myth of evil is an example of the return of primitive beliefs we thought we had overcome, but which, when certain events occur, gain hold on us and threaten to overpower our reason (106). Cole is arguing that like Freuds conception of the unheimlich the myth of evil is nothing more than a return of repressed beliefs. It is the feeling that we get when we encounter something of fright. He quickly changes focus, however, without further qualification, which leaves more questions than answers. In actuality, I think Coles analogy fails. In Freuds conception of the unheimlich the source of fear is unknown, it arises from a repressed state of consciousness. Once trigge red, the fear is capable of paralyzing our actions, as the source of terror is somethi ng familiar, something real, but the person 197

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terrified by this sense of fear cannot identify the specific cause of its onset. There is no myth to this fear. If Cole is suggesting that the myth of ev il is similar to Freuds concept of the unheimlich he would have to explain the nature of the myth and its relation to the existence of fear. Cole attempts to discuss the relationship between particular moral agents and the perceived existence of evil, by suggesting that we are fear ful of our own capacities for evil, which causes us to project that capacity on to others and into fictional representatives (118). He writes, But there is another answer we should consider that we are scared of our selves not because of our connection with death, but because we recognise our own capacity for evil. What frightens us is not the fragility of the boundary between life and death, but of the boundary between our civilised self and our evil self. We may well project that capacity on to others and into fictional representatives, but it is profoundly our capacity, and this is why we find such projections and representati ons so disturbing they threaten to destabilise our conception of our selves as human beings, indeed our conception of humanity itself (118). Certainly this maybe true of a misrepresented threat. In di scussing clearly defined cases of evil, where there is no perception of threat but an imminent and real danger, there is no projection or representation to be had. In the case of state endorsed genocide, for example, discussing ones projection of ones personal capacity for evil, which is the very thing Cole is attempting to deny, onto the state, is utterly pointless. What purpose does that serve in denying the existence of evil? How does this psychoanalytic example demonstrate the myth of evil? While Freuds conception of the unheimlich may explain the aesthetic and psychoanalyt ic account of the uncanny, a po int that is even debated 198

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among contemporary psychologists, there is no connection between a Freuds concept and a denial of evil. 3.12. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 6 Within this chapter, Cole explores the conception of the Bad Seed, i.e., the possibility of an evil child. He begins with a story of the murder of James Bulger, a two year old toddler, abducted, mutilated and beaten to death by two ten year old boys. The boys were subsequently found guilty of murder and were sentenced to eight years in prison. Cole suggests that there was little attempt to explain their motives, be they rational or not. The boys were sentenced to a minimum of eight years in prison. Cole cites the trail judge, Sir Michael Morland as saying, The killing of James Bulger was an act of unparalleled evil and ba rbarity (125). He then cites several media sources and their reference to this crime as an act of evil. Cole challenges Sir Michael Morlands determination, suggesting, Was it an act of unparalleled ev il and barbarity? The killing of James Bulger was brutal and cruel, but in the history of inhumanity it was by no means unparalleled as an act. What Justice Morland was capturing was the sense of horror that this crime was carried out by children, but even then examples of children killing other children, while extremely rare, are not unknown (125). It is important to understand the sever ity of the boys cr ime. The crime was committed by two ten year old boys. James Bulger was intentionally abducted from his mother while shopping. The boys enticed James aw ay from his mother and lured him to a canal. They kicked him in the face and ribs. They fractured his skull with an iron pipe and cement brick, placing batteries inside hi s mouth to increase the amount of damage 199

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inflicted by his head trauma. They doused hi m with caustic chemicals, and then placed his body on a railroad track and covered it with dirt. Two year old James Bulger was then struck by a train as his body was masked underneath the debris. This level of brutality and torture, the sadism of James death is be yond explanation in and of itself, but the fact that it was committed by ten year old boys is ce rtainly an act of evil, a point that Cole denies. Cole does not view the murder of James Bulg er as an act of evil and offers a rather lengthy psychological account of the boys hi story, suggesting their motivations could have been sexual, or a response to the fact they were both from a broken home, and so on. He then suggests that the boys could have suffered from pre-teen psychosis, a rather speculative claim. The suggestion is that we lack the proper terms to de scribe this level of violence and insofar as this lack exists, we use the term evil to de scribe an event that defies interpretation. Cole writes, We respond to the call for interpretation, butwe are haunted by our failure. And the space of that failure, I argue, is ta ken up by the discourse of evil (127). For Cole, then, the inability to understand, to interpret an event as terrifying as the James Bulger murder, forces us to resort to the only conception we have that may even be said to approximate this level of brutality. In using the term evil, however, we still fail to properly understand the nature of the even t. In effect, the nature of the crime transcends interpretation or it is a failure, as Cole suggests, to properly interpret the event that forces us to label it as an act of evil. 200

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This form of refutation is actually quite old and has its origin in a traditionalist theological denial of evil. It is the suggestion that we ca nnot understand the nature of evil and in attempting to articulate what it is, al l we are offering is a de finition for that which cannot be understood. For the theist this typical ly results in the deni al of God, but for the atheist it results in the affirmation of the brutality of our existence and the existence of evil. Addressing Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchiks re sponse to the problem of evil, Moshe Sokol writes, Soloveitchik argues, [that human s] respond to evil in their lives in two stages. When evil first strikes the sufferer is crushed, unable to make sense of anything that has befallen him, unable to make sense of life as a whole. Following this initial phase, the sufferer actively seeks to gain insight into his suffering by struggling to understand the cosmos and Gods role in its governan ce. For the theist, the struggle often leads to the denial of ev il, to the claim that all is really good. Soloveitchik argues, however, that from the perspective of human experience this claim is simply false. While from Gods perspectiv e all suffering might well be justified, and therefore good, human beings are incapable of metaphysical reasons, of adopting Gods perspective. Therefore, the only humanly possible response to suffering is to acknowledge its evil. 182 (emphasis in original) The point is simple, if one is denying the possibility of understanding the nature of evil, and thus through this in ability to understand, denies its existence, one must acknowledge that unlike the theist who can assert that its existence serves a greater good and is therefore only apparently evil, the secula rist is not afforded the same luxury. Cole has already claimed that he is attempti ng to refute the existence of evil independent to theological refutations. The atheist cannot claim that evil is only apparently real, as it 182 Sokol, Moshe. 1999. Is There a Halakhic Response to the Problem of Evil The Harvard Theological Review Vol. 92, No. 3. Jul. p. 314. 201

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serves some higher purpose, but what Cole atte mpts to do is refute the existence of evil on the basis of a failure of interpretation. Noti ce, however, that Cole fails to define in what sense he is using the term failure. In what sense is it considered a failure in classifying the brutal torture, murder, and subsequent mutilation of James Bulger as evil? How has this ascription failed to properly identify or name the event? We neednt evoke conception of God either. Is Coles suggestion that there is no event for which the term evil properly applies because all such events ar e met with a failure of interpretation? This is clearly false as we can use the example of attribute variables to demonstrate that understanding evil is certainly possible. The problem with Coles argument is that he overlooks the propositional functi on of two variables suggesting that there is no event for which the term evil properly applies because a ll such events are met with a failure of interpretation. The only way to deny the existe nce of evil, is to offer an ontological denial of evil, which Cole doesnt even approximate. Otherw ise, we are debating the use of a term, which is not what this is about. In Coles suggestion that, We respond to the call for interpretation, butwe are haunted by our failu re. And the space of that failure, I argue, is taken up by the discourse of evil (127) There is no failure in our attempts to effectively describe an act as evil. The brutal murder of a young James Bulger was most certainly an act of evil. We must recognize that Cole is ar guing about the use of the term evil, not the existen ce of evil. He has confused his li nguistic gripe abou t the use of the term evil with a viable refutation of the ontological status of evil; thus, his claim is devoid of merit. 202

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3.13. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 7 Cole begins chapter seven with an analysis of moral luck. He initially suggests, with reference to the James Bulger murder that, there were background factors th at played a significant role in their actions, and those background factors and the role they played made it inappropr iate to hold them morally responsible. However, it could be argued that examining these kinds of background contexts undermines moral judgement in general. While I want to close the space for the discourse of evil it is not my intention to close the space for any level of moral judgement, and so in this chapter I need to explain how my approach can coherently both show the discourse of ev il to be redundant and at the same time show that moral judgement sometimes of the most severe kind is possibl e (emphasis added), (148). Coles intention is to differentiate between th e conception of moral lu ck and his desire to retain the influence of moral judgments. Th e need to separate his theory from the conception of moral luck is that they both rely on the background conditions that influence moral agents in the actions, which suggests that moral judgments are irrelevant in assessing the morality of the agents actions Cole wishes to preserve the concept and the importance of moral judgments while also preserving the importance of the background conditions, whic h led to the judgment. Cole discusses Thomas Nagels conception of moral luck and it typologies. In order for a moral judgment to be fairly applied, one must be in control of ones actions. If, however, ones actions result as a product of external infl uences, then, assessing moral judgment becomes all the more difficult. Since Cole denied the existence of evil and has suggested that we merely implement the idea when we fail to understand peoples 203

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actions, and he has placed emphasis on unde rstanding the background conditions, in an attempt to understand those actions, then, as soon as we begin to focus on background conditions, we realize that anything anybody does is subject to factors beyond their control, such that even the most basic moral judgement becomes impossible we lose any concept of moral agency. In other words, in closing the space for judgements that people are morally evil, I have closed the space for any kind of moral j udgement at all, and this threatens my argument with absurdity (150-151). If there are outside influences determini ng our actions, should Cole consider the background conditions that led to the act, he acknowledges that he runs the risk of doing away with moral judgments, which is not his goal. He offers two examples of shooting a gun in a crowded room and drinking while driv ing. His examples are not only weak, they also lack clarity. In partic ular, it is unclear how they s upport the claim that background conditions are relevant. It is also unclear how they support th e claim that the inclusion of background conditions does not weaken th e moral judgment. After discussing his argument, even Cole suggests that, This may not be a decisive refutation of the moralluck argument, but my concern here is merely to show that we can allow the significant role of background factors in contributing to what people do, and still have space for legitimate moral judgment (153). Ultimately, Cole failed in demonstrating how Nagels conception doesnt apply to either of his scenarios. If one is to include background conditions, which are said to determine the mo ral agents actions, it is hard to see how Cole examples of drinking and driving and shooting a gun in a crowed room preserve the determinacy necessary to cause them to pa rticipate in such action, which were beyond 204

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their control and simultaneously hold them morally accountable for these acts, which were determined as a conse quence of Coles accounting for their background conditions. 3.14. Coles Denial of Evil: Chapter 8 Unfortunately, Coles argument in chapter ei ght is lost in the une nding stream of half page citations, which run thr oughout the entire chapter. Cole relies too heavily on pasting others work together than formulating his own conception and denial of evil. In the chapter, he discusses facing th e holocaust and his commentary, what little of it there is spliced between massive chunks of citation, covers a breadth of topics so broad that it is unclear to determine what his motivations are. On the one hand, he seems to return to the halfhearted attempt to address the background conditions necessary in addressing agency, a concept that refused to labe l the brutal murder of a young James Bulger as evil. On the other hand, he merely offers a recapitula tion of historical debates concerning the holocaust. Cole assumes a defeatist position within th is chapter, suggesting that the magnitude of the holocaust, the reckless destruction of human life was so great that the ethical question arises of, whether we ought to seek to understa nd the Holocaust (174.). Apparently, for Cole, the attempt to understa nd the atrocities inf licted by Nazi Germany on countless lives, is taboo, we should deliber ate whether such an attempt is ethically sound to begin with. Cole discusses the all too familiar role of Kapos within the concentration camps. He suggests that, judgment becomes more difficult when it comes to those in commanding positions, such as the Kapos... who ran labour 205

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squads, the barrack chiefs, clerks and people who worked in the administrative offi cesand their power to impose violence was unlimited (177). It is Coles suggestion that our ability to understand evil is nullifie d by the role of the Kapos in Nazi concentration camps. Surely, as I have discovered in my own interviews with several holocaust survivors, I cannot expect to understand the experience of evil within the concentration camps. I will neve r know, first hand, th e horrors of being malnourished, of being worked to death, of having to cope with the systematic execution of my entire family. Certainly, I cannot understa nd what it is to experience these horrors. This lack of understanding, however, does not translate into an inability for me to determine the nature of the evil. Evil seeks to exacerbate human suffering a nd death as an end in itself. Theres nothing impossible to understand. There is no gulf beyond bridging. Cole presupposes this lack of understanding and subsequently ap proaches all the review of literature, all of his theoretical conception with the defeatis t mentality that evil is too difficult to understand, therefore it doesnt exist. The role of the Kapos is a difficult conception to understand in terms of prison psychology, or cu ltural disassociation. It is difficult to understand how one assumes such a position or the justifications one uses to defend holding such a position, but th ere is no difficulty in understa nding that the concept of the Kapos , as a concept and not as an individual human being, fulfills such a role. There is no limit to the potential of human destructiven ess. To be surprised at the capacity we have for evil, is a refusal to acknowledge the truth of human being, to see the real capacities we have for the eradication of our own species. Denial and suggestions that the 206

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concept of evil is merely a representation of our inability to unde rstand heinous events, like the murder of James Bulger is a reflection of the antiqua ted, anti-scientific, defeatist mentality of the dark ages. There is nothi ng human beings will not attempt to understand. To suggest that evil is beyond understandi ng, presupposes an understanding of evil, which is to undermine the very no tion that evil cannot be understood. 3.15. Coles Denial of Evil: The Final Chapter In the final chapter, chap ter nine, Cole discusses 21 st century mythologies of evil, wherein he writes, I do not accept the validity of the discourse of evil when it comes to mere description of peoples character or motives or actions, or the consequen ces of their actions Nor do I accept that the idea of evil, while it does not explain anything, is neverthele ss an indispensable part of the moral description of the world, helping us to understand that world On the contrary, the idea of evil does not help us to understand these things at all; rather, it takes on the role of the satan of the Hebrew Bible: it obstructs our understanding, blocks our way, brin gs us to a halt. Evil is a black-hole concept which gives the illusion of explanation, when what it actual ly represents is the failure to understand. (236) Coles continued failure to deny the existen ce of evil has been demonstrated throughout my critique of his work. I was unimpressed with his methodological approach and his justifications for denying the existence of evil. His accounts were haphazard and his reliance of heavy citation detracted from the overall novelty his conception could have offered. In the final analysis, Cole did not di sprove the existence of evil, on ontological, metaphysical or epistemological levels. His ac count failed to identify the specific failures in our use of the term to describe a state of affairs Were he to have been successful in 207

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that endeavor, Im sure scholars would have to reassess how they conceptualize the problem of evil. The failure of his argument on so many levels, is not a demonstration that his original thesis is w ithout merit. A proper demonstrat ion of the myth of evil would be a revolutionary discovery. Scholars should co ntinue to investigate the conception that evil is a myth, as others, including myself, will address the contrary, which will only benefit us all in a greater understandi ng of this ailment we called evil. 208

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Chapter 4: Synthesizing Evil 4.1. The Mysteries of Synthesizing Evil Our fascination with evil is a fascination with the myst eries of that which shuns definition. Its existence is felt, but the solu tion to the problem of evil is hidden deep beneath the murky depths of our most primal and haunting fears. The pieces to the puzzle are scattered about a diversit y of disciplines. Throughout th e suggestions and inferences of the last three chapters, there lies some no tion of truth, hopefully some insight into the abyss that is evil. The process of synthesizing evil is simultaneously introspective as it is both historical and progressing toward a yet unknown future inevitability. Evil has been progressing toward its fullest actualization as manifested in the act of genocide since the beginning of time. The horrors of the world are realized in the recognition of our personal capacity, and may be even twisted desire to harm some one, someone who has harmed us, someone, or anyone at all. The gravity of an analysis grounded in studying the problem of evil is compounded by the persistent and omnipresent r ecognition of the frailty of human life. It is in that recognition that we face the horrors of genocide and torture, the horrors of unmitigated political power and a questat al l costsof seizing absolute power. It may be the recognition that we, too, may fantas ize of omnipotence, of subordinating and dominating an other Our bloodlust knows no limit. Ther e is no quenching our thirst. There is no mercy or solace when truly discussi ng evil. There is no hope and there will be 209

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no happy endings. There are no alternatives. Everything is definite. Everything is absolute. Destruction is totalizing. In truly discussing evil, one must theorize through the lens of hate and self-aggrandizement There is in fact, another world, darker and hidden, a world that coexists alongside this one, a world of a perverse fascination with br utality of the most deplorable forms and an army of eager participants desp erately vying to outdo the last psychopath. It is within this historical context that we move along a timeline, wherein we are always defining, identifying, reflecting and simultaneously introspecting on the nature of evil. In the previous three chapters I have disc ussed very specific instances of evil within social, political and psychological accounts, ye t there are more questions than there are answers, and within this fina l chapter I hope, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyles great fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes has methodically done, to solve the problem. To do so, however, is to review the clues, the clues ne cessary in finally cracking this case. Within this chapter, then, I will introduce little if any new evidence and no new theories. It is my belief that the answers to this problem have been addressed within the previous three chapters, which leaves me w ith the responsibility of synt hesizing and connecting points of interest already discussed. As all great my stery novels reach their climax, and as I near the conclusion of this analys is, I must return to the be ginning and finally uncover the clues to understanding the problem of evil. 4.2. The First Boundary Condition of Evil : The Body This final journey begins, as all journeys be gin, with a single ste p. The step needed to start this progression toward an ultimate unders tanding of evil begins with an account of 210

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the self. In chapter one of this analysis, I discussed the philo sophical accounts of evil throughout history in roughly chro nological order from antiquity to Kant. Within that discussion are hidden pieces needed to understa nd the problem of evil, which requires that we return to that discussion as a re flection on the philosophical accounts of evil throughout history. Aristotles discussion of arte and the moderation and balance needed to live a virtuous life, emphasizes ones personal a nd continual commitment to living within acceptable means, neither excess nor depravit y. A life of moderation reflects an inner balance between the duality of forces ever competing for dominance within our lives. Ones personal struggle with these polemic halv es is a reflection on th e continual need to reaffirm the virtuous lifestyle. It is, for Aristotle, a style of living, a style of life that rewards the virtuous for their w illingness to continue battling these polemics of the self. It is the I that chooses to engage in exce ss, the I that chooses to deny itself until the point of depravity, and Aris totles account within the Nicomachean Ethics is persuasive. He is, in effect, persuading his reader to li ve this style of life continually balancing desires with reference to the virtuous life. This reference, nevertheless, is always done through an understanding and recognition of our capacities for excess and depravity. It is within these capacities that we identify the e ndless possibilities of our existence, i.e., through the recognition of our capabilities, we are imbued with the responsibility to act accordingly. Aristotle goes beyond merely callin g our attention to the polemics of our depravity and excessive nature, he offers a solution. The solution hint s to the problem of evil, as it is a problem for the self. 211

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The problem of evil is fundamentally a pers onal problem. It is a problem of choosing to willfully self regulate ones depravity or excesses. But mo reover, it is the willingness to do so for no other purpose than for the attainme nt of this style of living, this lifestyle, i.e., a life of virtue. This styl e of living is a personal rec ognition that I am affected by evil. I can be swayed by my own excesse s. Remember, Aristotle has written, And also for the sake of mere life (in wh ich there is possibly some noble element so long as the evils of existence do not greatly overbalance the good ) mankind meet together and maintain the political community (emphasis added). 183 Aristotle was directed toward the political. His account of the pol emics of depravity and excess was more than an anecdotal a ccount for personal wellbeing. His account cannot be confused with contemporary noti ons of self-help or twelve-steps. Aristotles account of arte is directed from the individual toward the political, as noted in the previous quote. His accounts of the po litical are modeled on the family, which is substantiated in his Ethics A life of virtue is the life wo rth living. It is the life that ensures the requisite conditions for the poli tical life. The having of political life, the participation of members, th e polis, within a political community is inconceivable without an antecedent recognition of personal development. That development, for Aristotle, manifests in our ability to govern our own bodies. Unlike Plato, virtue is embodied. It can be contained and is contai ned within the physical. The virtuous life exists within the individual, or at least the potential for the virtuous life exists within the 183 Politics III Part VI. 212

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individual. But there is a threat, a very real threat to that realization, the embodiment of that lifestyle, the manifestation of arte within the human bei ng, and that threat is evil. The threat of evil is the choice we have to indulge in the excesses of our lives or to indulge in the depravity of our depressions and apathies. Aristotle can only encourage. As the saying goes, You can lead a horse to wa ter, but you cant make it drink. He can articulate the conditions by wh ich one attains a balance between these polemical halves, but ultimately it is entirely up to the indivi dual to embrace this styl e of living. Thus, it is absolutely essential to note that it is not simply one instance of choice that defines an individual as living the virtuous life, it is how one choose to live ones life, or the living of ones life, which either accords or deviates wi th arte. The threat of evil is more than a threat to the individuals abil ity to properly choose to live the virtuous life; rather, the threat of evil is a threat to the living of life. Evil undermines lif e. Evil is antithetical to life. The choices that we are presented, on a ny given day, at any given time, are at every moment, minute possibilities to participate in evil. It is the ability to inflate the self to self-aggrandize, to compensate for faulty reasoning. All seemingly harmless, until that personal defect or inclination, th at propensity or will manifests through the individual into the world at large. Evil, then, begins with a personal experien ce. The core of evil is firmly grounded in our psychological and physiologi cal inclinations to act out of an excess or depravity. Whether that propensity to act is governed by choice or sociobiological determination is, here, not my concern. I am, here only concerned with the fact that it occurs. 213

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The boy who is shunned by his playmates, who is ridiculed and mocked, who so desperately wishes to fit in, yet is at every instance reject ed, very often becomes the man that wages war against assimilation. How th at war is waged, however, depends on what choices that boy made as he developed. Some constructively critique the hegemony of the heterosexual, white normativity, and in so doing wage war against notions of assimilation. Others, like the Virginia T ech student and mass murderer Seung-Hui Cho, mastermind and then carry out unimaginable brutality on the very people that he perceived to have rejected him the in first pl ace. It appears that the depravity or excesses of our attempts to live a virtuous life is ultimately grounded in how that battle between those polemic halves manifests. In analyzing the many philosophical acc ounts of evil throughout history, I was surprised at how often philosophers referred to this struggle. Some saw it (that is evil) as a struggle within the self. Othe rs viewed it in terms of a st ruggle between the self and our attachments, or the self and the other or the self and ones recognition of power. However one approached this discussion of evil throughout the history of philosophy, it was at every instance, approached as a strugg le. Evil can only be unde rstood in terms of a struggle. There is no exception. How that st ruggle is fought, the conditions wherein we come to recognize the unfolding of that st ruggle or the means in which the struggle affects the world at large, will always vary, but that evil is to be understood within the conceptual context of st ruggle is irrefutable. It is the process of living that complicates our recognition of evil. We are, in effect, blinded by our own biases. Many in the West are blinded by capitalism and luxury. They 214

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confuse their cultural detachment from evil as the spooky concept relegated to the most abstracted levels of philosophy. But one could easily argue that such a position is blinded by privilege. It is, as represen ted by the character Cypher in the Matrix film trilogy (1999-2003) by Lawrence and Andrew Wachowski a privilege not to know the truth, to have a hatred for those that seek en lightenment. Such misology is fueled by ignorance Thus, Cyphers famous dictum, Ignorance is bliss. Ignorance, howev er, does little to refute the existence of evil as it does to promote its spread. Evil is spread and transferred from one person to the other through a narr ative of ignorance a nd like Aristotle, St. Augustine, locates this st ruggle within the self. Augustine writes, the first evil act of will, preceding as it did, all evil works in man, was rather a falling away from the work of God to the wills own works than any one work; and those works were evil because they followed the wills own pattern and not Gods. Thus, the will itself, or man himself in so far as he was possessed of an evil will, was the evil tree, as it were, that bore the evil fruit that those works represented. 184 For Augustine, the particular human being is the source of evil. I have already discussed Augustines justification for this claim, but in trying to uncover the mysteries shrouding a fuller conception of evil, one must recognize the first boundary condition of evil, i.e., the conception that identifies evil as a personal struggle For Aristotle, that struggle was between the polemics of depravity, on th e one hand, and excess, on the other. The attempt to resolve that struggle was s ubstantiated by the vi rtuous life. Though Augustines conception differs from Aristotle, especially how this struggle manifests and 184 Saint Augustine The City of God Against the Pagan: IV Books XII-XV eds T.E. Page, et. al. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956), Book XIV. xi. 215

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how it is resolved, the underlying assumption is the same, viz. evil is limited (bounded) by ones personal struggle. For Augustine, this struggle manifests as sin and the source of this struggle manifests as original sin My sin is a personal sin. It is nontransferable and the sinner will be judged accordingly. Sin, as the manifestation of evil, is embodied, i.e., it is localized within a body. It is bo unded by the body and when evil is ultimately judged, the body is judged accordingly. The body is punished (in hell). To judge evil, then, is to judge the body. It is to judg e the individual person and that persons body. Thus, the person, i.e., the physical limitations of the persons body, is the first boundary condition for evil. For Aristotle and Augustine, evil is bounded; it is limited within the body of either the moral agent or the sinner. For Augustine, however, unlike the Stoics and so many others, the will of the human being was fundamentally sullied by the act of original sin. Our existence would be defined by this act of sin. We would internalize sin as a personal experience and thus internalize evil. We embodied evil and as such became evil. It would be something for which one would have to repent, and if pen itence was differed, there was the very real threat of personal damnation. I could burn in hell. I may not go to heaven. Unlike Aristotles conception of balance and moderation, Augustines account of sin required conformity of the will to the la w of God. Any act of disobedience or insubordination was ultimately s ubject to judgment, which meant that one could face the penalty of eternal damnation. Evil, then, as manifested through sin, was internalized. It became my sins, my evils, and my responsibility to repent, or I would be damned to an eternity of suffering and torture. The boundary condition of evil was a very 216

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real limitation. It was not some abstracted, detached philosophical conception. Rather, the limits of evil within my body meant that I could suffer for its presence, which is why there are countless references to exorcisms. Demons are cast out One is freed from sin. Salvation becomes the act of purging oneself of sin. Evil, literally, leaves the body and in so doing progresses beyond the body, i.e., it progresses beyond the first boundary. 4.3. The Second Boundary Condition of Evil : The Social Realm The second boundary condition of evil is in itiated by a projection of an internal struggle from the particular i ndividual suffering, into a social setting. Concerns may be voiced to a priest or a poli ceman, a psychiatrist or a ne ighbor. Concerns may not be voiced at all. The individual may, rather, rem ove himself from social interactions, a key indication of psychological a nd/or emotional distress. As previously mentioned in chapter one of this analysis, the Eastern mystics and specifically Patajali, identif ied, contrary to Aristotle a nd Augustine, evil within the world (an external conception) rather than within the body (an in ternal conception). Where Aristotle and Augustine may have argued for moderation or penitence, Patajali would have argued for personal detachment to the things of this world, particularly material possessions and our c onnections to loved ones. Patajali identifies evil in our attachments and Hobbes in the social natu re of human dynamics. Granted some may argue that perception of the other may not be constrained to interpretations of threat or violence, but in terms of empathy and love, which are certainly warranted. My interest s, however, are quite specific; my scope is very clearly defined. I am interested in the concept of evil, attempting to uncover the development of 217

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evil from its most fundamental instantiation to its largest conceivable actualization is the sole purpose of this chapter. The difficulty in unlocking these mysteries, however, is only complicated by the difficulties faced w ith interpersonal interactions. Fear underlies this difficulty. The obsession with a fear of loss is an essential component within any social setting for the ma nifestation of evil. The fear of losing ones livelihood may drive one to compulsively wor k. The fear of being attacked may prompt someone to attack preemptively. Ones intern al fears may then be projected outward. They are articulated, made social, and ultimately internalized by other members of society. This process is repeated with each retelling of the story. Thus, a narrative is constructed. A caricature of that which ma y have been a legitimate fear, has now morphed into the boogie man, the devil, the antichrist, the sub or nonhuman being. As demonstrated in chapter two in the discussi on of the hatred whipped up by the Rwanda TV station Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM), dehumanization serves an essential role in legitimi zing genocide to sympathizers. Loss and death are inevitable aspects to life, the attempt to preserve that which is bound to be lost is unnatural, i.e., such atte mpts run counter to nature. Fear quickly manifests as terror and terror can easily paralyze a community. Ones terror of damnation, for example, is projected thr oughout the community and becomes our terror of damnation. Those refusing to accord with the dogma or practi ces established to cleanse the community only serve to magnify the terror within the community, at which point the community may turn against t hose individuals. This is commonly seen in vigilantism, where the fear of the people manifests in the practice of self-policing 218

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targeted members of their community. Unfortunately, as was the case some many times in history, be it the Salem Witch Trials or the lynching of African -American men in the South, vigilantism is often a misdirected use of force on unsuspecting, often innocent victims. As one approaches the limits of the second boundary condition, projected violence within the social order is less a response to perceived injustices, less vigilantism, and more an attempt to organize and methodically eradicate a portion of the population, all of which stems from the amplification of the na rrative recycled within society, that they are different from us. They are nonhuman. We are human. They are immoral. We are moral. They are savages. We are civilized. As mentioned earlier, the unmitigated fear of loss, of losing racial pu rity, losing social dominance or importance, serves to catalyze a figure, an individual from within the crowd, to govern the crowd. The leader, the sovereign, the ruler, is set in opposition to the crowd, though from the crowd. The leader governs the crowd, and as such is given the responsibility to protect us from them. This dynamic and fundamentally primal separation of us and them catapults an individual into the political. Thus, the political, among other things, serves to govern the social and protect society from them, whoever they may be. 4.4. The Third Boundary Condition of Evil : The Political The mysteries involved in understanding the concept of evil have slowly been uncovered, beginning with an explanation of the necessary boundary conditions of evil. The difficulty in grasping the concept of evil has been circ umvented by a clear articulation of is dynamism and fluidity betw een the personal and so cial order. It has 219

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been my attempt to demonstrate that evil is a dynamic force. There is a definitive progression of evil. From the ancients to co ntemporary accounts of the problem of evil, its force has actively been a progression a nd expansion of its totalizing, destructive capabilities. The projection of our deficiencies and excesses, our vices and insecurities into the world only serves to facilitate the ever expanding and exponential growth of evil. The magnitude of evil, however, is compounded by the nearly limitless power of political leaders and their abi lities to dramatically shape th e course of human civilization. This manifestation of power, the struggle for pow er within the political sphere, serves to propel the need to better understa nd the nature of evil to the fo refront of every discipline. To overlook the tremendous dangers presente d to the citizens of every nation is to undermine the totalizing force of evil. Kants almost prophetic understanding of th e requisite preconditions for multinational tribunals and the importance of diplomacy a nd international peace were centuries ahead of its time. Kants account of the political is derived from his Groundwork and his ability to recognize the confluence of human agen cy and our varying capacities to express freedom. It is precisely because we are free a nd we are social beings that evil is such a significant problem, I woul d argue that it is the fundamental problem for all of humanity. This problem arises because of the conflicts in expressing ones freedom and as such, for Kant, the political must be firmly grounded in the universal prescr iptions of moral law just as the particular moral agent is so grounded. The human being is free as long as in the expression of his freedom he does not impede the freedom of others. Kant writes, Act externally so th at the free use of your choice can coexist with freedom of everyone 220

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in accordance with universal law . 185 Those who control and use political power are equally bounded to the moral law. The stat e can and should be held accountable for violations of its power, which is pr ecisely what is at stake in a 21 st century account of genocide and the political abuse of power. In chapter two of this analysis I sought to outline the developmen t of genocide studies as a discipline and body of knowledge. What st ruck me as of utmost importance in gathering the information to write the chapter, is the degree of nearly unlimited power wielded by corrupt governments and their ability to effectively justify the brazen and calculated extermination of human life. Th e question at stake, the mystery surrounding the application of such political power, lies in understanding where that power is localized. Political power is loca lized power, but within the conf ines of that locality, it is nearly limitless. I was astounded as I read time-and-time-again of the use of propaganda and the airwaves, the use of the media and the demonization of the inte nded victims of an ideology of exclusion, that I then realized as Ar endt had before me, that political evil, i.e., evil as manifest through political power, wa s limited by borders. The geographic borders of a state mark a very real scope of state sovereignty. Within thos e borders international legislative bodies have great difficulties enforcing international law, because to do so, on the one hand, is to undermine state sovereig nty, but to avoid doing so, one the other hand, is to turn a blind eye, to indirectly condone the barbarism of an uncompassionate state, thus, the catch 22. The personal fear of contam ination as demonstrated in my analysis of Shaws account reverberates within the psyche of a man. It is proj ected as a hatred for 185 (6:231) 221

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the other, for their infections and the allege d threat they pose to the integrity of ones society. The boundary condition of evil quickly sh ifts from the personal to the social in this act of directed hatred. It manifests within the social as fear, fear of being contaminated, fear of being subverted, and fear of being oppressed. The more ones social narrative of the other is structured in te rms of fear, the more one will come to perceive the other as a thr eat. Perception is reality. Thus, the more that threat is perceived as real, the more real that threat becomes. Eventu ally, fear spread like a wildfire through various communities and indivi duals react to this fear by attempting to exterminate the other. The fear which began as a personal fear has been amplified and mirrored in the others existence. Thus, our fear is directed, it is essentially embodied in their being, as defined obsessively. Killing them, and killing them all, is the only pacification for the fear firm ly rooted within ones self Again, a boundary condition is met, insofar as the calculated and methodical attempt to exterminate an entire population of people, and, moreover, to justify this at tempt, requires not only precise and deliberate planning, it requires the resources, the power, and the military ability to enact such an ideology of exclusion. The progression of evil, from the pers onal and through the social order, now manifests a political evil. The power of politic al evil is the recognition of its limitations. Political evil is limited, as discussed in chapter tw o, by the confines of the states domestic jurisdictions. Knowing this fact, and ensuring that state sove reignty is confined within those borders, means that annihila ting an entire population of people is only limited by the states ability to expeditiously carry out such measures. Once intended 222

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victims flee the state, however, the state cannot track them down without infringing on the sovereignty of surrounding states. Even in discussing genocide, there are rules. Infringing on a surrounding states sovereignt y to purify not only one s respective state from those deemed contaminated, but the worl d, is to directly chal lenge the sovereignty of another state, which will invariably result in war between states. Political asylums threaten the sovereignty of the state, because the state is harboring those slated for execution. As the threat of war becomes increasingly evident, the final boundary condition is met. The progression of evil has grown beyond the confines of the political. There is a disregard for the rules, if you will. Evil seeks to destroy not only those within the confines of the states juri sdiction. It seeks to destroy those slated for extermination, wherever they reside. The actual attempt to achieve this goal, i.e., the total eradication of a people wherever they ma y flee, necessitates a disregard for state sovereignty and geographical borders. I am argui ng that this very specific attempt is the ultimate manifestation of evil. 4.5. On the Concept of the One-World State Once the third boundary condition has been breeched, once the state purposefully disregards the sovereignty of surrounding stat es for the purpose of cleansing the world of a targeted group, the state, in effect, must expand its borders. If political dissidents flee extermination to an adjacent state and that st ate chooses to harbor those dissidents, then that state becomes a threat. To kill those dissid ents requires the destruction of that state. Thus, war is waged on that state. Once that stat e has been absorbed, al l original dissidents within that former state are executed. Those that flee to ad jacent states are hunted and 223

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killed. As the borders of state sovereignty are increased those targeted for extermination will be absorbed from the surrounding area, interned and ultimately exterminated. Ian Kershaw describes: Polish laborers were commandeered by the SS to construct a camp at Belzec in eastern PolandInitially, the aim was to use Belzec, whose murderous capacity was in the early months relatively sm all, for the gassing of Jews from the Lublin area who were incapable of wrok. Only gradually did the liquidation of all Polish Jews become clarified as the goal. 186 In absorbing Poland, SS troops gradually sought the extermina tion of all Polish Jews, which serves to demonstrate how the states expansion yiel ded higher fatalities. Theoretically, then, there is a very real possibi lity that a state could grow so powerful that it absorbed all other states, destroyed all othe r state borders, eliminated the sovereignty of all other states, and thereby increased its ow n borders, until the point at which all that existed was a one-world state. The power to annihilate any population of people could never be mitigated by international law, b ecause international law would cease to exist once the state reached total global dominance. Once such a one-world state came to power, there could be no possi bility of moving beyond or outside of the states domestic jurisdiction, because that jurisd iction would include the totali ty of the world. All former nation states would have been absorbed into the one-world state, which gives rise to a consolidation of power. Hitler only approximated that which he desi red most, the total eradication of Jews. His attempt to actualize evil transcended the physical limita tions of his body. It grew 186 Kershaw, Ian. 2000. Hitler, 1936-45: nemesis New York: W.W. Norton. p. 483-484 224

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beyond the borders of the German state and wa s set to consume every state. If left unchecked, Hitler would have approximated the greatest manifestation of evil in the formation of a one-world genocidal state. The inversion of his desire, in Kantian terms, was accomplished by his attempt to universali ze a maxim for personal gain, which as we have seen in chapter one nullifies the benefits that would otherwise be preserved prior to universalization. Kant describes this process of nullification in the following example. He writes, Then I soon became aware that I could indeed will the lie, but by no means a universal law to lie; for in accordance with such a law there would pr operly be no promises at all, since it would be futile to avow my will with regard to my future actions to others who would no believe this avowalas soon as it were made a universal law, would have to destroy itself. 187 Since ones personal boundary condition of evil is an approximation of universal evil, and the progression from one boundary condition to the next is a result of its continual manifestation through time, and since the origin al source of fear and hatred begins at a personal level and is projected outward, then once that fear is located in the social and the political, once that fear is mi rrored in the existence of the other and once they are all conceivably killed in a one-world genocidal state, the only possible remnant of that original source of fear and hatred remains w ith the person determined to eradicate that fear wherever it manifests. Thus universal evil must result in the destruction of itself, as it would destroy all human life, which gives credence to Aristotles claim that, excess can be manifested in allyet all are not f ound in the same person. Indeed, they could not; 187 Kant, Groundwork 4:403 4:404. 225

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for evil destroys even itself, and if it is complete becomes unbearable (emphasis added). 188 188 Ross, W.D., revised by J.O. Urmson. The Complete Works of Aristotle The Revised Oxford Translation, vol. 2, Jonathan Barnes, ed., Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984. Ethics, Book IV, Part VI. 1125b35. 226

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About the Author Jason J. Campbell is a husband and father of two. He is a son and eldest of six children. Jason completed his undergraduate degree at Fl orida International University receiving a B.A. in philosophy and graduating magna cum laude Jason completed both his graduate degrees at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florid a. Jason is currently an Assistant Professor of C onflict Resolution and Philos ophy at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Visit his site at 233