As I am preparing to give a lecture on this topic, and I have never earlier spoken or written on it, I thought I might post the outline to get the benefit of your thoughts:

EVIL: How defined? To be Accepted or Fought?
A Cross-cultural and Inter-religious Comparison by Professor Prabhu Guptara

A. CONTRASTING DEFINITIONS OF "EVIL"

1. There is nothing which is essentially or intrinsically "evil" (Vedanta, Yin-Yang philosophies, Buddhism, Evolutionism, Existentialism, Hedonism, and other philosophies from some of the most modern to some of the oldest)

2. Evil can only be defined in relation to society (Confuicius, Manu, Nietzche, the Utilitarians, Ayn Rand...)

3. Evil is defined in relation to God's will or to the nature of the universe (Islam, "Karma"...)

4. Evil is defined in relation to the nature or character of God's own self (Jewish Bible, New Testament)

B. WHAT is evil?

Those who accept that there is anything "evil" usually think of a range or spectrum, from a good or ideal to desirable, going on to a marginal evil and then to profound evil. In the case of evil, the traditional classification is "venal" versus "cardinal" sins.

C. HOW SHOULD HUMANS RESPOND TO WHAT THEY BELIEVE OR FEEL IS EVIL?

i. Just accept it (Buddhism, Vedanta, Yin-Yang philosophies, some Evolutionists and Existentialists...)

ii. Fight it when convenient/ possible at no great cost to yourself

iii. Fight it with all you have (Jewish Bible, Koran, New Testament, some Existentialists, some Humanists, Ayn Rand...)

D. WHY SHOULD WE FIGHT EVIL?

a. Because you will be rewarded for it (Koran and other ...)

b. Because fighting evil is worth doing in itself (Jewish Bible, New Testament, some humanists, Ayn Rand...)

c. Because your character will be transformed, as it should be, into the likeness of God (Jewish Bible, New Testament)

Professor Prabhu Guptara