Monthly Archives: September 2015

Only the Relatives

This is the fifth and final installment in my on-going musings on absolute evil.

In the end, I feel the most comfortable with the idea that absolute good and absolute evil do not exist. It’s not even that easy to define what is relatively good and what is relatively evil, but we can derive these notions from concepts like harm and benefit, life and death, suffering and joy, peace and war, etc.

At least to the point where they can serve practical purposes, like deciding how to vote, choosing what to eat for dinner, and how to plot out a novel.

And, I think there is something like an absolute good in being able to live an ethical life on the basis of relative definitions of good and evil, without the need for absolute definitions of good and evil. It does seem that fantastically evil acts are committed by those who believe in one notion of good that overrides all other goods, i.e., by those who believe in absolute good.