Evil Must be Understood in All its Manifestations

Ramon Arias | April 22, 2013

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families who lost their loved ones, or who suffered severe injuries in the two horrific incidents these past few days. I am referring to those who suffered a loss in the Boston’s well-planned, destructive and cowardly act against innocent people of all ages and the explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. These two incidents that captured America’s attention even though the two are not related to each other, as of the writing of this editorial.

The Boston tragedy is a reminder of the nature of evil. Are we ever going to know the TRUTH of how, why and who is truly behind this heartless wicked act? Should we just believe it was the actions of two brothers and their Islamist beliefs? In the days to come, we will know more; however, we must distrust what we are hearing since there are already so many conflicting stories.

Why is it that when tragedy strikes, such as the one in Boston or the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, the word evil comes to the minds of people? And the mass murders we have witnessed are only blamed on mentally ill people and their weapons, but, for the most part, these actions are not recognized as evil actions? What is wrong with that picture and when are people going to connect the dots?

For a week, Boston was dominated by fear. Subways and buses were shut down, Amtrak service to Boston was shut down, and college campuses were shut down until the accused bomber was captured. Once he was aprehended there was a great celebration followed by people chanting “U.S.A! U.S.A!” People broke out in dancing in the streets. The Boston Police Department tweeted a message “CAPTURED!” The hunt is over. The terror is over. Justice has won! Does this mean evil is gone from the homes, streets, schools, neighborhoods, businesses, politics, media, the world of entertainment and every area of Boston and its surrounding communities?

What is your understanding of evil? If you look for the word evil in any dictionary, they all have the same definition. Let us consider the definitions in only two of them. First, the Merriam-Webster’s definitions:

a : morally reprehensible: sinful, wicked <an evil impulse>

b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct <a person of evil reputation>

3. a : causing harm <the evil institution of slavery>

Evil defined for children:

1 : morally bad : WICKED

2 a : causing harm : tending to injure

My favorite definition is found in the Noah Webster dictionary of 1828:

1. Having bad qualities of a natural kind; mischievous; having qualities, which tend to injury, or to produce mischief. Some evil beast hath devoured him. Gen.37.

2. Having bad qualities of a moral kind; wicked; corrupt; perverse; wrong; as evil thoughts; evil deeds; evil speaking; an evil generation.

3. Unfortunate; unhappy; producing sorrow, distress, injury or calamity; as evil tidings; evil arrows; evil days.

E’VIL, n. Evil is natural or moral. Natural evil is any thing, which produces pain, distress, loss or calamity, or which in any way disturbs the peace, impairs the happiness, or destroys the perfection of natural beings.

Moral evil is any deviation of a moral agent from the rules of conduct prescribed to him by God, or by legitimate human authority; or, it is any violation of the plain principles of justice and rectitude.

There are also evils called civil, which affect injuriously the peace or prosperity of a city or state; and political evils, which injure a nation, in its public capacity.

All wickedness, all crimes, all violations of law and right are moral evils. Diseases are natural evils, but they often proceed from moral evils.

2. Misfortune; mischief; injury.

There shall no evil befall thee. Ps.91.

A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself. Prov.22.

3. Depravity; corruption of heart, or disposition to commit wickedness; malignity.

The heart of the sons of men is full of evil. Eccles.9.

4. Malady; as the king’s evil or scrophula (swollen glands in the neck).

E’VIL, adv. [generally contracted to ill.]

1. Not well; not with justice or propriety; unsuitable. Evil it beseems thee.

2. Not virtuously; not innocently.

3. Not happily; unfortunately.

It went evil with his house.

4. Injuriously; not kindly.

The Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us.

In composition, evil, denoting something bad or wrong, is often contracted to ill.

Evil Minded:

a.    [evil and mind.] Having evil dispositions or intentions; disposed to mischief or sin; malicious; malignant; wicked. Slanderous reports are propagated by evil-minded persons. [This word is in common use.]

When Webster first published his An American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828, Christian America’s commitment to God’s moral law was declining and it has never gone back to the powerful biblical principles that made her so great. As a nation we are living on borrowed time, we have offended heaven and the nations of the world by not staying true and faithful to God’s worldview.

Thomas Jefferson stated: I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. I challenge you to dig deeper into Noah Webster’s definition of evil and evil minded. Use your critical thinking and the law of logic as you analyze the anatomy of evil as it is manifested in all areas of human behavior be it personal, family, community and all social institutions which include civil government, politics, education at all levels and the corporate world. Do not leave one stone unturned, you must look at evil face-to-face in order to understand it in all its manifestations. Once you gain this knowledge, do not be silent. Speak out with all the facts and denounce evil in order for others to recognize it and be set free from the grip that influences and controls, not only their lives but also the nation.

The only hope for America is to go back to being a God-fearing nation; refusal to do so will fulfill Thomas Jefferson’s prophecy stated above. In the Preface of Noah Webster’s dictionary of 1828, the path to bring America to her greatness is stated:

In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed… No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.