Why Are There Evil People?

And what makes them that way?
I’m not familiar enough with the teachings of other religions, but at least as far as the Christian religion is concerned, this question is as old as, well, as old as Christianity. If the One God is omnipotent, why does he allow evil, when he could wipe it out singlehandedly?
It made a lot more sense to me to have a variety of gods (a la the Greeks, Romans, and Scandinavians) who had virtually equal powers. Some days the good guys won, some days they lost. It seems to me you get into a lot of philosophical trouble with the whole monotheism thing. I can’t figure out how it ever caught on.
In our lifetimes, I suggest that Adolf Hitler is what we consider the personification of Evil, although there are many other evil people in the past who were at least as bad as he was.
The explanation I most often hear is, God gave people free will so they could choose good or evil. But wait. Why is there evil at all? It seems like the choice might have been between good and less good.
The other answer, which is a little easier to swallow, is “I don’t know”. God is inscrutable and beyond our understanding, so we can’t begin to question the whole thing. Well why not? Why didn’t God make it easier for us dumb critters to understand?
Evil, I think, is a little like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart described pornography: “I know it when I see it”.
I think of it as trying to hurt animals or people who are weaker than you and can’t fight back, or trying to hurt someone for personal gain.
This is the exact scenario I’m going through at work, with a person who literally began a campaign to get me fired, hoping she would replace me. I’m not imagining that; she said it outright. She has read my email, gone through my desk, taken pictures of me secretly with her cell phone, accused me of being a thief, and had numerous conversations with other employees to try to win them over to her “side”. In some cases it’s worked; in others, it hasn’t.
I am mystified as to why she still works for my company. And I am hurt, and shocked. All I ever did was try to help her succeed. And I feel like a complete idiot for trusting her. I will never understand it ever, but I do know this: she’s evil. I know it when I see it.

5 responses to “Why Are There Evil People?

  1. As soon as she commits an infraction, fire her. What goes around, comes around.

    Of course, every “evil” person can justify their actions even if they have to use contorted logic.

  2. I posted several replies to this but the evil internet bug cast it’s spell on them and they vanished. {Groan}

    I have always been fascinated with the duality of man, and have read as often as I can the many variances at explaining why evil exists. Several years back I had one of many team building coordinators make the statement “there is no such thing as an evil person”. At a break I confronted her with my own assessment that yes there are indeed evil people, and I have met one.

    She worked in my small office in a rural county and I was there for 3 years, got to know her pretty good. I saw her destroy a good woman’s reputation without compunction. She did it on the phone over a period of weeks. I believe she wanted to put another person into a position that this woman held so she simply painted her to be something she absolutely wasn’t. It was painful to hear and see. Quite upsetting to the victim who had a husband and children in the community and a prominent business as well.

    Then she came after me because I was a threat to her character and reputation. She din;t break the law but she violated all bounds of trust and collaborated with others of her ilk to create chaos when there was none. It was quite serious, and it was very personal. At some point one has to make the decision of how public to take the conflict, understanding that the conflict itself can stain reputation and consequently the ability to actually perform effectively under its “fog of war.”

    I was in a very different situation than you, having a strong foothold in another town, so my decision was to leave. I felt the personal fallout state wide could be worse than the local gain in “victory.” But in leaving, I had a very direct and private conversation with her, one that she couldn’t use against me, during which I made her a promise to piss on her grave. Several months afterward I got a call from a community official informing me of her death by natural causes. I kept my promise with great pleasure. That’s how personal it was.

    I wish you luck and the same happiness that was eventually mine.

  3. Wow, pt. Your final act sounds extreme, but I’m in a state of mind where I understand it perfectly. My situation has still not been resolved and I’m under a lot of stress because of it.

  4. I guess I’m just not a good Christian with forgiveness in my heart for evil people who don’t care at all about their own dastardly acts. I wanted her to know (even if she didn’t care) that her behavior did not go unnoticed.

    Your situation sounds like a tough one. You need a friend in management that can step in and resolve the situation. Hope you find one.

  5. Update: Well, pt, I AM management…Evil Person works for me…but it has gone beyond me, so that her fate and mine rest in the hands of my boss and HR. Why it has taken more than a month to come to a conclusion here is a mystery, but I sense there is a schism between my boss and HR over it. However there are promising signs. This week Evil Person called HR to ask for a username and password to the new criminal background check program, and they told her she couldn’t have one…that only I have the authority to request them.

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