Rational, moral humans must be compelled to ask whether if by not trying to stop families being separated and children imprisoned they are cooperating with the evil. As Professor Colb points out, for those who do believe in a perfectly good, omnipotent, and omniscient God as the origin of creation, it is particularly difficult to reconcile. Watch it now, on The Great Courses Plus. Thinkers who fit roughly in this picture would include the Greek historian and political thinker Thucydides, perhaps the philosopher Aristotle, some thinkers in the Jewish rabbinic tradition, and some modern thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. Furthermore, this account’s cold-eyed realism may hide the way that it suggests to us, it insinuates to us, that evil may not be as terrible as we experience it as being. While the acts advocated and committed by Pol Pot are clear examples of profound evil, arguably stemming from some deep pathology within him, cooperation with that evil, either by doing what he commanded, or perhaps more poignantly, by not stopping him, is similarly an act of evil. Similarly, it must be asked in what way humanity cooperates with animal cruelty by actively supporting the institutions which perpetuate the evil. The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales, the three dominant historical views of the nature of evil, the totalitarian mindset and its intent to control and transform human nature. For if evil cannot be defeated or driven out of our world totally since its home is our world, at least we are facing a struggle with a force that is nothing other than ourselves; it’s a force that is human-sized. But when we think about acts of evil considered as just that—as acts of evil—even when their perpetrators didn’t recognize them as such, such acts of evil in their very essence, attempt actively to reject the moral order, even if the people who do them don’t understand themselves to be doing that. Consider it for a second: What does it mean to call history a “strange teacher”? The opinions expressed in Verdict are those of the individual columnists and do not represent the opinions of Justia. Let’s say that evil is something that’s not just against the moral order, something that’s not just wrong—however you construe that moral order—but intentionally and willfully against that order; that is, that evil has a dimension of willfulness and rebellion. The insight of this view is paradoxically how it helps us to domesticate evil, as it were, precisely by rendering evil somehow part of our natural character. This is perhaps one of the most perplexing questions in history, and a topic about which much been written and speculated. Somewhat paradoxically, God allows humanity to have the full range of freedom to rationally act within its nature – essentially allowing humanity to choose either good or the absence of good, evil. Theodicy is a theological construct that seeks to answer how and why evil exists if God is truly loving, omnipotent, and omniscient. Think about it this way: If God eliminated free will and everything was perfect, we would be nothing but robots. Just as teenagers rebel against their parents to gain their sense of identity, so our moral maturation requires a kind of rebellion against God or the moral order— however one thinks about that—a kind of wounding to come to gain wisdom. Just as humans can be frustrated by the limits of the good they can do, so too is it possible that greater exercises of evil are limited by God’s love. As such, some thinkers in this tradition have talked about evil as privational, as depriving creation of goodness and being, depriving reality itself of some dimension or thickness or depth of reality; not introducing some positive evil into the world, but simply annihilating some of the good things that are there. Charles E. Binkley, MD, FACS, is a surgeon and the Director of Bioethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. This gets to a second challenge for this view; one that is experienced, one that is encountered as a practical challenge, and then reaching out from that practical challenge to threaten the very theoretical core of this interpretation of evil. Individual freedom would argue that on any basis, rational or otherwise, or without a basis at all, one could act. He was a remarkably far-seeing thinker. Part of the power of evil is the way it insinuates itself intimately into people’s lives. So often people don’t, in fact, experience what they’re doing as evil. Many thinkers have explored this vision, but the most profound and far-thinking one has been Saint Augustine, the Roman Christian bishop of the 4th and 5th centuries. According to the Bible, the law of moral code given is that all of God’s will and anything which goes against it, is evil.