The lesser form of evil, a defense thereof

Except perhaps for the Jain Munis who wear mouth-veils so that no insect dies inadvertently by entering their mouths, every man who eats (including vegetarians), swats a fly, or defends himself against aggression, is evil, to some extent, however small that extent may be. It is ridiculous to say that any man is absolutely free of the property of evil.
Though I cannot claim to be good (by which I mean “100% good”*), I do claim to be honest.

  • I am not the first to dismiss the ridiculous idea that one can be good by following ten or twenty commandments (Some say the more the commandments, the better the man, that is a very dangerous line of “thinking”).
    At least I can claim to be honest!
    Therefore, I might freely dismiss the work of the 99.99% of authors and philosophers who claim to be good or pretend to be good (or worse still, issue lectures against “evil”), and base their entire thesis upon this “foundation”, as they are so self-evidently being dishonest or thoughtless (in how they fail to calibrate their scales regarding their own goodness). My foundation is that of honesty and evil, but it is a limited, innocent, intellectual evil (which is quite inoffensive, for example poking fun at, for instance, the obese, as an insult comedian).

In my world, Gandhi’s dangerous quote “The World has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed” will be, for instance, replaced by The World has enough for everyone’s qualitative greed, but not enough for everyone’s quantitative greed.
We must identify and defend the lesser forms of “evil”, since they are part of human nature, and stifling them leads to antisocial backlash.

Having defined myself as separate from the hypocritical “goody-goody” types, I must also define myself as separate from the traditional defenders of evil. In other words, it is only a limited and necessary type of evil that I espouse; I am not a “libertine” or sadist. I do not back evil for its own sake (something that is, alas, shockingly common in humanity), or evil due to mental problems as in Psychopathic disorder. My mission is simple: to gain meaning, order, balance, and goodness in a world defined by this constraint of a limited evil.

If “lesser evil” is good, then it isn’t evil, is it.

I notice that you do not define your key word “evil” and thus you may mean anything under the Sun by it, including the Sun itself.

Would you be so kind as to explain for us why a vegetarian is “evil.”
Are you speaking from the point-of-view of the vegetable? If so, how do you know that it has a point of view?

Also, by your definition, why is swatting a fly in your residence “evil”? I wonder if your definition of the word is acceptable and reasonable to a consensus of thinking people.

You make a better critic than preacher.

It sounds like your OP is partly a reaction against sanctimoniousness and a call for humility, no?


I mean, look at some of these army chaps, they believe themselves good and moral. The bloody nationalists. Anyway, this problem arises due to a lack of understanding of evil. We have neglected this philosophically central subject is what I mean. I wish to know if there’s a way we can formulate a thesis that takes into account the limited form of evil (though this is easily one of the toughest topics in philosophy, as human nature is the most difficult subject), and shows a better way forward for the sake of good. I believe there’s nothing more disastrous and tragic (and of course, as you put it, sanctimonious and grandiose) than our black and white approaches to good and evil, which on the one hand justifies war and death penalties as necessary for the defense of good, and on the other hand casts scorn upon minor “evils” such as you know what, i need not list them out.

True… but it is still persecuted by various breeds of moralists. It must be defended!

Again the point of contention is whether it’s a fly in your residence or you in the fly’s residence. Swatting it out is a very slight form of evil isn’t it? It isn’t absolutely non-evil. But it’s acceptable. These few lesser forms of evil (lust, qualitative greed, fly-swatting, fool-slapping etc.) are what I’m out to defend, don’t get me wrong. Help me make an exhaustive list if you can! Especially bad i think are the political correctors who call insult comedians evil. We must have a free society, a society free to practice the lesser forms of evil and not get shoo-shooed by the so-called moralists, who’re mentally paralyzed in their moralysis.

When I say a world at comfort with human evil (instead of just ignoring it or using absurd preemptive or punitive “solutions”) – note that my philosophy is complete, and i just don’t say “Go Die” to the psychopaths et al.

some may be militant antagonists who desire violence only for its own sake; even in such cases we can channelize their “inner fire” into “Ultra-violence”.

Extremists who don’t like the idea of cooling off just by playing Men of War: Assault Squad 2 – will be given the opportunity to wage war in certain limited zones in the DMZ, the NWFP, parts of Sudan etc.; we propose a solution where the warlords from both the factions meet up in all these warzones, which will serve as zones of negotiation, and maintenance of peace, for firing away in such areas will not be an activity without its risks. It will also save the rest of the world from war. In these limited warzones, they may seek a chance to prove their mettle – in real, and not fictional contests – for fame – in voluntary “games” for the jumpiest, richest, or the most “psychopathic” of the rich.

Real bringers of death should do it only to their own likes – if they insist. Those overly inclined to fight must refrain from thoughts of random murder and torture of women and children; as the Romans said of the colosseums – the champions of humanity will fight each other in a large-enough area demarcated to find out the true braves of mankind, for who else will guard mankind against any hostile aliens that may at any time arrive? Of course a few such games will be fake and harmless, but not all may be happy with that. Any war mongers, gun runners, or tough soldiers who choose “violent enjoyment” – such may take to the field, buying guns to prove their manliness, buying command of actual tanks and soldiers, be given fake wars to “play” in (these will have, of course, decisive outcomes, as in all competitive games).