Evil, Wickedness, Darkness, Covetousness, Cruelty, Destruction, Collusion, Evil Spirit, Sin, Coercion
Natural Evil
Moral Evil
Evil Spirit

The Dhammapada. 

"The wrong done by oneself
Is born of oneself, is produced in oneself.

It grinds one deficient in wisdom
As a diamond grinds a rock-gem." [v. 161]

"Life is easily lived
By a shameless one,
A disparager, crafty as a crow,
An obtruder, impudent and corrupt."
[v. 244]1b

"The one who speaks lies, goes to hell . . . " [v. 306]1c


"When Humanity and Duty are blocked up humans are fed to animals. And pretty soon humans will be feeding on humans." [VI.9]1a

" . . . There's only one way to know if people are good or evil: look at the choices they make. . . " [XI.14]1b

"Encouraging a sovereign's evil is nothing compared to the high crime of collusion in a sovereign's evil. The high ministers of today are all colluding in their sovereign's evil. That's why I say: The high ministers of today are offenders against our august lords." [XII.7]1c


" . . . [U]nderstanding . . . is undoubtedly a property of something which is more divine: it never loses its power, and it is useful and beneficial, or useless and harmful, depending on its orientation. For example, surely you've noticed how the petty minds of those who are acknowledged to be bad, but clever, are sharp-eyed and perceptive enough to gain insights into matters they direct their attention towards. It's not as if they weren't sharp-sighted, but their minds are forced to serve evil, and consequently the keener their vision is, the greater the evil they accomplish."1a

The Metaphysics.

" . . . [D]estruction is an evil."1a

The Dead Sea Scrolls.

" . . Cursed be [S]atan in his hostile design, and damned in his guilty dominion. Cursed be all the spirits of his [lo]t in their wicked design . . . For they are a lot of darkness and their visitation is for eternal destruction. Amen, amen. . . [Cursed be a]ll those who practi[se] their [wicked designs] . . . [plotting against Go]d'[s Covenant] . . . to exchange the judgemen[ts of truth for folly.]"1

The Old Testament.

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." [Genesis 2:17]1a

"When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness." [Job 30-26]1b

"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there" [Ecclesiastes 3:15-16].1c*

The New Testament.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. . . 
[E]very good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."  [St. Matthew 7:16-18]1a*

"[Jesus] . . . said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man . . . 
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire." [St. Matthew 13:37-43]1b

" . . . [T]o him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." [James 4:17]1c

" . . . [T]he love of money is the root of all evil." [Timothy 6:10]1d

On Free Choice of the Will.

"Evodius. Tell me, please, whether God is not the cause of evil.
Augustine. I shall, if you will explain what kind of evil you mean. For we usually speak of evil in two senses: one when we mean that someone has done evil; the other, when we mean that someone has suffered evil."

" . . . [W]e do not sin by necessity but by free will." 1b

" . . . [A] wicked will is the cause of all evil." 1c

The Essential Augustine.

"'The wicked walk in a circle.'"2a*[Contrast with Ecclesiastes 3:15-16.]

The Koran.

"Those that live in usury shall rise up before God like men whom Satan has demented by his touch; for they claim that trading is no different from usury." [The Cow 2:275]1a

"Had the People of the Book accepted the Faith, it would surely have been better for them. Some are true believers, but most of them are evil-doers." [The 'Imrans 3:111]1b

"God will separate the wicked from the just. He will heap all the wicked one upon another and then cast them into Hell." [The Spoils 8:37]1c

"Surely the hypocrites are evil-doers."  [Repentance 9:67]1d

The Prince.

" . . . [T]he conqueror must arrange to commit all his cruelties at once . . . "1a

" . . . [I]n the actions of men . . . from which there is no appeal, the end justifies the means."1b

The Discourses" . . . [H]ow easily men are corrupted . . . however good they may be and however well taught."2a

Malleus Maleficarum.

" . . . [Devils] are the enemies of the human race: rational in mind . . . ; subtle in wickedness, eager to do hurt; ever fertile in fresh deceptions . . . ; . . . to the elect they are given as a temptation, and always they lie in wait for the destruction of men."1a

" . . . [T]he devil of Avarice and Riches is called Mammon . . . "1b

" . . . [G]ood can be found without evil, but evil cannot be found without good . . . "1c

" . . . [A] man's malice may be either habitual . . . Or it may be actual malice, by which is meant the deliberate choice of evil . . . "1d

"No one does more harm to the Catholic faith than midwives."1e

" . . . [S]in is threefold, involving guilt, punishment, and loss. Good also is correspondingly threefold, involving righteousness, felicity and use."1f

" . . . [W]e must consider archer-wizards, who constitute the graver danger to the Christian religion in that they have obtained protection on the estates of nobles and Princes who receive, patronize, and defend them."1g


"[Every man] reads that covetousness is the root of all evil; but he thinks, and sometimes finds, it is the root of his estate."1a


"Either Jews or Christians must be wicked."1a

The Ethics.

"If men were born free, they would form no conception of good and evil so long as they were free."1a*

Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone.

" . . . [T]he wickedness . . . or, if you like, the corruption . . . of the human heart is the propensity of the will to maxims which neglect the incentives springing from the moral law in favor of others which are not moral. It may also be called the perversity . . . of the human heart . . . "1a*

"The evil is radical, because it corrupts the grounds of all maxims . . . "1b*

The Philosophy of History.

"This is the seal of the absolute and sublime destiny of man - that he knows what is good and what is evil; that his Destiny is his very ability to will either good or evil . . . "1a*

Democracy in America.

"Unlimited power is in itself a bad and dangerous thing. Human beings are not competent to exercise it with discretion. . . When I see that the right and the means of absolute command are conferred on any power whatever . . . I say there is the germ of tyranny . . . In my opinion, the main evil of the present democratic institutions of the United States does not arise . . . from their weaknesses, but from their irresistible strength."1a

Bertrand Russell on God and Religion

"How are we to know what really is God's will? If the forces of evil have a certain share of power, they may deceive us into accepting as Scripture what is really their work. This was the view of the Gnostics, who thought that the Old Testament was the work of an evil spirit."1a

Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell.

" . . . It became obvious that I had lived in a fool's paradise. Human nature, even among those who had thought themselves civilized, had dark depths that I had not suspected."2

The Myth of the State.

"God is a person - and that means a will. No mere logical methods of arguing and reasoning can make us understand this will. . . It is from God himself, from the revelation of his will, not from dialectic, that man has to learn good and evil."1a

The Constitution of Liberty.

"Coercion is evil precisely because it . . . eliminates an individual as a thinking and valuing person and makes him a bare tool in the achievement of the ends of another."4a

The Symbolism of Evil.

"The cause of man's fall is not the human libido, but the structure of a finite freedom. It is in this sense that evil was possible through freedom."1a*

" . . . [T]he serpent represents the psychological projection of desire. He is the image of the 'fruit' - plus the bad faith of the excuse. . . The serpent is also 'outside' in a more radical fashion . . . in the historical experience of man, every individual finds evil already there; nobody begins it absolutely."1b*

The Conflict of Interpretations.

" . . . [E]vil is an invention of freedom. . . [A]n ethical vision of evil is a vision in which freedom is revealed in its depths as power to act and power to be; the freedom that evil supposes is a freedom capable of digression, deviation, subversion, wandering."2a

" . . . I see in Kant the complete philosophical manifestation that the supreme evil is not the gross infraction of a duty but the malice that makes pass for virtue what is virtue's betrayal. The evil of evil is the fraudulent justification of the maxim by apparent conformity with law - it is the semblance of morality."2b

A Theory of Justice.

"The bad man desires arbitrary power . . . What moves the evil man is the love of injustice . . . "1a

The Physics of Immortality.

"God alone bears responsibility for these evils [natural evils], in contrast to moral evils, such as the Holocaust (in which the Nazis murdered six million Jews), for which human beings share moral responsibility with God. Notice that even in the case of moral evil God bears ultimate responsibility, because He sustains evil humans in existence."1a*

" . . . [T]he claim that morality is the central concern of religion is nonsense. Throughout human history, the central concern of religion has been human self-interest. In the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, all morality has been obtained from declarative sentences of the form 'Thou shalt not kill -- because you'll go to Hell if you do!'"1b*

The Essence of Capitalism.

"The explicit treatment of freedom to choose good or evil is missing from current economic thinking. Economic outcomes are not just profit or loss, or surplus or deficit. When whole populations are indentured, the tragic loss of freedom cannot be dismissed as mere illusion. Surely, a positive NPV for a few quasi monopolies must not just mean fear, destruction, suffering, misery, and loss of freedom for the multitude. Such dangerous and blatant disregard in quantitative economics and finance of the human propensity for good and evil must be remedied. How? We must first understand how good and evil are created, transmitted, and propagated in the marketplace. We must understand how evil maxims corrupt freedom. For this, we must focus the full power of quantum theory on the problems of economics and law. . . "1a  

* Italics in the original. 1 Buddha (c.563-c.483 BC). The Dhammapada. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by John Ross Carter and Mahinda Palihawadana. John Ross Carter and Mahinda Palihawadana, 2000. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1987.
a Chapter XII. The Self, v. 161, at 30.
b Chapter XVIII. Stains, v. 244, at 44.
c Chapter XXII. Hell, v. 306, at 55.
1 Mencius. Mencius. Translated with an Introduction by David Hinton. David Hinton, 1998. Washington, DC: COUNTERPOINT, member of the Perseus Books Group.
a Duke Wen of T'eng, Book One, VI.9, at 114.
b Master Kao, Book One, XI.14, at 208.
c Master Kao, Book Two, XII.7, at 224.
1 Plato. Republic. Translated by Robin Waterfield. Robin Waterfield, 1993. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
a The Supremacy of Good (518e-519a), at 245-246.

1 Aristotle. The Metaphysics. Books I-IX. Translation by Hugh Tredennick. G.P. Goold, ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1933, 1989. (The Loeb Classical Library.)
a Book IX, at 467.

1 Geza Vermes. The Dead Sea Scrolls. 4th ed. G. Vermes, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1975, 1987, 1995. Penguin Group. London, England: Penguin Books Ltd., at 185. (The liturgical curse identified as 4Q286-7 was published by J.T. Milik, Journal of Jewish Studies 23, 1972, 126-35.) 1 The Holy Bible. The Old Testament. King James Version. London, England: Collins' Clear-Type Press, 1957.
Genesis 2:17.
b Job 30-26.
c Ecclesiastes 3:15-16.
1 The Holy Bible. The New Testament. King James Version. London, England: Collins' Clear-Type Press, 1957.
St. Matthew 7:16-18.
b St. Matthew 13:37-43.
c James 4:17.
d Timothy 6:10.

1 Saint Augustine (354-430). On Free Choice of the Will. Translated by Anna S. Benjamin and L.H. Hackstaff. With an Introduction by L.H. Hackstaff. Englewood, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1964.
a Book I, at 3.
b Book III, at 90.
c Book III, at 126

2 Saint Augustine. The Essential Augustine. 2nd ed. Selected and with Commentary by Vernon J. Bourke. Vernon J. Bourke, 1964-1974. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company.
a Critique of Cyclicism, at 243. Source of the translation: City of God, XII, 13-15; trans. The Works of Aurelius Augustinus, ed. Marcus Dods, 15 vols, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark Co., 1871-1876.

1 The Koran. Translated, with Notes, by N.J. Dawood. N.J. Dawood, 1956, 1959, 1966, 1968, 1974, 1990, 1993. London, England: Penguin Books Ltd.
a The Cow 2:275.
The 'Imrans 3:111.
c The Spoils 8:37.
d Repentance 9:67.

1 Niccol� Machiavelli (1469-1527). The Prince (1531). Translated by Luigi Ricci. Revised by E.R.P. Vincent. Introduction by Christian Gauss. New York, NY: The New American Library of World Literature, Inc., 1952. (Reprint of a hardcover edition published by Oxford University Press, Inc.)
a Of Those Who Have Attained the Position of Prince by Villainy, at 62..
b In What Way Princes Must Keep Faith, at 94.

2 Niccol� Machiavelli. The Discourses. Edited with an Introduction by Bernard Crick using the translation of Leslie J. Walker, S.J. Revisions by Brian Richardson. Bernard Crick, 1970. London, UK: Penguin Books Ltd. (Penguin Classics.)
a Book One, Discourse 42, at 217.

1 Heinrich Kramer (died 1505) and James Sprenger (c. 1437-1495). Malleus Maleficarum. The Classic Study of Witchcraft. Translated with an Introduction, Bibliography and Notes by the Reverend Montague Summers. First published in 1928 by John Rodker, Marianne Rodker and Loan Rodker, 1928. London, UK: Bracken Books, an imprint of Random House UK Ltd., 1996.
a Part I, Question 3, at 23.
b Part I, Question 4, at 30. (Cf., "Ye cannot serve God and mammon," St. Matthew 6:24.) 
c Part I, Question 4, at 30.
d Part I, Question 5, at 38.
e Part I, Question 11, at 66.
f Part I, Question 14, at 74.
g Part III, Question 34, at 269.
1 Thomas Hobbes. Behemoth or the Long Parliament. Edited by Ferdinand T�nnies, with an Introduction by Stephen Holmes. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1990.
a Dialog 1, at 54.
1 Blaise Pascal (1623-1662). Pens�es (1670). Translated with an Introduction by A.J. Krailsheimer. A.J. Krailsheimer, 1966, 1995. London, UK: Penguin Books Ltd.
a Causes and Effects, 102, at 26.
1 Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677). The Ethics. Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect. Selected Letters . Translated by Samuel Shirley. Edited, with Introductions, by Seymour Feldman. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1992.
a Proposition 68, Part IV, at 192.
1 Immanuel Kant. Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone (1793). Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Theodore M. Greene and Hoyt H. Hudson, with an essay by John R. Silber. La Salle, IL: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1934. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers, 1960.
a Concerning the Propensity to Evil in Human Nature, at 23-27.
b Man is Evil by Nature, at 27-34.
1 G. W. F. Hegel. The Philosophy of History. Translated by J. Sibree. Prefaces by Charles Hegel and J. Sibree. Introduction by C.J. Friedrich. New York, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1956.
a Introduction, at 34.
1 Alexis De Tocqueville (1805-1859). Democracy in America. Edited and Abridged by Richard D. Heffner, 1956, 1984. New York, NY: Penguin Books USA Inc.
a Tyranny of the Majority, at 113-115.

1 Bertrand Russell. Bertrand Russell on God and Religion. Edited by Al Sekel.
a An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish, at 215.

2 Bertrand Russell. Selected Papers of Bertrand Russell. New York, NY: The Modern Library, 1927, 1955, at xi.

1 Ernst Cassirer (1874-1945). The Myth of the State. Yale University Press, 1946. Henry Cassirer and Anne Applebaum, 1974. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
a The Religious and Metaphysical Background of the Medieval Theory of the State, at 82.
4 F.A. Hayek. The Constitution of Liberty. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1960, 1978.
a Liberty and Liberties, at 21.

1 Paul Ricoeur. The Symbolism of Evil. Translated by Emerson Buchanan. Paul Ricoeur, 1967. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1969. Published by arrangement with Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., New York, NY.
a The "Adamic" Myth and the "Eschatological" Vision of History, at 255.
b Ibid., at 257.

2 Paul Ricoeur. The Conflict of Interpretations: Essays in Hermeneutics. Edited by Don Ihde. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1974. Originally published in French under the title Le Conflit des interpr�tations: Essais d'h�rm�neutique. Paris, France: Editions du Seuil, 1969.
a The Hermeneutics of Symbols and Philosophical Reflection: I, at 301. Translated by Denis Savage. The translation first appeared in the International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume II, no. 2 (May, 1962), at 191-218.
b Ibid., at 303.

1 John Rawls (1921-2002). A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1971.
a The Definition of Good Applied to Persons, at 439.
1 Frank J. Tipler. The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead. Frank J. Tipler, 1994. New York, NY: Doubleday, a division of Bentam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group., 1995.
a What Happens After the Resurrection: Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, at 260.
b Conclusion: Theology as a Branch of Physics, at 330.
1 Edward E. Ayoub, with the assistance of Trudé K. Ayoub. The Essence of Capitalism. Toronto, ON: Macroknow Inc., 2000.