Why Are We Inclined to Do Evil?: On the Anthropological Roots of Evil

In: Wrestling with God and with Evil

One question regarding the evil people do is: What is it about the constitution of human beings that they do what is wrong? A great deal of evil does, after all, have its source in human beings. This contribution deals with this anthropological question. The possibility of doing wrong and evil can be understood from the structure of the openness of human consciousness for other beings, and the need to overcome a private and egocentric perspective. The “I” has to establish realistic and genuine relationships with other people and ultimately with all people within a broader horizon. This contribution discusses these relationships between the I and the Other(s) and the need for such a horizon. It also provides some examples of worldview positions on this broader horizon and the way in which human beings are embedded in a larger whole. The article states that human finitude, the complexity of existence, and scarcity of resources make mistakes and moral failure inevitable.

Wrestling with God and with Evil

Philosophical Reflections

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