Is evil an illusion?
Is evil an illusion or a reality that we can control. Is it something that really exists in the world or are those just destinies and choices people create?
I don't think that evil can be summed up as mere illusion. If evil were an illusion, that would imply that someone raping or murdering another person in cold blood could be justified. There are countless unspeakable acts that have occurred in this world that are undeniably evil.
I would consider 'good' and 'evil' as standards, and I think most of us have similar standards in this respect. Most of us consider murder an evil act, and giving to charity a good one, for example. I know you only ask about 'evil', but I feel it relevant to talk about 'good' and 'evil', simply because one cannot exist without the other. If that is to say that good and evil do exist, then they can't possibly be illusions.
Evil in a pure form exists only as a concept but in reality for those who believe in this concept (good versus evil in a religious sense...ie the Evil One against Jesus Christ). Other religious people may also believe in this concept.
This doesn't mean its an objective fact per se. An atheist for example would deny the existence of pure evil (as in the guise of an actual demonic being) but they might use the word as an everyday term denoting a monstrous act.
A Christian might believe in the physical reality of a demonic being and seek the help of a priest or similar if they perceive evil close by?
Since the introduction of psychology in the western world and subsequent studies into the workings of the human psyche it could be said that evil is nothing more than a manifestation of a disturbed mind, which is capable of committing atrocious acts. For the truly disturbed I'm not sure they're consciously choosing to act against the 'good', although history shows that many perhaps do decide to perpetrate acts of horror out of twisted belief and ideologies.
I prefer to think of evil as a psychological disturbance of some kind and don't go for the religious associations.
Evil is strictly a human concept tied to our survival. In order to weather the dangers of the world, early humans had to band together and form systems of trust amongst themselves. Killing a member of the group hurt everyone, therefore the concept of murder became 'evil'. Similarly, rival groups that threatened to take resources also became 'evil'. Today our concepts of morality are a bit more convoluted, but they all stem from that primal survival instinct.
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