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In today's society, there is a tendency to associate the concepts of what is bad and what is evil.

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Introduction

In today's society, there is a tendency to associate the concepts of what is bad and what is evil. Only in cases of acute malevolence are we inclined to delineate evil as the more severe condemnation. The only certainty in popular morality is an opposition between the forces of good and evil. In The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, Kant discusses his definitions of good and morality. He touches on what he considers to be bad, and he makes a slight discrepancy between bad and evil. In his article, A Kantian Theory of Evil, Ernesto Garcia elaborates on Kant's work by asserting the theory that evil is distinctly different from ordinary immoral acts. Garcia begins his article by discussing our general inclination to regard evil acts as things that more deeply offend than simple misconduct, such as rape, murder, or brutal torture. However, he argues that this view "simply reduces the difference between evil and immoral acts to a mere quantitative analysis". ...read more.

Middle

However, in Fundamentals, Kant introduces a new idea into his theory - one in which he identifies two distinct things that must happen with moral action: humanity is the mandatory end that must not be defied, and our own personal happiness must coincide with virtue. This description of morality differs greatly from Kant's description of immorality. Here he makes the distinction between acts that are "heteronymous" and those that are immoral. He says that there are only two guidelines for our actions as humans: self-love and the universal principle of morality, which he characterizes as "the maxim of your will [always holding] at the same time as a principle in the giving of universal law". He clarifies immoral acts as not only something a person does out of context with universal law, but also something he or she creates and defends as universal for personal means to an end. In this way, he suggests that self-love provides a strength superior to moral law itself. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this point, the value of humanity is not ignored. The challenger just chooses to deny that the members of the alternative race are, in fact, human. However, in this case, we cannot claim that we are just following orders, so in essence this type of evil involves a good amount of self-deception as well. This theory of the definition of evil holds true historically as well as modernly. Whether a matter of self-love or the disregard for God's will, it deprives us of our being, our selves. And not only that, but it makes human life a means for our own agenda. By doing this, we have created an entirely new level of immorality, something much deeper and much more inhuman. Innately, we all have the desire to be happy and to do well. However, sometimes our love of self takes over and convinces us that using others to get what we want or what we need is acceptable. We are then morally corrupted, and that natural incentive has begun to dehumanize us. Therein lies the distinction between immorality, and pure evil. ...read more.

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