Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Human PredicamentsAnd What to Do about Them$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Kekes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226359458

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226359595.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see http://www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 21 April 2018

The Prevalence of Evil

The Prevalence of Evil

(p.193) 11 The Prevalence of Evil
Human Predicaments

John Kekes

University of Chicago Press

The prevalence of evil is an unavoidable problem in our evaluative framework because two of its basic assumptions conflict. One is that human beings are basically disposed toward reason and the good. The other is that living as we think we should depends on curtailing evil. Understanding the Aztecs who were committed to reason and the good and yet committed largescale evil for centuries casts doubt on our assumptions. The Aztecs and numerous others in our own evaluative framework were led to commit largescale evil, while believing that doing so is required by reason and the good, by ideological reasons. Ideologies are dangerous because they are committed to some ideal theory of reason and the good that supposedly justifies whatever furthers the ideological goal. The optimism that pervades our evaluative framework prevents us from understanding that the causes of evil are inherent in human nature.

Keywords:   problem, conflicts, evil, definition, distinctions, Aztecs case, reasons, evaluative framework, ideology, alternative possibilities

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.