Surfer Rob addresses the evil issue

Do you have a guiding principle?

No Evils-01061
I know this sounds crazy, but I want this because of the palm trees. Surf crazy! (Photo credit: subsetsum)

Let’s talk about evil: what’s really evil anyway? I mean, any person or any thing can be looked at and judged by the beholder to be evil, or bad, or in some other way unsatisfactory. When we say evil then, we naturally assume that something falls under the extremity at or near the very end of the bad half on the good-bad spectrum; people can be evil, things can be evil, and there are ineffable evils that befall us and make worse our struggles against the entropic forces of life.

Regarding evil, Webster’s Dictionary says “blah blah blah”, and thus I say good riddance to old Simple Sam; I’ve got this, thank you very much. I’ve never been a Wiccan, and have never taken any part in practical magic as such (although I have attempted to perform an exorcism before;) in fact, I’d like to think that if magic were so easy I’d already be balls-deep in its secrets. But much like judging anything to be “this” or “that”, I believe that magic depends heavily upon the user’s state of mind and their understanding of the subject matter at hand, as well as a deep and practical understanding of nature – both human nature and the workings of the physical world.

A selection of jewellery used in the rituals o...
Ron Popeil sells this stuff as a set now, so you don’t have to hunt down all the separate pieces. Be a Ronco spellcaster! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those of the Wiccan faith ascribe to this saying that says you can do whatever if it doesn’t hurt anyone. Whatever. So you can’t kill or assault anyone, you can’t set a trap to cut their legs off, and you’re also prohibited from theft, adultery, slander, abandonment or blatantly ignorant acts… the whole gamut – even casual drug use, to be technical. I think that when it comes down to brass tacks, the Wiccans have the right idea: rather than being strapped down by civil law, they opt to say, “let’s be civil and do no harm.”

That philosophy, when considered, should prompt us to examine the way we live. I, for one, am an evil person at times. I often catch myself being selfish, harsh, judgmental – even violently reactive. Most of the time I stop this from manifesting in the world beyond my own skin, but from time to time it catches me unawares. We’re all like that to some extent, and so when we have such a principle to guide us as “do no harm” or “love your neighbor” – not just words, but a guiding principle that we actively apply to our daily lives – we become better people over time, because we are what we consistently do.

So what I consider evil is that some people do not subscribe to a similar principle, and so they suffer even as they cause others’ suffering. Worst of all is when they feel powerless to stop it, because they’re giving up on themselves and thus are stranded in chaos and misfortune by the last person who should ever do so.

What do you think? Do you have a guiding principle, and if so, where did you learn it? Do you tend to think of “evil” people as villains, or victims of their unexamined behaviors? Let us know in the comments.

This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.


  1. I think ( like I wrote about today) that evil is deliberate – but wickedness exists in all of us. We are human – we are allowed to make improper, even sometimes immoral decisions … it’s the continual making of those decisions that, perhaps, defines who is evil and who is merely a dumb shit (I for one have been a dumb shit many a time 🙂 At least that’s my take –

    • I agree, you have to take care of yourself as well, that’s why I took care to point out the moratorium on casual drug use, because some may point that out as a benefit, but I say it’s preferable to treat your mind and body like treasures!

  2. I think evil is a declaration that’s too casually tossed about (I’m guilty of it, too!). Taking a thread off your main topic of the Wiccan Rede, I think real evil exists, because pure innocence exists and there must always be a balance – for how can we recognize one without the other? Therefore, true evil is simply the absence of everything innocence is. It is cold, remorseless, meticulous and brilliant; whereas innocence is warm, compassionate, carefree and trusting (which can be viewed as gullible or naive). My guiding principle – The balance of all things.

    • I can agree with that, except rather than ascribing brilliance to true evil, I would call it darkly intelligent. I was going to say calculating, but I believe that’s already implied in meticulous. But I get what you’re saying and I do believe balance is a good guiding principle to go on – I would do well to seek more balance in my own life. 🙂

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