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Title: Understanding Evil Actions
Keywords: theory of evil actions, qualitative difference of evil, flagrant disrespect for human worth
Issue Date: 15-Nov-2011
Citation: FONG WAI MUNG (2011-11-15). Understanding Evil Actions. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The language of evil has become popular, especially in the era after the Holocaust. The sense of evil relevant here is the strong sense ? that which goes beyond the pale of ordinary wrongness and expresses our strongest moral condemnation. But what exactly makes an action evil? This thesis examines three approaches adopted by most theorists of evil to answer that question. The victim approach considers the harm suffered by the victims; the perpetrator approach the perpetrator?s psychology; and the combination approach factors pertaining to the victim and perpetrator. Despite using different approaches, most theories of evil seek to make sense of evil as a special moral category that is distinct from ordinary wrongness. This thesis aims to enrich our understanding of evil actions by critically assessing six contemporary theories of evil actions and offering a better alternate theory that will avoid their shortcomings. On the proposed theory, evil actions are immoral actions that essentially reflect a flagrant disrespect or disregard for the human worth and life of another person.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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