A question on evil


#1

Hi!
I’ve been reading on the Church’s view on evil and I have a question that is never even written about in the Catholic sources I found.

Why would a specific person choose evil (or rather say no to goodness)? The reason for this can not be free will. That is only a reason why people are allowed to choose to say no to goodness. Another reason often talked about is being influenced bad evil demon or peiople. You still have to make your own decision. And it can’t be for a psychological reason since here I am asking about choosing evil in your heart and not about having psychological problems, eg mental health problems.
Why would someone choose evil according to Catholic doctrine/tradition? Why would JP2 choose Jesus whereas someone else would choose evil? How would the Catholic tradition view this?


#2

For a start, people don’t choose “evil” as an end in itself. They make a decision about something, which may be good or evil.

Even someone like Adolf Hitler would have made good choices at times, but he also made some very evil choices.

The devil and demons choose evil in itself, but even then there’d be a motive. In their case, it would appear to be jealousy and hatred of the human race. As a consequence they oppose God in all they do.

In the case of humans, there’s always a motive - greed, power, revenge, pride. Hitler, and a lot of other Germans for example, resented the fact they lost the First World War, But even more so they resented the terms which were dictated to them, which meant Germany became an economic basket case.

The evil of Nazism was therefore a reaction to circumstances.

The Bolsheviks who developed Soviet Russian initially resented the unfair distribution of wealth and privelege the Tsarist system. They had a legitimate complaint.

But they often chose evil means when dealing with their complaint.

In the human case, there’s always some circumstance which has a bearing on a person’s actions, good or bad. People don’t make a decision to carry out an evil act in a vacuum.


#3

It comes down to pride. Why in comical sense could the Fonz not say sorry?

lol

But seriously it is to not care about others, to put yourself first.


#4

People do not choose evil, which is a deprivation. They choose a lesser good in contradiction to a greater good, or an apparent good.

The influenced on free will toward sin are: the flesh (concupiscence), the world (other sinners), and fallen angels (the least of the influences on free will toward sin).


#5

There’s PLENTY to read and has been written int he church about evil. You’re not looking hard enough:

newadvent.org/summa/1049.htm

newadvent.org/cathen/05649a.htm

ewtnreligiouscatalogue.com/Home+Page/MULTIMEDIA/EWTN+HOME+VIDEO/More/GOOD+OR+EVIL±+WHO+DECIDES±+DVD.axd


#6

“He that would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile; let him turn away from evil and do right; let him seek peace and pursue it.” (1 Pet 3:10-11)

The follow hyperlink is an excellently lucid homily by the Angelic Doctor on seeking the Lord.

archive.org/stream/ninetyninehomili00thomuoft#page/n41/mode/2up


closed #7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.