There is a difference between “evil” and “wrong.” Evil is purposefully malicious, hateful and contrary to the greater good. Wrong is simply incorrect. I think I need to explain that people tend to put too much meaning in the word “wrong.” In the truest sense, “wrong” should only be applied to incorrect statements such as 2 + 2 = 5.
There is also a difference between “evil” and “creepy” or “strange.” For example, I don’t believe that horror movies are usually evil. Usually the intent of horror movies is to give people a good thrill. Although the content can certainly be questionable, I don’t think it can necessarily be classified as “evil.”
One problem I have when people jump to the conclusion that something is “evil” is that it can probably be assumed that whatever it is, it is probably only “evil” to that person or a certain group of people. In this case, they’re simply using the wrong word. Subjective evil is not true evil. Therefore, the only true evil is sin and the devil. This evil effects everyone and no one can truthfully deny this whether they believe it or not.
The reason I bring this up is because there is and has been so much violence in the world between people of different religions. I think this is partly because people of different religions can sometimes believe that “nonbelievers” are not only wrong, but they are “evil.” Being Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ is the one true God, the Lord and Savior of the world, and I think that people who don’t believe this are wrong. In this case, wrong ends at “incorrect.” I also realize that people of other faiths would probably say that I am incorrect. The fact of the matter is that incorrect can always be corrected.
A question that came up in one of my classes at school was, “Is it better to do good for the wrong reasons, or to do nothing in the right mind?” This came up because we were talking about people of different faiths or of no faith who go out and do great things to help the poor or promote world peace, or any other civic good, and comparing them to people who sit in church and claim to be Christian but who are too self-centered to trouble themselves with such issues. I tend to think that it’s better to do good for the wrong reasons. God loves His children, and I believe that it must make Him happy to see them caring for each other whether they acknowledge Him or not. It’s a step in the right direction at any rate.
I’d be interested to know what people think about this. Input would be awesome!