The Reality of Evil

Recent tragic events in Quebec, such as the finding of a young woman’s dismembered body in Hinchinbrooke, the murder-suicide in Boucherville where a father took the lives of his own children, and the double murder in Marieville, invariably lead us to question why such things occur.

We understandably want to know what drives a person to commit such heinous crimes. This type of questioning usually leads to comments that most of us instinctively agree with, such as, “a person must be crazy to do something like that”, or “he must be sick and out of his right mind.”

I understand that these are mostly comments of initial outrage, but they are also demonstrative of how a person attempts to make sense of evil. I sometimes feel compelled to nod my head in agreement, but upon reflection I cannot help but arrive at a very different conclusion. Rather than explaining why these things occur, such comments and assertions serve only to veil the existence of evil, and in the process they undermine the principle of individual responsibility. For this reason, simply nodding in agreement, without challenge, may do more harm than good.

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