On Erathoniel's blog is an article On Evil, and in the comments, cscoles mentions that "Evil is not working together to make the world a better place." to which Erathoniel responds that that is exactly what *he* believes. But Erathoniel also states in his article that "Evil is any time man walks away from God, the Creator." Can those two statements exist peacefully side by side?
There are many belief systems in our world. The problem is that many advocates of these belief systems are intolerant of other belief systems, and the most fundamental of them refuse to work with others who believe something different. Some belief systems suggest that anyone not of their belief system should die. Some would have governments run based on the principles of their belief system knowing full well that it would be at the expense of groups of people of other belief systems. I propose that this is neither tolerant nor is it "working together."
So if you are one who agrees that we all need to work together, what is required? It seems to me that tolerance of beliefs that are different from our own is necessary for this to occur. The only other solution I see would be to eradicate anyone that doesn't believe what you believe from the world entirely. Well...mankind has been trying that last idea since the beginning, hasn't it? Doesn't seem to be working too well.
So here's the problem in a nutshell. You have a set of beliefs that you think the world should operate by. Next door to you is someone who has an entirely different set of beliefs that he thinks the world should operate by. How can you resolve this and "work together?" In order to work together, common ground must be found. It's safe to say that you will not find that common ground in the entirety of your respective belief systems. So the first thing that has to go in order for "all to work together" is the belief systems. I do not mean stop believing what you believe - I mean suspend it for the purpose of group progress. I mean be tolerant of other beliefs long enough to make some headway into reducing suffering for all.
How do you do that? Well, in my opinion, it is by placing "objectivity" in a governing place. Belief is subjective and it's personal. If either of you holds to your subjective belief as a governing factor for what actions should be taken and what decisions should be made for progress, there will be conflict, and "working together" will be hampered or impossible. The common ground, therefore, is the set of testable and verifiable things also known as the "objective."
This, contrary to religious spin doctors, is the goal of science. Science wants you to put down your beliefs long enough to make some actual progress. It doesn't want you to stop believing what you believe. Science doesn't want anything to do with the "Belief Business." It just wants us all to find a common objective ground on which we can all agree regardless of belief so that we can "work together to make the world a better place." I do NOT mean that science asks you to believe a particular set of facts that it discovers. It wants you to agree to a method for TESTING facts that isn't subjectively based, and if a proposed "fact" isn't testable, then it belongs in the subjective realm - the belief realm - and should not be considered for any actions or decisions that affect everybody.
So if you believe that it is "evil" to not work together to make the world a better place, then I ask you, what experiment have you done today? What evidence, testable and verifiable, on ANY subject have you produced? What goal do you have in this regard to lessen the suffering of all?
Or do you spend all your time listing things that should not be tolerated and pointing at your doctrine for proof of it? If you do, then by the above definition, you're "evil."