a reply to: Discotech
These are good questions. I believe in order to answer them you need to have a moral guide. And as most people reject any moral guide beyond
their-own-selves, the world in general can be a very evil place, but the people in it judge themselves as good and righteous.
Consulting a Bible dictionary for the definition I got this:
EVIL That which results in pain, sorrow, or distress. In order to convey the correct thought in English, the very comprehensive Hebrew word raʽ
is variously translated as “bad,” “gloomy,” “ugly,” “evil,” “calamitous,” “malignant,” “ungenerous,” and “envious,”
depending upon the context. (Ge 2:9; 40:7; 41:3; Ex 33:4; De 6:22; 28:35; Pr 23:6; 28:22) The Greek word ka·kosʹ may be defined as that which is (1)
morally evil and (2) destructive; among the ways it has been translated are: “bad,” “evil,” “hurtful,” “injurious,” “wrong.” (Ro
7:19; 12:17; Col 3:5; Tit 1:12; Heb 5:14) The Hebrew verb qa·lalʹ means “call down evil upon.”—See MALEDICTION. As first used in the
Scriptures, the word raʽ is the very antithesis of good. Adam was commanded not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad (raʽ) and was
also warned of the consequences for disobedience. Hence, it is evident that God sets the standard as to what is good and what is bad; it is not within
man’s prerogative to do so apart from God. Although Adam transgressed God’s express law, this transgression is not chargeable to Jehovah, “for
with evil things [form of ka·kosʹ] God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone. But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his
own desire.”—Jas 1:13, 14; Ge 2:16, 17; 3:17-19.
- Insight Vol 1. p. 772.
So if we are to go by God's standards anyone involving themselves in anything going against God's will is considered evil in his eyes, and thus it
would be appropriate to call them evil. They may not even know they are evil. Like you said, they may be brain-washed by religions, or by someone else
to think that their bad conduct is good.
Scripture tells us that there is a generation that thinks it is pure, but that has not been washed from its own excrement. And that many evildoers
will denounce and call good bad, and call bad good. Notice, they delude themselves, and imagine that their wrong-doing is good.
Many people in religion do what is wrong, but they do not know it. But that does not mean they are not considered evil in God's eyes. God has a
standard of conduct of right and wrong. And if one does not keep it they are evil in his eyes.
False religion is evil, and everyone who are a part of it are evil in God's eyes. They worship false gods who are really demons, they practice unholy
"holidays" and have unholy dogmas, such as the immorality of the soul, and hell-fire dogmas; all which dishonor God and are evil. And those who
believe in such unholy doctrines and adhere to such false teachings are evildoers in God's eyes.
Scripture calls the person who denies that God exists evil:
(Psalm 10:4) . . .In his haughtiness, the wicked man makes no investigation; All his thoughts are: “There is no God.”
And those who disobey God by their conduct are evildoers. Such conduct as the following:
(1 Corinthians 6:9, 10) . . .Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually
immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, 10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers,
and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom.
It also shows us that evil people will conduct themselves according to the desires of the sinful flesh:
(Galatians 5:19-21) . . .Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, 20 idolatry,
spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I
am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.
And it also shows you the dominant mental bent, or attitude of evil people and these things are:
(2 Timothy 3:2-5) . . .For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful,
disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness,
4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having an appearance of godliness but proving
false to its power; and from these turn away. . .
This world we live in is overflowing with badness and evil of all sorts.
It is so confusing to ask who an evil person really is, because basically everyone on earth today is evil to a certain extent in God's eyes. Yes there
are varying degrees of evil. For example, stealing is evil. But a person stealing bread to eat is not as evil as a person murdering a family because
they broke into their house to rob it. While the former person can be understood, his conduct is still evil. The latter is more condemned.
But really everyone is a sinner and thus we are all evil before God. The only way to come into a clean and righteous standing with him, is, if we
practice sin, stop...do what is good and right. Be honest. Uphold justice. And exercise faith in Jesus' shed blood. Only then can one really be
considered righteous before God.