Understanding the conceptof evil has gained increasing interest since the past 30 years. According toStanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, Evil has been broadly divided into two categories:Natural Evil and Moral Evil. Natural evil is merely due to bad state of affairswhich do not result from the intentions or negligence of moral agents. Theexamples being something as huge as an Earthquake or as small as a stomachache.
In contrast to that, Moral evils result from ill intentions or negligenceof moral agents. Murder and lying are apt examples of moral evils. ImmanuelKant, in his Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, was thefirst to offer a purely secular theory of evil. Kant equates evil with having awill that is not fully good.
According to Kant, we have a morally good willonly if we choose to perform morally right actions because they are morallyright.Good, on the other handis often related to morality. The definition of good stands clear in comparisonto the evil/bad. Good does not have an existence of its own unless defined whatEvil means. The Merriam Webster defines good as: of a favourable character ortendency.
This then makes good asubjective value to be determined by each individual according to what theyfind favourable. The theory elaborating this concept is the value theory whichdesignates the area of moral philosophy that is concerned with theoreticalquestions about value and goodness of all varieties. The basic questions itanswers is: Variety of goodness; Differentiation between good, better and bad.We are exposed to goodand bad through our culture, religion, societal norms.
Can this thought beextended to entertainment? The answer to this is “Definitely!”. Dated back ineighties started the series of Star Wars. It was seen as a means to make peopleunderstand what good stands for, its attributes and characteristics. Modern dayHarry Potter series have made clear distinctions of the good side and the badside and which one to choose. People adored Harry Potter (the protagonist) andthe story proved that in the end good triumphs. If there are such series, thereare also the one’s like DC’s Batman Trilogy where the anti-villain gained morepopularity even as compared to Batman (the protagonist).
People these days oftenroot for the criminal than the saviour. It’s the age of Anti- Hero. An anti-herois that protagonist who lacks the traditional qualities of the admirableleading man or woman. He or she is shown to lack not only courage, kindness andnobility, but most notably, moral goodness.
It’s a character composed of flawsand is analogous to a demon, disregarding the normal societal processes for hisor her own agenda. It’s become a compelling phenomenon that we are rooting forsomeone who is violating everything we’ve ever known as right. We, as a groupare determined to study this phenomenon in detail.