Could you do evil if you had no knowledge of it?

Could you do evil if you had no knowledge of it? I think not. If I had no vocabulary in my mind for murder or steal or lie, etc. I don't think I could do them.
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Epic Gamer
Vocabulary has nothing to do with it. Without knowledge, one cannot have intent. If you don't know what an apple is, and have never seen an apple, you cannot want an apple. It is the same with the idea of evil. If you don't know it is wrong to take what is not yours (to steal), it would seem quite acceptable to take something that did not belong to you.

It depends on the norms and beliefs that society has (or has not) imprinted into you. Society teaches us what is socially acceptable and what is not. If you don't have these teachings you cannot know what is right or wrong to that society.


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
Do you mean by "have no knowledge of it" that a person would have no concept of what evil is? Like someone who has no concept of right and wrong?


Lion Rampant
Malice requires no precedent. A person raised in total isolation is perfectly capable of committing acts generally regarded as "evil," although I personally find that specific term to be subjective and euphemisitic.


Endangered Species
Surely "evil" is determined by judgement.

If you commit an act, it is only evil once someone says that act to be evil, even if it is a self judgement.
I consider "evil" to be things like murder, theft, lying, cheating, stealing, disobeying authority (like parents, the law), etc.

By knowledge, I mean you know what it is. Maybe I shouldn't have put it in terms of vocabulary. But... what I mean is... if you don't have the thought of murder, theft, etc. then can you do it?

So... if you were born... and you lived, for example, only with your family... say a brother, a sister and a mom and dad. And from birth, you never saw disobedience, or even heard of it.... you never saw a lie or heard of it... you never saw theft or heard of it, etc. This means you probably never watched television or a movie, never listened to the radio for too long, never read a book with this stuff in it.... could you do these things?

I'm not so sure anymore... but I still want to see what people think. If you were never ever exposed to evil, but you still did it, what does that mean about human nature?

And by evil... its evil to do it even if you don't know its wrong.. meaning ignorance is no excuse.


Epic Gamer
The family scenario wouldn't work. They'd still be governed by societal norms. Plus, family norms would influence the individual as well. To be truly ignorant of evil (in any form), you'd have to go the whole nine yards and use the 'baby on a desert island' scenario.
It's easy to pick up a gun, aim and pull the trigger, you don't need 'knowledge' for it.
Obviously you do. That's stupid - if you didn't know what a gun was, or what a gun did, you wouldn't know how to hold it, which way to aim it - you wouldn't even know to aim it in the first place because you wouldn't even know it was a weapon.
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No Custom Title Exists
Well, you don't need to have knowledge about guns to actually kill someone, of course you know what a gun is and what it does. That's what I meant.