What is Evil? I think the best definition is that evil is the conscious generation of harm and hurt.

Evil arises from the acts of persons, from us. Some intentionally hurt the vulnerable and weak. Some knowingly distribute nicotine. And our president has the resources to conclude that moving Israel's capital to Jerusalem will end in death and maiming. The president chose to meddle in a delicate process and foment ultimate evil.


Triadic Philosophy is realistic. We know that ethics moves beyond binary yes or no solutions. We recognize that evil is a shared responsibility.

Culpability exists even if all we do is pay the taxes whose results are evil. Culpability and fallibility are two words that should be in every vocabulary.

But president trump making trouble in Israel, when the result is predictable chaos, injury, and death, is hard to pardon.

Aggressive evil

Trump's evil, in this case, was aggressive. There was no immediate provocation. Moving Israel's center of government to Jerusalem was the fulfillment of a considered promise he had made when running for president.

It was one of those promises that fire up binary anger -- pleasing one side and inflaming the other.

To resolve a conflict, there is no alternative to finding areas of agreement and developing a trade process.

Overtures like Trump's fall into the category of provocation.

Charlie Hebdo

The most volatile tinderbox in the world is exactly where Trump's proven proclivities are.

Even his attacks on Obama are tinged with anti-Islamic bias. I have written more than once about Trump's relation to Steve Bannon and Pamela Geller. All three of these right-wing worthies are tooth and jowl up for conflict, meaning war, with "radical Islam".

Fallibility is universal

No one says that Islam is innocent. No one says we are.

Or that the West is.

o, we are in a binary bind. And anyone who chooses to throw a lit match into the tinder can earn a few minutes of fame and cause evil in the form of pain and suffering and even death. If we are about reducing evil we are continually seeking to negotiate with delicacy and mutual respect.

We do not crow as the president does and then claim he is advancing a peace process.


If evil is harm, good is the conscious promotion of wellbeing, the application of help to strained situations, the promotion of education and enablement. It is backing up intent with action. All Trump has done is throw a lit torch into an already flaming bonfire -- spreading the heat and exacerbating danger.

It is pathetic as evil always is.