The following essay presents an argument to persuade the reader that mass murder is an absolute evil. Mass refers to the form in which the full force of the murder is felt (Schwartz 139). In this instance mass murder reflects the killing of the masses such as is found in genocide. The definition of evil can be used to resolve the confusion and debate that continue to surround the topic of mass murder and whether it is evil or not.
Evil is defined as that which is regarded as "morally bad, intrinsically corrupt, wantonly destructive, inhumane, or wicked" (Wikipedia 1). Evil describes acts, thoughts, and ideas that bring about death. Evil is also described as acts that are the opposite of acts that are governed by an innate benevolence or good nature (Wikipedia 2). Ordinary people can become evil and or commit evil acts. Groups of people can become selfish and uncaring causing the individuals to collectively perpetrate evil (Dilley 271). Genocide can be a result of homicidal tendencies or it can be due to cultural reasons (Card 63). While in some cases it is believed that mass murder is committed in an attempt to stamp out evil, the act itself remains evil.
Some argue that to confront evil there are times when evil must be done, such as in the case of war. For example, some state that it is not murder to bomb an innocent victim during an invasion, since this mass killing is not intentional and it is necessary to reach the goal of attacking evil. Within this argument, actions of Hitler have been justified. Hitler was a mass murderer who was suposedly devoted to the German people. Hilter killed Jews to preserve the goodness of Germany which was believed to be threatened by the Jew; in this instance it can be argued that Hitler was not evil himself and did not commit evil acts, but sought to stamp out evil or the destruction of the German.
Despite the attempt to glorify mass