During the recent presidential campain, Minister Rick Warren interviewed senators Obama and McCain (See Youtube, "Part 8/10) 2008 Presidential Forum at Saddleback Church" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOgzY7iYssA&feature=PlayList&p=C2290E0148FC48C2&index=7). To the questions, Does evil exist? and What do we do about it?, McCain answered in so many words that evil does exist and that it should be defeated.
The word "evil" is treacherous because it is unscientific. It roars out, absolving its users, giving them a blank check to "defeat" the enemy at any cost somewhat like a lynch mob. The bible's recipe for dealing with evil is that we should leave judgment to God, and I believe that this applies here, and in this regard, I would add that we should leave judgment to God/Nature ("God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?" Bible, NLT, James 4:12 http://www.newlivingtranslation.com/) which means in effect we should leave judgment in the hands of scientists who study human society and behavior, the laws of nature. The laws of nature are the laws of God; both are one and the same. It's not that one law is "evil" and another "good;" what it comes down to is, Is the law correct, proveable?, Is it the truth? McCain's approach comes down on the side of the lynch mob: evil should be destroyed, eliminated. The scientific approach is to use struggle, experience, and self-sacrifice to discover the laws of nature, the laws of human behavior that satisfy our needs, clarify issues, and enable us to reach consensus on issues.
Regarding the question of whether or not evil exists I would say that evil as such does not exist. There is no boggey man, axis of evil, devil, or whatever. What does exist are the fundamental laws--the law of opposites, the law of change, and the law of negation, all of which presuppose two sides. In the law of opposites (the unity and struggle of opposites) to get what we need we are urged--by this law--to communicate with our opposite and at the same time to struggle with our opposite. All reality presents itself as opposites, even atoms for example. We don't try to defeat the opposite, to eliminate it; we try to communicate with it, to struggle with it and in the process get what we as a community need.
In the law of change (change from a quantity to a quality) there is the new and the old; at some point we embrace the new and reject the old. When do we come to this point? We make our decision based upon experience, trial and error (quantity); as these add up, our awareness of the solution becomes clearer and clearer. Here it's not a matter of defeating anything; it's a matter of learning the lessons which history teaches us.
In the law of negation (negation of the negation or the life thereof) there are also two sides: first we have the individual who by an act of creation goes beyond the level of development established in the community and on the other hand we have the community which although it has supported the individual and made possible their breakthru is now not on the same level as the pioneer. This law says that there should be negation of the negation. The first negation is the negation which the individual makes in breaking away from traditional thinking, discovering a new law, a new art form, or a new time-saving device. The second negation comes when this same pioneer must let go of (negate) what they have created--release their discovery to society/community whose support has enabled them to make the breakthru in the first place. "Life thereof" means living with what comes out of the discovery, accepting the social consequences of making public their discovery. Within the domain of this law come such oppositions as radical vs. conservative, left vs. right. This law tells us not to fight over the issue but to take what has been created and make it available to the majority of the people--let them live with it and decide on its merit--and then to move on to the next step of progress.