4.1.1 Evil as a power opposed to God

Evil is a power that stems from the desire for independence from God and the desire to be "like God". This power completely changes those who fall prey to it: angels become demons, human beings become sinners.

Throughout the history of man, the power of evil has manifested itself again and again. For example, after Adam and Eve's fall into sin we see evil manifested in the Old Testament in Cain's murder of his brother, in the godlessness of Noah's time, and in the oppression of the people of Israel by the Egyptians.

Evil is a destructive power that opposes the creation of God. It takes on many forms: it is delusion and subversion, it is untruth, envy, and avarice. It seeks to destroy, and it brings death.

Since the fall into sin, it has not been possible for any human being–with the exception of the incarnate Son of God–to lead a sinless life. This is due to the human predisposition to sin (concupiscence). Nevertheless, no one is involuntarily subject to evil. Therefore, no individual human being is exempt from personal responsibility for his sins.

See also