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One of the five paintings of Extermination of Evil portrays Sendan Kendatsuba, one of the eight guardians of Buddhist law, banishing evil.

Evil, in a general context, is the absence or opposite of that which is ascribed as being good. Often, evil is used to denote profound immorality.<ref name="Oxford Dictionary Definition">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In certain religious contexts, evil has been described as a supernatural force.<ref name="Oxford Dictionary Definition"/> Definitions of evil vary, as does the analysis of its motives.<ref>Ervin Staub. Overcoming evil: genocide, violent conflict, and terrorism. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press, Pp. 32.</ref> However, elements that are commonly associated with evil involve unbalanced behavior involving expediency, selfishness, ignorance, or neglect.<ref>Caitlin Matthews, John Matthews. Walkers Between the Worlds: The Western Mysteries from Shaman to Magus. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, Jan 14, 2004. P. 173.</ref>

In cultures with an Abrahamic religious influence, evil is usually perceived as the dualistic antagonistic opposite of good, in which good should prevail and evil should be defeated.<ref name="Paul O. Ingram 1986. P. 148-149">Paul O. Ingram, Frederick John Streng. Buddhist-Christian Dialogue: Mutual Renewal and Transformation. University of Hawaii Press, 1986. P. 148-149.</ref> In cultures with Buddhist spiritual influence, both good and evil are perceived as part of an antagonistic duality that itself must be overcome through achieving Śūnyatā meaning emptiness in the sense of recognition of good and evil being two opposing principles but not a reality, emptying the duality of them, and achieving a oneness.<ref name="Paul O. Ingram 1986. P. 148-149"/>

The philosophical question of whether morality is absolute, relative, or illusory leads to questions about the nature of evil, with views falling into one of four opposed camps: moral absolutism, amoralism, moral relativism, and moral universalism.

While the term is applied to events and conditions without agency, the forms of evil addressed in this article presume an evildoer or doers.


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