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Sin and EvilMoral Values in Literature$
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Ronald Paulson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300120141

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300120141.001.0001

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Evil, Sin, and Wrongdoing

Evil, Sin, and Wrongdoing

(p.1) Chapter One Evil, Sin, and Wrongdoing
Sin and Evil

Ronald Paulson

Yale University Press

This chapter shows how evil can be approached by an analogy with tragedy. Tragedy is to pathos as evil is to wrongdoing. When a child is run over by a car and killed, bystanders say this is a tragedy, but the child's death, however closely it touches us, is not tragic but sad and pathetic. There must be something in excess in various ways of the sad accident of the child's death. In the same way, the murder of a person is a crime or a wrongdoing. It may never be in any real sense more than a felony or assault, manslaughter or homicide, but as the circumstances are aggravated in one way or another, it becomes, in the eyes of many, evil or even Evil.

Keywords:   evil, tragedy, pathos, wrongdoing, crime

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