"Evil" can only exist in any real sense as an adjective - because in THAT case it is part of an actual observable specific event. This is all very easy to grasp if one views it form the fields of linguistics or semantics. We are dealing here with ideas - very abstract ideas in the case of the term "evil".
I wrote this on another thread and will add it here, because it is pertinent:
The problem is with the use of identification. With A = B, with Hitler IS "evil".
He did certain things that were viewed as "bad" by a great majority of people.
People get all nutty about "evil" because some or many have taken the observation of "bad deeds" or "harmful deeds", and extrapolated some "force of evil" - like Satan, a devil or a demon. People have come up with this notion of "pure evil", where some total blackness exists to deceive, trick and cause Man to harm others. IN this sense MAN has created both the actions and the IDEAS that result in the word "evil". There is no separate "force of evil". There is no Satan, and there is no God, not in the sense that tangible unique forces exist out there nurturing, promoting and causing "good" or "evil".
Anthropomorphism or personification is any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to other animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities.
The concept of "evil" is the result of similar anthropomorphism. It is an abstract concept.
To me, it is quite simple. Man has free will. Man's poor and ego-driven use of free will is at the bottom of anything anybody calls "evil". He can do what he wants, and sometimes some do very nasty and destructive things to others that cause great physical, mental and emotion pain and suffering.
From General Semantics, "absolutes don't exist". I agree. Absolutes exist ONLY as ideas and do not exist "out there". There is no person anywhere who is "100% evil". Just as Leon said, if a person behaves in ways that exhibit MANY harmful acts or SEVERE harmful acts, then people MAKE THE IDENTIFICATION and call this person "evil". There is no "evil". Point to an "evil". Go ahead, and try. There are only specific examples in time and space where some person commits harmful acts that are named "evil". An ACT can be evil - such as sending people to gas chambers, or tossing the baby in the blender. One must look at specifics to fly down from the lofty heights of abstract ideas.
In truth, any determination of ANY quality involves "degree" and "frequency". The guy who slips in his marriage and has one isolated affair is viewed as someone who made a mistake, but the guy who has done so numerous times over the past 11 years, while his wife has been a devoted and loving wife (even if somewhat naive), will be called a "cheater" and "liar". His wife may "see him as evil".
Things that are done that hurt people are called "evil deeds". And the person who has done them has committed evil deeds. But, it is doubtful that there is actually any "evil in him", or that it is correct to call him by the abstract term "evil".
And especially, when a person has done "bad deeds" that are so severe and/or in such large quantity, in THAT context, people will ignore any other "good he has done", and simply call him "evil". But, such abstract labels always omit MANY details that contradict the label. That is the way linguistics and people function. That is the way any of our "thinking minds" function.
There is no "evil". Point to an "evil". There are only specific examples in time and space where some person commits harmful acts that are named "evil".
Hitler may, in many ways, have been an "evil man", because he did many harmful things to many people, but he was not (equal to) "evil". Only because there can be found at least one instance where he wasn't "evil". Yes, he was often evil, or he exhibited very evil behaviors at times. One need to include the adjectives and qualifiers when using any horrendously vague and abstract term like "evil" (or "good").
Reversely, there is no wholly "good person".
Absolutes don't exist. Really. It is not true because Hubbard happened to say that. It is true because if one takes a careful look at the world, and how language is used to define and describe that world, simply, absolutes don't exist. Not outside of your mind anyway.
Some people do bad things. Some people do very bad things. The specific "bad" actions are confused and misidentified with a larger general tendency or force or idea. That is what "evil" is. It is largely an IDEA in this sense.
Evil? Too abstract.
Evil person? Still too abstract.
A person who has done some things that many consider to be evil? Now, we are getting closer to the truth (specifics).
People confuse the realm of idea and reality all of the time (it is built into language). The general and abstract are IDEAS. To get to reality one has to look at, and observe the specifics in time and space. To connect ideas with reality, one needs to cite specifics (examples).
Also, many people seem to derive satisfaction by labeling things. Some mistakenly imagine that they "understand" just because they place a label on something. But, it is all largely subjective - this false sense of "understanding".
"Hitler is evil". That is too general. In truth it CAN'T be true, not from any sensible sense of linguistics, or a connection to all the specifics of reality.
"Hitler did a great many horrible deeds, and it is easy to thus place the label of evil upon him as some all-inclusive defining characteristic". That is a true statement.
"Hitler caused more evil deeds than many others". That is a true statement.
In many ways, he was NOT a nice person!
"evil" can be used as a noun.