Evil, in a general context, is taken as the absence or complete opposite of that which is ascribed as being good. Often, evil is used to denote profound immorality. In certain religious contexts, evil has been described as a supernatural force. Definitions of evil vary, as does the analysis of its root motives and causes. However, elements that are commonly associated with evil involve unbalanced behavior involving expediency, selfishness, ignorance, or neglect.
In cultures with Manichaean and Abrahamic religious influence, evil is usually perceived as the dualistic antagonistic opposite of good, in which good should prevail and evil should be defeated. 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.
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.