Social Evil

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A social evil is any action or consequence that is not in the public interest or which is anti-social and works against the development of society. Social evils cause damage to the society or its citizens in physical, emotional or cultural form. Terrorism would be an example of a social evil as would be prostitution , organized crime, alcoholism, pollution, dowry in any form or corruption.

Following is a list of 10 social evils:
1.A decline of community
A major theme that emerged from the
consultation was a decline of community and
weakened local neighbourhoods. Participants
felt that neighbours no longer know or look out
for one another, which left people feeling
isolated, lonely and fearful – particularly the
elderly and those who live alone. People also
spoke of a decline of community in a more
abstract sense, in terms of a lack of public
spiritedness or social responsibility. Older
people spoke about how different things used
to be:
While it was recognised that new kinds of
communities were emerging (such as virtual or
online communities) people felt these were an
inadequate substitute for the face-to-face
interactions of more traditional local

2.Individualism and selfishness
There was a strong sense that this decline of
community has corresponded to a rise in
individualism. Participants suggested that
people increasingly look after their own
individual or family interests without considering
the needs of society or the community.
This individualism was seen to have damaging
consequences, fuelling selfishness and greed
and leading to isolation and fear as people
struggle to cope and live fulfilling lives alone.

3.Consumerism and greed
A common theme was that values and
aspirations rooted in communities and
relationships have been eclipsed by an
excessive desire for consumer goods. Greed
emerged as a key issue, seemingly a symptom
of society valuing things in terms of money or
material worth. People argued that the concept
of need or of having enough has been forgotten
and that we are losing sight of the things that
are really important in life – things that can’t be
bought and sold, such as friendship and
These issues of consumerism and greed did not
emerge as strongly from the unheard voices,
but there was a shared concern about the
impact of celebrity culture on society and
particularly on young people.
4.A decline of values
One website participant suggested: “in the
world we’ve created, there’s no such thing as
‘right and wrong’ any more”. Participants felt
that we lack a set of shared values which guide
people’s behaviour and interactions. This was
strongly associated with individualism, selfishness and consumerism: people were described as pursuing their own desires
regardless of potential harm to others. The
consultation also identified other virtues that
participants believed informed people’s
behaviour more in the past. A decline of
honesty, tolerance, empathy and compassion,
respect and reciprocity were seen to have
damaging consequences for society.
People felt that this decline of values has
occurred not only at the individual level: the
media, business institutions and the government
were criticised for being dishonest and selfserving.
Participants often associated this issue
with a decline of religion and the loss of
Christianity as a foundation for ethical behaviour
in Britain, although other participants identified
religion itself as a social evil, that causes
confusion and conflict.
The decline of the family
Family breakdown and poor parenting were said
to underlie many other social problems and to
leave young people without sufficient guidance
or support. While ‘bad parents’ were criticised,
it was also argued that parents were often doing
their best in difficult circumstances. People
emphasised that parenting is a skill and that
getting it right can require support. Young
parents were...
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