The nature of evil has changed in the past several hundred years and I haven’t seen any acknowledgement of this change.
In the traditional tribal world that prevailed before modernity, 'evil' was all that counteracted the forces that held the tribe together. Very often it was the antagonistic behavior of ‘other’ tribes.
You can come to the same conclusion by thinking about evil in the context of what is good for holding the tribe together and respecting the authority and hierarchy of the tribe. ‘A good boy follows the rules’. Outsiders behavior is invariably seen as part of evil behavior. ‘They eat dogs and burn widows’.
America, since its inception and modern commerce, have introduced a new model. The issue now has become the survival and thriving of the individual and the nuclear family. Individuals are the subject of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. Not the tribal French:’liberty, equality, fraternity’. Those are tribal values in a nationalistic setting.
Try to think of ‘evil’ behavior. I think of mistreating animals, torturing other people especially children and women. Think of innocent people convicted of a crime, an abusive parent giving debilitating drugs to a young child. Killing a public figure, destroying a public work of art. A person of one religion killing or harming a person because they are of another religion. Maybe worst of all, law enforcement maliciously harming an innocent individual.
Evil now is any and all situations where a powerful person or group uses that power against a weaker person or persons. That is because the individual has become the highest value unit in the American world. And increasingly in the modern commercial world. We hire people for their unique skills and talents, not their family connection or hereditary position. We value the individual.
Evil has dramatically changed its focus over the past two centuries, largely due to the nature of America and individualism and the values of modern commerce. Concern for the individual creates the moral structure of evil as opposed to concern for the tribe.
In line with this unique American meaning of evil, the Bill of rights, is really a force against evil in favor of protecting the individual. That is particularly true of the right to self defense.
The Bill of Rights is uniquely American and the source and product of our conception of ‘evil’.