A dog bit me for no reason. I was riding my bike when suddenly a street dog came from the side and bit me.Such an incident never had happened in my life before. I wondered why but I could not find any answer. The dog was not mad either as I found out later. I suspect something evil happened with me.

My question is : In general , when do we say something evil has happened?

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    I would never say it so cannot help much here. .
    – user20253
    Commented May 5, 2018 at 11:52
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    Related to the post why-is-a-lion-not-evil : if the dog has a consciousness and "decide" to bite you, then that is an "bad act". Commented May 5, 2018 at 12:44
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    @MauroALLEGRANZA Dog indeed has a consciousness. Lion has a consciousness. That is my basic understanding of animals. I think it was my karma which brought the evil. Commented May 5, 2018 at 12:55
  • The dog probably thought you were extra-good and that you could spare a bite of good karma without diminishing your good store too much. It is also possible that the dog saw something behind you he wished to bite, but being a slow runner he tagged you instead. Finally, the dog could have had a toothache and he didn't like the noise you made with your bicycle so he bit you.
    – Gordon
    Commented May 5, 2018 at 14:42
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    @Conifold I asked a very general question. It is very similar to why Lion is not evil ? Instead of focusing on lion I am focusing on what constitutes an evil action? If karmic philosophy is not part of philosophy then we are missing a big part of the game called Universe. However I am not expecting any specific kind of answer. I am expecting honest answers from which I can draw some inspiration and clear my own confusion. Commented May 5, 2018 at 23:12

4 Answers 4


No reason ?

I am no expert on canine psychology but I doubt if the dog bit you for 'no reason' from its own perspective. Perhaps it was frightened of you. Perhaps it felt it was defending its territory. This is anthropomorphic language but I guess something was going on in the dog's mind that this language approximately describes.

Aristolelian chance (tuche)

Aristotle in his Physics describes how chains of events can cross - and how we call the point of intersection 'an accident', 'bad luck', 'a misfortune' and even an 'evil'. For instance there is the chain of my intentionally leaving my home, walking down the street, and stooping to tie a shoe lace. All these events are perfectly commonplace. There is another chain of events : a blind person leaves their home, walks down the street in the opposite direction to me, and falls over my crouching form as I stoop to tie my shoe lace and breaks their leg.

Here is 'an accident', 'bad luck', 'a misfortune' or even an 'evil'. There is no intentional evil in this case; I did not want to cause any harm to the blind person. But an evil occurred when the two chains of events, of which the intersection was unanticipated by either of us, crossed in this disastrous way. It happens all the time. We might call it 'hasard'.

I suggest this parallels your experience with the dog. You entered the street on your bike, rode along the street - all quite intentional and foreseeing no harm, just a chain of events. Equally the dog left its residence, trotted down a side road, turned into the street, saw you and perceived you as a threat, just another chain of events. Just as the blind person automatically fell, so the dog automatically bit you. We can explain why the blind person fell and we can explain why the dog bit you : but both events were 'chance' in the sense that there is no general law covering the encounter of blind persons with crouching figures or the encounter of frightened or panicky dogs with cyclists.


I have varied Aristotle's language and examples to convey his general idea more clearly and connect it more closely to your question.

Aristotle, Physics, II.4-6.


When someone harms us with a wrong intention then we can say that its evil.....generally people do not want to harm us likely its not a serial in which we are the hero and all are the villain.......people can see everything only by their side and find them right......generally not want to harm or hurt anyone. Yeah when we find someone harms intentionally.....it is evil thing....bt we still can't say everytime that the person is evil....as we don't know his side. And the dog biting was an incident.It should not be minded....as incidents are sudden ---can happen to anyone anytime. That doesn't mean that we will give those INCIDENTS the chance to affect us .


People sometimes distinguish between "natural evil": hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, plagues... and "evil": murder, theft, irresponsibility. Along these lines your dog-bite incident can probably be called "natural evil".


The dog biting you probably resulted from a dog's natural instinct to protect it's territory from an invader. I doubt the dog felt it was doing anything evil. You were just a victim of circumstance... riding down the wrong street, came into the dog's sphere, it didn't recognize you, and it reacted as dogs will react.

At home, I have a Great Pyrenees, a very large dog with a very strong protective instinct... and the strength, claws, and teeth to do something about it. One day I walked into the house wearing a large hat and sunglasses, something I never normally do, the dog didn't recognize me, and I'm lucky to have made it back out the door before she got to me. She wasn't being evil, she was doing what she always does... protecting her herd from something she didn't recognize.

I also deal with wild animals on occasion, as I live in a hardwood forest. Some of them will attack you if you approach them and they have no clear escape path. Again, not evil. In the wild animal world, a large and unknown creature that approaches directly usually means lunchtime, and you're on the menu, so they will put up a ferocious front to discourage what they see as an attempt to consume them, or their young if they have any nearby.

I'm not suggesting evil doesn't exist. But, in the case of animals, it's usually a case of miscommunications. You do something the animal perceives as a threat, even though you may not consider your action to be threatening.

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