Jules Hamilton: Jealousy can be evil. Question: What is evil?
JH: Evil is immoral.
Q: What is immoral?
JH: I'll define something that is moral, is something that maximizes the wellbeing of concious creatures. Immoral does not.
Q: Do you ever feel jealousy?
JH: I have mostly unlearned jealousy, but I feel moments of something that could be called jealousy. At this point in my life, any momentary pang of jealousy I feel is very mitigated. I am familiar with the emotion when I sense it, and it doesn't overwhelm me. I don't direct any disdain towards others. Instead, I reflect upon myself to consider what the feeling was trying to tell me.
Q: Does that mean you are evil?
JH: Because I believe my conscious effort for emotional intelligence has made me happier and better at spreading happiness as a result. That is moral, as I said, I believe something that maximizes the wellbeing of concious creatures is moral. Something that is moral is not evil.
Q: Do you maximize the wellbeing of concious creatures?
JH: In some sense, no. I try to do my best. There is always room for improvement, which I strive for. In another sense, yes. I "maximize" wellbeing by exercising control over myself and trying to have positive associations with the hormone oxytocin as much as possible.
Q: Does that mean you think people who feel unmitigated jealousy are evil?
JH: No. First of all, evil is acknowledgeably a very harsh word and I don't use it lightly. I would describe the unmitigated emotion as evil, but not the person. My reasoning is because unmitigated jealousy decreases the well being of concious creatures.
Q: What is jealousy?
JH: Jealousy is an emotional state.
Q: What characterizes jealousy?
JH: The hormone oxytocin. What's interesting is that the hormone oxytocin affects behaviors such as trust, empathy, and altruism. It also affects opposite emotions like jealousy and gloating. In ScienceDaily Simone Shamay-Tsoory said "Oxytocin seems to be an overall trigger for social sentiments: when the person's association is positive, oxytocin bolsters pro-social behaviors; when the association is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments."
Q: If you believe in free will, and you believe a person has relative control over his associations, would you call a person who allows himself to have negative associations (or negative sentiments) with oxytocin evil?
JH: It entirely depends on why one is allowing oneself to have negative associations with the hormone.
Q: Can you imagine a scenario when you would call a person evil for feeling jealousy?
JH: I can not imagine a scenario when I would call a person evil for just feeling the emotion jealousy. I believe one should not judge people by their intentions, but judge them by their actions. For example, if someone allowed jealousy to overwhelm them to commit a crime of passion (murder), then I would call that person's actions evil. I would judge them for that.
Q: Would you call them evil?
JH: Without any other knowledge about a specific person who murdered, I would call them evil, provisionally.
Q: So what have you told us?
JH: I have told you what I think. I think jealousy is an ugly emotion that people can mostly unlearn if they exercise emotional intelligence. I think people should if they want to be happy and spread happiness.