I have been thinking about this some lately. I don't believe anymore that there is one cause for evil. I am just giving my personnel opinion on this, so like anything else I could be wrong. There are some things people say are the root of evil but only when viewed in the extreme are they able to stand alone. The three main factors I see as making evil come from people are religion, power, and money. None of these three are evil but are used by others to advance an agenda that harms more then it does good. There are very few if any major acts which don't harm someone some how.
I know that the three things I have listed aren't the only elements that lead to evil acts but I do see them as main causes. I will begin with religion. Is religion evil? I don't see religion as it was meant to be as evil but it is easily abused which leads to evil being committed in its name. What I know of history shows that religion has been used to advance many different types of actions. I believe that religion makes it easier for people to justify any action they take that they normally wouldn't commit. I could list all the acts that have been committed in the name of many different religions that are seen as evil in todays world. I don't think it is necessary to do that because most people already know what I would list. What we need to do is look at how people are in ordinary life in regards to their religious beliefs. Most people, no matter what religion, wants the world to believe that their religion is about love and peace. How do each of these different religions define what they call love? How do the people within each religion define love?
Power is something we all have to one degree or another. Like most things, power is easily abused and easily gotten when mixed with religion or money. Power give people the ability to help those in need. What makes someone in need? The problem I see with power is it makes many people believe they are above those under them. Most people who have power begin to forget what it took to get that power. We as people need to ask ourselves what we would do if we were in power? I like to believe that I would do what I could to advance our understanding the universe. How easy would it be for people with money to change my views? I have been poor my whole life. I have had to struggle many times to make it though the next week or mouth. Would I abandon my views if I knew I wouldn't have to worry about money or harm from others religions anymore? How can we stop religion and money from influencing people within power? If you were in a position of power would you want others restricting that power?
Lets get to what most people seem to thing the root of all evil is. When the original statement was coined, the odds are money was rare. While man was small barter and other means of trade were easily used. As mans knowledge began to expand, the ability of trade and barter became to complicated to work. We can still do some trading and barter today but it is usually in extremely small scales. Money isn't really the problem. It is the belief that money is the most important thing in life. Until extreme greed is gotten under control there is little that can be done about the effects of money. I figure here in the USA the best way to control greed is though taxes and eliminating private political contributions.
I believe that the real root of all evil is man and thier inability to understand all people are equal.