Not being evil is different than not doing evil

Saw an article on TechCrunch this morning regarding Google’s philosophy of “not being evil” which included:

This is most likely not a precursor to an official move away from the motto. I imagine it’s little more than a venting of a frustration that Google continues to be held to a promise made six years ago, when they were under significantly less scrutiny than they are today. Google can’t ditch the motto (the press would eat that up), and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to live up to it. What can they do? Not much.

I don’t think I agree with Mike on this. In fact, not “being” evil is fairly easy, as there really are few companies who “are” evil.  There are few people who are evil.  Being evil is a fairly tough endeavor.  Doing evil, on the other hand, is quite a different story, and while this might be a matter of semantics, I believe it’s a very important difference.

Plenty of good people do plenty of evil.  They do it fairly frequently in fact. It’s extremely challenging to not do any evil in one’s life, whether it’s lying, cheating, taking advantage of others, etc.  These are all evil things, even if at varying degrees.

I’d love to see a company step up to not DO any evil.  Now that would be a noble challenge.

One Response to “Not being evil is different than not doing evil”

  1. NotSomeoneElse Says:

    Bravo! Well said 🙂

Leave a Reply