March 19, 2010
A challenging theme for reflection after the Holocaust is victimhood. There is a presumed but rather unexplored connection between victimhood and intrinsic evil. This essay wants to contribute to the clarification of the concept of being a victim, with special regard to intrinsic evil. Current notions turn out to be impregnated with religious, legalistic and moralistic connotations that express non-victim perspectives. The essay proposes that the concept of being a victim should be interpreted from a victim perspective, which would yield a concept that makes victimhood a possibly universal intrinsic evil. Such a concept, it is suggested, should focus on severe injury in combination with drastically reduced agency in respect to the injury in question.