A corollary of the abandonment of faith in God has been a paralysis of ability to address effectively the problem of evil or, in many cases, even to acknowledge it. While Bahá’ís do not attribute to the phenomenon the objective existence it was assumed at earlier stages of religious history to possess, the negation of the good that evil represents, as with darkness, ignorance or disease, is severely crippling in its effect. Few publishing seasons pass that do not offer the educated reader a range of new and imaginative analyses of the character of some of the monstrous figures who, during the twentieth century, systematically tortured, degraded and exterminated millions of their fellow human beings. One is invited by scholarly authority to ponder the weight that should be given, variously, to paternal abuse, social rejection, professional disappointments, poverty, injustice, war experiences, possible genetic impairment, nihilistic literature—or various combinations of the foregoing—in seeking to understand the obsessions fuelling an apparently bottomless hatred of humankind. Conspicuously missing from such contemporary speculation is what experienced commentators, even as recently as a century ago, would have recognized as spiritual disease, whatever its accompanying features.