I think there is solid philosophical reason to consider the implications of intelligent evil. We spend too much time on the abstract; we do our philosophy from within a comfort bubble – oftentimes without fully accounting for the horrific intensity of evil throughout the world.
One should never trust a philosopher who hasn’t escaped the library to confront the unspeakable poverty of Haiti, the sexual exploitation of children in Thailand, or the ravages of war in the Congo. We can learn more from a dying child than we can from all the works of Aristotle.
All too often, the professional philosopher’s experience of war is limited to the dissenting opinions of hostile thinkers. Our battlefield is the sterile grounds of the peer-reviewed journal. This is not enough. Philosophy is not determined; it is encountered. And this encounter must move beyond the abstract space of the mental and into the dangerous space of the physical. The philosopher deals in ink, but the world deals in blood.