Now, we dare the wrath of Godwin and his almighty simpleton’s Law (In a world where metrics for evil are almost impossible to agree upon, his wretched self has managed to make the only one all agreed on completely unaccessible for use by anyone– a sin for which he should be bent over and punted in the backside on a regimented daily basis) and address the actual nature of fiction’s second most-beloved white bearded old wizard. He was kind, grandfatherly, committed to a noble cause…
….and, alongside Nicholas Flamel, his old partner, is personally responsible for more deaths than Adolf Hitler himself.
Do the math. He and Flamel created the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone, a magical trinket that could 1)turn base metal to gold 2)create an elixir that restore youth and cure all illnesses. Flamel used it for himself and his wife (and possibly shared it with Dumbledore) for literally hundreds of years, then destroyed it in a fit of sanctimony when one pathetic evil wizard came sniffing about for it.
Destroyed it. In a world where over eight million people a year die of cancer alone.
Now, I don’t know a thing about London, but I’m pretty sure they have a hospital or two there. Probably a children’s hospital. And if they do, they probably have a terminal ward. Even if Dumbledore and Flamel never left London in their lives, they knew that millions of Muggles, many of them children, were dying tragically every day from incurable illnesses and they did not lift a finger to save them. Dumbledore and Flamel had the cure to cancer, AIDS, Leukemia, Malaria, everything from the flu to freaking ebola to massive traumatic organ failure, and they destroyed it… after hoarding it for hundreds of years. More people died needlessly of cancer alone during that time than were killed in the entirety of World War II; at least ten to a hundred times the number.
How evil would the man who destroyed Jonas Salk’s vaccine for Polio be?
Now I’m sure that some blithering idiot out there is going to start flubbering about the traumatic effects to Muggle and Wizard society that would have occurred, had they gone about willy-nilly curing people with a magic panacea. Let me save you some time: shut up, you’re a moron. There is no distance between you and your deeds, and all your ethical equivocations means jack squat when you are standing at the foot of a dying child’s bed and refuse to save them for fear of upsetting the tea cart. Feel free to explain why millions of innocents should assuredly die, for your fear that an evil person might live (And if evil people are afoot in your world, is it or is it not your job to deal with them yourself rather than hope they die of something infectious or keel over from old age??) or because you, in your limited, shortsighted perspective, can’t possibly figure out how a world full of happy, healthy, youthful people in their physical and mental prime could ever cope with having so many people alive and walking around.
If they had possessed the moral fiber of a flobberworm, the instant they made the first Philosopher’s Stone Dumbledore and Flamel should have been cranking them out as fast as they could make them till they could distribute the elixir like soda pop.
Good or evil are not measured by how benevolent you think you are, or how benevolent others think you are, it is measured by your actual deeds– the evil you did, and the good you refused to do. By that cold and analytical metric, Dumbledore stands as the bloodiest villain in human history.