Usually they don’t. But when it happens it’s because we live in a chaotic world where people don’t always get what they deserve.
First of all, let’s go back a step and dispute part of the question – the assertion that “evil bastards live good lives”.
That depends on what you mean by a good life. Many people would say being an “evil bastard” was the opposite of living well.
“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge,” Bertrand Russell wrote . Evil bastards wouldn’t tick those boxes.
To look at the question another way, why do children die while evil bastards live long lives?
Well, usually they don’t.
In the Western world at least, child death rates are low (less than four per 1,000 in England and Wales for example).
But of course sometimes the unthinkable happens. There’s no grand reason for this, though people understandably search for explanations. The human body is fragile and the world is chaotic, so illnesses and injuries happen.
Turning to the lifespan of an evil bastard, their evil bastardness may cut it short.
For one thing, trying to kill or harm people might get you killed.
Research suggests that “criminal conduct increases the chance of premature death due to natural and unnatural causes”.
At the other end of the scale, people who put others before themselves may actually live longer due to a “helper’s high”
So don’t despair.
Terrible things sometimes happen, but more often than not good things happen to good people – and bad things to bad.
As we wrote in our piece on what to do about people you dislike, imagine those people in a freezer and – as far as possible – don’t let them upset you.