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Thread: ORIGIN OF EVIL

  1. #11
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    That is debatable.
    The Qur'an does though, unequivocally. It puts humans above angels because they serve God obediently out of instinct, they have no freewill, whereas humans can choose whether to or not.

    I tend to stay out of religious threads too, cos they tend to be usually a bit

    But I don't see why this topic should be considered 'religious'. Yes, people might bring religious beliefs into their explanations and theories, but it can be debated wholly apart from religion, IMO. As seen in my post above
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIND View Post
    ...Those qualities either get developed in the right way, or do not get developed the right way or at all. Beauty for example is not something developed, but something given, fear is not something created but the state/instinct of being aware of dangers (which is created for the preservation of the species) when exaggerated becomes fear. To sum up, the "action" originates in the subject's make up.
    Determinism?

    And in addition, you're assuming that God exists and that God acts according to the religious view you're trying to evaluate?

    I still do not see why this makes good and evil "things." They are potentialities. And if they are inevitabilities rather than potentialities, then we've just lost the ability to make moral decisions... making the point of religion moot as well as this discussion.

    Yes I am very aware of King of Tyrus, but if you take one part to be historical, and one part to be metaphorical, I wonder how you can pinpoint exactly the historical part and than the metaphorical....is it perhaps that what the reader doesn't comprehend becomes "metaphorical" and what he does make sense of, becomes "historical"?
    Likewise, making the assumption that something has to be completely "historical" solely to simplify one's understanding of the topic can be just as fallacious; it's not rooted in whether or not the story is actually true, it's simply a posture taken as a matter of philosophical convenience.




    Now we have to be careful because at this point you're making some pernicious statements; Christ surely spoke 'the language of metaphors" but in his overall message, he clearly states that there is a separate power (e.g. demons, 'Satan is speaking through you Peter'; at one point the Pharisees accuse Jesus of working with the Devil, to which he responds: Can the devil work against his own...) and that is the reason why he purported to have come on this earth for: namely to purify and save humanity from the evil fetters that have been placed upon them...
    It depends on how one reads Scripture. If you see it as a comprehensive overview of spiritual reality that acts as a whole, then you can view it your way. If you see it as a narrative that is a collection of many types of literature, that unfolds over time, and each later piece evolved from the earlier piece (i.e., more like a ladder or dynamic document), then you probably won't see it as an encyclopedia of the spiritual cosmos.


    If we wholly dismiss the idea of there being a separate spiritual instituion which exploits, and corrupts, perhaps then Christ came down for nothing, but only to fight against his own self. What does humanity need to be saved from?
    This is why there are various factions with Christianity that war over the whole purpose of Christ: you have the theory of atonement, along with the Christus Victus, and some others, all debating the reason for which Jesus was actually sent.
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    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    That is debatable.

    God gave people the same freedom he himself exercises, and gave instructions to it's good use;
    Genesis 1:26
    26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

    2 corintheans 3:17
    17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

    2 Peter 2:16
    16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.



    3 examples where a God or some of his representatives urges people to make a choice:

    Deuteronomy 30:19,20
    19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    Acts 3:19
    19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord

    Jeremiah 25:4
    4 And though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. 5 They said, "Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the LORD gave to you and your fathers for ever and ever

    It would be meaningless to urge people to do something if they would not have free will.

    Source: BibleGateway.com: A searchable online Bible in over 50 versions and 35 languages.
    New International Version

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    Originally posted by Jennifer:
    Determinism?
    Indeed.

    you're assuming that God exists


    I did mention in the opening paragraph that even those who don't believe can treat the matter as if...

    I still do not see why this makes good and evil "things." They are potentialities


    Your perspective reminds me very much of a linguist perspective,,,Perhaps Ludwig Wittgenstein would say, that evil is just a combination of 4 letters on which we've stamped our own meaning. What is that meaning you say? Well a Kantian perspective would say that that which is bad for a society is immoral, bad, and that which is healthy, prosperous for a society, is good.

    making the assumption that something has to be completely "historical"


    I agree, yet I haven't said that; my assertion was that in the process of dissecting a text, it is truly a challenge to find the right placement of each section in the appropriate niche/context; historical/metaphorical=challenge, that is why sometimes the biblical texts can become frustrating especially when the reader is supposed to understand certain principles, principles that were supposedly intended to have the purpose of allowing us to peek through "the window of heaven" and see what God desires from us to know and do.

    This is why there are various factions with Christianity that war over the whole purpose of Christ: you have the theory of atonement, along with the Christus Victus, and some others, all debating the reason for which Jesus was actually sent.


    Jennifer, I am sincerely eager to hear your perspective about the presence of God/Christ the in human/matter form. What was that purpose?
    Last edited by LIND; 11-19-2007 at 05:22 PM.
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    Originally posted by Santtu:
    Now if you see that defining good and evil is a decision problem, it is impossible to automate that, either


    Santtu- I did enjoy your analogy, yet I must say that the initial question was intended to go even beyond the beginning of humans distinguishing between good vs evil, namely in a place somewhere in the Universe before humans were created, and evil first exposed itself...In what form? From whence did it arrive?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIND View Post

    Santtu- I did enjoy your analogy, yet I must say that the initial question was intended to go even beyond the beginning of humans distinguishing between good vs evil, namely in a place somewhere in the Universe before humans were created, and evil first exposed itself...In what form? From whence did it arrive?
    My textual examination of the bible has lead me to guess that the spiritual creations have similar mind in the relevant matters: free will. The collection of ideas, thoughts and actions are so endlessly variable so that it's impossible to automate "good" actions for another mind - whether a human mind, or that of a spiritual being. This is especially so when finding good is so difficult, and mind is free to such great extent. So I believe that what I wrote might also apply to God's sentient creations before the earth. Do not take this as doctrine!

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    I'm not a philosopher, theologian, or scholar so bear that in mind as you read my post.

    I was taught to hold a very simplistic, black and white view of Evil. As in, it's the opposite of Good and it's easy to tell which is which.

    I have since, over time, started to reevaluate everything I was taught and to reframe, reclaim, and refuse that which I choose.

    My view of good-evil is now less certain, less sure. From what I can tell, humans can make choices from a place of Love or Fear. Can a choice or action stem from both places at once? I'm not sure - maybe, maybe not. Still, even if they do, it doesn't seem to me that it's ever a 50-50 proposition, there will always be an emphasis on one or the other.

    So, if one goes through life making most choices from a place of Fear, it's possible that the whole of their life choices might appear or have the quality of being "Evil."

    The opposite is true; if one makes the bulk of their life choices over time from a place of Love, then the net result will appear as "Good."

    That's my two cents.

    ETA - Just wanted to add; I believe most people have both Love and Fear within and are thus capable of both Good and Evil. Even in a life that is mostly Good, there will be some Evil choices (e.g., King David, whom it is said God loved, but who chose (from a place of fear) to have his romantic rival killed). Likewise in an Evil life, there will be some Good choices (Dick Cheney's wife is convinced he is "nice.") So morality is much more complicated than I used to want to believe.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIND View Post
    What does humanity need to be saved from?
    Itself.

    I really don't believe in creationists stories but I'll analyze the ideas.

    What are the most "evil" things in the world? Molestation? Rape? Genocide? What are these things? My guess would be humans exploiting other humans. They are chosen actions that deny other humans their choice. Substitute said it before, we have choice and freedom. Freedom comes and goes, but choice is eternal, and I believe the action of denying it is the foundation of evil.

    In the garden of Eden, Adam had choice, and he was told by God not to eat from the tree of knowledge. Adam denied God's choice and committed the first evil. Did God create evil? No, man did when he acted on his own freewill and outside of God's consent.

    Did evil exist before humans decided to act? Welcome to the belief that temptation in and of itself is evil. But what is temptation? Desire? So if we want things then does that make us evil? I want a new pair of shoes. I don't really need them, and if I did I could probably figure out how to make them myself. But because I want them do I care about the children being forced to make them in 3rd world factories? I think most "wanting" eventually leads to someone being denied their choice. So isn't the essence of "wanting" anything evil?

    Every human heart contains desire. If God made us in his own image, then it is only fair to assume that God also has desire in his heart. So desire in and of itself is probably not evil. So where does evil come along in our desire? What was Adam thinking when he bit into the forbidden fruit? What do I think when I buy my Nike's at Walmart for $30? Probably nothing. We choose not to care or worry about the implications of our actions. We embrace apathy in exchange for gratification. Or perhaps we justify it by saying we are owed, and we become malicious in our beliefs.

    So what is evil? An apathetic or malicious choice for my own gratification that denies someone else their choice? Does that idea exist outside of humanity? Not really. Is it something that God is capable of as a pure and altruistic being? Probably not. So what is good? Well it would be the opposite of evil, so in essence it would be a choice that leads to the gratification of another human being. I wonder what the world would be like if we were less concerned with our own personal gratification and more concerned about each other?

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    wow- everyone's being all philosophical and everything!

    I don't think that good or evil have anything to do with religion- I simply think that they are based on societal norms that were put in place a long time ago to persuade people to live in a manner in which society could best funcion. Like not murdering people- that one's fairly obvious, first of all, it's not a nice thing to do, and secondly, if it was perfectly acceptable to take out anyone that you felt like, society would be a much more scary place! Evil is merely that which is not socially acceptable, or is just plain not nice!

    (for the soc viewpoint there!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by anii View Post
    (Dick Cheney's wife is convinced he is "nice.")
    that made me so happy!!!!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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