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Author Topic: God created evil  (Read 4689 times)
fezzyfestoon
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« on: May 31, 2010, 02:19:50 pm »
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I had a really long (inebriated) conversation with my very Baptist best friend last night about where evil came from.  She tried to find it in the Bible, but no luck.  I was curious as to what any of you guys who know the Bible a little better than I do know about where it came from.  I know that the tree gave Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil, and that Satan is like the evil-meister, but if God created everything then how could something purely good create the opposite?  It says that Satan was perfectly created, but obviously either that's not true or God purposefully created evil, making him less than pure good.
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2010, 03:17:35 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2010, 03:32:14 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

Thanks Augustine Roll Eyes
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2010, 04:31:48 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

Thanks Augustine Roll Eyes

You're welcome Benjamin. Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2010, 04:44:47 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

     What exactly is the "absence of God"? Could it be merely the absence of belief? Or rather, not living in the way that God prescribes? Or maybe something different entirely?
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2010, 04:57:48 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

     What exactly is the "absence of God"? Could it be merely the absence of belief? Or rather, not living in the way that God prescribes? Or maybe something different entirely?

As far as humanity is concerned, it is manifested as disobedience to God out of pride. A man who puts himself in the place of God loses touch with what is good.
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 05:28:32 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

     What exactly is the "absence of God"? Could it be merely the absence of belief? Or rather, not living in the way that God prescribes? Or maybe something different entirely?

As far as humanity is concerned, it is manifested as disobedience to God out of pride. A man who puts himself in the place of God loses touch with what is good.

     That makes sense, since that is what Satan was considered to have done. In that case, would Max Stirner be considered to be advocating disobedience out of pride in the quote at the bottom of my post? Sorry if it's a rather elementary question, but I am trying to determine what exactly is considered acceptable & unacceptable behaviour in Christian doctrine.

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God and mankind have concerned themselves for nothing, for nothing but themselves. Let me then likewise concern myself for myself, who am equally with God the nothing of all others, who am my all, who am the only one.

If God, if mankind, as you affirm, have substance enough in themselves to be all in all to themselves, then I feel that I shall still less lack that, and that I shall have no complaint to make of my "emptiness." I am not nothing in the sense of emptiness, but I am the creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself as creator create everything.
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2010, 05:51:14 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

     What exactly is the "absence of God"? Could it be merely the absence of belief? Or rather, not living in the way that God prescribes? Or maybe something different entirely?

As far as humanity is concerned, it is manifested as disobedience to God out of pride. A man who puts himself in the place of God loses touch with what is good.

     That makes sense, since that is what Satan was considered to have done. In that case, would Max Stirner be considered to be advocating disobedience out of pride in the quote at the bottom of my post? Sorry if it's a rather elementary question, but I am trying to determine what exactly is considered acceptable & unacceptable behaviour in Christian doctrine.

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God and mankind have concerned themselves for nothing, for nothing but themselves. Let me then likewise concern myself for myself, who am equally with God the nothing of all others, who am my all, who am the only one.

If God, if mankind, as you affirm, have substance enough in themselves to be all in all to themselves, then I feel that I shall still less lack that, and that I shall have no complaint to make of my "emptiness." I am not nothing in the sense of emptiness, but I am the creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself as creator create everything.

Based on what you have posted, I would say that is an example of what I just described. Nothing original about it, though.
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2010, 05:57:47 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

     What exactly is the "absence of God"? Could it be merely the absence of belief? Or rather, not living in the way that God prescribes? Or maybe something different entirely?

As far as humanity is concerned, it is manifested as disobedience to God out of pride. A man who puts himself in the place of God loses touch with what is good.

     That makes sense, since that is what Satan was considered to have done. In that case, would Max Stirner be considered to be advocating disobedience out of pride in the quote at the bottom of my post? Sorry if it's a rather elementary question, but I am trying to determine what exactly is considered acceptable & unacceptable behaviour in Christian doctrine.

Quote
God and mankind have concerned themselves for nothing, for nothing but themselves. Let me then likewise concern myself for myself, who am equally with God the nothing of all others, who am my all, who am the only one.

If God, if mankind, as you affirm, have substance enough in themselves to be all in all to themselves, then I feel that I shall still less lack that, and that I shall have no complaint to make of my "emptiness." I am not nothing in the sense of emptiness, but I am the creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself as creator create everything.

Based on what you have posted, I would say that is an example of what I just described. Nothing original about it, though.

     Well it was written in 1844, so maybe it was a more revolutionary idea back then. Anyway, thanks for your time.
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2010, 05:59:24 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

     What exactly is the "absence of God"? Could it be merely the absence of belief? Or rather, not living in the way that God prescribes? Or maybe something different entirely?

As far as humanity is concerned, it is manifested as disobedience to God out of pride. A man who puts himself in the place of God loses touch with what is good.

     That makes sense, since that is what Satan was considered to have done. In that case, would Max Stirner be considered to be advocating disobedience out of pride in the quote at the bottom of my post? Sorry if it's a rather elementary question, but I am trying to determine what exactly is considered acceptable & unacceptable behaviour in Christian doctrine.

Quote
God and mankind have concerned themselves for nothing, for nothing but themselves. Let me then likewise concern myself for myself, who am equally with God the nothing of all others, who am my all, who am the only one.

If God, if mankind, as you affirm, have substance enough in themselves to be all in all to themselves, then I feel that I shall still less lack that, and that I shall have no complaint to make of my "emptiness." I am not nothing in the sense of emptiness, but I am the creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself as creator create everything.

Based on what you have posted, I would say that is an example of what I just described. Nothing original about it, though.

     Well it was written in 1844, so maybe it was a more revolutionary idea back then. Anyway, thanks for your time.

Well the whole fall of mankind thing happened quite a bit earlier than 1844, just fyi. Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2010, 06:20:36 pm »
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Evil exists in order for us to recognize a greater good. If we were simply happy all the time or things were always perfect, then we wouldn't be aware of such perfection. Furthermore, it is what we consider evil to be that we are dealing with here. Things happen that generate a negative response from individuals; aids in Africa, war in the middle east, children with terminal illnesses, dead puppies. These things are just as much part of life as that which generates a positive response from individuals; weddings, birth of a child, helping at a retirement home, mentoring students. Many would argue that there isn't evil but evil is a state of mind the same as one can be in the state of happiness.
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2010, 06:32:35 pm »
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God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

     What exactly is the "absence of God"? Could it be merely the absence of belief? Or rather, not living in the way that God prescribes? Or maybe something different entirely?

As far as humanity is concerned, it is manifested as disobedience to God out of pride. A man who puts himself in the place of God loses touch with what is good.

     That makes sense, since that is what Satan was considered to have done. In that case, would Max Stirner be considered to be advocating disobedience out of pride in the quote at the bottom of my post? Sorry if it's a rather elementary question, but I am trying to determine what exactly is considered acceptable & unacceptable behaviour in Christian doctrine.

Quote
God and mankind have concerned themselves for nothing, for nothing but themselves. Let me then likewise concern myself for myself, who am equally with God the nothing of all others, who am my all, who am the only one.

If God, if mankind, as you affirm, have substance enough in themselves to be all in all to themselves, then I feel that I shall still less lack that, and that I shall have no complaint to make of my "emptiness." I am not nothing in the sense of emptiness, but I am the creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself as creator create everything.

Based on what you have posted, I would say that is an example of what I just described. Nothing original about it, though.

     Well it was written in 1844, so maybe it was a more revolutionary idea back then. Anyway, thanks for your time.

Well the whole fall of mankind thing happened quite a bit earlier than 1844, just fyi. Tongue

     I mean there have always been people who have been out for themselves, but I cannot think of anyone earlier than Stirner who actually proposed a philosophy of putting one's own interests before all else.
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2010, 02:40:11 pm »
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This is one of many areas in which you will find that Christianity does not represent one, unified, world view.  Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that different sects of Christianity are not, in fact, different groups looking for the right answers to the same questions, but rather groups that so different that they have more in common with other sects of other religions than they do with one another, all looking for totally different answers and asking totally different questions.  Theologically, I have almost nothing in common with someone like Bono, or jmfcst, inspite of the fact that we both believe in Jesus Christ, because our views of the nature of God are completely different... and I have much more in common with someone like Ben Constine, even though he is Jewish.  We aren't all fighting over the same God, here, the span of "Christianity" are all worshiping what is fundamentally a different divinity.  There is no intrafaith unity, because there is no common faith.  You are libel to find more interfaith unity between different sects of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.

That being said, my view on evil is more philosophical than it is explicitly theological, because even in the collected writings that we call "The Bible" you find a wide array of views on the nature of good and evil, from strict monism (in the Pentateuch) to all out dualism (in the New Testament).  Simply put, I believe in what you might call a "Black and Gray" reality, with actions and people that are truly evil, and then those that inhabit various zones of goodness, or acceptability; but you will never find a perfect good, either individually, or in action, because such a thing is impossible, the best you will find is a person who doing their best and failing much of the time.  Finding something (short of God) that represents a perfect good is, at the least, a oneway ticket to disappointment, at the least, and delusional in most cases.  Even by doing good, people are going to commit at least some sin, active or through negligence.

And so the real root of all evil is pride.  Not only is the idea of a perfect good diluted, it is evil itself, because people who believe, or think they are acting for the absolute good, or are even good incarnate, are also the people who tend to be capable of the most evil actions.  Too much pride equals a lack of remorse, because one who thinks they are absolutely correct sees no need to examine their own shortcomings.
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2010, 03:46:29 pm »
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Theologically, I have almost nothing in common with someone like Bono, or jmfcst, inspite of the fact that we both believe in Jesus Christ, because our views of the nature of God are completely different... and I have much more in common with someone like Ben Constine, even though he is Jewish.  

I do not understand what you are saying:  How do you and I have a different view of the nature of God that would have you more in agreement with Judaism's view of of the nature of God than with my view of of the nature of God?

Are you referring to our disagreements about the Trinity, or about having a relationship with God, or about who is going to be saved...or are you referring to God having always existed...or something else? 

Seriously, I am not trying to be a wise guy, I am probably confused because the term “nature of God” is not something I use, mainly because it seems so broad that it could refer to anything and/or everything relating to God.
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2010, 04:26:10 pm »
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Theologically, I have almost nothing in common with someone like Bono, or jmfcst, inspite of the fact that we both believe in Jesus Christ, because our views of the nature of God are completely different... and I have much more in common with someone like Ben Constine, even though he is Jewish.  

I do not understand what you are saying:  How do you and I have a different view of the nature of God that would have you more in agreement with Judaism's view of of the nature of God than with my view of of the nature of God?

Are you referring to our disagreements about the Trinity, or about having a relationship with God, or about who is going to be saved...or are you referring to God having always existed...or something else? 

Seriously, I am not trying to be a wise guy, I am probably confused because the term “nature of God” is not something I use, mainly because it seems so broad that it could refer to anything and/or everything relating to God.

This is a conclusion I came to in my long, drawn out, debates with Bono over the years, through AIM.  After that long period of time, I finally came to the conclusion that the primary reason for our disagreements, and our lack of ability to resolve them, was not because we were failing to come to an understanding over various theological points about the Christian scriptures, but rather because we were asking totally different questions, and thus had no ability to come up with similar answers.

The cycle has repeated itself between you and myself over the years.  What frustrates me most in dealing with you, and I am sure in you dealing with me, is that we have no hope of agreeing on anything.  This is because our disagreements aren't predicated on this or that point about trinity vs the unified Godhead, or about apostolic authority vs a diffuse Church, or on a continuing development of the Church vs authoritative teaching stopping with scripture... yes, those are all symptoms of or differing views of the broader nature of God, the universe, and man's place there in, but even on the points where we can agree, the agreement is merely superficial, because we don't agree on the the starting point of the inquiry... we don't agree on the questions that cause us to arrive at that point. 

Superficially, we appear to agree on quite a bit.  We agree that this guy named Jesus was divine, and that these scriptures are inerrant, and we agree on this, and that... and so one would be led to say that we agree on the major points... but really we don't.  Those are the minor points.  Even a Marxist and a Burkean can agree on the facts and the details.  After you get past that, to the more fundamental stuff, its an entirely different story.  Likewise, I have certainly met Democrats on whom I agree far more on the nature of government and the issues, even if we don't agree on specific policy, than many of my fellow Republicans with whom I might have more in common, on the surface.

Does it matter that we both agree on this Jesus guy if we can't agree at all on the nature of his mission, his role, his teachings, etc?  No.  As much as you an I agree that this God exists, we don't agree at all on who this God is.  You and I, in reality, worship a totally different entity, even though we call him the same thing, while there are people out there who don't call this divinity the same thing, but agree with each of us, separately, on the worldview we ought to take in exploring and understanding It.  Ben and I certainly agree way more on the nature of the divine than you and I.

I don't mean it as a put down.  I don't mean it as a call to arms.  It's simply reality.  I can't remember who it was, but someone said in the other thread where we are fisticuffing that it is amazing to see how much we fight when we have so much in common... says who?  Do you feel like we have anything in common?  The notion that we do is based on backwards thinking, looking at the product as opposed to the process.  There is no common process when comparing how we come to the conclusions to which we have arrived.
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2010, 04:42:24 pm »
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In fact, one time I told Bono straight up, and not out of anger, but out of fact:

"You and I don't believe in the same God."

His reaction was... well, fearful it seemed to me... but it's the truth.  I don't see how we can avoid saying it when we agree on almost nothing about what this God is like, and how he has ordered the universe.  It doesn't mean that we are, all of a sudden, on different sides.  We were never on the same side.  It's easier to simply accept that than to maintain the farce, that then leads us to exclude people of other faiths from our circle, with whom we have far more in common.  Just tolerate the differences, and move on.
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2010, 04:52:10 pm »
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There is no common process when comparing how we come to the conclusions to which we have arrived.

True

---

Does it matter that we both agree on this Jesus guy if we can't agree at all on the nature of his mission, his role, his teachings, etc?  No.  As much as you and I agree that this God exists, we don't agree at all on who this God is.  You and I, in reality, worship a totally different entity, even though we call him the same thing, while there are people out there who don't call this divinity the same thing, but agree with each of us, separately, on the worldview we ought to take in exploring and understanding It.  Ben and I certainly agree way more on the nature of the divine than you and I.

But, I think this is going a bit too far.  We may disagree with some of his teachings (doctrine)….but certainly who God is, his mission, and his role should be pretty much agreeable, right?  I mean, we may disagree on the composition of the Godhead, but I thought you and I agreed that Jesus is the doorway into discovering who God is, in that whoever God is, he can be found through Christ and in Christ.  And aren’t his mission and role pretty much spelled out concisely in Isa 61:1-3?

 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
       because the LORD has anointed me
       to preach good news to the poor.
       He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
       to proclaim freedom for the captives
       and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
       and the day of vengeance of our God,
       to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
       to bestow on them a crown of beauty
       instead of ashes,
       the oil of gladness
       instead of mourning,
       and a garment of praise
       instead of a spirit of despair.
       They will be called oaks of righteousness,
       a planting of the LORD
       for the display of his splendor.

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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2010, 08:47:58 pm »
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I had a really long (inebriated) conversation with my very Baptist best friend last night about where evil came from.  She tried to find it in the Bible, but no luck.

Those Baptists...
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2010, 08:07:08 am »
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Evil is a state of mind the same as happiness. Without it, we wouldn't recognize good. Recognition is the awareness of an idea's opposition.
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2010, 10:20:15 pm »
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I had a really long (inebriated) conversation with my very Baptist best friend last night about where evil came from.  She tried to find it in the Bible, but no luck.

Those Baptists...

It's a state of mind.
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« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2010, 05:16:59 pm »
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Ah, sorry.  I forgot I posted this.  I'm gonna go through, I'm really interested in your different perspectives. Tongue

God created all things good. Evil is not its own nature, but rather, the absence of God, and thus, the absence of good.


An analogy would be that "cold" does not really exist, but is simply the absence of heat.

How can something be without God if he created everything?  And if everything is evil without God, isn't everything then inherently evil?  You can't be born God-fearing and completely Christian and animals certainly can't be.
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« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2010, 05:20:09 pm »
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Evil exists in order for us to recognize a greater good. If we were simply happy all the time or things were always perfect, then we wouldn't be aware of such perfection. Furthermore, it is what we consider evil to be that we are dealing with here. Things happen that generate a negative response from individuals; aids in Africa, war in the middle east, children with terminal illnesses, dead puppies. These things are just as much part of life as that which generates a positive response from individuals; weddings, birth of a child, helping at a retirement home, mentoring students. Many would argue that there isn't evil but evil is a state of mind the same as one can be in the state of happiness.

Things that happen aren't evil, things we do are evil.  Killing, lying, stealing, cruelty.  The question isn't what is and isn't evil, but how it got there.  It certainly exists, so who created it?  If God is all good how could he create evil?  And if he did then how is he all good?
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« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2010, 05:21:19 pm »
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Ben and I certainly agree way more on the nature of the divine than you and I.

Smiley  I love that I can be mentioned in random theological conversations; it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
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« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2010, 05:22:51 pm »
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That being said, my view on evil is more philosophical than it is explicitly theological, because even in the collected writings that we call "The Bible" you find a wide array of views on the nature of good and evil, from strict monism (in the Pentateuch) to all out dualism (in the New Testament).  Simply put, I believe in what you might call a "Black and Gray" reality, with actions and people that are truly evil, and then those that inhabit various zones of goodness, or acceptability; but you will never find a perfect good, either individually, or in action, because such a thing is impossible, the best you will find is a person who doing their best and failing much of the time.  Finding something (short of God) that represents a perfect good is, at the least, a oneway ticket to disappointment, at the least, and delusional in most cases.  Even by doing good, people are going to commit at least some sin, active or through negligence.

And so the real root of all evil is pride.  Not only is the idea of a perfect good diluted, it is evil itself, because people who believe, or think they are acting for the absolute good, or are even good incarnate, are also the people who tend to be capable of the most evil actions.  Too much pride equals a lack of remorse, because one who thinks they are absolutely correct sees no need to examine their own shortcomings.

So how can a perfectly good being create evil?  How does it exist if in him it never existed?  If God can't do it or be it, how can anything he creates be that or do that?  He is then not all powerful if he gives his creations the ability to do and be something he cannot.  If he is all good wouldn't he only create good?
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Senator Libertas
Libertas
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« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2010, 05:31:14 pm »
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How can something be without God if he created everything?  And if everything is evil without God, isn't everything then inherently evil?  You can't be born God-fearing and completely Christian and animals certainly can't be.

People are all created by God. Evil entails a deliberate rejection of and turning away from God. As with the hot and cold example, there are different degrees between good and evil. All human beings are prone to evil at one time or another, but total rejection of God and acceptance of evil is embodied by Satan. I don't think anyone on the earth is quite at that level.
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