Monday, September 10, 2007

Good and Evil

Did you know that the old testament was written without the concept of evil? Sure they had the concept of bad n the sense "undesirable" but they didn't have the concept of absolute evil. While Satan does make an appearance in the old testament it is not as the devil. It is an an angel who argues against humans. He isn't the absolute evil, in fact the Angel of Death counts as much worse than Satan, although even he is not absolute evil.

Absolute Good or Evil is an interesting concept. It is almost comforting to know there is a completely pure being. The problem with this idea of absolutes is that it often leads to some pretty horrible things being done.

For Example: The Inquisition. with the Christian community knowing they were right and good and had (the ultimate) Good on their side, they were justified in doing anything they wanted to the "evil" fraction of the world. This led to horrific torture, murders, and sadistic raping of minds and bodies by the "faithful".

The Crusades. Many peoples were displaces, killed, and sold for the good of the Christian nations. Because these nations were under the absolute right, they were justified in going the extra mile in "beating" the devil out of the non-believers. It also allowed for taking of lands, belongings, and anything else the Christians desired because "they were the good guys".

Today the fight is very complicated with all sides believing they have the absolute right on their side. These ideas of absolute right lead to countries believing that torture is justified, human bombs are holy, and civilians are just as guilty as warriors. The horrors of these crimes are safely hidden behind a TV screen but they still are there.

Many more examples of belief in the absolute could be given. The point isn't that absolutes cause pain, which they do, but rather that absolutes are not needed. The trouble is, these absolutes were created by man. Man "figured them out". If everything that man comes up with is flawed, this too must be flawed. From the evidence of history, these concepts of absolute, don't do us any favours either. So maybe its time to let them go.


SugarPuff said...

thats interesting.

It is true, the Old Testament doesn't really have "the Devil" BUT, it does have a concept of absolute good and right.

kris said...

I would argue that absolute good and right are not there. Mainly because the writers belief that ALL things come from God... both good an bad. While He is regonised to be supreme, He can not be absolutely good when bad things come from Him as well.

watson_vagabond said...

i believe there are absolutes: the Holocaust was evil. when people plot how to hurt others--gossip, murder or abuse--that action is evil.

however, i don't believe any human being is absolutely evil or absolutely good.

just because we recognize an evil action does not make the person doing it purely evil, and just because we can recognize an evil action, doesn't make us a purely good person.