But on the question of the origin of evil there has been, and is, a considerable diversity of opinion. The problem is strictly a metaphysical one; i. No system of philosophy has ever succeeded in escaping from the obscurity in which the subject is involved; but it is not too much to say that the Christian solution offers, on the whole, fewer difficulties, and approaches more nearly to completeness than any other.
The question may be stated thus. Admitting that evil consists in a certain relation of man to his environment, or that it arises in the relation of the component parts of the totality of existence to one another, how comes it that though all are alike the results of a universal cosmic process, this universal agency is perpetually at war with itself, contradicting and thwarting its own efforts in the mutual hostility of its progeny?
To what, then, is the evil of human life, physical and moral, to be attributed as its cause? But when the universe is considered as the work of an all-benevolent and all-powerful Creator, a fresh element is added to the problem. If God is all-benevolent, why did He cause or permit suffering? If He is all-powerful, He can be under no necessity of creating or permitting it; and on the other hand, if He is under any such necessity, He cannot be all-powerful. Again, if God is absolutely good, and also omnipotent, how can He permit the existence of moral evil?
We have to enquire, that is to say, how evil has come to exist, and what is its special relation to the Creator of the universe. It has been contended that existence is fundamentally evil; that evil is the active principle of the universe, and good no more than an illusion, the pursuit of which serves to induce the human race to perpetuate its own existence see Pessimism. This is the fundamental tenet of Buddhism q. This was also, among Greek philosophers, the view of Hegesias the Cyrenaic called peisithanatos , the counsellor of death , who held life to be valueless, and pleasure, the only good, to be unattainable.
But the Greek temper was naturally disinclined to a pessimistic view of nature and life; and while popular mythology embodied the darker aspects of existence in such conceptions as those of Fate , the avenging Furies, and the envy phthonos of the gods, Greek thinkers, as a rule, held that evil is not universally supreme, but can be avoided or overcome by the wise and virtuous.
Pessimism , as a metaphysical system, is the product of modern times. Its chief representatives are Schopenhauer and von Hartmann, both of whom hold the actual universe to be fundamentally evil, and happiness in it to be impossible. The origin of the phenomenal universe is attributed by Schopenhauer to a transcendental Will , which he identifies with pure being; and by Hartmann to the Unconscious, which includes both the Will and the Idea Vorstellung of Schopenhauer.
According to both Schopenhauer and Hartmann, suffering has come into existence with self-consciousness, from which it is inseparable. Evil has been attributed to one of two mutually opposed principles, to which respectively the mingled good and evil of the world are due.
The relation between the two is variously represented, and ranges from the coordination imagined by Zoroastrianism to the mere relative independence of the created will as held by Christian theology.
Zoroaster attributed good and evil respectively to two mutually hostile principles rhizai , or archai called Ormuzd Ahura Mazda and Ahriman Angra Mainyu.
Each was independent of the other; but eventually the good were to be victorious with Ormuzd, and Ahriman and his evil followers were to be expelled from the world. Manes held that matter was essentially evil, and therefore could not be in direct contact with God. He probably derived the notion from the Gnostic sects, which, though they differed on many points from one another, were generally agreed in following the opinions of Philo, and the neo-Platonist Plotinus, as to the evil of matter.
They held the world to have been formed by an emanation, the Demiurge , as a kind of intermediary between God and impure matter. Bardesanes, however, and his followers regarded evil as resulting from the misuse of created free will. The notion that evil is necessarily inherent in matter, independent of the Divine author of good, and in some sense opposed to Him, is common to the above theosophical systems, to many of the purely rational conceptions of Greek philosophy, and to much that has been advanced on this subject in later times.
Mark And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? New International Version Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. English Standard Version Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. Berean Study Bible Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Berean Literal Bible not repaying evil for evil or insult for insult; but on the contrary blessing, because to this you were called, so that you should inherit blessing. New American Standard Bible not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. He built up altars for Baal, erected dozens of other high places for worshiping pagan gods, and he even brought brand new forms of idolatry, not even heard among the pagans.
He went so far as to build altars in the house of the Lord! How evil can one get?! He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. By this we may know that we are in him We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.
Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Now Er, Judah's firstborn, was evil in the sight of the Lord , and he put him to death. His daughter-in-law Tamar also bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all. The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now therefore thus says the Lord , You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.
After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. All times are GMT The time now is PM. Add Thread to del. Recent Entries. Best Entries. Best Blogs.
Search Blogs. Add Fulldresser4 to Your Ignore List. View Blog. She used the phrase "the banality of evil" to explain why he did terrible things - he was not very intelligent, followed orders mechanistically, liked to belong to the Nazi state machinery, and had no malice against the Jews.
This does not excuse his actions, she said, but it does mean that he didn't need outside help to do his unbelievably terrible deeds. By extension, the problem was more that the Nazis had the wrong ideas, than that they were in some sense supernaturally evil.
I find this a convincing explanation, as all kinds of "normal" and respected people in early twentieth century Britain and America - including H G Wells, Churchill, and George Bernard Shaw - held vehemently racist views that today we would all find utterly abhorrent.
In politics and business, it is quite normal for good people to do a lot of harm for example, most communists and socialists ; and for bad people, sometimes, to do a lot of good. Henry Ford was a nasty piece of work, but gave freedom of movement to ordinary people, perhaps the single biggest piece of philanthropy in the last century. If you have ideas that cause great harm, such as communism and racism, your moral qualities are quite irrelevant. Conversely, if you believe in market forces and advance them, you can have a massively beneficial impact on society even if you are, in the technical phrase, a total shit.
Once one admits the force of unintended consequences, the cosmic battle between good and evil looks a little exaggerated, perhaps even threadbare. Mankind has got better, not because we are more virtuous, but because we have more knowledge and insight than we used to. Good and evil may even be a sideshow, or an illusion, compared to knowledge and ignorance. I personally find it hard to be sure whether good and evil exist beyond humanity.
But I am inclined to believe that they do; and certainly, I think we should behave as if they do. I am sure there is outside help available to us, whether simply because we believe that there is, or because - more likely I think - it really is there. Progress in life is not just technocratic; it also comes from increasing the proportion of "goodness" in our actions.
That this also makes us happier is indisputable.Aug 06, · This four-part video series uses the Bible itself to prove that the literal God of the Bible is evil. Part 1 discusses the following topic: MURDER AND GENOCIDE: Genesis Job Exodus