is Evil real?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by maya, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. Prober

    Prober Give Us This Day...

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    I believe evil is a construct of the human ego. Good would be also. To use a biblical example, Adam and Eve didn't know evil (or good either) until they ate of the fruit of the tree of the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. Then...

    They notice that they are naked!

    The devil doesn't sin until he says (using ego) "I will be like the most high".

    God preferred that we wouldn't know the difference; that we would just be happy...

    Have you noticed that the more you kill your ego, the happier you are?
     
  2. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    I agree with your interpretation of the tree Prober. The only thing is, we can't make evil go away now just by using semantics, saying it's not 'real.' As long as we need to rely upon our knowledge to get along in the world we're faced with the reality of evil. We need something active, I call it God's love, to deal with it. Good and evil may just be illusions stemming from man's judgement about himself and the world, but, we we are mired in it for now. We can transcend it, in glimmers now, in fullness in time (our afterlife or God's time). In the meanwhile, we have grace, love, forgiveness.

    2c,
    luna
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    When the four contractors in Iraq were killed...that could have been of perspective neccessity. Ok(I'm not agreeing but perhaps a point can be made). But when their bodies were hung from the bridge, and burned while people danced around and laughed as they burned...that is evil.
     
  4. Prober

    Prober Give Us This Day...

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    My ego not being quite dead yet, I would perceive it that way as well...
     
  5. JosephM

    JosephM Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. When I read this I see people dancing and laughing at burning bodies. No more ... no less.... That is not evil to them. It is only evil in your eyes because you have defined it so and found a multitude of others to agree with you. It seems to me that one can make perception a reality in their own mind. It is not a reality in their eyes. To them it is justice. But the question remains. Is evil real? The answer remains.... Only in the mind of the beholder.
    Just a thought to consider.

    PS. Prober, you make good points. No need to bend when the heat gets hot. :)

    Love in Christ,
    JM
     
  6. Prober

    Prober Give Us This Day...

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    The observer always knows the truth, including the fact that the observed lags behind sometimes!:D
     
  7. Rouge47

    Rouge47 Follower of Christ

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    Funny this is the exact same thread that made me want to join CR. Now I found it again.

    I really enjoy listening to Einstien's famous debate with his college professor. Unfortuanatly, he only argues on the side of the physical, rather than the side of the psychological.

    I don't think that evil exists physically, but that it instead exists mentally. As the saying goes, "Its all in your head."
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Now one can argue degrees, and we all know what mob mentality does...as very similar things happened in the South with our American Good ol Boys stringing up people...and then I remember another one with draggin someone behind a truck recently, or the gay kid outwest where they took him out of the bar and left him on the fence....

    No country, people or religion holds any kind of high ground on this matter. When one shuts out the light, darkness fills the void...

    I don't see any of these people as evil, I see them as crying out, needing love and understanding, as any society that creates this has done a disservice to these folks. We don't have to go around the world to find atrocities like this...they are backyard. In the DC area are the snipers already a distant memory? We need to look at ourselves and see what we can do, maybe it can be construed to late for some...but we've got generations growing up right now....we need to be the change, be the love, and not see evil, but people in need.

    Just for a minute imagine what one must think to move forward in any of these cases...what their lives and attitudes must have been to get to that point...for this to be acceptable behaviour.
     
  9. Rouge47

    Rouge47 Follower of Christ

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    I found that very insighting, wil. So tell me, do you look at the person, or the pain of the person? I ask that question to a lot of people who talk about this kind of stuff or say what you just said. As for me, I look at the pain of the person. This reminds me a theological speech I gave infront of the Student Congress one time at one of my debate tournaments:

    A bill was wanting to legalize gay marriages again. I went against and brought up many religious arguements. During the cross examination part I was asked, "Representative, are you aware that the Bible also says to 'love the sinner and hate the sin'?" I responded with a firm yes and explained that it was the homosexual that I had a problem with, it was the act of homosexuality.

    I placed in finals and won a certificate for that speech. Not to brag or anything...:cough::cool:
     
  10. Ciel

    Ciel in essence

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    Q, apart from the "perspective neccessity", I find myself in total agreement.

    Wil, I hear you're plea, and the responsibility of looking at ourselves to see what we can do...... Have I missed something concerning the contractors in Iraq, wasn't that the very reason why they were there, to help rebuild the lives of the Iraqi people. Many, many people in this world have experienced terrible atrocities and they also realise there is no point in creating further escalation by becoming the same as the oppressor. So yes, the only way is to Stop the Cycle. Walk in understanding, small steps at a time until peace is firm foundation in hand with compassion, and the new generations are able to see love and care showing the way as gentle giant and great hero.

    - c -
     
  11. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    I don't see the people as evil, but people who have succumbed to evil actions. I think it is a mistake to deny that there is evil in the world and say it is all just perspective. Sure, I agree that evil is perpetuated because of illness, injustice, suffering...that people are pushed to evil actions by circumstances outside their control much of the time. Yet the first step in healing is naming the demon, so to speak. You need to bring that evil into the light but if we refuse to acknowledge that evil even exists...I think we are doomed to keep allowing and repeating atrocities such as the burning of those engineers. As usual though, we need to start with ourselves...


    2 c,
    luna
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste Luna, Ciel, Rogue,

    I've got a question, doesn't and hasn't 99.99% of the world affirmed the existence of this evil for the past 10,000 years?

    How has that worked so far?

    Don't we think it might be time to try another way?

    the person or the pain in the person...I don't know, I see Mother Theresa, I honor all those that work this work...I'm not even close to conceiving that level of understanding...but I see its results and wish to see it expanded. The buck has to stop someplace, and it has to be with me.
     
  13. Prober

    Prober Give Us This Day...

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    Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    Two things each person can do...
    01. Make sure you are not part of the problem.
    02. Tell everyone what you think.
     
  14. Ciel

    Ciel in essence

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    In all honesty wil, there are so many times in this life I wish I had been able to speak out more about the wrong doings I was witness to in the name of evil. I would not wish to create an affront believing I might enpower the wrath of opposition. I would hold in meditative non dual silence, perfected to the point of feeling nothing, turning the other cheek towards more positive stance. Infact during that time there was nothing I could do. And the truth is it disengaged the ability of a life wanting desperately to create a better world. So I would say also, there must be another way. I choose peace, I choose compassion, yet to allow safe passage there must also be strengh of resolution and there is no strengh in denial.

    - c -
     
  15. JosephM

    JosephM Well-Known Member

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    Hi Luna,

    In light of your post I think it is important to understand that some of the last words recorded of Jesus was "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." I repeat "they know not what they do". To me, it is most important to see that people on the whole can't help but to be exactly what they are at this moment in time and space.
    Perhaps, it would be best to substitute the word 'error' for 'evil' and define error not as an act but rather as a choice that reenforces separation instead of unity. All humans share in the same weaknesses that are inherrent to existence. We live in a world where a myriad of circumstances, teachings, experience, physical limitations, genetical differences, etc. etc. generate possiblities that include the whole range of emotions and actions that make up our perceptual world. The resolution of these differences is not found in the defining of terms such as good and evil but rather in always choosing unity/love over all other alternatives. Just some thoughts to consider.

    Love in Christ,
    JM
     
  16. Ciel

    Ciel in essence

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    Hi Luna,
    I'm with you on the whole of your post, even though I quote only the above.
    Isn't it part of this strange liberal society that as with good and evil, we have also held in question right and wrong and even what is love? We talk of perspective attempting to see the world through a thousand eyes to understand others, yet we cannot deny in our heart of hearts we know. Have you ever noticed how when a child is reprimanded for doing something wrong they often take on a different personality in defence. The yes person and the no person. I guess what I'm trying to put forward is ..the yes is beautiful honest and just is, and the no is oh so complex, so complicated, what is it they often say - it wasn't me!
    Mmm, so who was it?

    - c -
     
  17. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Joseph, thank you for your post.

    I completely agree with this--forgiveness (love, grace...all related are they not?)--is the response. I don't understand this reluctance to name evil and I think this conversation is getting kind of pointless because heck! I agree with you, and wil, and Ciel, and Q, etc. My take on it acknowledges that bad things happen, we do these bad things to each other in our brokenness, but we are not the bad things...we perpetuate evil because we know not what we do. I separate the evil from the person. But to completely deny evil, as I said, is dangerous. What happened in Auschwitz was evil--carried out by broken people who deserve to have that evil named, forgiven and healed. And when a person is being sucked down by the evil of a self-destructive addiction, the response is not to deny that the evil that sucks the life out of them and everyone around them exists.

    I could agree with this, but really what is the point except one of degree? The gas chambers were an error? There's still the idea that not all is well in the garden, regardless of what we choose to call it.

    I couldn't agree more. It's just this idea of saying there's no such thing as evil is a kind of wishy washy new age way of being politically correct. I say it is evil to demonize other people, even someone like Hitler. But it is not wrong to name the evil that we do, bring it out of darkness and into the light. And this especially applies to the evil that we do in the name of God.

    luna
     
  18. Ciel

    Ciel in essence

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    Greetings Joseph,
    You appear to be a man tuned to a certain awareness and aware of a certain play of existence. Yet how I question and have questioned this statement....they know not what they do..... for if this planet is to survive it is imperative that we do know. Time to wake up from 2000 years of slumber. It's waking to the fact that we must take responsibility for our actions. Christ came on a predetermined mission unfortunately he was given a lousy script where the end play was concerned.

    - c -
     
  19. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    That would require man to "grow up" and take account of self and actions. We can only get that from our parents, and we have to take the "growing up" part seriously. Indeed, man still pans out with the same roles as expressed in "Lord of the Flies", instead of accepting responsibility and ownership, for self and for others.

    Christ's "They know not what they do", is a two part revelation. We're blind to our own desires, and we are refusing to accept the role of adulthood, in the heavenly order of things. That is why the "deceiver" has a ball with us. We fool ourselves (I think it's called denial).

    v/r

    Joshua
     
  20. Ciel

    Ciel in essence

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    Q, Many of us grew up when we realised we had the choise to make a better go at life than our parents. And choice as a key word........

    - c -
     

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