The origin of evil...

People reject arguments for other reasons then soundness. One should not hit buttons that cause others to put up walls. That kind of stuff will never further your argument, even if it is true.

Do not be like that though, I am only trying to help and being like that to me is certainly not going to get you anywhere. Remember, we are to be known for our love for one another.

-Tom Bombadil

I have a problem with saying, "Origin of Evil", as if "Evil" were phenominon that was created, or exists independently as, say, a rock exists.

"Evil" is a property of behavior defined by a moral religion, just as "friendly" is. "Evil" is, therefore, an adjective and is synonymous with "causing harm" outside of an act of justice.

An "evil" person is, therefore, a person who perpetrates injury. The origin of "evil", likewise, becomes the first example of a person perpetrating injury outside of any context of Justice. (e.g. One wouldn't call a person "evil" who defends himself against attack).

evil
SYLLABICATION: e·vil
PRONUNCIATION: AUDIO: vl KEY
ADJECTIVE: Inflected forms: e·vil·er, e·vil·est
1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.
NOUN: 1. The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.
2. That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction: a leader's power to do both good and evil.
3. An evil force, power, or personification.
4. Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction: the social evils of poverty and injustice


Rastus, evil can be both injury (action) or as noted in definition #3 the personification of an evil force (satan). The question of the origin of evil lies with whether evil preceded the creation (ie: evil or the potential for evil co-existed with God) or whether evil or the personification of evil originated with the creation.

I think what Rastus says has merit though. Without getting to much into the Metaphysic of causes and effects one can see clearly that evil is a thing done and not a thing in and of its self. The Word it self says "sin is not imputed when there is no law." (Romans 5:13b)

Jesus in John 9:40-41 shows us that sin is to be reckoned via the law for "Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, 'We are not blind too, are we?' Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains.'" And Paul also says in Romans 4:15 "[F]or the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation."

In fact the point of the Law was to make us all accountable. Romans 5:20 "The Law came in so that the transgression would increase [...]" and Romans 3:19-20 "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin." And Romans 7:7-8 "What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COVET.' But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead." All of these verses say just that.

And so Evil is any want of conformity to the law. Without law there is no evil.

Now, here is where the rooster is correct though. Since we have seen that apart from the law sin is dead it behooves us to answer why then did God make the law? So that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God. This is the express purpose of the law; the law is so that sin would increase and God would then be able to demonstrate Wrath and Mercy. For apart from a creation in need of Wrath and Mercy all of the Glory of God would not be known by those out of man that are called according to the purpose of God that they might enjoy Him *fully* forevermore!

That is what is meant by Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." All things, including evil, work together for the good of those who love God. For all that God does is a displaying of the Glory of God for the sake of those called.

-Tom Bombadil

I have to add my favorite quote to the thread.

~Blaise Pascal

All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room.

TTT for Prof.

~Since we have seen that apart from the law sin is dead it behooves us to answer why then did God make the law? So that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God. This is the express purpose of the law; the law is so that sin would increase and God would then be able to demonstrate Wrath and Mercy.

When you're speaking here, we're talking about the law(s) that God made?

I have a huge problem with this, even if it is an accepted view. Why does God care if he demonstrates wrath and mercy? Does it show us a great lesson? I don't think so. It seems like people are trying to give God human qualities that I don't feel he has.

What is the most loving thing God could give us to enjoy? There is only one possible answer. Himself. Nothing created is greater that its creator. No matter how beautiful man is, or how splendid this world is, or how amazing this universe might be, God is more so. If God would give us what is the best and most satisfying of things, if He were to love us perfectly, He must offer us no less than Himself to have fellowship with. As Psalm 16:11b says: "[I]n your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence are necessary attributes of God. One cannot be God without these characteristics. Goodness, mercy, longsuffering, wrath and justice are not necessary attributes of God. Our God has these attributes, but they are not characteristics that are necessary in order to be God.


But how do you show mercy when no one is in need of mercy? How do you show wrath when there is no one worthy of wrath? Apart from a fallen creation the demonstration of mercy and wrath are impossible. Apart from the demonstration of mercy and wrath a complete showing of all of His attributes is impossible.
In order to show forth all that He is, in order to display all the beauty, all the splendor, all of His amazing glory, in order to give us all of Himself, God has ordained that evil be. And He ordains it for the fullness of our joy and for our pleasure forevermore. Not because He wants an unaffected love from man, something the Bible NEVER states. But because He wants to give an undiminished view of Himself for man to be exceedingly and utterly blown away with total joy over His beauty and splendor.

-Tom Bombadil

Why is it necessary to show all of his attributes? If this is so necessary, why doesn't he do this to me in some other meaningful way? Currently I, (and lots of others) don't even believe that he exists at all, not to mention know the bounds of his power. Do we humans even have the ability to understand a fraction of his power?

I can only understand heat to a point, beauty to a point. All of these things are limited by the ability of my body to produce a chemical reaction that I can 'feel'.

By giving me this evil to ponder on, it only lowers my belief in God's existance. I don't see the evil as coming from God, and understand his power. I see that evil is so terrible, why would anyone want it to happen at all? Not to mention at the magnitude and frequency it's ocurring at.

I see the evil as coming from acts done by humans, not from God.

double post

Go see "Choosing your God" for it seams that the two threads have come to the same point.

-Tom Bombadil

Again, "origin of evil" suggests that it was created at some point...that it didn't exist at some point...and that it's of atomic nature.

Within any population one will have a bell curve of virtue - a couple saints, a couple madmen, alot of nice people, alot of losers, and a whole swarm of benign mediocrity. That curve is influenced by environment, but there you have it.

Talk of "demons and devils" to me is a primative reckoning; afterall, when's the last time you saw a devil perpetrate evil?

I read 'choosing your god'. I'm trying to understand God, and faith systems in general.

ChemicalSage,

Do you think you could "understand swimming" by staying on the deck, watching others splash around?

Do you think you could "understand running" by sitting in a lounge chair, watching others pass by in a marathon?

The only way you can understand a system is to assume it, and see where it takes you and "how it fits". Take off your shirt, dive in the pool. Put on your shorts and jump into the race. Accept God, find others (such as bible studies) to support your faith and pray for guidance and understanding.

If you are truly interested in finding God or entering a faith system, don't stand on the sidelines and intellectualize it. Enter it.

Rastus has captured the correct.

And is swimming around with it as we speek!

-Tom Bombadil

~The only way you can understand a system is to assume it, and see where it takes you and "how it fits". Take off your shirt, dive in the pool. Put on your shorts and jump into the race. Accept God, find others (such as bible studies) to support your faith and pray for guidance and understanding.

I agree. I've tried the above, it didn't work out for me. I can however learn some of the basics of different faiths from all the knowledgeable people on this board.

If I was trying to understand running, I would go out and run, for sure. I don't think that my employer is going to pay me to visit your church though, but they definately do pay me while I search for answers online. :)

Name me a question that's puzzling you.

I pretty much covered it all, I believe. My main problems are:

1) the problem of evil - I don't see why God made our reality the way it is, and not better. And I do think that it could be better, in many ways that don't create problems.

2) the problem of obscurity. I realize that God isn't going to just hand out a 100% faith pass to people, and that 'the path is more important than the destination'.

I think that the things I've experienced my life doesn't show the presence of a loving God, not to mention the thousands of people that have it way worse than me.

Do we want to get started on those again? I've been discussing them with people for a while now.

You want to talk about specific problems? Why do people in Africa think that raping babies will cure aids? Why does God let things like this go on?