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Author Topic: Does Evil exist?  (Read 6302 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2007, 12:37:38 PM »

But there is also the analogous reference to light and darkness in the pericope, the point Isaiah seems to be making is that everything has its source in the divine. Nothing, no thought no essence no concept can be independent of Him, this is the essence of monotheism, that everything is derived from a single source.
Then I think it can be said that, since evil is not a "substance" with any kind of substantial existence, God is not the source of evil.  However, the potential for creatures to commit evil deeds does find its ultimate source in God.
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« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2007, 02:16:20 PM »

Then I think it can be said that, since evil is not a "substance" with any kind of substantial existence, God is not the source of evil.  However, the potential for creatures to commit evil deeds does find its ultimate source in God.

So God's not the source of evil, but only the source of the source of evil...ultimately, everything has one source.
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« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2007, 02:45:47 PM »

So God's not the source of evil, but only the source of the source of evil...ultimately, everything has one source. 

Yes, but not one intent.  If God only made the capacity to do evil things, and we made the choice to do evil things, then there is no indication of intent by God to do evil things.  He gave us a choice, in order for us to chose the good rather than having no choice; evil was the only other option (if one defines evil as action opposed to God and His Will).  Humans choose and chose evil with the intent of not doing God's will, so the intent that led to evil actions originated with our consideration and action upon the choices.

I think people see some sort of implication that because God has to allow evil acts to be done, that He intends for evil to continue to exist, when a more accurate statement would be that He permits it only because of His promise of free will.
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« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2007, 02:48:30 PM »

^ So, in other words, the ability to do something is not tantamount to a directive to do it. Yes?
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« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2007, 02:50:58 PM »

^ So, in other words, the ability to do something is not tantamount to a directive to do it. Yes?

Right.  It does seem logical, no?  If ability was equal to directive, then God would seem to be sitting on the fence, which He clearly does not do, as evidenced by scripture.
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« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2007, 02:57:20 PM »

It does make sense. This was an issue that I was struggling with as I was thinking of becoming Orthodox. I wondered how God could be only good if he gave us the ability to do evil. However, the idea that God is both good and evil made Him seem bipolar. After I became Orthodox, I found I no longer cared about this issue; but this does help to clear it up. Thanks.
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« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2007, 03:38:50 PM »

Hmmm.  Evil exists only as a choice, not as a being.  God allows us to do evil because of His allowance for Free Will, but evil isn't an entity, since all entities were created by God as good.  Instead, evil is the rebellion against God, the working against His will.  So evil wasn't created by God - there's nothing to create.  Instead, since God gave everyone the option to either go with Him or against Him, He created the potential for Evil actions, but the Devil and humans are the ones who actually performed them.  In a sense, what we normally characterize as evil is really the presence of those who have dedicated themselves to opposing God's will; but they aren't evil in their essence, just evil in their intents and actions.  Their desire to do evil has clouded the Good that was created by God.

As far as "his rebellion is eternal unless he choses to stop" - wasn't he given one choice, which he made, with eternal consequences?  Does he have the ability to turn around?

I completely agree with you. If you read through my posts I'm sure you will see as much.
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« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2007, 04:02:57 PM »

I completely agree with you. If you read through my posts I'm sure you will see as much.

Yeah I figured.  I maybe just read the one post out of context.
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« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2007, 04:36:48 PM »

Yes, but not one intent.  If God only made the capacity to do evil things, and we made the choice to do evil things, then there is no indication of intent by God to do evil things.  He gave us a choice, in order for us to chose the good rather than having no choice; evil was the only other option (if one defines evil as action opposed to God and His Will).  Humans choose and chose evil with the intent of not doing God's will, so the intent that led to evil actions originated with our consideration and action upon the choices.

I think people see some sort of implication that because God has to allow evil acts to be done, that He intends for evil to continue to exist, when a more accurate statement would be that He permits it only because of His promise of free will.

I would find it difficult to distinguish between divine intent and the current reality of the world, a deity who is both omnipotent and omniscient must have known very well the results of his acts of creation, and being omnipotent could create the world such that the exact results he desired came to pass. We can only reasonably conclude that the world, in the state it is now, was the intent of God, who neither desires nor is able to claim incompetence nor ignorance. The world is exactly how God wants it, to say otherwise negates his authority; thus, he created people with the desire that they do evil things.

With that said, I would not argue that God is evil, using our colloquial definition of the term essentialy meaning 'not good'. I find juxtaposing good and evil as two opposites to be an overly simplistic approach. The photons that are light and the fabric of space time which is darkness, appear very different at a glance, but, as past experiments and continuing developments in theoretical physics suggest, they may well be one and the same thing, simply expressed differently. Perhaps it is at that point, where light and darkness can no longer be distinguished, where good and evil can no longer be distinguished, that point would be where this entire discussion is rendered moot, perhaps that is where we find God.
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« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2007, 04:51:43 PM »

I would find it difficult to distinguish between divine intent and the current reality of the world, a deity who is both omnipotent and omniscient must have known very well the results of his acts of creation, and being omnipotent could create the world such that the exact results he desired came to pass. We can only reasonably conclude that the world, in the state it is now, was the intent of God, who neither desires nor is able to claim incompetence nor ignorance. The world is exactly how God wants it, to say otherwise negates his authority; thus, he created people with the desire that they do evil things. 

Again, I think neither the outcome of the world, nor the ability to perform evil acts is a function of God's intent for the world, but rather of His self-limitation - that He allows us to do as we will by keeping Himself from determining action.  The world is only the way God wants it insofar as it is full of people who are able to make decisions for themselves - what they do may be distasteful to Him, and against what He would want for us if He were to determine action instead of leaving us free to chose for ourselves.

{Edit - fixed bad bold tag}
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« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2007, 06:54:56 PM »

our colloquial definition of the term essentialy meaning 'not good'.
I don't think it's that simple. The existence of evil depends on the existence of Good, but the converse is not true. Good can (and did) exist without evil. By analogy, the existence of a bug in a software program depends on the existence of the software program, but the software program can exist with or without the existence of the bug. The software program has existence independent of the bug, but the existence of the bug is dependent on:
1) the existence of the software program
2) the absence of a patch.
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« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2007, 07:45:23 PM »

Yeah I figured.  I maybe just read the one post out of context.

Well if you ever do become a priest I know for sure that your parishioners would be blessed to have you. Wink
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« Reply #57 on: October 29, 2007, 07:46:57 PM »

I don't think it's that simple. The existence of evil depends on the existence of Good, but the converse is not true. Good can (and did) exist without evil. By analogy, the existence of a bug in a software program depends on the existence of the software program, but the software program can exist with or without the existence of the bug. The software program has existence independent of the bug, but the existence of the bug is dependent on:
1) the existence of the software program
2) the absence of a patch.
and 3) QA not picking it up yet. Grin  (Hey, what can I say?  Software QA is what I get paid to do. Smiley)
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« Reply #58 on: October 30, 2007, 08:39:48 AM »

I don't think it's that simple. The existence of evil depends on the existence of Good, but the converse is not true. Good can (and did) exist without evil. By analogy, the existence of a bug in a software program depends on the existence of the software program, but the software program can exist with or without the existence of the bug. The software program has existence independent of the bug, but the existence of the bug is dependent on:
1) the existence of the software program
2) the absence of a patch.


I would say it's more like the computer is god and the software is man. The software is and was created good but somewhere down the line it decided that it wanted be greater than the computer and became bugged. A glitch of it's own making. Once that decision was made that it didn't want to preform the way it was intended to. It was cut off from it's source by an antivirus program witch is there as a protective measure. The computer seeing that the software didn't preform as intended and couldn't be fixed because it was given it's own hard drive. had to be removed from the system. It couldn't work in harmony with the computer. The software than had to be deleted.

But there is good news. The software was given all of the necessary repair tools to be able to fix it's self. Once it is repaired it can be reinstalled and function in harmony. Assuming that it wants to repair itself. Otherwise it will remain deleted.
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« Reply #59 on: October 30, 2007, 09:40:38 AM »

I would say it's more like the computer is god and the software is man. The software is and was created good but somewhere down the line it decided that it wanted be greater than the computer and became bugged. A glitch of it's own making.
So are you saying that the bug is not "uncreated" but in fact is "made" by the software?

The software than had to be deleted......The software was given all of the necessary repair tools to be able to fix it's self. Once it is repaired it can be reinstalled and function in harmony. Assuming that it wants to repair itself. Otherwise it will remain deleted.
How can one repair deleted software?

And the real question is: Can the bug exist without the software?
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« Reply #60 on: October 30, 2007, 10:45:26 AM »

So are you saying that the bug is not "uncreated" but in fact is "made" by the software?
 How can one repair deleted software?

When I say uncreated I don't mean that it is a part of being. Many energies are uncreated. It doesn't mean that they belong to god.. Lets take temptation for instance. It can be categorized as uncreated. It's not a substance of creation. It is uncreated.  But it doesn't belong to god.

Quote
And the real question is: Can the bug exist without the software?

No it can't. Because the software is the bug. Both will not exist.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #61 on: October 30, 2007, 11:02:11 AM »

Many energies are uncreated. It doesn't mean that they belong to god.. Lets take temptation for instance. It can be categorized as uncreated. It's not a substance of creation. It is uncreated.  But it doesn't belong to god.
Temptation is a product of creation. If there was no Creation, there would be no temptation....

the software is the bug.
This directly conflicts with what you said earlier in the same post:
I don't mean that it is a part of being.
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« Reply #62 on: October 30, 2007, 01:18:12 PM »

Temptation is a product of creation. If there was no Creation, there would be no temptation....
Exactly. Just like evil is.

Quote
This directly conflicts with what you said earlier in the same post:

Maybe with your model of evil but not mine. Wink


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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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