A Conversation for Evil from a Western Perspective
Point of order on Evil in Western Society
lordkrill Started conversation May 23, 2004
The Jews had a concept of evil going back to 4000 b.c. Zorathustra had his vision in 650 b.c. (about). How did the Christians get the concept of evil from Jews who got it from Zorathustrans if Jewish belief predates Z by 3400 yrs. I propose that the concept of personal evil vs spiritual evil vs supernatural evil is the true thrust of your post.
I would like to state that I believe that Z got a vision while on a journey of discovery, and the Creator God or the God of the Christaians & Jews gave him a vision. If you sort out the later additions from the original belief, Zorathustra basicaly gives you a less detailed version of Christian philosophy, up to and including the return of Christ and the defeat of Satan. If the God of the Jews is in fact a real God that loves all of his children, it only makes sense that he would communicate to any of his children that sought the truth. Remember that both God and Jesus state that in a search for truth, you will invariably find them, for they ARE the truth.
In a true treatment of Evil in Western society one should explore the difference in blame and guilt, verses accountability and shame. The concept of evil and its effects are more closely related to psycological factors then based in spiritual belief. All people and cultures have/had a belief in the concept of evil whether individual or societal, in addition to, or in exception of, any religious influences. The evolution of the concept of Evil and it's place in society, are more purely aspects of blame/guilt and the resulting determination of the level of accountability and finally the proper course of action to excuse, curb, stop, or punish that evil. In the final analysis, Evil is subjective, ie; Vlad was a monster to his enemies, but, he is a hero to most Romanians.
In most of the world today we see a concept of evil that was actually put forth by Jesus Christ. And though I am no historian, I am pretty sure this concept was unknown in any serious way until Christ, that is, the determination of evil is more about the WHY than about the What. In other words, it's not what you do that makes you evil, it's why you do it. And though we are not all conciously aware of this ideaology, we must realize how much Christianity has influenced our culture, Western Philosophy has a belief of Justifiable evil. "Yeah, I did it, but I had no choice. I'm not wrong because I'm the victim not the criminal." If we didn't have these concepts, guilty people would never go free. This philosophy taken too far though is where our problems today lie, now we can justify anything ("Man will reason away the things of God").
Having said all this, I do believe in a concious supernatural evil, I also believe in a spiritual evil, not neccesarily conciously controlled, but above all else, I believe in the ability of man to do evil without the presence of any outside stimulus. Selfish people are evil, true evil is to do for you, what you deny everyone else, and there will always be selfish people. Thus, there will always be evil. People will always justify their personal evil, and most will do it blaming a spiritual or supernatural force. But ultimately, no matter the origin of the evil, you have to make a concious choice to perform the action, so you must accept the responsibility of your actions. This is why you get punished by God for any unforgiven evil action, and Satan gets punished for any interference. Of course I only use this as a philisophical precept, not to push religion on you.
In conclusion(as everyone gasps in relief), Evil, as with all things on Earth, physical and philisophical, adapts to its environment. The concept of what is evil in a society changes as the maturity of the society changes. Every major civilization goes thru the same growing pains and then the same dying pains. It is more Societal developement then actual realization of evil that determines the concept of evil. If Evil could be so easily catagorized, there would never be any discussion about what is evil, we would all believe the same thing. But churches and religions can't agree on evil in their own denominations, how can society come to any real conclusion. So, I say, if it hurts you, someone, or something, it is evil, don't do it, don't allow it.
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