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The Problem of Evil - Can It Be Solved?

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posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 09:41 PM
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The Problem of Evil
by Peter Kreeft

The problem of evil is the most serious problem in the world. It is also the one serious objection to the existence of God. No sane person wants hell to exist.

Peter Kreeft

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The problem of evil is the most serious problem in the world. It is also the one serious objection to the existence of God.
When Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote his great Summa Theologica, he could find only two objections to the existence of God, even though he tried to list at least three objections to every one of the thousands of theses he tried to prove in that great work. One of the two objections is the apparent ability of natural science to explain everything in our experience without God; and the other is the problem of evil.

More people have abandoned their faith because of the problem of evil than for any other reason. It is certainly the greatest test of faith, the greatest temptation to unbelief. And it's not just an intellectual objection. We feel it. We live it. That's why the Book of Job is so arresting.

The problem can be stated very simply: If God is so good, why Is his world so bad? If an all-good, all-wise, all-loving, all-just, and all-powerful God is running the show, why does he seem to be doing such a miserable job of it? Why do bad things happen to good people?

The unbeliever who asks that question is usually feeling resentment toward and rebellion against God, not just lacking evidence for his existence. C. S. Lewis recalls that as an atheist he “did not believe God existed. I was also very angry with him for not existing. I was also angry with him for having created the world. “

When you talk to such a person, remember that it is more like talking to a divorce than to a skeptical scientist. The reason for unbelief is an unfaithful lover, not an inadequate hypothesis. The unbeliever's problem is not just a soft head but a hard heart. And the good apologist knows how to let the heart lead the head as well as vice versa.

There are four parts to the solution to the problem of evil . First, evil is not a thing, an entity, a being. All beings are either the Creator or creatures created by the Creator. But every thing God created is good, according to Genesis. We naturally tend to picture evil as a thing—a black cloud, or a dangerous storm, or a grimacing face, or dirt. But these pictures mislead us. If God is the Creator of all things and evil is a thing, then God is the Creator of evil, and he is to blame for its existence. No, evil is not a thing but a wrong choice, or the damage done by a wrong choice. Evil is no more a positive thing than blindness is. But it is just as real. It is not a thing, but it is not an illusion..

Second, the origin of evil is not the Creator but the creature's freely choosing sin and selfishness. Take away all sin and selfishness and you would have heaven on earth. Even the remaining physical evils would no longer rankle and embitter us. Saints endure and even embrace suffering and death as lovers embrace heroic challenges. But they do not embrace sin.

Furthermore, the cause of physical evil is spiritual evil. The cause of suffering is sin. After Genesis tells the story of the good God creating a good world, it next answers the obvious question “Where did evil come from then?” By the story of the fall of mankind. How are we to understand this? How can spiritual evil (sin) cause physical evil (suffering and death)?

God is the source of all life and joy. Therefore, when the human soul rebels against God, it loses its life and joy. Now a human being is body as well as soul. We are single creatures, not double: we are not even body and soul as much as we are embodied soul, or ensouled body. So the body must share in the soul's inevitable punishment—a punishment as natural and unavoidable as broken bones from jumping off a cliff or a sick stomach from eating rotten food rather than a punishment as artificial and external as a grade for a course or a slap on the hands for taking the cookies.

Whether this consequence of sin was a physical change in the world or only a spiritual change in human consciousness—whether the “ thorns and thistles” grew in the garden only after the fall or whether they were always there but were only felt as painful by the newly fallen consclousness-is another question. But in either case the connection between spiritual evil and physical evil has to be as close as the connection between the two things they affect, the human soul and the human body.

If the origin of evil is free will, and God is the origin of free will, isn't God then the origin of evil? Only as parents are the origin of the misdeeds their children commit by being the origin of their children. The all-powerful God gave us a share in his power to choose freely. Would we prefer he had not and had made us robots rather than human beings?

A third part of the solution to the problem of evil is the most important part: how to resolve the problem in practice, not just in theory; in life, not just in thought. Although evil is a serious problem for thought (for it seems to disprove the existence of God), it is even more of a problem in life (for it is the real exclusion of God). But even if you think the solution in thought is obscure and uncertain, the solution in practice is as strong and clear as the sun: it is the Son. God's solution to the problem of evil is his Son Jesus Christ. The Father `s love sent his Son to die for us to defeat the power of evil in human nature: that's the heart of the Christian story. We do not worship a deistic God, an absentee landlord who ignores his slum; we worship a garbageman God who came right down into our worst garbage to clean it up. How do we get God off the hook for allowing evil? God is not off the hook; God is the hook. That's the point of a crucifix.

The Cross is God's part of the practical solution to evil. Our part, according to the same Gospel, is to repent, to believe, and to work with God in fighting evil by the power of love. The King has invaded; we are finishing the mop-up operation.

Finally, what about the philosophical problem? It is not logically contradictory to say an all-powerful and all-loving God tolerates so much evil when he could eradicate it? Why do bad things happen to good people? The question makes three questionable assumptions.

First, who's to say we are good people? The question should be not “Why do bad things happen to good people?” but “Why do good things happen to bad people?” If the fairy godmother tells Cinderella that she can wear her magic gown until midnight, the question should be not “Why not after midnight?” but “Why did I get to wear it at all?” The question is not why the glass of water is half empty but why it is half full, for all goodness is gift. The best people are the ones who are most reluctant to call themselves good people. Sinners think they are saints, but saints know they are Sinners. The best man who ever lived once said, “No one is good but God alone. “

Second, who's to say suffering is all bad? Life without it would produce spoiled brats and tyrants, not joyful saints. Rabbi Abraham Heschel says simply, “The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?” Suffering can work for the greater good of wisdom. It is not true that all things are good, but it is true that “all things work together for good to those who love God.”

Third, who's to say we have to know all God's reasons? Who ever promised us all the answers? Animals can't understand much about us; why should we be able to understand everything about God? The obvious poiint of the Book of Job, the world's greatest exploration of the problem of evil, is that we just don't know what God is up to. What a hard lesson to learn: Lesson One, that we are ignorant, that we are infants! No wonder Socrates was declared by the Delphic oracle to be the wisest man in the world. He interpreted that declaration to mean that he alone knew that he did not have wisdom, and that was true wisdom for man.

A child on the tenth story of a burning building cannot see the firefighters with their safety net on the street. They call up, “Jump! We'll catch you. Trust us. “ The child objects, “But I can't see you.” The firefighter replies, “That's all right. I can see you.”

We are like that child, evil is like the fire, our ignorance is like the smoke, God is like the firefighter, and Christ is like the safety net. If there are situations like this where we must trust even fallible human beings with our lives, where we must trust what we hear, not what we see, then it is reasonable that we must trust the infallible, all-seeing God when we hear from his word but do not see from our reason or experience. We cannot know all God's reasons, but we can know why we cannot know.

God has let us know a lot. He has lifted the curtain on the problem of evil with Christ. There, the greatest evil that ever happened, both the greatest spiritual evil and the greatest physical evil, both the greatest sin (deicide) and the greatest suffering (perfect love hated and crucified), is revealed as his wise and loving plan to bring about the greatest good, the salvation of the world from sin and suffering eternally. There, the greatest injustice of all time is integrated into the plan of salvation that Saint Paul calls “the righteousness (Justice) of God”. Love finds a way. Love is very tricky. But love needs to be trusted.

The worst aspect of the problem of evil is eternal evil, hell. Does hell not contradict a loving and omnipotent God? No, for hell is the consequence of free will. We freely choose hell for ourselves; God does not cast anyone into hell against his will. If a creature is really free to say yes or no to the Creator's offer of love and spiritual marriage, then it must be possible for the creature to say no. And that is what hell is, essentially. Free will, in turn, was created out of God's love. Therefore hell is a result of God's love. Everything is.

No sane person wants hell to exist. No sane person wants evil to exist. But hell is just evil eternalized. If there is evil and if there is eternity, there can be hell. If it is intellectually dishonest to disbelieve in evil just because it is shocking and uncomfortable, it is the same with hell. Reality has hard corners, surprises, and terrible dangers in it. We desperately need a true road map, not nice feelings, if we are to get home. It is true, as people often say, that “hell just feels unreal, impossible.” Yes. So does Auschwitz. So does Calvary.

www.catholiceducation.org...
Kreeft, Peter. “The Problem of Evil.” Chapter 7 in Fundamentals of the Faith. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), 54-58.


That looked reasonable as a starting point, while looking around the Net for something "legitamet" with which to start a thread, to give it a stamp of authority of sorts, start a frame and a context or two, but really folks, after all these years, it's rather self evident, that the problem of evil, while perhaps the greatest problem in the world, has yet to be solved, the evidence abounds and we know IT, if not "them" in their entirety (that is if it's exclusive only to a certain group of people ie: global conspiracy networks and the like, which we might, to a degree, say if we were to include the "person" of the Corporation, for example - by it's fruits, which lay rotting across this magnificent world of ours,

So the question then, of - what precisely is the problem of evil and how can it, presuming of course that it's even possible, to begin with - be solved, once and for all time - is up for grabs.

It would seem that like "evil" whatever it may be, along with just about everything else is also up for re-evaluation now, at this very precise MOMENT in human history, the whole breadth of it, which most of us know, with near certainty, dates back to a golden age, no matter the predicament, that we now find ourselves emersed within, today, and we know that evil is certainly a predicament, in our very midst, and so this the "Problem of Evil" is therefore begging for a re-evaluation and reapraisal, as if stopping in time and tacking some serious stock of human history, relative to this issue. Even the very sphere and locus of the self and consciousness relative to the 20th century of the self, that too, seems to beg a certain question, an age old question - who are we? why are we here? what IS this?, and/or what is it, and what are WE "for"?!, if anything! (some, like George Gurdjieff, good 'ol George God rest his soul - say life is utterly meaningless and absurd on the very face of it, having no intrinsic meaning of it's own, except that which we assign TO it, as subjective observers at best collapsing the wave of possibility in choice, or judgement... maybe, the problem is that we're all merely confused, about the most profound issues of life, and of human life, and all life, on THIS particular planet, and at THIS particular moment in history.

I have some thoughts on this thing, this beast of a thing, but I don't want to start this thread as a lecture from me on the solution to the problem of evil, because, well I guess I don't want to look bad or anything, as if presuming to know about it from a transcendant perspective, but at the same time, I know, or intuit very deeply (almost grokking..) that the only real and truly lasting possibility of that, of a real solution to this problem, this plaugue on humanity and the world itself, and all life on earth for that matter, maybe even, if we really do live in a non-local, holographic universe, and all appearance is that's what it is, some sort of vast active living information system (VALIS and I'm "Horselover Fat!"
- operating as a source of spiritual corruption, in violation of the universal prime directive!, to love and be as one, and work together, in a shared mutual spirit of familial love, and friendship, a brotherhood of people (and aliens too, c'mon they HAVE to be "out there" somewhere), can you IMAGINE, if the suffering generated here, of all places (I realize this sounds kind of solipsistic, if only on a planetary scale), leaves the whole thing, the entire breadth of the whole of creation "groaning in travail" for the "revelation of the sons fo God". What horror that would be and what an embarassment. Please forgive me and us universe, for being these terribly flawed human beings, weak minded, careless, judgemental, arrogant, willful, selfish, well you would know if you're listening (in the the spirit).

Over to you, but for God's sake believers and atheists, please, don't rip each other apart over this, keep it all Civil and I've seen a newfound Civility emerging on ATS as of late, and it's a wonderful and refreshing phenomenon to be a part of, because this is OUR community, in a strange way, and how we are in here even makes a difference, ya never know maybe even a BIG difference, with a million visitors a month, hey anything is possible that's all I'm saying, and after all, wouldn't the end of evil have to start SOMEWHERE? So why not here?

You have the floor.



P.S. if there are typos, word errors, or any misuse of grammer or syntax, please forgive me, and no, the devil did not make me do it! I'm sick of editing my own posts, makes me feel narcissistic. That said, please don't attack the messenger here, and this could very well get ah heated, this discussion, and I don't want to get, you know "fired" or rejected, and isn't that really our most fundamental need, to be accepted? To be both self accepting and accepting of others. I've heard it said that self acceptance and mutual acceptance of the other person as self, is the highest form of love, because it means being open to the brotherhood (and sister and brotherhood) of mankind, maybe even enough to move a whole mountain of this stuff, into the sea (abyss), a grand Hurrah! erupting from only God knows where!

We can do this thing you know, but only by working together, so I do hope that we can get to the root of it, while everyone else "out there" are but hacking away at the leaves.

I love you

maybe we can move mountains with love and faith the size of nothing but a tiny seed?! Could it be that easy?





posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 09:50 PM
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without evil there cant be good! en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 7-1-2011 by oswego because: messing around with font , went haywire ..ugh



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 09:53 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 

NewAgeMan,

That is one serious quote!! Are you sure it is within the T&C to post an entire article??

Anyway, on topic, I am not a religious man so my answer will not surprise you but....why try and solve "evil"??

Isn't it all about balance? I mean, without evil would there be such a thing as "good"??

yeah yeah,I know, damn atheists!!


Peace



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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To the first two posters all I can say, for now, is I don't agree with that "theology" of the duality of good and evil, it's abhorant, and not true imho. I'll reply more as the thread progresses. Oh and I also believe that the problem has already been solved, more on that later as well. In fact, I think it's a slam dunk already! I think there's good news to be had here, but I mean that only in the most rational and reasonable way.

Did someone say "why solve it"? Ah that's funny. I'd say because we're human beings, and that's just the way we're made. And, because it's a big time PROBLEM which DEMANS a solution, now. Today.

It's said also that the antithesis of faith, is fear. Fear though, and I can even feel it now even as I type, given the magnitude of what we're talking about here, is something I think that we just HAVE to have the courage to get present to, and face it down, in love. The end of fear I think, where it terminates in humor, is the beginning, not just of faith, but of knowing, through love, what the Hundus call Bhakti, at least when that love is extended from the self to the rest of humanity, and hey let's face it if you don't love everyone, how can you love anyone (was that in Gerry McGuire?)

This idea that for there to be good we need evil as an equal and opposite! Oh God, you see now that's kind of funny, that that's what the human being would demand, or is that the better part of us, who is saying that...? who thinks it's universally intrinsic, as a ying yang up everyone's ah __ And no I'm certainly by no means calling anyone evil for anything, for thinking or saying anything, God forbid, but like I said, I'm pretty sure there's some big time confusion over this issue, and therefore, a blind spot.

What I hear you saying is it's perhaps evil? to think that evil is a problem to be solved by the human being?, but we created it to begin with, don't you see? We can't run away from it either. It's like the ultimate "wedge issue" for the human being, as a spiritual entity, and at all levels, for many people very physical levels - as Gandhi said, "God comes to the starving in the form of food."

And like I said, there's no need to go projecting that all over the universe either! That would suck.


edit on 7-1-2011 by NewAgeMan because: editing, but refusing to do so narcissistically.



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 10:23 PM
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I haven't got time at the moment to reach the original post, but I read all replies. Here is my thoughts on the subject. (Sorry I don't have a very organized thought process but I will do my best, most of it is critical thinking, i figure it out as I go).

First a quote


"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

You said it. We created evil. We literally have constructed every single aspect of our lives from the time we are born till now. And this magnificent work in process construction that is reality, we assume is the truth, in every single way. The critical flaw with this is that this reality, (aka your/my reality (every single concept, conditioning, emotion etc etc)) we assume is the "TRUTH."

Now of course somethings we can say are TRUE within the definition we provide (this pencil is hard (LOL)) but can we consider that all the dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteor a truth? or how about which religion is the one TRUE religion?

What the truth is, is the cause of so many conflicts and this is one of the places where evil stems from. Just because someone's beliefs don't adhere to the TRUTH of your reality may resort them to becoming your enemy and create conflict (evil?).

I have kind of run into a wall with this right now, but I will be back to contribute more to this thread.
Let me know what you think



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 10:32 PM
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I don't perceive "evil" as a problem. It is necessary. To perceive it as a "problem" is unhealthy to the balance of nature's inherent divinity.

Thoughtful post and quote though. I appreciate your perspective.

Oh, and I'm glad someone else knows what "grokking" is.

edit on 7-1-2011 by prepared4truth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 10:33 PM
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Ok maybe I laid that on too heavy or something, as if it's "our" problem to solve, if so forgive me, and no I am not evil, not by any stretch of the imagination, heck ealier today I almost broke into tears talking to a street guy who was born missing a hand, and I asked him how he felt about it, if he was bitter or spiteful over it at all, and he looked at me with the kindest face and eyes I've ever seen, and said to me "they teased me a lot when I was a child over it" and I said yeah, children are cruel sometimes to one another, and they he perked up, happy and said, "yeah, but you know, I realize now of course that they didn't know what they were doing" and I almost lost it right there, and gave him THREE instead of two dollars, when he asked me, as if as a last ditch effort, begged me for a nickel, and I was like # bro, I can do better than THAT! (in truth I'm kind of broke right now, and tnat's what I had in my pocket, or I would have given him more, for those that might be thinking to themselves "that cheapskate, 3 bucks doesn't get ya anywhere these days!"

But I've been driven into the wedge out of sorrow, sorrow from withiin the family of origin, as well as a certain brightness, and sensitivity, to the world, one which ultimately lead me through not one but TWO "dark nights of the soul!" so I've been there done that got the t-shirt as they say, had the breakdown over all of this, back about 14, almost 15 years ago now (the crackup date), and in one form or another, this has in many ways been a search of mine, not for evil, or relative to it, but like a child who's really hurt over the sufferings of the world, and the more I grow, spiritually, the more I hurt. That said, the more that suffering carves into our being the more joy we can contain (Gibran), and so the willingness to carry the suffering of the evils of the world, in the final analysis, and under God's observation (whatever that might mean), it's workable, I've found, and Buddha he realized this too when he sat his assdown again, after giving up. That said, he had been sitting under a freaking TREE for 17 years or whatever it was - is it any wonder that his first "nobel truth" was "Life is sorrowful!" (just thought I'd throw that in there). And it would seem to leave us weeping and wailing almost indefinitely, in heartfelt compassion, but it doesn't, and that's where the rational reframe on this comes into play, to wipe the tears from our eyes.



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by ThisIsMyName
 

That was excellent. You raise a valid point, well worth some serious consideration and reflection. Yes, the love must transcend any dogma, and according to my own belief, spiritual gnosis if you will, my "Lord" of love would have it no other way, always willing to bracket for the sake of love and of mutuality, but when it comes to extending this as some sort of arrow of Civilized Progress, on a path of progress towards perfection, we seem to break down, in the gap between what is, and what ought to be, within the larger context of all those differing opinions and viewpoints. So my thinking is - there MUST be a way out of this mess as something upon which we can all absolutely agree, and therefore it would have to be of the most simplistic nature, clearly self evident, and entirely available to reason, ie: a truth, but a shared truth, not a coercive, dogmatic, fundamentalist truth. It's scary and a balancing act, for sure, and that takes both courage and discipline, the very tools of love itself. In other words, we must be willing to at least try, try to come into understanding, God realization, no God realization, whatever will bring about the same end, as evil's antidote. I KNOW it exists, and I'm just being faithful relative to the vast resources, not just available to me individually, but available through all, and we've got some really bright and KIND people among us here, heck they've been signing on in DROVES as of late, and the sense I think that many of us are getting, is that our purpose, our calling, both individually and collectively, our Magnum Opus if you will, is on it's way, the whole frame and unreasonable reasonableness, becoming increasingly available for our mutual grokking, as if indeed we can just open our minds and allow the spirit of intelligence to inform us, and this perhaps the most difficult issue facing humanity and the world at this very moment.



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by prepared4truth
I don't perceive "evil" as a problem. It is necessary. To perceive it as a "problem" is unhealthy to the balance of nature's inherent divinity.

Thoughtful post and quote though. I appreciate your perspective.

Oh, and I'm glad someone else knows what "grokking" is.

edit on 7-1-2011 by prepared4truth because: (no reason given)


Heh - water brother!


But here you are yet aNOTHER poster saying that it's "neccessary".

Could you possibly elaborate on that?

I also think it's fair here, for the sake of Civility, to declare right now in this thread that

THERE ARE NO WRONG ANSWERS.

For just once, let us stop focusing on making the OTHER GUY wrong in some way, or at least that's what I'd like to request in the name of CIvility.

Neccessary....

Oh Lord... I don't think that's right, not if Karmic law is informative as a teacher, is doesn't jive with fruitfulness either, or what I like to call a "formative causation" which is helpful.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I find that a loathsome view, abhorent to the love of God, to justice, righteousness, goodness and all we hold dear. I disagree, I have to, while being Civil - no, it's not neccessary.

But why are you convinced that it is, I"m curious. And why is everyone saying that, so far..? Why do we run to its defence?! Isn't that absurd...?

P.S. That wasn't an attempt to make you or anyone WRONG, and I suppose we ought to be careful when trying to discuss any such things as absolutes (although that's what four of five people are saying..!), to be right, nothing like that. And I am prepared to back any assertion up in a way that ought to be sensible enough to anyone, and we mustn't jump to any conclusions either, and yes, this is a very challending subject, for sure, big time! Especially when I went ahead and requested Civility and that atheists and believers refrain and restrain themselves from a flame war over this!

Very challending, indeed (said like Yoda).




edit on 7-1-2011 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 11:10 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


OK, this is my perspective brother.

Firstly, evil is within everything. There is no such thing as a common good or common evil because everything we base our morality on is based on individual perspective and merit. Without going into detail about how we obtain our perspectives, it is safe to say that "good" and "evil" are not universally singular terms.

To elaborate on why our perception of evil is necessary and why it is in everything, look at the yin-yang symbol. Because interpretation of morality depends on perspective, something good is always going to be perceived as something bad simultaneously. No matter how "good" something seems, there are always just as many "bad" consequences involved and the scope through which we see this consequences is limited in an infinite number of ways.

It is a very deep concept, which deserves its own thread and I might make my own thread elaborating on it. But for right now, think about it like this (since it seems that you and I both like Heinlin).

Michael (symbolizing Jesus) fixed the problem of humanity's hatred by showing them how to accept "evil". He accepted being stoned to death willingly, just like Jesus accepted being crucified. Evil cannot be "fixed". It can only be demonstrated. To stop it, the best thing to do is to let it happen in the face of "goodness" (whatever that concept may be to you). If murderers are released into the streets and ALL laws are abolished, then murder and all sorts of crime will become commonplace. Only when criminals see the fruition of their actions will they stop committing the crimes.

AKA Love is the best way to change our experience. Love for ALL, not just love for what we consider to be good.

Tried to explain it best I could...

edit on 7-1-2011 by prepared4truth because: love



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 11:14 PM
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Here's a clue as to where I was wanting maybe to go with this - to keep the discussion going (everyone's in stunned silence!)

I am not suggesting "fighting" evil. "Resist not evil" he said, meaning the same thing Carl Jung referred to when he said "that which we resist, persists".

No I'm talking about something, a very simple idea or solution, capable, at least in terms of what would be reasonable and logical (logos) of replacing it, as a newfound arrow of civilized progress at all levels, both bottom up emergent, as well as top down, and all around I guess you might say.. if only in potentia.

Belief in evil, as a fundamental ying yang principal COULD be part of the problem itself, as if we're talking about an absolute, equal and opposite to the Good (with a capital G).

It would also have to be something not only perfectly reasonable, as a universal principal capable of deating evil, but also somewhat flexible, in terms of allowing what might eminate from such a realization to become nothing more than a work in progress, not perfection in and of itself, at least not right away, but an arrow pointing somehow, to that as an ideal.

So it's the REFRAME away from "evil", ignoring it altogether in a sense, to form some sort of arrow of progress, transcendant of it, able to draw us and by extension the larger world along for the ride, into a new age, or what was old, made new again (whatever THAT might mean, which carries with it, many frames, including the very best interpretations of the ancient wisdom teachings, all of them). So it would be relatively easy, it's yoke somewhat easy and it's burden light, this leadership (and sure I mean that in the spirit of Christian love, since that's the frame that I use). However, since it's entirely reasonable and logical, while Jesus may indeed represent the pattern of the type of leadership I'm talking about here, the principal remains the same, and principals - always have to be proven right by their application, to it's something pratical, which, in the final analysis, will have nothing to do with evil whatsoever.

See what I'm driving at now..?

I don't want to freak anyone out here! Gee!



edit on 7-1-2011 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 11:23 PM
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reply to post by prepared4truth
 

I hear you saying willingness and acceptance, and unlimited compassion, transcendant of evil, is key, but how is it "neccessary". In my view, good is good for goodness sake, and love is it's own reward, not because it's not bad, or in the case of love, hated. Who can hate love? This just doesn't make any sense to me, the "neccessity of evil". I well know the Buddhist frame, but so too do I also "grok" the Christian one, to use your Heinlein analogy.
What I would suggest that you are saying, is that we need an endless series of Bodhisatva World Avatars, to be stoned and cruficfied by evil, all the time, just to see and recognize the difference..? Again, absurd I say.

The idea of welling up with enough compassion however, to carrying it all, to have that much love for all humanity without judgement (of course the criminals need to be locked away, that's another matter altogether), to get to the other side of it all, in the regenation of the world, now that's for sure a good deal of where I was headed with this thing re: the loving "hand" of love, which wipes away the tears from the eyes (shared compassionate sorrow).

So it would seem to me that we are simple arriving at the same destination, by two different means, unless you're asking for a heap of Jesus' and Michael Smiths that is?


edit on 7-1-2011 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 11:27 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


Ahh I see. Well, I'm pretty sleepy right now so I'll have to check up on this thread in the morning but I'll leave with this:

Striving to better, oft we mar what's well. -Williams Shakespeare

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it. -Salvador Dali

A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem. -Albert Einstein

Sometimes we strive so hard for perfection that we forget that imperfection is happiness. -Karen Nave

I say this not to be defeatist, but to show that the journey to overcome "evil" is purely a philosophical quest, which we should learn from. What we learn is that everything is a part of everything which makes everything work. The perfection lies not in perfected result but in the chase for perfection.

Also, in response to your above post I would say that it is an individual choice. It can only be demonstrated by those who choose to follow the path of perpetuating love, who often become martyrs and religious avatars. These examples are meant to show YOU and only you which path to take, and the choice always becomes your own.


Peace.

edit on 7-1-2011 by prepared4truth because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-1-2011 by prepared4truth because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-1-2011 by prepared4truth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 

NewAgeMan,

Is it then not reasonable to ignore religion also when striving for this goal??

Peace



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by prepared4truth
 


I see what you're saying. All I'm suggesting is that we don't need evil to exist in the world, in order to be happy. I'm saying that, as sound as that might appear, philosophically, that in truth, it just doesn't jive with personal experience or felt gnosis (grokking, from Michael Smith's perspective). I guess I'm suggesting is that we can climb into the heads of these Avatars and begin to see something, like this issue, from a whole new perspective and a whole new frame of reference, which however novel it might appear, is just the underlying principal and dynamic the way it REALLY is, outside of our paradigm of duality, or our illusion of the neccessity of evil and suffering. I know what love is when it's present because I can generate it, from time to time, like when I carried some sorrows with that street person today for example, it was there, and I suppose that the healing of love, needs sorrow, but isn't the new creation, the regenerated world, not dependant on a new type of understanding on the part of everyone, which seems to reside at the end of suffering, in consciousness suffering healed by the love of God made manifest in the world. Would our work really be over and life pointless, if that Great Work of All ages was completed, the eschaton immamentized so to speak?



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 

Yes, Evil can be solved when the higher conscience realize the utter absurdity of its necessity.

It always sends shivers down my spines when people so casually throw the apology of evil out there. It’s just predictable knee jerk reaction by atheist rebels when religion is attached to it. What they are not thinking is that evil can also be defined as defection if you want to put it in a scientific term. No one built something for it to deteriorate until it becomes obsolete. You may put it through some tests but the purpose is not some masochistic aim for destruction.

What is evil really? If evil is just absence, well presence must be what’s good . There, you are talking on an impersonal level where the two don’t really interfere with one another. But if you’re talking on a dynamic or personal level, then there is eternal conflict without either one fulfilling their free will because there is always interference. Especially by Evil. There, Evil is not just the absence of anything, evil becomes purposed DESTRUCTION, until NIL. 1+-1=0, now don’t tell me that zero is existence. If we’re going to pretend that there is existence, we can keep it hostage between this false eternal balance between good and evil. If evil’s extreme is destruction, why can’t good get to its extreme?

I could elaborate so much more on this because the answer is a whole other subject.



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 11:51 PM
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Originally posted by operation mindcrime
reply to post by NewAgeMan
 

NewAgeMan,

Is it then not reasonable to ignore religion also when striving for this goal??

Peace

Of course it depends on what you mean by "religion", if as nothing but a mask and a defence mechanism against realizing God, then absolutely, and Jesus also felt that way (my elder brother)! Ironically!


But I also think, to borrow from Heinlein again, that the only way into the new age of reason and spirit (which can be the will to love and nothing more) will also involve a deep "grokking" or understanding of just what those religions were supposed to be teaching us, what they were trying to preserve and pass down, when in their origin pure form, and I'm also saying that's all still there, still present IN that "grokking of most fully" the root and source, not of the religious wars, but of the first fruits of those increases in human awareness and understanding, of the type that people like Jesus and Mohammed and all of them, Isaiah (he was a little nuts himself), etc. but yeah, all this fundamentalism would simply HAVE to go

But I say in differentiating and reintegrating it, in grokking it or digesting it, that we be careful not the just throw the baby out with the bathwater (sorry for the mixed metaphor, sounds like I'm advocating the eating of babies).

But "religion" as it's presently understood, by the masses, yes, in a way, although I'd suggest that the churches and mosques of the world ate primed for this new revelation, but absolutely, "we" the religious, are going to absolutely have to have or develop the courage, to leave our physical temples and beging to allow the spirit to live through us, both innerantly and in transcendance, even worship of an Absolute, or simple gratitude, take your pick, but of course even that much cannot be coercive or forced on anyone, or, forced not to do either, since we all need to remain free, and liberated, to pursue whatever path to enlightenment and to God realization as we wish.

But we need more God realization first, in order so that can take place.

Therefore, the religions of the world surely all have their dissolution in their own spirit contained within themselves, thereafter serving as a touchstone or a point of reference, for those who wish, or who do not wish, either way.

But this truth monopoly, of absolutes, which are based not in pure reason, but in faith alone, which violate their own precepts, principals and tenets, yeah, that would have to do. Religion would have to grow up.

But we cannot lay the evil at that door either, only maybe at the ignorance of man in the face of God's love and "attempts" at communication through some among us over the years, however feeble it may then come out of us, when we try to get out of the way and allow God to speak, or I should say the spirit of truth and wisdom (of God).

And then of course the love itself, is at core, and the mutuality and the family framework under one infinite free DOME of the heavens above, one spirit of God, enveloping the whole of creation, but as that creation and reality really is.

How can we jetison God or the spirit of wisdom, until we've become it, ourselves?

I don't want to go back to the stone age either of a purely "rational self interest" amid a Darwinian "survival of the fittest and strongest" without any GLUE, or definite purpose (arrow of progress).

So I think it's THROUGH Religion that we'll get there, but that we have a lot of EATING to do first. So if you want to bring an end to Religion, then first "grok it most fully", then you become the new frame of reference, where the meaning of the word "church" is to call out from ie: out from something no longer functional, into a new life and a new creation, reborn into and through the spirit, and water (flow of life).

I have to go visit with a friend now, carry one - but please, for the love of God, or just for people's sake, keep it Civil. Thanks

Luv,

Rob



posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 11:57 PM
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reply to post by Exv8densez
 


Brilliant, but please, be careful. Let's allow the very principals we are espousing, to become imbedded, self referentially within this thread, like a tangled hiearchy of tolerance, even shared compassion, as well as the freedom to have differing viewpoints. Allow the consciousness of the reader to decide. But please don't try to stake out a claim on something like this, while marginalizing your fellow man in a spirit of condemnation or judgement, I don't like that, and it doesn't belong in this thread. As much as I agree with what I glimpsed of what you were saying. That said, it doesn't have to be all love and kumbaya either (which means by way of my Lord I think). And no I don't make the rules just because I initiated the OP, and of course this is bound to get a little hairy, probably by page three, but please, if you can, this once, think it through, what you want to say or convey and then get it across in a civilized way, which has no hate in it, or disrespect, and bear in mind that we do not all know what we do, or say. Just imagine being in another person's shoes and asking yourself - would that be hurtful to me, if I were him, or provoke him into hating me and wanting to get back at me in return.

Just as an experiment, let's see what we're all really made of here!




posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 12:08 AM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 

NewAgeMan,

I am still following you but do you think man (as a whole) is mature enough to handle such responsibility??

I will take some serious maturity of the soul to handle such a way of thinking. And if not all are on the same page, so to say, would the whole story of "survival of the fittest" not come into play by means of the immature taking advantage of those who are??

In other words, is man ready to go without strict guidance? Because if not, wouldn't this effort create more "evil" than it would solve??

I believe your notion is the correct one but it is something you can not force or "hurry up",it has to happen gradually and in time. Until that time religion remains a construct very much necessary for guiding the masses.

Peace
edit on 8-1-2011 by operation mindcrime because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 12:17 AM
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I believe we are in a state of chaos at this time due to the drastic changes we are experiencing on a personal/communal and planetary/universal level. Karma has been greatly misunderstood as some sort of punishment for an act in a past or present life. Punishment itself is only self inflicted, because we create every aspect of our lives. What you call evil to me is a massive project of clearing up old karmic relationships in numerous past lives. Some people come directly to this time without having ever lived a life in the body before and are usually much more deeply affected by their experience of embalance they witness in this life. When we choose to follow a religion we are choosing to follow a dogma that teaches seperatism from "God" and each other. Not recognizing that we are an integral part of the First Source (you may call that God) but I would not. Read the teachings of the Summerian tablets in comparison to Genesis in the bible. Just don't read it when it has been covered by a religion, they have a vested interest in persuading your mindset that they have the answer to Nirvana/Heaven/Salvation or whatever. Don't get me wrong, I believe there is a great amount of truth in the bible. But, I am well aware of the misinterpretations that were created to have control over the people. I think to gain a fuller understanding of reality it takes a great deal of time and study. Unless, you were born without ever having forgotten where you were before you got here. Which, obviously you were not. Neither was I. I had to spend a life time reviewing history and religions and listening to the voice of intuition. I have had to wade through metaphysics, indigineous tribal beliefs, archelogical discoveries..the list goes on and on. It's wonderful that you have such a sincere depth of compassion. Living life with compassion, gratitude, appreciation, forgiveness, valor and humility is needed. Breath work is the key to freeing yourself from the matrix at hand. Take in a breath through the nostrils for a count of 3, 4 or 5. Then pause. Exhale the same count number your breathed in. Pause. Do not focus on anything other than your breath, the sound, the feel and let the rest of the world dissolve from your mind. Prior to beginning set your intention as tearing the walls down of the matrix. Do this for 3 weeks and see what comes out of it. You won't have a great awareness when you are doing the breath excercises. They will come when you least expect them, like when you go to take a shower to get ready for the day. Initially, you may be frightened of your thoughts. Because you will be addressing your deep embedded belief systems. Continue this practice for the remainder of your life and you will eventually see that you are an Integral Soveriegn Entity that is a fraction of all there is. We are all one and what one does, we all do. There is no bad guy robbing the 7-11, it's just another faction of yourself. We are all one and we are all one with the First Source of life. Each spiritual belief system has a piece of the truth. They all share common truths too.

That is all I have to offer and will not be revisting this forum. The rest is up to you and I know you will find your joy in time.

PeaceLight




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