reply to post by Krazysh0t
Personally, I believe "evil" boils down to selfishness. The selfish don't concern themselves with others; they live for themselves only. They could
care less about the Golden Rule. They'll screw anyone over to increase their own wealth or power. This defines practically every politician and
"elite" fairly well, and also their minions who'll "just follow orders" in order to keep their cushy jobs.
But it's not restricted to the rich and powerful. If you're, say, a priest who preys on the innocent as an outlet for those things denied by the
Church (like getting married), it means you're putting your own needs ahead of your victims'. It means you just don't care.
If you go around
oppressing (or merely belittling) people because of their political leanings or religious beliefs or sexual orientation, it means you consider
yourself before them. If you spread lies about, or hate towards, someone, you're just catering to human nature to make yourself look better in the
eyes of those who know you at someone else's expense. This is "following the ways of the world," as we're told we should not do. Violating any one
of the Ten Commandments means putting yourself and your desires before someone else's. Simply charging someone interest on a loan (usury) is evil.
So evil is greed, apathy, insensitivity, intolerance, snobbery, deception. If you always put others first, you're the opposite of that; selfless,
caring, sympathetic, friendly, open and honest. To quote Terry Pratchett (of Discworld
fame), "Sin is what happens when you treat people like
things." Wise man. And if you do consider others first, if you do help anyone who needs it without expecting anything in return, if you aren't
opposed to a bit of self-sacrifice now and then, guess what? You're following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whether you know it or not. And if
you're the opposite, you're rejecting
Christ's teachings, and by extension him too.
Now, obviously, everyone has at least a touch of evil in them. We can't all be the widow in
. Nobody would sell everything
they own and
give it to the poor, not even Pope Francis. Being human means being somewhat selfish; that's how the world's set up, and it's what Adam and Eve
demonstrated by trying to become "like God" as the serpent tempted them to do. Selfishness is original sin, but it's not our fault.
thus able to ask for forgiveness whenever we slip up and someone else suffers because of it, as long as we really mean it. And "someone else" also
includes God and Jesus, the guy who said this
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my
disciples, if you love one another.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind... and love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the
Prophets hang on these two commandments.
of how much better human civilization would be if everyone followed that one simple verb: Love.
If you don't give a damn
about others, what makes you worthy of being treated any differently, by man or
God? The world sucks because powerful, greedy people make it
on purpose. They love themselves more than others, and that makes them seek out positions of influence in society so they can leverage their
power to improve their own lives, no matter the cost to anyone else. Is it any wonder that most of those in power have set everything up for their own
benefit? Is it any wonder the world is one giant kleptocracy now, stealing our labor in exchange for worthless scraps of paper without which we can't
eat or have a roof over our heads? It didn't have to be that way... and someday, it's going to be fixed, rather dramatically and all at once. You
can choose to be a part of that for eternity, or to continue putting yourself first for a few years and spend eternity wishing you hadn't. And that
about sums it up.
Be good to each other... for all our sakes.