I wrote this essay in hopes to understand if Evil really exist. What I end up coming to the conclusion is that both good and evil do not exist and that we just believe it does. Since we all have common opinions of what we think is bad and what we think is good we let that maifest into Good and Evil.Wonder fills her eyes as she watches the windows of creativity float above her, reflecting her smiles, laughs, and excitement that sits in the bubbles that float over the nothingness that is the skies. As she sits in the grass, her mind unfolds her world as she enters her own land of imagination. Her youthful glow and her expanding mind adds color to her world. She is Good, however she is also Evil.
One conversation that has no end with different variables that continues to be added along with definitions that continue to change is the battle of “Good versus Evil”. The idea of Good and Evil holds many controversial issues and resonates from our religion and what we are taught at home. However, many people don’t know what Evil actually is and find it unclear. Many religions believe that Good people have Good things happen to them and because of Evil, bad things happen to the Good people. They are fed the idea that Good and Evil is always balanced, but people argue that Evil rises over Good in their lives. The one thing that is known but many will not believe is Evil does not exist and neither does Good. Evil is an empty word and Good people can be perpetrators of Evil.
In the TED Talk, “The Psychology of Evil”, Philip Zimbardo says “The line between Good and Evil to the privileged, is fixed but movable.” An excellent example of this is murder. If a human murders another human, it is considered Evil. Somehow the small difference in scenarios can erases Evil. The line between Good and Evil can was be moved in the minds of those who are observing only one of the acts as Evil. If a man murders another man, the murderer is considered Evil. When a man is put on trial and gets the death sentence, the officer that pulls the switch to the electric chair is a murderer, but because it's his job and the man getting the death sentence is considered Evil, the act by the officer is somehow Good. An officer of the law that acts as the executioner for a death sentence is the same job of a hitman. A hitman’s job is to kill anyone that a consumer wishes to to perish. Many would say that what a hitman does makes him Evil. What makes it Evil? If a hitman kills a rapist or another murder, is is still considered just as Evil as the hitman killing someone that a consumer just do not like? The judge that sentenced the convicted man to a death sentence simply had an alternate choice to to send the murder to jail, however because he wishes for the man to perish he sends him to his death. The officer that does the deed is hired to do so, the officer is a hitman. The two men in the scenario are doing the same Evil deed but only one is considered Evil. Evil is just the opinion that resonates from your morales implanted by the way you were raised. Good is what you prefer and Evil is what you don’t prefer.
In the essay, “The problem of Evil”, Jeff Speaks says “God is omnipotent; God is wholly Good; and yet Evil exists. There seems to be some contradiction between these three propositions, so that if any two of them were true the third would be false. But at the same time all three are essential parts of most theological positions: the theologian, it seems, at once must and cannot consistently adhere to all three… A related idea is that Evil is necessary as a means to bringing about Goodness. The basic idea here is that God uses Evil to bring about Goodness, in much the way that we find that we often have to do something painful, like going to the dentist, to bring about some desirable end, like fixing a cavity.” Evil is what shows Good and Good shows what is Evil , without both, society can crumble and go out of control. Without Good there is chaos. Without Evil there is chaos. Balance is key. Ying can not live without Yang, and Yang cannot live without Ying. The subconscious idea layered in your brain, Evil, is completely and utterly relative. Evil only exist because we exist and and we let the idea manifest. The world and reality itself is neutral. The meaning of Good and Evil does not exist anywhere but our minds. Philosophers try to explore what Good and Evil is and it always relates back to religion, mainly back to the scripture of the bible, “Ezekiel”. They say that God is the all Go and that he created Evil and Hell. He was the one who put one and two together by putting the Evil in his own domain of Hell. God could have locked the domain to ensure that all of his neutral creations do not get influenced by Lucifer. God left it open and instead of it being a place to keep all Evil in as a prison, Hell became a security and shelter for Evil. God supposedly allows for Lucifer to walk the earth and along with his followers to influence the Good and turn them Evil. God supposedly created everyone and everything. People of the Christian faith were told that he created Lucifer and Lucifer was his favorite angel. I believe he was his favorite angel because at the time, there was no Evil, and God wanted to use Lucifer to change that. Good and Evil at the time was supposedly turned and favored on the Good side because there was no opponent. Therefore, there was no Good because there was no Evil to complete the definition. Lucifer “turned” on God. God is all Good and all knowing, so of course he knew of this was going to happen when he first created him. I believe God created Lucifer because he needed Evil. He gave Lucifer free will but just like everyone else, it was already programed in his brain of what Evil is. God created him with the intention of becoming Evil. By the power of free will, Lucifer was able to do what god wanted him to do.
In a Bible study scripture Lucifer's Rebellion, “Evil did not originate on planet earth. Before God created earth, he had already populated the universe with other rational beings. The Bible calls these beings "angels," and names several different orders. Angels have often been made to appear as fantasy by those seeking to discredit their existence… The angels, like mankind, were created with free will, and were subject to the same conditions regarding their eternal life. The most prominent of these chose to rebel against God. In order to understand the conditions in which we live today, we need to understand this angel and how he came to rebel against God.” Reality cannot be neutral without two sides for it to stand in the middle. So if Good and Evil does exist, which is completely possible since it's all a matter of opinion; Reality holds the scale that Good and Evil balance on. If one of the components are gone then the whole scale does not exist. God needed Evil for Good to exist and since Evil was created by Good, Evil cannot exist without Good. Reality is the free will of the life. The scale acts as a bridge to challenge free will. There is nothing stopping one that is Good from becoming Evil; and one that is Evil from becoming Good. So the question lies, will you become Good or will you become Evil?
Einstein reportedly commented that "scientists make poor philosophers." One would think that Psychologists would make excellent philosophers... but sadly, I find that poor thinking haunts even highly-credentialed persons.
In his second paragraph, Dr. Taylor reminds us that "‘Good’ and ‘evil’ are relative - one person’s ‘good’ is another person’s ‘evil’." This becomes important later...
He continues, saying, "[t]hey are also flexible - people can be a combination of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ qualities, and some people who behave cruelly and brutally can be rehabilitated and eventually display ‘good’ qualities such as empathy and kindness."
Interestingly, the antecedent to the first word in this sentence ("they") is "'good' and 'evil'". But after describing "good and evil" as "flexible", he attempts to justify this statement not by speaking of good and evil itself, but the capacity of humans to be a bit of both, and to "move" on the moral spectrum from "better" to "worse" or vice-versa.
This is totally a non sequitor at best and nonsensical at worst, as his statement says nothing about the "flexibility" of good or evil. Furthermore, the example actually implies that good and evil are NOT, in fact, flexible--for if these concepts are flexible, then to say that one can "be rehabilitated and eventually display good qualities" is meaningless... just as the person becomes "good", then the definitio of the "good" just might change, leaving him "evil" again!
On another level, the author's contention says absolutely nothing about the person being "rehabilitated", but only about the author! Frighteningly, this implies that for the subject to be rehabilitated, he must conform to the author's definition of goodness! This sounds like a plot from a bad B movie where the totalitarian dictator forces everyone to be just like himself!
Also implicit in the author's statement is that one can "be rehabilitated and eventually display EVIL qualities"... for after all, "‘Good’ and ‘evil’ are relative - one person’s ‘good’ is another person’s ‘evil’."
With that oh-so intellectual-sounding statement, the author gave up his right to call anything "good"! With one breath, he denies that the concepts of good and evil are anything other than one's opinion; with the next, he tries to say that men can be made "better", or "more good"... but he's left the definition of what is "good" open to every human to decide for themselves.
And regardless of how subjective he claims these concepts to be, he still speaks of them as if he knows what the definition of Good is for all of humanity!
"‘Good’ means a lack of self-centredness. It means the ability to empathise with other people, to feel compassion for them, and to put their needs before your own. It means, if necessary, sacrificing your own well-being for the sake of others’. It means benevolence, altruism and selflessness, and self-sacrifice towards a greater cause - all qualities which stem from a sense of empathy. It means being able to see beyond the superficial difference of race, gender or nationality and relate to a common human essence beneath them."
Oddly enough, though the author has declared goodness to be subjective, this is not a subjective definition. This is an objective criteria that can be evaluated externally without regard to the subjective observer. Furthermore, the author has not defined "goodness", he has described actions and attitudes that he deems to be "good", without telling us what makes them any better than their antithesis.
The author uses Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. as examples of those "good" persons who were selfless. However, there obviously were many persons who hated these men for the stance they took (as evidenced by their deaths), and who would call them anything but "good".
So which is it? Were their actions taken on behalf of civil rights "good" or "evil"? When Dr. King's efforts led to Civil Rights laws being passed in the United States, was that objectively better than the previous state of affairs, or was it simply different?
The same arguments may be made against the author's simplistic description of evil. Stalin and Hitler had their supporters who would have called them "good". By denying the objectivity of good and evil, the author has no grounds on which to say these supporters were wrong or misguided. They simply have a different definition of "good" and "evil".
He then attempts to defend the concept of the flexibility of good and evil. However, he again doesn't describe these concepts, but rather the behaviors of men. These are not the same thing. We would say that a runner completing a mile race in less than four minutes was a fast runner... but that doesn't mean that "fast" actually IS the actions of the runner. To describe the meaning of "fast" by describing the race is illogical.
Rather, "fast" is an adjective that describes in broad terms the behavior of the runner's objective performance. While it is imprecise, it is not subjective. It points decidedly to one side of the scale, while its opposite, "slow" points to the other. While Usain Bolt's "fast" might be incredibly beyond my own "fast", in no case would one say that you could simply flip the definitions so that running a mile in 4 minutes was "faster" than walking a mile in an hour!
But such a disparity is common when discussing moral issues. Should homosexuals be allowed to marry? Many say that it is immoral to prevent their union, while many others say that it immoral to allow their union. The two positions turn the scale on its head!
For the runners, their objective velocity underpins the relative terms used for descriptive purposes. The same must be true for "good" and "evil" if the concepts are to have any meaning at all. An underlying standard must exist, external to all men, that defines the continuum of morality. Only then can these terms have any coherence.
While I disagree strongly with most of the article, the author does make one very insightful comment near the end... but it destroys the bulk of his earlier arguments. He says, "‘Evil’ is an aberration, a form of pathology, as the psychopathic personality shows, which only emerges when we are broken off into disconnected fragments."
For "evil" to be an aberration implies that there is a standard from which it diverges. In this, the author agrees with St. Augustine:
[T]he good in created things can be diminished and augmented.
For good to be diminished is evil; still, however much it is diminished,
something must remain of its original nature as long as it exists
at all. For no matter what kind or however insignificant a thing
may be, the good which is its "nature" cannot be destroyed
without the thing itself being destroyed. There is good reason,
therefore, to praise an uncorrupted thing, and if it were indeed
an incorruptible thing which could not be destroyed, it would doubtless
be all the more worthy of praise. When, however, a thing is corrupted,
its corruption is an evil because it is, by just so much, a privation.
From this it follows that there is
nothing to be called evil if there is nothing good. A good that
wholly lacks an evil aspect is entirely good. Where there is some
evil in a thing, its good is defective or defectible. Thus there
can be no evil where there is no good. This leads us to a surprising
conclusion: that, since every being, in so far as it is a being,
is good, if we then say that a defective thing is bad, it would
seem to mean that we are saying that what is evil is good, that
only what is good is ever evil and that there is no evil apart from
something good. This is because every actual entity is good. Nothing
evil exists in itself, but only as an evil aspect of some actual
entity. Therefore, there can be nothing evil except something good.