Wednesday, July 29, 2009

He Seemed So Nice!

Those who wish to ignore or deny the existence of evil are understandably surprised when they are confronted by it’s reality. They seem genuinely surprised when someone close, be it family or a friend or neighbour does something criminal or socially inappropriate. In reality, nothing that people do “wrong” should surprise any of us.

Evil is so persistent and pervasive in each and every one of us that those who propose some means of excising evil from our world may as well propose cutting every heart from every human being.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, I remember hearing someone say, “Before this, I never believed that evil existed.” She never believed that evil existed? Just how dedicated to an errant world view does one have to be to be surprised by something so obvious? Just how evil and self-obsessed does one have to be to think that “The world’s not so bad”? Just because your fridge is full of food does not mean that everything is ok.

I propose that there should be no surprise whatsoever when a Pastor is exposed as a fraud, when a little league coach or teacher is found to be a sexual predator or when the grocer kills his wife and family. When one group suggests the destruction of Jews; When one race sees another race as less than; When those of us who have been born of love turn so quickly back to hate, these things should not surprise us. Disappoint? Oh yes! But surprise? No.

There are people who actually believe that beauty, wealth, intelligence, education and particularly science are in and of themselves able to ward off evil. Because we choose to ignore and deny the reality of evil and that, we do, because it smacks of a moral universe and or a moral law Giver, we are always surprised not only when evil disrupts OUR lives but when WE disrupt the lives of others by the evil the resides in us. How many entertainers of late have seemed to genuinely believe, “But I’m NOT a racist!” after some sickening rant?

Democracy, wealth, and education have no effect on evil except perhaps to help us better ignore or deny its existence. We hide behind our sophistication and then we profess surprise when the wealthiest and best educated among us perpetrate fantastic frauds on the most gullible among us; those who deny or ignore the most common form of evil in themselves - selfish greed and envy. We become surprised when wealthy, well educated men and women who were raised in strong democracies willingly blow up themselves and scores of others half a world away. It should not surprise, because evil, like rust, never sleeps.

12 comments:

PersonalFailure said...

I think it's a little odd to imply that starvation or racism reflect true evil*. That children are starving is tragic and we should work to end it, but I don't think it's evil. Racism is terrible and tragic, but most racists aren't evil, just afraid, ignorant, and angry.

Calling absolutely everything evil is just as stupid as denying evil altogether.

*No, I'm no admitting the existence of God or Satan, I'm just using a word in the way most people understand it.

Leo B. Vadalà said...

On the one hand I agree with Mak that we should not be surprised by evil. On the other hand, what perplexes me is that our atheist friends are at all bothered by it, or that it should even be on their radar screen. If they are consistent in their beliefs, there is no such thing as evil. There is no basis whatsoever for calling one thing evil and another thing good. We are nothing but a heap of living biochemical material which will eventually die and decompose. In this context, what is so terrible about starvation or raciscm?

Makarios said...

Is Leo right? By evil, you really mean distasteful or unpleasent, yes? Right and wrong are more along the lines of helpful or unhelpful, correct?

Rabhimself said...

"We hide behind our sophistication and then we profess surprise when the wealthiest and best educated among us perpetrate fantastic frauds on the most gullible among us; those who deny or ignore the most common form of evil in themselves - selfish greed and envy."

The most common form of evil that apparently the god you worship exhibits himself.

Makarios said...

How so?

JD Curtis said...

Please do flesh this out a little bit for us Rabster. Your ignorance on the topic is showing.

Rabhimself said...

I was merely pointing out the irony of Mak's comment. The bible quite clearly shows us that if god exists he suffers from envy and greed.

That shows my ignorance does it?

Well from now on i'm ignoring you, you're quite simply an arrogant jackass.

Leo B. Vadalà said...

Ad hominem sttacks are so satisfying, aren't they?

JD Curtis said...

The bible quite clearly shows us that if god exists he suffers from envy and greed.

Let me put this in a way that you might understand.

[citation needed]

Makarios said...

Ya, I don't get it either Rab. Are you going by things like, "I am a jealous God," or that He desires our worship?

If so Rab it really is ignorance that causes you to interpret those verses as you do. God's jealousy and desire for our worship is because "man fully alive" only happens when we are in a right relationship, an intimate, forgiven and healed relationship with out Creator. Standing on the outside, you can't possibly know this.

It's something like urging a drowning animal to come to you so you can save it. The longing, the desire, the demand even that the animal come to you is other centred, not self-centred. It's not envious or greedy. It other-love.

Rabhimself said...

Exodus 20:2–17



That is all. Say what you will, it is nothing but plain denial to try and say he is not enius and greedy.

The analogy with the drowning animal is almost decent - if you added that i become jealous when the drowning animal chooses to cling to a piece of driftwood right next to them they, rather than travel towards me who is waving his hands in the distance, through the fog.

Additionally, for choosing to cling on to that piece of wood, i then pour petrol over the animal when it comes to shore and throw a lit match at it.

Finally, while it burns i will tell the animal that i offered o save it, yet it chose to ignore me. Therefore it deserves to burn.

Rabhimself said...

EDIT: typo above, should say envious*