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Paradox of Evil

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Neutral Singh, Oct 18, 2004.

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  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    It is said that in God's creation, existence is bipolar, that is, the dark and the light, the weak and the strong, the brave and the coward etc. Does it mean then that the Good and the Evil have been created by God Himself?
    If He did not create this duo, where did they come from? Or perhaps He created only the Good but the Evil crept in when something went wrong with His creation, as for example Adam and Eve disobeyed Him and thus their offspring (humanity), have to suffer from the pangs of Evil - the great curse! Or the angel Lucifer being very close to God, became jealous of the worship offered to Him and he led others -angels and humans - into disobedience. Perhaps this disobedience became the evil in this world.

    On the face of it, it seems that God ought to have created only good, because He is only good. He cannot be evil. Good people aspire to be good. They will remain good only as long as they do good deeds. A room is lit only as long as the light is on and it becomes dark when the light is switched off. Similarly, good people will become less good if they do something wrong and will be considered bad if they continue doing wrong or evil things. Well, in God's nature, which He created Himself, a lot of disasters and tragic things happen. Does nature do them against His will?

    Do we accept Him as good, because He is Almighty, Omnipresent etc. and we are afraid of Him? Or is He really justified? Surely an evil-doer or one who allows evil things to happen cannot be justified as good. We must be bold to raise our voices against Him.

    Let us justify it by saying that something went wrong with His creation and He will send some ‘engineers’ to rectify the fault. Actually throughout the ages, holy people have proclaimed themselves to be His ‘engineers’. Perhaps individually they claimed themselves unique for that purpose - for the destruction of evil. If their main purpose in coming into the world was really to destroy evil, and our assessment of the present situation is honest and straightforward, we would announce that they have hopelessly failed. There is no negation of evil in the modern world. The First World War! The Second World War! I dare not speak about the next one as it means the annihilation of the globe, with the awfully horrible weapons which man has invented to destroy himself. We see the oppression of the strong over the weak and the exploitation of man by man in manifold forms.
    At times the world reaches the brink of war and it needs only one stupid person to be in charge of America or Russia or perhaps Iraq, to reduce the planet to an uninhabitable globe! There is no scarcity of hunger, ask Oxfam. There is an abundance of suffering. Visit Vietnam and Bengal. Even amongst the most advanced societies people are miserably unhappy.

    5th Nanak (Guru Arjan Dev Ji) says in Raag Ramkali,

    "Happiness and unhappiness are just different states of mind".
    (vide page 915 siri guru granth sahib/adi granth).

    Visit a mental hospital and have a chat with a psychiatrist. He will approve of it. People suffer from disability without any physical or physiological reasons (hysterics). They suffer at the hands of imaginary enemies (paranoids and so on). Anthropologists would confirm that the more advanced the society the more lost the individual feels. Well, undoubtedly the world is full of miseries, problems, troubles and what not. It is surely a serious fault in His creation and it is even more appalling that even His own messengers (His ‘Engineers’) could not rectify it. It seems that it will continue to be this way. Does it mean that His perfection in engineering is questionable?
     
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  3. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    WHAT IS EVIL?

    Well, common sense will say War is Evil, merciless killing is Evil; to hurt somebody's feeling is also Evil. To cheat somebody is Evil and so on. There is no end to the list.

    For the purpose of analysis let us take one of them `merciless killing' Americans killed Vietnamese mercilessly and by doing that they did not think that it was evil as they were doing it to protect democracy and freedom. On the other hand, the Vietcong think that fighting against South Vietnamese and Americans etc. was patriotic and perhaps holy as well. The whole world was divided into two camps. Some of us can decide easily who are right and who are wrong but the answers will be a far cry from being unanimous, and there will be a large number of people who will be undecided for various reasons.
    Let us take a rather simpler example of the merciless killing of germs. Most of the people of Western thought will never think it evil. However, in the East, there will be a great number of people for
    example ‘Jainies’ and many others who would think it evil. ‘Jainies’ belong to Jainism. There is a large number of people who belong to this religion in India, who believe in preserving all forms of life, however insignificant.
    Let us view this problem from a different angle, that is, how far an act is evil or good, according to different people's opinion or belief. Smoking and drinking are evil in most of the Eastern religions but the Christian community does not seem to have any objection at all. Not only do we find it difficult to decide what is good or evil, but also this kind of discrimination is mainly cultural and it partly varies from individual to individual. Besides that, there is an enormously long range of good people and bad people along the scale of good and evil and it would become impossible to find an absolute scale which would satisfy everybody. In the last analysis, we find that not only the notion of `good' and ‘evil’ vary from culture to culture or from individual to individual, but it is a relative term. Some are good, others are better and so on. Similarly, on the negative side there is a colossal range. Naturally the less good people in relation to very good people tend to appear bad or evil. I wonder how all people can be good unless they are equally good perhaps identical, as the clash of their interests might again generate unhappiness, frustration and evil.
     
  4. moonfairy72000

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    Hi everyone,
    I would like to apologize in advance if I offend anyone.

    Moving on...

    First of all, I would like to disagree with Neutral Singh regarding Christian view on smoking and drinking. Christians definitely detest smoking and drinking.

    Second of all, if good and bad is relative terms, then how do you determine whether and action is good or bad. There has to be a reference point that is outside our relam. Outside humanity cuz everything in our relam is relative. The only thing that is outside our relam is God! But then that takes us back to the original problem. How can God create both good and bad.

    Thanking you kindly for taking ur time to read this and respond.
     
  5. Caspian

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    From my Semi-Agnostic and philosophical point of view:

    Yes, God has created both the good and the bad, that does not necessarily mean that he, himself, is good or bad for doing this. Unlike moonfairy, I'm inclined to think that there is no reference point beyond our realm for good or bad; instead, the two contradictory ideas are complementary. You cannot experience the good things in life like Happiness or Love without experiences of Sadness and Pain beforehand. I believe this is called Duality. The whole idea is "you cant have one without the other" and in the Christian sense, Their is God (Good) and their is the devil (bad). But from an eastern sense, without the concept of the devil, God is neither good or bad (and perhaps both good or bod). God, in my perspective, is more of a 3rd person omnicient and objective being, Ideas like good and bad are relative to our realm like what moonfairy suggested, and seeing as i refuse to believe in reference point beyond our realm, i think god just sits their and watches without judging what was good and what was bad, He's more of a record keeper or statician, simply observes and records the events as they happen without justify one side or another.
     
  6. spnadmin

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    Caspian ji

    A very thoughtful post. Do you think God is creator, supporter, destroyer as well as record-keeper or possibly statistician? Exchange of views of God (Akaal) makes for an interesting discussion.
     
  7. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    As adults, we can break away from the past conditioning of our mind fed with negative suggestions. We can use constructive autosuggestion, which is a reconditioning therapy to change impressions made on us in the past.
     
  8. spnadmin

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    NamJap ji

    What about viveka? ..."Viveka is the discriminating intellect, clear understanding or wisdom, and the power of separating the Changeless from the changeful world...The Gurbani stresses the importance of purifying the mind through Viveka-Budhi " (http://www.gurbani.org).
     
  9. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    This is a wonderful satsang, Aad Ji.
     
  10. spnadmin

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    Nam Jap ji

    I don't know if I see it that way-- but happy that you are feeling positive about it. :)
     
  11. bgemini36

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    Well... i think GOD is a Creater because he puts u on Earth to learn new things and make something good out of ur life. Then he is a Operator because he tells u how to survive in this world. But if someone wants to help me out.. i never understood why is he a destroyer
    :happy:
     
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  12. spnadmin

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    bgemini36 ji

    You know this is an interesting question because it gets to the core of the Sikh understanding of the Nature of God. "Destroyer" may not mean an intelligent entity that is going after creation with hatred and malice and vengeance waving a hammer and a tong. Akaal is without hatred or enmity.

    The idea of "destroyer" may have something more to do with natural rhythms and forces of destruction and recreation. Think of the fall of leaves in the forest. They dry up and then rot. From their, compost is created that enriches the soil. That rich soil supports new life. Now think of the human consciousness filled with ego. When that ego rots and dies in bhagati then conscioiusness is healed and consciousness is filled with awareness of God.

    That is a different way of thinking of destruction.
     

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