Do we live in a world of good and evil?

What is the good, and what is the evil? It all goes back to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It precedes the sin of Adam and Eve.

Does it have to do with self-awareness? Were Adam and Eve self-aware prior to their sin?

This is probably more of a mystery than something we can answer with any degree of certainty, but it’s good to reflect and know that the world had good and evil before the fall, and it would be interesting to get your thoughts. It’s humbling to think about!

I would say that good and evil are not “things” - they are actions/thoughts and a state of mind. So yes, technically evil did “exist” for mankind before the fall… but only as a potentiality.

  1. Since God created everything nothing is intrinsically evil.
  2. Evil is obviously real because there is much unnecessary suffering and death in the world.
  3. There are two types of evil: moral and natural.
  4. Moral evil is the result of choice, i.e. the abuse of free will.
  5. Natural evil is the result of chance, i.e. coincidence.
  6. All evil has negative consequences, i.e. it is dysteleological.
  7. Evil is inevitable in a finite world because only God is perfect in every respect.

You imply that everything God created is good, but notice that God calls each day of creation “good” except for the second day.

6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

Interesting thought. Before sin entered our earth through Adam and Eve, all that God created was good. After God created the earth, waters, evening and mornings it was good ( Gen 1:10). After God created trees, grass, herbs, it was good ( Gen 1:12). After God created day and night, it was good. After he created every living creature, beast it was good (Gen 1:25). Even after he created man and woman God said it was good . After God saw all that he had created, God states that it was VERY good. Therefore, even man was very good.

The only evil before the fall of Adam was Satan. I believe that Adam if he had not sinned would have lived an eternal life. However, due to “the wages of sin is death”, this could not happen. If Adam would not have sinned there would have been no death. Just like Jesus being called the second Adam. The second Adam (Jesus) did not sin, and has victory over death.

Another thought about good and evil…Everything we have is provided by God. God created man in His image, the perfect image. Before Adam sinned he was perfect, because God made Adam in His image. What is the image, or character/name of God? We know that a name throughout the Bible is very significant, i.e Jacob/Israel, Abraham, Emmanuel, etc.

We find out what the name, or character of God is in Exod. 34 in which God proclaims the name/character of the Lord… The 10 commandments.

In Gen 2:17, the good is the 10 commandments, the evil is sin.

Adam could have obeyed God and His commandments and live, or disobey and be punished.

You tend to ignore the second day, which there is no mention of good. How can it be that God forgot to say it was good. (One bad day might have ruined a perfectly good creation.)

Also note that in historical Judaism, “very good” used to connote “evil.” I wish I had a reference here, but I do not. I read it in a Jewish encyclopedia.

Do think God created evil?! I thinking you are reading too much into an ancient text which is a mythical interpretation of Creation. It is true but not literally true.

Well, He created everything else. I do leave open the possibility in that I think evil can possibly bring about a greater good. Nowhere in the bible does it say that God created only the good.

In Judaism evil is considered a necessity in our world. Without evil our world would be destined to be a twilight world, at best. I got this from a Jewish encyclopedia to.

Evil could be defined as anything out of order with Gods will. If so, evil existed because satan and angels had already fallen but Adam & Eve didn’t know of evil until they, themselves, ate of the fruit by disobeying God, committing their own disordered act, act against His will. Then their eyes were “opened.”

Hi Robert

This is a good discussion.

In regards to the second day, I don’t think God would “forget” anything. Also, in (Gen 1:31) And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Here we read that God saw “everything” that he created, including the second day, and said all was very good.


I agree, evil did not enter this world until Satan entered. God did not create evil!!! Everything was very good until Adam sinned.


We really need to consider whether “very good” connotes the evil inclination as alluded to in historical Jewish thought.

A Jewish interpretation of good and evil:

THE good impulse (yetser tov) and the evil impulse (yetser ra) are pictured in Jewish literature as wrestling in perpetual conflict within the heart of man. Satan is usually identified with the yetser ha-ra, the evil impulse. In the book of Job, Satan’s function is described as that of testing the sincerity of men’s characters. In Talmudic literature, Satan’s function is to strengthen man’s moral sense by leading him into temptation. It has been said that every man living shall assuredly meet with an hour of temptation, a certain critical hour, which shall more especially try his mettle.

According to a midrashic statement (Genesis Rabbah 9:9), the existence of the yetser ha-ra in the heart of man and the struggle to ovecome it lends high value to the good that emerges from the inner battle. The two conflicting impulses, the good and had tendencies, are said to be implanted in man as a consequence of his having been formed On from the dust and endowed with a soul (Genesis 2:7).

According to rabbinic thinking, the evil impulse is to be found in man at birth; the good impulse begins to develop when he is thirteen years old. The teachings of the Torah are referred to as the antidote to the yetser ha-ra. Similarly, Ben Sira (21:11) states: “The man who keeps the Law controls his natural tendency.”

In commenting on the two yods in the word “M”, (Genesis 2:7), the rabbis declare that God created both the yetser tov and the yetser ra (Berakhoth 61a). The command to love God “with all your heart” they interpret to mean “with both your impulses” (Berakhoth Ma), since both human elements can be employed in the service of God. “Were it not for the yetser ha-ra, no man would build a home or get married or follow an occupation” (Genesis Rabbah 9:9). The phrase “very good” (Genesis 1:31) is therefore explained, as alluding to the yetser ha-ra, frequently used in the sense of the productive urge.**

Taken from the Encyclopedia of Jewish Concepts**

Well, for the most part, since we think we know this or that and have a point of view, usually personal, even if we ar religious. right and wrong, and good and evil are very much what we project on to the world. I guess we could say that there is evil like hurricanes and ships going down, but God seems to be OK with that. Don’t see God stopping much; must mean something.

I read on another thread that “the fall” was actually an alegory for when A&E gained self-awareness, Go figure.

One thing I’m certain of is that the first few chapters of Genesis contains deep philosophical and psychological meaning that goes far deeper than most Christians realize. Moreover, I admit that I’m ignorant here, especially when it comes to philosophy. All I have done was to copy and paste from a few Jewish encyclopedias to show the depth of wisdom that must exist.

In Judaism, there is a book called the Zohar that gets at the depth that exists here. The problem is that the Zohar that exists today is a watered-down version of the real Zohar. (e.g., what really happened on the second day of creation?)

If we view knowledge as a body of water as deep as that of all the oceans, humans, with our limited awareness and memory, are able to grasp one cupful at a time. Moreover, integration of one cupful with another cupful of knowledge is most laborious. God is aware of it all at once, with each cupful perfectly integrated with all the rest. If we as humans are limited to one cupful of knowledge in this world, it would be most wise to fill our cup with that of faith, hope, and LOVE! Venture out as much as one can, but always be humble and come back to the virtues found in faith, hope, and LOVE!

Robert, I appreciate your post. A Rabbi once said “God is LOVE; all the rest is commentary.” Certainly in religious matters, as well as other arenas, we get woefully tangled in the commentaries. Generally, if we are thrown a rope by someone when we need help, we don’t ask their faith or lack of it before grabbing the lifeline. At one level, as a spiritual adviser once said, “you have to be as functional as a chair.” But we don’t like sometimes to sit in someone else’s chair, even to see if they might have a feature on it suitable to our need. We tend to look at surfaces, ignoring the substance that allowed it to appear. A TV screen can show anything; but it is always in harmony with the laws of its nature, like the picture or not. So maybe we need to look at each other at a deeper level than the picture we present or see? Perhaps then much of the “good” and “evil” judgment swill fade away in a higher or more basic Truth.

  1. we must define what “good” and “evil” actually mean. What really is “good”? Is it morality?
  2. “suffering” and death in the world is due largely to human beings. Were we not created by God? Or does our “free will” make us different
  3. Who decides what is moral? Is something morally wrong only when it finally affects someone?
  4. Depending on if we have free will or not.
  5. What if our being was coincidence? Is existence then just simply evil?
  6. Again, what is evil? Is something evil because it is socially accepted as evil? When you say it is dysteleological, does this mean evil (whatever it truly is) has no purpose?
  7. Or is it inevitable because human beings are very social creatures, which leads to agreements and conflicts?

How can 1 be true if 4 and 5 exist?

*Prophecy Of Isaias, 45:7

I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things.*

Another reference to God creating evil.

Wow, I must say something. God is a God of love. God does not create evil. God gave man the intelligence to choose. God permits evil to happen. God is the author of peace, light.

Strong’s concordance for the word “create” are ;select, choose , make.

God can select, or choose, to let evil happen, or destroy the evil that comes upon man.

When we are unsure of the meaning of a verse, we must search scriptures for the truth, there must be a least 2 witnesses.

(Amo 3:6) Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

(Isa 47:11) Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.

Throughout history many have accused God of causing that which he has not prevented…

(2Ch 18:17) And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil? (2Ch 18:18) Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.

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