Is evil really the absence of good?


#61

Could we please we focus on fire instead of finger? Do you think that fire can cause evil, good or be neutral? We use fire to cook. That is of course is good. You can of course use fire to burn your finger which is evil. The fire is neutral if you don’t use it. So it depends on how do you use it. The fire produces a range of effects and you can distinguish one from another.


#62

He said that He creates evil.


#63

If I take a child’s toy away, I am “creating evil” for that child, a situation where what is desired (therefore good) is absent.
Suddenly there is calamity for the child. Calamity is the alternate translation of evil.

" I want my toy; I am experiencing evil; I am experiencing the absence of my toy; where is my toy? Give me my toy."


#64

does good or evil really exist? isn’t it all just a matter of will. it isn’t good or bad. it is just what is considered the norm at the time.


#65

I have seen the “evil is the absence of good” argument before, and I don’t buy it. When we look at scripture, evil entered the world not because Adam and Eve passively didn’t do something good, but because they actively rebelled against the word of God. I have never seen anything in scripture that intimates to me that evil is some sort of passive omission of good, but is an active rebellion against God. Check out Romans 1:18-23 for example. Here we see that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven because men suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness, and although the truth of God has been revealed to men, they exchanged the glory of God for something that isn’t God. All of these are active verbs being used to describe men’s wickedness.


#66

Not sure how one could be morally neutral. We are either following God’s will or we aren’t. I don’t see a spectrum of neutrality in the law or the gospel. As Paul says, Christ rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Paul doesn’t offer us a third category of being morally neutral before God.

I think the issue that many here are having is that we are trying to define “good” and “evil” apart from what God has revealed his will to be. In that sense, we are just like Adam and Eve, trying to usurp God’s authority to define good and evil so that we will be like God, knowing good and evil. That isn’t a good thing.

I highly recommend the book by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, if any care to read it. His first chapter actually addresses this subject quite nicely and it is spot on with its theology.


#67

We are either following God (good), or we don’t care (neutral), or we do opposite (evil).


#68

Think about it. God is perfect good. Everything else is not God or perfect good. Therefore, everything not perfect good contains imperfections. Evil is a degree.


#69

Where did you get that from?


#70

I thought that there was more to it than that. For example, isn’t there fire in hell? You can have absence of God without fire, but in hell you have fire in addition to absence of God?


#71

Yes for sure, hell is full of pain, sorrow, torments, anguish, punishment… but what can be worse than the absense of God?

Physical pain is brutal but physical pain in this world has hope that it will not last. Hope that there is more to come. This Hope is built upon the Ressurection of Jesus. Without this hope in hell, the pain is not just of a physical level but also of a spiritual level. How unbearable. Nothing can be more unbearable than the absense of God.

I have also read that the torments and punishments are related the mortal sins committed. Someone who committed lustful mortal sins with have a punishment built on some sort of lustful pain, as would someone suffering from prideful mortal sin and so on. Nobody knows for sure what it is like, but it can’t be good. But nothing is worse than the absense of God


#72

If we don’t care then we aren’t following God’s will (evil).


#73

I am not aware of anyone who has explained it the way I have. So you can’t be familiar with my “system of belief” relative to the subject at hand. If you have encountered elsewhere what I have written, I would appreciate you telling me where.


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