The Concept of Evil is crucial and fundamental in nature - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Concept of Evil is crucial and fundamental in nature


The concept of evil is a fundamental issue that concern every strata of life, culture, tradition and religion setting. But the most important question to be asked should be the ontological relevance of evil in the midst of God.

It is therefore pertinent to clarify the concept of evil, types of evil and the existence of God through the conceptual clarification and systematic expository.

What is evil ? Evil is what is morally wrong, sinful, or wicked. Evil is the result of bad actions stemming from a bad character.it is important to note that there are at least two concepts of evil: a broad concept and a narrow concept.

The broad concept picks out any bad state of affairs, wrongful action, or character flaw. The suffering of a toothache is evil in the broad sense as is a white lie.

Evil in the broad sense has been divided into two categories: natural evil and moral evil.

Natural evils are bad states of affairs which do not result from the intentions or negligence of moral agents. Hurricanes and toothaches are examples of natural evils.

By contrast, moral evils do result from the intentions or negligence of moral agents. Murder and lying are examples of moral evils. The narrow concept of evil picks out only the most morally despicable sorts of actions, characters, events, etc.

Since the narrow concept of evil involves moral condemnation, it is appropriately ascribed only to moral agents and their actions. For example, if only human beings are moral agents, then only human beings can perform evil actions.

Evil in this narrower sense is more often meant when the term ‘evil’ is used in contemporary moral, political, and legal contexts.

Many people will tell you that evil is a necessary part of the world. Just ask and you can get many people to agree to a claim such as; "There cannot be good without bad.

"This is a metaphysical idea about the structure of reality. Part of that idea is that everything in existence must co-exist in a sort of balance or symmetry. Even though this is a popular metaphysical view, few people know how they came to hold it. It is a very old view.

Before this conversion to Christianity, there is much more at stake in this issue than the promotion of certain religious beliefs. The question of evil raises the most fundamental of metaphysical questions; namely, What is Existence?

Early greek philosophers grappled with this problem by observing that nothingness (non-being) is not a self-independent state. The phrase "non-being exists" seem self-contradictory. If this is so, then there must be something in reality that necessarily exists.

In other words, it is inconceivable that everything in existence would cease to be or that there was any time in the past at which there was nothing in existence at all. Something cannot come from nothing, so there must be something that exists always.

This area of philosophy continues to present and is currently known as Ontology (the study of being). Think now about the general concept of God as creator and sustainer of reality.

God fits the above ontological concerns by providing the idea of a source of being that is eternal and necessary to existence. Whatever one's religious beliefs, it is
 hard to dispose of this basic insight.

Even modern physics has this idea built into the Laws of Thermodynamics: matter cannot be created or destroyed.

Ontologically this states that there is a necessary structure to the universe such that some aspect of it is necessary to existence itself.

The existence of evil poses a problem for this picture of reality as based on necessary being. Evil is typically associated with destruction and nothingness. If we allow that the evil of the world on the same level as the good of the world, then we buy into the dual-nature idea that being and non-being (existence and nothingness) coexist.

Augustine sought to explain the idea of one ideal God (being) without evil. The result is a strikingly original and powerful conception of reality. 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. Absurd as this sounds, nevertheless the logical connections of the argument compel us to it as inevitable. At the same time, we must take warning lest we incur the prophetic judgment which reads: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil: who call darkness light and light darkness; who call the bitter sweet and the sweet bitter."

Moreover the Lord himself saith: "An evil man brings forth evil out of the evil treasure of his heart." What, then, is an evil man but an evil entity [natura mala], since man is an entity? Now, if a man is something good because he is an entity, what, then, is a bad man except an evil good?

When, however, we distinguish between these two concepts, we find that the bad man is not bad because he is a man, nor is he good because he is wicked. Rather, he is a good entity in so far as he is a man, evil in so far as he is wicked.

Therefore, if anyone says that simply to be a man is evil, or that to be a wicked man is good, he rightly falls under the prophetic judgment: "Woe to him who calls evil good and good evil." For this amounts to finding fault with God's work, because man is an entity of God's creation.

It also means that we are praising the defects in this particular man because he is a wicked person. Thus, every entity, even if it is a defective one, in so far as it is an entity, is good. In so far as it is defective, it is evil."There can be no evil without good" whereas it is mistaken to say "There can be no good without evil."


Sotomi Hammed
Phone No.: 0809 368 5049
Email: hamedinhosho62@gmail.com

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