A Philosophical Examination of Good & Evil
Between Learner and Teacher
Learner: What is the basis of evil? Where does it come from, and why must God allow it?
Teacher: Evil has been around since the creation of man, for we are the only animal to perform such acts of sin. The source of evil has not, and will not, ever be known. Why do people kill? I do not know. Why do people cause pain? It is not within my knowledge. Why do people rape and torture? The answer escapes me. As for God, and why it may seem that he relinquishes the fight against evil, know this: God is not of human origin, he is a supernatural being, one that watches over us and guides us through life. He may have created humans, but when it comes to creating evil, we are the culprits. To my degree of knowledge, and from my own personal outlook, God will not solve problems that we put upon ourselves. He may help guide us through them, but as for taking the reins, this he will do not. Become acquainted with these thoughts, and develop your own perspective on the matter.
Learner: My feelings towards your answers are mixed. Why does evil, if it has been around since the creation of man, still continue to this day? And in our current times, why must people become more accustomed and accepting towards acts of violence?
Teacher: Evil will sadly be around forever, always lurking around the next corner, waiting to strike at any moment. The longer the existence of evil, the more acclimated we become to accepting it. Children today grow up with violence all around them, which undeniably attributes to the security of violent acts in the future. People will become increasingly violent as the years progress, and our society and culture will allow that to happen. Evil increases so ever slightly that many humans do not even know how prevalent it is becoming, which is a shame to say the least.
Learner: Your responses I shall consider with a great deal of emphasis. If I may, however, pose another question to you, what about acts of goodness? Where do they come from, and why is it even more prevalent than evil? What accounts for this?
Teacher: I can see your mind at work already. Stay on this path and you will see that you will soon know the answers to the types of questions you ask of me. But let us go back to your inquiry about goodness. Acts of goodness have been around not just since the creation of man, but since the creation of the universe, which in itself was an act of good, correct? Here on earth, goodness has presided over the origins of all life forms, and in essence you could say that the reason that there is life here on earth is because goodness had been in existence long before life came about. It lent its hands to create everything from simple cells such as prokaryotes to land plants to humans. Thankfully, goodness seems to surpass the quantities of evilness. However, this is a difficult statement to prove, for anything that is not evil may be regarded as good, no? Let us perhaps call this enigma “moral limbo”, for what is the thing that is neither bad nor good? In fact, the crux of the matter is what in fact constitutes as goodness? We all believe that we know evil when we see it, but what about acts of good? Let me inform you once again that evil acts are only perpetrated by humans, whereas goodness can come from any source in the universe. Take into account, for instance, the act of a honeybee extracting pollen from a sunflower. The sunflower arises from the dirt of the earth to provide the bee with components vital to its survival. This is certainly not an act of evil, but is it indeed an act of good? I ask you to ponder this and find within yourself the answer to this most difficult of predicaments.
Learner: Your insight is reflective, for not once have these thoughts entered my mind. If you will allow me to do so, let me ask of you another answer pertaining to a question about goodness. If in fact, contrary to your belief, goodness does not prevail over evilness, then do they even themselves out? And if so, is that necessarily good? Also, you mention that goodness had a part in creating humans. If this is so, then goodness is responsible for the creation of evil, correct?
Teacher: Well done, for you are quickly learning how to dissect the intricacies of such profound inquiries. No one will ever truly know if good and evil cast each other out. We all may have opinions on the matter, in which I have already presented mine, however the truth will sadly never be found here on earth. Yet, if good and evil do indeed cast each other out, what is left but nothingness? There must surely be a leader in this battle between forces, for if there wasn’t, then we would be in a void state of being. As for the answer to your second question, yes, it is my belief that goodness did in fact create evil. There are always adverse effects of blissful acts, i.e. goodness. Like we have previously pondered, goodness created humans, whom I had mentioned are the only things in the universe that are capable of evil doings. In conclusion, evilness is a necessity in life, for without it there would be no goodness. And without goodness, who are we to live a life, nay, how are we to live a life in which we have nothing to feel? For good and evil both bring about our innermost feelings that benefit our state of being.
Learner: My ears are delighted with what they have heard, for your vast knowledge has made the world a little bit easier to understand. I thank you for your guidance.