Evil is a product of Free Will
Evil is real. It is not just an illusion. Some think that this is a problem for theists, for if we believe that God created everything, then we must also accept the consequence that God created evil. This puts the theist in a difficult position because, on the one hand we can’t deny the reality of evil, but on the other hand we can’t attribute the existence of evil to a God who is all loving and all-powerful.
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Yes... but this is a good thing
Most atheists (and probably many theists as well) would contend that having 'evil' as something that is mostly caused by free will is a good thing because this means the people committing evil acts are responsible for those acts. This in turn is the foundation of a good justice system. If we begin to think that God might be responsible for some instances of evil then things become much more muddled - why would you sentence someone to life imprisonment if they had simply been carrying out Gods will with no free will of their own? They would then not be responsible (or at least have deminished responsibility) In short it is best if God keeps out of the evil business.
1. There are so many ways to point out that evil is not real. We are humans and we like to label things and assist us to think in terms in which we can understand. When a baby dies at the hands of kidnappers (like Spirit of St Luouis) or by the hands of those who dislike another group of people (holocaust) or in war (WWII- between China and Japan) we think of it as evil. As we think of this we have no issues of dismissing human suffering as individuals die of diseases, illness and accidents. Others think that all acts other than natural death could be seen as evil. The issue lies that there is NO definition of evil. What is it? Let’s go a step further with my original story and allow a person to conduct the horrific deeds I spoke about too a dog- one person who loves pets and sees you killing/hurting/shooting for no reason or as a senseless act (let’s say it defecated on your lawn) may see you as evil for shooting the dog. Another individual that hates dogs or has a love for pets but looks to the protection of one’s property to be more important could endorse your act as your given right. Many people who side on the side of evil will often claim that this discourse has no merit because the person is a different than a dog…that we have more rights, we are a spirited creature, that we have intellect etc and they fail to see the crux of the argument that these acts- although deplorable to many is no more evil than me burning ants with a magnifying glass when I was 6 years old. This notion of evil can be quickly dismissed through a number of ways. First is the use of logic. If one believes that an all-powerful and perfectly good god exists, then evil cannot exist. Theists have tried on many occasions to explain this by introducing the argument of free will and that too can be dismissed by logic and many other arguments. Epicurus developed another argument that also showed that this is not possible. He stated if god is all powerful (omnipotent) and perfectly good. Then god as a perfectly good being would want to prevent all evils. Since he is all powerful then he should be able to prevent evil from coming into existence. Since we see evil…either god doesn’t exist or there is no such thing as evil. I don’t think evil is a product of free will…it’s a label we place on things to help us understand. There is no such thing as evil at all.
2. Yes ... in the sense that if one disobeys God, calamities of all sorts may befall that person.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
(King James Version - Deuteronomy).
Our God is a loving God - but also one that is holy and requires obedience. Adam and Eve were not created as robots. They were given free will. When they chose to disobey God, they learned what good and evil were and were driven from the Garden of Eden. They became flawed and sinful, and passed this on to the rest of mankind down to our present day. All are born with a flawed and sinful nature. However, God's plan for the redemption of sinners came in the form of the sacrifice for our sins of Jesus on the cross. "No one comes to the father except by me" said Jesus. We must repent of our sins, believe in Jesus and his sacrifice, and begin our walk in the Christian faith. Because all possess the knowledge of good and evil, and because all have free will to choose good or evil, we must also accept the consequences of our choosing to do evil, choosing not to follow Jesus by repenting and believing in his sacrifice. In the end, it is our choice.
Yes, but from what perspective?
Because if you are religious, or not your answer is depended on that. I'm a christian and I believe that evil is made by being freed from God, if you were something else you would have a totally different answer, like many atheist, they don't have a basis for saying so. so, in who's eyes is evil, man or A GOD. where does the idea of evil come from, God, someone that is superior in any way, where did evil start, religious or irreligious?
yes EVIL IS A PRODUCT OF FREE WILL in Gods eyes, but not mans, and if there is no god then there is no evil, because no one superior enough is going to judge, because they will die just like anybody else, but God.
Of course non-believers can say no, because there is no God.
No because 'evil' is just another word
The use of the word evil is used today to add a descriptive element or to allocate a level of intensity to an act committed by a minority that the majority find inexplicably abhorrent. As human beings we have the mental and physical capacity to commit many acts which generally defy biological necessity, and this includes acts of kindness as well as the contrary. To describe someone as supernaturally evil is a different argument entirely and this WOULD necessitate a belief in deity as a prerequisite. However in society today, a pedophile who murders a child provokes a label of 'evil' because as the majority we cannot understand why someone would do such a thing. However there are always non-religious explanations for such actions and they come under the banner of free will and the possession of the mental and physical ability to do harm.
No-one has ever been proven to be supernaturally evil in the history of humanity. We need to understand that we are capable of such actions and endeavour to understand why before discouraging acts which hurt one another.
My opponent to the right actually provides a definition for the word "evil" , making the statement that ". . . "evil" is just another word" a moot point. That's like saying a rose by any other name is still a rose. Evil by any other name is still evil, and is the product of free will, unless a person is so mentally ill or mentally incapacitated in some way that they are truly unable to know that they have committed a heinous (evil) act. But, this is a small minority of people. Most people do understand the difference between good and evil, and make a choice to do one or the other when a situation requires them to do so.
Whether your definition of evil springs from a religious context or not, most societies agree that evil consists of doing harm to one another for reasons other than self-defense. Anything that physically, mentally, sexually, verbally, etc. harms a person is considered "evil". Whatever the harm may be, mankind cannot live without a definition and parameters concerning what is and is not evil, regardless of whether you use the word "evil" or some other word of phrase to describe what evil is. To think that for one minute the world could live without a definition of evil is to deny the reality of the world we live in. There will always be people who harm others, and those who are being harmed will certainly call it "evil" or something that means the same thing!
There is no such thing as 'absolute evil' or 'absolute good'
Evil or good, differs from opinion. For example, having sex outside of marriage can be a pretty common in the US, but in Afghanistan, the people get executed, as it is deemed as 'evil'. Something that is deemed 'evil' and be deemed 'good' in the eyes of another man.
There is also no 'total evil' or 'total good' . Someone with a good motive might have done something evil, and someone with an evil reason have done something good, or vice versa.
What do you think?