Is the epic struggle of good versus evil a metaphysical reality or simply a case of bad wiring running amok?
Be careful of podcasts and books – they can activate thinking and questioning. I think it was the Sam Harris podcast referenced below that got me to thinking about good and evil or it may have been current events that led to a memory of a book I read years ago on the history of evil. No matter – a memory, a book and a podcast led to purchasing books on the History of the Devil and Evil and the 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson, as well as going down the internet-rabbit-hole reading various articles and posts.
The thing that really stood out for me in the History of the Devil and Evil was that all religions had their beginnings in fear and worry around – you might say – bad things happening to good people. When crops failed or illness struck or death arrived too early – bad forces, evil forces were at work. And belief systems rose up as a way to try and make sense of these forces which are seen to be self-existent. I found it interesting that it took a long time for the notion of “good” to enter the fray – which then lead to dualism – the eternal struggle between good and evil. That struggle is so much a part of human history that it is the basic plot for almost every movie and novel.
The world is full of good and evil – deeds – no argument from me, but I’m not so sure of the devil or his dominion – hell. The book I read years ago explored the origin and construction of the notion of hell – it hasn’t been around forever.
So, what about human beings? Are we born good or evil? Read more»