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Good and Evil in Philosophy

In the Old Testament, such as in Isaiah and Micah, the Bible talks about people that hate good and love evil. This sounds kind of satanic, but I think the people referred to, were not some kind of ancient devil worshippers, but souls that had become totally disgusted with normal proportions of emotions and reason. People like Friedrich Nietzsche are in that category. Only he did not kill Christians, but under king Manasseh the righteous in Jerusalem were killed. Today also many people are cut loose from God, particularly in the weekend.

"Does not proceed from the mouth of the Most High good and evil!? (Lam. 3.38)."

"For I do not do the good that I want to....(Rom. 7.19a)"

"...but I do the evil that I do not want to (Rom. 7.19b)."

Literal or physical aspect

Intellectual aspect

Emotional aspect

Spiritual aspect

"Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil through good (Rom. 12.21)."

"Hate evil and love good (Amos 5.15)."

"Fear of the Lord, is to hate evil." "Then you will remember your evil ways and deeds that were not good and you will have a disgust of yourself and your unrighteousnesses (Ez. 36.31)."

"Shaping light and creating darkness; making peace and creating evil: I the Lord am doing all these things (Is. 45.7)."


Overdoing it.

Indifference as to good and evil.


"That are wise to do evil (Jer.4.22)."

Only divine perfection will do. The human body is totally evil.

"Woe to those that call good evil and evil good (Is. 5.20)." "They hate good and love evil (Mich.3.2)."

The word good is found in the beginning of the Bible when God saw that what He had done was good. It does not say that it was divine, nor human. Simply good. Humans for whatever reasons can underperform, or, by an about-face, they can be overdoing it. That is, they can deliver work that is not good enough, or that goes beyond the required specifications. A company that wants to deliver quality on the one hand, but on the other hand is bound by the laws of time and money, is not happy with either. Morally one can also underperform and even be overdoing it, as in overspiritual attitudes that neglect more down to earth things.

Spiraling downwards from underperforming, one can land in an indifferent state about good and evil. People that are like that are not reliable. A manager has to keep a tight leash on them and a partner never knows what they are doing behind your back. As to biblical verities about Christ's Person and the existence of God, agnostics are indifferent about the good and evil of great truths.

Once you have gotten in the habit of overdoing things morally by believing in overly strict rules and inhibitions and ideals, it is not farfetched to come to consider that one should be perfect. Now Christ does say that we should be perfect like our heavenly Father is perfect, but going from overdoing it to moral perfectionism inevitably leads to even greater fanaticism. Going from there one arrives in the world of Hinduism where human life is believed to be maya, an illusion, a sort of masquerade played out by the gods. Some gurus go as far as mutilation of genitals, or of inflicting pain on them.

The Bible talks somewhere about people that are wise in doing evil. Also the Proverbs talk about simple or naive people. The latter are easy prey for the former. Manipulation is a great evil and door to door salesmen are good at it and often behave in ethically questionable manners.

In this context let us consider the following Bible verses. He that requites evil for good, evil will not depart from his house (Prov.17.13). Evil pursues sinners, but to the righteous good will be rewarded. Depart from evil and do good, and dwell for ever more. He that wants to love life and see good days, let him stop his lips from evil. Let him turn from evil and do good (Ps. 34. 13-15; 1 Pet. 3.10).

The last Scripture is a quote from the O.T. But it being given in Peter as well, definitely points out to us that it is possible to love life and see good days. Now how good it is to instill such virtues in our children so they may learn and practice these truths from a young age! But also for those later entering the pale of faith it is good to heed these warnings and to follow the advice given in the Bible.



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