Sunday, April 9, 2017

Does Good Need Evil for Balance?

I was listening to a speaker who said that there were people that believed that evil is needed to balance good. I had never heard that before. Or, at very least, I’d never heard it phrased quite that way. I am acquainted with the Chinese idea of the Yin and Yang, which supposedly are opposites that need each other and, in being opposite, actually complement each other. I’ve also known of the supposed dichotomy of good and evil; that is to say, they are necessary for each other.

There are so many angles I could take this article. I found references that speak of good and evil being relative terms, explaining that while an investor might rejoice over the good profits he gained, it is just as likely that someone else suffered loss for that transaction. Others state that it is just our frame of mind that makes things good or bad. Still others stated that there is, in reality, no good nor bad, it is just the “universe doing its thing.” It almost made me want to make a tinfoil hat for my head (LOL).

First of all, the easiest to dispel: The “universe” is not a cognizant thing. I know there are some that want to believe it is, but such metaphysical concepts are beliefs more akin to non-Christian religions. Although the Bible does use poetic language such as sun, moon, and stars praising God, it is just poetry, not a statement of metaphysical leanings. The Bible makes quite plain who the sentient beings are in all the universe. They are: God, “the Word,” angels (both good and bad), and finally humans. (I’m not even going to get into an offshoot discussion regarding life on other planets. I am merely stating who the Bible identifies as sentient.)

Regarding the other two claims, they are essentially the same. By claiming “it is all in your head,” it is the same as saying there really is no such thing as good and bad. But that simply is not true. Those committing heinous crimes that go beyond mere killing to include completely unnecessary torture of their victims are evil. Those people and their actions are not merely “all in my head.” Can those committing evil change their ways? Yes, but that doesn’t change the fact that while they continue in their evil ways they are indeed evil.

But coming back to the speaker’s claim I mentioned at the outset. Is evil necessary to balance good? Let's say you bought yourself an island that you were going to develop into a resort. You plan on making individual huts right on the beach that are fully furnished. Further inland, you will make a 20-story condo complex overlooking the whole island. There will be a fully stocked wet bar both on the beach and at the condo. The most delicious and exotic foods will be carried in daily from elsewhere. All the amenities you can possibly imagine you will bring. Would you then reason to yourself, “You know, I need to keep it ‘interesting’ for my clients? I’m going to have my staff be some of the most unscrupulous individuals one could imagine. There will be pickpockets, shady sales people trying to sell timeshare packages, and more.” Hopefully, you would never do this. Nor would any respectable person do such a thing. He is going to depend on repeat and referral business. If vacationers start complaining and posting negative reviews, the business will die. This is all to demonstrate that evil is not needed to help a person appreciate good.

Unfortunately, the sad reality is that even if you put both staff and visitors through a thorough screening, there will still be some problems, but at least not ones you “built into” your resort. Likewise, God never intended nor designed for evil to be in his creation. The rebellion of Satan and, subsequently, the rebellions of Adam and Eve (neither of which God wanted) are what introduced evil into our world. Both evil angels and evil humans were not designed by God to be such. They were given everything they could possibly want. Yet, both allowed greed to take over in their hearts. In time, God plans to remove all evil so that those who want to live in peace can and will. So just as surely as you would keep your island as free of evil as possible, God plans to do the same for all creation.

I’m sure psychology students would love to take me to task. Please don’t. I won’t allow your comments through. I have no appreciation for the convoluted reasonings I’ve heard from your sort.

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