Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Brightness

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Tuesday March 6, 2007 at 01:32

An interesting question was raised in the comments of this post about the identity of good and evil. My response:

I find the metaphor of light and darkness very helpful here. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) Dichotomy and congealment both imply a form of equality between good and evil, which I reject. There is only really Good and otherwise, light or darkness. Evil, absurdity, they are only temporal, and will be done away with. There is no dichotomy, Good overpowers evil as easily as light overpowers darkness. There is no congealment. Light and darkness can not coexist. Good and evil are completely mutually exclusive.

This is not to say that Good may not display characteristics which WE THINK are Evil. God (the very definition of Good) has (at various times according to the Bible) condoned genocide, lying, gender inequality, pillaging, military conquest, sexual slavery, carousing, violence, and human sacrifice. I’m not saying that we’ll always like the Good. I’m just saying that, fundamentally, Good and Evil can’t mix. When you mix light with darkness, all you get is light. God abides no rivals.

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thess 5:5)
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)
“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev 22:5)

4 Comments »

  1. I think this is definitely right on the mark. As I’ve said a number of times, we mortals don’t know the actual reasons that something is Good or Evil, and thus don’t easily understand why God can command people to commit acts that seem Evil to us, without being Evil.

    Don’t put God in a box.

    Said by Toad 3/9/2007 at about 13:21

  2. I agree up to a point: God, as stated the definition of Good, will never tell someone to commit an Evil act, nor will He commit one Himself. On the contrary, though, He did give humanity freewill, and while He will use anything that happens for His glory, He does not condone evil, nor command it to happen. Take the Holocaust: God did not make it happen; He did allow humans to make decisions (bad one\\\’s in that case), but He also used it for His glory (the movie/book \\\’The Hiding Place\\\’, for example). He will never condone/cause evil, but He gave us freewill and will use each action we choose for His glory, regardless whether the action we choose is Good (in accordance with God\\\’s will) or Evil (not in accordance with God\\\’s will).

    Said by David Wolcott 3/19/2007 at about 02:08

  3. I really don’t think Ziggy is disagreeing with you, Mr. Wolcott. In fact, I think he’d agree completely. What Ziggy is saying is that God is the ultimate Good. This fact is often challenged by skeptics, citing examples like the genocide of the Canaanites during the time of Joshua, or Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (which, while God stopped Abraham, had he not, Abraham would not have sinned in killing his son). There are lots of other “controversial” passages wherein God is directly commanding or performing an act that we Mortals would ordinarily classify as “Evil.” The point Paul is trying to make is that while we don’t know why those things are Evil one time and Good another time, we do know that they are Good when God does them or commands them to be done.

    Said by Toad 3/21/2007 at about 10:48

  4. Thank you for restating that. I missed the core points Paul left, and I do agree with what you and Paul left after that explanation.

    Said by David Wolcott 3/25/2007 at about 19:59

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