United Discontent

3 Views of Evil with 2 starting points

Informed by Moshe Hallamish

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There are two starting points, one with man (how does mankind deal with evil) and God (what is the relationship between the divine realm and intrinsic goodness).  Let’s start off with the three views that will be continually referred to throughout the continuation of 2012, Mere Christianity has a great introduction to views as well

1.

“In the bible, God is portrayed as ‘former of light and creator of darkness, maker of peace and creator of evil’ (isa 45:7).  the world is thus seen as the handiwork of a benevolent God, and he, in his thought and plan, assigned a role and a place for evil.  Evil is nothing but a medium through which God attains his benevolent ends.  In that way, the problem of evil becomes a moot point, although the questionf of divine recompense does remain– why dothe wicked flourish and the righteous suffer?”

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2.

“The neoplatonic worldview, which exerted a tremendous influence on Christian mysticism, held that the world originated in supreme goodness.  The light descends from the source and through emanation forms the lower worlds, but in the process it gradually darkens and becomes more dense. In its final nullification, it becomes matter, which is evil in its essence;in other words, what was formerly light is no longer an entity, for it has no existence–rather, it is the absenece of light and goodness.  Our world is the world of matter, and a place devoid of light is naturally filled with darkness.  This, therefore, does not contradict the perception of the divine as a sublime and complete entity.  The neoplatonic view is fundamentally monistic, brimming with the optimism that in truth, our world is good and its source is Goodness”

3.

“Gnosticism , in contract, infleunced by persian religious views (zarathrusta/zoaraster, manichieasm) is dualistic.  It contends the existence of two autonomous realms.  Evil is a real and destructive force; our world is the kingdom of the lord of evil, the Demiurge.  In opposition is the lord of good, represented by the human soul.  Man’s role is to free the sol, a spark of goodness, from its enslavement to the lord of evil.  Gnosticism did offer a solution to the philosophical and theological problem, but it placed man in the throse of a continual and terrible struggle”

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