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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:00 am 
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Grolandi wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
1) Not wanting God
2) Anything outside of God's will
3) The absence of love
4) Ignorance
5) What God defines as evil
6) Evil is an illusion. When we learn to see things right, we'll know that there really is no such thing as evil (or good).


I take issue with 3 and 4.

3) God is love, but is God only love?

God is what He has, God IS ontological (in His very being) Love, Justice, Goodness. These are all indistinguishable in Himself, as He is absolutely simple
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4) Even when we, the finite, are in Heaven we will not know everything about God, the Infinite. Is our ignorance of God in Heaven an evil?

Thatwould be nescience not ignorance. Ignorance is a privatation of knowledge, not a simple negation. IOW, ignorance occurs when one does not know what they are naturally to know. I would be ignorant for not knowing God exists but it would be nescience not to know Him entire.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:39 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
As you note, your fifth is similar to the fourth. In fact, I see it as the same.


It differs in essence: the definition of evil. Whether to include "acts of G-d" such as illness, "untimely death," etc., or not. It is far beyond semantics and into ~ among other things ~ matters of world-view and how one looks upon misfortune. And, most critically, whether one has the tools to learn from misfortune. If it is seen as evil and not the act of a loving G-d, then there is much less to be learned from it.

It is approaching Shabbos.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:42 pm 
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what is shabbos?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:55 pm 
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MySavingGrace wrote:
what is shabbos?


Sabbath.

Stephen is Jewish.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:00 pm 
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I was thinking that word used was like Canon or lAIhturgy that's primarily Cahtolic (at least I think)

I thought it was some new term I hadn't known :)

I think our own mind and it playin tricks on us is big evil. I also think using drugs is a form of evil I have nothing against drug users, but drugs corrupt your minds, they can even do it permanently and cause an addition that has people steal from friends and family for a fix. Some may also feel that cause it is form "nature" it is ok. Well, wasn't the forbidden fruit in nature too?

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 Post subject: Re: Evil--What is it?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:21 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Those who've studied philosophy and know (for example) St. Augustine's answer, please hold off for a bit. For those who've never thought about the question before:

What is evil? I'm not looking for examples here--I want a working definition.


I have held off for five pages, should I hold off for a few more? 8-)

It also looks like someone is having fun in metaphysics.

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 Post subject: Re: Evil--What is it?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:28 pm 
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Michael Francis wrote:
I have held off for five pages, should I hold off for a few more? 8-)


Obi let the proverbial cat out of the bag towards the end of the last page....it should be ok for you to weigh in.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:39 pm 
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In reply to the original question "What is evil?" :

If it is true that whatever "is" is good, then nothing in reality is evil, (i.e. evil in its nature).

Evil is neither a positive something, nor is it purely subjective, but the lack of a good that is due to a given subject - a privation. Evil is not a being. It is not a mere absence of being. But it is the absence of a reality that ought to be there - of a reality due a thing.

Since evil is essentially a privation, it must be obvious that it cannot exist for itself, but always presupposes a subject which suffers the privation. As such it is always relative: relative to the individual nature in which the defect is found.

Which brings up the question:

But if evil needs a subject which it affects, is, then, evil not an accident?

An accident is a positive reality inherent in a subject, contributing some positive entity to the subject --- while evil, if we may so speak, is a defect (or privation) of determination.

Thus, evil can be defined as the privation of a required good.

Since evil is the privation of a good, there will naturally be as many kinds of evil as there are kinds of good which can be deprived.

God grant you peace
Michael Francis

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:56 pm 
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Evil is a characteristic of human action that is contrary to the survival of the group. Actions contrary to such survival are labelled evil.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:00 pm 
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Several people are providing examples of things that are evil. While that can help us get an idea what evil is, the goal is a definition which can be applied to anything to determine whether or not it is evil.

In that regard, then, I'd like to turn the discussion to the definition I briefly explained a few pages ago, and which Michael Francis ably outlined above. The questions for all parties:

1) Is the definition clear?
2) Can you think of something which you believe is an example of evil that the definition does not include?
3) Can you think of something which you believe is not an example of evil that the definition does include?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:03 pm 
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:popcorn

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:12 pm 
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Whoever has the forum concession for popcorn is making a good living :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:14 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Whoever has the forum concession for popcorn is making a good living :)


That would be me 8-)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:06 pm 
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If the definition for evil is that something good is missing that's supposed to be there, and God holds all things, then that would place the blame on Him for allowing the good part to be missing!

Why did Satan lose something "good"? That's not what scripture says. It says his pride corrupted his wisdom.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 9:55 pm 
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walking4faith wrote:
If the definition for evil is that something good is missing that's supposed to be there, and God holds all things, then that would place the blame on Him for allowing the good part to be missing!

Why did Satan lose something "good"? That's not what scripture says. It says his pride corrupted his wisdom.


If I may ask a return question:

On the first page, you said:

Quote:
Evil is anything outside of God's righteousness and holiness- anything outside His will.


If we are able to act outside of His will, how (by your argument) is He not responsible for that, since He continues to hold us in existence while we rebel?

I will add that your second question--"Why did Satan lose something good?" and your answer--"pride corrupted his wisdom" is an example of the sort of thing that the definition I gave covers. What is good was his orientation towards God's will. He lacks that--because of pride--and therefore his wisdom is lacking, and evil.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:13 pm 
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Let me lay out the problem for Kathy as simply as I can:

1) God created Satan. We know this because God created everything.
2) Satan continues to exist.
3) Satan continues to exist because God continues to give him existence. Satan does not have existence independent of God, because then he would be free of God.
4) If God is not to be held responsible for Satan's moral evil, then "evil" must be defined in such a way that God is not responsible for its creation or continuing existence.
5) The definition I proposed is the only one I know of that allows for (4) to be met. It is, moreover, the standard definition, and I believe it is so even among Protestant theologians. If you don't like it, I believe the burden is on you to find a way to define evil such that God is not responsible for Satan's evil--and that can't be done simply by saying, "Well, He's not." I agree He's not. I'm looking for a reason.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:29 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
walking4faith wrote:
If the definition for evil is that something good is missing that's supposed to be there, and God holds all things, then that would place the blame on Him for allowing the good part to be missing!

Why did Satan lose something "good"? That's not what scripture says. It says his pride corrupted his wisdom.


If I may ask a return question:

On the first page, you said:

Quote:
Evil is anything outside of God's righteousness and holiness- anything outside His will.


If we are able to act outside of His will, how (by your argument) is He not responsible for that, since He continues to hold us in existence while we rebel?


He allows us free will, and by allowing free will, he is also allowing for the possibility of evil. Isn't that the cause of evil (opening the door to free will)?

If we have a definition of what evil is, we still need to define the cause of why it happened.

Nothing happens unless God wills/allows it. Satan has to get permission from God before he can cause sickness, death, trials. So, God has to agree before that evil happens. It's temporal consequences, and Scripture tells us every believer will be disciplined as sons. And, Scripture tells us nothing can thwart God's plans. So, how do theologians reconcile that with what happened in the Garden of Eden? Who is the cause?

When looking at what I wrote- evil is "being outside of God's righteousness and holiness"- that does sound very similar to "an absence of good that should be there". So, it's not that I'm questioning that part- it does sound right. It just seems to be that places the blame on God instead of Satan if something is missing versus a choice someone made, which is how I've always thought of it before.

Quote:
I will add that your second question--"Why did Satan lose something good?" and your answer--"pride corrupted his wisdom" is an example of the sort of thing that the definition I gave covers. What is good was his orientation towards God's will. He lacks that--because of pride--and therefore his wisdom is lacking, and evil.


But where did the pride come from if everything was good?

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Last edited by walking4faith on Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:43 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Let me lay out the problem for Kathy as simply as I can

The definition I proposed is the only one I know of that allows for (4) to be met. It is, moreover, the standard definition, and I believe it is so even among Protestant theologians. If you don't like it, I believe the burden is on you to find a way to define evil such that God is not responsible for Satan's evil--and that can't be done simply by saying, "Well, He's not." I agree He's not. I'm looking for a reason.


I admit I've never studied this at all- sorry to be so far behind. I definitely feel like a mouse giving great amusement to some pretty intelligent cats! :laughhard

I'm only in this one trying to learn and understand, not argue... I'm trying to raise my questions, not objections.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:59 pm 
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Quote:
He allows us free will, and by allowing free will, he is also allowing for the possibility of evil. Isn't that the cause of evil (opening the door to free will)?


--free-will, or freedom, is power; the power to choose what is good, and you have to be free to do that. freedom is not being free to choose whatever you want--(including evil)..... its being able to choose everything in the realm of what is good...choosing evil is abusing that freedom and power to choose what is good...

--you have to be free to love God and serve HIM out of love.

--choosing evil makes one a slave of satan, under a tight grip... you start to lose your power to choose what is good, especially in mortal sin. then, you are no longer free.

--there is a a difference between freedom and license.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2005 3:39 am 
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walking4faith wrote:
But where did the pride come from if everything was good?


Exactly how Satan managed to sin is a good question. So is the question of how Adam and Eve managed it. I don't know that there's a 100% solid answer to either one. The best I can offer is that sin itself is irrational--it is stupid to sin, but we do it anyhow--so asking "Why?" about sin after a certain point is a fruitless endeavor.

But the reason God made it possible can be stated simply, even though unpacking the consequences of that reason is a long process. God allowed for the possibility of sin because He could create a better world that way than if He did not make sin possible. That sounds as if it's placing limitations on God, but it isn't. He could have made a world consisting only of beings who had to love Him--but if they could not have done otherwise, what sort of "love" is that? Only by making it somehow possible for His created rational beings not to love Him could He achieve the great good of beings who choose to love Him.

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