Archives for posts with tag: Good and Evil

Who wrote the Bible?
Who considers God to be both omnipotent and wholly good?
Who had become human by learning ‘to tell good from evil’?
Does evil even exist outside our minds? Is anything actually evil unless considered so by one of us?

And no, I’m not hair-splitting when speaking about the huge difference between bad and evil!
An earthquake, for example, is bad for those affected. Yet no evil is involved here but for those who ‘question God’s actions’.
An individual who tortures animals for fun is also bad. Arguably less so than a major earthquake… but for everybody in their right mind that person is undoubtedly evil!

According to the Bible written by some of our ancestors, by “knowing good and evil” we have become “one of us“. “Like one of us“… Not (yet?!?) able to “live forever” and for certain ignorant of most things.

‘What?!? “Ignorant of most things” yet still “knowing good and evil”?!?’

Yep!

A more relaxed reader of the Bible may notice that what’s written there recounts, symbolically, the becoming of Man. The foremost apes notice the difference between night and day. And name both. The difference between ocean and dry land. And name them both. Notice the stars above and the living things, plants and animals, with whom they share the place. And name them all.
“Apes”, not ape, because nobody can learn to speak by oneself. Nor become self aware. As in ‘able to observe oneself while observing other things’. (Maturana, 2005)

That same relaxed reader may also notice that the very ‘fallen nature’ of Man stems from the ‘inconsistency’ noticed above.

We’re basically ignorant yet still able to call out evil!

Oops…

Humberto Maturana, “The origin and conservation of self consciousness…”, 2005, https://cepa.info/702

James Garvey, “Ethics is invented, not encountered…”, 2017, https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/philosophy/ethics-is-invented-not-encountered-why-the-philosophy-of-jl-mackie-remains-essential-reading

Many people consider man – as in ‘human people’, is a fallen creature.

For the simple reason that we had failed to obey our father.

Failing to obey your father may be considered a bad thing. The particulars of the incident should also be taken into account but, generally speaking, we should indeed obey our fathers. At the bare minimum, we should pay attention to what they have to say about things.

Coming back to us, humans, being fallen creatures, let’s examine what we’ve done to deserve this label.
According to the ‘many people’ I’ve already mentioned, we are fallen creatures because we have eaten – against our father’s specific interdiction, “from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil“.

Further more, the guilt for our transgression is unequally shouldered between men and women. Since it had been Eve who had talked Adam into eating that fruit, women are considered to be the ‘weaker’ amongst us, humans.

Now it’s the moment for me to remind you about Cain.
Abel and Cain had been the two children brought to life by Eve.
For whatever reason – and, again, against God’s advice, Cain had slain his brother Abel.

We – according to what the ‘many people’ continue to believe, in a literal manner – are the direct descendants of Cain. And of Eve, of course.

Yet we are ‘fallen’ because Eve had helped her husband, Adam, to develop a conscience. To learn the difference between good and evil.
Cain killing his brother has nothing to do with our promiscuous nature …

To me, it’s more than obvious that our fallible – not fallen – nature consists in the fact that we are prone to ‘misunderstandings’. We tend to see things in the most favorable manner.
Favorable for us, those who get to call things as being good or evil.

Whenever we are able to do it, we distribute ‘guilt’ and appropriate success.

Eve had offered us the ‘apple’. The opportunity to see ‘the’ difference.
From now on, it’s up to us to consider the facts.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.””

“….a combination of Gnostic Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and various other elements, with a basic doctrine of a conflict between light and dark…..”

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil”  Genesis 3:22

Light and Dark, Good and Evil… sets of two different things which exist by themselves but make no sense until somebody sees the difference between them.

A wall has two sides.
A room – four walls with a floor and a roof, determines an inside and an outside. Because the walls have two sides and because somebody built it.
A room is empty when nobody is inside it and ‘disappears’ when nobody remembers its existence. Even if its walls continue to stand …

Two points are distinct if there is some space between them.
Two points belong to the same line if the distance between them is full of other points.

Matter is discrete.
Even atoms, which have long been considered as impossible to be divided further, are constituted of smaller components. Electrons, protons, neutrons, … quarks… all the way ‘down’ to quanta …
All this discreteness is made possible by space.
Which simultaneously encompasses each of the discrete pieces of matter and separates them.

On the other hand, matter is discrete in yet another manner. In time.
Manny trees live longer than us and mountains last way longer than trees.
Yet nothing is forever. Nor have existed for always. Not our Sun nor even the small pieces which inhabit the subatomic world.
Each piece of everything comes into existence and decays into oblivion.
Each organism is born into this world and eventually dies – releasing its components for further use.
All this discrete becoming being made possible by time.
Which simultaneously encompasses and separates each event.

Similarly to the aforementioned room, neither matter, space or time makes any sense on its own. Not even together.
They might exist but they have no significance until noticed.

By us, by God…

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