Evil: Live With It. It's a Game
Is “good” a part of God or is God a part of “good?” Which is the bigger thing which contains the other? Most people would say that God is the container of “good” and not the other way around.
If this is true, then “good” comes from God. If “good” is contained within God, then evil is also contained within God. Why? Because there is no definition of “good” without an equivalent definition of evil. Without “evil” there is nothing to compare “good” with. “Good” cannot stand out by itself as something, er, “good” without an opposite standard to measure it by. The concept would be meaningless if there was only “good” and nothing else. Put another way, “good” cannot be better than something that does not exist.
Whew! It gets worse. Let’s assume that for good to exist, it must have its counter part of evil, and since good existed first with God, God also was the container for that counterpart called evil. However, even though evil was a concept, it had never manifested itself, so it had yet done no damage. It still existed, though. It HAD to exist, or else “good” could not exist.
God creates beings of all sorts. Some of these beings began to manifest what was once only a concept called “evil.” Evil then existed in fact as something real. Humans also manifested this “evil.” However, humans did not invent the concept of evil, they only manifested it, but they were not the SOURCE of it. God was.
Therefore, God is the SOURCE of evil. And good. You cannot have one without the other. If God did not exist and good did not exist, evil could not exist. If God exists, and good also exists, then evil must exist as part of God. If God does not exist and good does exist, evil also must exist. Anyway you look at it, if good exists, then so does evil. If good does not exist, please skip this post and go straight to the chat room and discuss the matter with “logical.”
This is not to blame God for anything, but just to point out that humans and even the highest of angels did nothing more than to manifest something that God had already made real in concept when he created the concept of “good.”
Now (at least for me, anyway) this is where it really gets fun and exciting! Consider the possibility that “good” and “evil” are merely opposites and that “good” doesn’t really mean much and that “evil” doesn’t really mean much in a continuum of existence. Perhaps our human life is like a Chess game. (Are Chess games still demonized in WatchtowerLand™?) In a Chess game there are no judgements, no real punishments, just lessons, and the lessons learned are more important than the concepts and consequences of “good” and “evil.” You just learn to get better and better at the game. You do that by losing a lot and then figuring out why you lost. There are many dilemmas here: do you get “better” at the game of life by being a self-serving criminal who could not care less about the rights and lives or others, or do you get “better” at the game of life by helping, loving and sharing what you have with others. When and how do you play your hand? What have you learned from the hands you have played so far? How do you improve on the game? What works? What doesn’t work?
Our life(s) could be a continuum in playing this game and our life lessons could be the payoffs as to how we play this game. Without “winning” or “losing” we just go on playing this game as long as we don’t get tired of it. For the sheer pleasure of it. Nothing more than that.
Hey! It is a possibility! So are invisible purple unicorns who speak in tongues! Or maybe it’s dumb. But one thing is for sure: in this scenario Jehovah ain’t holding our monthly field service report cards and judging us on how many hours we put in at the doors between stops at the doughnut shops during our lives.
Freedom to be outrageous is great.
29 Years Out of that Cult and Still Recovering
Good morning, Farkel.
Intersting concept of life in your post.
In a Chess game there are no judgements, no real punishments, just lessons, and the lessons learned are more important than the concepts and consequences of “good” and “evil.”[/QOUTE]
The way I see it, "lessons" are our OWN judements.
You just learn to get better and better at the game. You do that by losing a lot and then figuring out why you lost.
Ain't that the truth.
[QUOTE]There are many dilemmas here: do you get “better” at the game of life by being a self-serving criminal who could not care less about the rights and lives or others, or do you get “better” at the game of life by helping, loving and sharing what you have with others. When and how do you play your hand? What have you learned from the hands you have played so far? How do you improve on the game? What works? What doesn’t work?
I'll be watching for others to answer the questions. I'm still trying to learn how to play.
P.S....Chess wasn't considered demonized in our hall, back in 79.
The Watchtower Regulatory Commission made these "suggestions" for dumb dubs like me who happened to like board games, including Chess. These "suggestions" came from "God" and so my promising career as a chess-master was promptly ended :):
*** g73 3/22 13 Chess-What Kind of Game Is It? ***
Relation to War
This is the game’s military connotations, which are obvious. The opposing forces are called “the enemy.” These are “attacked” and “captured”; the purpose being to make the opposing king “surrender.” Thus Horowitz and Rothenberg say in their book The Complete Book of Chess under the subheading “Chess Is War”: “The functions assigned to [the chess pieces], the terms used in describing these functions, the ultimate aim, the justified brutality in gaining the objective all—add up to war, no less.”
Translation: a board game is "brutal." HAHAHAHAHAHA!
*** g73 3/22 14 Chess-What Kind of Game Is It? ***
Probably most modern chess players do not think of themselves as maneuvering an army in battle. Yet are not the game’s connections with war obvious? The word for pawn is derived from a Medieval Latin word meaning “foot soldier.” A knight was a mounted man-at-arms of the European feudal period. Bishops took an active part in supporting their side’s military efforts. And rooks, or castles, places of protection, were important in medieval warfare
Translation: board game players are "warriors" and might as well be sticking swords through people's bodies as sitting home by the fireplace and playing a quiet board game. HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!
*** g73 3/22 14 Chess-What Kind of Game Is It? ***
The Need for Caution
Some chess players have recognized the harm that can result from playing the game. According to The Encyclopædia Britannica, the religious reformer “John Huss, . . . when in prison, deplored his having played at chess, whereby he had lost time and run the risk of being subject to violent passions.”
The extreme fascination of chess can result in its consuming large amounts of one’s time and attention to the exclusion of more important matters, apparently a reason Huss regretted having played the game. Also, in playing it there is the danger of “stirring up competition with one another,” even developing hostility toward another, something the Bible warns Christians to avoid doing.
Then, too, grown-ups may not consider it proper for children to play with war toys, or at games of a military nature. Is it consistent, then, that they play a game noted to be, in the opinion of some, an “intellectualized equivalent, of the maneuvers enacted by little boys with toy soldiers”? What effect does playing chess really have upon one? Is it a wholesome effect?
Translation: Chess players are pathelogical psychos.
Surely chess is a fascinating game. But there are questions regarding it that are good for each one who plays chess to consider.
Translation: Play chess? You are screwed by God or at the very least you are an idiot.
It's brilliant rebuttals like that that keeps me going, logical.
Thanks for the reprint articles on chess. I too had my chess career snubbed out. My mother repeated just what was in these articles almost down to a tee! I guess you let your mind wander, instead of the concept of challenging your brain, you are actually thinking how your knight will trample the competition with his hooves. HAHAAHAA
As far as the first part of your post, alot of intereseting points made. I often wonder how some people have what appears to be more "evil" thoughts than others. I have noticed alot in of times in my life, I will see people do things and I never even thought of doing. Such as different ways people commit murder, or telling outright lies and vindictiveness. I think this goes along with what you are exposed to, and what your conscience will allow you to do.
As far as good and evil, I think that that really is in the eye of the beholder. I may think something is evil, but another person will not. So when people shout that is evil...well that is really their perception of what evil is.
My husband brought this up at brunch out with the family when I was relating what had happened after what turned out to be my last Watchtower Study and post-study elder's meeting.
This matter that God must have created evil because without evil one wouldn't know what good is, and vice versa. We all sort of looked at him dumbfounded -- (Hey! me and my kids haven't been indoctrinated by the WTBTS for nuthin', y'know!) -- and he backed off. Mostly because we were in a public place and he hates scenes. But likely, also because he could see that we weren't going to be receptive. I think I retorted something like, "But God is Love!" or "Satan was created good but turned evil -- created with freewill like us humans" or something equally inane.
However, my 15 year old and I have since had a nice discussion and come to the same conclusion. God must have created good AND evil.
Or, alternatively, God Himself must be both Good and Evil. Or there are many gods. As my daughter said, "What if there really is a Zeus [the one true God] and all those other gods and the Greeks had it right after all?" Or God is NOT all-caring, all-powerful, all-knowing and all-present? And GOOD vs. EVIL IS just His way of getting us to come to greater inner knowledge?
I like the chess game analogy, Farkel. (Gee, ELDERS challenged my son to games at our house during the parties I could only have when my non-JW husband was away on business! Didn't realize there was ANY baggage there!) It is an incredible learning process, and so is life!
I'm so glad you're outrageous, Farkel! -- or ARE you?
of the maybe you've got something there class -- LOL
I avoid using the words good, evil or bad. This is because to quote "Nothing is either good or bad, it is thinking that makes it so." In other words when we label something or someone either good or bad, we are making a judgement based on the programming that our mind has received. We know that this is often based on the script we have been given to live by.
Some people think that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy themselves regardless of the consequences. Others believe that enjoyment of any kind is wrong and detracts from working towards some great ideal. To separate ourselves from a programmed view of what is good or bad, I prefer to use the words positive and negative:
Something, which is positive, is pro-life.
Something, which is negative, is anti-life.
When this criterion is applied to activity in our own lives and lives of those around us, a subtle change takes place in the way we start to view the world. The term life in this context refers to the whole physical manifestation of life on this planet.
Any decision on whether a course of action is pro-life or anti-life has to take into account the effect an action or pattern of behaviour has on life as a whole.
Our lives are governed by positive and negative energies. If we seek to live in a positive or pro-life way, we will attract positive energy and positive people into our lives. The reverse is also true. Sometimes it is tempting to think we can get further ahead by acting in a negative way. This goes against the principle that negative action attracts negative feelings. Our feelings are us. How we feel about life, whether we are happy, content or think well of ourselves is affected by negative behaviour.
Which actions are negative and which are positive? As an adult it is your responsibility and privilege to decide for yourself. This is your life! To summarise, before making any decision or altering a pattern of behaviour in yourself I would like you to ask yourself the following question.
IS WHAT I AM ABOUT TO DO A POSITIVE, PRO-LIFE ACTION?
If the answer is anything other than yes, you know what you must do.
Farkel, although I fully agree with you that the entire good-evil thing as described in the bible doesn't make sense at all, I think there's a bit of a fallacy in your reasoning (well, not really a fallacy, more of an unwarranted assumption). Or maybe I didn't get your point...let's see.
Let's say that god created the world yesterday. Today, we look at that world of yesterday and describe it as 100 percent "good", meaning that it has all the properties we associate with our current notion of "good" and none corresponding to its opposite "not good" (alias evil). So, yesterday, as you point out, the adjective "good" had no meaning at all - there was only what we today call "good", so the concept of good did not, or at least _did not have to_, exist at that time.
Why do we have a concept of "good" today? Because we assume that last night, something happened to change the world. Something new was introduced while we were snoring peacefully, it differentiated things in a new way (meaning that some things have more of it, and some less), and we feel it therefore makes sense to find a description for those differences. We might say it's a new dimension (as in geometry) and label its extreme ends "good" and "evil".
The point I'm trying to get across is that, unlike Plato, I see no reason to postulate that concepts or ideas are "beings", existing in their own world. I also don't think the bible postulates that god created such a "concept of good" together with his first creation. God created a universe (release 1.0) some time ago, but the bible describes that universe later: from the viewpoint and within the extended explanatory framework of its successor, universe 2.0. The notion of good needn't have existed in universe 1.0, according to this model _and_ the bible (IIRC - I haven't wasted my time on bible reading for a long time).
if all was good at first, then when the "apple" was eaten it was not the knowlige of good and and evil. but the creation of god and evil. only we know it was the knowing that came into being,
and not the power of good and evil that came to be.
the ideas and opinions expressed in this post do not necessiarly represent those of the WTB&TS inc. or any of it's subsidiary corporations.