Where Did All This F*cking Evil Sh%t Come From? (revisited)
Evil is not itself a reality. Rather, it is the absence of meaningful reality.
Believers, Atheists, and Humanists alike are asking questions, trying to rationalize evil in the world. It seems like civilization is in retrograde when it appears to us that right-wingnuts are making more progress than they should. So what’s the answer? We tried to address this a couple of years ago, and feel it is worthy of reprinting here. Let us know what you think.
También en español It is undeniable that there is often a lot of pain and suffering in a human lifetime. While individual experiences vary widely, over the course of a lifetime most people will experience instances when they are confronted with the reality of an apparently genuine evil. And this inevitably starts the discussion, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this? If God loves me, why is he doing this to me? How can we love a God that would let something like this happen to anybody (not just me)? I refuse to accept the religious proposition that there is a God because I see only evidence of universal randomness, filled with constant strife between good and evil partisans! And even if there were one single personal God of the universe, he’d be way too busy to pay attention to the crap going on down here.”
But there are fundamental assumptions in this line of questioning that often go unappreciated. First and foremost are the implied assumptions about the nature of God. If one assumes that the God referenced is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent throughout time and space, then why isn’t the universe perfect? Surely a universe under the total control of a God of Love would never tolerate the amount of human misery and grief that surrounds us on all sides. Therefore, since the observed world does not match my prediction of what the world would be like if there were an omni-cube God, either such a God does not exist or my predictive method about what the world should be like is wrong. Sounds bad for my predictive methods—what man dare attempt to compass the purpose of God? Well, men have minds that, if you are God-oriented, are surely gifts of God. And my mind tells me that simplistic faith contrary to reason is most definitely NOT what any God I could personally respect would ever require of me. Therefore, if I believe the workings in my mind are True, I must perforce reject the concept of the omni-cube God. There simply is no such deity active anywhere I’ve been in the universe because his existence is refuted by the reality of my own experience.
And from this line of reasoning flows the faith of many devout atheists. It’s not so much that they reject the general idea of some sort of Supreme Being, but they can’t figure out what it would be good for because it doesn’t seem to even try to put things right in the world around us. If it’s out there, we obviously mean nothing more to it than an ant does to the automobile that ran over it in the road. Let’s try looking at this situation from a very different and more hopeful viewpoint.
Suppose that the universe is destined to be a perfect place of light and life—a universe of continuous unbridled joy in loving service, living truth, doing good, and making beauty. By our actions, our relationships, we are building small parts of this great universe of constructed perfection. But the perfect universe is not here today. Only portions are in evidence—the areas where love predominates over the primal emptiness of original space-time—where evil is merely the region into which love has yet to penetrate. Evil is not itself a reality. Rather, it is the absence of meaningful reality.
So evil is not something inflicted on us by an angry God, who abandons us to the vacuum of space-time devoid of Love. Rather, evil is the state of being where there is a weakened or nonexistent presence of Love. Since we are the creatures in the universe who are equipped with the ability to sense the presence or absence of Love, and with the tools of Truth guided reason that enable our will to effectively direct our loving actions, it is necessarily our responsibility to fill the gaps in finite reality where Love does not adequately penetrate.
The response of the finite universe to the force of destiny, the necessity of evolution towards a perfect state of light and life, requires the participation of many beings working together and dedicated to the ideals of Love, Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
If you see evil in the world and have sufficient resources of Love, you can make the repair yourself. Our planet seems to have been shortchanged on loving service in the past, so we have a lot of gaps in our Love coverage. Many of these will require the cooperation of many people of goodwill, even entire communities and nations, to bridge vast gaps of lost communication and long misunderstanding.
So let’s get with it. Is there evil in the world? Then let’s work together in Unity to Love it out of existence. It’s our job to do this and this is how destiny is realized. Fear not to act. With Love and Truth you can only do Good and make Beauty.
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