Thursday, September 30, 2010

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

Do we have an explanation for the origin of evil?

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13 comments:

Lukas und Céline Kuhs said...

No I have not. But I know God's answer to it. The most holy and almighty God delivering himself for us on the cross...

Greg said...

Lukas,
Thanks. I know it's a tough question and I like your response that God has a response.

carter said...

Oddly enough, I think occasionally that it is the natural consequence of the grace to give freedom of choice: To choose something other than the godly things.

Greg said...

Carter,
Thanks. Seems like freedom of choice would have some explanatory clout for evil in human existence, yet evil is already there, at least according to the creation story, prior to this creational event.

I wonder too, that if we adopt a freedom of choice perspective, are we not then obligated to say that freedom gave rise to evil and therefore God should not have ventured the risk.

reneamac.com said...

Greg, if evil exists prior to man's choice, it still exists because of Lucifer's choice, right? It's still a running away from what Is into a fantasy of non-truth.

As far as the risk not being worth it, I'm not sure it's possible to have love without risk. What do you think?

Greg said...

Renea,
Thanks. I'm more sure of the former than of the latter. The context of rebellion and how it happened remains somewhat opaque.

Yes, I like your point here. On the human to human and human to God level this makes sense. But I don't think it gives a satisfactory explanation for the origin of evil. Even God is not free in all respects, since he has made promises that commit him to a certain course of action and not another.

Sisyphos said...

I don't think that evil is a transcendent power, like a force in this world.
The foundations of the happenings we tend to call evil seem to be the natural circle.

A rock falling down ...
No one cares
It must have buried a little lamb.
The town can hear it screaming
In every minute of the night.
"That is the circle of life and death" they say.
The next day a man exclaims horrified:
"My girl is missing, my girl is missing."
And they found her dear body
next to the little lamb
and - what ghastly fright did rise - had mistaken the girls' horror with the lambs' dread.
Now it was called evil and the people of the town mourned and cried and cursed this evil world.

We are one race on this earth. And this earth is a little stain in this universe. How dare we importanize ourslves so much?

Besides the natural happenings surely there are human actions which we call evil.
The man raping, the woman murdering etc.
But is this due to one evil power or is this due to the natural circle? (The circle we subjectively call circle of life and death which is in the end simply the circle of transformation, the circle of becoming in which we participate: in eating the dead animal we transform its energy into our energy)
Our sexual desire for the sake of sustaining our race; our power for the sake of survival. We used them to become who we are, nay, to become that we are at all.

"Good, evil" mankind exclaims and hopes for a better fate for themselves.

The circle is spinning and spinning and we participate. Otherwise we would be extinguished from this world.

And so we all push up the rock, like Sisyphos, we push it up the mountain but at the peek, the rock is rolling down again.
And again and again

Until our parts are returning to the soil whence they emanated and our consciousness ceases away ...

carter said...

Maybe we should re-define or re-think "evil." There is no thing such as darkness--only the absence of light. Evil may not be a thing so much as the absence of godliness.

Greg said...

Sisyphos,
Thanks. I appreciate the poetic character of your musings. And I agree with them, except I find they are too limited to be a satisfactory explanation for love or lament. The circle of life and death, as you call it, is indeed a part, but perhaps, not the whole story. In other terms, too reductionistic - as an example - sex desire escapes the mere referent of survival.

Greg said...

Carter,
I agree - maybe both evil and good need to be re-thought. Evil as absence is one direction, or as parasitic is another, or as personal and parasitic, yet not having an ontology of its own, or as just plain rebellion against the creator.

carter said...

You are creeping up to one of my observations about sin: I think everytime I sin, what I am really doing is taking something that God offers (peace, security, satisfaction) but deleting God from the equation, and making the thing the object of my pursuits rather than making the giver of all good things the object of my pursuit. And the post-recognition is that the thing is a very cheap copy.

carter said...

I was reading this morning in 2 Samuel 12.7-8 where God through Nathan tells David that "I gave you all of this and if all this had not been enough, I would have given you even more."

Greg said...

Carter,
Dostoievsky says something like, after gazing at the cross for hours, I don't know the answer to the problem of evil, but I do know love.