HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

DOCTRINE THAT EVIL IS MISPLACED GOOD PUTS A HAIR'S BREADTH BETWEEN MORAL & IMMORAL

Why evil is made out to be the wrong kind of good

No normal person looks for the good in serious evils.

Nobody normal says that being abused by a paedophile was a good thing for them or that it was in any way beneficial.

Religious people say that evil and sin fits into God's plan for doing good. This demands that the good be seen in evil and in its results.

Religious people say God did not create evil for he is spotlessly good so evil is not a power or a created entity. It is a falling short of goodness. In other words, evil is good in the wrong place or time. Evil is using good wrongly.

 

Doctrine of the mean

 

Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean, the middle way, despite popular impressions is not about practicing moderation. The good soldier does not get in the middle between cowardice and foolhardiness. He does not get in the middle between being fearless and fearful. What he does is compromise each extreme in a sensible way. For example, he will be clear on the battlefield about what he has not to fear and what he has to fear and how much fear is appropriate.

 

It is said, "The doctrine of the mean does not permit compromising everything. There are some things in which there is no such thing as a right amount. Every amount of rape is too much. Every amount of baby suffering is too much."  But that is refuted by the fact that the mean is very complicated so nobody can judge the alleged wrongdoer but the wrongdoer.

 

The view that evil is something so useless and random that you must never wonder if there are reasons for it means there cannot by any compromise.  Doing something that you intend to be somewhere between good and evil is to do evil.

Watered down evil

 

Religion says God does not make evil. He makes only good and any evil that happens is a falling short of good. In order to believe in God and get comfort, religious people water down evil and the horrors of depression etc.

To water down evil is to become evil and to encourage, at least subtly, others to do evil. To water down evil is to water down good as well. To excuse God's callous standing by while babies suffer, is to water down morality between human beings. It effects us and is not just a theological matter. It is about God and what it says about us.

To say that evil is using good wrongly is to imply:

-that the good should be looked at first for it is cynical to fail to see the good in things

-that you should see the good in the person doing the evil despite the risk that you will stop seeing the evil as bad as it is

-see everything as more good than bad

-if you are forced to choose one or the other then choose to see the good.

That you are not forced is not the point. We are talking about what you would do and what this "would" says about you.

The religious lunacy that waters evil down so that faith may flow is sadly accepted as okay even by unbelievers. But it is not an acceptable view.

It is only people who are afraid of believers in God or of God or who want to believe in God almost condone evil and the evil of refusing to view evil in its true form. That people pay such a price over a religious belief is disgraceful. That they are willing to shows they have taken a step to becoming dehumanised and it is luck and chance if they don't take it to an extreme.

 

The end justifies the means?

 

There can be evil means to a good end but the problem is not the means but how the good end looks like it is worth the bad things.  The bad means often look good or okay themselves.  Plus terrible things are sometimes done for a good reason.  For example, religion tells you to let yourself be tortured to death in the hope of pleasing God and saving others.  So it is very confusing.  One thing that is guaranteed to keep it confusing is the religious doctrine that evil is not a thing or power but just goodness in the wrong place and wrong time.  For example, a knife is good but it just happens to be in your victim's back and its good that your victim is bleeding etc.

 

Religion says that God did not make evil so evil is not a power or force but just a lack of goodness. It says evil is really nothing and totally worthless for it is nothing. But what is the point of condemning evil if you think a person cannot be evil? If evil is a lack or a power then is it something independent of you, something that can infect you but in someway not be in anyway part of you? Everybody says yes. But then it no more infects you than water infects a waterproof jacket. It is like a spider on your shoulder. They are lying that they separate sin and sinner and by talking about infection admit they do not separate them after all!

 

So they say evil is worthless and they say they do not regard a sinner in any way as worthless.  But then they contradict themselves by saying the sinner gives evil its worthlessness so the sinner is somehow worthless after all!  They curse the sinner in an underhand way and compound their own evil by lying about it and making it out to be good.

The hair-thin line

Those who believe that evil is warped good and is more good than bad say that in our heads we are attracted to the good in the evil we do which means we find it hard to work out what is good and what is bad. If we don't find it hard, we are mistaken. We don't see how hard it is.

When we do good, there will be some evil side-effects. For example, to look after homeless X means that you cannot have the time to think of baby Y who is more need of help.

When we do evil, there will be some good side-effects. For example, to murder your husband means you get his money which you donate to the hospital and save thousands of lives.

When we do evil, we can tell ourselves that we don't know all the reasons we will do it or how much bad or good it will do. We only see a bit of every situation we are in. So we could say, "I will murder X for it might be for the best. Who knows?"

There are evil consequences of our good actions that we will never fully discover. There are good consequences of our evil actions that we will never fully discover. Even if something was always good before it does not mean it will always be good in future.

As religion and society and the world believe in necessary evil - sometimes you have to do terrible things when it will avoid worse things - the matter gets impossible to deal with. And even more so when we only imagined the worse things were going to happen. Often they are not poised to happen at all if we do x y or z. Punishment is an example of necessary evil. Many people believe that the evil person suffering the direct and indirect evils that result from their crimes is far better than any punishment that can be given to them in civil law. They believe in indirect punishment and that the evil people should see their suffering as punishment.

It is all a confusing mess ...

Perception

Evil is the result of disorder in a being meaning that disorder is the absence of order or lack of order. So there is a flaw in a person who is able to choose evil. She might not go along with the flaw but it is there. The flaw then means there is a problem with the person perceiving something as good when it is evil. If your eyesight is flawed you can mistake a leaf blowing on the ground for a mouse running away. It is hard to see how you can say anybody is really to blame for evil when their perception is dodgy. No it is not hard - it is impossible. If your perception of evil is flawed, you cannot fully trust anything you think at a moral crossroads. If its flawed, even the stuff you have got right is called into question.

Let us put this another way. If we do evil, then it is evil because we have made an error. It is said that this would be a partial error for all the evil we do contains some or a lot of truth. Is it really a partial error? No. When you err, you cast doubt on what you know or believe to be right. You are no longer very sure of it.

We need moral knowledge not moral belief

Is it only the results of an act that tell you if an act was really good or just evil looking good?

If yes then the problem is that everything has some bad consequences or seeming ones so you can never tell if an act is good or looking good in which case it may not be good at all!

If evil is a form of good, then the good can easily masquerade as the best. The good is evil in the craftiest way. Even evil at times can be expert at appearing good. The rest of the time it is usually good at it. Sometimes you cannot know the difference between good, bad and best and they say that you will only tell the difference when you experience the terrible consequences for evil leads to bad results. So "evil is misplaced good" turns morality into trial and error. You can say that if cheating on the spouse leads to trouble your case could be different. So you cheat and hope for the best!

And if people start turning a heinous act into an opportunity for doing great good it is easy to end up happy that the act took place. It does not look as heinous then. It may not look very evil any more.

If evil is good that is in the wrong place and time then it will be very hard to tell good apart from evil. A lot of the time, we with our limited perspective and flaws will find them indistinguishable. It would follow that we need the resources to tell them apart. Suppose evil is that which is to be avoided at any cost. Religion says it is better to cease to exist by accident than to sin deliberately. Then we need to KNOW not guess or believe that anything is harmful or evil or sinful. If evil and good are too hard to distinguish then we risk approving evil as good and creating more evil. If evil and good are too hard to distinguish we fail to give good its proper honour and due and fail to learn from it. You don't want to play into the hands of those who take advantage. They will disguise evil as good.

We must consider the act itself. You cannot do something and then decide it was bad because it had all or mostly bad consequences. That gives you too much freedom to do what you want to do. You need knowledge, not faith and not trial and error.

The margin

All on earth believe that you can do great evil and believe it is right. If morality is real, that does not mean that what we put forward as morality is accurate or real. Sincerity can blind.

What about the margin between good and evil? Is it worse to make it .00001% evil and the rest good? Or to make it 90%? The greater the good, then the greater the evil that it can be turned into. The greater the good the greater the corruption. So the answer is that the greatest and most powerful evil comes in the form of good which has a subtle hint of poison and toxin in it.

The hazy notion of goodness that believers possess

When we speak of evil we tend to do so only in relation to the good. We know of evil, precisely because we know what is good. In looking at what a thing is and what it is not – in seeing the defectiveness, we begin to see who we can describe an action as being evil.

Is a work of art that you deliberately make ugly because it is art, is intended to fall short of goodness? No. It is not for it is meant to fit a particular standard of goodness. It is good for the art to be ugly. If it is bad then it is bad that we have the freedom do make ugly things or to say ugly things. It would be bad to make crucifixes – everything almost would be bad. What use is an argument for God's goodness that does not know what it means by goodness? Is it not a conjuring trick and a waste of breath?

God makes fake morality even more fake!

Some say, "Evil is to good what lameness is to walking." The problem is that you should walk but cannot. This talks about purpose. It assumes you should want to walk. But should you? It is up to you. A person who dictates to you that you should be walking is worse than the person who does not walk though he can. The person is controlling. It is better to walk because you want to and not because any God or anything says you should walk. Real goodness is spontaneous and totally generous as regards motivation.

God makes immorality even more immoral if it is true that if he exists then bad offends him. If he does not exist, then bad is bad for the harm it does but at least there is no God to insult by it as well. If he does not exist, faith in him is bad for it makes you mean to be worse than you would be when you do evil.

Examples

The notion that evil is not real but is merely good that is not good enough leads to some interesting things. What if a person is a cynical malicious gossip? His friends may say, "You tell it as you see it!" That is saying, "You are to be praised for being a gossip." It does not make their condemnations of cynicism and gossip sincere. If you love the person you will be forced to praise what good they do even if it is the good of evil. That you condemn proves that you do not. To view a person as dangerous and harmful makes you hate and that is what hate is all about.

People believe that sincerity is to be praised and they even say you are good person even if you do something terrible thinking it was the right thing to do. But do we really think that say Lenin who thought that murdering people to pave the way for Communist rule was morally right in doing so? His sincerity has nothing to do with its moral rightness or wrongness. But it does show how easy it is to be wrong and do evil while being prepared to swear that you are right.

The person who forgives will reason, "That person hurts me for he sees me as a danger. He hates his perception of me and not me and so I forgive. I understand and understanding is necessary for forgiving." That is caring about how the person views you and not about what they would do to you. You need to fear evil people so that you can be safe from them. If you don't fear fire you will die in it.

In fact a person who has warped perception is worse than the person who sees you as you are and hates you for it. That person is more dangerous. It is more rational to forgive the person who hates you because he knows you.

If you stab somebody to death in self-defence this is called morally praiseworthy though the same action would be wrong if you did it for fun. Things like that cause great confusion.

How demand to renounce evil complicates things

If you have to turn evil to renounce evil that only adds to the confusion!

The argument implies that you should renounce evil for good is the best thing and is the real thing not evil. But to renounce evil is to become a slave to it indirectly. If you are sex mad you are seen as a slave to sexuality. If you torment yourself to avoid sexual impulses you are still being made a slave by them.

To renounce evil is to enter under its power for then you have to commit the evil of taking on the suffering necessary to avoid doing evil and of stopping yourself doing what you want. What you should do is mix good and evil so that you become a nice exciting person. Who likes people who are all sweetness and light? Who would want to be perfect as God is perfect though Jesus said we should want to be?

If there is a thin line then faith in God should not be declared important. It is not going to help. It in fact makes it worse. If a morality is paper-thin, attributing it to God is only making it sacred when in fact it is not sacred or holy but a pity. You may as well jump for joy when a baby dies for somehow it is best for the baby.

Religion and "evil is not a power"

Everything you do has hypothetical implications. What you would do even if you cannot do it speaks volumes about the kind of person you are.

Religion says that pure evil does not exist and evil is just a distortion of good and parasitic on it. If evil is the lack of good and you do evil it follows that it may as well be real for you want it to be real. You want it to create itself ex nihilo. You are as evil as an evil power for you mean to be. Thus even if evil is a lack it does not excuse God giving us the free will to be that evil. God not making evil as a power means nothing. It is an insult to suffering people to say it does.

Conclusion

If it is not clear why believers in a loving God are so violent or bigoted, then the reason could be that the belief does something subtle to them to damage them. The watering down of evil for the sake of faith in God would definitely be top of the list for doing that to people. It is intrinsically bigoted despite its sweet and consoling masquerade.