1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Comparitive explanations for the existence of evil

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by idea, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. idea

    idea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,554
    Ratings:
    +347
    I would like to hear everyone's answers on the purpose and reason for the existence of evil. If you can state your religious or other belief system along with your explanation, that would be very helpful. Thanks!
     
  2. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Carnivorous Vegetarian
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    1,141
    Ratings:
    +767
    Religion:
    Nondualism
    I view evil as a human construct that does not exist beyond our species. IMO, it's a result of ego and judgment.

    I currently label myself as a Pantheist (with Advaita Vedanta tendencies).
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Terese

    Terese ॐ ātmā na deho'smi viṣṇu-śeṣo-parigrahaḥ
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,911
    Ratings:
    +2,414
    Religion:
    Gaudiya Vaiṣṇava
    Karma (actions) and free will is what the problem of evil occurs from.
     
  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Messages:
    15,896
    Ratings:
    +5,621
    Religion:
    I am an advaitist Hindu and a strong atheist.
    Maya, ignorance, anatta (wihout substance), chance, probability, randomness, Chaos.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. bobhikes

    bobhikes Liveinthenowist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    6,657
    Ratings:
    +1,204
    Evil is a human definition based on perception of badness done. Why does evil exist because humans like to rank things. Agnostic Christian
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. BSM1

    BSM1 Who's a good boy?

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10,590
    Ratings:
    +4,049
    Religion:
    Buddhistic Panenthetic Jesusonian
    Evil, like good, is a totally subjective, man-made concept.
     
  7. Carlita

    Carlita The Buddha Shakyamuni

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    16,543
    Ratings:
    +5,131
    Religion:
    Viet. Zen Buddhist
    I don't agree there is evil. If I did, I would need to be a part of it. People do harmful things but immoral depends on the person.
     
  8. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    21,199
    Ratings:
    +6,734
    Religion:
    Saivite Hindu
    I agree. No intrinsic evil, just this. Stupidity, yes, evil no.
     
  9. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita and Spiritualist and Pantheist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,083
    Ratings:
    +3,879
    Religion:
    Advaita and Spiritualist and Pantheist

    I look at life from the perspective that life is eternal and we are in the process of learning that. We live as individuals for eons and not one life. We all return to godhead in the end. If one could see one's life from separation from godhead through the eons to return to godhead then things and temporary sufferings make more sense. What we see as evil are very short temporary events in the grand scheme of things where each individual story ends in success; return to peace/bliss/awareness of godhead.


    Plus Problem of Evil proponents look at good/bad events as happening randomly to people. Eastern thinkers believe a long series of cause/events (karma) causes things to be the way they are.


    I also use the analogy of creation as some grand expansive multi-dimensional artwork. And human problem of evil proponents view from their little speck and dimensional perspective of the artwork and try to judge the entire artwork. Their view is too limited to be meaningful.

    I think to understand the answer to the 'Problem of Evil' we need to start thinking in more eastern ways.

    1) That we live for eons in a soul developing process; not one body's duration. In that perspective any suffering in one life is short and temporary in this grander view. And even an unfortunate life and death has lessons for that soul and for those seeing and interacting with the unfortunate life.

    2) That such things are not as random as they appear. There is chain of cause and effect through time we can not see.

    3) That those currently living an unfortunate life will have victory 'enlightenment' at the end of the challenges.

    4) That it is God at the core of everything and it is He who experiences the temporary good and bad fortunes. It is ultimately not Him imposing it on other separate beings. It is His play/drama where He separates Himself from Himself and returns Himself to Himself but this play ends with a happy ending for all. In any great play/drama there is always drama/suffering in the middle.

     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. sunrise123

    sunrise123 Darkness will pass. Dawn is almost here.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    17,160
    Ratings:
    +5,209
    Religion:
    Love
    Meher Baba:

    Evil is the lingering relic of earlier good. Some impressional tendencies, which were necessary and inevitable at a particular phase, are carried over to the higher phase of evolution and they persist in their existence due to inertia. They hinder harmonious functioning in the new context and appear as evil.

    Good as well as evil have an undeniable relationship with the circumstances. No judgment can be passed on the goodness or other aspect of any action without considering the concrete context in which the judgment is called for. An act which is normally undeniably evil may under special circumstances be not only defensible but praiseworthy.

    Take for example the following exceptional case. Suppose a mother has given birth to a baby and has not her own milk to feed it. The baby has to be fed on cow's milk, which is very difficult to obtain. A neighbor may have some cow's milk but the other knows that he will not part with it for money or for any philanthropic consideration even though he does not need it himself. Under such circumstances, if a person steals the cow's milk and feeds it to the newborn baby in order to keep it alive, the act of stealing is in this case not only justifiable but definitely good.

    Of course an exception of this type does not make stealing a good act under all circumstances. Normally stealing continues to be evil but in the exceptional case above it has become good.,,
     
  11. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    13,060
    Ratings:
    +7,474
    Religion:
    None
    There are too many different kinds of evil to explain in a post.

    There's the "Acts of God" like hurricanes and earthquakes.
    There's the evils beyond control by us humans like viruses and parasitic worms that eat little kids eyes.
    There's the evils people create by mistake because they aren't god and don't always know what the final outcome of their choices will be.
    There's the evils humans create because we are mostly driven by the instincts we evolved and the habits we developed.
    There's the evils humans create because we are not really sane.

    Which of these forms of evil are you referring to?
    Tom
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Messages:
    19,052
    Ratings:
    +5,269
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    I think bobhikes had a fairly good answer when he said, "Evil is a human definition based on perception of badness done. Why does evil exist because humans like to rank things." in post 5.

    As for the evil spoken of in Christianity and Judaism, its existence is clearly god's desire:

    Isaiah 45:7
    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
    Now, why he likes evil is another question.

    .
     
  13. Tumah

    Tumah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    9,493
    Ratings:
    +5,692
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    How do they know how old the person is?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Tumah

    Tumah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    9,493
    Ratings:
    +5,692
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    You do understand that contextually, "evil" is referring to 'war', right? Light and dark, peace and ____
     
  15. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    13,060
    Ratings:
    +7,474
    Religion:
    None
    God tells them.
    Apparently
    I don't know.
    Tom
     
  16. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Messages:
    19,052
    Ratings:
    +5,269
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    Why should I?

    If we are to assume that Bibles using the English language to properly express the meaning of scriptures use misleading words than how can a person be certain that anything that it says is correct? Bibles use "evil" instead of "war" because evil is the concept the writers wanted to get across; not the notion of war. If putting across the idea of war was their intention then that's the word they would use; not "evil." Unless, that is, they were a bunch of dunderheads.

    And even if god had said "I . . . make war," it still casts him as some kind of loathsome barbarian. So I don't see "war" saving his character at all.

    .
     
    #16 Skwim, Aug 13, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  17. Tumah

    Tumah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    9,493
    Ratings:
    +5,692
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    I think it actually makes lends more depth this way. Contextually, the prophecy was for Cyrus. "So said G-d to His anointed, to Cyrus". Cyrus was a Persian, a Zoroastrian. Zoroastrianism has the two concepts of Ahura Mazda as the source of good and Angra Mainyu as the source of evil. As opposed to that, Isaiah says, that G-d is going to make Cyrus win against the Chaldean empire so that everyone will know that there is no one else but G-d. And that He is the one who controls light and dark, good and evil - which in the context of Cyrus' prophecy is peace and war.

    Maybe if it only said that. But it also speaks about peace.
     
  18. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Messages:
    15,896
    Ratings:
    +5,621
    Religion:
    I am an advaitist Hindu and a strong atheist.
    Like that without agreeing to it. :D
     
  19. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,001
    Ratings:
    +737
    Religion:
    Sanatana Dharmah
    Namaste,

    I think in Hindu Dharmah, there is no "problem of evil", because there is no such thing as "evil" as a entity or a external thing, we can say we have a problem of "Dukha", this is explained as Papam Karma (Negative actions) and Punya Karma (Positive actions) which are influenced by "ADharmah or Dharmah", for e.g: Ahimsa (minimization of harm, non harming, non violence) is Dharma but Himsa (Harming and unnecessary violence) is ADharmah or Satya (truth, honesty) is Dharmah and ASatya (untruth and dishonesty) is ADharmah.

    Hindus Generally will agree that one has to be always on the Path of Dharmah in words, deeds and thought to avoid causing Dukha to oneself and others. The majority of Hindu thought is directed at the eradication of Dukha from our self's, before we can tackle Dukha of the human society at large.

    The key ingredient that causes Dukha is the feeling of "lack", in ones own life, we try to expand our limited selfs to encompass everything around us, this feeling of "want, or "lack" is what needs to be worked at and controlled, therefore the Rishi's and Yogi's have devised many meditation techniques such as dhyana, yoga, niyama, yamma ect to help us control our base desires, which then would limit our feeling of "lack", and would conduce to a happy and content lifestyle resulting in a "sukhi" (opposite of Dhukhi), life.

    Dukha is also tackled by realisation of our true nature as Sat-Chit-Annand (Adhyatma Vidya), and our relationship with the infinite Brahman (Purnam Idam, Purna Ida), which is said to produce a more mindful existence because as we are realise that we as the Brahman is just the Brahman experiencing itself there is no "other", removing the need for division between each other based on "race, gender, religion, caste, believer, unbeleiver ect which is the cause of many Dhuka in this world.

    In Dharmah it is not as simple as labeling things as "evil", or "Good", because things change over time, and our innate nature "sat-Chit-Annand", is a guiding light to discriminate between Dharmah and Adharmah.

    Anyways this is my Hindu View.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Sha'irullah

    Sha'irullah No longer here

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    7,773
    Ratings:
    +1,105
    I just do not think any god is morally perfect and that if there is evil than gods are indifferent or it is there will for purposes that may not even benefit us.

    What if a god is responsible for terrible things because he values good compost over humans and humans are just a way to ensure his earth has fertilizer so he promotes the evils of war hoping to speed up our composition rate. Maybe he just built a planet along with a cosmos so he can experiment with plant life and we are ruining it for him. What if we are not the pinnacle of his creation at all and just a process for him to reach it.
     
Loading...