See no evil

Some people call it "attitude." Others call it "destiny." However understood, it's both a spiritual and practical fact of life that our outlook effects ourselves and everyone around us in profound ways. At racing school they teach that "your vehicle goes where you look, so look where you want to go - not where you are afraid you may go." This pragmatic advice has kept many a driver on the safe path, whereas fixation on the negative has caused many a wreck.

The gaze of Christians is fixated on evil. It is no wonder that these same people brought us to the Crusades, Inquisition, Dark Ages, Witch hunts, two world wars, virulent racism, and Holocaust. The essential premise of the Jesus Cult is "God is three, man is evil, belief is salvation." The most damming of these three errors is that man is evil – a proposition lacking any basis in reality.

Lack of Scriptural basis

There is no scriptural basis for the belief in the evil nature of mankind. Judea-Christian scripture records that God created man in His image (Genesis 1:27) and that He saw that His work of creation was very good (Genesis 1:31). In the Mosaic Law (Psalms 82:6) it is written that God says: You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High. The New Testament states that all men have the potential to be brothers of Christ and "Son's of God" (Matt 12:49, John 1:12, 1 John 3:1)

On the contrary, and premised on the alleged crime of Adam, the Jesus Cult propounds that man has a corrupt and evil nature. But if man is evil and was created in God's image, then God is evil. Further, if man's perfection is in doing evil, the worst of men should be most rewarded for doing bad and the finest punished for doing good.

Lack of rational basis

Man is an animal possessing supernatural intelligence and a capacity for heavenly virtue – a capacity that distinguishes us from the animal and which must be regarded as our true nature. Our rational soul (our spiritual nature) is created in the image of God. Our animal bodies were not fashioned in His image; we can not see God with our eyes, nor can we hear His voice with our ears. Our bodies are not much different than those of apes and – if our bodies were created in God's image – it could be said that God looks like an ape. Jesus said God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. The human spirit is a sign of God and proof that He desires us to know the Manifestation of His Perfections.

When we speak of the virtues of man, we are not referring to every man, or even to exceptional men. We speak of perfect Man – the archetype of humanity: Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and Bahá'u'lláh. Nevertheless, every man has spiritual capacity – a capacity that distinguishes us from the animal and which must be regarded as our true nature. Our rational soul, our spiritual nature, is created in the image of God. It is this spirit within us that is capable of recognizing and worshipping God, and realization of this capacity our perfection.

The perfection of any thing is in the realization of it's nature and potential. The perfection of a fruit tree is to bear a plenitude of good fruit in season, and the perfection of a poet is to produce sublime verse. A fruit tree can not produce poetry. "Good" is a relative condition to a things nature. E.g.: Being partially buried in rich soil is good for a tree, but bad for a poet.

Evil and Sin

Darkness is simply the absence of light. The obvious but critical distinction to make here is that the absence of a quality is not it's opposite. As darkness is the absence of light, so is evil the shadow of good; Cold is the absence of heat, and sin the want of virtue. There is only a relative condition and no substance to the non-existence of a quality. The word "oposite" is only a semantic device – there is no actual opposition: You can bring a light into a dark cave and the cave is illuminated, but you can not bring darkness from the cave outside into the light to overcome the light. Likewise, evil does not substantially exist.

Examples:
Physical Spiritual
Existence Absence
Light Darkness
Heat Cold
Proximity Remoteness
Life Death
Existence Absence
Knowledge Ignorance
Virtue Sin
Heaven Hell
Good Evil

Created in the image of the Omniscient Lord to know and worship Him - man's light is knowledge. At the dawn of a man's life he is innocent - gradually awakening to the power of consciousness and reason as he matures.

Man's mind and intellect is the most highly structured force in the known universe. Man has the potential of encompassing within his mind all the forces of nature. Constantly advancing, this intellect has been shown capable of understanding, harnessing, manipulating and reproducing natural forces from subatomic to cosmic levels. Mankind has produced unnatural elements and created energy forms (e.g.: coherent light) that nature will never accidentally mimic. It is for these reasons that we said that "Man is an animal possessing supernatural intelligence."

Animals lack self consciousness and are innocent; Though animals kill - they don't murder. For conscious men, want of knowledge is ignorance, and lack of spiritual freedom is sin. In Ebonite manuscripts St. Peter is recorded as saying: ...ignorance will be found to be the mother of almost all evils.

When asked why men sin, St. Peter said: It is because they are ignorant... For this reason they, having lust... for the continuance of life, gratify it in any accidental way... Wherefore God is not evil, Who has rightly placed lust within man, that there may be a continuance of life, but they are most impious who have used the good of lust badly... For we ought to have something more than the animals, as reasonable men, and capable of heavenly senses...

The Prince of Apostles said: Evil, then, does not exist always, yea, it cannot exist at all substantially... "Evil" is what we call the lack of goodness. Goodness is a substantial existence and relative to a things nature. But what is good for one thing is not necessarily good for another. The poisonous venom of a snake bite isn't evil; it is a means of the snakes protection and survival. Medical science has created useful serums from venom, demonstrating that knowledge is the true "good", and ignorance the only "evil."

Evilution

The article Giving the Devil His Due, Newsweek, Aug 30, 1982 discusses the evolution of the teaching of evil in Christianity: The Christian concept of the Devil is a composite drawn from many disparate sources - most of them ideas and legends that originated outside the accepted Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Satan is primarily a Judaized version of Ahriman, whom ancient Persians [esp. Zoroastrians] regarded as the Prince of Darkness, the Father of lies and the source of human suffering and death - the equal but opposite, of Ohrmazd, the God of order and light... [Iranian dualism became a strong influence on the apocryphal works such as the book of Enoch. In essence these books reinterpreted scattered Old Testament verses and stories in order to fashion a Devil in the image and likeness of Ahriman... Many rabbis refused to accept the myth or the books in which it was told. Indeed, after the destruction of the Temple... the Devil has no standing in Judaism... But the Devil that Judaism rejected Christianity embraced.]

Conclusion

Evil is harm caused to mankind as the consequence of ignorance of man's true nature. The devil is a symbol of ignorance – without any real substance. Though used in scripture, the usage is completely figurative – indicating those animal impulses that dominate us when we act without true knowledge of ourselves and others in a particular situation.

Good is that which uplifts and benefits mankind spiritually and physically. The Manifestation of God is a real person, beloved of mankind, known in history, and recorded in scripture.

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Author - John Roncalio. © 2003, John Roncalio.
The views expressed herein are those of the author who is solely responsible for their contents.