The Nature of Good and Evil


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Pet theories abound for who or what is truly responsible for the recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, but the one thing people of all stripes seem to be in agreement on is that the mindless slaughter of innocents is not only socially unacceptable – it is evil.

For example, take Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy. He was raised (and still is) a Roman Catholic. He is staunchly pro-abortion. Heck, he even issued a press release celebrating the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. He also personally abolished the death penalty in Connecticut and strongly supports homosexual marriage, which Connecticut legalized in 2008. After the shocking Sandy Hook massacre he sadly remarked:

Evil visited this community, and it’s too early to speak of recovery.

Or take Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s comments. She was raised a Baptist, but is now an outspoken atheist who believes God is a myth. She is also strongly pro-abortion, yet supports traditional marriage (as defined in Genesis 2:18-25), and she is against euthanasia and the death penalty (Note: It’s quite common for secular humanists to be morally all over the map like this). She said after the Sandy Hook massacre:

We share America’s shock at this senseless and incomprehensible act of evil.

Even though both of these liberals reject the authority of scripture, are supporters of mass murder in the womb, and one of them even completely rejects the existence of God, they still know that the murder of innocent children is “evil”.

Which begs the question, how can they claim that the murder of a few innocent children outside the womb is “evil”, yet murdering millions of innocent babies inside the womb is not?

Or why do they both believe that the unjust murder of millions of helpless innocent babies inside the womb is acceptable, but the lawful, legal, and “just” State execution of a few convicted murders and psychopaths is unacceptable?

And why does Prime Minister Julia Gillard believe that snuffing out grandma and grandpa is wrong, yet the killing of millions of innocent unborn babies who have their whole lives ahead of them is morally right?

Truth be told, their minds are darkened because they love evil more than Truth. Jesus said:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” – John 3:19-21

Abortion unlike all other forms of murder is done in complete darkness. No one fully see’s the unborn baby while it is being murdered and torn to pieces inside the womb. Therefore, it’s considered a socially acceptable way to murder a child – out of sight, out of mind.

It’s quite interesting how Gov. Malloy and Prime Minister Gillard (and millions of other abortion supporters) knew in an instant that the cold-blooded murder of innocent woman and children (outside the womb) at Sandy Hook was “evil”.

What is also particularly interesting about Prime Minister Gillard’s public acknowledgment of “evil” is that in an atheistic worldview nothing can possibly be “evil”. Anyone admitting that an act is “evil” is actually admitting that they know that objective moral truth exists and therefore know that God also exists. If atheism is true then nothing can truly be “good” or “evil”. Adolf Hitler liked murdering people, and Mother Teresa liked helping them, but in an atheistic worldview their actions (whether good or bad) are only matters of personal opinion. In atheism, the most abominable atrocities in human history can at best only be described as being “extremely unpopular” or at worst “socially unacceptable”. They cannot possibly be “evil”.

Also notice that Prime Minister Gillard accurately described “evil” while Gov. Malloy did not:

Gov. Malloy said, “Evil visited this community, and it’s too early to speak of recovery.” Prime Minister Gillard on the other hand said, “We share America’s shock at this senseless and incomprehensible act of evil.

Evil always requires “action”. It is something a created being with a freewill purposely plans, plots, did, does, or is doing. Gov. Malloy wrongly defined evil as being some sort of entity or power which “visited their community” – like the “powers of darkness” in a Dracula film. Like most people currently screaming for more gun control, he wrongly believes that guns are evil and/or cause evil. This view is not Biblical or true in the least. Not once in the Bible does it even suggest that “evil” has any “power” to do anything, or that certain people and man-made objects are indwelt with “evil”, or that “evil” in and of itself even exists. The modern “politically correct” notion that “guns are evil” (as currently taught to in our public schools) is a monstrous lie. Let me explain.

Firearms date to around 1250 AD. The first ones were extremely simple in nature and rightly called “hand cannons“. Modern firearms as with hand cannons are just inanimate objects (i.e. tools). Most modern firearms are composed of metal, plastic, and wood. There is nothing actually “evil” in guns, anymore then there is evil in chainsaws or box cutters. Inanimate objects and tools possess no “power” to do anything of their own volition. How could they? They do not live. They do not think. They do not act. Guns on their own volition cannot “cause” anything to happen. If I filled an entire warehouse up with loaded guns, how long would I have to sit and wait before  those guns on their own volition hit the streets to protect the innocent and/or harm them? Answer: Forever.

The truth is that just about anything in existence can be used for good or evil purposes. The same knife that a surgeon can use to successfully operate and save a life can also take it. The same goes even for deadly poisons. For instance, the drug Warfarin is an anticoagulant prescribed  everyday to prevent blood clots and save lives, but it is also a primary ingredient in rat poison – which can also easily be used to kill people. Firearms like most tools are used mostly for good purposes. Firearms are routinely used to prevent crime, protect property, and save lives. The anti-gun Clinton Justice Department found that in America firearms are used for self defense up to 1.5 million times a year – usually without firing a shot. Clearly, if guns are used 1.5 million times a year for “good” purposes, then they are not in and of themselves “evil”, nor do they contain some sort of evil mystical power that makes people commit evil acts.

Guns did not possess the Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza to illegally carry them into a “Gun Free Zone”, then possess him to illegally murder 26 people, and finally himself. Rather, Adam Lanza’s own heart and depraved mind (which rejected the LORD and His law) plotted and planned an “act” of evil, and then he committed it. If Adam Lanza didn’t have access to a pistol, he could have just as easily used any of billions of other commonly available objects or substances to obtain the same effect (e.g. driving a truck through a crowded playground). Just days before another lunatic who didn’t possess a firearm attacked 22 small children and an old lady with only a knife. The bottom line is that criminals by definition do not obey laws, which is why they are called “criminals”. Even if Adam Lanza was demon possessed, it still wasn’t “evil” that caused him to commit murder.

A common metaphor found throughout the Bible to help us better understand the true nature of good and evil is the difference between light and darkness. Jesus used the metaphor constantly. For example we read in the book of John:

The one who looks at me (Jesus) is seeing the one who sent me (God). I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” – John 12:45-46

So, what exactly is the primary difference between light and darkness? Modern science has discovered that what we commonly call “light” is actually electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the eye, and is responsible for our sense of sight. The primary properties of visible light are intensity, propagation direction, frequency, and polarization. We also know that light travels at approximately 186,282 miles per second and is one of the fundamental constants of nature. Bottom line, light exists!

On the other hand, what we all commonly call “darkness” does not exist. The word “darkness” is just the word we use to describe the absence of visible light. When we see no light at all, we call the color “black”, but we don’t actually see “absolute black”. Rather, little to no visible light is traveling to our eyeballs. Darkness cannot be scientifically experimented upon or studied. There simply is no ray of darkness which can make a lit room go dark. Since darkness doesn’t exist it can never really enter or visit anything. If a dark cave is for a second illuminated and then goes dark again, then obviously there must have been some “light” which entered the cave and then left.

Another common term we all use which describes the absence of something is the word “cold”. “Cold” doesn’t actually exist either. The word simply describes the absence of heat – which does exist. Science has proven that heat is energy transferred from one body to another by thermal conduction, electromagnetic radiation, or convection. In physics the temperature of Absolute Zero (0 K on the Kelvin scale) is the temperature at which there is a total absence of heat, but Absolute Zero is only “theoretical” and cannot actually exist in the universe.

Likewise, what we call “evil” doesn’t really exist either. Yes, there are evildoers, and evil spirits, and Satan is called the “evil one”, but evil is only a word which we use to describe the absence of “good”. Like “darkness” and “cold”, “evil” cannot “visit” or “enter” any part of the universe or “do” anything.

Just as darkness describes the default state in caves, and cold describes the default state in deep space, evil describes our fallen planet’s default state. But God never created evil, anymore then he created darkness or cold. God also has never, nor will He ever do anything evil. He cannot because He is eternal (Psalm 90:1-2), unchangeable (Malachi 3:6), perfectly holy (Revelation 15:4), and the ultimate “good” (Exodus 33:17-19). The LORD alone is our moral standard for righteousness.

In fact, the LORD can only create and do things which are “good”. We read in Genesis that when the LORD first created the world, everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). It was only after Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, by eating from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, that there was an absence of “goodness” in the world.

The Bible says that God’s law is written in every human heart (Romans 2:14-15) and we are all without excuse (Romans 1:20). Only created thinking beings with a freewill and conscious (e.g. humans and angels) can choose to do acts of evil and sin. All thoughts and actions which do not conform to the person, character, and nature of God are evil because they are absent of goodness to some degree.

Jesus Christ who is absolute “goodness” came into this dark sin-filled evil world to save it. Jesus said:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Jesus brought light and good news to those who would listen, but His light and good news is rarely desired or accepted by fallen man because our natural default state is “evil” – mankind basically loves darkness. That said, the LORD, by His grace, has still given mankind great personal freedom, power, and responsibility. We have the power to love our neighbors or hate them, protect the weak and innocent or murder them, accept and spread the knowledge of the LORD or reject that knowledge and purge it from our lives.

When we willingly remove God and goodness from anything (e.g. our lives, a friendship, a marriage, a household, our government, our schools, etc.), we are left with spiritual darkness and evil. The more we harden our hearts and reject the LORD and His ways the darker and more evil everything around us MUST become.

If one is sitting in the back of a dark cave and desires to see, one must light an available light source. By the same token, if we want less evil in of our society, government, and public schools we must allow God and His law back in. Nothing else will do.

Jesus is the “light” and the only solution to darkness and evil. Jesus continually knocks on the door of our hearts, but only we can open that door so that His light and goodness can enter. Jesus said:

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” – Revelation 3:19-20

Jesus also said:

I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” – John 8:12

I hope you have chosen to accept the light (i.e. Jesus Christ) rather than stay in darkness. Salvation is such a simple process:

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” – Romans 10:9-10

Have a blessed day!

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Sean Kirkpatrick

Sean Kirkpatrick posted at 2012-12-23 Category: Abortion