Friday, February 03, 2006

A Primer On Good And Evil

this is an audio post - click to play

I woke up an hour early this morning with a discussion rolling around in my mind.

It's about absolutism. Is there any one judgement that we can make about anything, that it's either good or evil. I made the statement that there is no such thing as "inherently good" or "inherently evil".

Naturally, as is my wont, I said that without giving it much thought, knowing I was right. And this morning, it hit me why I was right.

Ultimately, the final arbiter of good or evil is a moral code. Moral codes have all, without exception (OK, so there's one absolute, sort of) evolved from religious or spiritual teachings. "Thou shalt not kill," is available in all major religions and I am unaware of any society where murder is not a crime.


In the JudeoChristian tradition, we see that sometimes murder isn't a sin. Whole libraries are filled with books detailing these loopholes: thou shalt not kill, except in a time of war, or if you're life is being threatened, or your child's life. And yet, we look to the source material for this, and we see that, indeed, by His own admission, God Himself has killed, and indiscriminately.

Hell, he's committed genocide, something even the Devil never did! He wiped out everyone, even innocent babies, during the flood. Too, a careful reading of that story shows that God even ends up apologizing (the whole "rainbow covenant" thing), meaning not only is God not purely good, but He's not even the omniscient (and therefore infallible) God that the Christian right bases their whole belief system on.

This is our ultimate arbiter of good and evil? And if He can't keep it straight in his head, then how in the hell can anyone on this good green earth figure it out? And yet, 40% of this nation believes in black-and-white, including the President.

I wrote on Christmas about my theory that God was not God, but was a petulant mewling little child and that Jesus was really the Father. How can anyone dispute the fact that the God of the Old Testament is a snake-oil salesman? A fraud foist upon us by a bunch of old men who wanted to keep the "people" in line?

I dunno. I'm still a Christian, but damn, they have to get better writers!

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