Daar word op die oomblik in die kerk meer gepraat oor self-ontplooiing as oor self-opoffering.-Anon.......As ‘n kerk haar woorde begin devalueer, dan word die kerk ‘n ramp vir die volk. - K Schilder

1/28/2010

WHAT ABOUT EVIL?

This question can either be approached philosophically or theologically. It is the essence of philosophy to avoid presuppositions. Argumentes are then developed to support some or other conclusion. (which it migt be said, is not much different from a presupposiiton, and thus a circular argument, if one is not very careful). The essence of theology is to have presuppositions or points of departure and to develop arguments to support these presuppositions.

So it coms down to this: your point of departure will determine the outcome of your deliberation, answer or conclusion.

The first question the philosopher should ask is: What is evil, and subsequently, does it exist and if so, where does it come from?

Evil from a philosophical point of view is a lack of something that ought to be there so that you as a human being can come to full realization of your true potential. This may be in the form of natural or moral evil. Evil is a lack of a resource which has the effect of preventing you from fulfilling your needs and desires. Think of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This lack can be in the form of sickness / disease / handicap, preventing perfect health, lack of financial / material resources to prevent prosperity, lack of acceptance by others to prevent a good selfesteem, and so on. This perspective is also reflected in secular ethics, which basically says: "fulfill your own needs and desires, so long as you do no harm to others." Now, this is open to interpretation because, in essence, it is relativistic - no two persons' values are exactly the same "What's wrong for you is not necessarily wrong for me"

Do you miss something in this scenario?

Theologically speaking, our first presupposition (as far as the phenomenon of evil is concerned), is, yes, evil does exist. This we learn from Scripture. My personal view is that evil is that which places a barrier between God and ourselves. The barrier can be sin of any of the natural or moral evils one can imagine. However, the christian can decide whether things philosophically considerd to be evil, are barriers between him/herself and God. Sadly, we often do just that: we complain about our circumstances or get angry with God when disaster strikes. But don't yout think this is so because we then think of evil philosophically? I'm sure you can site many examples in Scripture where people kept their faith or were encouraged to do so, despite hardship. Perhaps this was so because they chose not to regard their circumstances as barriers between themselves and God?"

The difference between the two approaches is that the philosophical one is ego-centric, whereas the theological one is God-"centric."

So where does evil come from, philosophically and theologically speaking? You tell me.
In prace

1 comment:

Henrietta said...

Interessante plasing, Yf! Soos jy met reg sê: dit hang van mens se voorveronderstellings af. Christene kry hul voorstellings uit die Bybel.

Mense wat nie die Bybel erken nie, sal waarskynlik hul idee van reg en verkeerd kry van die bepaalde groep waarin hulle hul bevind.

En WIE bepaal in so ‘n groep wat reg is en wat verkeerd? “The leader(s) of the pack” - so dit sal iets soos “the law of the jungle – the survival of the fittest ” wees.

In elk geval glo hulle nie dat die mens geskape is na God se Beeld nie – hulle glo waarskynlik eerder wat Darwin sê, soos dat mense afstammelinge is van ape – en is dit nie in lyn met ‘n oerwoud-denke nie?