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good and evil

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What is your opinion of good and evil? What is good? What is evil? How do you know?


I have a Lutheran Bible for now and it defines evil on page 1564 as "wicked; doing things against God's will".  Of course this implies that we are men of our own free will to choose, which is a whole different thread.

So if this definition were to be accurate...then we would have to investigate and list what actions or characteristics are against (and in line with) God's will and then we could use them as a measuring tool.

I realize this isn't the deepest answer, but it's a start!



--- Quote from: Amie on August 16, 2007, 02:25:08 AM ---What is your opinion of good and evil? What is good? What is evil? How do you know?

--- End quote ---

Amie I believe for the believer measuring between good and evil is almost irrelevant. I shared this saying today which sums up an excerpt I have copied below it. This well represents my own thoughts  on "good and evil" Please let me know your thoughts after reading this.

"Even's God's worst evil is good, while man's best good is evil"

.............The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, on the other hand, is not life, but death.  The truth of this can be seen in the very ingredients of the fall!  When Adam sinned, of which tree did he eat?  Why, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Hear this!  The elements of that tree were not only the element of evil; they were the elements producing a knowledge of both good and evil!  The tree ministered to man a knowledge of good as truly as it ministered to him a knowledge of evil.  Thus, the fall of man introduced him into a realm of duality, of admixture: good and evil.  The fallen man is both good and evil!  How prone we have been to declare the unregenerated man only evil!  It is true that the element of evil in some men predominates, but it is also true that the element of good in other men predominates.  The good in man has not been corrupted to the point of non-existence.  It is for this reason that the philosophers and psychologists have discovered that within man are some "illustrious virtues" and "innate goodness" and have reached the mistaken conclusion that the nature of man is good.  They have merely discovered that within fallen man there is still the principle of good which naturally causes us to want to do good.


            The problem is that when man came into the knowledge of good and evil he did not come into a better condition.  Man came to know "good and evil" but he didn't come to KNOW GOD!  He now possesses a knowledge of the good and of the evil, but he does not possess the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD!  Man passed into the knowing of good and evil but he did not BECOME HOLY!  He merely added evil to his good producing a mixture of the two, but in so doing he forfeited THE LIFE AND GLORY AVAILABLE TO HIM IN THE TREE OF LIFE!  He chose good and evil " but missed Life!


            The knowledge of good and evil concerns itself only with external behavior, judging all things on the basis of whether they are "good" or "evil."  Man, as long as he walks in this consciousness of the fall, the knowledge of good and evil, can understand and judge only within this framework: is a thing good or is it evil?  He then presumes that if a thing is "good" it must be acceptable and godly.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  If "good" was acceptable with God then man could surely be justified by "the works of the law."  The law is good!  But the "good" of man is the good of the creature " not the good of the Creator!  It is the good of the soul, but not the good of the Spirit!


            In the garden of Eden we have two revelations from two kinds of trees.  First, life is the nature of God, whereas good is the nature of man.  Second, life is good, but not all good is life!  The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil show us that on the highest level life and good are definitely different; life is neither good nor evil.  Life, good, and evil ARE THREE DIFFERENT AND INDEPENDENT THINGS.  The good of God can only be experienced through participation in the life of God.  Evil mingled with good produced death.  And even before man fell, all of his good, of itself, could not give him life.  There was no life in good, just as there was no life in evil.  Only the tree of life possessed the power of life!  If man had been partaking of the tree of life he could not have fallen.  Can we not see by this that "good" and "life" are things which pertain to two different worlds!


            Just as evil is something other than life, so also is good something other than life.  Just as evil is not life, so also good is not life.  Evil and good, though different in nature, are really of the same world for they come from the same tree.  Neither one contains life or is life!  Thus in the scriptures, good and evil are not two trees, but one tree.  Life is in another tree, being something of another realm, from another world, pertaining to another kingdom.  This is how it is that a man, by his own determination and effort, can improve considerably in his character and actions and yet still be entirely VOID OF THE LIFE OF GOD!  He can be upright, honest, truthful, caring, compassionate, influential for good in the world and yet have no more spiritual understanding or life than a dog or cat.  This is because his goodness is completely apart from life!  It is of his own good human effort, and not a product of indwelling life ............ Eby



And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.  Luk 18:19


Tony N:
Amie, God planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil right smack in the middle of the garden. He didn't tuck it away in some far off corner hoping they would not eat of its fruit.

He created Satan as Satan and sent him to the garden for the sole purpose of deceiving Eve. If He didn't then He is out of control of His creation.

The reason was twofold. It was so a curse could be met out and they could learn from both the good and the evil, and Adam's progeny would be dying (Romans 5:12). This was so mankind could be saved from sin and death (Romans 5:18,19).

Isa 45:7 Former of light and Creator of darkness, Maker of good and Creator of evil. I, Yahweh Elohim, made all of these things."

The walk of a believer has everything to do with to learning to move and make decisions by the Spirit. I read this below last week while doing a study on prayer and thought it would serve well here as an example of how choosing between "good and evil" can be far from choosing the "Good" of God.

In the famous Classic Star Trek episode, "The City of the Edge of Forever," McCoy goes back in time and changes history for the worse by saving a street missionary named Edith Keeler from a violent death.  She goes on and forms a peace movement that prevents the United States from entering World War II soon enough, so Germany invents the nuclear bomb first and wins the war. She was right about "peace being the way, but she was right at the wrong time." Kirk and Spock have to go back in time and prevent McCoy from saving Edith Keeler's life in order to set history straight again. Captain Kirk has to stop McCoy from saving her life even though he is deeply and profoundly in love with  her. So Kirk grabs McCoy just as he is about to push Edith Keeler out of the way of a speeding automobile. Then he has to watch tearfully as she is impacted and thrown into the muddy street. Surely there must be times when God feels like Captain Kirk.  He has to stand by and let the good die, and the evil live, and close his ears to the poignant prayers of the sick and suffering! We question  God's love and integrity when He refuses to help the innocent and the sick and dying but He sees the alternate futures. We do not. Nevertheless it must be so hard to just stand by and do nothing, or even worse, to deliberately stop the McCoys of this world from saving the Edith Keelers of this world. I would not want to be God! L Hensley




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