14 Apr 2006

The Final Battle

It would be nice to think - and so a lot of people do think - that Good is stronger than Evil, and will always triumph in the end. Do I need to clarify what I'm talking about, these are old-fashioned words? Not angels and devils and such, but ordinary human evil, starting with selfishness, greed, pride, etc, and descending into violence, cruelty, murder, war. And good is the absense of all that; goodness doesn't make deals - I will love you if you love me - it is unconditional, and that sort of thing is clearly self-serving.
But being unconditional - non dependent - it cannot persuade; it has no power over evil. This is not to say that it does not act at all, this is not a council of despair; but its action is not one of power, and the battle of the title does not take place.
Or if it does, it is a battle where evil, which is always divided and in conflict, defeats itself without any influence from good, which is by definition absent. Ah, if only this selfish self could fully realise this...

5 comments:

Reasoning E'Bert said...

You appear to define good by what it negates. Is there any way it can be defined or can exist without it's antithesis, evil?

All and all you make a good point. Evil needs no help in its own defeat.

unenlightened said...

That's two interesting questions. I don't think there is a problem in defining health as an absense of sickness; it doesn't make health into a negative or dependent on sickness. It's just that if there were no sickness, we wouldn't be talking about it, there would be life and life would be good, and nothing to say... I want to say the opposite though, that good cannot exist with evil. I have to start where I am, and I find that my selfishness taints everything that I do; there is certainly another way of looking at all this, but you would have to ask a completely unselfish person about that. Cheers. bob

Reasoning E'Bert said...

You know, I have been looking, for many years now, for a 'completely unselfish person' to no avail. I am beginning to suspect that there a logical contradiction inherent in that description. But I'll keep looking.

I am often interested in how we define a thing by what it negates. Though I am certain there is nothing wrong with this way of saying things, I am curious as to why we do it.

John said...

Please find 4 related essays on the origins & consequences of the universal insanity.

1. www.dabase.net/coop+tol.htm
2. www.dabase.net/spacetim.htm
3. www.dabase.net/noface.htm
4. www.coteda.com

unenlightened said...

No, John, it doesn't please me. Please don't bore me with answers, but instead join in the questions.