That’s a loaded prompt. Sure to bring out all the religious crazies ready to spout their beliefs and fight for them! Like myself for instance. My beliefs are so strong I can be pretty dogmatic so I don’t talk about it unless asked. Is evil a real thing that exists apart from us? I don’t think so. The most evil thing that exists is human. The worst atrocities we can imagine are done by humans and many in the name of God.
Some would say that Satan or evil provokes a person to do something, that in their weakness they let evil into hearts. Satan would be the personification of evil as opposed to God who then must be assumed to be the personification of good. That’s where it all goes wrong for me. I don’t believe in Satan just as I don’t believe God is a Being separate from ourselves. The idea of God as some benevolent old man up in the clouds pointing a finger down in judgement is a concept for children for most educated people.
And yet, when you say you believe in God, a lot of people take it back to this concept. Then seeing what evil is done in the world, in the name of religion, they toss out God along with religion. They throw out the baby with the bathwater.
But does that mean we can’t believe in God….or in goodness anymore? I once started a discussion with someone who asked, “How can you believe in God but not in Satan? If there is God there has to be Satan!” It more or less ended there. I’ve been thinking about how to answer that question for 20 odd years.
And that ties in with my views about evil. I have to attempt to answer the question of what I think God is so I can address the subject of evil. I don’t think we can really understand God with our limited brains but we can understand concepts with images. Jesus, Rumi, Kabir; these were just a few of the many spiritual people who could convey their ideas with simple images that we can recognize and understand. They shone a light in the darkness of our minds. So imagine God is the personification of Light, Energy and Consciousness (if you must personify it). All that exists is part and parcel of this light and energy. This light and energy became our physical universe and conscious beings evolved. Our human bodies evolved with a brain that could understand abstract concepts and grow to discover our origin. (oh, oh, this is where I go off on a tangent….. stick to the subject.)
I believe this like science. There is no good and evil about it. Only God exists for me but I that doesn’t mean it’s all goodness, doves and singing choirs. Light just shines on everything… it just shines on and on, regardless of what’s good or bad. I really think that God is way beyond good and evil; these exist in our world only; they are our concepts. But something gets in the way of that light and puts us in the dark. Something is blocking that light but that does not make the shade evil. We just have to find what is blocking the light. (hint; ego)
Generally we think something is good if we want it and bad if we don’t want it. What’s good for some will be bad for others. Do the ‘goodest’ ones get their prayers answered? Are we punished for our evil ways? My life experience has taught me a resounding “NO!” Life just isn’t fair. We need the polarity of duality to keep the universe moving. As in the image of the Tao symbol; there is black and white but each contain the seed of the other. Those seeds grow and the spiraling begins. We are living this motion. To disagree with Einstein; Not only does God play dice with the universe….. the dice are still rolling.
But does evil exist? Just like good, it’s all in our minds. It’s free will. It’s our choice.