Everything is part of the loving God’s plan, including miracles, life, happiness, love, beauty, etc. But death, disease, destruction, war, famine, drought, disasters, evil, suffering, pain, immorality and just about everything that isn’t ‘good’ is our fault!
I notice that in a few places we find this sort of morality/setup; the idea that morality is black and white. In the Bible, shaving is punishable by Hell; being tattooed is punishable by Hell; being lazy or idle is punishable by Hell; telling a harmless lie is punishable by Hell – There is no middle ground; it’s either good or it’s a sin, and all sin, no matter how big or small, is punishable by the same method.
We can also find this in the world of video games; this ‘Black and White’ morality was brought to my attention by watching a YouTube video about gaming cliches – “you can either burn down the orphanage, or give everyone a million dollars” – there is no middle ground in games like these. And then I remembered that religion is actually quite similar.
I have made topics before about sin, morality and Hell (for instance here and here) and throughout studying the Bible I have noticed this lack of middle ground. Are there different versions of Hell? Or different levels of severity? Why should someone who broke a pointless Leviticus commandment be condemned the same amount as a sadistic mass-murderer? There are also no different levels of sin. Steal a spoon – it’s a sin, tell a lie – it’s a sin, murder a million people -it’s a sin. This is a very flawed method. Just like in the law you get different punishments based on the offense someone has committed, having different amounts or ‘levels’ of sin would actually be a pretty useful system.
Good or evil, or more specifically good vs evil, does not exist in reality. Who was good and who was evil in the Crusades? The Christians invaded the Holy land and left a trail of blood behind them, but the Muslims were hardly any better. Or Hannibal, who stood up against the Romans? Who was morally superior there? or Spartacus? You could call the invading force the evil one, but that doesn’t work in all cases. And sometimes the invading forces were welcomed by their opponent’s citizens, for instance during the reign of the Persians or Mongols.
Furthermore, ‘Black and White’ morality can’t possibly work in a real life scenario. For instance, during the pre-civil war days, people hid slaves in the underground railroad. When the government showed up, should the family hiding the slaves say, “No, I am not hiding slaves.” Or should they have spoken the truth and sent the slaves back to be owned as property and abused? Another example would be if you are in an out-of-control vehicle heading towards a fork in the road ahead, (assume that there are only two possible choices, stopping the vehicle or trying to turn around would defeat the philosophical part of the question) you could either turn right and hit three people, or turn left and hit only one. Either way someone is going to die; is one a ‘good’ decision and the other an ‘evil’ one?
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