Monthly Archives: December 2010

Evil: A Rebuttal

In my last post I took on the existence of evil, and concluded that evil’s presence in the world tainted every part of life, even those fleeting moments when we experience something good.

Today I am here to provide a rebuttal to myself.  Perhaps a cooking metaphor will help.

Imagine you are hosting a large group of very hungry people.  You plan on making 100 gallons of soup.  Everything’s going well until, seconds before serving the starving crowd, a fly lands in the pot.

You’re able to remove the bug, but can’t shake the feeling that your dish has been compromised.

But is the entire meal ruined?  Shall you toss away 100 gallons of savory soup when only a few ounces might be spoiled?

In the end, I believe it’s better to have an opportunity to experience something good–even while potential evils lurk in the background–than to have no experience at all.

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The Existence Of Evil

My philosophical tendencies began in high school, when I realized the extent of life’s flaws.  Why does evil exist, I wondered while wandering the halls between algebra and physical science class.

Evil persists so that we might appreciate all that’s Good.  This was my teenage conclusion.  Seemed good enough at the time.

Then college came calling.  An intro to religion course freshman year found me questioning God, or as the budding poet in me saw it, the Unmoved Mover.

Why would a benevolent God allow evil to run rampant through His glorious creation?  A classmate thought it had something to do with letting us choose Good over Evil, to help the Lord battle Satan.  Something tells me that guy is a CEO somewhere in America, making some serious dough.

As for me, I took the Eastern Thought approach–you know, the one where nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.  Part of me still wants to believe this is the case, even on really terrible days when I’m cursing my existence and live to stay in bed.

Today I’m of a different mind.

I hold that as long as evil exists the whole business of life is corrupted.  That there is indeed something wrong with the world cannot be denied.  What I’m suggesting, though, is that the very fact we might choose good over evil, or that we might say everything simply happens and is intrinsically neutral, proves that life itself is flawed.  Not parts here and there–every part, everywhere.

And once we accept the existence of evil, we come to understand the extent to which we’ve been duped–by ourselves, by our parents and teachers, by our leaders, by God.  Duped into believing that Good Always Wins In The End.

Some might call this depression.  I call it the truth.

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Pixels, Not Passion

The Internet has its advantages.  Without it this blog entry would not be possible.  But like anything else in this world, the Web has some major downsides.

Today people all across the globe have instant access to each other.  We have the opportunity to unite under the banner of common interests and shared causes.

Instead of going online to fight against the powers that be, however, many of us find ourselves escaping reality altogether.  The Internet, with its dazzling hyperlinked images, renders us numb, agents of our own pacification.

Pixels, not passion, rule us online.

A potential tool of resistance, the Web merely strengthens the oppressive hold of capitalism upon individual consumers.  We’ve sold our autonomy for the ability to buy and sell goods from the comfort of our homes, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Any desire to challenge authority has been replaced with the need for entertainment, for diversion, for image-yearning.  Our enemies keep us down by increasing our connection speeds.  By logging in we log off from the truth.

There’s no escaping our desire to escape from reality, especially when what we once considered real has been forever digitized.  Like the latest YouTube video sensation, our submission has gone viral.

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