The picture above illustrates a common belief that good and evil are diametrically opposed to each other. If the Judaeo-Christian symbolism featured here doesn’t work for you feel free to substitute your own iconography. Whatever symbols you prefer to represent the eternal struggle between the forces of good and evil, it is an ongoing battle with individuals choosing sides.
In my humble opinion good and evil are two sides of the same coin. The concept itself is a human fabrication- not a Divine one. Good vs evil was an idea, a tool really, designed to divide and separate the masses, ultimately to control and subjugate them to organized religion and societal mores.
Manufacturing an arbitrary reference point for what is good is one of the “greatest” accomplishments of organized religion. From that moment on everything and everyone could be judged based on a good/evil, black/white world view. Every person could be judged to be either a saint or a sinner.
The invention of good vs evil leaves humankind in the unenviable position of not being able to live up to unrealistic standards of sainthood. Virtually everyone, even the most devout worshiper, is a condemned sinner in need of redemption and continuous forgiveness. This lead to individuals beginning to “need” religion to absolve them of their sins, provide places of worship, collect fees and donations, serve as spokesman for God and tell everybody how to live their lives.
Cause & Effect: Another Paradigm
Let us consider an alternative to the ‘good vs evil’ model. Why not start by considering the wisdom found in nature?
We can all relate to the natural cycle of night and day. These two states of light and dark exist harmoniously despite being literally “as different as night and day!” We have similar opposites also working together to support a living planet. Very cold climates exist on our world and very hot ones. We can also add ultra dry deserts and deep ocean realms to the list. Neither is intrinsically evil or good but they are all among the checks and balances that maintain the circle of life.
I prefer natural methods for maintaining balance. Cause and effect is a natural principle at work throughout creation. Actions bring results and reactions. Instead of good and evil judgements life works more as a feedback loop wherein people will either get positive or negative results from their actions. Negative results will cause changes in behavior. When people do ‘good’ things they will see good for it, be well respected and enjoy a good conscience. If they do ‘bad’ things there will be unpleasant repercussions. Life has been thriving on this planet for eons before holy books, religious doctrines or man made value judgments ever saw the light of day.
What do you think?