In the face of random attempts to explainthe goodness of God according to the Christian tradition, by attempting toseparate the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testamentassigning to them evil and love respectively, or perceiving punishment assomething good for the one who receives it. This can only be accomplished byredefining the character of divine power.
There has been no development of aconsistent theological pattern found in Christian doctrine, however variouschanges to the concept of omnipotence reveals the effect of practicalexperience on development of theological responses and explanations of theexistence of evil in our everyday experiences. Those who seek to have Job like faith donot have a problem with this issue. They merely see it as part of God’sgoodness that we would receive evil of God. There has been a decrease in Job like faithdue to the increasing realization that if God were so good He would not allowsuch confrontations of evil. For the last 2000 years there has been thebelief in supernatural evil as a Christian doctrine. During this time Satan hasconsistently been attributed as an enemy to Christians.
He has been depicted asone who develops temptation for people to entrap them in sin and detour themfrom God. Supernatural evil is believed to exist by the majority of Americansand can be found in most world religions, however no one is taking the time toresearch and see if there is a correlation between maintaining a concept ofsupernatural evil and human behavior. Just as various religions believe in a godor gods, the perception of evil may be used in much the same way across manyreligious traditions. Most world religions believe in the existence ofsupernatural evil, at least to some extent. However there seems to be acorrelation between the belief in supernatural evil and intolerant racial viewsand intolerance towards homosexuals.There are some that believe that evilexists due to the actions of men. They don’t perceive it as a supernaturalforce that is self-imposing, and regardless as to where it came from it must beacted upon by men. Others think that social interactions are a source of evil,external demonic powers, self-promoting agendas often cause people to performperverted acts so that they can realize their personal objectives withoutregard to the harm that it may due to other people.
They believe thatregardless of the source, regardless of the power or the cause, men are theones who must acted out. These things may be the motivation for mento indulge in evil activity. It seems that even the most evil acts was seeingrational to the person committing the act. It makes no difference whether thatperson is misguided or diluted, that evil action seems rational to them. This hypothesis could be supported easilyby current occurrences in the religious community for people who oppose gay/lesbianlife choices. People with this anti-gay/lesbian mindset, those who perceivethis as being evil, do not realize that the violation of the civil rights ofothers because of their lifestyles would introduce more evil.
Like scenariosexists for those who would be involved in racism, ethnocentrism and sexism. Themain thought is however that individuals make up a society, these”isms” were one time thought to be reinforcements for moral order,but the responsibility of the actions concerning these things are still up tothe individual. Dualism is another concept that is used tohelp explain evil. It has been called the good God bad God theodicy.
Thisphilosophy says that in order for a good to exist there must be a bad. A goodexample of what they are saying would be the positive and negative poles of abattery. They say that in order for good to exist, evil must also exist in thisworld. Inversely, they argue if there were no right there would be no wrong.This theodicy anticipates that the end of suffering will occur with the victoryof good over evil. This is problematic however, because in order for thisthinking to be consistent, it would mean that the end of evil would mean theend of good.
This form of thought also has anotherproblem, it seems to put evil and good as equals. That would translate into theGod of good being equal to the God of evil. If we go forward with this concept,it does not help us in our current circumstance, because it delays our victoryover evil until some final battle is fought and won. Since the earliest of times one of man’sfirst curiosity was to understand evil. Man has always wanted to exercise anyoption that life presented to him.
Man’s natural curiosity causes him to pursueknowledge in every area, as well as evil. This tendency causes me in to pursueknowledge in the areas of good and of evil.