Good & Evil

In philosophy and ethics, the terms good & evil refer to polar opposites on a linear scale. Good is considered to be morally right and positive while evil is morally bad and often associated with deliberately causing harm to others. Good and evil are defined through personal judgment, society's laws & culture, and religious doctrine. Browse articles on the subject of good & evil below.

Problem of Evil: Why Bad Things Happen

God the Father (from Altar of Philip the Bold) - Melchior Broederlam, 1399

Why do bad things happen? Or more specifically, if there is a God, and He is all-knowing, all-powerful and completely good, why does He allow evil to exist and for good people to suffer because of it? This is the crux of the "problem of evil," an intellectual and moral dilemma theologians and philosophers have grappled with and debated for millennia. … [Read more...]

Perceptions of Evil – What is Evil?

The Riot or Scene of Revolution, or Destruction of Sodome - Honore Daumier

One of humanity’s most common theological questions is how to answer the fundamental question, "What is evil?" How can you create a working definition of evil that accounts for (1) mass genocides, atrocities like the Holocaust, or a gunman walking into an elementary school and opening fire, and (2) natural occurrences that cause mass destruction like floods, tidal waves, … [Read more...]

Morality: How Do You Decide Right From Wrong?

The Remorse of Nero After the Murder of His Mother - John William Waterhouse

I stumbled on an interesting article over at New Scientist that asks the question where does your sense of right and wrong come from? (subscription required) In other words, are moral decisions based on emotion or logic? As it turns out, the answer is both. The article lists a few scenarios requiring moral judgment. For instance, A TROLLEY train comes hurtling down the … [Read more...]

Problems in Ethical Monotheism: Why Does Evil Exist?

God the Creator and Angels - Pietro Perugino

In Ethical Monotheist traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, there is a concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing, Creator who is morally good, just, kind, loving, and who has our best interests in mind. In the book, God, Timothy Robinson describes this God as a being who is all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly good, and wholly benevolent; who is everlasting or … [Read more...]

Philosophy of Religion: The Nature of God

God of hosts - Viktor Vasnetsov

Before I can talk about arguments for and against the existence of God, I need to talk a bit about the nature of God. When we think about the nature of God, certain characteristics come to mind: God is Spiritual or Supernatural - most religions view 'god' as an entity or force that is beyond our physical selves. Of course, some religions aren't limited to just one god - … [Read more...]