Without God, how do we know what is evil?

Written on December 31, 2023  Published January 9, 2024.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Really?  An article about evil? At the start of a new year?  Something tells me UNFORTUNATELY there is going to be evil in 2024.  Oh, by the way, as long as there is ‘man’ there will be evil.  Be ready to have evil in 2025, as well.

I saw this post on Facebook.

I then thought, “What is evil?”

A high school friend (who usually contacts me when he disagrees with me) responded to my post.

I do appreciate David’s response.  His response challenges and causes me to think.  I need to be challenged and at the same time, how about once in a while a “how are things going, Paul?”

Without God, how do you and I know what is evil?  Is there a hierarchy of evil?

Remember, I am a “retired” high school music teacher.  I am certainly not “classically” trained on the subject of ‘evil.’ Keep that in mind.

To me, evil is the opposite of good.  Just as there are mistakes vs. sins, there are some actions more evil than other mistakes.

My concern about evil is really the future of our nation.  We are becoming more humanist / secularist.  We are turning away from God.  Due to our turning away from God, moral relativism is growing!  When our nation decided to have God NOT acknowledged (took prayer out of ‘government’ schools) in our public schools, our moral foundation has been decaying.

I searched “College students could not answer the question if Hitler was evil” I encourage you to look at the search and see if findings concern you about the future of our nation as far as “good vs. evil.”

How do I know what is good and evil?  Answer:  The Bible.  For the most part, it has worked for 2000+ years.  Yes.  Others will be aghast at the though the Bible is TRUTH.  Yet, the Bible leads to wisdom and the betterment of people – eventually.  Without a faith, how do you know what is good and evil?  One person’s answer:  I just know.  Another answer:  it (being right) just feels good.

We need to remind ourselves and others our nation was founded on Judeo Christian principles and not to be a Christian Nation.  That last statement may have rattled some fellow Believers.  However, it is the truth.  If you know otherwise, contact me at band2gether@comcast.net and send me historical documents that prove the point we are to be a Christian nation, meaning it’s Jesus 0nly and nothing else.  No other religions need to apply.  The United States of America is not the Christian equivalent to the Islamic Iran!

Thanks to those Judeo Christian principles, our nation HAD a good run.  I purposely write “had” because I see more and more immoral acts and people actually justifying those immoral actions.  From students not following the dress code, to approving books about “sexual kink” in children (K-8) libraries to, of course, the evil among all evils the murder of an innocent human being, there seems to be justification for breaking the rules / the norm!

How Do We Stop Evil

We stop evil by training our children right from wrong.  “Whose right and wrong are we going to use?”  That is the scary part!  Without God, how do we know what is right and wrong / good and evil?  We need to start with a definition of “good” and go from there.  My definition will be God.  Now that we have a definition of “good,” we establish rules that reflection the definition of “good.”  Then, we accept as a cultural norm, breaking rules is wrong.  We then need to face the next questions, which is worse, breaking the rule or not enforcing the rule?   BOTH!!  If we do not give a consequence for a broken rule, why have the rule?  The child is expecting a consequence for their actions (good and evil).

Each time we (the adults) do not consistently enforce a consequence for breaking a rule, the level of evil will increase.  The child will continue to do wrong knowing he/she will not suffer.

Too many adults are abdicating their role of being the “rule-enforcer.”  Being the authority.  We have heard this too often, “Parents want their children to be their friends.”  NO!  Stop it.  I have had to teach my students (scholars) I am their teacher, not their friend.  Why do I even need to teach this?  Seriously!  No 14 year old in their right mind wants a 58 year old grandfather to be their FRIEND.  UNBELIEVABLE!  But again, what is right and wrong / good and evil?  Yes, I believe it is wrong / can be an argument for it to be evil for a 58 year old man to have a 14 year old friend!  I digress.

And yes, this photo below is from a former student (I am guessing).  I consider it evidence of “evil.”  So, does this “evil” message stop me from enforcing rules / standing up for what is right with my students (scholars)?  No.  The “Jim Beam” author is not God.  Another piece of advice, make sure those closest to you love you so much they are not the next “Jim Beam.”  Pray for “Jim.”  He needs to stop drinking.

We need to start getting serious about training our children what is GOOD and what is evil (forget the right and wrong; we need to move to the next level of good and evil) or our nation is truly done!

Please know:  Evil will lose.  I am optimistic!  Evil cannot stand up to the power of truth.  Eventually, we will wake up and return to “1 + 1 = 2”

In doing minimal research for this article, I did learn what theodicy is.  I strongly encourage you to read that article!  The only way to stop evil is to know what evil is and for the good of our society, agree to enforce consequences for evil action.  I also encourage consequences for good action.  Without the boundaries (set-up by God), we will crumble.  Hence, take a look at ‘theodicy.’  I am not asking you to become a Christian.  I am asking you to embrace there is a human NEED to have laws and those laws need to be enforced.

Final Thought(s)

When my childhood friend David listed the evils (photo above), my response was and still is, “What does the Bible say, David?”  As uncomfortable as that answer may be for David and is for several readers, it is my answer.  God is truth.  God is the answer!  I am confident there is a statement about each “evil” David listed in the Bible.  Even though the Bible does have a negative thought about each subject David mentions, I have been taught to work with all people and love all people.  Have you?  Or have you fallen into the trap that if a person does not agree with all your “good” then that person is your “evil.”  To continue to be completely…COMPLETELY…open with my reader(s), if the evil crosses a level that I cannot work with, I walk away.  I will not attempt to change that person’s heart or mind and will not allow that person to change my heart and mind.  God has that ability.  As long as you are not proselytizing, we will be fine!

I do not proselytize.  All I do is write a blog that once-in-a-while mentions God, bring my Bible with me wherever I go, and answer questions.  I never EVER tell people “you will go to hell if you don’t think like me.”  NEVER!  Neither am I the Christian to tell you that you are not going to heaven.  I am strong enough to allow you to face God’s wrath.  He is in charge.  I am here to be a better Christian / better man and by me striving to be both, I hope to make the world better for me and you!  I am not here to convert you to Christianity.  That is not my job.

BE STRONG!  Let’s stand up for what is GOOD.  Let’s agree that following rules is good and enforcing rules leads to a better society.  Being good all the time is the right way to live life and at the same time, WE ARE IMPERFECT!  WE SIN!  End any situation with a good action meaning, when you make a mistake, admit and apologize for the mistake.  By you admitting and apologizing for the mistake you will be good.  Always end the situation, even the day, with being “good.”

Love the Nietzsche quote above the headline.  BE STRONG!  When he/she sees evil, the weaker person is the quiet person!  Sure.  Your “good” may be someone else’s evil, but you live with you.  For me I live with and for GOD.  You don’t?  Okay.  We can still agree what is good and I bet you more times than not, we will agree what good is, but will you be ready to stand-up for what is good even it is me?

Happy New Year.   Make it a good year by doing good things!