Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Conversion by Way of Evil, Part 3

See part 1 here and part 2 here . . .

5. Given the above steps one through four, I came to hold that evil deeds, whether done by others or by myself, are not wholly explainable by natural, practical, utilitarian reasons. This is especially clear in cases of truly horrendous human evil. I concluded that the evidence of the awful depths of depravity of the worst human acts, together with the evidence of my own inability to prevent myself from doing bad things even when I know they are bad, reveals that there must be some power stronger than myself--stronger than any human person--that somehow tries to pull us toward evil. In fact, I came to hold that there must be a supernatural source--a power greater than can be found in the realm of the natural world alone--acting upon human persons or involved in some way, dragging us down into the depths of depravity. I simply could no longer believe, given the reality of how we experience evil in our life, that evil is totally explainable without any supernatural reality factoring in to the mix. Evil has a source beyond, outside nature, beyond that which is merely human. To me, nothing else made sense. This was the first time in my adult life that I became completely convinced that there is, without a doubt, more to the universe of existing things than what we can observe with our senses. There is a supernatural realm. And this realm is not material, but spiritual.

6. Then, I realized that the source of what we call "good" in the realm of human experience, ultimately, must also be supernatural. Not only must it be supernatural, it must be more powerful--superior--to the supernatural font of evil. And it must be one--unified--singular. How so? What we call "good," is, by its very inherent meaning, better than and preferable to evil (bad). The very meaning of the term, "good," is that which we prefer and understand to be better than other things in regard to our happiness and the fulfillment of our own lives. We call a thing "good" because it is by its inner nature better than, preferable, and superior to things we call "evil" or "bad." Now, this has consequences. Evil, I had become convinced, is ultimately involved with a supernatural reality beyond this world. But, the good is always better than those things which are evil. We understand this. It is universal to human nature. And recalling that there is a fundamental and common moral sense of right and wrong which is universally shared by all human persons (e.g. it is wrong to steal) means that there are some ultimate goods that are always and everywhere understood by we humans as better (higher, superior, always preferable) than those things we call evil. This has to mean that the ultimate source of what we call "good" is more powerful than evil. If this were not the case, we would have no universal concept of "the good" as preferable to the bad. "Good" itself would not always be good if it were not rooted in something ultimately superior and more powerful than that in which evil is rooted. Now since evil is rooted in a supernatural reality the good, therefore, must also be rooted in a supernatural reality and indeed in a supernatural reality that is always and everywhere more powerful than that reality from which evil arises. If good were not the boss in an ultimate sense, of the bad, the very term "good" would have no meaning.

Continued in part 4

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