Problems Associated With Evil

The sacred must by its very essence address issues relating to human existence, the proper way to live and conduct your life and above all it must address the questions relating to death. Of these three objectives, I personally find the one concerning death as most interesting. We would all like to postpone the inevitable however it appears that in the end the Grimm Reaper shall have his way with us. The best we can do is to devise explanations as to why and how it happens and what we can expect in the end.

The Buddhist belief of reincarnation appears to address the issue in the most logical and effective manner. We live multiple lives in order to strive towards obtaining the ultimate “Good.” This is achieved by the process of being born over and over until such goals have been mastered. This practice also provides us with an excellent rationale for the meaning of life. One could look upon our existence on earth as a small part of the puzzle which eventually leads to our final objective – Nirvana or heavenly bliss. The acts of reincarnation also blend perfectly with the Christian beliefs of “divine justice.” There is no better way to describe this justice than to have to atone in another life for our transgressions in the present time.

It is often asked where God is at those times when evil is present using the Nazi concentration camps as an example. I was especially shocked when I read about the little child who had been hung and remain alive, suffering for an additional 30 minutes. I too have to question the whereabouts of God in cases such as this. I am aware that most Christian theology uses the excuse that man has free well and therefore God does not intervene however I find this to be a weak excuse created to defend an almighty God. To say that God was there hanging with the child is equally weak in merit. A loving and caring God would do something to stop the slaughter of the innocent and not merely “be there with the child”.

Once again if we return to the concept of Karma it would explain the above events more acceptable than a tale that God was present and did nothing. Karma would justify such acts under the assumption that man must learn something to progress to a higher level. In this case perhaps in another life the soul of the child did a similar injustice to another human so he would therefore need to atone for that sin by being the victim himself. He can therefore understand the agony he placed his victims in.

I had previously reviewed several different religions and the values which they promote and had deemed Buddhism to be more in lines with logical thinking than what was discovered in other beliefs. The punishment of the wrongdoers is accomplished by themselves as they take the various roles in future lives.

There clearly exists a contrast between ideologies taking place here. The Christian thought is that God allows this to happen because of free will. He fails to intervene on behalf of his people sort of like a test to see if you believe in him or not. On the other hand, the Buddhist followers own up to the fact that they are creating their own eventual “hell” or “Heaven” by their own actions. The Buddhist perspective towards evil is that it is located within our own soul. In no way are the ill effects which befall us related to the will of God.

To relate how this enhances or modifies my views of religion, I would contend that it has provided valid support for the beliefs offered by the Buddhist followers as opposed to other religions. I pride myself as being a logical person who likes to take the facts and relate them to the solution of a problem. With that said I have to follow the thought that the Buddhist religion is a more realist view of life and death.

One of the things which have always perplexed me concerning the Holocaust has been the lack of the will to fight back. The guards at these camps were greatly outnumbered by the prisoners however those in captivity did not attempt to fight back or revolute against the cruelty inflicted upon them. They surely must have known that eventually the authorities would subject them to death so they really had nothing to lose but perhaps much to gain. I can only put myself in the position under the aspirations of what I personally would do but possibly as seen through the eyes of the victims it may be a different story entirely. Someday I would enjoy sitting down and discussing these issues with someone who has personally gone through this crisis. We frequently find considerable criticism for both the Jewish and the Christian thought in regards to the Holocaust. They simply accept the concept that perhaps we might have a God who is not only all might and knowing but they fail to accept the thought of one who refuses to acts in defense of His people. It becomes a very tacky situation with understanding the Jewish or Christian interpretation presented for the Holocaust when it stresses that the suffering of the Jews and others is merely divine punishment.

Moving on to the topic of Satan, I believe that this was nothing less than a fairy tale to frighten small child or adults who would than submit to the will of the holy leaders. The majority of Christians do not believe that Satan ever existed (Deem, 2011). We recall that in life every consequence has an opposite reaction. In this case the concept of good has a negative connotation of Evil; the idea of God must therefore have a view of Satan. Life exists under an umbrella of antagonism.

If we search history we will discover that Judaism prior to these issues encountered at Babylon had no concept of heaven or hell. The soul of departed merely went to “sheol” to rest regardless of what kind of life they had led while alive. There was no mention of Satan or of any angels for that matter. The modern notion of Satan appeared in Judaism during the Babylonian Exile which would account for the lack of biblical references prior to that time. Chronicles was written at the time of the Exile as revisions to the Deuteronomic history which resulted in the first reference to Satan in 1 Chronicles 21:1:

“And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.”

The New Testament contains a number of references to Satan thus in the Christian theology Satan is indicative of the devil who is the adversary of God. Using the English language loosely we can find several names mentioned in the bible that refer to Satan such as adversary, devil, evil one, Lucifer, Prince of this world, serpent, etc.

Reference

Cunningham, L., Kelsay, J. (2012). The Sacred Quest (6th Edition). Pearson. E-book Edition.

Deem, Rich. (2011). Who is Satan? Retrieved from http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/who_is_satan.html