Monday, August 14, 2006

Good and Evil

My last post ended with a comparison of liberal and conservative which some people compare to good or evil. This is just as erroneous as making that comparison to peace and violence or life and death. I like the inspired definition in Toward a Meaningful Life (wisdom of the former Rebbe of Chabad) that describes evil as selfishness and good as selflessness which puts the determination on intent of action. This means things can't be evil (a knife can be used for good or evil) nor can generic actions (like killing during war) be evil. In fact if I give to charity so that I can benefit then that is evil. If I went to war to free the oppressed then my action is good. So too anger and death and other 'negative' attributes may be good.

The optimism Rebbe Schneerson's outlook is refreshing:

Goodness is a natural state of the world... All of man's good works throughout the ages are building blocks, leading up to a final triumph of goodness in the world. Moral relapses are not flaws, but by-products of this process. It is to be expected that when the forces of goodness show strength, the forces from where evil originates will endeavor to retaliate, and that they will make their final stand just on the verge of their total collapse.

Sounds like the situation in Iraq. Over at Iraq the Model you could witness the confusion as to why the US is there. Is it to subjugate the people or are we doing this out of the goodness of our hearts? I know of plenty of troops that are there because they believe they are doing good.

Unlike Darth Vader's convictions (kids are really into Star Wars right now) the dark side is not more powerful than the light side. Turn on the light and the darkness is vanquished, goodness is divine with the power that is inherent whereas darkness is simply the absence of light (all ego no real power). Goodness requires both thought and action which results in spiritual growth.

Technorati Tags: Chabad, Iraq, Star Wars, ego, evil, good, selfish, selfless

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