Why Religion Needs “Good Versus Evil,” The Cosmic Battle that Never Was

“Whatever anyone does or says, I must be emerald and keep my colour.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The old religious canard, a theme invested in countless books and movies, from Gothic literature to the Star Wars series has pervaded Western culture from time immemorial. The cosmic battle of “Good Vs. Evil” probably represents the world’s worst scam ever.

The very Anglo-Saxon name (or title) “God” abbreviates “good” only slightly, intending the substantival use of the adjective, meaning “The Good One.” Likewise, the “Devil” shows the Latin inflection, of “D’ Evil” – meaning “The Evil One,” which implies the aforementioned Darth Vader – Obi Wan problem.

May the Farce (not) Be With You.

What does this mean? It means we have been setting the standard of what we aspire to be dreadfully low.  In the world of coin-collecting, for instance, the rating of “Good” is just above “fair,” which is also only one notch below the lowest rating “poor” (or by analogy, “evil” in the world of value).

Above the “good” rating of value, however, sits “Very good,” “fine,” “extra fine,” “uncirculated,” and then at the top we find “proof,” or “mint” condition. “Good” is a mediocre fifth place in other words, only two notches above the trash heap.  This means that if your Western God is merely “good,” you have an infinitely mediocre problem.  And following him will mean that the best you can hope for in the end, in the teen parlance, is that you suck. You imitate the divine perfectly and you get a C-.

Instead, a far better value system would offer you an A+, and would tell you never to settle for good, but to strive instead for the excellent in all things, even the most excellent rating of mint condition. Be Minty.

Mint condition coins shine with a mirror-like finish of great beauty and value. Good sucks. And evil?  Well it doesn’t really exist.  It’s a farce.  Let me explain.  It would be a straight F, or an even more insulting “F+,” on our grading scale, except for this – the ideal world (which is the real one) actually has no reference to evil at all.  The word does not exist, like folly and other so-called “vices,” in the ideal dictionary. It has no “Ideal” extra-linguistic reference. It cannot be real in the “Natural [world]” sense of the word.

This means it is but a human artifice, born of bad beliefs and actions based upon them. This gives it a veneer of reality, especially notable when you watch the news, or read the headlines. But it actually has no real reference, but amounts to an expression of moral disgust, often at the wanton disregard or destruction of value, in the form of life, reputation or property of others.

Some would say, “That is just what we mean by evil.” But my point remains – it is purely a human creation, that did not, and could not exist before humans existed. We created it, and we can (and must) “uncreate” it. What they call evil is actually “Imposed chaos.” That is why some codes have noted that the problem is “disorderly” conduct, “Conduct unbecoming,” or even in another context, “Unsportsman – like conduct.”

Conversely, the ideas that some things are “Set in order” versus the “disorderly” — now that is something that science, rooted in the real world, can manage. The real problem is value-accretion versus value-ablation.

This will then bring us back to the ideal value system (profit-and-value [accretion] as the material adequacy of wisdom and understanding – an important component of which is science/ technology, and the skilled management of the environment that it brings.

The religious era of “Good (one) versus D’Evil (one)” is over. The Fiction has been exposed. The Deconstructionists have done this also. Religion cannot survive without it.


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