A nature of good and evil
January 19, 1984
I never did answer the question about myself yesterday, as to the whys and how-comes of living as I do, needing ďspaceĒ as Pauly called it to be in private without being hounded by society.
Iím sure there must be reasons more valid than just that it fits my moods.
Iím not wholly an honest person. I lie to keep things peaceful.
Sometimes I even defend points of view I donít particularly believe, just to be stubborn.
By contrast, Iím as loyal and true as an old dog, believing firmly in some unchanging values which I might Ė for a time pretend to betray Ė but rarely do.
Some issues, of course, confuse me, issues that some of my Christian friends claim they have resolved.
Iím a Christian, too, and unfortunately find myself judging other people the way most Christians do. But unlike the trend I see going around in these days of Ronald Reagan Christianity, I get no satisfaction from it.
Instead, I feel a good amount of guilt and ambiguity.
The liberals I know live with a certain amount of innocence, willing to forgive even the most criminal minds, following in the true footsteps of Christ, although even Christ might have found less forgivable when hanging on the cross.
Although I consider myself a liberal, I see some criminals locked into a certain pattern of behavior they cannot break.
Sin, on the other hand, is much more complex. Doing bad is often is a progression of conscious and unconscious actions leading to a certain conclusion.
Watson, Skinner and Pavlov make a point which even their theories fail to recognize. People can associate. People can bring to any horror their own justification Ė this equals that.
A child watching his father perform an act of violent sex may grow up to believe this is correct especially if there is some stimulus involves pleasure.
On the hand, Freudís map of unconscious reactions always does away with the concept of sin. How can any human recognize sin in a jumble like that?
Perhaps the only way a person can deal with the relationship between good and evil is to understand himself, uncover the unconscious demons.
No Bible literally interpreted can ever show you that, only self investigation.
Certainly The Ten Commandments are good ideal to which we can aspire, but too closely followed, too perfectly accepted is something else entirely.
No human is perfect. I certainly am not. But to hold anyone to such a high standard is to guarantee failure.
Iíve violated many of the commandments many times. Iím certain I will violate them again before I die.
Somewhere in reviewing the mistakes Iíve made is to assume other people are making similar mistakes as well Ė even the so-called saints.
Preachers who scream the most about sin are often those most guilty of hiding theirs, cloaking their limitations behind an unreasonable mask of faith. They are often too fearful to face the real world and the challenges living a real life brings.