Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


Is it true that "Evil has to give way to good"?  Is that just a major coincidence or a divine plan?

There is nothing wrong with saying evil has to give way to good.  A fire has to burn itself out.  Those who say evil is part of a divine plan are forgetting that they do not need that idea at all.  It is only an excuse for saying there must be a good God who is not to blame for evil for it is us who does it and he only gives us the power to do it because he has a good plan.  It is simply condoning the terrible things that happen to people under God's supposed watch.  If evil has to burn itself out and does not have the endurance of good then it is wrong to fail to make that the only principle that matters!  It is wrong to bring God and religion into it!  It is a sign of lack of faith and trust in good so you compensate with the idea of a magic God who uses his abilities to do good. That is superstition.

If evil happens then you might assume that it has a purpose or can produce good regardless of its having a purpose or not.

If there is no good without evil then what do you expect?

If good and evil are two sides of the one coin then evil and good have to keep following one another.  But this implies there is nothing permanent.  Even the good of Heaven is based on the wicked being quarantined in Hell.

When it is said there is no good without evil do people mean, "We would not know what good was without evil"? Is that all they are worried about? The argument against that is when you struggle to get something good done and you succeed you end up rather deflated. The happiness does not last. The pride is fleeting.

Religion almost defines evil as self-destructive

God does not make evil but he makes all things.  So what is evil then for it cannot be a power?  Christians say there is only good and that evil is just a different good that is unacceptable.  Its the wrong good.  The idea that evil is good but which is in the wrong time and wrong place is saying that it is the time and place that is the problem not the action. It proves that believers in God have to redefine evil in order to believe in God and make evil reconcilable with him. It redefines evil as an imbalance to be fixed. This is not evil and the actual harm is ignored in favour of worries about time and place. If you are putting good in the wrong place and time then people around you should be stopping you. And it blames the people around you for not trying to fix you. So it diminishes your sense of personal responsibility. It turns evil into a mistake responsibility not a moral one and blames others for colluding in your mistakes. Human nature easily redefines things to suit what it wants to think so even if the argument about what evil is were acceptable it does not follow that anybody cares. It does not prove that any Christian has ever cared. The evidence recommends scepticism about their alleged opposition to evil.

It is said that part of the attraction in believing that evil is just defective good is that it cannot last for a defect means a weakness. We suspect that it is the whole attraction. Whatever, either way it leads to complacency and to people doing nothing to help evil to self-destruct. Why should they? The idea that evil has a purpose in Godís plan implies that God not only lets it fall apart but works on it. So that is an additional reason for not bothering. Justice is only a waste of energy.

Moral and Instrumental

If evil happens, the religious will say it has a purpose. There is a moral purpose and a instrumental purpose.  A moral purpose would be to help someone.  An instrumental purpose would be like doing something to achieve something.  Giving with a generous heart is moral.  Using a tool is instrumental.

What kind of purpose is evil about?

Both.  It is both concerned with moral and instrumental.  To do good is to use good as a tool so it is instrumental in that sense.

If it is both then which one matters or matters most?  It would be instrumental for what use is good if you cannot do it?  What confirms that is how good itself is an instrument.

Evil cannot last for it is not as much of an instrument or as stable as good is.

Post Hoc Rationalisation

There is a difference between saying evil has a purpose and looking at an evil that has actually happened and saying it has a purpose. It is like saying evil has no purpose until it happens. That is a way of trying to deal with its existence.  To say doing evil AUTOMATICALLY gives it a good purpose is saying the end justifies the means.  That is what is being said.

An evil happens. You say it has a purpose. God supposedly let it happen for a good reason. Or you may say that it is possible for good to come from evil - whether it comes through purpose or not. It may be both on purpose and not - then it would be partly one or the other.

There is a difference between saying evil has happened and good can come because there is a purpose and saying that evil that may happen has a good purpose should it happen. To say that no matter what evil could happen but has not would have a purpose if it did happen is saying that evil must be for a purpose by definition.  No matter what, it does good therefore it does not matter.  If all evil even hypothetical is there for a good purpose then evil does not really matter.  The notion that evil is purposeless and God has to force good out of it would be called for.  Or the notion that there is no good God would be called for even more!

Nature simulates purposes. We see many examples.  Trees seem to be made to shelter us from the sun etc.  Water could be seen as being for drinking and that it so happens we can wash with it too.

All that makes us prone to see purpose where there is none.  To give evil a purpose it does not have is to fail to see how bad it is.   A feeling can be created by nature or chemicals. Motivation is a feeling. If chemicals cause feelings in an entity it will start acting as if a purpose directs it.

Even without that we would still be prone anyway!

To say God can be good and let evil happen though he can effortlessly do a lot about it and refuses to simply because he has a good plan that the evil fits into and assists is simply to condone evil and cruelty and suffering in this ruthless universe.  Our perception of purpose is bad for it is too biased so to see good plans where there are bad plants is just arrogant condoning.

Finally

God believers say that when you do evil God only lets you do it for he has set it up to backfire and turn to a good that would not happen without it. They say the evil is still reprehensible and to be utterly condemned. So God essentially manipulates and uses the sinner.  Religion is about winning seeming battles over evil but not about winning the war.  Evil is fought with evil and craftiness.  The purpose doctrine is anything but sacred or noble.