It saddens me when deep questions are tossed about in the manner of base conversation. Do not take this to mean I think less of you; no, rather I consider you to be more than your manner might lead some to believe. Do consider framing your inquiries more formally for the practice would serve you well in life.

You asked for proof. I offer none. Your belief or disbelief is your own affair, immaterial to me. Take what you wish form these words, or leave them unread if you prefer.

On to the assorted topics raised by you and others.

I have written more than once on the topics of Good, Evil, Faith and Man so I shall not recapitulate those writings here. As to your hypotheticals, I fail to see what relevance they have to the question of faith. A world populated by human beings is a world prone to the faults and failings of the creatures there dwelling. The notion one could create a society where all are unassailably Good bears a striking resemblance to the fantasy world of “pure communism” I touched upon before- it cannot exist and is therefore useless as a point of argument.

As for definitions- my own are quite mundane: Evil is that which impedes humanity first, and that which harms individuals second. Good is that which stands in opposition to Evil. Evil attempts to present itself as Good- it is the art of rationalization. Good always recognizes Evil- it may be forced to accept it, but it never attempts to call Evil by any other name. Note that the Good can manifest evil actions, but Evil never manifests good actions, for actions in the service of evil are evil in and of themselves. Rooted in the sickness, they are the sickness. In the simplest possible terms, Evil is the essence of narcissism- self-serving above all other things.

Faith takes many forms, a majority of which bear no resemblance to what most call religion. One has faith in her friends, in the society surrounding her, the civilization within which she exists- indeed such faith is an absolute necessity in the assorted formulae of civilization. Religious faith, whether we choose to believe or not, is an aspect of this, but not the only one. With this in mind I submit if you are an American it is nearly impossible to ignore the impact of religious faith on your world view and behavior. You may not believe, but the aspects of religious faith within which your culture is steeped make their mark upon you nonetheless.

You touch upon the crux of all life’s struggles when you ask are contradictions necessary to life. Must there be both good and evil? Must there be conflict and pressure? I can only reply this is the way of the world. Man faces conflict and contradiction because conflict and contradiction serve to define Man. It is in his dealing with such forces that the individual, and through him society, is brought to the fullest possible potential. This is an ancient theme in philosophy for very good reason- it is undeniably true

You enquire as to my whereabouts as Christianity burst upon the western world. I was meandering about the western reaches of the Roman Empire, my center being what is called Lyon today. My very first encounter with that faith was recently recounted in these pages, though I knew nothing of what I had encountered at that time. As such, there was no great revelation experienced- the Christians were little more than another odd sect Jews. Did Christianity intrigue me? Christ offered his followers eternal life- how could I fail to take an intense interest in that? Even after I understood this immortality required first death I remained fascinated, but I never truly believed. I was then and remain today a spiritual child of pagan and animist roots. Still, early Christians offered me succor, though none ever knew my true nature, and I spent many decades in their embrace. They have influenced me, mostly in positive ways.

On the subject of the religious underpinnings of an understanding of good and evil, I am afraid I cannot be dispositive. My own understanding is built upon a framework of centuries of experiences while you are forced to absorb your teachings and frame your beliefs in a handful of decades. I know what I know, but I cannot know for you. This is part of the conflict and contradiction that drives mankind as a race- that each generation is forced to relearn what has been learned before. Challenging old beliefs is as old as Man himself and your very civilization is built upon the wreckage of those conflicts, all those hard-won lessons bought with coin of blood and suffering.

In regards to slavery my attitudes towards it have taken a slow turn for in my youth (for lack of a better term) it was an accepted institution and unremarkable for all that. Slaves filled an important niche in society and were generally valued assets rather than mere receptacles for abuse. Even such as me, often nothing more than a toy, still possessed value for the functions I served. I believe my distaste for the institution arose from the confluence of two forces: the moral educational precepts of monotheistic Judeo-Christian teachings with their roots in Hellenistic philosophies, and the technological progress of Man himself. One teaches all persons are possessed of a unique and irreplaceable aspect; the other simply erased any economic justification for the practice. By the time the Americans fought their great struggle for the soul and unity of their nation I could not accept that chattel slavery could be justified in any form; at least, not in this modern world.

My dislike for Marxism and Socialism are rooted in the destruction they have wrought sans any tangible benefit to the world. They are rooted in poison, and thus are poison regardless of the noble purposes they claim. That they render their subjects slaves to the state is just another indictment against them, not the only one.

4 Responses to “Questions”

  1. actually that all makes sense and i see your point. so thanks for responding. they say that evil can only imitate good. a sick little pervesion of ‘good’. but that’s only based on the values of an indivdual. From what ive learned people will never give up. i think that the meaning of life is to live. and thats just what im gonna do. plain and simple. 🙂

  2. And whether you care or not i do belive you

  3. I lied. It does matter to me, though likely not in the manner one might expect. Take care, Adam, and never cease asking questions- it is the one unequivocally noble pursuit afforded Man.

  4. Thank you, Zsallia. It’s nice to hear about the evolution of your personal philosophies, because you express yourself well.