Good and Evil

a) Describe what followers of the religion you are studying may believe about the power of good and the power of evil. (24)b) Explain how followers of the religion you are studying may be influenced by these beliefs. (21)You must refer to the religion you are studying in your answer.Describe what followers of the religion you are studying may believe about the power of good and the power of evil. (24)Many Christians believe that Good comes from God, and Evil also technically comes from God. Christians believe that God created every thing; however the finer details of these creations are arguable. In the Bible, Genesis 2:31 tells us that “God saw everything that he had made, and it was very good”. This clearly states that God created Good, and therefore, Christians believe that good created good. Many Christians believe that God is the only power that can create good, however, some believe that evil can create good. Christians are monotheistic.They believe that God, and only God is omnipotent, which means that they believe he has the power to do anything he wishes. Using this logic, he could create Good, and he could create evil. The minority of Christians who claim evil too can create Good say that “doing evil can provoke something Good” and therefore create Good. However, the majority of Christians argue that it is “a double edged sword” and an argument which “helps no-one”. This is technically right, the good only occurs as a result of something bad, so it evens it up.Christians believe that there are two types of Evil which lead to suffering in the world:> Moral Evil. Moral evil presents the idea that a person brings himself evil by doing sinful things, such as; selfishness, lying, cruelty and ignorance. It is the kind of characteristic that the person can be blamed for: it is changeable. Christians that believe in free will believe that moral evil occurs because God gave people freedom of choice, therefore meaning that they can choose to do certain things that my cause harm (thus evil). God gives the people the opportunity to be free of sins by showing them how to lead their lives (bible, ten commandments..); he gives them the chance to overcome evil. This ability to overcome evil is their choice to take or not; if they live the way God shows them to then they create Good, if they don’t, they bring suffering on themselves. The person has to live with the consequences of the things he does by choice, rather than what God has given him.; Natural Evil. Natural evil and moral evil are two completely different subjects, even though they both refer to the same thing. This evil is shown through things that are out of certain people’s control. Things like; earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and disease. Whilst trying to combat these things and protecting ourselves from them, we cannot stop the eventuality of them occurring in our lives. They do not appear to be the result of anyone’s wrong doing, however, the eventual effect is devastating and incredibly unfair.This causes a problem for humans: if it cannot be stopped and it is not our fault, it could possibly be eminent for the rest of our lives. Also, it seems to affect certain regions frequently, whilst other areas are always avoided. This poses more of a problem for humanity- is it fair to let innocent people struggle whilst others roam free of this? Furthermore, the people that are affected by natural evil are normally the poorer, less fortunate people who are unable to defend themselves.The devil, or Satan, is obviously the epitome of evil. ‘Satan’ in the Middle Eastern world meant ‘the accuser’ in ancient times. Christians believe that the devil was once an angel of God, but he rebelled against God. In the Bible, there are three main places where Satan is emphasised.; Genesis 3. In this chapter, Adam and Eve are placed into the Garden of Eve. God directly tells them not to eat of the tree, however, Satan had another idea. He pressures Eve into eating an apple from the tree; something God wouldn’t approve of. For this God punished Adam and Eve into eternal punishment for all humanity.> The temptation of Christ. In Matthew 4:1-11, Satan tries to convince Jesus to question God’s faith in him. “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answers Satan’s persistence by saying ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”; The Old Testament; the story of Job. Satan causes a man who is well and of good health to become unwell, to lose his children and lose his wealth. Inspite of all the evil that had been placed upon him, he refused to curse God. Later on, Job found healing and his fortune was restored to him.Explain how followers of the religion you are studying may be influenced by these beliefs. (21)Evil can influence people in many different ways. In most cultures, evil is something non-physical, which can pass through people. Everyone has heard of the saying “Evil possesses him”, which very much drives the point home. However, some Christians embrace evil, saying that “suffering is a necessary part of life. [We] cannot have life as we know it without evil.” These people’s lives might not be changed as dramatically as others for the fact that they accept evil. However, it seems quite farfetched that they would like to be evil and thus will take necessary precautions and actions to ensure that they themselves are as good as possible. They do general day-to-day things, as well as doing slightly less frequent things to try and remain good.Some Christians, as a result of Adam and Eve’s first sin, believe that each person is born with a slight tendency towards evil, which is called Original Sin. These people may try to oppress evil in many ways, some of which will be simple. They will take the “higher ground” when they are in a position to do wrong. They will not take or support illegal substances, and will try to encourage others to do so. This shows that, whilst evil is strong, good is powerful also, in that good has the power to overcome evil, but it needs time and effort.Many Christians believe in free will, in which God gives them the right to choose whether to do right or wrong. God shows them how to live, and if they choose the vast majority of decisions to correlate with good. A good example of choice over good and evil would be avoiding/discouraging prejudice at every opportunity. Christians believe that everyone and everything was made by god, and therefore they deserve to be treated equally. By treating people equally, they show to God their love towards him. Christians believe that you should go to church and pray to God on every Sabbath day, and by doing this you cleanse yourself of evil.They also believe that they should give money to charity, to show that they are not greedy (a 7 deadly sin) and to show their love for “brothers” over the love for themselves, as Jesus taught them. To do this, some of the wealthier Christians may contribute incredible sums of money towards worthy charities. People who have less money, but more time, try to work in charity shops, or work for a company which supports unfortunate people. Some people even pay to visit LEDC’s and spend their time and money building new schools, wells and anything else needed. People may be influenced by evil in a good way however, as people may wish not to become evil and therefore work harder to not be.Many Christians, especially Roman Catholics, believe that there is a line between good and evil doing. It is believed that this line oscillates over the years, depending on many situations. They will try to avoid crossing over to the evil section, however this is very difficult.Evil is seen to be very powerful. Everybody is influenced by evil doings, and everybody has and urge to do something wrong. Many people also do bad things or have bad emotions, even if they did not intend to in the first place. The Christian community, believe in the “Seven Deadly Sins”, “Capital Vices” or “Cardinal Sins”, and they were taught as the “inevitable ways to sin” by Christians.* Lust is believed to affect everyone, and is usually seen to be a immoral sexual desire, such as a married man wanting another woman. Giving into these desires may lead to rape, adultery, incest, etc, which are major sins!* Jealousy is another which is believed to be evil, and again can be serious or light-hearted. Many people experience envy, and it occurs when you want something you cannot have.* Greed (for-mentioned) is described as “intense and selfish desire for food, wealth, or power.” Many people can act upon greed, and it doesn’t have good consequences! Actions include betrayal and theft.* Sloth is another of the 7 deadly sins. According to many sources, sloth used to be described much differently to how it is now. At present, it is described as pure laziness, whilst in previous eras it was described as sadness or despair.* Wrath is described as extreme anger, which is a common sin, as evil causes much distress, resulting in anger. However, giving into anger is very dangerous as it can lead to murder, which of course is a major sin.* Gluttony is a 7 deadly sin also, and is in relation to greed and over-consumption of food. There aren’t major consequences to giving in to gluttony, however it will stop you from contributing food to the poor, who cannot get food themselves.* Pride is considered to be the most serious sin,Many Christians see that evil is only present when good is not. Therefore, many people believe that they should do as much good as possible to overcome evil. They may do so by supporting things that do not harm animals, the environment or other humans. They may buy organic products, non-animal-tested products and may try to be more eco-friendly.

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