It’s a law of physics that anything in motion can cause friction—the resistance that one surface encounters when moving over another. In a less intense way, evil is basically the “friction” that occurs when experiencing the movement of living. And living, as it relates to our species, is simply human beings being human, and hopefully humane.
What is evil?
Evil, defined in a general sense, is the opposite or absence of good. As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” But in everyday usage, Evil is often used more narrowly to denote profound wickedness. Conceptually, wickedness and weakness are subtle components of each other. So then we need strength, which is the capacity of something, including life itself, to withstand great force or pressure—an unavoidable feature of the overall life experience. To overcome is to succeed in dealing with a problem—to defeat an opponent and to prevail. You can’t overcome without coming over something challenging. So what we need, then, is the strength to withstand the friction of life’s challenges.
Knowledge of Good and Evil
Alternatively, The concept of evil is introduced to the world through the biblical story of Adam and Eve being forbidden by the Creator “Sky” God of the Hebrew scriptures to eat from the Tree (truth) of the Knowledge of Good (God) and Evil (Devil). The dual consciousness of good and evil is all but impossible to navigate without elements of superstition and imagination. In every culture on the planet, religion is considered the answer to the problem of “evil” in the world. First spiritually, which is perceived as where evil originates, and then in manners that cause harm and pain to humans.
Here at All Souls we embrace ideologies that strengthen us to address, confront, and overcome evil and inequity—the root of all iniquity—personally and corporately. We care about creating the “Beloved Community” by loving beyond believe.
Join us at All Souls on every Sunday in October, 2019 to explore the theme of Overcoming Evil. We’d love to have you with us in-person or online, together in community and covenant. Live stream services are at 10:00 a.m. CST for our Traditional service or the 11:30 a.m. CST Contemporary service.
Listen to all our services, including The Point, Humanist Hour (Sundays at 11:30 a.m.) on our weekly podcast, too.
Also join us for Wednesday Connections every week. Food starts at 5:30 p.m. with a full night of programming for everyone. Check out our full class list here.