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I share my thoughts that "God seeks ALL good" and therefore allows for bad whenever there is related good.

In suburban Orange County, California, in many ways a real utopia, I grew up thinking that evil is just a misunderstanding. It was only when I lived for several summers in Soviet-occupied Lithuania - in a different culture outside my own - that I saw evil. I saw a system designed to corrupt people, to break their spirit, and to enroll them. I saw that people were choosing - some to participate in that, succumb to it, take up its outlook, and others to stand up to that system. But the participants - the dissidents themselves - would say that those KGB officers were just victims, too. Living within their own culture, they could not see that, actually, they were all making choices which were relevant as to why some ended up as dissidents, and some ended up as tyrants. When I lived or stayed in different cultures, and felt the logic of segregation in Chicago, or the castes in Bangalore, then I could see it there, too. And I could start to understand why somebody might speak of a demon as afflicting a drug-addict, as if using them for a nest or shell, or a curse that one might physically feel upon crossing a street that is all-black on one side and all-white on the other, or an invisible wall that keeps one human from making eye contact and makes another confident to do so. Finally, I could step a bit outside of my own native culture and realize the struggle taking place that Chris describes, and that we're all part of it. All of this to point to the empirical and visceral reality of evil as a system that seeks to trap us into a hell of manipulations.

Aesthetically, what might be the purpose of such evil? What does that suggest about God? Especially if, aesthetically, we wish to believe that God is good?

For me, the simplest answer is that God seeks ALL good. Aesthetically, there must be at least some good which there could be without any bad. This is to say that good is greater than bad. That although they are opposites, in some way, good is marked as the relevant one, the self-standing one. Good allows for bad, perhaps requires bad, but yet stands on its own, independently of bad. Slack is a structure which models this. We imagine slack as either increasing or decreasing. They are both slack. But decreasing slack exhausts itself, whereas increasing slack does not. They are both "good" and are both representations of the underlying "good", and yet, as opposites, one is good and the other is bad.

To say that "God seeks ALL good" means that what's important to God is good, not bad. God is willing to introduce a lot of bad if that's what it takes to have an extra bit of good. He wants ALL of it - he is a megalomaniac. If we think of Scripture as a self-standing body of wisdom that is greater than our own minds, that stretches our minds beyond the strictures of logic, and opens our minds to our full ability, then we see examples of this: the shepherd who risks the 99 sheep to go out and find the 1 lost sheep.

The practical utility of this position is that wherever we see bad, there must be good that required it, and so we can look for that good and reinterpret in terms of it. But we do not have to leave the good and look for related bad, as there need not be any. Indeed, we can leave our own good and go beyond ourselves to give slack, to allow for bad and also good - to increase slack so that slack might decrease. And we can learn to do that effectively - don't do good in ways that set us up to feel bad or do bad where we'd regret that - give just a little bit of slack, as that is all it takes - and be creative and ready to always give it - and discover new dimensions in which to give it.

In this way we are participating in God's work to pull all the good together so that it's clear that it all is definitely good. We're making his life easier, we're sharing an aesthetic. If he doesn't do it through us, then he'll have to do it through somebody else, and why? We choose whether we want to be unravelers or simply unraveled. We live forever as unravelers if we help with the unraveling.

I suppose that evil arises when a system is not open to integration with other systems yet takes itself as self-standing. It doesn't need a Why!. I suppose it is supported by an idealism that doesn't need a Whether?, that is willing to go along with whatever.

I think that we need to open ourselves to allow for straddling at all four levels, so that Observer and Observed might see through us, as through those panes of glass.

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Puslapis paskutinį kartą pakeistas 2022 gegužės 19 d., 17:22