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Good vs. Evil In Religious Context

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In our world good and evil coexist in a harmony of chaos. Evil, in a terribly broad sense is simply the absence of good. Often in legends or religions, evil is denoted as something of the supernatural or magical force. It can sometimes be seen as an evil that doesn’t exist, a figment of our imagination. I’ve been listening to a podcast my Aaron Mahnke, in it he speaks of and legends of the world, old and new, and discusses topics with the idea of good versus evil. I enjoy it because it speaks of not only what we see and believe, but also what we don’t. Even though some see the stories as purely entertainment, in everyday life we are aware of both good and evil because urban legends, religion, and human behavior.

In certain religious contexts, evil has been described as a supernatural force. Questions concerning the nature of good and evil, applied ethics concerning particular moral issues. Evil according to a Christian worldview is any action, thought or attitude that is contrary to the character or will of God. This is shown through the law given in both the Old and New Testament. This evil shows itself through deviation from the character or will of God. Similarly, good according to a Christian worldview is any action, thought or attitude that is consistent with the character or the will of God, for God is good, the ultimate goodness. Mahnke speaks of classic religions’ absolute distest of concepts of what is considered evil to them. And how religion can create stories over time to explain the unexplained and provide reason.

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Not only does Mahnke discuss the concepts of religion but he also delves into the topic of how human behavior itself explains how these stories come to light. Often in the 1600-1700s people would use stories of supernatural creatures to explain why a person acts a certain way or even explain sickness and the spreading of sickness. In the 1800s when tuberculosis, or consumption as they called it then, was the leading cause of death. In that era they didn’t know what TB was or how it spread, this lead to the first American vampire stories. When it spread to the family, they believed a vampire had spread it and was using them to feed on. They also believed it moved through families, and the vampire would reside in a body of one of the families’ past relatives, inhabiting the body similar to a demon or a possession. Signs that a body was being used by a vampire included: undecayed flesh, longer nails and hair, fresh blood for in liver, heart, or mouth. To kill the vampire they would burn the heart and liver and make a tonic for the sick to drink and they would drive a steak into the head of the body, some reports say the witnesses heard an audible sigh come from the body when they had “killed” the vampire. These people believed in these stories with their entire being, and used them to explain why members of the family would die one by one. It is natural human behavior to need something explained especially when it has such severe consequences.

As people modernize and society moves into the future with people, some of the stories from when people were trying to explain phenomena still carry on through generations. Urban legends are passed down in the form of stories. Some families have their own unique stories and some are nearly universal. A story in my family specifically was Hilda. Hilda was a witch who would take bad children to her cave in the mountains to eat them. I guess she was pretty similar to the Boogeyman, a very universal story. From La Llorona in Latin-American society to Baba Yaga in Russia, Tokoloshe in South Africa, The Jersey Devil in the U.S., and CuCuy in South America. Everywhere around the world there are these stories of a creature one shape or another, that either wreaks havoc on the community or punishes bad children. Mahnke proposes that these stories must have started somewhere and he believes it goes back to explaining strange phenomena.

Often people would use stories of supernatural creatures to explain why a person acts a certain way or even explain sickness and the spreading of sickness. These people believed in these stories with their entire being, and used them to explain why members of the family would die one by one. Similarly, good according to a Christian worldview is any action, thought or attitude that is consistent with the character or the will of God, for God is good, the ultimate goodness. As people modernize and society moves into the future with people, some of the stories move along with us.

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Good vs. Evil In Religious Context. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/good-vs-evil-in-religious-context/
“Good vs. Evil In Religious Context.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/good-vs-evil-in-religious-context/
Good vs. Evil In Religious Context. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/good-vs-evil-in-religious-context/> [Accessed 2 Feb. 2023].
Good vs. Evil In Religious Context [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Feb 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/good-vs-evil-in-religious-context/
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