Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Doctrinal Quiz Show: Evil

It's been a long time since our last Doctrinal Quiz Show!


Lent seems like the right season to address the question of evil. And in the spirit of austerity, I will get right to the question:

Theologically speaking, what is "evil"?

I usually throw in some jokes here, but the subject of evil just doesn't lend itself to levity, does it? So we'll just go over the ground rules for the newbies: Cheating is strictly forbidden (and penalized by a Higher Power than the Bubble!), so no peeking at any answers or googling around. The answer needs to come straight from your brain to the keyboard. Okay, let's see what you've got!

Oh, and to sweeten the pot, the lucky Grand Prize Winner will receive a copy of Matthew Kelly's Rediscover Catholicism, courtesy of our own Becky!



*For the answer to this Doctrinal Quiz Show, go here!


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45 comments:

  1. Years ago, some time during my Catholic secondary education years, when I was taught by Dominican Sisters, I learned that "Evil is the absence of good."

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  2. Evil is the absence of good- right?

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  3. Evil is the complete absence of good, the antithesis of love. It is all things contrary to the will of God.

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  4. Ok, since I have like 3 seconds to respond before getting both boys up from their naps, I'm gonna say very simply, anything that goes directly against the authority of God. Or anyONE that goes against His authority. Whether intentional or not. And, I'm off!

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  5. Evil is the opposite of God and his goodness. Evil is selfishness, hate, greed etc. all those things that led Lucifer to be cast out of heaven. Evil is black and empty. I know evil because I was visited by it the night before I became Catholic in the form of black shadowy demons. Satan tried one last time to keep me out of the Church but God won!!!

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  6. I always remember hearing that evil is the absence of good.

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  7. I believe it was CS Lewis who taught me evil is the absence of good, but I've also been taught that it is the perversion of good.

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    1. it is the perversion of good

      I like this one. I remember hearing this somewhere (Fr. Barron, perhaps?) Evil cannot exist in-and-of itself. It must take what is good and twist it, turn it into a perversion, which is then held up as the true good.

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  8. Oh, I love quizzes.

    Evil is a parasite on the good. It's not equal in power to good, and it's a result of a fall from grace.

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  9. I was going to take a guess and say evil is that which is the opposite of God/His Will, but JoAnna beat me to it.

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  10. From the Public School Gal with a CCD from NYS (you know I have to preface all my answers this way!):

    Evil is all in the intention. It is an intention that deliberately wishes to cause harm, and has a complete absence of moral "good."
    (And even more evil than just plain evil is evil that while knowingly causing harm, passes itself off as trying to do GOOD.)

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  11. Hi! I've been a follower of your posts for quite awhile now but never have commented (no particular reason why). Anyways, initially I thought what basically everyone else has posted, that evil is the absence of good, but that didn't seem quite right. In my opinion, there is a sort of neutral ground that is neither good nor evil, so to say evil is the absence of good would imply that all of the neutral stuff is evil. Neutral doesn't acknowledge the good nor the evil. Perhaps evil acknowledges good and refuses to accept it or spits in its face.

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  12. Evil is a lack of good, or integrity, of fullness in something that ought to be; but it does not have to be a complete lack, nor is it contained solely in the realm of morals. A blind eye, though it be nicely and seemingly fully formed would be correctly considered "evil", for it is lacking the capacity for sight, and that is what the eye is intended for: vision. Thus an act that is "evil" is one that does not have the fullness of good that it might have, or was intended to have. To give to one in need is a good action, but to perform it out of desire for praise reduces the amount of goodness possible for the act, and thus leaves it "evil".

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  13. It goes against the will of God. Since God is all good, doing anything that is against His will (and thus good nature), would be sin. So, choosing MY will over HIS will = sin. I know I should do X, as that's what God would want, but I much prefer to do B. = sin

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    1. I just read the other replies. Maybe I just defined sin rather than evil? Oh well. That's what I get for not cheating!

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  14. Evil is the absence of good, i.e. the absence of God!

    That's my 2 second answer :)

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  15. Evil is the misuse of good. St Augustine described it as being like a jumper with a hole in it. The hole doesn't exist as some sort of separate entity. Its just something good spoilt.

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  16. Evil is the absence of good. It is also acting contrary to the will of God.

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  17. I love that book. The preface (or maybe first chapter) alone is a must read for everyone.

    Evil is people and institutions who neglect/harm/starve/abuse/ignore/torture/ or otherwise obliterate small, sick, and defenseless children and call it caregiving.

    Read about the Pleven orphanage yet?

    :)

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  18. the total privation of the good; the absence of God

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  19. The complete absence of conscience, good and God.

    DD

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  20. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0vzGJAg1aw

    Okay I know this is a cop out, but I really can't improve upon it.

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  21. But to summarize, for those who don't want to watch the video.

    Evil is the result of rejecting God and His love.

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  22. Evil is an emptiness, nothing good is present in something that is evil.

    I am not going to win, but I already have that book anyway! LOL

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  23. I think evil is going against natural law. I don't think evil is simply going against God, because what if someone has never heard of God? Just as people who have never heard of God can still follow the natural law, it is also possible for people who have never heard of God to be evil and go against natural law.

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  24. I'm going to say evil is everything that is not good. Not the opposite per se, but the notion that in fundamental ways, it is a black and white world.

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  25. Evil is impatient.
    Evil is unkind.
    Evil disbelieves.Evil never forgives and is quick to condemn.
    Evil can't endure anything.Evil feels loving is a burden.
    Evil doesn't rejoice in good deeds done.
    Evil is boastful.
    However the one concession, I will give to evil,is that,were it not for the option of being evil,choosing to be loving would have no charm.
    May God bless us to choose Love over Evil always.Amen.

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  26. In the interest of brevity...Evil is the deprivation of the good.

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  27. Umm....I'm gonna go with...anything that is contrary to the will of God/anything that separates you from the love of God.

    I never win anything...so here's hoping I get the "shameless begging for a bubble award" award. :)

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  28. Evil is President Obama, contrary to God and lacking any good. I was teaching a class about the "fall" to some elementary school kids and I asked if their parents ever talked to them about the devil. A little girl said " my mom talks about him all the time. She hopes he doesn't get re-elected" I burst out laughing. She said President Obama lets people kill babies and tries to make us pay for it, her mom told her that makes him the devil and the very definition of evil.

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    1. Oh I absolutely love this!!! Hahaha

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    2. Really? No moral highground?

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    3. I think the Church has the moral highground over Obama. But we do, absolutely, need to pray for this man who has wrought so much destruction on innocent children and on the liberties of the Church in America.

      We are all capable of evil, as Obama is, and that should keep us very humble.

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  29. I'd say "evil" is rebellion against God. I hate getting things wrong, and even posting on this quiz makes me soooo nervous. It will probably be good for me if I get this one wrong.

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  30. Awww, shucks, I came back to give my Answer #2, and akCatholic already beat me to it :)

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  31. Evil is....Planned Parenthood

    I know I know, I'm so clever haha jk :-)

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  32. Evil is the absence of good, much as dark is the absence of light.

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  33. Evil is the abandonment of what God has deemed to be "good." It is a turning away from His will, separating one from Him.

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  34. I always thought of evil as the absence of love. It is more than just doing wrong or failing to do right. It is embracing hate and abandoning all care, charity or goodwill towards our fellow humans. It is turning away from God but it is also turning away from our own humanity.

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  35. Hi! Long time lurker first time commenter. Love your blog!

    Evil is the lack of a due good. Using an example, blindness is the lack of the due good of sight in the eye, but we wouldn't say that blindness (inability to see) was an evil in , say, a finger or a coffee mug.

    Human will is always directed toward the good, but a particular choice is thought to be evil (or sinful) when the good chosen is a lesser good. So, while pleasure is a good, it is a lesser good than the "due" good of staying faithful to your spouse. In other words choosing adultery lacks the due good of chastity, even though the will is seeking the good of pleasure. The "lack" is what makes the action "evil".

    A little ranty? Now I get to go read everyone else's comments!

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  36. Pure evil does not exist. Since existence itself is good, it follows that evil cannot exist on its own. Evil exists when the virtues are allowed to become unbalanced - where for example justice is not tempered by mercy (or where mercy crowds out justice).

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  37. Evil is any aberration from God, His Creation or His Divine Law or Plan.

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  38. Evil is not really a thing itself, much as darkness isn't a thing. Darkness is merely the absence of light; coldness, the absence of heat; and evil, the absence of God. All things made by God are good and can not be evil, though they can commit evil. These actions are contrary to God and His will and therefore a perversion of goodness.

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