Non-existence of true evil.
61. Non-existence of true evil: If God, in truth, is “infinite goodness” and “His goodness has no bounds,” then the existence of evil in the universe makes no sense. If God is All Goodness then what He has created is all good and the concept of evil is not truly comprehended by mankind. The Bahá’í Writings tell us that the existence of real evil, in the universe, is non-existent and that we just don’t understand the true nature of evil. The Bahá’í Writings tell us that all in creation is, in reality, good and that what we consider as true evil is the absence of good.
Actions of man and nature can appear evil but, in reality, evil is just the abuse and mishandling of what is, in truth, created as good. “God is pure perfection.” If this is true, then how can we believe that someone who is pure perfection can create true evil? Perfection and kindness and goodness are all found in His nature, and I say, if goodness, kindness and perfection help to make up His true nature, then I ask again, How can we honestly believe God would find it in Himself to create real evil.
Now I am sure that there are those who on hearing this will recite certain passages found in the Holy Scriptures that they feel repudiates this claim, such as: Judaism: Psalms 16:4 “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” and Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I The LORD do all these things.” To this I say there is more to these statements then can be taken at face value and I do address these issues but not here. These verses need to be explained in more detail and to do this here is to digress from the main theme of this topic. You can find the explanation to these and other topics in (God turns evil that men do into good, for more information into this theme)
Now, you may have noticed that I use terms like true and real evil in my analogy of evil, and this is because, as I stated earlier, there is no real evil in existence only misconception and the abuse of what was created, in reality, as absolute goodness. I find that the writings of the many different books of God also tell us this, only some of the older religions hint at this and do not come right out and directly state this. Christianity: 1 Timothy 4:4 “For every creature of God is good.” Judaism: Genesis 1:9 “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.” Genesis 1:10 “And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:11 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” Genesis 1:12 “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:17 “And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,” 1:18 “And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:20 “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” Genesis 1:21 “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25 “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Deuteronomy 18:13 “Thou shalt be perfect with The LORD thy God.” Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, His work is perfect.” Exodus 34:6 “The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” Psalms 33:5 “He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of The LORD.” Psalms 52:1 “The goodness of God endureth continually.” The creation of God is good the bible tells us. God is full of goodness and “His goodness has no bounds,” and so His creation, in reality, is only good and has no evil in it because Baha’i Faith: “God is pure perfection.” and because God is pure perfection He makes no mistakes, so all is good. (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 113) Christianity: 2 Thessalonians 1:11 “All the good pleasure of His goodness. Fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness.” 1 John 4:13 “Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:16 “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 Corinthians 8:6 “There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him;” 1 Timothy 4:4 “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused:” 4:5 “For it is sanctified by the word of God.” Therefore: Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” So the New Testament also tells us that everything in creation is good, because our “Father which is in heaven is perfect.” So, He made no mistakes and “All the good pleasure of His goodness. Fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness.” So, all is good in God’s goodness and in His creation.
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 320)
BABI RELIGION: “He who knows me is accompanied with all good, he who rejects me is pursued by (his own) evil.”
The Bab: (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 248)
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 32)
(The Qur’an (Pickthall tr), Sura 32 – The Adoration)
(The Qur’an (Rodwell tr), Sura 3 – The Family of Imran)
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 15)
Again we find through Allah’s Apostle, (Muhammad) that God is perfect and, Muhammad also tells us, that everything in His creation is good, because He “made all things good which He created.” And he tells us to, “hold ye fast by the cord of God, all of you, and break not loose from it; and remember God’s goodness.” God is good and, according to Muhammad, all that God created is good, not evil. I must admit I am starting to see a pattern here and it is a pattern of goodness.
Zoroaster tells us that Mazda (God) doeth so ordain that: Zoroastrianism: “Out of evil cometh good.” (Hymns of ATHARVAN, Zoroaster p. 30) and: “Evil is not wholly evil. In tackling it the soul acquires moral strength i.e. competence for nearness to God. This is a relieving feature of sin.” “Even evil operates for the ultimate good.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan pp. 120 and 121) So, in other words: “Evil is only apparently evil. It is ultimately for our good. It helps us to build our character and character is necessary for God realization which is our ultimate and permanent good.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan p. 405) So again, I say, I am beginning to see the formation of a pattern here and it is of ultimate goodness.
ZOROASTRIANISM: “Mazda (God) as the upholder of moral order, is sure to give His support to Zarathushtra and to punish his enemies. The punishment would, however, be for their own good, to lead them to the path of rectitude. Why should God, who is all kindness, inflict punishment on anybody unless it is for his good.” 1. “The creator Ahura Mazda is the most perfect.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan p. 832 and Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Yasna 1)
“Why, indeed, should Ahura Mazda (God) who “is the most perfect,” and “who is all kindness,” inflict punishment on us unless it is only for our own good. So again, we find that all that God created is good and lacking, in reality, an evil nature: “All the good things made by Mazda are the offspring of the good principle in greatness, goodness, and fairness.” I am beginning to definitely accept that all in God’s creation is only good, and we just don’t understand what the true nature of evil really is.
(The Zend-Avesta, Avesta Fragments)
HINDUISM: “Evil is Intellect which, wrapped in gloom, Looks upon wrong as right, and sees all things Contrariwise of Truth.” So the man of evil nature doesn’t see the truth because what we call evil intellect is wrapped in gloom and is blind to the true nature of evil and good, because evil acting people see, “all things Contrariwise of Truth.” Because, “The power of good, here spreads abroad from Thee, diffused through both the worlds, throughout the earth and heaven.” The power of Good spreads out from God, “throughout the earth and heaven.” Notice it is only the power of good that spreads out from God, not evil. I think this pattern of, there only being good, in the universe is almost confirmed because again we find that (Brahma, Vishnu, God) is again, I quote “perfect.” 14 “The mortal who with blazing fuel, as His laws command, adores the Perfect God.” (Hindu, Vedas, Rig Veda – Books 2 and 8) And God, who is only goodness is everywhere revealing His goodness: “Brahma, who is One, The Only, All-pervading;” “Of Thy perfections! Space Star-sprinkled, and void place From pole to pole of the Blue, from bound to bound, Hath Thee in every spot, Thee, Thee!– Where Thou art not, O Holy, Marvelous Form! is nowhere found!” So only good is being spread throughout the universe, not evil: “The splendour of the splendid, and the greatness of the great, Victory I Am, and Action! and the goodness of the good.” (I Am…..the goodness of the good).
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr) chapters 3, 10, 11 and 18)
Hinduism: 6. “He (Brahma, God) is beyond all the forms of the tree (of the world) and of time, He is the other, from whom this world moves round, when one has known Him who brings good and removes evil, the lord of bliss, as dwelling within the self, the immortal, the support of all.” Here we repeat our self, Brahma is only spreading good throughout the universe and removing all that, is perceived, to be evil from the universe, because God is, according to Krishna, Perfection.
(Hindu, Upanishads vol. 2, Svetasvatara-Upanishad and Vedas, Yajur Veda – Kanda IV)
BUDDHISM: “Of all that is created, you know the uncreated, holy one.” “The Perfect One.” Of all that is created, that means everything, everywhere we know Brahma (God) (The Uncreated one) Who is everywhere and His essence, which is All Perfection, is found in the creation of everything that is created, so again, we find, that all that is created is nothing but good. (Buddhist, Dhammapada and The Eightfold Path) because Brahma is, again: 16. “He who is perfect” 4. “Perfect of virtue.” (goodness)
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 1, 3 (tr. J. Richards))
I think this evident truth, that everything found in nature is nothing but good, and evil is, in reality, only the absence of good, can be wrapped up nicely with the writings of Adam and Baha’u’llah. Adam tells us: Sabeanism: “He sundered Light from darkness and sundered Good from Evil, He sundered Life from Death, And He brought out those who love His name of Truth From Darkness to Light and from Evil to Good And from Death to Life and set them On roads of Truth and Faith.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 75) Adam states here, what the rest of the prophets have been trying to tell us all along, God, “sundered Good from Evil,” or God brought out good from evil, or asundered, broken apart, good from evil in which case these two concepts are one and the same because He brought one out of the other, or divided the two from what was in reality one concept. So, in other words Adam is telling us that, in reality, there is only good which would in fact deny the presence of evil because in reality there is only good and the construct of evil, or less good or the absence of good; which is what is known to man as evil. “Evil will be removed. They will be freed from fetter and bond.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 24) “Thou hast freed us from death and united us with life, released us from darkness and united us with light, led us out of evil and joined us to good. Thou hast shown us the Way of Life and hast guided our feet into ways of truth and faith so that Life cometh and expelleth darkness and goodness cometh and casteth out evil.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 45)
As for the conclusion of this argument, of there being only the existence of ultimate good in God’s creation, I will, bow out, and leave this subject to the eloquence of the words of Abdu’l-Baha (the son of Baha’u’llah) to explain, what my words have so inadequately tried to explain.
BAHA’I FAITH: “In creation there is no evil; all is good. Certain qualities and natures innate in some men and apparently blameworthy are not so in reality. For example, from the beginning of his life you can see in a nursing child the signs of greed, of anger and of temper. Then, it may be said, good and evil are innate in the reality of man, and this is contrary to the pure goodness of nature and creation. The answer to this is that greed, which is to ask for something more, is a praiseworthy quality provided that it is used suitably. So if a man is greedy to acquire science and knowledge, or to become compassionate, generous and just, it is most praiseworthy. If he exercises his anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants who are like ferocious beasts, it is very praise-worthy; but if he does not use these qualities in a right way, they are blameworthy.”
“Then it is evident that in creation and nature evil does not exist at all; but when the natural qualities of man are used in an unlawful way, they are blameworthy. So if a rich and generous person gives a sum of money to a poor man for his own necessities, and if the poor man spends that sum of money on unlawful things, that will be blameworthy. It is the same with all the natural qualities of man, which constitute the capital of life; if they be used and displayed in an unlawful way, they become blameworthy. Therefore, it is clear that creation is purely good.”
“Nevertheless a doubt occurs to the mind — that is, scorpions and serpents are poisonous. Are they good or evil, for they are existing beings? Yes, a scorpion is evil in relation to man; a serpent is evil in relation to man; but in relation to themselves they are not evil, for their poison is their weapon, and by their sting they defend themselves. But as the elements of their poison do not agree with our elements — that is to say, as there is antagonism between these different elements, therefore, this antagonism is evil; but in reality as regards themselves they are good.”
“The epitome of this discourse is that it is possible that one thing in relation to another may be evil, and at the same time within the limits of its proper being it may not be evil. Then it is proved that there is no evil in existence; all that God created He created good. This evil is nothingness; so death is the absence of life. When man no longer receives life, he dies. Darkness is the absence of light: when there is no light, there is darkness. (The Holy Bible tells us: 1 John 1:5 “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” There is no darkness found in God at all, like there is no evil found in Him. So, since there is no darkness or evil found in The Creator, He didn’t create evil or darkness. Darkness came into being because God created light, an existing thing, which revealed the nothingness of darkness). Light is an existing thing, but darkness is non-existent. Wealth is an existing thing, but poverty is nonexistent.”
“Then it is evident that all evils return to nonexistence. Good exists; evil is nonexistent.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, pp. 214 and 263)
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp. 57 and 108)
Baha’i Faith: “Be ye perfect even as your Father which is in heaven.” “Evil is non-existent; it is the absence of good; sickness is the loss of health; poverty the lack of riches. When wealth disappears you are poor; you look within the treasure box but find nothing there. Without knowledge there is ignorance; therefore ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge. Death is the absence of life. Therefore on the one hand we have existence; on the other, nonexistence, negation or absence of existence.”
Baha’i Faith: “Briefly; the journey of the soul is necessary. The pathway of life is the road which leads to divine knowledge and attainment. Without training and guidance the soul could never progress beyond the conditions of its lower nature which is ignorant and defective.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, pp. 78 and 79)
Baha’i Faith: “God has never created an evil spirit; all such ideas and nomenclature are symbols expressing the mere human or earthly nature of man. It is an essential condition of the soil of earth that thorns, weeds and fruitless trees may grow from it. Relatively speaking, this is evil; it is simply the lower state and baser product of nature.”
Baha’i Faith: “It is evident, therefore, that man is in need of divine education and inspiration, that the spirit and bounties of God are essential to his development. That is to say, the teachings of Christ and the Prophets are necessary for his education and guidance.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 294)