The Advent of the Covenant upon King David, Part 6
Reason vs Evil
This then brings us to the subject of evil and that which restrains it.
That which can be said to be evil is that which is the antithesis of Life. The root of evil in the human plane is opposition to Godâ€™s life-affirming law. Ultimately, this opposition manifests as the antithesis of Reason. Those who fail to discern the antithesis of Reason are those who have either not been properly educated so as to know how to access Reason or who have forgotten it from lack of use.
To understand Reason we might first consider it from its aspect as a virtue or quality of human character. For instance, when we say that someone is â€œreasonableâ€ we might mean that they can practice fairness in inter-personal dynamics. By this word we might also mean that they can give fair and equitable evaluations of the veracity of intellectual concepts. Thus when we say that someone is â€œreasonableâ€ we mean that they have demonstrated some capacity to practice justice. If someone is not reasonable it means that they have not demonstrated this capacity. Perhaps then we might define Reason simply as the capacity or ability to discern justice from injustice and be done with it. However, we perceive upon reflection that humanity cannot seem to agree on what exactly is right and just. So the definition is not yet complete and we must explore this from another angle.
Another name for Reason is rationality. At its most absolutely fundamental level, rationality is the capacity to measure a portion and therefore to judge the relative proportion between differing quantities. However, relative proportion on its own remains meaningless until the dimension of value can be placed upon whatever is being measured. Therefore this power is not absolutely independent but remains in need of a verifiably authentic standard by which to judge value. In terms of human behavior this would mean an authentic standard of Good.*
When supplied with an authentic standard of good the rational force in humanity is that which makes a humane life possible as differentiated from a merely animate life. The rational power is able to perceive the virtues so as to understand not merely that they feel good but that they are â€“ in actual fact, good â€“ and thus to voluntarily pursue their development. The rational self is the one that can come to the conclusion that â€œI want to acquire a truly good character.â€
Reason then is rationality tempered by love for that which is essentially and eternally good.
The operation of Reason needs freedom to negotiate within the realm of ideas (the ideatic realm) in order to conduct the maneuver we refer to as â€œevaluationâ€ â€” which is the judgement of proportion, dimension and relative balance â€” so as to discover value. The humane rights serve to protect Reason from that which is detrimental to it and this is mostly accomplished by protecting this mental freedom of explorative thought.
Without the capacity to evaluate we cannot anticipate the relative value of any concept in terms of the proportion of potentially benevolent or malevolent effects upon our well-being. The danger of malevolent effect is that, if carried far enough, eventually a person cannot discern the real meaning of anything at all and must depend on others for their understanding. They return to a dependent, passive state when once they stood upright and free. Thus it becomes plain that the violation of the humane rights has as its aim the constriction of the ideatic realm so as to subjugate Reason.
In response to that unholy inclination Jefferson wrote:
â€œâ€¦ I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.â€ Thomas Jefferson (letter to Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1800)
The criminal mentality of tyrants is demonstrated in the fact that they do not want to submit to the restraint exercised by Reason itself, rather they seek to restrain Reason. Initially, the criminal mentality is merely the realm of the immature, that is, their humanity is undeveloped. Some suffer with the delusion that â€œthe ends justify the meansâ€ by which they think to give themselves a mandate to violate human rights. Among these are people who think themselves to be good but their endeavors can be seen to consistently trespass against the boundaries set by law. Others think themselves to be pursuing good but their over-reach reveals their disrespect for the boundaries set by God. Whether on a petty or grand scale such as these are playing god. Whether they violate the animate rights of mankind, the humane rights of mankind or the other rights of mankind, their evil means reveal the true nature of their elitist ends.
Those who do not abide by the law of humane life cannot be said to be sane, nor civilized. Their concept of reality is infected with inequity and their insatiable pursuit of power is like unto a voracious beast. However cunning they may be, if a person has clearly abandoned reason they may be regarded as not sane (insane). If they also violate Godâ€™s law they can be diagnosed as criminally insane because they have abandoned not only reason but obedience to the eternal standards of Good.
The diagnosis of criminal insanity through the courts demonstrates that the defining quality designating a person as â€œsaneâ€ is not their respective level of human intelligence in the sense of â€œcunningâ€ but rather their level of morality. To be sane doesn’t mean to be rational merely in the sense of having the capacity for critical thought. True sanity, ie Reason, is virtuous rationality, the moral sanity referred to in scripture as righteousness. Thus it is plain that in order to remain sane human intelligence and knowledge must be balanced by an equal or greater level of righteousness.
Cunning, divorced from Reason can be likened unto a computational machine in that, however vast its computational capacity, it remains a mere machine. It can be programmed with equitable evaluations if these are reduced into equations but it canâ€™t arrive at equitable evaluations on its own independent of the initial limits of its programming. Such a machine cannot reason. It doesnâ€™t have the capacity to understand what is Just because it cannot evaluate Justice.
In their rejection of Godâ€™s Law, all the types of evil listed in Saint Paulâ€™s warning are revealed as those who invariably negate Justice for they can have no understanding of it and thus no value for it, because they lack organic, living, authentic Reason. For such as these altruistic love remains an absolute chimera.
Lord Jesus warned,
â€œThe eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammÅnÃ¡s.**â€ (Matthew 6:22-24)
All of those who bow down to false gods in various incarnations have been deceived by the deceiver, designated in Bahaâ€™i Writ as that â€œEvil Whispererâ€ which whispers its evil influence into the human psyche.
When all is said and done the subject of evil in history and psychology*** is only of interest in how it temporarily impacts those who serve God, providing a dark contrast by which Godâ€™s light â€˜shines out the clearerâ€™ and in how God turns the plans of those who serve evil to ultimately fulfill His own objectives.
* for a deeper explanation of this standard read here:
**MammÅnÃ¡s is just another name of Ashtoreth, Astarte, Isis, Artemis, Diana, Cybele etc. â€“ her concept has many names but was generally regarded as the source of prosperity. Her Babylonian religion dates from the empire of Sargon I. Acts 19:27 records that her worshippers in Ephesus sought to silence Saint Paul because of the effect of Christian truth upon their widespread commerce. Here is one of her images: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Artemis_Efes_Museum.JPG
***An analysis of evil from a psychological perspective may be found in M. Scott Peckâ€™s â€œThe People of the Lie.â€