The Polarity of Good and Evil

Posted on July 23, 2015 by Robert Ringer

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Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to tackle another one of those subjects that causes people to reach remarkable heights of irrationality, anger, and hysteria: good versus evil.

Perhaps more than ever before in history — certainly modern history — so-called evil is rampant throughout the world. Daily occurrences of unprovoked mass slayings of both civilians and military personnel, drive-by murders by gang members, beheadings both at home and abroad, human trafficking, and millions of babies being exterminated in the womb and their body parts sold are just a handful of examples.

Are the perpetrators of such acts evil? And what about the mentally ill people who commit random murders? Are they evil — or just sick? The media wrings their hands and tells us that these acts (with the exception of the destruction of unborn babies) are evil. But are they? Horrific acts, to be sure — but what, exactly, does evil mean?

Is it evil to murder a cow, a chicken, or a lamb? Is it evil to execute someone who has himself committed murder? There are many people who believe that all of these acts are evil. But is there really such a thing as absolute evil?

In the case of evangelicals, the word evil is used in the biblical sense, but millions of people have differing interpretations of the bible. And what about those who don’t believe in the bible at all, yet refer to a variety of violent acts as evil?

Another problem with the concept of absolute evil is that it seems to evolve with the passage of time. Human sacrifice was once thought to be a good thing, a way of pleasing the gods, but to civilized people today, such an act is pure evil.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that the definitions of bad and evil are virtually identical in Hebrew, so, technically speaking, a toothache is evil. I bring this up only because it makes one wonder what the ancients had in mind when they used the word evil.

Further, media talking heads constantly refer to heinous acts themselves (as opposed to the perpetrators of such acts) as evil. But can an act be evil? Are disease, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, of and by themselves, evil?

Many people feel that good and evil are value judgments, because what is evil to one person might be considered good to someone on the other side of the world, and vice versa. Which is why it’s so difficult to make a case for absolute evil.

But there’s another possibility. What if good and evil are just another aspect of the polarity of the universe? Polarity is to be seen in every aspect of life — light and dark, hot and cold, male and female, positive and negative — and without it, life as we know it would not exist.

So is it possible that the Universal Power Source has purposely created good and evil as a polarity? After all, evil often, if not always, brings about something good.

Think of Nazi Germany and the subsequent formation of Israel. Think about the atomic obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the rapid evolution of Japan into a peaceful, prosperous nation. Think of the recent murders of nine innocent churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, followed by the spontaneous outpouring of love and sympathy that crossed racial boundaries.

And though it stretches the limits of open mindedness on the subject of polarity, war has resulted in man’s first large-scale collective action that forged tribes into nations and feudalism into democracy. In addition, war has resulted in technological inventions too numerous to mention that are now used beneficially in civilian life.

Further, can there be happiness without pain? (Pain, in this sense, being something that is “evil.”) And who can enjoy good health as much as the person who has been cured of cancer? Who can appreciate a well-paying, fulfilling job more than someone who was recently fired from his job of more than twenty years? Who can enjoy a good meal more than a person who has been rescued from starvation in the wilderness?

Most important of all, how could people fully appreciate life if there were no such thing as death? So perhaps something that appears to be evil has the potential to bring about good and thus serve a function in life here on earth.

Is it possible that good and evil are the ultimate polarity — and perhaps what the prophet Krishna had in mind when he said that “pleasure and pain, gain and loss, and victory and defeat, are all one and the same.”

Given that polarity clearly forms the foundation of the entire universe — and, of course, the world — perhaps good and evil form the ultimate polarity (which would, of course, include life and death).

I find that thinking about the polarity of the universe makes it easier to keep events in perspective and thus easier to deal with things we normally think of as evil. Otherwise, one would be at the mercy of the media’s interpretation of events. Now that is truly an evil thought.

Robert Ringer

+Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

82 responses to “The Polarity of Good and Evil”

  1. Burt Dubin says:

    Magnificent insights, Robert.

  2. larajf says:

    Trusting the media is indeed an evil thought!

    That being said, I think some people are just evil. Manson springs to mind. Some people are just born wrong, and it makes me want to be more positive (or at least neutral) to karmically balance everything out. And we've all met someone who just is evil. (or we will…it sticks with you)

    The ten commandments stated "Thou Shalt Not Murder" not kill. Killing an animal for food is not murder. Killing someone in self defense is not murder. Killing someone because their crime was so heinous, to me, is justice, not murder.

    Walking into a church and opening fire on innocents is evil and murder and I expect justice to be served.

    • Jim Hallett says:

      While there are people who demonstrate a consistent proclivity to evil acts (and Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin et al. are apt examples), I do not believe anyone is actually evil at their core. Their level of unconsciousness has risen to such a level that they can longer demonstrate that which they truly are, and of course, a civilized society must deal with them appropriately (though I am totally opposed to capital punishment but prefer restitution and restoration as a means of "justice"). It does make sense to avoid those who commit random acts of evil (one of the reasons I avoid all interaction with the State and its apparatchniks that consistently endorse theft, coercion and lying as a means of survival. The "shades of grey" folks who endorse "progressive" agenda nonsense like abortion are just rationalizing away an evil act. The polarity that does exist is an opportunity for all of us to choose the Light and demonstrate a higher consciousness. We cannot become obsessed with those who make different choices, but of course, we can rationally prevent them from wreaking havoc on the rest of us . .. and this is what give me great hope that one day enlightened people will come to realize how evil and useless ALL govt. at ALL levels is, and will choose a world where voluntary agreements prevail.

    • Pat says:

      Very well put. Human beings have an eternal spirit. Animals do not. And that's the difference. We know of our eternal spirit because we sense intuitively that there is existence after death, because we can create and we are sapient, and because we are capable of compassion, among many other reasons. Only human beings have a need for a religious faith, and attempt to supply that need. If we manufacture it ourselves, it means nothing. It has to come from our Creator.

  3. Hugh says:

    Robert, You are trying to define evil without first defining good. Just as you cannot define darkness without first knowing what light is, or cold without knowing what heat is, you must must first know what the good is before you can know or define its opposite or its contrary (the non-good or anti-good).

    • Avery Horton says:

      Hugh, how can you define good without first defining evil? That question is just as valid as the one you posed.

      • Kevin says:

        I suspect that the reason for this is that, philosophically, evil is generally defined as the privation of good. That is to say, evil is defined as the absence of something else. Clearly, if we have no idea of what that something else is, or if our mindset is dominated by relativism, then we are going to have some difficulties in perceiving the evil.

        Now, without that kind of clarity in our definition, it is impossible to arrive at any kind of objective judgement on, for instance, Hitler's activities in Birkenau. Was his treatment of the Jewish people an 'actual' evil, or does it merely offend our sense of taste? If there is no objective 'good', then equally well we would be naive to bandy about terms such as 'evil', as they would be largely devoid of any metaphysical content.

  4. Carol says:

    Very interesting column Robert. Here's something to think about. Given that bombs delivered to 2 Japanese cities resulted in Japan becoming a peaceful and prosperous nation, (evil resulting in good), would it be unrealistic to believe the delivery of 2 nuclear bombs to Iran in the same manner they were delivered o Japan would result in Iran becoming a peaceful and prosperous nation as well? Seems to me that would be a lesser evil with the potential to result in some good rather than the Obama/ Kerry deal that is just an evil time bomb waiting to explode with no good resulting.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      Very insightful thought, Carol. I'm sure the same thing has crossed the minds of many peace-loving people. Even so, a nuclear holocaust would be horrific. But when Iran has a nuclear arsenal, that's likely to happen anyway.

    • Inam says:

      Having this 'intelligent' discussion is easy. It is about time we get out and listen.
      Ask those who were bombed (murdrerd) how they feel about the result (peaceful and prosperous).
      I hope no one does this to us to make us peaceful and may be prosperous.

      • Reply to Carol:

        I greatly prefer Ron Paul's foreign policy to the war crime of a nuclear first strike. And that's what you're implying, right?— i.e., drop some nuclear bombs on a country that doesn't have nuclear weapons because you think it might acquire them. Do you also advocate dropping nuclear bombs on North Korea? Or does the thought of China's reaction frighten you?

        Japan was a different time and a different place. It's not a rational comparison. The U.S. was already at war, and Americans had no idea of how America's secrete, nuclear weapons would decimate entire cities and slaughter civilian populations.

        Carol, it's talk like yours that motivates countries like Russia and China ( both far greater threats than Iran) to arm themselves for sixth generation warfare against the U.S..

        Sixth generation, by the way, is how a war between superpowers would be fought. The concept of MAD has actually been outdated by new military technologies. Washington is actually planning to win the next great war, not just deter it. The dimwitted public has no idea what's secretly going on behind the curtain. The new arms race is beyond them. Let's hope that they wake up soon before it's too late.

        Reply to Inam:

        "I hope no one does this to us to make us peaceful and may be prosperous".

        Agreed. But if they do nuke American soil, perhaps Washington would be a just target.. The collateral damage ( including RJR and his family and friends) can always be written off as a necessary evil………

        Reply to RJR:

        "But when Iran has a nuclear arsenal, that's likely to happen anyway".

        The Persians haven't launched a conquest on any country outside of the region proximate to their country—- not in centuries. I would sooner think that Washington's proxy (Israel) shall be the first to launch an Israeli, all-out war of aggression on Iran; this might include a nuclear attack based on the pretext of national security. Really, the covert war between Israel and its neighbors is ongoing. It's only a matter of time before a total conflagration takes place, nuclear war only raises the possibility of total extinction.

        • oscarwildeweenr says:

          not to mention the value is subjective bit, right ludwig?

          mullahs & followers "over there" are saying – believing – valuing the same thing as carol & others are here. edgar allan polarity. hilarity.

          my value's bigger than your value…jean valjean's in a world of javerts…Les Misérables & let 'em eat cake…..

          • Reply to oscar:

            Agreed, but it's much worse than just a case of my self-righteousness is bigger than yours— my Islam is more glorious than your Judeo-Christianity— and your "evil" is greater than my lack thereof.

            As Ron Paul so aptly points out: the CIA has been continuously meddling in Iran since the 1950s. In fact, Israel (Iran's mortal enemy) would have never been reconstituted as a sovereign country in 1948 had it not been for American interventionism. How is anybody supposed to feel when America supports reestablishing a four-thousand-year-old enemy on or near your border? Furthermore, unlike Iran, Israel has already acquired nuclear weapons, yet Washington has said nothing. Why? Because there's a double standard. And that's why the "towel heads" hate America. That's why there's blowback.

            If I were negotiating in behalf of Iran, I would at the very least demand Israel hand over all of its weapons of mass destruction to be dismantled by the "international community" as part of the deal. Would I be wrong? No. I think not. I think a nuclear-armed Israel remains a clear and present danger to the entire globe. Israel could very well be the catalyst for the next great war. And in light of Washington's and London's and Paris's and Germany's past aggression, any country would rightly want something to defend themselves against the hegemonic he-demons of Washington and the western powers which including Israel.

            Some Americans seem to understand the principal of the Second Amendment. How is it, then, that they fail to grasp that the individuals who constitute a country also have the right to support a government policy of acquiring the latest technological weapons systems in order to defend themselves? Ukraine was guaranteed, if it gave up its nuclear weapons, that its borders and sovereignty would be respected. How'd that work out? First the CIA and FSB moved in Kiev for the kill, then Russia moved into Crimea before NATO expanded there. Now the country is a battleground and perhaps a cause for another great war.

            In light of the above, any nation who agrees not to pursue nuclear weapons for defensive needs should get in return from Washington more than words to insure its sovereign security. Has the world learned nothing from the over 400 broken treaties which were made by Washington, the States, and the Colonies with Native Americans? Washington has a long history of duplicity. Why anybody would believe anything promised by such a long line of habitual liars is beyond me.

          • oscarwildeweenr says:

            "Some Americans…How is it, then…"

            exceptionalism. value subjectivity raised to a pathology. universality expensed, sunk, written off. or, price(club ~ now costco) knowledge of everything, projected everywhere, value knowledge of everything rejected every elsewhere.

            Lots believe in, even consider themselves epitomizing exemplars of, choice. choosing. There’s no such thing as a free lunch but will’s all free, all the time. but check it. lots of chinks in that chimney. Including this one: even more prevalent than choosers are chosens. “we are the chosens.” Sort of like that Queen tune. But scrape away the soot of compensatory braggadocio & it’s much more like sally fields’ Oscar acceptance gush: “…I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

            i think the world's well aware of the American hegemon. it's the natives who aren't restless. the nouveau natives. a lot of them, at least.

            can't remember or find, but there was a s. vietnamese commander radio requesting aid/reinforcement from his american counterpart as his relatives from the north were overrunning his battlements. no can do, said the american. you people are as bad as the french, said the viet, as the sound of his door being battered down was heard in the background.

          • oscarwildeweenr says:

            despite what people are known to say in public, for & to each other, belief in honor among thieves is compelling. paradoxical. or schizophrenic. Seemingly. Reality is it’s just a tell. Body language is hard to hide & it doesn’t lie: belief in thief honor is more pleasant than admitting you, the believer, are a thief. Self-deception is the 501 (c)(3) – the father, the son, & the holy ghost, other assorted trimurti’s, etc – charity that begins at home. “we owe it – “the debt” – to ourselves” is one homily, paean to deception.

            “pathology”, I wrote. “any deviation from a healthy, normal, or efficient condition.” So not quite, at least from bell curve base jumpers’ perspective. From that we-istic perspective there’s no deviation here – the deviation’s “out there”. We are the champions, we are the chosen, we are healthy, normal & efficient. And “out there”’s slave will is subordinate to our superior free will. Inmates running the asylum is feature, not bug.

            Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn,
            Apple seed and apple thorn,
            Wire, briar, limber lock
            Three geese in a flock
            One flew East
            One flew West
            And one flew over the cuckoo's nest

            Kesey’s chief bromden tells it. “just fiction” tells the ones who say it. countries are one cuckoo’s nest.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Flew_Over_the_C

          • Pat says:

            Let me guess. Eliza wrote that. It's an excellent example of so-called Artificial Intelligence (an oxymoron).

          • oscarwildeweenr says:

            The rain in spain falls mainly on the plain…who are mindless, like amphibians & ><(((o> , to always being all wet. But eliza, like eddie (Murphy, in “trading places”) washed her hands (& face) of would be svengali henry…or did she? At very least the “student” taught the “teacher”.

            Keep gesso-ing. Be yourself, pat-hologically. Substrate. Take the paint, shellacking, other coatings. We are all what we are, what we can be.

          • Pat says:

            Sorry, but your messages are nonsense. I don't have the patience. Most likely, I will not respond to you again.

          • oscarwildeweenr says:

            good decision, pat.

          • oscarwildeweenr says:

            i always liked this song. "i'm a believer, i couldn't leave her if i tried…"
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfuBREMXxts

            hogan's heroes roll out the barrel
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq-RBEuWzpc

            peter pink panther sellers seeing eye meenky
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnlIWpZSPXU

            chimps & bonobos share 99% of "our" dna…must be a connection…well, what isn't connected, after all?

            who isn't connected – that's a different question. context & con the text.

            conn is a not-ical term: OOD(A froot loop) is the designated conning officer. Conning tower & tower of babel, & babble, are connected, like everything else, as mentioned. “conn” is shortened form of conduction. If it quacks like a duc, it is a con.

            “bridge” is a variation, as in “you have the bridge”, which is shortened by leaving off “of sighs.” Which can be ooda’d as an evocative place spanning a canal (pumps & locks, you know), or tune by Trower. No washing clean there, as the Robin sings….

          • Pat says:

            Your characterization of Israel is dead wrong. They had title to the land since God took it from the Canaanites and gave it to them. It has been continually inhabited by a few Israelites ever since. Israel is NOT the aggressor. The other nations in the area do not want Israel to exist, and they find all kinds of ways to aggress. Israel only seeks to defend itself, and is willing to live peaceably with any nation that is of like mind. Israel treats its minorities as it should. The other nations do not.

            The Jews have always been the targets of the rest of the world. That hasn't changed. Israel has a right to have nuclear weapons to defend itself. It won't use them unless its very survival is at stake. If the other nations stop threatening its survival, there will be no problem. If you think Israel should give up its nuclear weapons, then so should the United States, by the same token. But we know there are aggressor nations out there which would be happy to occupy and enslave us if we did. The same applies to Israel.

          • RealitySeeker says:

            "They had title to the land since God took it from the Canaanites and gave it to them."

            Lol….

            Normally, I don't ridicule people, but do you really believe all that nonsense? Yes. I suppose that you do. Which makes you no better than somebody who believes in manifest destiny. And no better (maybe less better) than my dog. It makes you no better than Harry Truman who once said: "I think one man is just as good as another so long as he's honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman. Uncle Wills says that the Lord made a white man from dust, a nigger from mud, and then threw what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I. It is race prejudice I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion that negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia, and white men in Europe and America."

            Of course, Truman at first thought the Jews should be in the Levant.

            So that means by your reasoning, Pat, I guess that God was blessing America in 1948 as he guided Truman to help the Jews retake the very same land that their forefathers, sons of Israel, invaded and butchered seven nations so they could occupy said land thousands of years ago.

            Of course, Truman changed his opinion of the Jews even before he helped them in 1948. He wrote in 1947: "The Jews, I find, are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog. Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I've found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes."

            So Pat, is the Jewish God you're referring to the same God who entitled the colonists to help themselves to Native American land? What's his name? Jesus? Jehovah? The Holy Ghost? Lord? Yahweh?

            And what passage are you speaking about? This one:

            "The Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—" Deuteronomy 7:1

            Their own Bible condemns them:

            According to the written history of the Jews they invaded and slaughtered at least seven nations before they occupied the Levant . So I'm I to believe that they aren't aggressors? They only want to live in peace, you say? Bullshit, I say. Only a fool would believe that. Theirs is a history of gratuitous violence, and their God exudes aggression. They killed Jesus, remember? I've read all 66 books of the Bible repeatedly. Some more than a dozen times, and analysed key passages line by line, as I checked the linguistics. What I found was the pages in the Jewish portion of the Bible drip with blood, and so does the book of Revelation. Only a hypocrite would declare the Jews a peaceful people.

            I trust the Jews with nuclear weapons no more and no less than I trust Washington and no more than Iran. You're all bat-shit crazy.

            I'm done with you, Pat, you and your immoral, murderous, hypocritical ilk.

            If I were a Jew, I'd remember and learn from my own history so as not to repeat it.

          • Pat says:

            How is it that instead of offering your own perspective, your own analysis, all you do is attack mine? It is painfully obvious to me that you lack a basic understanding of the Bible in spite of your claimed studies.

            One reason I think God chose the Jews is their intensity. Whatever they do, they do it intensely. Thus, if they are evil, they are VERY evil. If they are good, they are VERY good. You can't blame an entire people group for the evil acts of a few powerful ones. If that were the case, we are all to blame for our current leadership, whether we voted for them or not. I believe in being responsible for your own actions.

            What the Jews are doing in Israel now is a matter of public record. I don't see a problem there.

            I am glad you are done with me. I am not interested in talking to anybody who prefers to throw brickbats and show off how proud he is of his race prejudice. I abhor any kind of race prejudice, and I live my life accordingly, with gusto. So go away. You are not contributing anything by way of dialog.

          • Jean says:

            Pat – as much as I admire your support of the Jewish people (being one myself), your assumption that God chose the Jewish people as His own because of their "intensity" is off. God and Abraham had a contract – in any court of law, the wording "If you will be my people, then I will be your God" would serve as a contractual agreement. God wanted to throw in the towel when everyone but Noah listened to the warnings about the flood, but then the contract was renewed (the rainbow is considered the Noachic covenant, or contract). As long as the Jews – and by extension, Christians, as tney learned their philosphy at the feet of a Jewish rabbi – place God first in their lives, then God will be their advocate. The problem is, there are as many secular Jews in Israel as there are in Brooklyn. And San Francisco. And Los Angeles. And as for your nemesis' view that Jews should "learn from their history," he has a point. In Germany and in the Soviet Union, the secular Jews believed they would be spared because they had placed government before God and their heritage, and attempted to adapt to the popular culture. They were the first to go to the ovens and to be slaughtered during the pogroms. Today's secular Jews have the same problem – they support the Iran nuke agreement because it was proposed and written by an administration worshiped by secularists. They live under the same delusions of other leftists, who believe that if we make nice to people who have expressed their desire to kill us, then we'll be safe. It's called lookin' for love in all the wrong places.

          • Pat says:

            Your message makes a lot of sense, and you are definitely right about the covenant between God and Abraham. Because God knows everything, He also knew that the Jews would be a "stiffnecked people", and He chose to enter into the contract anyway.

            I am seriously bothered by all the secular Jews, especially the atheists. They apparently cannot see what is so obvious: their very existence is due to God's protection. That alone is evidence that God exists. If the rest of the world had its way, Jews would have been exterminated millennia ago.

            I don't think Israel is going to let Iran get away with anything. I am watching from the sidelines, and enjoying every victory.

          • oscarwildeweenr says:

            If circularity, nay sphericity, were a rarity, there might be a lot less hilarity. But there might be more parity. Which would make that a good trade.

            You can lead a hosea to spooner, but you can’t spoon feed it.

            No Treason No. VI: The Constitution of No Authority. In this lengthy essay, Spooner argued that the Constitution was a contract of government (see social contract theory) which could not logically apply to anyone other than the individuals who signed it, and was thus void. Furthermore, since the government now existing under the Constitution pursued coercive policies that were contrary to the Natural Law and to the consent of the governed, it had been demonstrated that that document could not adequately stop many abuses against liberty or prevent tyranny from taking hold. Spooner bolstered his argument by noting that the federal government, as established by a legal contract, could not legally bind all persons living in the nation since none had ever signed their names or given their consent to it – that consent had always been assumed, which fails one of the most basic burdens of proof for a valid contract in the courtroom.

            Aka “common sense”. But paine had already used that one. used it up you could almost say.

          • Pat says:

            I don't entirely agree with Spooner. Contracts are always signed by individuals, but they can bind the entity the individuals represent. The Constitution doesn't impose any duties on the private citizen. It only imposes duties on the government. The government we have has been continuous since the contract was signed. The government is still bound by the Constitution, an oligarchy of tyrannical judges notwithstanding. It looks to me like the valuable consideration from the citizens is the payment of excise taxes. The government is empowered to pass a FEW laws, and the citizens are supposed to obey the laws. I am a beneficiary of the contract, not a signer. It is up to today's citizens, as beneficiaries, to enforce the contract. We aren't doing it. That's why there is a problem.

            The Constitution is not just a contract. So all the rules about contracts do not fully apply. Trying to analyze the Constitution as merely a contract is going to lead to erroneous conclusions, both legally and otherwise. Your argument is typical libertarian. The alternative is usually said to be anarchy, but anarchy won't work. Instead, the biggest bully will take over and make it into a tyranny.

          • oscarwildeweenr says:

            Posterity’s not an entity, nor a possession, let alone represented. Posterity wasn’t there. That goes for me relative the “founding” pops-go-the-weasels & it goes for “the jews” – in quotes since that’s anybody who cares to join up, not just those accidentally birthed in – relative the “founding” ya(we)hoos.

            & I’ll kick the posterior of any “my pharaoh’s better than your pharaoh” posterity claim presser, pat, that tries…patricide is wholly correct, in such cases.

            And if I should die before I wake (the trespassing sob), well, we all go down. I say going down kicking is superior to going down licking. Except in one specific context not under discussion here.

            Like ol’ blue eyes? not that other one. by way of adam sandler’s song, he was ½ jewish. he die-a-logs the “intense” perspective” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_3Xu3JGa7k scroll to 1:31:50’ish
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUCNAnp2QAI sandler sings the appropriately jokey de-prioritization…..

            smartest jews are, or tend strongly to be, secular. They’re prolly too smart to be less than that. my fave secular sephardi, maybe just fave jew of ‘em all (& there are tons of impressive ones), is Spinoza. Now there was a mensch to measure by.

        • Pat says:

          Rand Paul (et al.)'s position is based on a fiction that you can reason with madmen. Sometimes the only "reason" they understand is brute force. Better to take them out before they're on our soil taking us out. Iran is a known aggressor, and is behind a lot of terrorist attacks. They have sufficiently aggressed to justify any responsive force we care to use. Don't think Washington is planning anything effective. Our current leadership is Enemy. By the way, our first strike need not be nuclear. We have plenty of powerful and effective conventional weapons.

    • Pat says:

      There are times when there are no GOOD choices, only evil ones. When we dropped the bombs, that was an example of that type of situation. Dropping the bombs was the least evil choice, because any other course of action would have resulted in many more deaths. Japan developing into a prosperous nation is an example of God bringing good out of evil. It was in part the result of the actions of a nation governed by the Judeo-Christian consensus (the United States). Let's say Korea had been the nation that dropped the bombs. They would have raped and pillaged, because that's what Japan and Korea did to each other on a relatively regular basis. Worldview is critically important. The O/K deal is a total surrender, and it is going to cost us and the world. We can only hope Israel will be effective in taking care of the problem (there is a chance), and that not too much damage will occur before we can elect new leadership (and we elect leadership that has a righteous outlook.)

  5. Miriam says:

    My father taught me that people are basically good and you can trust them. Acting on this teaching caused me more pain than i can describe. To say people are good at the core…i dont believe it. As per Mr. Ringer, people are born selfish and self seeking. To acknowledge this avoids a lot of pain. To not acknowledge it is to lack street smarts. You will pay the price.

  6. Bill Laux says:

    Dark really does not exist; it is the absence of light. Cold does not exist; it is the absence of heat. But I believe that evil does exist; it is not merely the absence of good. I know a lot of "do-gooders" who don't believe in evil; I think they are misguided.

  7. Kevin says:

    The problem with the 'polarity' idea is that the ground is cut out from under our feet if we feel that 'evil' is objectively wrong and should be opposed.

    If the evil of child abuse is simply the ying to the yang of good parenting, then philosophically, we have a balanced universe where there is little incentive to exert ourselves for purposes of good. Cultures which adopt this principle tend to be passive in the face of unconscionable wrongs against our fellows. That has never been the basis for the Judeo-Christian ethical model, where we seek the best for our neighbours, rather than merely avoiding their pain.

    Evil and good are not the two sides of the same coin, they are not morally equivalent.

    Let me posit a little test on this.

    Is torturing babies for fun, a 'good' thing? There really are only two answers. The person who answers "Dunno, I guess it is a question of taste" has just exempted themselves from the discussion. Those who answer either "Yes" or "No" fall into two really quite radically different moralities: they are not equivalent in any way. But either way, we have concluded that there are 'moral questions' where the answer isn't simply about my own subjective tastes, but is rather to do with some kind of absolute moral quality. And that moral sense of right or wrong, we do not reason ourselves to: it is implicit within us, at a fundamental level.

  8. Paul Herring says:

    The Bible tells us that God, when he created Man, gave him the faculty of conscience. In most societies, so-called Christian or otherwise, acknowledge that there are no-go areas. Murder, adultery and stealing are among those. So we don't require laws which tell us a thing is rignt or wrong in most cases. We know inherently which it is.

    Sadly, our values, principles and mores have moved a long way from those espoused in the Bible. According to the Bible it wasn't God's purpose that humans would rule over other humans anyway (see Jeremiah 10:23). God himself originally was to be their ruler.

    While that changed after what occurred in the Garden of Eden, God's purpose is to undo the damage resulting from that and in time restore earth to the paradise originally intended. What's all of this got to do with good and evil?

    One thing is certain: they are not the same. And we don't need bad to appreciate the good. One can travel to the South Pacific, for example, and see some of the most beautiful places on the planet. You don't need bad to appreciate the good there.

    So using one's concsience – particularly if it's Bible-trained – will quickly enable us to determine which is good and which is evil because we'll be following the lead of the One who is ultimately the judge of that.

  9. Paradox says:

    "…for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so"

    – Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2

    • Paul Herring says:

      Paradox – a bit simplistic, even for Shakespeare. Most of know what's good or evil in our heart of hearts because of the faculty of conscience.

      • oscarwildeweenr says:

        even for shakespeare? barbing the bard…slighting the stoics…dissing the daoists…etc

        how about this one: "i never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. a small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." dh lawrence

        not to mention other feelings. civilization, ain't it grand(iose)?

  10. Pat says:

    The idea that evil could come from something God created that was very good is a real enigma to a lot of people. But one thing is for sure: without some kind of absolute measuring stick, we cannot conclude that anything at all is evil. We judge that the murder of innocent people (and selling their body parts) is absolute evil. Other cultures did not. Why do we judge it as evil when they did not? Because we have the measuring stick. The measuring stick is the Ten Commandments. Nearly every culture is aware of at least part of this very simple code.

    We should not conclude that the Nazi Holocaust caused the formation of the State of Israel. Evil does not cause good. The cause of the formation of the State of Israel was good people who were aware of the measuring stick. And incidentally, the measuring stick was first given to the Israelites, so we owe them an incalculable amount of gratitude, for preserving it and passing it on. Likewise, the cause of the outpouring of love in Charleston was not the evil that was committed, but the actions of good people, people who have the measuring stick and have been redeemed by the God Who gave them to us.

    It was stated in the Bible that without the law, no one can be held accountable for sin. People have to have the measuring stick. Thus, it would be inaccurate to say that evil is simply the other side of the coin, as Krishna said. (And by the way, there are some who believe, myself included, that Krishna was derived from Christ, and this entity has been distorted over the years. Observe the name.)

    God allows evil because He gave us free will. If we cannot commit an evil act, we do not truly have free will. He wanted us to love Him, and without free will, we cannot freely love anybody. God also allows evil because, as you say, we then appreciate good.

    But never make the mistake of thinking that there is no absolute standard or measuring stick. It's there. Our own superior understanding comes from knowledge of this measuring stick, while the lack of the measuring stick is responsible for some cultures making evil good.

    • Paul Herring says:

      Nice comment, Pat

      • Pat says:

        Thank you, Paul.

        I should also point out that it is due to the Judeo-Christian consensus that we can even communicate with each other in this way, or that we have notions of liberty and rights. Both are firmly rooted in the teachings of the Bible. We learn from the Bible that the universe is an orderly designed place that it is worthwhile to study. By contrast, Hinduism (which is where Krishna exists) teaches that everything is an illusion, and thus, people conclude nothing is worth investigating. We can also readily observe that certain other religions suppress rights, sometimes in egregious ways.

        Just by observing the effects of various religions on society, culture, scientific advancement, and other such criteria, we can see which religions are superior. This was one of the most persuasive elements for my husband, for example. And once we have established the religion that results in the most human progress, the most liberty, the most rights, and the greatest alleviation of suffering, we can then derive the fact that we DO have a measuring stick for what is good and what is evil.

        I should also like to observe that it was the Godl of the Bible that first informed us of the right to property that belongs to each of us, regardless of station in life. God gave parcels of land to each Israelite family and instructed them to erect a cairn of stones at each corner of the property so people knew where the boundaries were. Although a family could mortgage a property in time of need, every fifty years, the mortgagor was required to return it to the God-given owner.

        As a final observation, it is Judeo-Christianity that is behind the charitable works around the world. Hinduism teaches that we earn our suffering, and if we are not allowed to suffer, we'll have to do it all over again. Other religions are indifferent, and others are deliberately destructive.

    • Pat says:

      I should elaborate just a little bit on what I said about Krishna. We have reliable information that the Apostle Thomas evangelized the people of India (and a Christian community that he established still exists there). It has also been learned that nearly all of the cultures of the world have pieces of Christian doctrine in their beliefs. It is reasonable to suppose that Krishna is the concept of Jesus with some of the information about Jesus having been lost over the course of time.

      It has also been discovered that the Chinese writing system was first used to present certain Christian doctrines, particularly the Trinity, and that they had a concept of salvation, and certain stone artifacts bear impressions in Chinese characters (primitive by today's standards) with this telling. In fact, there was a national holiday formulated around all of this. I believe it was Mencius who believed in the Trinity, but ultimately Confucius' thought took over in Chinese philosophy, and he was not a trinitarian, although many of his ideas were likewise rooted in Christian concepts, such as the idea that rulers should treat the people kindly, and this was the best path to their loyalty.

      A book well worth reading for its stark illustration between the moral values of cultures, and how the Christian faith transforms a culture toward a moral pattern of existence, along with the clear evidence of retaining a part of Christian doctrine, is the book Peace Child by Don Richardson. It is available on Amazon.

      • oscarwildeweenr says:

        melville's literary weavings of krishna & the rest are the most enjoyable, entertaining – & synthesized – i've read. see his The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade. franklin's The Wake of the Gods: Melville's Mythology is a good companion volume.

        those books are not to hand, so this'll have to do:

        Worship of the deity Krishna, either in the form of deity Krishna or in the form of Vasudeva, Bala Krishna or Gopala can be traced to as early as 4th century BC.[8][9

        and lincoln, also a deity in the minds, if not the penumbrains, of many, said the union preceded the states….

    • Richard Lee Van Der says:

      We don't really need TEN COMMANDMENTS. Indian Ahimsa sez, "Do no harm to self or other". That takes care of everything, but… that takes a lot of judgment that humans don't have.

      • Pat says:

        Precisely. We don't have the judgment. We need it spelled out for us. What is harm? Who decides?

        I mentioned Peace Child in an earlier message. The small group of people had a very interesting outlook. Like many groups, they had an oral tradition. They told legends. The most valued legends were about friends who had found the most elegant ways to betray their friend. Needless to say this resulted in a culture where no one trusted anyone. If all we have is, Do no harm to self or others, then how do you instruct those people that betraying another person is harm? They value betrayal. To them, betrayal is good, not harmful. It results in wonderful legends.

        You won't find any advancement of any kind in a culture where no one trusts anyone else. They will continue to live in primitive squalor until something changes.

        Other cultures think beating women is acceptable. Or stoning a woman for being a rape victim. Women have no value. It's perfectly OK to rape a woman, and if she gets stoned, oh well! They think these things are good. Men determine the nature of society, and maintain the rules. How do you tell them to do no harm to others, when they don't see this treatment of women as harmful?

        This is why the Ten Commandments are such a wonderful succinct set of rules. They're specific, and they're short. Everyone knows what is expected of him. Because everyone has evil tendencies, we need that kind of guidance.

  11. Muthuswamy says:

    What is good and bad, right and wrong, and how the same thing is good on some occasions and and bad in others, how to decide to be good or bad in a given situation – all this is discussed in my book to be released on the 4th of Aug 2015. This is an e-book titled Success through Super Systems published in Smashwords.com. Of course it contains a chapter on Mahabharat, whose hero is Krishna whom you quote.

    Also my first e-book Success through Opposites discusses the other aspect that you mention: how it is absolutely essential to have opposites to maintain a dynamic equilibrium of any system including artificial and natural systems, how it is an energy-law based necessity to have both opposites. Also how it is essential for us to be comfortable with any two given opposites in our mind to be effective and be able to come to a right decision- using one or the other opposite, good or bad, right or wrong, in a given situation.

    Both the books contain, original path-breaking though proceseses.

    • Richard Lee Van Der says:

      Self promotion on another person's site is tacky… seems to me.

      • Pat says:

        Seems to me that he is talking about something much more superficial than Mr. Ringer: worldly success. You can't take it with you. What's the point? Mr. Ringer is asking questions about something much more important and fundamental.

  12. If evil doers are merely sick, then euthanasia is the proper treatment.

  13. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    You cause your readers to THINK, Mr. Ringer, and that is priceless! and a wonderful service.

  14. TanEngHwa says:

    It is clear from the Bible when GOD told Adam and Eve that they may eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
    Honestly humans don't know Right from Wrong, Good from Evil. That is why God did not intent for humans to have the knowledge.
    You can know if someone have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil from the description below:
    1. Those born with Autism. Many can be identified as having the same facial feature. We think that they are handicapped,.and that they do not know Right from Wrong.Good From Evil. In fact they are the true children of GOD.
    2. People like You and Me have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Trying to tell others what is right and wrong, good and evil.
    3. People who have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil through no fault of theirs and are trying to seek forgiveness by abandoning the material world to become a monk.

    Think about it…

    • Pat says:

      Everyone has something called a conscience. This tells us the difference between good and evil. Some people quell their conscience. Then they lose that knowledge.

      I think it ill becomes you to talk about folks with autism in that way. Autistic people often do many things that cause harm to others, though they may not intend it. None of us escapes our evil tendencies, but some of us understand them better than others, and some don't take their cues from social convention.

      Those of us who have knowledge don't try to tell others what is right and wrong. We refer to higher authority. We have the duty to teach that to our children, however.

      People who become monks do so out of fear, in my opinion. They know they don't measure up, and they think THEY have to fix the problem, and they don't know how (because WE cannot fix it). Martin Luther was one such monk. He studied the Bible and got the answer, and we have him and other courageous people to thank for liberating us from a legalistic religion (if we choose that path).

  15. TanEngHwa says:

    Please let me tell you a true story, and you decide who is right or wrong.

    A female employee at a local church was terminated from her job because she got pregnant by her boyfriend while still married and in the process of filing a divorce. The church accuse her of committing adultery according to God's law.
    The female employee complained to the local Manpower Ministry which protects female employee from being terminated while pregnant during employment.
    The church was fine and paid full compensation to the female employee and at the same time file a court case against the Manpower Ministry.
    Who won the case? The church and the Manpower Ministry were both right???

    • Pat says:

      The church was right. The employee had agreed to a certain contract, and she breached the contract. Manpower Ministry has no role. They're not parties to the contract between her and the church. That said, one must exercise concern for her baby, because the likely result might be that she has an abortion. This complicates things. However, if it is made clear to her in the contract that if she ever has an abortion, her employment is terminated, it might act as a deterrent. She may think she can keep it a secret, but chances are, she will be found out eventually. If nothing else, her guilty conscience will betray her. It should also be made clear that being pregnant is not THE issue. Adultery is.

      The purpose of preventing an employee from being terminated while pregnant is intended to serve the purpose of protecting a married employee's right to have children by her husband. There are often circumstances where continued employment may be problematical. What if she suffers from severe morning sickness (I am assuming for the sake of argument it is not treatable, which happens to be false)?

      • TanEngHwa says:

        Like I say, the church and the Manpower ministry are both right. The issue with the church is Adultery not pregnancy, and the issue with the Manpower Ministry is termination of employment. Here in our multi racial society, the church cannot be seen as over-ruling the State law.After some Mediations, the church withdraw the case against the Manpower Ministry with a heavy heart. 

        • Pat says:

          No, they are not both right. They have positions which are polar opposites of each other. You cannot have a contradictory situation and have both of them be right.

          I do not know offhand if the Manpower Ministry is an agency of government, but I assume it is, from what you have told me. You haven't even told me what country this is, where this took place.

          No church is ever forced to sacrifice its tenets of faith to any government. It is answerable only to God. If the woman breached a contract with the church, and the Manpower Ministry is not a party to the contract, it is legally wrong to intervene. If the Manpower Ministry is an agency of the denomination, then it depends on what kind of contractual relationship the church has with its denomination as to whether it can rightly intervene. If the government does not protect freedom of religion, it doesn't matter. The Bible tells us clearly that when the government and God are in conflict, we are to obey God, not the government. This is true everywhere in the world. If there is no protection for the church, then it may suffer persecution. Christians are often persecuted. That still doesn't make the Manpower Ministry's intervention right. It is still wrong. Nobody has the right to order anyone to disobey God, for any reason.

          The most I can see here for which to fault the church is poor judgment. But I don't know the details of the situation, so I can't reach any such conclusions one way or the other. The woman was in the wrong, because she had agreed not to commit adultery while she was employed there. Getting a bully to go after the church makes her even more wrong.

          And by the way, race has nothing whatsoever to do with the question.

          I hope this clarifies a few points.

          • TanEngHwa says:

            First I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for you feedback. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is an agency of the Government which set the groundwork and the rules and regulations with regards to employment and employability. In other words the Law with regards to employment. So all employment, whether it be in a local company or NGO or Multi National Organisation, Religious organisation etc., all works within the confine of the law. It will investigate all complains make against any organisation with regards to employment.Than again, we are also a multi racial and multi religious society. The Government will not allow any organisation to have their own rules and regulation in order to have a harmonious society. Adultery as a reason for termination of employment is one example. Misuse of church funds is another (but that is another subject of discussion).By the way, I am writing from one of the smallest country in S E Asia. The most peaceful and prosperous and the cleanest garden city. 90% of its citizen owns their own home. Tsunami doesn't effect us and earthquake is unheard of. Where is this Paradise???

          • Pat says:

            To answer your last question, you seem to be talking about Singapore. There are many, many good things about Singapore. It is a place I would like to visit. I had a daughter-in-law from Singapore.

            That said, the Ministry of Manpower does NOT have the right to order a church to disobey God. And the church has the DUTY to disobey if the government tells the members to disobey God. The woman who complained is also disobeying another rule from the Bible: that you do not sue a brother in the Lord. This means she did not have the moral right to complain to the Ministry of Manpower. The Ministry of Manpower should not have taken her case. If the MOM takes her case and goes after the church, it is hostile to the Christian faith. That is NOT its mandate.

            She had a contractual agreement with the church not to commit adultery while she was in their employment. The MOM is not a party to the contract, and has no legitimate authority to breach the contract or help anyone who does.

            The mere fact that your society is multi-racial and multi-religious does not change this fact. While it is unfortunate that such circumstances occurred, hard questions are no excuse for ordering churches to disobey God. The MOM is dead wrong! It's that simple.

          • TanEngHwa says:

            JACKPOT… Since your daughter-in-law is from Singapore, she may have heard of this case .Try asking her.  If not, I'll provide more information in my next posting.The case was referred to the Mediation Court. What was discuss was not publish. But I believe the MOM did not order the church to comply. The church took a step back out of respect and for the good of the country instead of creating a precedent.However, I too was not happy with the outcome. I do read the bible and I have the same opinion as you, but what can we do? This is life, nothing is fair.Just like sometimes we come across certain articles in the newspaper that reports of discoveries of ancient artefacts, bones etc, and carbon-dated Millions of years old. I will usually skip the page.My best regards to you and your daughter-in-law.You are from the United States?

          • Pat says:

            It has been many years since my daughter-in-law was in Singapore. She wouldn't have heard about it. Certainly, more information would be interesting. I am disappointed with the church's action simply because we are not supposed to compromise our obedience to God. It doesn't matter whether it creates a precedent or not. The proper precedent is that the MOM has no authority to order ANY church to disobey God.

            As you say, this is life. But we as Christians are obligated to endure what is not fair, for the sake of righteousness. The articles reporting things being millions of years old are generally not worth reading, except for possible information that can be used to show erroneous conclusions.

            Thank you for your kind wishes. I am from the United States. It has been wonderful talking to you.

          • TanEngHwa says:

            The church involved is The Touch Community Baptist Church. Its pastor is Senior Pastor Lawrence Kong. Thanks for your insight and keep in touch.ptccgwgw@gmail.com

          • Pat says:

            Thank you for the additional information. I will watch out for you. Be well.

  16. Jay says:

    Seems like the old "definition, line drawing game" we learned about at Screw U.

  17. Common Sense says:

    This article gives me the opportunity to say—I know you're against government, especially liberals, but the left and right check each others abuses of freedom.

    • Pat says:

      Sorry, but I don't see that happening. Both sides are looking for ways to deprive us of freedom, or of the information necessary to exercise it.

      My latest pet peeve is that the Republican-dominated House voted to deprive us of the information we need to make sure we are not eating poison or feeding it to our families. Nearly the entire Republican contingent voted for it. The result is that I have been deprived of my right to know whether or not I am buying genetically engineered frankenfoods. These products are unacceptable to me. They should be labeled, but this bill suppresses labeling and outlaws the states requiring it. They're protecting less than a half dozen giant corporations, at least one of which was involved in the Nazi extermination program in the camps. The Democrats stood firm on our right to know. For some reason, right-wing people refuse to see the dangers when we are being sold dangerous and toxic things in the name of food. Why? So if this check is working, why did this legislation pass?

  18. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    A lotta people seem to KNOW what God thinks. Amazing. Must be their God Concept is still the old anthropomorphic one… Old Wise Man Sitting Up On A Throne…

    • Pat says:

      God TOLD us what He thinks. It's called the Bible. Anything that isn't in there is pure speculation. He hasn't shared the rest of His thoughts with us. As for my God concept, I do not have the concept of God being an Old Wise Man Sitting Up On A Throne. I know God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are incorporeal. Jesus has a body, but He's not an old man. God is infinite. None of us can wrap our brains around that one. I just accept it. It would TAKE an infinite God to design this awesomely beautiful universe and everything in it.

      • Richard Lee Van Der says:

        The brain-washing took very well on you, apparently. Only Thumpers are right and the rest of the world's population is wrong. And, even the Thumpers don't agree among themselves. It may take many generations, but hopefully human mind will evolve in time. Not that it matters very much in practical terms.

        • Pat says:

          No brain-washing here. I did a lot of research to reach my position. It is solidly back by empirical evidence. I don't know who the Thumpers are, and I am not one of them. Given the present state of the human race, and the tens of millions of innocent people we kill every year, as well as the other atrocities the human race commits, I hate to think what would be the result of the human mind "evolving." Some of the recent examples of apparent evolution of human thinking are frankly absolutely appalling. Like Peter Singer, for instance.

          From where I sit, your comment reads like a first class piece of propaganda. If you think there is no difference between right and wrong, you are demonstrably believing a lie. There is nothing other than evil that can be applied to thinks like the Nazi Holocaust, the tens of millions of innocent, often dissenting, people killed by Stalin and Mao Zedong, etc. etc. If you think there IS a difference between right and wrong, where do these things come from, and who determines them? I have discussed this with other people and they sometimes tell me it is wrong to cause pain to other people. Is pain always bad? Sometimes it is a warning, and very necessary. Sometimes surgeons cause pain in order to heal. And why is it wrong to cause other people pain? Who decides? On what basis? These people have never given me an answer of any kind. They have no foundation.

          • Richard Lee Van Der says:

            Bible Thumpers. You never heard the term? People who cannot bear to live in a state of uncertainty. They NEED to "know", whether in fact right or wrong. Then of top of that, need everyone else to agree with them. Part of the psychology is fear-based. "Tentative belief" is one thing, but closed-minded belief is quite another. The ethics of the Bible may make practical sense, but threats of Hell are nonsense. I am not trying to convince YOU, because close-minded people cannot be convinced of anything other than their set conclusions. Such people cannot grow, and that, I (tentatively) believe is what our lives are about. Growth. Personal evolution. And True Education ought to be about that: learnng to THINK and grow… evolving one's self. Living with necessary uncertainty may not be comfortable for some, but… that's the way life is. Will we know more after our physical death? I doubt it, though no way to know while in the body,.I tentatively believe, or hope, however, that when we return to Spirit we may continue to grow and evolve, and hopefully with more success than when in our current physical cndition.
            Time and experience will tell all, ez ah alwuz say!

          • oscarwildeweenr says:

            The most commonly accepted cause of ganglion cysts is the "herniation hypothesis", by which they are thought to occur as "an out-pouching or distention of a weakened portion of a joint capsule or tendon sheath." This description is based on the observations that the cysts occur close to tendons and joints, the microscopic anatomy of the cyst resembles that of the tenosynovial tissue, the fluid is similar in composition to synovial fluid, and dye injected into the joint capsule frequently ends up in the cyst, which may become enlarged after activity. Dye injected into the cyst rarely enters the joint, however, which has been attributed to the formation of an effective and one-way "check valve" allowing fluid out of the joint, but not back in.[5] Synovial cysts, posttraumatic degeneration of connective tissue, and inflammation have been considered as the causes. Other possible mechanisms for the development of ganglion cysts include repeated mechanical stress, facet arthrosis, myxoid degeneration of periarticular fibrous tissues and liquefaction with chronic damage, increased production of hyaluronic acid by fibroblasts, and a proliferation of mesenchymal cells. Ganglion cysts also may develop independently from a joint.[14][17]

            Double bass players are known to develop ganglion cysts on their wrists as a result of extensive use of a German bow. [18]

            One common method of treatment for a ganglion cyst is to strike the lump with a large heavy book, causing the cyst to rupture and drain into the surrounding tissues. Historically, a Bible was the largest or only book in any given household and commonly was used for this treatment. This led to the nickname of "Bible bumps" or "Gideon's disease" for these cysts.[3][22]

          • oscarwildeweenr says:

            Gang-lion. Her-niation (eve). sin-ovial fluid. one(book)-way check valve. Hellish inflammation. base players. Ger-manic bow(ing & scraping). Kaplan’s law of instrument: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding."[2] maslow’s golden hammer: "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a bible, to treat everything as if it were a synovial cyst."[1] ernest becker: the conflict between immortality projects (or causa sui :Spinoza, freud, sarte, becker) which contradict each other (particularly in religion) is the wellspring for the destruction and misery in our world caused by wars, bigotry, genocide, racism, nationalism, and so forth, since an immortality project which contradicts others indirectly suggests that the others are wrong. Stanley milgram: six degrees of separation-connectedness & thank you sir, may I please administer more electricity? Hannah arendt: the banality of “evil”. Etc, etc, etc.

            Save sarte (but, Raymond aron..), all those named above are “jewish”. Which is a religion. Not “the” jews.” Which is not a race. But which is, often, yet another figment leaf of chosen-ness, immortality projection.

            If smarts, & talent, are values you’re subject to, you take it wherever you find it & are glad for it. that goes double for honest enquirers & answerers to “what’s it all about, alfie.” Bacharach & david, also “jews”, did that tune.

          • Richard Lee Van Der says:

            Bible Thumpers. You never heard the term? People who cannot bear to live in a state of uncertainty. They NEED to "know", whether in fact right or wrong. Then of top of that, need everyone else to agree with them. Part of the psychology is fear-based. "Tentative belief" is one thing, but closed-minded belief is quite another. The ethics of the Bible may make practical sense, but threats of Hell are nonsense. I am not trying to convince YOU, because close-minded people cannot be convinced of anything other than their set conclusions. Such people cannot grow, and that, I (tentatively) believe is what our lives are about. Growth. Personal evolution. And True Education ought to be about that: learnng to THINK and grow… evolving one's self. Living with necessary uncertainty may not be comfortable for some, but… that's the way life is. Will we know more after our physical death? I doubt it, though no way to know while in the body,.I tentatively believe, or hope, however, that when we return to Spirit we may continue to grow and evolve, and hopefully with more success than when in our current physical cndition.

          • Pat says:

            I've heard of Bible Thumpers, but I'm not one of them. Especially not as you define it. In fact, talk about uncertainty. I spent years of my life not knowing where our next paycheck was going to come from. That's uncertainty. And I not only made it through, but I'm doing just fine. Oh, and the uncertainty is still there. I don't know from one month to the next if we will have enough money to pay our necessary bills. The cost of not being able to do so would be to become homeless, a possibility I certainly do not relish at my age.

            If you have any sense, you will try to figure out things now while you still have a chance to choose a future destiny. If you get it wrong and die, the price you will pay is beyond calculation. But I am rather surprised the idea of hell doesn't appeal to you, because there are some people who definitely deserve hell, and if they didn't get it, there would be no justice. I can name a good many tyrants who fall into that category. Furthermore, if you have any sense, you will reach a conclusion, and then you will make up your mind. You shouldn't be so open minded your brains fall out! If you never conclude anything, that makes life a lot harder to live. I'm old enough that I have the right to reach a final conclusion about a few things. What you are proposing does not appeal to me. It sounds like the Hindu belief that you lose your identity, and this is nirvana. I like having an identity. I like having a brain I can use to think with, to enjoy life and appreciate beauty, to nurture others, and so forth.

            Oh, and by the way, I do NOT advise using hell to terrify people into any kind of belief. Any kind of belief they develop that way is a false belief. It is necessary for a person to be PERSUADED, not live in fear.

    • oscarwildeweenr says:

      cormac the knife mccarthy:

      "depends on what you mean by gott…"
      "you don't know what he thinks…"
      "that's vanity…"
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co5aKOGcHaw

      "me? i ain't got no choice." "of course you have a choice."
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co5aKOGcHaw

      "you are now at the crossing. and you want to choose. but, there is no choosing. there is only accepting. the choosing was done a long time ago."
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a78h3uhzn3I

  19. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    Yes, to Oscar, "Take Truth wherever youone finds it." Ability to recognize is another matter.

  20. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    And, yes, we cannot not choose since to not choose is also a choice, the choice to not choose

  21. Chotaharti says:

    I'd like to read your take on the innocence of evil.

  22. Chotaharti says:

    The social pathology is well known. Robert's take on it will be more profound one would think …