Re: Non-existence of Evil

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Posted by Brett Zamir ( on August 24, 2002 at 20:47:46:

In Reply to: Gimme a Fricken Break posted by BK on August 24, 2002 at 12:37:07:

Dear BK,

Your original argument was fine, notwithstanding certain puerile rejections of it.

I might add a few quotations, that perhaps add some nuance to what 'Abdu'l-Baha meant.

"We know absence of light is darkness, but no one would assert darkness was not a fact. It exists even though it is only the absence of something else. So evil exists too, and we cannot close our eyes to it, even though it is a negative existence. We must seek to supplant it by good, and if we see an evil person is not influenceable by us, then we should shun his company for it is unhealthy."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual
believer, October 4, 1950: Spiritualism, Psychic Phenomena and Related Subjects, A Compilation from the Universal House of Justice, February 14, 1973 to National Spiritual Assemblies)

"Baha'is recognize that evil is negative and has no existence in its own right, but that does not mean that there is no power in evil. Do not Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha warn us repeatedly of the spiritual infection of Covenant-breaking?"

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, August 30, 1984)

"There is no power exercised over the people by those evil souls that have passed away. Good is stronger than evil and even when alive they had very little power. How much less have they after they are dead, and besides they are nowhere near this planet."

(Questions answered by Abdu'l-Baha in Akka: Daily Lessons, Received at Akka, 1979 ed., pp. 43-44)

"We should also remember that most people have no clear concept of the sort of world they wish to build, nor how to go about building it. Even those who are concerned to improve conditions are therefore reduced to combatting every apparent evil that takes their attention. Willingness to fight against evils, whether in the form of conditions or embodied in evil men, has thus become for most people the touchstone by which they judge a person's moral worth. Baha'is, on the other hand, know the goal they are working towards and know what they must do, step by step, to attain it. Their whole energy is directed towards the building of the good, a good which has such a positive strength that in the face of it the multitude of evils--which are in essence negative--will fade away and be no more. To enter into the quixotic tournament of demolishing one by one the evils in the world is, to a Baha'i, a vain waste of time and effort. His whole life is directed towards proclaiming the Message of Baha'u'llah, reviving the spiritual life of his fellow-men, uniting them in a divinely-created World Order, and then, as that Order grows in strength and influence, he will see the power of that Message transforming the whole of human society and progressively solving the problems and removing the injustices which have so long bedevilled the world."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Italy, November 19, 1974)

best wishes,

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