Rod Dreher on evil as a spiritual force

Rod Dreher, a traditional Christian, summed up his beliefs about evil:

  1.  The world is not what we think it is. What is unseen is as real as what’s seen.
  2.  People are not who we think they are; they are not even who they think they are. People will go to extraordinary lengths — including telling themselves outlandish lies, accepting what ought to be unacceptable and making their own lives and the lives of others miserable — to avoid facing truths that would compromise the worldview upon which they’ve settled.
  3.  The battle lines between good and evil, and between order and chaos, are not drawn where we would like them to be. The front is everywhere, most particularly within our own hearts.
  4.  Be wary of the treachery of the good man who believes in his own goodness.
  5.  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Source: The American Conservative

I do not believe that good and evil are external forces.  I believe they arise within human beings.  I do not believe the non-human universe is either good or evil—merely indifferent.   But the only one of Dreher’s five points that I cannot accept is the fifth one.

And even then, I do not rule out the existence of the supernatural.  If everything that happens is the result of the workings of impersonal laws and the actions of sentient beings, it would be arrogant to think that I know about all the laws and all the beings in the universe.

No, the supernatural is just not something I take into account in living my life.   In principle, the existence of the supernatural is not something I can disprove.  In practice, I am skeptical of any alleged manifestation of the supernatural.

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One Response to “Rod Dreher on evil as a spiritual force”

  1. Edward Says:

    In the movie “March of the Penguins”, penguins are revealed to have a remarkably detailed social programming. I believe humans and other animals are similar and this is part of the source of ethics, the other part being a social dynamic (nature and nurture). Of course, the social programming varies, with some humans being sociopaths.

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