The Yin Yang is a symbol of duality. Verse two of the Tao Te Ching says “we can only know beauty because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only because there is evil.” Looking at a Yin Yang symbol we see white within the black, and black within the white. This is telling us within one thing lies the other. In darkness we see light, and vice verses. Taoist know there is no such thing as ugly, or beautiful. These are man-made concepts, and to view the world in such a judgmental way keeps us from living a good life. This also applies to good and evil. We only know one because there is the other, and these definitions are defined by man.

In order to explain this I need you to take a step back, clear your mind of any societal induced versions of what is deemed good and what is deemed evil. You also need to put aside any personal view points on what is moral and the concept of a conscience.

We are born into this world as a clean slate. The only concepts we have in our mind is our primal urges. These are things that are bred into any creature on this earth. Holding onto this concept of a clean slate, we learn how to crawl, walk, and speak. These are actions we knew nothing of, until we were taught. As you grow, you begin to learn what behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. You were not born knowing the difference between the two. Are you born knowing to not touch a hot stove? No, you are either told, or you touched a hot stove and burned yourself. This is all learned, you are not born with this knowledge. As you grow older this concept becomes more complex.

When you are born do you know the concept of beauty, or is it defined to you? The media, family, and peers define this concept. When we are born do we know of God? This is taught through our parents and religious establishments. This could be elaborated on over and over; point is everything we know we are taught.

I was debating with my wife on this concept yesterday, and she brought up morals, and the individuals self conscience. She was saying that all humans are born with a conscience and know right from wrong. The same applies to the concept of morality. When we are born, do we know it is morally wrong to steal? No, our parents, schools, peers, religions, the media, and our society’s laws teach us this concept. The question then is where does our conscience come into play. The answer is simple; we are told through all these different channels that stealing is bad. Your conscience is reinforcing what it was taught, which was stealing is bad.

If you are still thinking I am wrong, look at suicide bombers, or feuding ethnic groups in Africa. The follower is taught that by blowing himself up and killing infidels, he will be greeted in heaven and awarded 72 virgins. It is taught that the greatest way to please God is to become a martyr. To the believer the act of killing is righteous. In Africa you are taught to hate rival tribes. It is considered noble to kill your enemy, in fact they see no problem with genocide.

It is hard for us to believe that we are rewarded in heaven if we kill non believers. It is even harder to imagine committing genocide. We view these actions as immoral, and evil, they view these actions as just and righteous. The difference between is how we are raised.

The concept of good and evil is man-made. Morality and ethics are subjective to the individual. Insanity and sane is defined only by our society, night and day are just man-made concepts to define the differences between the two.

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Comments
  1. Nicole says:

    I agree on most points, what I do not agree is that a human being is born with a basic level intuition of bad and good. Even when a person is committing an act of evil with the thought that it will be righteous and good by their peers, still know that what they are doing is wrong b/c it will cause another person pain. A suicide bomber is raised to believe that by doing this act they are a martyr, yes, however they also are aware that the act will cause many people pain and suffering.
    Woman in Africa who have clitoral circumcisions, they do this b/c their culture says they should; their culture says it is goo, but inside themselves they know it is painful and wrong.
    Evil is driven by selfishness, the evil/bad behaviors human beings do are only done out of that persons selfish desire.
    My point is part of those “primal urges” we are born with, is the primal instinct of bad, that gut feeling that danger is looming, that biological rush of adrenaline, and heart pounding, fight or flight instinct. That is part of our deepest DNA make up, no matter what you are taught or how you are raised… you know that if you cause another person pain and suffering, that is evil!

  2. Johanna says:

    I don’t understand why you do not believe in evil after suffering from mental illness. In addition, you speak of your ex wife as evil and your father’s behavior towards you as evil. Evil does exist and so does good. God allows certain things to happen. Perhaps, you will become the best version of yourself because of the experiences you have lived through. God allows all things for good in the end.
    I wish you peace of mind.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Johanna,

      In my eyes I perceive what my step-father did to me was “evil”, I also feel that what ‘Satan’ is doing to her daughter is ‘evil’ (we were never married.) I am sure that there are many people that would feel the same way. What is considered good, and what is considered bad, is subjective to the individual. This subjective thought comes from those individuals morals. I am sure my step father did not view is actions as “evil” I know my daughters mom does not view her actions as “evil.” My daughters’ mom is a Christian, and she believes that her actions are just in the eyes of the Lord. Johanna I am sure you do not feel this way, so the question I ask you is which one of you are correct?

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