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Posted by Richard Ruquist on January 9, 2003 22:27:35 UTC

Hi Mario,

I'll try to answer this one:
***"My personal belief is that most of us go to heaven regardless of belief or good works."

Is that to say that you believe that God is directly responsible for both good and evil in the world, and that he appreciates and condones each? I know you believe in a non-omnipotent, imperfect God, but is it a yin/yang-esque concept for you?

There is a Jewish story in the Midrash, I think, that explains the Jewish belief. It is said that one day the Rabbis captured the Devil and they cast him in a barrel of concrete. Unfortunately as a result the world and particularly human progress came to a scretching halt. No one had ambition to accomplish anything for personal gain, and very few were willing to do anything altruistically. There was no more lust and young people found no other reason for getting married and having children. The number of things that stopped happening were unimaginable ahead of time.

So the rabbis had to let the Devil go but cut off his ear just to let him know who was really in charge-us humans, and the world started up again.

I do not have firm beliefs in this regard but I suspect that the idea that god is everything must include evil. I have often said on this forum that evolution is a necessary evil when it is based on competition, and that humans are just now trying to get away from the whole idea of conquest and genocide. Humans have some free choice. That is why only possibilities can be prophesized. But there also seems to be a strong element of fate in the course of human history that requires evil for things to happen at a rapid pace.

One belief that I find intriguing is that 1/3rd of the people on earth are here to cause hardship for the other 2/3rds. That ceretainly would imply that we all, good and bad, have a function and role to play in the evolution of humans on this planet. Perhaps we are evil 1/3rd of the time and otherwise good.

So I guess that I would have to agree with Jung (Seven Sermons...) and say that the ultimate god has control of both good and evil, but then delegates the details to two competing teams. It remaiuns to be seen which team wins the game, unless of course, God has rigged the game. I suspect that if good is winning too easily, god will help the undergod just to make the game more interesting and a greater challenge to humans. But if the evil team is on the verge of a wholesale win, then some disaster like the dinasaur-extinction meteor or whatever will happen.

On a less abstract level. We can decide our own fate by whether or not we can avoid nuclear war. So in this regard, it seems the Rabbis were correct. Humans are in control of their own destiny.

Glad to be back,

Richard aka yanniru

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