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Defining Evil 08/10/2006
Goodness values life. Evil destroys it.
There is much in our world that doesn’t make sense. Today, we discover another plot to commit mass murder. Tomorrow, someone will try to justify it. Just when logic and wisdom tell you that something is right or wrong, a whole hoard of voices tries to convince you differently.

Hezbollah shattered the fragile peace between Lebanon and Israel by crossing an internationally-recognized border to kill and capture Israelis, then began a rocket attack that has surpassed 2,000 launches in three weeks, yet the United Nations condemns Israel for a “disproportionate response.” Islamo-fascists have routinely rioted, bombed and terrorized Europe, yet many Europeans view America as the greatest threat to world peace.

Domestically, millions of living human beings have been killed while still in the womb, yet those opposing abortion are labeled as oppressors of liberty. Homosexual activists continue to impose their sex acts upon a nation that prefers monogamous, heterosexual families, while blasting defenders of marriage as “radicals” and “hatemongers.”

When President Bush vetoed a bill to fund embryonic stem cell experiments on moral grounds (instead favoring more advanced, alternate stem cell research), Iowa Senator Tom Harkin viciously attacked him for standing up for his convictions.

"He is vetoing it because he says he believes it is immoral," Harkin said. "Mr. President, you are not our moral Ayatollah -- maybe the president, nothing more."

Apparently, possessing any sense of right and wrong makes you the most radical of extremists. If that’s the case, then count me in. I do believe in right and wrong, good and evil. (And what’s with the phrase "maybe the president?" Does Harkin still view Al Gore as "the real president?")

Everyone wants to claim the moral high ground, but who determines which way is up? What is right and what is wrong? Is it larger than the individual person, or do we each decide what is right in our own eyes?

To determine right and wrong, we need to start with some absolutes: what is evil and what is good. Here are a few thoughts and examples. There are many more.

  • Goodness values life. Evil destroys it.
  • Goodness protects innocence. Evil exploits it.
  • Goodness regrets the loss of innocent human life. Evil dances in the streets in celebration.
  • Goodness seeks reconciliation. Evil never forgets and certainly never forgives.
  • Goodness shares the blessings of wealth and abundance. Evil hides and hordes it.
  • Goodness honors truth and justice. Evil rewards deceit and tyranny.
  • Goodness tears down evil in order to rebuild a better society. Evil targets goodness in order to create chaos.
  • Goodness produces prosperity. Evil results in poverty.
  • Goodness enables common people to reach their full potential. Evil subjugates all people to prevent any success.
  • Goodness finds cures to diseases that plague mankind. Evil releases disease to annihilate populations.
  • Goodness expresses heaven on earth. Evil brings hell.

As we debate the merits of various social policies and political positions, we must return to absolute truth to evaluate our decisions. We all like to think of ourselves as “right,” but at the same time, are we “good?”

Most of the West is “great” because the people are “good.” If we fail to hold to goodness, we risk falling prey to all kinds of evil.

Author: James Robison

Word Count: 550

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.