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Good Versus Evil

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In the chapter titled Rebellion (or his book title), Feodor Dostoevski's character, Ivan Karamazov, demonstrates that his angry and resentful attitude is the by-product of his very choosing. The fundamental principal of our own humanity is God's acknowledgment of our expression of free will. Found between the boundaries of man's ownership of worldly acts and thoughts, which can lead him to an eternity of joy or damnation, is that critical choice of what attitude we will wrap ourselves in for our finite time here. The extreme, and perhaps somewhat all too common, result of this human choice between simple joy and compounding suffering is presented in Ivan. As highlighted in Genesis account of Gods' pure joy and pleasure of man, and His authoritative command for man's dominion over all of His creations, it is impossible to imagine our Creator desiring our willing choice for suffering.

God's divine plan for man starts and ends upon love. God provides overflowing and unconditional love so we can grasp the extent of His love for the purpose of developing our own love of self. The evolvement of our personal faith instills in us the divine sense of worth and desire, we some how come to "know" originates from our Creator. Ivan has neither grasped nor developed this love, let alone experienced this instilment. Genesis states God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (KJV Gen 5:26). In the shared likeness of God Himself, we must assume we all have the full capacity to experience and share God's innate love and joy. God's sending of His son in order to redeem us, His children, is the ultimate act of both heavenly and earthly love. Through His written word and through His son, God explicitly teaches us that love and joy are the nature of His being. Man, in God's likeness, must actively counter this nature in order to derive an attitude of suffering, through the denial of natural joy and love. Ivan is a clear example of this suffering activism, as he clearly stands against most issues rather than necessarily in agreement or support of any higher principal. In Feodor Dostoevski's book The Brothers Karamazov, this excerpted chapter is appropriately titled "Rebellion". Rebellion is defined as the willful resistance or defiance of an established principal or authority. In our definition of activism, Ivan's rebellion would be considered the most aggressive and destructive form of activism. (CITE)

Suffering is a verb that immediately draws a reflection to a state of discomfort or pain. The origin and causes of human suffering are central themes of most faith-based people. People of faith seek the resolution of and endurance through our suffering by understanding cause and then adopting faith principals of living. Tragically, this faith seeking has been complicated by the fact that we have developed a pervasive and adopted world culture, centered on suffering. Our Christian faith teaches us the basis for human suffering is found in the Garden of Eden. Biblical accounts detail that within the history of humanity, there was in fact a state of perfection in which God and man not only lived together, we freely communicated and shared. The cascading effect of Satan's deception of Adam and Eve is the single point of original sin that we as Christian acknowledge today. While our faith actively teaches and practices the steps and sacraments to remove original sin and repent for ongoing sin, it is outside the scope of this paper to explore the cause and effect of sin and human suffering. While the goal of reaching back to our original point of perfection is assumed humanly impossible, any point in our individual human existence, which is removed from that point, is here within considered "suffering".

The realms and even the divine or evil guidance of suffering and resolution, is to be considered beyond this paper. Ms. Elizabeth A. Johnson's statement within Consider Jesus that "The world today is filled with suffering on a magnitude that boggles the imagination...In the light of Jesus' history, of his ministry of great compassion towards people who are suffering, and especially of his degrading death on the cross, the questions are urgently asked: "How does god relate to all this suffering?" "Does God want it?" "Does god not want it, but permit it?" "Does it affect God too? "Does god suffer when creatures whom god loves are suffering?" would provide the overall context entering or exiting this discussion within. The unwavering faith in the fact that God is our Lord and conqueror of all evil, that His son Jesus Christ is our Savior and that our creation and existence is purposed through God, is the fabric of this writing. The fact that faith is an ingredient of a humanity that is in-motion within full expression of free-will, underlies John F. Haught's statement within Science And Religion that "Some of us would even argue that faith has no intensity or depth unless it is a leap into the unknown in the face of such absurdity. Faith is always faith in spite of all the difficulties that defy reason and science." Using Ivan Karamazov as the model of humanity, we can discuss our human response to all forms of suffering in the continues of earthly life.

The world culture of suffering is one that has made suffering itself a normal and expected attribute of our being. We seem to have adopted a culture or philosophy that we are some how not living a "real" and enjoyable life unless we are battling the suffering. It seems as though suffering now is perceived as a very part of the composite which was to be included with all that our Creator purposed. Through an overflow of hard-hitting world news, Jerry Springer-type talk venues and especially reality TV, we have found a medium to become spectators, or voyeurs, of human suffering, and somehow along the path, we now derive entertainment from it. Never mind the fact that our world media now is a force, which actively offsets the fundamental message of faith, perseverance and hope, it has made the entertainment value of human drama boring to subscribers. Most tragically, this culture has now dulled our sense of compassion to the plight of those who are truly suffering. Due to the volume of and main focus on suffering, participants in this culture now also assume that suffering is predominating over love. In the process, our culture of suffering has not only clouded the factual reality of our Creator's point of perfection for man, it has dissuaded and discouraged many from pursuing the faith seeking.

For purposes of this discussion, suffering associated with humanity will be delineated between physical suffering and non-physical suffering. Physical suffering



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