Negative Good

There’s a theory that gets tossed around a lot, that there must be evil, because without it we wouldn’t be able to recognize good. I asked God about this and she allowed as how it was an interesting idea but she didn’t really buy it.

She went back to looking at humanity as an art project. One of the important things in successful art is that there be a balance of elements, but balance can be achieved in many different ways. In an abstract painting the balance might be in the use of different colors. In a still life, it might be in the choice of what fruit to place in the basket. I’ve got a t-shirt that simply has an image of the sun on the front and the moon on the back. So it might be that good and evil are there to balance each other out just for the art of it.

But, there’s a niche in the art world, in images that are optical illusions. One of the more famous of these is the picture of a vase that is formed in the negative space between two silhouettes of faces looking at each other. The beauty of that image is that it can be looked at purely as a picture of two faces or purely as a picture of a vase. So is that what good and evil are like? Just different ways of looking at the same picture?

Or is good and evil just a way of labeling the ends of a spectrum. Since there must be a spectrum of behavior, would we inevitably label one end good and the other evil. If every action that we took was, by today’s standards, good, would we consider it evil if we said something nice about someone but it wasn’t nice enough?

RSS feed


No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.