The Ethics of Hercules: A Study of Man's Body as the Sole Determinant of Ethical Values

By Robert Chenault Givler | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
THE ACTION-PATTERNS IMPLIED BY THE WORD "BAD," WITH A NOTE ON THE PHYSIOLOGY OF "EVIL"

"It is noteworthy that there has never been a problem of good, but always a problem of evil. Man takes the good in his life for granted, while he bewails the presence of evil in all its forms. May not reality be of such a character that evil is as natural as good?"

R. W. SELLARS, "The Next Step in Religion," pp. 153-5.

Good and bad, or good and evil, have from the most ancient times been held to be diametrical and thoroughgoing opposites of each other. In the system of Zoroaster this antithesis is metaphorically projected into the remotest heavens, where Mazda, the God of Light, whose deeds were goodness itself, endlessly strove to annihilate Angra, the tireless perpetrator of deceit. The Christian mythologists, in a characteristic imitation of pagan creeds, loved to imagine a final Day of Judgment, when the mild, spotless followers of the Lamb were to be rewarded by an eternal separation from the sooty henchmen of Satan. Similar conceptions, though none of them nearly so poetic, have tinged the thought of every

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