Good and Evil - The Green and Red Lights of a Crossing

in Evil

You are traveling in a major city full of traffic. On the crossing, there are traffic signals having two lights. The greed light indicates that you can cross the signal and the red light is a signal to stop. If you fail to stop at the red light, you are punished by the traffic cop with a fine or prosecution.

Most people hate red lights. You get angry when you encounter the red light. You are in hurry to reach your office and suddenly the light turns red. You are getting late and so you try to cross despite of the red light and you are stopped by the cop who asks for your driving license and issues you a challan for traffic violation. You argue with him and explain the reason for your haste. He does not listen and says that he is bound by the rules. You relent and pay the challan and move to your office cursing the traffic police who had not only penalized you but also made you further late to the office. As expected the boss is furious and you got a good thrashing in the office.

What a bad start of the day?

You only wish that the light was not red.

What if you remove all red lights in the traffic let there be only greed lights?

You know this is impossible. It will create chaos. Having all green lights on a traffic signal is actually is as good as having no light at all as it serves no purpose.

Good and Evil

The concept of good and evil had been created by man in the same way as the concept of red and green light. There is no need of the concept of good and evil in a society that is small or uncivilized just like there is no need for any traffic light if a township is scarcely populated. People have the inherent wisdom to mange the flow of traffic by using their commonsense. In fact, if traffic lights are put-up in a crossing where there is little traffic, it may even prove to be counterproductive because, most of the people have to unnecessary wait for the green light even though there is none crossing the road. Yet the concept of red light is so necessary in a densely populated city, that if the traffic light fails even for few minutes, there would be traffic jams and the travel would become impossible.

It is for this reason that man has to define good and evil which necessarily means DO'S and DON'S for the people. The concept of good means the acts or thoughts which are productive i.e. good for the society. Therefore good includes love, compassion, justice, equality etc. However, as soon as "good" was defined, the opposite became automatically "evil" which represented hatred, jealousy, injustice, inequality etc.

In order to enforce the good, man gradually invented the concept of God who represented "good" and made the goodness synonymous to God. In order to inculcate the goodness in men, the goodness gradually got associated with man or human beings as Gods themselves were portrayed like human beings.

As most men still could not become good despite God, the concept of evil was invented who had to be separated from goodness and God. The evil thus got associated with Devil who was seen as the enemy of God and epitome of evil.

Yet evil was found to be so powerful that it seized every man. Hence it was declared that man had fallen from goodness after committing the "Original Sin" of eating from the tree of "good and evil". The mankind is cursed to be sinful who can be rescued only by God.

The battle of good and evil still continues and God seems to be helpless in stopping the spread of evil in the world.

The Indian Concept of Good and Evil

In the Indian concept, there is no such concept of good or evil. In fact, the Hindus worship the Trinity of God i.e. Brahma (God of creation), Vishnu (God of Preservation) and Shiva (God of destruction). All the three Gods are given equal importance by the followers and the people worship the God of creation as much as the God of Destruction. In fact, Shiva, the God of destruction is extremely popular in Hindus and there had always been a mutual respect between the three Gods as they know the importance of each other. People worship Shiva not for the sake of their destruction or the destruction of others, but to protect themselves from destruction. They know very well that without saving themselves from destruction, it is impossible to survive. There is hardly any temple of Vishnu (who also represents Lord Ram and Krishna), where the statue of Shiva is not found. Both Lord Ram and Krishna have taken incarnation in this world only to destroy the evil and ensure the rule of good.

The life of Lord Ram and Krishna is still considered to be a ideal life that is followed by Indians.

Evil: The Red Light of the Crossing

Anyone, who believes in the Supremacy of God, can not believe that God would do anything that is improper or unnecessary. Thus the creation of evil people or evil thoughts too must have a purpose. And the purpose of evil is same as the red light that stops the people so that others coming from different direction too can pass. Those who fail to stop at the red light punished as the law is that every one must have the opportunity to cross the road.

It can be seen that all goodness can be associated with love. Love is desirable and love brings happiness and pleasure in the life of a man. The other attributes of goodness like compassion, justice, equality are just other names of love.

Yet you can recognize love only if you have experienced hatred. Imagine a world that has only love and no hatred. People would not value love as love would be taken for granted. It would lose its value since everyone would have it and no body would need it.

Thus the feeling of hatred is necessary to recognize love and value love. Only if one has experienced hatred, he knows the pain that is associated with hatred and the destructions that are caused to the man and the world due to hatred. Thus man gradually learns the goodness of love and the evilness of hatred. The punishments caused by the evil acts, stop him following the path of evil and help the man becoming spiritual and divine.

Respect the Red Lights

Evil is necessary to identify good. Only when a person develops hatred for the evil, he can develop love for the good. Only when you hate injustice and inequality, you follow the path of justice and equality. Therefore, it is impossible to imagine a world that has only good and no evil because evil is needed to guide the man in the path of goodness just like the red lights are necessary to make the people arrive at their destination. Yet all people are not moving towards the same destination. It is only a spiritual person who knows the true meaning of red and green light arrives at his goal. He does not hate the red light but stops at the red light and waits patiently to let the light become green so that he reaches to the divine path without being punished for breaking the rule.

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Awdhesh K Singh has 1 articles online

Life is a mystery which can not be explained either by science or by scriptures. Truth has a body and a soul which we call science and religion. Contrary to popular perception, they are not opposed to each other but complement each other like body and soul. In fact, they can not exist without each other.

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Good and Evil - The Green and Red Lights of a Crossing

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This article was published on 2010/03/27