The Perplexity Of Evil In Modern Society
It’s no secret that evil has had a bad reputation for as long as anyone can remember. No one seems to openly support it, yet it persists and remains popular. In fact, the question arises – does “evil” and “sin” even exist anymore?
Not too long ago, in a time when Western society was deeply rooted in Christianity, the terms “evil” and “sin” were unequivocally tied to anything that displeased God. However, as contemporary society has significantly distanced itself from God, the meaning attributed to these terms has fundamentally shifted. “Sin” is no longer sin, but merely a mistake, and that which was once considered sinful is now not so bad. For example, modern society has turned a blind eye to small-scale theft and even murder based on certain circumstances or justifications.
Today, the terms “good” and “bad” have fallen out of favor. The concept of what is evil remains prevalent, yet is often overlooked or downplayed. It seems that evil still operates in our world, often in pursuit of desires that seem unobtainable. To illustrate, during a volunteer teaching stint at a local prison, convicts frequently admitted to having committed crimes in pursuit of immediate gratification, and committing acts that facilitated their desires.
While such extreme cases may not be the norm, the news is filled with accounts of deceit, corruption, and fraud all in an effort to gain what could not be obtained through honesty. The current societal state is rife with unethical actions. Even with all that chicanery happening in politics and society at large, it is undeniable that there was a time when sin and evil were more candidly identified in society. However, sin and evil remain part of the human condition.
Without a resounding belief in a higher power, the prospect of combatting the gradual descent into lawlessness seems bleak. The absence of guiding principles leaves society adrift, like passengers on a ship without a compass, ultimately leading to inevitable disaster.
The solution to this societal tumult remains uncertain. Will we, as a society, find our way back to faith? Or will we succumb to a fate shaped by the forces of tyranny and control? Time will tell.
— Charles Milliken is a professor emeritus after 22 years of teaching economics and related subjects at Siena Heights University. He can be reached at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Charles Milliken: The appeal of evil