- The old teachers have preached this.
- Good and Evil are different degrees of the same thing.
- Is it possible to be neither good nor bad?
- The Mosquito and the Liver Fluke.
Men have always been interested in the world around them. It is their home, their setting, their environment, whatever we like to call it. We see in the world of objects, sights and sound, many things that are pleasant and agreeable, and many things that we think to be evil.
Ancient philosphers have preached that everthing has some purpose of good, although we may not be able to see clearly. A few years ago, the farmers in an English country thought that crows were very destructive birds. They saw the crows among the crops of young corn and in the yellow fields of harvest time. It was decided that the crows were stealing or destroying the grain, and a campaign was started to destroy them. Thousands were shot. Next year, the farmers got a very poor harvest of grain and fruit, because there was a great increase in the number of wireworms and various destructive insects. These were as a rule killed by the crows, and formed a main part of the crows, food. So the crows were the farmer’s friends, and not his enemies.
It any man or woman wholly bad? As a rule. Shakespeare has shown that even his evil characters have a spark of virtue. in them. Attila, the Hun, slew thousands, but was very fond of a small bird which he kept in a cage. Wordworth was the most spiritual of poets; but Wordsworth committed great sin.
An old jingle of rhyme said:
There’s so much ill in the best of us,
And so much good in the worst of us.
That it ill becomes any one of us.
To speak ill of the rest of us.
A bad man is one who has more badness and goodness, and a good man, unless he be a saint, has some human frailty. In Shakespeare, lago is the only wholly bad man, and he does not quite satisfy us. At any rate, he had boldness and courage.
The ancients preached the doctrine of a universal God, a spirit pervading all things. Wordsworth too found that God was in all objects of nature, in all the things of the material world. This is what we call pantheism, the theory that God is universal and in everything. But if God is in anything, how can that thing be called bad? One modern writer has argued that there is also a universal spirit of evil, and that in some men and some places, this spirit, rather than God, is in possession. If that is so, we should see that our hearts are thrown open to God, for God is Good.
A leading essay writer has stated boldly that some things are completely evil, and can have no possible element of good. He quotes the mosquito as an example. Coming from infection, the mosquito…. injects its poison into the human blood. The parasites multiply, the blood becomes pale and impoverished, and the man or woman who · has become infected will probably die. What is there to put on the credit side against this? What good can the mosquito do? Then there is a small organism called the liver-fluke. Starting life in a stagnant pond, it makes its way out to the land. It is swallowed by the sheep which are grazing there. Once inside the body of the sheep, the worm bores its way into the liver and lives on it. The sheep dies. Millions of sheep are lost by this destructive peşt. Is it not true that the mosquito and the liver-fluke are wholly bad, and that it is less likely to be God than the devil that is in them?