Throughout history people have questioned and theorized the essence of good vs. evil. These ideas are shown in many religions throughout the centuries and manifested in our moral compasses. We are all aware of the christian stance on good vs. evil; how God is perfect and good and Satan is cruel and evil. But in this post I would like to take a deeper dive into what the essence of good and evil really is, and why evil must exist. For this I will be looking back on ancient China’s taoist beliefs (which is also known as Daoisim).


In ancient China, taoist believers’s philosophical principle was the Yin and Yang. As many are aware, the Yin and Yang symbol (the Taijitu) represents the balance of good(Yang) and evil(Yin). They also believed that good was stronger when it had evil in it, and vice versa. This is why in the Taijitu, the good has a bit of evil in it and the evil has a bit of good in it. 


For example, imagine you are in a completely dark room devoid of any speck of light. Then, you are given a flashlight. When you get the flashlight you are more appreciative of the light it gives off because you couldn’t see anything before and were probably running into things you couldn’t see. However, if you were put in a lit up room and given a flashlight, you would probably toss it aside because there was no need for it anymore. Therefore, good and evil compliment each other. 


Evil is the absence of God, so to have good we need God. However, to realize we need God we need a controlled evil. This is not to say that we are to try to cause evil to show someone they need God. Controlled evil is shown a lot through people’s morals. For example, the idea that one can do the wrong thing for the right reason. Like lying so someone doesn’t get hurt or embarrassed by something. Even these small controlled evils can get out of hand. This is why we need God to help us and to guide us. He is the flashlight in the dark and the calm in the chaos. 


Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” 

3 John 1:11 ESV


Another thing we need to keep in mind is that evil can disguise itself as good. Satan can be deceptive in his tricks to lure you into traps of sin. One should always be wary of those they allow to speak into their lives, because just like in the Taijitu, evil compliments good.

Brianna Breeding
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