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The Evil One

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, ...

The Evil One

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father.

EVIL ONE (ho poneros): Nearly all peoples who have expressed their religious thought and feeling believe in a spirit that presides over the destinies of men for their good. They believe that there is also a spirit, a person, whose work it is to lead men into temptation: a spirit of light and a spirit of darkness. Feelings and preferences may have much to do with the conclusions. In Matthew 5:37,39,45; 6:13, the King James Version gives "evil," the Revised Version (British and American) "the evil one," margin, "evil," the personal form referring to the enemy of the race known by various terms: Satan, "the adversary" or "the accuser," occurs 50 times; Beelzebub is found 7 times; devil, 35 times; it means "accuser," "calumniator." See SATAN. David Roberts Duncan Copyright Statement These files are public domain. Bibliography Information Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'EVIL ONE'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.

Native to the Nameless Zone of the planet Mobius, the Evil One was responsible for the creation of Trogg and was, in essence, Sonic the Hedgehog's equivalent of the Devil from the Biblical traditions of Abrahamic faiths.

The Evil One displayed incredible power (as would be expected from an embodiment of evil) - capable of taking on and even effortlessly incapacitating Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, and the warrior Errol Blackthorn's brave sister Morain.

After a fight to the death where Kirk spared Tracey's life, the Yangs released all the Starfleet personnel and proclaimed Kirk "Great God's Servant". Kirk promptly informed the Yangs that he and his fellow Humans were not gods or evil ones, but simply mortal men. (TOS: "The Omega Glory")

We must be careful not to break the habit of true prayer and imagine other works to be necessary which, after all, are nothing of the kind. Thus at the end we become lax and lazy, cool and listless toward prayer. The devil who besets us is not lazy or careless, and our flesh is too ready and eager to sin and is disinclined to the spirit of prayer.1

The existence of evil and suffering in our world seems to pose a serious challenge to belief in the existence of a perfect God. If God were all-knowing, it seems that God would know about all of the horrible things that happen in our world. If God were all-powerful, God would be able to do something about all of the evil and suffering. Furthermore, if God were morally perfect, then surely God would want to do something about it. And yet we find that our world is filled with countless instances of evil and suffering. These facts about evil and suffering seem to conflict with the orthodox theist claim that there exists a perfectly good God. The challenge posed by this apparent conflict has come to be known as the problem of evil.

The article clarifies the nature of the logical problem of evil and considers various theistic responses to the problem. Special attention is given to the free will defense, which has been the most widely discussed theistic response to the logical problem of evil.

It would be one thing if the only people who suffered debilitating diseases or tragic losses were the likes of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin or Osama Bin Laden. As it is, however, thousands of good-hearted, innocent people experience the ravages of violent crime, terminal disease, and other evils. Michael Peterson (1998, p. 1) writes,

In the second half of the twentieth century, atheologians (that is, persons who try to prove the non-existence of God) commonly claimed that the problem of evil was a problem of logical inconsistency. J. L. Mackie (1955, p. 200), for example, claimed,

Statements (6) through (8) jointly imply that if the perfect God of theism really existed, there would not be any evil or suffering. However, as we all know, our world is filled with a staggering amount of evil and suffering. Atheologians claim that, if we reflect upon (6) through (8) in light of the fact of evil and suffering in our world, we should be led to the following conclusions:

If it is possible that God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil and suffering to occur, then the logical problem of evil fails to prove the non-existence of God. If, however, it is not possible that God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil, then it seems that (13) would be true: God is either not omnipotent, not omniscient, or not perfectly good.

(MSR1) claims that God allows some evils to occur that are smaller in value than a greater good to which they are intimately connected. If God eliminated the evil, he would have to eliminate the greater good as well. God is pictured as being in a situation much like that of Mrs. Jones: she allowed a small evil (the pain of a needle) to be inflicted upon her child because that pain was necessary for bringing about a greater good (immunization against polio). Before we try to decide whether (MSR1) can justify God in allowing evil and suffering to occur, some of its key terms need to be explained.

Plantinga, however, thinks that his Free Will Defense can be used to solve the logical problem of evil as it pertains to natural evil. Here is a possible reason God might have for allowing natural evil:

In other words, the Garden of Eden is pictured as a peaceful, vegetarian commune until moral evil entered the world and brought natural evil with it. It seems, then, that the Free Will Defense might be adapted to rebut the logical problem of natural evil after all.

Since (MSR1) and (MSR2) together seem to show contra the claims of the logical problem of evil how it is possible for God and (moral and natural) evil to co-exist, it seems that the Free Will Defense successfully defeats the logical problem of evil.

Since this defense is formally [that is, logically] possible, and its principle involves no real abandonment of our ordinary view of the opposition between good and evil, we can concede that the problem of evil does not, after all, show that the central doctrines of theism are logically inconsistent with one another. But whether this offers a real solution of the problem is another question. (Mackie 1982, p. 154)

(i) If heavenly dwellers do not possess morally significant free will and yet their existence is something of tremendous value, it is not clear that God was justified in creating persons here on Earth with the capacity for rape, murder, torture, sexual molestation, and nuclear war. It seems that God could have actualized whatever greater goods are made possible by the existence of persons without allowing horrible instances of evil and suffering to exist in this world.

The seventh petition is "closely linked" to the sixth "in its form and in its meaning."2 It answers it like an echo. But at the same time it is "an ending that briefly sums up all the other petitions" 3; in a single and final stroke it resumes them all, and with them the great prayer of the whole of creation. That is why it properly constitutes a distinct petition. * The Greek Fathers in general understood the word ponèros in the masculine (ho ponêros), and said: "But deliver us from the Evil One." According to Father Lagrange, it is better to follow the Western tradition and understand this word as neuter (to ponêron). In the Septuagint, where it appears often, it in fact signifies that which is bad or Evil, never the devil. In the same way Saint Paul writes: hrusetai me / ho kurios apo pantos er gou ponêrou, "the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work (of my enemies) ." It is true that in a passage of Matthew6 the word is taken in the masculine and signifies the devil. But that is the only passage in Matthew where this is the case. This single case, however, seems to us slightly to shake Father Lagrange's position. For our part we think that the true sense of the seventh petition is indeed "Deliver us from evil" and that it does not directly refer to the devil, but nevertheless refers to him indirectly; so that in saying, "Deliver us from evil" we also say, although implicitly, "Deliver us from the Evil One." For the Prince of this world is the head of all the wicked,7 and it was he who, when he tempted and overthrew Adam, brought down upon us Sin and Death and all the evils that afflict us, and he still claims to exert over us, in contest with Christ, what he holds to be his rights. When we ask to be delivered from evil, we ask in the same words and at the same time to be delivered from his yoke and tyranny. The evil from which we ask to be delivered is obviously moral evil, "every kind of moral evil"8 to which temptation incites us. Plato noted in an unforgettable manner that it is better to be punished (even and especially unjustly) than to be guilty. Moral evil, or evil of sin" is, Saint Thomas taught, the preeminent evil or evil in the supreme sense.9 Through it I escape from God to produce nothingness, I wound creative Love, and I crucify Christ. Through it, if I do not repent, I lose my soul. To say, "Deliver us from evil," is to say, "Deliver us from sin." Nevertheless is there not another category of evil than the evil of sin? And must our prayer to be delivered from evil be limited to a given category of evil, even be it that of the preeminent evil? Our cry for deliverance has no more limits than Jesus' mercy. Ab omni malo, libera nos, Domine. Ab omni peccato, libera nos, Domine. A fulgure et tern pestate, a flagello terrae motus, a peste, fame et bello, a morte per petua libera nos Domine. Deliver us from all evil, Lord, from all sin first of all, but also from lightning and tempests, from earthquakes, from pestilence, from famine and war, from everlasting death. Deliver us from that unparalleled sorrow of seeing those we love suffer without remedy. Deliver us from spiritual darkness. Deliver us from anguish, which is doubtless the state of suffering on which the Holy Spirit has particular pity (is it not in such a compassionate mannner that it is always spoken of in Scripture?). Deliver us from the terrestrial hell of destitution. Deliver us from the tortures inflicted by men or by the cruelest maladies. In second rank, certainly -- because they are evil in a less radical and less formidable sense -the evil of suffering and the evil of pain are also included in the last petition of the Lord's Prayer. This is what Saint Augustine thought when he wrote that it is the same thing to say libera nos a malo and to say with the Psalmist: "Deliver me from mine enemies, protect me from those who rise up against me."10 No matter what tribulation the Christian may be suffering, Saint Augustine further explains, the last petition of the Lord's Prayer reminds him that he is made for that good in which one will no longer suffer any evil, and it likewise shows him the goal to which his groans and his tears should aspire.11 In the Middle Ages Saint Augustine's views were not allowed to fall into oblivion. "The Lord," we read apropos of the seventh petition in Saint Thomas' little work on the Lord's Prayer,12 "teaches us to ask in general to be delivered from all evils, sins, infirmities, adversities, afflictions. . . . He delivers us from afflictions either by sparing us them, which is exceptional and concerns only those who are too weak -- or by consoling us (If God did not console, no one could hold fast. We are 'utterly weighed down, beyond our strength,'13 'but he that comforteth the humble, even God, he comforteth us'14) -- or by granting us higher goods-or by changing the tribulation itself into good through patience;15 the other virtues indeed avail themselves of good things; but patience turns evil to account, and it is in evils, that is, to say in adversities, that it is necessary."16 The blood of Christ has delivered us from sin; but this deliverance will be fully accomplished, for each man, only at the end of his life -and this provided he has not refused grace. And at the same stroke we will be delivered from every evil of whatsoever kind. And on the day of the resurrection, when all will be consummated and Jesus will restore all things into the hands of his Father, the new heavens and the new earth will exult at being forever totally released from sin and from death, and from every tribulation and every affliction. * The last petition of the Lord's Prayer rejoins, so to speak, the first three. Like them it implies an ultimate eschatological meaning. Like them it will be fully accomplished only beyond this world and its history. It raises its protest against evil in all its amplitude and under all its forms, against the root of evil, as against the threat of evil hidden everywhere, and against the empire of evil that locks the world in struggle against evil in all senses of the word, the final defeat of which will mark the triumph of the Holiness of God, of the Kingdom of God and of the Will of God. When we pronounce the seventh petition, what passes through our lips is the deepest aspiration of the very depth of the creature to be supernaturally delivered from those very deficiencies and failures whose possibility a universe of created natures inevitably entails. And we do not pray only for ourselves but for the whole of creation, which "doth groan and travail . while awaiting adoption, the redemption of our body."17 The last petition of the Lord's Prayer has not only a moral significance but also one that is metaphysical and cosmic. Its reverberations are infinite. 1 Alla hrusai hêmas apo tou ponêrou.--Matt. 6:13. 2 Lagrange, Evang. selon saint Matthieu, p. 131, n. 13. 3 Saint Cyprian, De Oratione Domin. n. 27, P.L., 4, 537. 4 This version is adopted by the Jerusalem Bible (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1956), p. 1296. 5 2 Tim. 4:18.6 Matt. 13:19.7 Thomas Aquinas, Sum. theol., III, 8, 7. 8 Lagrange, loc. supra cit. 9 Cf. Saint Thomas, Sum. theol., I, 48, 6. 10 Qui dicit, Erue me ab inimicis meis, Deus, et ab insurgentibus in me libera me (Ps. 58:2), quid aliud dicit quam, libera nos a malo? Saint Augustine, Ad Probam, P.L., 33, 503 (n. 22). 11 "Cum dicimus, Libera nos a malo, nos admonemus cogitare, nondum nos esse in eo bono ubi nullum patiemur malum. Et hoc quidem ultimum quod in dominica oratione positum est, tam late patet, ut homo christianus in qualibet tribulatione eonstitutus in hoc gemitus edat, in hoc lacrymas fondat, hinc exordiatur, in hoc immoretur, ad hoc terminet orationem." Ibid., cap. 11, n. 21, col. 502. we have kept the sense of this passage in abbreviating it. -- Cf. ibid., cap. 14, n. 26, col. 504: In his ergo tribulationibus quae possunt et prodesse et nocere, quid oremus, sicut oportet, nescimus; et tamen quia dura, quia molesta, quia contra sensum nostrae infirmitatis sunt, universali humana voluntate, ut a nobis haec auferantur, oramus." 12 "Saint Thomas invokes here the authority of Saint Augustine, but without giving a reference. It seems to us all the less doubtful that it is a question of the letter Ad Probam since one of the passages (cap. 11, n. 21) of this letter to which we refer above is cited in the Catena aurea in connection with the seventh petition of the Lord's Prayer. 13 Paul, 2 Cor. 1:8.14 Ibid., 7:6. 15 Cf. Saint Paul, Rom. 5:3. 16 In Orat. Domin. Expositio (Marietti), n. 1102 (condensed). 17 Rom. 8:22-23. 041b061a72


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