Everybody already-knows, from innumerable fictional and historical examples, about Nice-Good people and Nasty-Evil ones.
Good characters are currently depicted as kind, beautiful and with all the 'important' (litmus test) virtues. Evil characters, vice versa (always racist, anti-enviroment, denialist, *-ist etc.)
But these unmixed-types are actually rare nowadays. Nice-Good people have never been common, and are very hard to find just at present; while Nasty-Evils are so obvious that they tend to have limited power to do harm.
The categories are:
On the side of God: Nice-Good, and Nasty-Good.
On the side against God, and for Satan, Nasty-Evil and Nice-Evil.
And of these the mixed types of most common, most significant.
If someone looks and behaves like an orc nowadays, he is unlikely to be given much power; such mooks are common enough, but destined to be used by nice-evil leaders as disposible weapons.
The face of Establishment evil in 2020 is (more-or-less) nice. (except for the eyes, which are always a give-away) A middle aged housfrau-type, spouting compassion; a revolutionary-idealist, fresh-faced young women; a cool techno-charmer who seems to have 'all the answers'; a craggy old gent who will protect us... such are some of the faces of evil.
Meanwhile the people on the side of God/ Good and Creation are seldom saints, and often sinners. They want the right things, but they cannot live up to their high ideals. The aim for Heaven, but fail - and repent their failures.
Such are excoriated by the evil-mass-media as hypocrites - or mocked on the lines of Christians being people who allegedly are supposed to be perfect (or at least better than anyone else) but who have 'feet of clay'.
In practice, the clay does not need to be very sticky nor very abundant. Even when someone is an example of Nice-Good; a single solitary lapse from what the Establishment, with their distorted and inverted pseudo-morality, regard as evil - is sufficient to lead to a firestorm of condemnation.
For example Mother Teresa (Nice-Good) was roundly lambasted, and in many minds discredited, by revelations that her mission was not very effective when considered as a modern social work organisation. Her actual, overt spiritual aims being regarded as nothing more than sly propaganda, smuggled-in deceptively by connecting it with welfare.
My point is that - as of 2020 - the side of Good will consist mostly of (more-or-less) Nasty-Good people; while the (much, much larger) side of evil will contain a majority of Nice-Evil characters. Indeed, the Satanic personnel who impinge upon you and me, are almost certain to be Nice people - e.g. those working for the (evil) bureaucracies, charities, NGOs; smart-naive-idealistic youngsters, solid family folk, retired professionals...
That is the nature of our world. That is the task of spiritual discernment. We must discern the evil among the nice, and the Good among the nasty. And we should take the side of Good, wherever and however we find it; as against evil - no matter how charming, intelligent, kind, compassionate, or cute the agents of evil may be.
Motivation trumps all - Good and Evil are the sides in our spiritual war (not behaviours nor dispositions).
We are all sinners - and need to acknowledge the fact (and if we don't, we are on the side of evil).
And repentance (i.e. knowing the true nature of Good, recognising sin), with the committment to follow Jesus Christ, is limitless in its power.
Well,if this excellent trilogy of posts (Nice Old Ladies, Kerouac, Nice-Evil, Nasty-Good) doesn't help elucidate good/evil in the minds of some Christians, nothing will.
Agreed with Francis. I would add the piece about noticing evil when it impinges upon us, as these last 4 posts have a very clear common thread, each one building upon and clarifying the previous one.
I think it is helpful to understand that nice and nasty really have become secular, and hence, unChristian categories. The meaning of these words has changed over time, as I have a hard time imagining that people displaying excessive fear of a phantasm virus and wanting to pull down life over it would be seen as anything other than cowardly, dangerous, evil lunatics even as recently as a few decades ago. But it is true that this sort of behaviour is now equated with niceness in the secular consciousness.
We have to develop and learn to trust our own intuition and discernment on these matters, even when it contradicts the sensibilities or prejudices of our times, even when it might lead us to (apparently... APPARENTLY) paradoxical positions.
At a college party a casual friend tactfully hinted that I drank too much, which was true. Of all the people I knew then he was the only one "nasty" enough to say so to my face. Only years later did I see that this was a real act of friendship.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
– Proverbs 27:6
La Rochefoucauld said, "Hypocrisy is a tribute that vice pays to virtue." By reviling hypocrisy we give liberty to vice.
Just a note: The statue in Daniel 2, whence the term "feet of clay" derives, had feet made (partly) of baked clay -- brittle, not sticky.
Pedantry aside, this has been a fantastic series of posts.
Interesting aside: Mother Theresa ran a human trafficking operation for the Vatican (funneling $50-100 million yearly into their coffers), working with the Clinton Foundation. They sold children to elites. So she was nice evil.
@jg - Obviously IF that is true, then you are correct. I have a friend who worked with her for three months in 1980, and MT certainly seemed Good at that time. My point is that even if Christopher Hitchins was correct in his criticisms, then she was nonetheless still Nice-Good, because the criticisms were misplaced and inapproporiate.
You should be ashamed of yourself for casting such despicable (utterly false) aspersions on a person's character!
If you are going to read websites containing garbage like that, you really should learn to do a bit of simple research to validate such spurious claims before passing them along!
The fact is: Mother Theresa could not have been "working with the Clinton Foundation" -
- because it was founded in 2001, and Mother Theresa died in 1997!!
Apologies Bruce, but to the point of your recent posts about 'discerning evil' - this particular kind of 'internet evil' should not be allowed to pass uncorrected..
@jana and cae. Well, this kind of thing is not 'evil impinging' upon us personally; but opinions about remote and rather abstract matters. I try to use examples of which I have some personal confirmation - as I say, I have a friend who worked with MT. But I try not to invest too much in trying to discern people and events I didn't know, in other times or places. Evil people get away with posing as Good, and Good people are ignorantly, dishonestly/ incompetently presented as evil - and then there are the historical examples of mixed achievement, when it is a matter of emphasis. I personally, don't use examples much in my own thinking; examples help some people - while distracting others (e.g some readers get fixated on what they regard as a bad example, and reject the whole argument!).
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