Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash
Hello everyone. It looks like this one is exploding out of the starting gate.
The reference I think you are looking for in those "murky little pages" is something of the effect of, "[God's] ways are not our ways". That particular reference is often taken to extremes (in my opinion) but, in the OT, Habakkuk asks the hard questions of God (why send the evil Assyrians, Babylonians, etc.) and God answered the prophet in turn by pointing out that these conquerers were all part of His greater plan.
Similar observations have been made by Christians ... in the NT, Christ, as a result of betrayal, corruption and murder, was accomplishing God's plan.
As far as God being impartial, I'm not sure He has to be but, if He is a good God, I would expect Him to judge all people by the same standard.
You're being too careful. Take some risks, man!
You are right, I think, that there are several logical problems with the line of questioning I quoted (I think begging the question is one of the fallacies committed). Look forward to seeing what else you have to say.
I think all of your illustrative statements are common ways we sort out right from wrong and I think they are, for the most part, valid.
I am of the opinion that evil (or wrongdoing) can be defined by the intent and the result. Firing a gun up into the air and inadvertantly popping the Goodyear blimp, causing it to crash and kill everyone inside, is a negligent act ... there may have been no general or specific intent to kill those on board but there certainly was a breach of a duty of care owed by the gunman to the blimp passengers and crew. The law punishes such acts accordingly.
Unless I misinterpreted what you meant by "intent" (the law is more specific in defining "intent" than most laypeople are).
I agree with Brad that yours is an interesting question. To muddy the waters further (as an alternative to your dualistic model), what if evil is the parasite of good rather than its equal and opposite?
I'm not sure I understand your religious/spiritual distinction but, to a degree, I think I agree with some of what you are saying. I might not go so far as saying "crap happens because God wants us to appreciate the good things" ... but I may be willing to say "God may allow some crap to happen toward the end of accomplishing His greater plan". Getting into divine providence here and may be getting off track.
Again, you raise a good point. By a "perfect" standard, I suppose even the "goodest" good would only be imperfectly good (we are mortal, after all -- Trevor obviously excluded).
I'm gonna have to come back to you later. I do find it interesting that we share many of the same books in our respective libraries. I also think it is interesting that you spit Keller and Bloom out in the same breath ... Bloom is a JEPD theorist and much of the substance of Keller's book tends to harm, rather than help, the redaction critic.
At any rate, I'm thrilled to see someone else interested in the subject.
Be back later.