Sunday, June 17, 2007

Such a common sentiment.

I read a quote today. It is such a common sentiment. It just doesn't make sense. I mean think about it for awhile.

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

- Steven Weinberg


batflower said...


Came across your blog randomly a little while ago, and I've been thinking about this quote. I disagree with Weinburg. Perhaps he should just stick to his strings.

Firstly, how do you define if a person is good or bad? I think the most sound way is by what they do, thus if "good people" were to do evil things, they are really not good people at all.

Also I think religion has inspired some serious evils in the past, but this is not its fault; it is merely a tool to be used for better or worse by the people who subscribe to it. Religion can also inspire great deeds.

Finally, I think for those who seek to do evil things and require an excuse, religion is often one of the most convenient, but in absence of that these people will find whatever other means of justification they think they need. It is not fair to blame religion when they'd find an excuse anywhere else in its absence.

What do you think? You say it doesn't make sense, but is that because you don't understand it or because you also disagree?

Thanks for giving my brain a workout!


Dan G said...

Yes, you hit the nail on the head. You stated exactly what I was thinking but didn't take the time to write down.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the quote means that evil is evil in the normal sense of what we are thinking is evil when we read this.

Think about the religious persons in the world who disassociate themselves from (as you say in one of your posts - "I'll be civil and a Christian but I will not be his friend") persons that they do not agree with. To me, this is evilness. Evil can also be judgmental and unwillingness to listen. Evil takes all shapes and forms...not just murder or things of that nature. Although I hear that in the quote as well.

All people are God's children, no matter what they speak. They need your friendship more than your Christian brothers at church...

If we only associate ourselves with those that are "good" or will not embarrass us in social situations, we are not doing God's will.

It reminds me of the story about the seemingly homeless guy who comes into church and everyone avoids him.

Even if it is an email story that floats around occasionally, one you may delete because it doesn't conform to something you feel the need to read, it does make you think...and I feel for the souls that turn away when the day comes.

Didn't mean to meander around several subjects at once. :)