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Is the lesser of two evils still evil?

Posted by truthtalklive on October 24, 2008

Guest host Alex McFarland www.alexmcfarland.com  welcomes Mark Mittelberg, author of “Choosing Your Faith” and Warren C. Smith, Publisher of the Charlotte World www.worldnewspaperpublishing.com  and the Evangelical Press News Service. 

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64 Responses to “Is the lesser of two evils still evil?”

  1. Stanley said

    Yes. If I get what you’re going at, John McCain is still evil, even though hes not a baby killer like Obama.

  2. Maz said

    Is there a catch to this question?!

    Ofcourse the lesser of two evils is still evil. Evil is evil, lesser or more.

  3. Stanley said

    I disagree.

    There is no “evil.” Evil is a person’s/people’s opinion.

  4. F. L. A. said

    Like beauty, normality, and humor, Stanley?

  5. Maz said

    Stanley: So what is your opinion about the person that is a mass murderer?

  6. jAsOn said

    Stan,

    What epistemological presupposition causes you to say that, “There is no “evil.” Evil is a person’s/people’s opinion.”?

  7. jAsOn said

    I was listening to a small portion of the show and I heard one caller’s comment. I don’t take great enjoyment in criticizing others,and my heart goes out to Greg, but the “power” is not in personal testimony…those are the things that truly are subjective. Just minutes before, Alex contrasted objectivity with subjectivity, but (as far as I know, b/c I didn’t hear the rest of the show) he didn’t correct Greg when he basically argued for the exact opposite. The “power” is in the Word so, if you don’t preach the bible to someone you meet, but instead of that you only tell them what Jesus has done in your life, then you have done them a great disservice; the gospel is not, what Jesus has done in my life, but the gospel is, what Jesus has done on the cross, in time and history…that is true objectivity.

  8. Barney said

    Re: post #6

    Evil is an adjective per Merriam-Webster. So calling something evil is always going to be an opinion.

    Anyone else besides me have to look up ‘epistemological presupposition’?

    Wait, I’m not Stan, right?

    Never mind.

  9. jAsOn said

    Epist. pres.: how do you know evil is a matter of opinion? In a broader sense, how do you establish what is true?

  10. Kerrie said

    Of course the lesser evil is still evil.

    A little poop or a lot of poop, is still Poop!

  11. Maz said

    Jason: Certainly the power of God to save is in the Word alone, but sometimes someones testimony can go a long way to showing what God can do in someones life. A drug addict, a murderer, a terrorist, a prostitute, a homosexual or a gangster….like Nicki Cruz for instance. Ofcourse it was Wilkersons preaching that opened his eyes and changed his life, but think how many others were helped by reading his book or hearing his testimony. There is certainly a place for testimony.

  12. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    I agree that there is a place for testimony. But, evidenced by the comment made during the show, contemporary American Evangelicalism is post-modern in that (however unintentional) we often REPLACE the subjective truths of the gospel, necessary to believe and be saved, with the utter subjectivity of personal testimony. I do believe that personal testimony has its place in the edification of believers, but the subjectivity of having ones quality of life improved, or being given the power to obey God’s Law to a greater degree really should have a minimal place in an evangelistic situation. The personal testimony that is useful in those cases is if we can point to a time when we did not believe and repent, and contrast that with the times when we do, thus testifying to the power of God by highlighting His ability to recreate persons who see their sin in contrast to His holiness and believe gospel. I think a lot of the times we want to substitute transformation for salvation, and this is symptomatic of our mistake of confusing sanctification with justification; confusing Law and Gospel. What eternal good is it if an unregenerate person is inspired in some way to “change his life” by going to rehab so he can replace bad habits with good ones if he has not first had his heart changed from a heart of stone into a heart of flesh? I’m certain you would say that it is of no good, and that is the point I’m trying to make–the business of the Kingdom is that of calling persons to see their sinfulness in light of the holiness of God (as reflected in His Law) and to repent of those sins and believe that Christ, in history, lived the perfect life and died the perfect death on a Roman cross, and was raised to glorious life in the place of lowly sinners. Personal transformation (sanctification) will be a result of that continued repentance and belief.

  13. Maz said

    Jason: Yes, I agree totally, that even if one was to change their life it would mean nothing and have no merit in itself whatsoever. Only Christ can change a life by the power of Gods Word and the Spirit which regenerates. I do believe the preaching of the cross has been replaced to a large degree by a modernistic gospel today, and people are not told they are sinners needing to repent, or that Judgment and Hell is a reality which they could suffer unless they come to Christ and recognise they need Him as their Savior.
    People do need to see how Holy God is, even in the Church. There is not enough reverence for Him, it’s more a ‘Daddy’ thing nowadays.

    I remember when I read through the Bible the first time and got to the part in Exodus where they came to Mount Sinai. It was there that I realised the Awesomeness of God, His Holiness and His greatness…..And His hatred of sin. But then it revealed to me that Jesus, the Son of God, was that Awesome and Holy God that came down as a man and died for us. What a Savior! What a God we have! Amazing Love, how can it be, that thou MY GOD shouldst die for me! Hallelujah!

  14. jAsOn said

    Amen…I love the hymn you closed with!

  15. Maz said

    Jason: Yes, great hymn…..I particularly love the verse where I can sing exhuberantly….”Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night, Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke; the dungeon flamed with light, My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed Thee.”
    Praise the Lord!

  16. Beck said

    The absence of good is evil. The absence of light is dark. The absence of heat is cold. These are facts.

    There are also varying degrees of each…there’s dawn and dusk; warm and cool; but what about varying degrees of good?

    I reason that it’s better to associate with people who are less “evil” or “more good” than others. I absolutely would choose the lesser of two evils given the chance. Is it wrong? Well, I reason that if asked by God why I didn’t choose what I believe to be the lesser of two evils, I have a pretty strong case for making the best choice. There is only one perfect choice and that’s Christ. Until Christ returns, we must do our best to make the best choices we can guided by God’s instruction.

    I have peace in choosing the lesser of two evils when these are my only two choices. To not choose the lesser would be empowerin the more evil, correct?

  17. Stanley said

    Evil and good aren’t facts, they’re opinions.

  18. Maz said

    Beck: Your last line…absolutely correct. When you have to make a choice, it’s better to choose the lesser to stop the other.

    The question is though ”Is the lesser of two evils still evil?” It’s like asking ”Is the smaller of two pigs still a pig”. I mean, it’s obvious isn’t it?…..well it is to me.

  19. Maz said

    Stanley: Can you substantiate that statement?

  20. Stanley said

    Can you? You’re the one claiming they exist.

  21. F. L. A. said

    Sometimes, being evil may be simply a case of something being misunderstood.

  22. Stanley said

    Like Satan. He just wants you to have a good time, unfortunately God and Jesus and Paul went on a slander campaign and everyone hates him. Shame.

  23. Maz said

    Stanley: YOU made a statement, are YOU willing to substantiate it?

  24. Mike S. said

    Stanley does not substantiate anything he says on this site with any form of logic and/or reason. He just likes to come on here and make short inflammatory comments and watch for the responses. I wrongly compared him to Barney/Fred who at least offers some reasons for what he believes. Sorry Barney…

  25. Maz said

    Mike: Yes, that’s why I ask the question with no real expectation of an intelligent answer.

  26. Stanley said

    You guys are my favorite form of entertainment, other than hockey and football of course.

    But then again…
    Wake tickets- 30$
    Hurricanes tickets-25$
    lolling at Mike and Maz’s comments- Free!

  27. Maz said

    Stanley: It’s good to know that you are entertained, but it would be even nicer if something of the truth about God and His amazing love for you got through somehow to your heart somehow.

  28. Mike S. said

    Life without Christ… $7734 (flip number upside down)
    Life with Christ… Priceless and free.

  29. Stanley said

    I’m all for receiving some of God’s love… it just doesn’t happen.

    Good effort Mike…

  30. Maz said

    Stanley: Do you REALLY want to know God and His love for you? Then why not ask Him to show you? But remember He doesn’t listen so much to your words, as to your heart. In fact He can hear your heart even without the words.

  31. Stanley said

    Already tried. I have a different perspective about “God.”

  32. Maz said

    Stanley: You have to come to Him with the right perspective….the right heart attitude.

  33. Stanley said

    Why would I possibly think yours is the right one though? You have no evidence and faulty logic.

  34. Mike S. said

    I got this e-mail a little while ago from a “Liberal Democrat”

    My “Dirty Harry” response is “Go ahead… make my day”

    And My Hank Williams Jr. response is …”I’ve got a shotgun a rifle and a four wheel drive, and a country boy can survive!”

    Here is the e-mail…. cute. I’ll take Ole Miss over Harvard and Dollywood over Hollywood anyday!! 🙂

    Dear Red States:

    If you manage to steal this election too we’ve decided we’re leaving.
    We intend to form our own country, and we’re taking the other Blue States with us.
    In case you aren’t aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

    To sum up briefly:

    You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

    We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

    We get the Statue of Liberty.

    You get Dollywood.

    We get Intel and Microsoft.

    You get WorldCom.

    We get Harvard.

    You get Ole’ Miss.

    We get 85% of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs.

    You get Alabama.

    We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

    Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian
    Coalition’s, we get a bunch of happy families.
    You get a bunch of single moms.

    Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war,
    and we’re going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to
    fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they’re apparently willing to send
    to their deaths for no purpose, and they don’t care if you don’t show pictures
    of their children’s caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq,
    and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we’re not willing to spend our
    resources in Bush’s Quagmire.

    With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80% of the country’s
    fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation’s
    fresh fruit, 95% of America’s quality wines, 90% of all cheese, 90% of the high
    tech industry, 95% of the corn and soybeans (thanks Iowa!), most of the U.S.
    low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and
    Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

    With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88%
    of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92% of all U.S.
    mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all
    Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh,
    Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

    We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

    Additionally, 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually
    swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we’re
    discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory,
    53% believe that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards
    believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

    Finally, we’re taking the good pot, too.
    You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico

    Peace out,
    Blue States

  35. Stanley said

    Red states got owned.

  36. Stanley said

    Also, North Carolina should be a blue state this year! Maybe there is a God?!

  37. F. L. A. said

    I thought that our “slave state” Florida had the best beaches?
    Well, at least we have the best amusement parks and fishing in the Deep South.
    Are you still in the process of creating your own religion Stanley?
    If so, then how is that coming along?

  38. Mike S. said

    Obviously the writer has never been to Destin!

  39. Stanley said

    Cali and Hawaii have the best beaches.

    I think my religion is going to be more of a life work achievement. So, slowly.

  40. Jared said

    So Stanley admitted it. A couple of times.

    “There is no “evil.” Evil is a person’s/people’s opinion.”

    This is great stuff. Admitting that your view of good and evil is externally meaningless!? Good and bad have no meaning! He is correct you understand and being consistent for the moment, for an atheist, for the moment. If you don’t have a foundation from which to argue (in other words truth derived from a transcendent being = God (the one true God of the Bible I would add)) then you simply have and nothing more than opinions, no right or wrong, no truth or error for that matter. And how those opinions are derived is obviously meaningless. The law of non-contradiction and all other law (truth) becomes quite simply of no substance.

    The only problem with this system is that Stanley or anyone else who ever makes this type of meaninglessness argument doesn’t ever and quite honestly can’t live accordingly. And it is so evident on so many different levels. But you watch, he, along with all the other Haters of God, can not see it, and will begin arguing for their opinion trying to use some externally derived truth. Amazing … I don’t believe in truth yet I want to appeal to some form of it (my form of it no matter how inconceivably inconstant it might appear)!!!!!!

    For those who are Christians on this site … you cannot argue with this type of senselessness. You only have one option, as atheists are so willing and able to give you. Proverbs “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves”. In other words, as Paul demonstrated to us, argue at the fundamental levels and use their own argumentation and its dictates. Most will still not see, for they are blind, but our Lord may open a few eyes so that they will see their folly and hear you again! A few, He will show their great folly and they will begin to see their sin and great need of a Savior to deliver them from it. Namely, the Lord Jesus Christ!

  41. Jared said

    By the way:

    I believe the question answers itself in this case! Read it rather … in reverse. Doesn’t it seams rather silly to argue about a question that obviously has the answer in its very question?!

  42. Maz said

    Jared: Again you have expressed the truth about a God-less life very well. Where do people without God get their sense of right and wrong from anyway?
    Where in fact do we get our laws from?
    Do not murder.
    Do not steal.
    Do not bear false witness.
    Isn’t it from the Ten Commandments?
    Strange how people without God will use them in their process of law. But then America DID once live according to Gods laws. Now those laws are being erroded. Will they one day do away with the above laws? Who knows.

  43. Maz said

    Jared: #41. That’s exactly the point. Did you read what I put in #18? Didn’t anybody else notice what a silly question it was….I thot there must be a catch in it somewhere! 😉

  44. Stanley said

    Actually, I think my stances and views are better than yours, otherwise I wouldn’t believe them, although since I’m a democrat, I’ll give your views equal say. Like it or not, your views are just as much opinion as mine.

  45. Stanley said

    “Do not murder.
    Do not steal.
    Do not bear false witness.
    Isn’t it from the Ten Commandments?”

    Doesn’t take a rock to figure out those.

  46. Mike S. said

    Well put Jared.

  47. Maz said

    Stanley: I wasn’t asking because I didn’t know, I was pointing out that they ARE!

    Funny how the ‘powers that be’ want to get rid of the Ten Commandments from public display.

  48. F. L. A. said

    Maz, almost everyone everywhere, Christian or not, follows those same basic rules. And we have covered THIS in the past as well. Do you remember?
    Jared, when you labeled some people as “Haters of God”, were you referring to anyone specifically[Like me, MattF, John,etc.etc.for example]? I was just curious.

  49. Maz said

    F.L.A: But that is the point……whether they believe or not they are following Gods laws because everyone is born with a conscience to know right from wrong. But as Stanley illustrated so succinctly some people think that right and wrong is a matter of opinion and not absolute.

  50. Jared said

    Sorry Maz … I missed #10 and #18. I got to #3 and it was like gold and there it was again in #17!

    They will only do away with God’s laws as proves self serving. Look above! They can not do away with all of them. God set things in order and they won’t like the disorder that is generated as God’s laws aren’t followed. Look at Stanley. Part of the ten commandments is selectively self serving for him and all the other atheists. You notice that he has the opinion that at least three of them he likes … for now. Until he gets caught in a big lie or stealing something and then he will immediately resort to relativism. Not unlike each of us! He could wake up tomorrow in a different set of circumstances and change his mind and it wouldn’t matter a bit to him. He would obviously have to suppress the truth and heart ache it causes, but he is likely already good and hardened to that anyway by this point. As he noted, “Doesn’t take a rock to figure out those,” and until God takes his heart of stone and changes it to a heart of flesh as Ezekieal 36 reminds us (I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules), he will be captive to sin and blindness. Praise the God of creation for the freedom found in Christ!

  51. John said

    You did not answer Ferox’s question within post 48 Jared.

  52. Jared said

    F.L.A and John … sorry … here is my answer.

    Nothing personal, I am again presupposing My Lords word as revealed in scripture. There are one type of people in relationship to God,(“enemies” as is found in Romans 5:10 and “God Haters” as is shown in Romans 1:28 to the end of the chapter), until … He chooses who He will change according to His own good pleasure as Ephesians 1:4-12 demonstrates to us, we are all in that condition and quite happy with it, I might add. Although it probably makes us a little uncomfortable to admit to such a thing because we all have an inclination of the fundamental truths deep down inside (Romans 1 again starting in verse 18). Scripture always characterized only two groups. Those who belong to God and those who are emissaries of Satan.

    Hope that helps!

  53. Maz said

    Jared: Can you explain what you mean by ”we are all in that condition and quite happy with it. I might add.”

  54. Stanley said

    Anyways…

    Now that we know that evil is an opinion, choosing a more evil answer would be better, so you could make the wold just that more evil.

  55. Maz said

    Stanley: How could something more evil be BETTER?

  56. John said

    “We are all turds in a cesspool. Some float higher some lower, but we all stink like you know what. And oftentimes the self proclaimed Christians stink the most because they say they smell so sweet!

    Christians are scumball/turds relying upon a perfect, sweet, savior.”-Jared post#14 “Should a Bible Believing Christian vote for Obama?” site.

    Wow Jared.
    And Maz thinks that the theory of evolution is DEGRADING?!?
    Do you also whip yourself every night as you pray?
    People like you make people like me feel grateful that we chose another path.

  57. Maz said

    Jared: Christians are scum balls??
    Did you read the scriptures I gave in #17 and #19 under the question ”Should we vote for Obama?”

  58. Jared said

    Maz

    Jared: Can you explain what you mean by ”we are all in that condition and quite happy with it. I might add.”

    In our former condition we were lovers of sin … now we, Christians, hate it and struggle against it.

  59. Jared said

    Maz: I answered in 50 on ”Should we vote for Obama?”

    Got to go. Have a good evening/night!

  60. Maz said

    Jared: Yes, in our former condition……we aren’t in that sondition anymore. Sin shall NOT have dominion over us. It’s only when we open ourselves up to it that we can go astray. We shall never live a perfect life like Jesus but with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit we can seek to live according to His Word and overcome temptations by the power of the Spirit. God has given us all we need to ‘fight the good fight of faith’.

  61. Maz said

    correction…..condition not sondition!

  62. Grant said

    In response to an above statement about trying to respond to the typical illogical ramblings offered by atheists.

    I asked an atheist to prove to me he was an atheist. Couldn’t do it. Can’t do it, without utilizing the same arguments that they ridicule us for using. Interesting.

  63. Maz said

    Actually atheism is a faith too….they believe there is no God. The Bible calls these people fools.

  64. abc's said

    Grant

    re: 62

    Why is that interesting? How could anyone prove to you what they believe or disbelieve?

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