Religious Studies on Religious Views of Good and Evil

Every religion in the world has a view of what the aspects of good and evil are. Usually, different religions view evil as anything that is an opposite of what can be described as good. Good is often allowed to prevail because it is in line with the character or the will of the supernatural being every religion character believes in. Many faiths use evil to denote unacceptable or unwanted societal behaviors, such as immorality, neglect, selfishness, and ignorance among others. These opinions of good and evil are essential in the study of religion as they help to address endless questions about the meaning of life, which is one of the critical purposes of religion (Valea). Religions often have the responsibility of explaining to followers the origin of the concepts of good and evil as well as their nature.

Religions have diverse views of good and evil, and the significance of the two concepts vary from one faith to another. For example, according to Hinduism, the concept of Dharma (righteousness) plays a crucial role in the division of society into good and evil. Thus, the everyone has a duty to protect the Dharma even it entails waging war against people opposing the same. With these views of good and evil, the faith focuses more on bad action rather than bad people (Gort, Jansen, and Vroom 59). Buddhism, however, places more weight on suffering and enlightenment than good and evil. Buddha teaches that the suffering that humans experience is caused by “evil.” Buddhists believe that evil is a thing or action that prevents one from experiencing happiness in life. They also view evil as whatever obstructs liberation from samsara or a rebirth. Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, argues that evil entails actions such as lying, killing, gossiping, hatred, abuse, and slandering. Thus, the importance of these views of good and evil to Buddhism is that they explain the primary causes of unhappiness in life and the obstruction from liberation from samsara and a better rebirth (Gort, Jansen, and Vroom 115). Christians believe that evil is what goes against the will or character of God. They use this view to explain some of the evil actions perpetrated by society. Judaism argues that evil is neither real nor is it part of God’s creation but that it exists because of Man’s bad actions. Therefore, those who do good deeds ought to be rewarded. Islam, on the contrary, asserts that everything whether good or bad comes from Allah. Muslims firmly believe that evil is primarily caused by the willingness of humans to go against the expectations and orders of Allah and natural events such as natural disasters. This view is significant to Islam as it determines how people live.

Some of the religions of Cincinnati, Ohio, include Hinduism and Christianity. Among Christians, especially Catholics, there is the belief that doing evil is going against God’s will or character. Christians teach and emphasize good behavior whereby people are required to live in peace and harmony and help one another. Christians’ practice of helping the needy has been documented in the Bible, for instance, Jesus of Nazareth is reported to have fed the hungry (Blocher). Additionally, Christians trust that since God is caring and helps his people whenever in need, humans must also help one another.



Works Cited

Blocher, Henri. “Christian Thought and the Problem of Evil part 1v,” n.d.

Gort, Jerald D, Henry Jansen, and H M. Vroom. Probing the Depths of Evil and Good: Multireligious Views and Case Studies. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007.

Valea, Ernest. “The Problem of Evil in World Religions.” Comparative Religion – The Problem of Evil in World Religions, 24 Apr. 2015.