Evil: The Relevance Of Decrees

     The Gentle Readers of Liberty’s Torch have a spread of opinions and convictions about God, the supernatural, and religion. That’s to the good: it makes for a variegated background for subjects such as this one. One of the critical issues that arise from that spread is this one, which I’ll touch on briefly for now and return to – hopefully – later in the day for fuller treatment.

     In truth, we’ve covered a lot of ground already. Intent seems to be the core requirement for evil, whether or not evil deeds result. However, among our Gentle Readers are some who have cited certain authorities, who have issued prescriptions and proscriptions that aren’t entirely in accord. That raises this highly contentious question:

Are any authority’s decrees relevant to evil?

     Can an authority legitimately decree that some action is evil and thus make it so? Inversely, can an authority legitimately decree that some action is not evil and thus make it so? If this is ever possible, what qualifications must that authority possess? If he lacks any of those qualifications, could his decrees still be relevant to evil, and if so how?

     There you go, Gentle Readers. Chew it over and we’ll get back on the topic a bit later. One last thing: This tongue-in-cheek tale is highly relevant to the topic. Think about it.


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    • OneGuy on February 8, 2024 at 10:36 AM

    Yes.  In a true emergency or leaders could and should make those kinds of tough decisions.  It is up to time and history to prove them right or wrong.  Unfortunately, often as time passes the relevance and reality of the situation that required those decisions is lost on those who decide if the decision was right.  A small example of this but one that is current in our own country is the tearing down of civil war statues.  Were the leaders right to put up statues on both sides to honor people and bravery?  Were they right to do those things for both sides in an effort to bring a divided country back together ?  or are the activist right to misrepresent the statue’s intent and use it to divide the country for political purposes.  I am 80 years old and have been a student of the civil war most of my life and by all accounts Robert E. Lee was an honorable, honest and brave man and not the person typically represented today.  Others too who fought on the losing side were good people fighting not for slavery but for what they believed the constitution intended.  I say that as a person born and raised in Boston, taught by Northerners and called “Yankee” by Southerners when I joined the military.  It was a eye opener to discuss the civil war with people born and raised in the South in the 40’s & 50’s.  Almost everything said about Southerners and the civil war today is wrong and intentionally so.

      • Steve on February 9, 2024 at 11:19 AM

      I think the whole point of being a leader is to lead, not to decree. “Hell or high water, I’m going this way. Follow me or not. You have to live with your decision either way.”

      For those leading in a Godly way, Christianity has had massive influence on Western culture, and the leaders’ choices often could be easily reconciled with the Bible. Lee is an excellent example, as is Crockett’s Texas quip to the cowards in Congress. But in a day of declining culture, one which substitutes Truth for my truth, “leadership” generally has nothing to do with leadership, and everything to do with usurping the Lawgiver. Storing up massive treasure on earth while assuming none of the risk for their diktats.

    • FJ Dagg on February 8, 2024 at 11:53 AM

    For an authority – legitimately – to decree on evil/not evil that authority must be God. Temporal authorities, being temporal, lack the perspective required for clarity, let alone legitimacy.

    1. Not to mention the tendency of men of high rank to promote their personal preferences as commands from God. Yea verily, even high churchmen who really should know better.

      1. This is the true meaning of the commandment not to use God’s name in vain. It will not end well for them or those who heed them.

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