In the previous two posts on this subject, the author of this blog has made the case that the ability to discern between what is good and evil is something that must be acquired by humans. I have also attempted to demonstrate that the thesis linking good and evil to the presence of empathy is sound relative to Scripture. Nevertheless, it occurs to me that some will argue that goodness is defined by the laws that Moses presented to the Israelites as the basis for the Old Covenant.
After all, Moses did say: "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and judgments..." (Deuteronomy 30:15-16) Although Moses was clearly addressing the Israelites, we could say that what he was saying to them serves as the underpinning of all Scripture and consequently also applies to Christians.
So obedience defines goodness and disobedience defines evil? Yes, but THINK about the implications of what that really means.
In this regard, I would ask my readers to once again consider the Spiritual principles behind those commands, statutes and judgments. Isn't empathy at the heart of them?
Christ said that everything in the Law depended on LOVE: Love of God and love for each other. (Matthew 22:37-40) We have also previously related on this blog that the surest way to demonstrate one's love for God is to display our love for each other.
Hence, if love is truly selfless and empathetic (I Corinthians 13:4-5), then it follows that empathy is good and its absence is evil! We can't be content to look at the superficial aspects of a subject if we truly want to understand it. We must be willing to get to the root principles - the basis, the constituent parts - of what it means to be good or evil.