alschroeder on Oct. 19, 2014

Continuing a look at the origin of reality…largely inspired and derived from George F.R. Ellis' brilliant brief book, BEFORE THE BEGINNING. He is NOT responsible, though, for the liberties I've taken with his logic or how I've chosen to illustrate it.
I found before I got to the problem of evil (AND good) I have to examine a little our own value systems, and it's origins. I hate to leave the hard sciences for the more “fuzzy” ones like sociology and philosophy, but it's really necessary in this case. (The success of the hard sciences are actually due to the simplicity of their subject matter. All electrons, for instance, are alike. But one human–Socrates, Gandhi, Martin Luther King– can make decisions that affect the rest for centurites, at least.)
The third feature above directly ties into the power of evil and good, which is why we had to go this route. What is evil and good from society to society often differs in detail but is often the same in the broad strokes, although sometimes surpressed by the individual society. (Nazi Germany, Torquemada's Inquisition, etc.) Self-sacrifice for others is considered a good in practically all societies, for instance. (We'll get into sociobiological explanations for morality in same and their inherent limitations in some detail.)
If one goal of the universe's design is to create sentient life, it may be worth examining the only sentient society we know, and find what they have in common. This will all tie back together.