Culpability for Evil Deeds

Published July 31, 2020 by tindertender

Question: Are good and evil absolute for everyone?

Answer: God’s law is the same for everyone, but evil depends particularly on the desire one has to commit it. Good is always good, and evil is always evil, whatever a man’s position may be; the difference lies in the degree of his responsibility.

Question: Occasionally, evil seems to be a consequence of circumstances. That is the case, for instance, in the necessity of destruction, even that of fellow man. Can one say there is a breach of God’s law in such cases?

Answer: Evil is no less evil, even when it may be necessary, but such necessity disappears as the soul becomes purer, in passing from one existence to another. And then man is even more culpable when he does something evil, because he better comprehends it.

Question: The evil we commit is frequently a result of the position where others have placed us in. Who is more culpable in such a case?

Answer: The responsibility lies with the one who has caused it. As a result, he who is led into evil by circumstances forced upon him is less culpable than those who created such circumstances in the first place. Thus, each and every man shall bear the punishment not only for the wrongs he himself committed, but also for those he induced others to commit.

~ The Spirits’ Book by Allan Kardec, Chapter 1, part 3, 636, 638, 639

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