ETHC 445N Week 2 Discussion: The Struggle of Good vs. Evil

Hello Professor and Class,

I do not know that I have an inclination toward evil. The broad definition of evil is any wrongful action, flaw in a person, or bad state of affairs that occurs in a person’s life (Calder, 2018). I find myself usually very skeptical of people when I see them online or first meet them.   I suppose I am this way because in the past I have had some bad experiences when not being skeptical.  When I see someone online I do sometimes become jealous of what they are doing or what they are wearing and by some standards that can be considered evil.  Based on the broad definition of evil these thoughts would be considered evil.  I think that others have the same thoughts at least some of the time.  This could be due to the fact that social media has made more public than what used to be public.  

The Medieval Period combined the classical emphasis with an emphasis on God and being holy.  This would mean that the people would be heavily focused on God and his teachings (Ruggiero, 2012).  Therefore, the people of this time would be using their teachings of or from God as a basis for their ethical views.  Depending on the interpretation of the teachings this could be a good  more wholesome and caring time in the ethical timeline.

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Calder, T. (2018, August 21). The Concept of Evil. Retrieved from Links to an external site.

Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). Thinking critically about ethical issues (8th ed.). New York: Mc-Graw Hill.

Although times have changed since St. Augustine and St Aquinas have been around a lot of what they were teaching is still used today in the 21st century.  Being from the South, I rely a lot of my decision making on their teachings. Just as the Medieval Period relied most of their decision making on God, people these days feel they have an obligation to God to do the right thing.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, New King James Version).  Aquinas believed that the Natural Law—the divine law as written in the heart of man—can be discovered by reason and cultivated by conscience (Ruggiero, 2012).  Faith and consciousness work hand in hand. I think both determine the same result. Your predominantly focused consciousness is the determining factor as to what you have faith will happen in your life and the quality of faith is reflected through the quality of consciousness that you choose (Dunes, 2012).  When faced with a decision of right or wrong our human nature comes in to affect.  In saying that, what we decide whether right or wrong is our own personal action which is based solely on ethics to determine if our action taken was moral or immoral. 

Although, I feel it’s not as predominant here to base one’s decisions on What Would Jesus Do (WWJD) people think that if they are living right then they are doing right.  I believe we should be happy but there is a fine line in living your best life and living the life God has set for us.  I struggle sometimes on a daily basis to do the right thing.  Not that I wake up aiming to be bad but I find it easier just to live for myself.  Before I was divorced, I did everything by the book.  I read self-help books on how to be a good mom, I went to church every Sunday and Wednesday, I didn’t cuss or get easily angered and I was always giving godly advice.  Today, I see myself as a good person.  I don’t have a family church but I know that there are consequences to decisions that aren’t in my best interest.  I grew up with a stable foundation and based on that I feel like I consciously make decisions that I hope will prosper my future.  Not that I think we make evil decisions but living more closely to what aligns with God is harder.  In an imperfect world it’s hard to live right 100% of the time. 


Dunes, Chuck (2012). Faith or Consciousness. Retrieved from http://www.abundance-and- to an external site..

Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). Thinking critically about ethical issues (8th ed.). New York: Mc-Graw


Hello! Professor and Class,

My own human experience aligns to Saint Thomas Aquinas more than Saint Augustine. Saint Thomas Aquinas resembles Aristotle’s morals of right and wrong to live an earthly life (Ruggiero, 2012). My principles and values of right and wrong guide my behaviors, actions, and decisions. Aquinas believed humans could come to reason with the written law with the conscience of right and wrong (Ruggiero, 2012). Saint Augustine had two-way views, one lead by faith and care to salvation, and the others are driven by desires leading to damnation in the earthly city (Lou, 2016). Saint Augustine thought happiness did not exist in real life (Ruggiero, 2012). I do recognize that Saint Augustine has a good point that material desires, such as wealth and power, do influence our behavior toward evilness and corruption. If someone is more focused on obtaining material objects, the less concerned he or she becomes of others and their surroundings, leading to greed and selfishness. Power is another example; someone who is interested in power will destroy anything and anyone who gets in the way. I tend to analyze everything I do, and always consider others before me. I have had inclinations toward evil when my desires overcome my judgment. An example would be lying to my parents to get permission to go out or get away with not doing chores or going to school during my teen years. According to Lou (2016), society should take Saint Augustine words as a warning because humans are slaves to insignificant urges and do things for the wrong reasons.

Lou, E. [Inventing Civilization]. (2016-08-31). Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas: the role of the State in Medieval Europe (video lecture) . Retrieved from

Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). Thinking critically about ethical issues (8th ed.). New York: Mc-Graw Hill.

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