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60Evil: Back in Bad Companyhttps://www.firstthings.com/article/1994/03/004-evil-back-in-bad-company
Tue, 01 Mar 1994 00:00:00 -0500 Most Christian thinkers have viewed evil as a privation, a derivative reality, like a shadow. Shadows are privations of light; they are real things, but dependent on the bodies that cast the shadows. They are darkness where light should have been. Similarly evil, a secondary reality, is only the absence of good, a void where goodness belongs. On this understanding of evil arose the account of sin, grace, and the fallenness of the world fundamental to orthodox Christianity.
The Case for Discriminationhttps://www.firstthings.com/article/1993/04/003-the-case-for-discrimination
Thu, 01 Apr 1993 00:00:00 -0500Half a century ago the word “discrimination” had already among its meanings the making of adverse distinctions with respect to persons. Today, following some fifty years of incessant attention to discrimination in that sense, it hardly supports any other. Such things happen to words, of course. What fastidious clergyman today would think of using the word “awesome” to evoke the majesty of God? What poet would claim that daffodils had made him gay? But more has happened to “discrimination” than just being smeared with the ink of journalism and selective usage. It has not merely suffered by having all its meanings crammed into one. To make adverse distinctions, i.e., to discriminate, especially regarding persons, has also passed from a neutral to an invariably negative sense. It has come to imply conduct of which one should be ashamed, moral wrongdoing, unwarranted action, such that to say “He discriminated wrongly against so-and-so” sounds tautologous, like “He murdered so-and-so, which was not right” or “So-and-so was inappropriately raped.”