Aug 16, 2012
In one way or another, all religions deal with the problem of evil, both how to explain it and how to solve it.
Buddhism, for example, teaches that all life is suffering and that the only way out is through the extinction of egotistic desire, that “blowing out of the candle,” designated by the Sanskrit word nirvana. All of Buddhist practice, theory and doctrine are devoted to the attainment of this blissful state.
Manichaeism and Gnosticism—ancient theories still very much alive today—teach that evil is a powerful force that does battle with good down through the ages. Usually, but not always, Gnostics tend to identify the good principle with the spiritual and the evil principle with matter. A variant on the Manichaean philosophy is represented in the “Star Wars” films, which feature an ongoing struggle between the dark and light sides of the “Force.”
Judaism understands evil as the result of a departure from God’s command and tends to see the solution, therefore, as a more faithful following of the divine law.