Evil is easy to pin down. “Something to the disadvantage of others, usually at little cost to the perpetrator.” How many times have you said “That was an evil thing to do?” and gone about your business. Sin is more personal. You can only sin if you hold the morality that whatever you’re doing is against your own moral judgement. Breaking Societical mores cannot be deemed as sin unless they reside within an acceptable parameter of commonly agreed morality.
The harming of children, for example, is both a crime and a sin. Trust me, even demons abhor this behaviour but cutting down a neighbour’s tree isn’t a sin. It may be a crime, but since God gave the earth and everything up to humans, it won’t damn you.*
So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. (Genesis 9 v1-2)
Virtue, on the other hand, is less easy to define. It isn’t a fixed point. What might be perceived as a virtue for one person (patience, for example) might be less prized by another (indolence.)
Ada and I watched a film last night. Steven Seagal. You know the plot already. His pursuit of vengeance was perceived and written as a virtue; the aging hero portrayed as ‘a good man.’ What of the violence he inflicted on everyone else? Was that virtuous? I think not. His wanton killing of 47 perceived villains in pursuit of the one that killed his fictional son would damn him as surely as the villain. Does that make him an anti hero?
Ada disagrees. She got up this morning and insisted on practicing the arm-breaking throw that occurred forty minutes into the film. Is it virtuous that she earns to defend herself or just prudent? Either way it hurt like buggery* Next week I’m going to rent “Deep Throat” instead. Perhaps she’ll be equally eager to try the techniques.
So I’m back in the present, sipping coffee at Ada’s kitchen table and nursing a sore arm. I’m not going out again until it’s fully healed, which should be in about ten minutes. In front of me is the personals section of the Laverstone Times. No, I’m not looking for a partner, though SWF, mid thirties, GSOH WLTM well travelled male for a world of new adventures seems promising. Let’s face it, she’s either looking for me or David Tennant.
What I’m actually looking at is a advertisement I placed myself:
Hunky demon seeking Lydia. Where are you, girl? It’s been fifty years?
They gave me a free box because they thought it was sweet. I think they assumed I was on old man looking for his childhood sweetheart. I’m less pleased about the errant ‘C’ that crept in at the start of the ad.
Here am I, a demon of almost unlimited resources and I can’t find one half-faery in a country as tiny as England.
You don’t think she could be in Wales, do you?
Until the morrow. X
*Except perhaps by “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s ass, if you keep the tree for yourself.
*buggery hurts only when it’s done too fast or without lubrication. Patience again, see?