Monday, November 18, 2013

Moralti* (for Morality, etc.)

Morality is obviously a major part of most religions, and in many a theological debate, the so-called "problem of evil" raises its ugly head. To wit, why must it exist at all? Or put a bit more poignantly: why do bad things happen to good people? Why isn't life fair? Perhaps we could also term this unfortunate fact the "inequity of iniquity" (or even the "immortality of immorality"). While it's often said that the poor will always be with us, so it seems will evil, which is live spelled backwards: wickedness has probably been around for as long as life itself. There's nothing really new under the sun, including those alliterative turns of phrase that felt almost original when they first occurred to me, but have turned up hundreds of times online. One poem found there contains the following line: "The damned inequity of iniquity dams me so I can't break free..." According to the "two-tree theory," the Garden of Eden encompassed both the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. While there's considerable debate over what the latter one in particular signifies, I don't believe it's a proscription against knowledge, per se, so much as a caution against immorality. The way I see it, God didn't want us to not be librarians; he just wanted us to be good ones. Moralti* was found three times in OhioLINK, and 25 times in WorldCat.

(God the Father forbids Eve to pick the fruit from the tree of good and evil, marble bas-relief on the left pier of the fa├žade of the cathedral in Orvieto, Italy, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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