It’s interesting how the conflicts between good and evil carry over to film. One case in point is Spongebob and Star Wars VII. A more unlikely comparison you’re not going to find, but consider how the characters interact with what you know to be good and evil. Light, darkness, freedom, fighting the bad guys, laughing in the face of danger unaffected and uncorrupted. Most of the plot is the battle between good and evil, and one of the scariest things that can be portrayed is for good to be corrupted. The stuff in their universe is just stuff: a rock, a planet, a flying brick, a star (a starfish?). But the moral agent is the character. What they do in a situation and whether they observe boundaries tells you if they are heroes or villains. (And of course the color of their hats help.)
In the movies, good and evil play out through the actions of the characters. In real life, good and evil play out through your character and your choices whether they are big choices or small.
Sometimes, when I don’t know how to look at a situation or what perspective to consider, I reduce the situation down to good versus evil. If you don’t know what you should do, ask yourself which way is the wrong way and do the opposite. For some reason it’s easier for us, at times, to identify evil. For example:
- Case 1: You find free software or movies to download online. You know it’s copyrighted, but someone has put it online for everyone to get a copy for free. Since it’s a copy and the original is not missing, is it stealing? Which way is more good or evil? Consider your choices: report it, ignore it, download it. When it really comes down to it, which way do you think leads to suffering or loss on the part of anyone involved? If you were spending hours writing the software at your computer, would it be okay for someone to take it without your permission? Why do you think it would be wrong or right?
- Case 2: Your are faced with a situation where you want to lie. It is likely not going to be discovered and it’s not a life or death situation. Lie, or do not lie — which way is more evil and why? What if everyone had no standard for telling the truth? What long term effect might it have if our banks, police, lawyers, or politicians lied? What if our friends, family, wives, and husbands had no honor or truth, but lied anytime? What would a city full of these people look like? When are you tempted to lie and what are you going to do about it? Often the hardest place to start is with ourselves.
- Case 3: The Bible is the most commonly shoplifted book. Why do you think that is?
Tell us what you think about any of these cases in the comments!