The problem of violence in the Сhristian ontological and acsyological paradigm of good and evil
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God's commandments, faith, freedom, sin, spiritual values, love, charity, non-resistance, force, moral evaluation, responsibility

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Nesprava, M. (2020). The problem of violence in the Сhristian ontological and acsyological paradigm of good and evil. Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, 1(1), 152-175.


The aim of the article is to show the ontological sources of violence and to characterize the axiological criteria for assessing real violent actions as they are interpreted within the framework of the Christian paradigm of good and evil. Paper reveals the defining features and existential causes of violence. The author demonstrates the logical construction of the biblical ontological and axiological paradigm of good and evil, based on the analysis of the fundamental Biblical postulates. First, this paradigm interprets good as a freedom that is limited only by God's commandments. Consequently, it considers the dialectical manifestation of two factors - God's law and human freedom as an ontological prerequisite for the emergence of the problem of good and evil. In a consistent way, this paradigm determines that sin is the abuse of freedom that manifests itself in violating of God's commandments, and that is conscious human’s choice in favor of evil. It states that the fall from grace was the root cause of violence, and the existence of violence in the modern world is caused by despondence. Thus, the author reveals key positions of the relationship between evil, sin and violence based on the logic of the considered biblical paradigm. At the same time he discovers the difference in the interpretation and evaluation of violence contained in the Bible. The author shows that in the Old Testament violence is viewed not only as evil, but also as a necessary punishment for sin or just vengeance. On the contrary, the Christian ontological and axiological paradigm, recognizing the permissibility of violence to deal with the concrete manifestations of sinful evil in certain cases, proclaims non-violence as a moral obligation arising from Gospel commandments. For Christians good means love, charity and forgiveness. From this position, the author compares the concept of non-resistance to evil with violence and the concept of the validity of force resistance. The article reveals the significance of Christian philosophers’ inference that only victory over evil in one's soul opens the possibility for a person to use force equally. The examples given in the paper show that the problem of violence becomes particularly complex due to the subjectivity of the assessment of good and evil as social phenomena. Relying on the position of the Christian ontological and axiological paradigm, the author argues that there is an essential differentiation between sinful and non- sinful violence. He offers the criteria by which violent actions should be classification as non- sinful. The article proves that violence, the genesis of which is ontologically linked to evil, can, however, be defined as non- sinful and have some justification from the standpoint of Christian axiology if: firstly, it has a character of warning or counteraction, and not revenge; secondly, it does not degrade the human dignity; thirdly, and most importantly, it is directed by the higher postulates of love, rather than by the struggle for material values, socio-political or religious ideals.
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