Good and Evil

At 10 years old, troubled Jeffrey had not yet learned much of the concept of good and evil. Having little of the concept themselves, his parents hadn’t considered it important to teach him much other than to do chores for them―and not to bother them, of course.

His church talked about good and evil some, but from the way they handled it, it seemed to him more a thing to be talked about than to be lived out, and Jeffrey took no particular inspiration from the experience.

Meanwhile, his school had long-since discarded the concept of good and evil as an archaic notion from the superstitious pre-scientific past. The closest the school came to any version of the concept was that it is good not to upset anybody and evil to upset anybody―except the upsetters, of course. You could upset them all you wanted, it seemed, and not get in trouble for it. And Jeffrey still hadn’t figured that one out.

He was exposed the most to the concept of good and evil in some of the movies he watched, and in a couple of the books he actually read. And he like those well enough, but in light of the society around him, it was fairly easy to shrug them off as “just stories”―as nothing more than make-believe.

No one had ever seen fit to sit him down and talk about it. And he had little concept that anything was expected of his life, other than not to upset peopleand to go to college someday, of course. If Jeffrey was going to really learn good and evil well, what chance was there of it happening, short of him suddenly becoming a philosopher and a scholar who would look into it for himself, or of him meeting another human who already understood it, and would presume to teach it to him outside of the official channels of learning at school and at church?

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