12345It is never, in any situation, acceptable to do any form of evil. The title of this essay is easy to answer. The implied question in the title, however is not as easy:
1234512345What is Evil?
12345Or perhaps, a better question to ask might be: What is Goodness? You and I are merely ignorant mortals. We cannot hope to ever answer this question on our own. The answer is really more like an array of answers and statements. God has revealed many parts of the answer to this question through ancient and modern prophets, and personal revelation to other individuals. A simplified answer is that Goodness is obedience to God, and Evil is disobedience to him.
12345Since this essay is for a class about the American Civil War, I am certain this question is preparation for discussing the way that the North treated the South during the war. The implied question is: Was it okay for the Union soldiers to ravage the Southern countryside the way they did? First of all, I would like to ask, why do we care? Why should it matter to us wether or not the north was in the right or not? Shouldn’t we only care about what we should do in our own lives? Why, it’s our old hobgoblin, the “foolish consistency,” of course! We Americans have been brought up being taught that the Northerners were the “Good Guys,” and that the Southerners were the “Bad Guys,” and being young, we accepted it. If the North was evil, then that would mean that we were wrong that whole time we believed it! Another thing causing us to wish that the Union soldiers were the Good Guys is a concept I read about in Ezra Taft Benson’s The Proper Role of Government. He called it “Collective Guilt”. Since we live in the Union, we feel somewhat responsible for any evils done by the Union in the past, and we feel uncomfortable facing that responsibility, that isn’t ours! Don’t be ashamed, fellow Americans, for what those who came before you have done to their slaves and each other.
12345I do not think it was “okay” for the North to burn homes and fields of civilians, but I do not know one-hundredth of all the factors that went in to the war, so I am not in any place to answer that question.