privatio boni

A major theme of Jung's chapter on Christ as a symbol of the Self, and of his overall thought as well, is the privatio boni. This is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian aeon. It is a corollary of the tenet that God is good only, and that God can be defined as the summum bonum, the highest good:


The basic idea of the privatio boni principle is that evil has no existence of its own; it is merely a privation or an absence of the good. A corollary of the doctrine is that all good comes from God and all bad from man

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Jung points out very explicitly that the privatio boni precept is based on a petitio principii, a begging of the question, which means philosophically that one slips an assumption (the assumption of what one is trying to prove) into an argument at the beginning, and so the answer is assumed in advance

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In this case, it is done by defining God as good and defining all existing things as necessarily good because they are created by a good God. A good God, by this definition, is not capable of creating evil. Thus, a metaphysical assumption is smuggled into the discussion at the beginning

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I would not offer any argument to that at all because I can perceive a similar divided reaction within myself. The Jungian standpoint meets my complete intellectual agreement. It is flawless so far as its logic is concerned, but emotionally it is a horror and I don't like it at all

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If I can find some way to say that I think Jung is a little too hard, that the universe really is stacked ultimately in the favor of good, I am going to do that. We are in a transition between the two aeons, and each person has to ask what fits his or her own individual experience

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