The taoist symbol of opposites is the taiji. Symbol of Ying/Yang It is a wonderful symbol of the opposing balanced forces of all existence: light and dark, male and female, good and evil, positive and negative, order and chaos. From these primordial opposing forces the multitude of all living and inanimate things derive. This eastern symbol of the ying and the yang is a good model for what it attempts to describe, including the tension between good and evil.
But that is where the taiji exhausts its symbolic power. It can only express equal opposing forces. It cannot express the opposing forces of God and Satan. [To my readers who do not believe in “the devil” and have serious questions about the existence of “God,” just go with me].
Aristotle makes the case that a virtue carried to an extreme is a vice. [Yes, people who are too “nice” drive me nuts.] His case for happiness was the “golden mean” and that could be expressed in the taiji. Aristotle also made the case for “eudaemonia.” This Greek word describes the happiness that is possible only from life of virtue. The “good,” the “true,” and the “beautiful,” were worthy of pursuit over a life of manipulation, domination, and selfish ambition. Implicit in this idea is that we were created for “eudaemonia.” In the words of St. Irenaeus, born circa120 A.D. Story of St. Iranaeus, “the glory of God is man fully alive.” So, in this play of opposites, there is an idea that God has set in place a set of “balanced behaviors” that will be the unique glory of God for each individually designed human being.
The whole story of ancient Western philosophy can be summed up in the idea that virtue is superior to vice, and that there are absolute standards by which we can label both vice and virtue. [In a post-modern society this quaint idea seems unsupportable–take it up with Plato. I’m just a country lawyer.] C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity” makes the point this way: Evil has no way of being graded as “evil” except by reference to something greater than itself–some standard by which “evil” will make sense. Evil then is not the equal of “virtue” but something just short of it.
In the world of taoist opposites, the pairing of God and Satan simply does not fit the model. There is no opposite to God. Satan is not His equal. From this fundamental premise, Christians can say confidently:
Multiple Translations of John 4:4.