EVIL!!!!!!!!

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:33 pm

Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:27 pm
When you lose at a competition, do you feel good about it, or do you think evil has befallen you?
"Befallen"? What a desperate and sad word that is!

You would have the second woman tell herself that her lack of promotion "befell" her? You'd tell her it was nothing to do with her choices? :shock:

If you did that, you'd be the one victimizing her. :shock: You'd be disempowering her, by convincing her that whereas she had many things she could have done for herself, she actually had none -- and that somebody "did her a dirty deed."

Shouldn't you rather empower her? Shouldn't you say, "Look at all the choices you could have made differently; and then look at what you could still do to take control of your situation...then do what you want. You have the power."

Instead, you want her to believe she "lost" a competition by becoming a "victim" of circumstances beyond her control? Why?

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Sculptor
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Sculptor » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:51 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:35 pm
Sculptor wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:18 pm
"I equate competition with evil because that creates a loser or victim."

You are saying evil CREATES.
And, to your point, a "loser" is not the same as a "victim."

There are plenty of people who "lose" things, who are very far from being victims.
Irrelevant.
It was not my point. I was commenting on it.

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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Lacewing » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:01 pm

Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm
Only a fool would think that there is just one true right way.
Agreed. Now if only you could remember that when you're arrogantly spouting what you think the truth is.
Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt
Sounds good, doesn't it? Of course there's more to consider than just that. Are you interpreting it literally? :lol:
Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm
Now go away and grow your puny mind.
Ah, I'll let you talk to yourself...
Greatest I am wrote: I see unearned smugness here.
Maybe there's a reason hypocrisy bothers you so much. How's that for an IDEA?

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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Greatest I am » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:28 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:33 pm
Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:27 pm
When you lose at a competition, do you feel good about it, or do you think evil has befallen you?
"Befallen"? What a desperate and sad word that is!

You would have the second woman tell herself that her lack of promotion "befell" her? You'd tell her it was nothing to do with her choices? :shock:

If you did that, you'd be the one victimizing her. :shock: You'd be disempowering her, by convincing her that whereas she had many things she could have done for herself, she actually had none -- and that somebody "did her a dirty deed."

Shouldn't you rather empower her? Shouldn't you say, "Look at all the choices you could have made differently; and then look at what you could still do to take control of your situation...then do what you want. You have the power."

Instead, you want her to believe she "lost" a competition by becoming a "victim" of circumstances beyond her control? Why?
I said nothing of her not having control.

None of this has to do with the fact that she lost the competition.

You are talking about mitigating her lose. It does not negate that she lost the competition.

If you think she should feel good about that, show why she should.

You are denying step one and trying to get step two.

Regards
DL

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Greatest I am
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Greatest I am » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:31 pm

Lacewing wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:01 pm
Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm
Only a fool would think that there is just one true right way.
Agreed. Now if only you could remember that when you're arrogantly spouting what you think the truth is.
Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt
Sounds good, doesn't it? Of course there's more to consider than just that. Are you interpreting it literally? :lol:
Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm
Now go away and grow your puny mind.
Ah, I'll let you talk to yourself...
Greatest I am wrote: I see unearned smugness here.
Maybe there's a reason hypocrisy bothers you so much. How's that for an IDEA?
I show one way and never said it was the only way.

Keep your personal garbage to yourself or go chat with someone else.

Regards
DL

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Immanuel Can
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:50 pm

Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:28 pm
You are talking about mitigating her lose. It does not negate that she lost the competition.
The point is this: the mere fact of having not won a competition does not make one a "victim."

To suggest it does would be absurd, because counter cases abound. For instance, in some situations, many people compete voluntarily in things. Not only that, but sometimes people win and lose because some work hard while others don't. That's not even unusual.

Sure, some real situations of victimization happen. But you can't say that "losing" or "inequality" automatically signal "victimization." That's nonsense. Let's save our pity for situations of equality where genuine victimization is implicated. But to make all these into "victims" would be to be contemptuous of their choices, and to try to convince them the are powerless in situations in which they are actually powerful and have been given every reasonable opportunity to win. You'd be working against their empowerment to choose winning.

In fact, you'd be the new victimizer. You'd be the one holding them back by telling them they can't win, when they could. :shock:

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Greatest I am
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Greatest I am » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:21 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:50 pm
Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:28 pm
You are talking about mitigating her lose. It does not negate that she lost the competition.
The point is this: the mere fact of having not won a competition does not make one a "victim."

To suggest it does would be absurd, because counter cases abound. For instance, in some situations, many people compete voluntarily in things. Not only that, but sometimes people win and lose because some work hard while others don't. That's not even unusual.

Sure, some real situations of victimization happen. But you can't say that "losing" or "inequality" automatically signal "victimization." That's nonsense. Let's save our pity for situations of equality where genuine victimization is implicated. But to make all these into "victims" would be to be contemptuous of their choices, and to try to convince them the are powerless in situations in which they are actually powerful and have been given every reasonable opportunity to win. You'd be working against their empowerment to choose winning.

In fact, you'd be the new victimizer. You'd be the one holding them back by telling them they can't win, when they could. :shock:
Sigh.

We are talking evolution and competing for resources to live.

Think where there are no social safety nets where if you lose at a job competition, your family might starve to death.

That is what make the loser to competitions victims.

Loosen or meld your analogical definitions for loser and victim and it is clear.

Keep your definition non-analogical and further conversation is pointless.

Regards
DL

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Immanuel Can
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:50 pm

Greatest I am wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:21 pm
We are talking evolution and competing for resources to live.
Competition and inequality often aren't bad there either. In fact, Darwin says competition, with survival only of the fittest, is how things get better; he says evolution is an immensely "wasteful" process, in that sense, with lots of "losers." So if I were you, I wouldn't cite evolution as my basis. Maybe if you were a Nietzschean or a Randian, that argument might count for you. But not here.

A person who does not work and will not contribute does not win. So what? They're not victims. They could help themselves. If they don't it's on them; but if they want to, they can.
Think where there are no social safety nets where if you lose at a job competition, your family might starve to death.
That would happen in the developing world. But here, there are so many opportunities that drugs, mental illness or major social dysfunction are all that can make starvation possible. It's not a way people die here. They die of bad choices, they die of exposure, they die of violence, they die in accidents, and they die of diseases...but not of starving.
Loosen or meld your analogical definitions for loser and victim and it is clear.
You mean "have no specific facts." A lazy person, a second-place or a thief are all people who "lose" in the loosest sense, but only because they have arranged to lose. They're no "victims": they get the predictable results of what they chose to do. And the good thing is, they can do otherwise, and get out of losing. Hooray.

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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Greatest I am » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:43 pm

Thanks for this.

Regards
DL

f12hte
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by f12hte » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:12 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:50 pm
f12hte wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:22 pm
If who we are is shaped by our experience, and since each of us has a different set of experiences, we all have different ideas about what is evil and what is good.
It's true we all are, in some ways, different: that makes us individuals. However, we can easily overemphasize the idea of "difference," to the point where there is no longer any recognition of commonness, community or communication. We are different, but different within a range, and similar in some things.
You have a point, but I would not go so far as to say that we are mostly the same and only a little bit different. First of all, even small differences can be magnified when circumstances change. Second of all, you make the claim that there is much more common than different, without citing supporting data. It is safer to assume a normal distribution under such circumstances.


Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:50 pm
People learn to do evil by experience.
Hold that thought.

What do you mean? From what do they "learn," and what "experience"? How can a creature that is morally neutral or good suddenly turn "evil" because of some "learning" or "experiences," when within them is no instinct to respond to such things?

1. We are born blank slates, with a few genetically bred hardwired capabilities and some in utero learning.

2. We learn our personality and morality from what we experience in life. We do not learn isolated facts, but, at time of acquisition, each new datum is integrated with total previous experiences; with all of memory; with everything we have learned before. That is to say that each new thing is learned in terms of the old things we already know. Experience is like a ball of twine that keeps winding up on itself. Little influences from early on can account fore big differences in the final value system.

In short, if I do what I judge an evil, there is a string of causes for my doing that evil, which can stretch back to the beginning of my life. And if we look at the origins of those causes, they can stretch back into an indistinct eternity. The universe is deterministic. Things don't happen randomly; they happen due to their causes. Just because we can't enumerate the causes, which have occurred over a lifetime, the fact that we do things for reasons is hard to argue with.



Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:50 pm

This is a good question, but only under a few basic understandings. (I'll underline for clarity, not emphasis, if I may.)

Firstly, by "evil" you must mean something objective: if not, you are not really asking a question at all.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:15 am

f12hte wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:12 am
I would not go so far as to say that we are mostly the same and only a little bit different.
Well, good thing that's not what I said.

I said it's possible to overemphasize difference at the expense of any possibility of commonality or communication, and that that excessive view, on the other side, would result in the stultification of all discussion.
People learn to do evil by experience.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:50 pm

Hold that thought.

What do you mean? From what do they "learn," and what "experience"? How can a creature that is morally neutral or good suddenly turn "evil" because of some "learning" or "experiences," when within them is no instinct to respond to such things?
1. We are born blank slates, with a few genetically bred hardwired capabilities and some in utero learning.
Well, two things: if we have any "hardwiring" or "in utero learning," then the "slate" isn't blank. Secondly, it's generally accepted in psychology and sociology that human nature is a combination of "nature and nurture," that is, of intrinsic capacities and predispositions plus subsequent learning.

Would you wish to gainsay the general expert opinion in that regard? On what basis?
2. We learn our personality and morality from what we experience in life. We do not learn isolated facts, but, at time of acquisition, each new datum is integrated with total previous experiences; with all of memory; with everything we have learned before. That is to say that each new thing is learned in terms of the old things we already know. Experience is like a ball of twine that keeps winding up on itself. Little influences from early on can account fore big differences in the final value system.

Well, the problem here is this: how does "evil" get into this equation? If people are all basically good or neutral, and their slates are blank at birth, then so are the "slates" of their parents, and of their parents' parents...and so on ad infinitum.

So now you've told us nothing about how evil can possibly get into the world at all. In fact, your theory would make it impossible...unless there's some other factor you have forgotten to mention so far.
...they can stretch back into an indistinct eternity....
You've still got the problem: you need some kind of an explanation for evil...that is, assuming you still wish to talk about it. So far, all you've suggested is that there's no reason it can possibly exist at all. Nobody and nothing is responsible for it.
The universe is deterministic.
If so, there's no evil at all. Then, there is only "what is," and "what is," is necessarily neither good not bad: it just "is."

Moreover, now not even human beings can be responsible for evil, because each of them is merely playing out a predetermined sequence of actions. They could not have done otherwise than they did, and so have the most perfect excuse for anything they do -- "I couldn't help it; it was predetermined I would molest children, beat my wife, and steal pensions from old ladies...I had no choice."

Even those three things, then, are not "evil" by any deterministic account.

So I think we're still very far off being able to say how your highly punctuated word at the beginning of the OP can be an issue at all, on the account you've provided so far.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:51 am

f12hte wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:19 pm
Evil. What is it's source? Is it just a subjective idea in each person's mind? If God made all things, then is he the ultimate source of evil? Or is 'evil' even a thing? Or is it just a subjective idea? Or is it a human or even universal idea, in some respect? And if it is a universal idea, in what mind or matter does it exist? If evil exists, how did it come to be?

....
So evil, or at least culpability, has no origin? And if it has no origin, then how can it be said to exist?
Generally, the concept of evil is with reference to a God, i.e. the enemy of God, Satan is the representation of evil. Until we can prove God exists convincingly, we have put away of the God related evil for the present.

Since we have to discard the concept of evil within the divinity, the concept of evil can be still be useful to be used with secular morality and ethics due to the changing and increasing intensity on what is generally considered as negative, wrong and bad.
Note this rising trend of the concept of secular evil.
  • Since World War II, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil.
    This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors, such as genocides, terrorist attacks, mass murders, and tortures and killing sprees by psychopathic serial killers.
    It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’ We need the concept of evil.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/
In the secular morality sense, what is evil is defined in terms of human intention and action.
Thus evil refer to human acts that are net-negative to the well being of the individual[s], groups and therefrom to humanity

Such human acts can be easily objectified.
If we rate the very-very-bad atrocities as mentioned above at 99/100 evil, and petty acts and crimes and bad acts at 1/100, we can then assign estimated ratings to the bad and evil acts between the above extremes.

Once the range of evil acts are objectified, they can be easier to manage by tracing to its root causes and effective fool proof preventive & corrective actions can be taken. This approach need to be backed by relevant extensive epistemological-knowledge [now and in the future] and philosophy-proper [wisdom and all else].

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Immanuel Can
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:44 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:51 am
f12hte wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:19 pm
Evil. What is it's source? Is it just a subjective idea in each person's mind? If God made all things, then is he the ultimate source of evil? Or is 'evil' even a thing? Or is it just a subjective idea? Or is it a human or even universal idea, in some respect? And if it is a universal idea, in what mind or matter does it exist? If evil exists, how did it come to be?

....
So evil, or at least culpability, has no origin? And if it has no origin, then how can it be said to exist?
Generally, the concept of evil is with reference to a God, i.e. the enemy of God, Satan is the representation of evil. Until we can prove God exists convincingly, we have put away of the God related evil for the present.
Well, that remains to be seen.

From an Atheist position, we might want to put away that conception of evil: but we'll need to be realists about what happens when we do. Do we thereafter have ANY basis for a conception of evil? If not, our attribution of both good and evil will "float" on nothing more than our subjective opinions, feelings and agendas. A "floating" conception of evil (or good) is open to being used by anyone, for any purpose. And if that happens, we need to beware of "evil" coming cloaked in the words of "good." And we need to be wary of popular "evil" winning continuously over unpopular "good."

It may well be that we need a conception of evil; but it's quite a different proposition to say that if we banish God we shall have one.
...the concept of evil can be still be useful to be used with secular morality and ethics...
Well, yes: "useful" is the word, there. Anybody can "use" such a conception for his/her own purposes, since it's not grounded in any objective fact.
...what is generally considered as negative, wrong and bad.
That would mean that the majority always has to be right -- or at least as right about any conception of evil as it is possible to be. But you can see the problems with that, right?
  • Since World War II, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil.
    This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors, such as genocides, terrorist attacks, mass murders, and tortures and killing sprees by psychopathic serial killers.
    It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’ We need the concept of evil.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/
A very good comment. Thank you for that. "We NEED a concept of evil."

They might also have gone on to add, "and this conception must be objective and morally binding, or it will only ever be of dangerous utility."
In the secular morality sense, what is evil is defined in terms of human intention and action.
Thus evil refer to human acts that are net-negative to the well being of the individual[s], groups and therefrom to humanity
"Net negative." This is what I mean by very dangerous usage of moral concepts. For who defines what "net negative" is?

The Jews were defined as net-negative to the Third Reich, for sure. Stalin defined the Kulaks as net-negative to The Soviet Union. Extremists define "infidels" as net-negative to the goals of religious submission. And Marx defined all religious activity as a huge net-negative to the triumph of the Proletariat -- though the triumph of the Proletariat was never more than a dream in his fevered brain.

What horrific dangers attend a loose concept like "net-negative."
Such human acts can be easily objectified.
You mean, "made objective by fiat"? Or are you supposing that every person on earth has exactly the same conception of what net-negative is?
If we rate the very-very-bad atrocities as mentioned above at 99/100 evil, and petty acts and crimes and bad acts at 1/100, we can then assign estimated ratings to the bad and evil acts between the above extremes.
Of course: if we invent any scale, then we can place things on that scale. But it doesn't tell us whether or not we've picked the right scale.

Interesting thoughts: but highly problematic as a proposal for solving the problem of identifying evil.

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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Dubious » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:20 pm

f12hte wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:19 pm
So evil, or at least culpability, has no origin? And if it has no origin, then how can it be said to exist?
Defects in the organism from the very beginning the source being internal only.

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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:52 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:44 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:51 am
f12hte wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:19 pm
Evil. What is it's source? Is it just a subjective idea in each person's mind? If God made all things, then is he the ultimate source of evil? Or is 'evil' even a thing? Or is it just a subjective idea? Or is it a human or even universal idea, in some respect? And if it is a universal idea, in what mind or matter does it exist? If evil exists, how did it come to be?

....
So evil, or at least culpability, has no origin? And if it has no origin, then how can it be said to exist?
Generally, the concept of evil is with reference to a God, i.e. the enemy of God, Satan is the representation of evil. Until we can prove God exists convincingly, we have put away of the God related evil for the present.
Well, that remains to be seen.

From an Atheist position, we might want to put away that conception of evil: but we'll need to be realists about what happens when we do. Do we thereafter have ANY basis for a conception of evil? If not, our attribution of both good and evil will "float" on nothing more than our subjective opinions, feelings and agendas. A "floating" conception of evil (or good) is open to being used by anyone, for any purpose. And if that happens, we need to beware of "evil" coming cloaked in the words of "good." And we need to be wary of popular "evil" winning continuously over unpopular "good."

It may well be that we need a conception of evil; but it's quite a different proposition to say that if we banish God we shall have one.
...the concept of evil can be still be useful to be used with secular morality and ethics...
Well, yes: "useful" is the word, there. Anybody can "use" such a conception for his/her own purposes, since it's not grounded in any objective fact.
...what is generally considered as negative, wrong and bad.
That would mean that the majority always has to be right -- or at least as right about any conception of evil as it is possible to be. But you can see the problems with that, right?
  • Since World War II, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil.
    This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors, such as genocides, terrorist attacks, mass murders, and tortures and killing sprees by psychopathic serial killers.
    It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’ We need the concept of evil.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/
A very good comment. Thank you for that. "We NEED a concept of evil."

They might also have gone on to add, "and this conception must be objective and morally binding, or it will only ever be of dangerous utility."
In the secular morality sense, what is evil is defined in terms of human intention and action.
Thus evil refer to human acts that are net-negative to the well being of the individual[s], groups and therefrom to humanity
"Net negative." This is what I mean by very dangerous usage of moral concepts. For who defines what "net negative" is?

The Jews were defined as net-negative to the Third Reich, for sure. Stalin defined the Kulaks as net-negative to The Soviet Union. Extremists define "infidels" as net-negative to the goals of religious submission. And Marx defined all religious activity as a huge net-negative to the triumph of the Proletariat -- though the triumph of the Proletariat was never more than a dream in his fevered brain.

What horrific dangers attend a loose concept like "net-negative."
Such human acts can be easily objectified.
You mean, "made objective by fiat"? Or are you supposing that every person on earth has exactly the same conception of what net-negative is?
If we rate the very-very-bad atrocities as mentioned above at 99/100 evil, and petty acts and crimes and bad acts at 1/100, we can then assign estimated ratings to the bad and evil acts between the above extremes.
Of course: if we invent any scale, then we can place things on that scale. But it doesn't tell us whether or not we've picked the right scale.

Interesting thoughts: but highly problematic as a proposal for solving the problem of identifying evil.
Of the 7+ billion on earth, how many do you think are likely to agree to be a victim of the atrocities below?
  • various atrocities and horrors, such as genocides, terrorist attacks, mass murders, and tortures and killing sprees by psychopathic serial killers.
Some extreme perverts may agree to be victims but I believe 99.9% will not agree to be victims of the above atrocities.
Thus it is not difficult to get a consensus from the 99.9% to agree to these evil acts as absolutely 'No' 'Noes' in the secular sense. Therefore we can ground this as a secular absolute and to avoid moving goalposts. Such atrocities are obviously of high net-negativity to humanity.

As for low to medium evil acts, there are possible trade offs for the individual and humanity if say the 'evil' acts are committed for the greater good, self-defense and the likes. In this case, these acts themselves are evil in general as defined but the overall consequence is net-positive, thus not a resultant evil act for the individual.

Once a model and framework of morality and ethics is set up, humanity will be able to tune and continuous improve the degree of moral rightness from the review of past acts as precedents.

Humanity should not be waiting for the perfect model of morality to be delivered from a God [an impossibility] but rather to initiate something feasible as a starting point and make the effort to continuously improve on it by tweaking all the relevant variables involved.

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