Portrait of an American Hero

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:35 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:29 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:14 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:35 am

Then why haven't you said what it is? This is the third time I've asked.
I'm a Christian. Does this come as news to you?
Not at all, and typically an evasion of a direct answer to the question.
To give you the most well-known label with which to identify my view is "evasive"? :shock: I thought I was being very frank.
I'm not asking you what the name of your ethical system is, but what it's principles are.
Then I suppose you could have framed it that way in the first place. And once again, I've already abundantly answered that question, but let's have another go.

Morality is objective. "The Good" is the achievement of what the Creator made the Creation for, in each case. "Evil" is any departure from the plans and purposes of the Creator. The greatest Good for mankind is relationship with God; the greatest evil is to deny or prevent such a relationship.

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RCSaunders
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by RCSaunders » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:29 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:35 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:29 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:14 pm

I'm a Christian. Does this come as news to you?
Not at all, and typically an evasion of a direct answer to the question.
To give you the most well-known label with which to identify my view is "evasive"? :shock: I thought I was being very frank.
I'm not asking you what the name of your ethical system is, but what it's principles are.
Then I suppose you could have framed it that way in the first place. And once again, I've already abundantly answered that question, but let's have another go.

Morality is objective. "The Good" is the achievement of what the Creator made the Creation for, in each case. "Evil" is any departure from the plans and purposes of the Creator. The greatest Good for mankind is relationship with God; the greatest evil is to deny or prevent such a relationship.
Thank you!

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:20 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:29 pm
Thank you!
You're welcome.

"Ask, and you shall receive." :wink:

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RCSaunders
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by RCSaunders » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:09 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:20 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:29 pm
Thank you!
You're welcome.

"Ask, and you shall receive." :wink:
I appreciate it. I do have one question, however. You said, "'Evil' is any departure from the plans and purposes of the Creator." Can His plans and purposes can be thwarted? Is it possible for His plans to not work out or His purposes to not be fulfilled?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:12 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:09 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:20 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:29 pm
Thank you!
You're welcome.

"Ask, and you shall receive." :wink:
I appreciate it. I do have one question, however. You said, "'Evil' is any departure from the plans and purposes of the Creator." Can His plans and purposes can be thwarted? Is it possible for His plans to not work out or His purposes to not be fulfilled?
That's the question of free will...that is, do humans have free will, or can they do things that are not predetermined, either by divine agency or by the necessities of merely material causal chains?

But obviously, if people can choose not to enter into a relationship with God, they can do things that are not part of the plan for them, and not consonant with the divine intentions or ideal....hence, things that are not moral.

However, back to the question in hand: I'm still concerned to point out that your idea of "right" and "wrong" is devoid of means for judging the morality of ends. So how do you judge the quality of ends? Can you say that any end a man can desire is therefore simply "right" if he uses the method "fastest" for obtaining that end?

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:54 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:12 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:09 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:20 pm

You're welcome.

"Ask, and you shall receive." :wink:
I appreciate it. I do have one question, however. You said, "'Evil' is any departure from the plans and purposes of the Creator." Can His plans and purposes can be thwarted? Is it possible for His plans to not work out or His purposes to not be fulfilled?
That's the question of free will...that is, do humans have free will, or can they do things that are not predetermined, either by divine agency or by the necessities of merely material causal chains?

But obviously, if people can choose not to enter into a relationship with God, they can do things that are not part of the plan for them, and not consonant with the divine intentions or ideal....hence, things that are not moral.
That is supposed to answer the question of whether God's will and plan can be thwarted or not? If you think that is an answer, its no wonder you can believe what you believe. It's self contradictory. It is God's will that A happen and B not happen. A doesn't happen but B does. But that does not means God's will failed. Just call it something else (serendipity, free will, or something), and that explains it. Oh well, if that is what you think.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:12 pm
However, back to the question in hand: I'm still concerned to point out that your idea of "right" and "wrong" is devoid of means for judging the morality of ends. So how do you judge the quality of ends? Can you say that any end a man can desire is therefore simply "right" if he uses the method "fastest" for obtaining that end?
First of all, I have no opinion about what you call morality and do not recognize whatever it is you are calling, "morality of ends."

It may have escaped you, but for all organisms the ultimate issue is always, "to be or not to be." Life, for all organisms, is a continuous self-sustaining process, the action that maintains the organism's existence as a living organism. The moment that action ceases the organism ceases to exist as an organism. The specific behavior of every organism required to sustain its existence is different for every kind of organism and is determined by the kind of organism it is.

Human beings are organisms, and like all other organisms they must maintain their own living existence by their own action. Like all organisms, the specific behavior required by human beings to sustain themselves as the kind of organisms they are is determined by their specific nature. Since, unlike all other organisms, human beings must consciously choose their behavior, they most know what their nature is and what kind of behavior that nature requires, which knowledge defines all fundamental human objectives.

The ultimate objective of human life is to successfully live the kind of life their nature requires and makes possible. All other ends are proximate. One's own life and existence does not have to be justified, it is the justification for all other ends and objectives.

This is not an argument or attempt to explain why I hold my view of values (although it should be self-evident), only a description of my view. I do not intend to defend my view of values. If others do no understand them or choose to hold other views on values, so be it.

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:56 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:54 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:12 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:09 pm

I appreciate it. I do have one question, however. You said, "'Evil' is any departure from the plans and purposes of the Creator." Can His plans and purposes can be thwarted? Is it possible for His plans to not work out or His purposes to not be fulfilled?
That's the question of free will...that is, do humans have free will, or can they do things that are not predetermined, either by divine agency or by the necessities of merely material causal chains?

But obviously, if people can choose not to enter into a relationship with God, they can do things that are not part of the plan for them, and not consonant with the divine intentions or ideal....hence, things that are not moral.
That is supposed to answer the question of whether God's will and plan can be thwarted or not?
Seems totally obvious to me that it does.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:12 pm
However, back to the question in hand: I'm still concerned to point out that your idea of "right" and "wrong" is devoid of means for judging the morality of ends. So how do you judge the quality of ends? Can you say that any end a man can desire is therefore simply "right" if he uses the method "fastest" for obtaining that end?
First of all, I have no opinion about what you call morality and do not recognize whatever it is you are calling, "morality of ends."
Yes, you do. You judge people who want to indoctrinate children. Moreover, I'll warrant you're a decent human being, so you also probably judge other ends, such as rape, pedophilia, genocide, and certainly the suppression of free speech as inherently evil things. I'll bet you judge a whole bunch of ends that people are capable of aiming at...but your theory only allows a utility-based judgment of means...the ends are left unaddressed.

But if it's not so, tell me what ends you do judge, and why you are justified in judging them, and you'll have your point. If not, then it seems you have no means for judging ends in your theory.
Human beings are organisms...they most know what their nature is and what kind of behavior that nature requires, which knowledge defines all fundamental human objectives.
This is to say nothing important. All it says is that a human being can pick any end at all, including all the evil ends I've listed above, and so long as he/she identifies the "fastest" way to get there, he's "right."

I don't think you actually believe that. I'm pretty certain you don't practice that either...though you can say if you think I'm wrong about that. So I think your theory fails. You're probably a better person than your theory allows. You probably have some good and specific ends-in-view. But you're not telling yourself about them, because you're not providing yourself rational criteria for judging between various ends.

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:09 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:56 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:54 am
First of all, I have no opinion about what you call morality and do not recognize whatever it is you are calling, "morality of ends."
Yes, you do.
Think what you want, but there's no point telling you what I believe if, when I do, you are going to deny it. Why would I lie about it?

With rare exception all views of so-called, "moral values," place the purpose or objective of those values outside individual human beings. What is called, "moral," is always something individual human beings must conform to, not for their own individual sake, but the sake of some supposed higher objective, like God, Society, mankind, one's neighbors, or some mystic unidentified transcendent purpose.

There can be no higher objective or purpose than an individual's own life and existence. Values have no meaning except to living individuals capable of using those values to guide their own life.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:56 am
You judge people who want to indoctrinate children. Moreover, I'll warrant you're a decent human being, so you also probably judge other ends, such as rape, pedophilia, genocide, and certainly the suppression of free speech as inherently evil things. I'll bet you judge a whole bunch of ends that people are capable of aiming at...but your theory only allows a utility-based judgment of means...the ends are left unaddressed.
Call it whatever you like, but I do not call identifying the relationship between actions and consequences "moral judgement." You call everything a moral judgement, which is your prerogative, but it is not your prerogative to assume that's what everyone else means. Of course I identify things like rape, assault, and murder as wrong acts (but not for the reason you do) and regard pedophilia, and all other paraphilias psychological defects, and genocide a symptom of a grossly defective value system. I do not "judge" them as, "immoral," a useless judgment that disguises the true evil of such things. They are not bad because they violate someones, "moral sensibilities," or their notion of, "the moral good." They are bad because of the harm that results to individual human beings because of them.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:56 am
But if it's not so, tell me what ends you do judge, and why you are justified in judging them, and you'll have your point. If not, then it seems you have no means for judging ends in your theory.
No, I won't be drawn into that trap, I won't use your term, "judge," because what you mean by it is not what I would mean. I don't, "judge," ends.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:56 am
Human beings are organisms...they most know what their nature is and what kind of behavior that nature requires, which knowledge defines all fundamental human objectives.
This is to say nothing important. All it says is that a human being can pick any end at all, including all the evil ends I've listed above, and so long as he/she identifies the "fastest" way to get there, he's "right."
Well, of course if you place, "importance," outside an individual's own life, nothing is important. Only an idiot would say, "a human being can pick any ends at all," as if there were no consequences to which ends he pursued, as though he could pursue a life of waste and self destruction or a life of production and self-preservation and they would have the same consequence. Duh!
Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:56 am
I don't think you actually believe that. I'm pretty certain you don't practice that either...though you can say if you think I'm wrong about that. So I think your theory fails. You're probably a better person than your theory allows. You probably have some good and specific ends-in-view. But you're not telling yourself about them, because you're not providing yourself rational criteria for judging between various ends.
Believe what you like, what you decide in your own mind to believe about what I think or what I say I think. Just don't argue with what you have decide I think, because you are then just arguing with yourself. [Of course you can do that too, if you like.]

So long as you hold the view that no human life is a value in itself, that any value a human being has is determined by something extraneous to the individual and that an individual's own life and their own enjoyment of it are, "trivial," and, "not important," you will never understand what I mean. As I explained:
The ultimate objective of human life is to successfully live the kind of life their nature requires and makes possible. All other ends are proximate. One's own life and existence does not have to be justified, it is the justification for all other ends and objectives.
The kind of life human nature requires and makes possible is a life of rationally directed action to produce and achieve everything one's life requires by one's own effort. It requires one to learn all they can possibly learn, to think as well as they can possibly think, and never evade consciously choosing all they do. The kind of life human nature requires and makes possible excludes living as some other kind of organism, like a parasite or predator and it excludes all irrational self-destructive behavior and all attempts to have or enjoy the unearned or what is at the expense of other human beings.

A human being can choose not to live as their nature requires, and most do to some extent, but they cannot so choose it without suffering the consequence of that choice, a life that is less than fully human that ultimately cannot satisfy and leads to one's own regret, despair, and self-destruction.

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:06 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:09 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:56 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:54 am
First of all, I have no opinion about what you call morality and do not recognize whatever it is you are calling, "morality of ends."
Yes, you do.
Think what you want, but there's no point telling you what I believe if, when I do, you are going to deny it. Why would I lie about it?
I didn't accuse you of lying...just not being consistent with the logic of your own claims. If there are no ways of judging ends, you can't complain about things like people indoctrinating children...it's not wrong, then. It's just another "end" they can want. Your only criticism would be on their lack of doing it the fastest way.
There can be no higher objective or purpose than an individual's own life and existence.

If this is true, then somebody who is an indoctrinator is already conforming to the "highest objective" you know...advancing his own "individual life and existence," and cannot be critiqued beyond that.
I do not call identifying the relationship between actions and consequences "moral judgement."
I wouldn't either. I would call it little more than cause-effect reasoning. But it doesn't help us with claims like "indoctrinating children is wrong."
Of course I identify things like rape, assault, and murder as wrong acts (but not for the reason you do) and regard pedophilia, and all other paraphilias psychological defects, and genocide a symptom of a grossly defective value system. I do not "judge" them as, "immoral," a useless judgment that disguises the true evil of such things. They are not bad because they violate someones, "moral sensibilities," or their notion of, "the moral good." They are bad because of the harm that results to individual human beings because of them.
Then you're appealing to a higher principle than "individual life and existence." For the rapist, pedophile, thief or murderer certainly have their own interests well in hand; so you must be claiming it's universally wrong for them to harm others...but from where do you get this "higher" principle, since you don't believe in God, and you have sworn you do not judge ends?

They're winning...on their own terms...doing what they want, and doing it "faster," to use your word. Why shouldn't they, if what you say is true?
I don't, "judge," ends.
There it is again.

And yet you shortly say,
Only an idiot would say, "a human being can pick any ends at all," as if there were no consequences to which ends he pursued, as though he could pursue a life of waste and self destruction or a life of production and self-preservation and they would have the same consequence. Duh!
So now you've got an additional problem. If the deed in question does not create "self destruction" and achieves the "ends pursued," then you have no criticism for it. So successful pedophiles, rapists and thieves are just fine?

I don't think you think that. But your theory allows for it. If you only judge the quality of means, then ends can be anything...anything at all. :shock:
The kind of life human nature requires and makes possible is a life of rationally directed action to produce and achieve everything one's life requires by one's own effort.
Human nature also "makes possible" a life of war, predatory behaviour, exploitation, tyranny, cruelty and barbarism. All these have been done before, in abundance. And as for any other life, in what sense does human nature "require" anything?

It looks to me like you're anthropomorphizing "human nature" into a substitute divine being, a deistic "Human Nature" that has design, directions, plans and purposes.
...a life that is less than fully human that ultimately cannot satisfy and leads to one's own regret, despair, and self-destruction.
Well, I don't detect any of these things in Weinstein, Epstein, Prince Andrew, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Robert Mugabe, Jimmy Saville, the rioters of recent days, the rich Saudi funders of terrorism, and any number of other evil people who now live or have lived. It seems to me they had little conscience, no evident regret, were delighting in their evil rather than despairing of it, and in most cases, did not destroy themselves...in fact, would be quite happy to be doing what they did all along today, and would do it again.

Their lives were as "human" as anybody else's, were they not? They weren't Martians, after all. So what, in your theory, makes their "human nature" different from anybody else's? Human beings are clearly not only capable of what we traditionally call "good," but also of outrageous evil. And some of them seem to get away with it, instead of inheriting those ills you list as if they were inevitable results of the life such people have chosen...

That's plainly not true -- not in human terms, anyway.

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:06 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:06 am
It looks to me like you're anthropomorphizing "human nature" into a substitute divine being, a deistic "Human Nature" that has design, directions, plans and purposes.
Two quick comments now. I will have a longer comment later.

Here, I think you mean, "deifying" human nature. One could hardly attribute human attributes to a human being as though they didn't have those attributes, could they and it would not turn them into a god, would it?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:06 am
...a life that is less than fully human that ultimately cannot satisfy and leads to one's own regret, despair, and self-destruction.
Well, I don't detect any of these things in Weinstein, Epstein, Prince Andrew, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Robert Mugabe, Jimmy Saville, the rioters of recent days, the rich Saudi funders of terrorism, and any number of other evil people who now live or have lived.
Could you conceive or even imagine living the way any of those you describe have lived their lives without regret or consciousness of your own corruption? I don't mean could you delude yourself into believing the way your were living was good, I mean could you actually enjoy, not just the momentary feelings of pleasure, but a sense of total satisfaction with your life? I need to know before I comment further.

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:22 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:06 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:06 am
It looks to me like you're anthropomorphizing "human nature" into a substitute divine being, a deistic "Human Nature" that has design, directions, plans and purposes.
Two quick comments now. I will have a longer comment later.

Here, I think you mean, "deifying" human nature.
Both. You're certainly elevating it, giving it top place in your theory, but you're also attributing to it personal, human features like volition, intention, direction, design, and so forth. So we might say that you're anthropomorphizing and deifying it.

But you get the point, either way, I see.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:06 am
...a life that is less than fully human that ultimately cannot satisfy and leads to one's own regret, despair, and self-destruction.
Well, I don't detect any of these things in Weinstein, Epstein, Prince Andrew, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Robert Mugabe, Jimmy Saville, the rioters of recent days, the rich Saudi funders of terrorism, and any number of other evil people who now live or have lived.
Could you conceive or even imagine living the way any of those you describe have lived their lives without regret or consciousness of your own corruption?
Me? I hope not, but evil is sneaky, even in an ordinary person. You never know what corruption you're capable of. Or, as they used to say in the old radio play, "The Shadow," "...who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" :wink: I'm being jocular, but also truthful. I am a person as capable of evil as anyone else, had I not the help of God to preserve me from the worst of it. So I cannot think of myself as inherently better than anybody. I am not my own justification.

That being said, we are all corruptible. "Let him who thinks he stands beware lest he fall," says the Bible. The characters listed above, for all we know, may have started off with some good intentions; they certainly didn't end up there, though, if they did. And once they were corrupt, I think we can easily observe in all of them a complete disowning of conscience. They became entirely indifferent to the suffering of those they hurt, and just kept doing it with evident glee and abandon, for a long time.

Psychological studies of South American torturers who were also normal family men have suggested that the human conscience has a limited life. If you repeatedly do evil to another person, eventually it stops telling you what you are doing is evil. I think these men and women all became a kind of "unrepentant torturers" of other human beings; and many of them died without ever having paid a concomitant price for the pain they caused others. They seem to have "gotten away with it."

We'll see what happens when they meet God, though. However, I suspect that's a thought they never had in life.

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:14 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:22 pm
I am a person as capable of evil as anyone else, had I not the help of God to preserve me from the worst of it.

...

Psychological studies of South American torturers who were also normal family men have suggested that the human conscience has a limited life. If you repeatedly do evil to another person, eventually it stops telling you what you are doing is evil. I think these men and women all became a kind of "unrepentant torturers" of other human beings; and many of them died without ever having paid a concomitant price for the pain they caused others. They seem to have "gotten away with it."
You totally mystify me. I have no idea what you mean by, "evil." It's something you say you are capable of, but God keeps you from it. Then you describe those that, "repeatedly do evil to another person ..." but what you mean by evil is a mystery. It cannot be making another person suffer, can it? It cannot be a choice because apparently God did not keep them from doing evil. And what is so special about you that God keeps you from evil but not those South American torturers?

Is suffering evil? Is inflicting suffering evil? In either case, why?

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:53 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:14 pm
You totally mystify me. I have no idea what you mean by, "evil." It's something you say you are capable of, but God keeps you from it.
From the worst of it, I would say. I'm still a fallible human being. But I'd be something far, far worse than I am if I did not know God...I feel quite certain that that would be so.
Then you describe those that, "repeatedly do evil to another person ..." but what you mean by evil is a mystery.
Oh, I don't think so. You have your own conceptions of evil, even if you try to avoid the word. You think indoctrinating children is evil. So is suppressing free speech, you would say. And I don't doubt that you find a whole bunch of traditionally evil behaviours to be evil as well. I'm sure you're against, say, racism, rape, pedophilia, torture, terrorism, and a whole host of behaviours for which you are free to choose your own word to substitute for "evil."
It cannot be making another person suffer, can it?
Well, what do you think about that? Would you consider making somebody else suffer "evil" or not?
It cannot be a choice because apparently God did not keep them from doing evil.

That's backwards. If God "kept them" from doing evil, then they would have no choice. But the fact that they DID evil shows that they DID have a choice...and took the wrong one.
And what is so special about you that God keeps you from evil but not those South American torturers?
Nothing about me. Personally, I'm nobody special. Had they chosen to seek God instead of torturing people, I would expect that they would also have been preserved from the worst of their nature. They just made a different choice, it would seem.

The thing that makes the difference is relationship with God. And the added value in that relationship comes all from His side, not mine.

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by Gary Childress » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:07 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:14 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:22 pm
I am a person as capable of evil as anyone else, had I not the help of God to preserve me from the worst of it.

...

Psychological studies of South American torturers who were also normal family men have suggested that the human conscience has a limited life. If you repeatedly do evil to another person, eventually it stops telling you what you are doing is evil. I think these men and women all became a kind of "unrepentant torturers" of other human beings; and many of them died without ever having paid a concomitant price for the pain they caused others. They seem to have "gotten away with it."
You totally mystify me. I have no idea what you mean by, "evil." It's something you say you are capable of, but God keeps you from it. Then you describe those that, "repeatedly do evil to another person ..." but what you mean by evil is a mystery. It cannot be making another person suffer, can it? It cannot be a choice because apparently God did not keep them from doing evil. And what is so special about you that God keeps you from evil but not those South American torturers?

Is suffering evil? Is inflicting suffering evil? In either case, why?
From what I know of IC, I would assume that what separates him from the "South American torturers" and why he is different from them would be due to everyone having free will to make their own choices. By giving us free will, God makes it possible to defy his wishes, though s/he doesn't force people to go against his or her wishes. And by evil, I assume IC could very well mean making another suffer unjustly (perhaps among other things). He could perhaps be wrong, but I'm not seeing any inconsistencies or contradictions in his position.

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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:04 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:53 pm
Then you describe those that, "repeatedly do evil to another person ..." but what you mean by evil is a mystery.
Oh, I don't think so. You have your own conceptions of evil, even if you try to avoid the word. You think indoctrinating children is evil. So is suppressing free speech, you would say. And I don't doubt that you find a whole bunch of traditionally evil behaviours to be evil as well. I'm sure you're against, say, racism, rape, pedophilia, torture, terrorism, and a whole host of behaviours for which you are free to choose your own word to substitute for "evil."
I know what I know, IC. I want to know what you mean by evil.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:53 pm
It cannot be making another person suffer, can it?
Well, what do you think about that? Would you consider making somebody else suffer "evil" or not?
Are you not certain yourself? As far as I can see, you have no problem with people being made to suffer, so I do not know why you would consider it evil? I asked first. What are you evading?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:53 pm
It cannot be a choice because apparently God did not keep them from doing evil.

That's backwards. If God "kept them" from doing evil, then they would have no choice. But the fact that they DID evil shows that they DID have a choice...and took the wrong one.
So you believe they could have chosen differently. I would agree with that, but in that case, since you are equally capable of doing evil as they were, you do not have a choice because God keeps you from making the wrong one. But, if you claim it is still your choice, God has nothing to do with it. But it can't be both, can it?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:53 pm
And what is so special about you that God keeps you from evil but not those South American torturers?
Nothing about me. Personally, I'm nobody special. Had they chosen to seek God instead of torturing people, I would expect that they would also have been preserved from the worst of their nature. They just made a different choice, it would seem.
So it was serendipity. Doesn't sound like choice to me.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:53 pm
The thing that makes the difference is relationship with God. And the added value in that relationship comes all from His side, not mine.
How come you had that relationship with God and the South American Indians didn't? To channel Einstein, "does God play dice with people's souls?"

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