Evil

For all things philosophical.

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Darkstar
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Evil

Post by Darkstar » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:28 pm

It might be an idea to have a Philosophical Discussion panel on Evil as a central theme? I have noticed that some people state in their discussions that they 'don't believe in evil' and associate 'evil' with devils, hobgoblins, Lucifer and Mephistopheles much in the same way as Marlow's Dr Faustus.

However, having read Lars Svendsen's ' A Philosophy of Evil', I don't think anyone can read it and come out unaltered. My alteration of mind was that I could see that 'evil' does exist because some humans create it - not devils.

So philosophically 'evil' is a subject on its own.

Svendsen gives examples of evil.

We would expect that Nazi Franz Stangel would be mentioned because in the camps he was in charge of only 87 survived and the rest of the two million were murdered.

But what I did not expect to find out was that in the Serbian War some Serbs forced Muslim sons to have sex with their fathers or face death, and that in 1956 the Israeli commander at the border would not tell Palestinians that if they came back from work to the check point they would be killed.

Svendsen details the acts of Police Battalion 101 who killed 83,000 Jews between July 1942 and November 1943. Each man physically shot 76 Jews and including deportations to Treblinka, killed 166 in total.

I found the massacre at Kafr Qasim on 29 Oct 1956 especially difficult to read. Major Shmuel Malinski of the Israeli Border Patrol knew that the Palestinians had not been told that if they came back over the border from work that night they would be shot. He ordered his subordinates to shoot a whole truck full of women while they begged for their lives. The 15 Palestinians who came back on bicycles were told to dismount and then executed.
Then the border guards started to kill the children and within two hours they had murdered 47 helpless and unarmed people just because they came back from work.

I think that evil in the world does exist and that it is not connected with witchcraft mumbo jumbo but directly with the hate of men and women for other humans.

Norwegian Literature Series: Philosophy: ISBN: 978-1-564-78571-8: A Philosophy of Evil by Lars Svendsen.

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Harbal
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Re: Evil

Post by Harbal » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:29 pm

Darkstar wrote:Svendsen details the acts of Police Battalion 101 who killed 83,000 Jews between July 1942 and November 1943. Each
Then the border guards started to kill the children and within two hours they had murdered 47 helpless and unarmed people
To say these people were "evil" or that they were driven by "evil" does nothing other than obstruct our understanding. Why did these people do what they did? Surely, this is a matter of human psychology. What happens inside the mind to enable someone to be able to commit these acts? The word "evil" should be confined to the Bible where only the unenlightened will be kept in the dark by it.

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Greta
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Re: Evil

Post by Greta » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:29 pm

Yet the worst human being cannot cause the same suffering as a mindless asteroid or volcano. Agents of chaos come in many forms. All forms, really, including ourselves. "Evil" depends on whose perspective you consider. Just as predators are helpful to plants, humans who kill other humans are probably indirectly helping the cause of other species by controlling population.

FlashDangerpants
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Re: Evil

Post by FlashDangerpants » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:50 pm

So far I am only seeing the word evil used here as the end of a scale starting at naughty and progressing through bad to wicked to evil.

Naughty doesn't come to exist in the world because children do naughty things, it is just a term that describes the naughtiness of the action. Sadly, there is no philosophy of naughty any more than one of evil. If we are to have one though, it would be naughty not to have both.

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TSBU
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Re: Evil

Post by TSBU » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:54 pm

It woud take a while to write a nice post, picking for different writers and for my own, translating, and so on.

So, simplifcation: yes, evil exist, evidently. Andit's not necesarily related to what you understand by "hate".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CxSfERJhjg

Darkstar
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Re: Evil

Post by Darkstar » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:16 pm

I find that a lot of philosophy is tied up with semantic meaning and the words we have to describe things are possibly inadequate to ensure that all humans understand the same thing if the words exist in their language.

So to say that evil is at the right hand end of naughty might be the same as saying that a kindly view of gerbils is at the left hand end of undying love for your wife.

It certainly is an interesting point that the tipping point for a word meaning may be different for different people. When does the specified word coalesce with the common meaning? Maybe never in philosophy but often in mathematics. So 'aesthetic' is very broad but 'hypotenuse' is very narrow indeed.

This is a great forum for testing ideas in polite company. Thank you.

BradburyPound
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Re: Evil

Post by BradburyPound » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:23 pm

Evil is what you make it.
It is not a force of nature. It is not out there. It is whatever we say we don't like.

BradburyPound
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Re: Evil

Post by BradburyPound » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:26 pm

Darkstar wrote:I find that a lot of philosophy is tied up with semantic meaning and the words we have to describe things are possibly inadequate to ensure that all humans understand the same thing if the words exist in their language.
Thank you.
The mistake people make is to think that what they define, has some sort of valid ontology.
THis is not the case. Evil is subjective, as is good.

In many cases we can agree on what we like to call good and evil. But that is not to say that those things are imbued with some sort of inherent quality of good and evil. By and large things we call good and evil are indifferent to the terms.

Impenitent
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Re: Evil

Post by Impenitent » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:55 pm

Darkstar wrote:I find that a lot of philosophy is tied up with semantic meaning and the words we have to describe things are possibly inadequate to ensure that all humans understand the same thing if the words exist in their language.

So to say that evil is at the right hand end of naughty might be the same as saying that a kindly view of gerbils is at the left hand end of undying love for your wife.

It certainly is an interesting point that the tipping point for a word meaning may be different for different people. When does the specified word coalesce with the common meaning? Maybe never in philosophy but often in mathematics. So 'aesthetic' is very broad but 'hypotenuse' is very narrow indeed.

This is a great forum for testing ideas in polite company. Thank you.
unfortunately, the hypotenuse is always the distance spanned by the widest 2 points on a right triangle (those across from the right angle)... it is never narrow, in fact, the hypotenuse is the widest indeed...

non-Euclidean geometry- now that's evil...

-Imp

Walker
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Re: Evil

Post by Walker » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:06 pm

Impenitent wrote:unfortunately, the hypotenuse is always the distance spanned by the widest 2 points on a right triangle (those across from the right angle)... it is never narrow, in fact, the hypotenuse is the widest indeed...

non-Euclidean geometry- now that's evil...

-Imp
Must it always be right?

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TSBU
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Re: Evil

Post by TSBU » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:36 pm

BradburyPound wrote:Evil is what you make it.
It is not a force of nature. It is not out there. It is whatever we say we don't like.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxJrjV4PNXA

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Evil

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:45 pm

BradburyPound wrote:Evil is what you make it.
It is not a force of nature. It is not out there. It is whatever we say we don't like.
Indeed. People are stupid enough to believe it's anyone who's not on their 'side' and kills a lot of people. They are perfectly happy when it's 'their own' doing the killing.

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TSBU
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Re: Evil

Post by TSBU » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:06 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
BradburyPound wrote:Evil is what you make it.
It is not a force of nature. It is not out there. It is whatever we say we don't like.
Indeed. People are stupid enough to believe it's anyone who's not on their 'side' and kills a lot of people. They are perfectly happy when it's 'their own' doing the killing.
That's the definition. I don't see it stupid :/
And it exist, of course XD.
Of course, there are people who kill and harm indiscriminately or nearly indiscriminately too, and people who say that everyone who kill is evil :(
Even when they are fair...

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Evil

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:24 pm

TSBU wrote:
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
BradburyPound wrote:Evil is what you make it.
It is not a force of nature. It is not out there. It is whatever we say we don't like.
Indeed. People are stupid enough to believe it's anyone who's not on their 'side' and kills a lot of people. They are perfectly happy when it's 'their own' doing the killing.
That's the definition. I don't see it stupid :/
And it exist, of course XD.
Of course, there are people who kill and harm indiscriminately or nearly indiscriminately too, and people who say that everyone who kill is evil :(
Even when they are fair...
Where does is 'exist'? It exists for me only as a useful adjective to describe particularly vile human beings.

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TSBU
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Re: Evil

Post by TSBU » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:12 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
TSBU wrote:
vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Indeed. People are stupid enough to believe it's anyone who's not on their 'side' and kills a lot of people. They are perfectly happy when it's 'their own' doing the killing.
That's the definition. I don't see it stupid :/
And it exist, of course XD.
Of course, there are people who kill and harm indiscriminately or nearly indiscriminately too, and people who say that everyone who kill is evil :(
Even when they are fair...
Where does is 'exist'? It exists for me only as a useful adjective to describe particularly vile human beings.
Like blue, big, small, "100 meters tall", "like a house" (or house), etc. It exist in the things that fit with the adjective. Even the word "existence" has many meanings.

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