EVIL!!!!!!!!

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

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f12hte
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EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by f12hte » 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?

I hold a unique view of the world borne of my unique set of life experiences.

My unique worldview gives me a unique perspective on what is good and what is bad.

When I do a good thing, i think that the good reverberates down through the ages, since good actions engender knock-on good actions.

Ditto for when I do something that I consider bad.

So, the bad that I do is borne of my environment, filled with the knock-on effects of others' deeds, going back an eternity.

So evil, or at least culpability, has no origin? And if it has no origin, then how can it be said to exist?

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

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:23 pm

f12hte wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:19 pm
My unique worldview gives me a unique perspective on what is good and what is bad.
"Unique," by definition, means "only one of its kind."

You say that your perspective on evil is "unique." That means that nobody else has it.

If that's so, then how can you rationally ask anyone to agree with your view? If they do, it isn't "unique" anymore, and probably wasn't "unique" in the first place.

But if they don't agree, then what is the value of a viewpoint that is so "unique" that no other human being sees reason to think it's right?

Then the word "evil" has no objective meaning. Nothing (or alternately, everything) is "evil," because the word refers to nothing shared, nothing common, nothing agreed-upon among observers. One can't agree without some measure of "seeing-the-same-way": which is not "unique."

Those are conceptual problems you'll have to sort out, if you want your question to be intelligible to other interlocutors. And if it can't be made intelligible, then you're not "asking " anything, by definition.

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

Post by f12hte » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:22 pm

Everyone has a unique worldview because each has a different set of experiences which created his particular worldview. It is, after all, not reasonable to say that everyone has the exact same set of life experiences, in the exact same order. But perhaps you question that our life experiences form our worldview? What would the basis of that objection be?

So how does your putative 'objective view' of evil come about? By subjective agreement? Is it by virtue of some changing authority, like social construct? Changable views are not steady rocks upon which to base one's assessment of evil or good.

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

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:35 pm

f12hte wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:22 pm
Everyone has a unique worldview because each has a different set of experiences which created his particular worldview.
If that were true, and that were all there is to the story, then none of us could even talk about our worldviews. Nobody could possibly understand what we said.
But perhaps you question that our life experiences form our worldview? What would the basis of that objection be?
I think people can and do discuss their worldviews. Of course there is some variance that is "unique": but it is not so much as to make communication impossible. There are also similarities, comparabilities and overlap, that enable communication.

I think the "uniqueness" idea is, therefore, oversold.
So how does your putative 'objective view' of evil come about?
Well, if there is no objective view possible, then your discussion is already at an end. Nobody can agree. They can't even see the thing ("evil") that anybody else is talking about, because everybody has a different "view."
Changable views are not steady rocks upon which to base one's assessment of evil or good.
That's exactly right. And if everybody's view is "changeable" (or, "unique to him/her," so to speak, so that it "changes" from person to person) then there is no basis for any assessment of that sort.

So if that were the case, how would you even pose the question? And why punctuate it so dramatically, if it's not an objective or "steady rock" concept?

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

Post by f12hte » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:44 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:35 pm
So if that were the case, how would you even pose the question? And why punctuate it so dramatically, if it's not an objective or "steady rock" concept?
:oops: To attract attention to a subject I wanted to discuss. :D

Thank you for sharing your views. I guess that law libraries are full of heavy tomes describing "objective evil", and each country has its own set of law libraries. And then there are the international authorities; the world's great religions; each with varying degrees of differences. I guess that one can do no better than to be true to his own personal morals and values; whatever morals/values fate has imparted to that individual. And insomuch as one strays from the old adage; "to thine own self be true"; one tends towards evil. What do you say about that?

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

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:12 am

f12hte wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:44 am
Thank you for sharing your views.
You're welcome. But they weren't really "my views." I was just trying to understand your use of language, particularly the idea of "uniqueness" as it applies to the subject of evil.
I guess that one can do no better than to be true to his own personal morals and values;
But how do we know our values are right? And what's the value of a moral that is strictly personal? How does it help anyone, if it's "unique," and nobody else sees it, because they have a different "worldview"?

You see, there's a lot that doesn't make any sense about the extremely individualist, subjectivist take on morality. If it's true that morals are all personal and private, or all subjective, then what it means is that there's really no morality at all...just unique quirks.
...the old adage; "to thine own self be true"; one tends towards evil. What do you say about that?
I say that Shakespeare deliberately put that utterance in the mouth of a fool, Polonius, in Hamlet. It didn't work out well for him -- but he "got the point" in the end. :wink:

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henry quirk
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f12

Post by henry quirk » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:13 am

We can waste a whole of time debatin' the source of evil: I prefer to just deal with what is -- on a practical level -- 'evil'.

In a nutshell: willingly, knowingly, deprivin' another of his life, liberty, or property is evil, yeah? Evil, then is not thinkin', but action (acts).

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Lacewing
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Re: EVIL!!!!!!!!

Post by Lacewing » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:55 am

I think of "evil" as the other end of the spectrum from "divine". Both terms can be applied in many different ways -- so intent is made clear by the context they're used in. They do not have to be associated with a religious mindset. They represent extremes of potential... whether it be in reference to people or energy. And our experience of it can seem as real as any other experience we have. Still, I think, we can take anything seriously or not...or commit ourselves to anything or not... and we can change channels. So, amidst so much potential, which channel(s) do we tune to...when it's all available? Evil is just one act on the stage.

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

Post by f12hte » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:22 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:12 am
You see, there's a lot that doesn't make any sense about the extremely individualist, subjectivist take on morality. If it's true that morals are all personal and private, or all subjective, then what it means is that there's really no morality at all...just unique quirks.

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. Given the strife there has always been in the world, it seems obvious to me that morality is relative. There is no absolute right or wrong. There are only the rules which cultures establish for themselves, through negotiation and cooperation. These rules are fallible and even capable of being considered evil by some peoples' morality.

People learn to do evil by experience. They experience the knock-on effects of other peoples' 'goods' and 'evils', as determined by their own experience sets, and the actions which result from that morality contribute to the morality of all subsequent generations. Today's humanity has inherited the follow-on actions of its predecessor's moral decisions. Thus the children inherit the sins of the fathers. But who's culpable? How far back does the legacy of evil extend? What was the ultimate origin of this evil? Or has evil always been and always will be?

What do you believe to be the nature and origin of evil?

f12hte
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Re: f12

Post by f12hte » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:39 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:13 am
We can waste a whole of time debatin' the source of evil: I prefer to just deal with what is -- on a practical level -- 'evil'.

In a nutshell: willingly, knowingly, deprivin' another of his life, liberty, or property is evil, yeah? Evil, then is not thinkin', but action (acts).
So you, yourself, decide what is evil. What's more, you and 11 other jurors decide what is evil. Does that make the person's acts absolutely evil, or just evil in your eyes?

I'm reminded of the story of the Taoist farmer, where events are first recognized as evil, but subsequently turn out to be instrumental to a good outcome, rendering the original judgement of 'evil' null and void.

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

Post by f12hte » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:49 pm

Lacewing wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:55 am
I think of "evil" as the other end of the spectrum from "divine". Both terms can be applied in many different ways -- so intent is made clear by the context they're used in.
So your reference point is 'the divine'. So you are saying the divine is the source of both good and evil, because setting out the 'good' automatically completes the dichotomy, by showing that what is not good is evil? Or are there certain things that can resist being classified as good or evil? And if one thing can be classified that way, why not all things?

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

Post by f12hte » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:06 pm

From what has been discussed so far, it seems that there are 2 different types of good and evil.

You have the personal perspective, where everyone's view good and bad is unique to that person, and his particular life experience. This is relative morality.

Then you have the cultural perspective, founded in the amalgamation of heterogeneous moralities via cooperation and negotiation. This is relative too, among different cultures.

But, nowhere, is absolute morality to be found. And with that realization, we should;

1. Realize that when we point a finger at someone, there are 3 fingers pointing back at us. (we can be mistaken)

2. Realize that we do not punish criminals, but we protect society from them. Their culpability, bred of their life experience, can not be known to any judge. We can not be culpable for things beyond our control, and the development of our personality is definitely beyond our control. We become what we experience, but we do not get to choose everything we experience. Our each and every action can be traced back to the events which promulgated it, even to the beginning of time. The total past informs each instant of the present.

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henry quirk
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Re: f12

Post by henry quirk » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:21 pm

"So you, yourself, decide what is evil."

Not really, no.

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

Post by Greatest I am » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:01 pm

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?

I hold a unique view of the world borne of my unique set of life experiences.

My unique worldview gives me a unique perspective on what is good and what is bad.

When I do a good thing, i think that the good reverberates down through the ages, since good actions engender knock-on good actions.

Ditto for when I do something that I consider bad.

So, the bad that I do is borne of my environment, filled with the knock-on effects of others' deeds, going back an eternity.

So evil, or at least culpability, has no origin? And if it has no origin, then how can it be said to exist?
Nicely put.

If there were a supernatural creator god then of course he would be responsible for evil. Such a god likely does not exist.

Evil then is man made and as you rightfully say, it is all subjective.

We are a part of nature and do all the evil. To do evil one must have the intent in mind. Our human courts call that mens rea.

I see evolution as the source of all human against human evil.

I have that view in this older O.P. that is designed for believers.
See if it makes sense to you.

------------------
Can you help but do evil? I do not see how. Do you?
And if you cannot, why would God punish you?

Christians are always trying to absolve God of moral culpability in the fall by putting forward their free will argument and placing all the blame on mankind.
That usually sounds like ----God gave us free will and it was our free willed choices that caused our fall. Hence God is not blameworthy. Such statements simply avoid God's culpability as the author and creator of human nature.

Free will is only the ability to choose. It is not an explanation why anyone would want to choose "A" or "B" (bad or good action). An explanation for why Eve would even have the nature of "being vulnerable to being easily swayed by a serpent" and "desiring to eat a forbidden fruit" must lie in the nature God gave Eve in the first place. Hence God is culpable for deliberately making humans with a nature-inclined-to-fall, and "free will" means nothing as a response to this problem.

If all do evil/sin by nature then, the evil/sin nature is dominant. If not, we would have at least some who would not do evil/sin. Can we then help but do evil? I do not see how. Do you?

Having said the above for the God that I do not believe in, I am a Gnostic Christian naturalist, let me tell you that evil and sin is all human generated and in this sense, I agree with Christians, but for completely different reasons. Evil is mankind’s responsibility and not some imaginary God’s. Free will is something that can only be taken. Free will cannot be given not even by a God unless it has been forcibly withheld.

Much has been written to explain evil and sin but I see as a natural part of evolution.

Consider.
First, let us eliminate what some see as evil. Natural disasters. These are unthinking occurrences and are neither good nor evil. There is no intent to do evil even as victims are created. Without intent to do evil, no act should be called evil.
In secular courts, this is called mens rea. Latin for an evil mind or intent and without it, the court will not find someone guilty even if they know that they are the perpetrator of the act.

Evil then is only human to human when they know they are doing evil and intend harm.

As evolving creatures, all we ever do, and ever can do, is compete or cooperate.
Cooperation we would see as good as there are no victims created. Competition would be seen as evil as it creates a victim. We all are either cooperating, doing good, or competing, doing evil, at all times.

Without us doing some of both, we would likely go extinct.

This, to me, explains why there is evil in the world quite well.

Be you a believer in nature, evolution or God, you should see that what Christians see as something to blame, evil, we should see that what we have, competition, deserves a huge thanks for being available to us. Wherever it came from, God or nature, without evolution we would go extinct. We must do good and evil.

There is no conflict between nature and God on this issue. This is how things are and should be. We all must do what some will think is evil as we compete and create losers to this competition.

This link speak to theistic evolution.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-new ... 66/?no-ist

If theistic evolution is true, then the myth of Eden should be read as a myth and there is not really any original sin.

Doing evil then is actually forced on us by evolution and the need to survive. Our default position is to cooperate or to do good. I offer this clip as proof of this. You will note that we default to good as it is better for survival.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBW5vdhr_PA

Can you help but do evil? I do not see how. Do you?
And if you cannot, why would God punish you?

Regards
DL

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

Post by Greatest I am » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:08 pm

f12hte wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:44 am
[ And insomuch as one strays from the old adage; "to thine own self be true"; one tends towards evil. What do you say about that?
I disagree as I show above that cooperation or doing good is our default position and we do not tend towards evil.

Regards
DL

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