The Instigator
KILLUMINATI
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
mengel1
Con (against)
Losing
14 Points

Good can exist without Evil

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
KILLUMINATI
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/1/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,625 times Debate No: 22495
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (7)

 

KILLUMINATI

Pro

Evil cannot exist without good, but good can exist without evil.

This has only one clear cut answer and that is if there is no good then evil cannot be compared and contrasted to anything. That leads us into good existing without evil........
mengel1

Con

Alright, this is my first debate so.... whatever.

Evil cannot exist without good simply because they are the fabric of existence, just like yin and yang (dark and light), one cannot exist without the other. You can't have death with no life and life with no death, since death is the opposite of life and life is the opposite of death. Good and evil coexist together, and if you get rid of one you get rid of the other.

Friedrich Nietzsche explained that life is composed of two sides, happiness and depression. You can live your life with very little sadness, but in exchange you get very little happiness. He proclaimed to "Live your Life!" Risk your life for life!" meaning that you should risk the chance of extreme sadness for the equally great chance of extreme happiness. Just like good and evil, without happiness and depression, we would not exist at all, either as sinner or saints.

Another thing is if everything is good than there is no good because you wouldn't know what good is because you wouldn't have anything to compare it with. For example if everything was beautiful and there was no ugliness in the world then you wouldn't know what beauty was because you would have nothing to compare it too. Everything must have an opposite in order to exist.
Debate Round No. 1
KILLUMINATI

Pro

This is only my fourth..........And thx for accepting this debate......

One doesn't need a Ph.D. in theology to look around the world and realize something is desperately wrong. The existence of evil is one of the most vexing challenges a Christian or any person, for that matter must grapple with. It's occupied the minds of great Christian thinkers since the beginning, including St. Augustine (354-430). For much of his life he worked hard at a solution.

St. Augustine's approach was not just brilliant; it was practical. His insight is intellectually credible and emotionally satisfying in that it gives hope and offers meaning to anyone trying to make sense out of life.
http://www.str.org...

Central to Augustine's idea of goodness (and, consequently, evil) was the notion of being. To Augustine, anything that had being was good. God as the ground of being was perfectly good, along with everything he brought into being. This goodness was a property that came in varying degrees.

Since all that God made is good, even those things which appear evil only appear that way because of a limited context or perspective. When viewed as a whole, that which appears to be evil ultimately contributes to the greater good.
http://www.str.org...

This shows what St. Augustine meant:

It seems that most people, whether they be religious or not, believe in something called "evil". The problem is, there is no such thing as evil because "evil" is really nothing more than an English word we use to label an action or experience which we perceive in a negative way. If nobody had emotions or the ability to feel discomfort or pain then nobody would believe in evil.

There is no such thing as evil as a force that is opposite of good. Evil in essence the absence of good.
There is only one true force and that is "good". All other feelings, emotions, forces or whatever we define it as, are just a perversion of good. Hate, anger, fear, greed, joy, jealousy, etc, are dependent on good.

A good(no pun intended) analogy would be that is no such thing as darkness. Darkness is not a force that is self-generating, it only exists because their is an absence of light.
mengel1

Con

First of all, your logic is contradictory. If you define evil as being "the absence of good" then I could easily just say good is instead "the absence of evil." There is no way to prove that evil comes from good or good comes from evil. The way you define evil creates a circular argument that has no conclusion.

You also say that there is no such thing as evil because it is no more than an English word with a negative connotation, but yet again the same can apply to the word good. Both are just words.

While good and evil are merely perceptions that are an extension of yin and yang, their idea can't exist without the other. Like light and shadow and hot and cold, they are opposite ideas that if we didn't have one of them we would't give the remaining a name. It would be nothingness, a standard thing, BORING! The remaining would no longer exist as a positive or negative force. The concept of beauty would be unable to grasp without concept of ugliness. You can't know good if you don't know evil, its as simple as that.
Debate Round No. 2
KILLUMINATI

Pro

Does evil exist?

A university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists?
A student bravely replied yes, he did!"
"God created everything?" The professor asked.
"Yes, sir," the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil."
The student became quiet before such an answer.

The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question professor?" "Of course", replied the professor. The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"

"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The students snickered at the young man's question.

The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Everybody and every object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (- 460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have too little heat.

The student continued. "Professor, does darkness exist?"

The professor responded, "Of course it does".

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor. "Sir, does evil exist?"

Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. "These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love, that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

The young mans name --- Albert Einstein
(there is some debate if this exchange happened or not but the idea is shown)

Evil really does not exist actually in existence is only that which is good and the absence of that which is good. The bad, or sin, or guilt, or whatever in this direction is merely a confusion of language our unverified implicit assumption is that the conceptual opposite of something which verifiably does exist, must necessarily also exist. This is not true; it either may or may not exist.
http://www.well.com...

I understand the term "evil" as being analogous to "bad" in that it is a human construct or concept that is relative to and dependant on that in which a human perceives as "good." Good and evil are simply the results of one's discrimination between this and that and are in relation to how one thinks things "ought" to be. So it is my observation that evil does not exist.
mengel1

Con

If there was only good, and no evil, it would not be considered good, it would just be normal. Since there is no contradiction between on or the other, there would be no making choices, and it would be everyday life to live in.

Say there was suddenly no evil. What would this be? Can we say good if there is no opposite to good? Can we say, "don't do that."? It would make no sense without evil, for you are leading the person away from making a decision. There would be a one way path, and having the other way be impossible.

If it wasn't for evil, this concept of good would never be created. It would be considered the norm and not anything special. Because evil exists, we can understand what good is, therefore good cannot exist without evil.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by KILLUMINATI 4 years ago
KILLUMINATI
As I stated there is some debate if this exchange happened or not but the idea is shown.....
Posted by oheesak 4 years ago
oheesak
No, No, No, No! That man was NOT Albert Einstein. First off, the arguments that your "Einstein" are clearly fallacious scientifically and only a fool would make such assumptions. Einstein was no fool.
Posted by KILLUMINATI 4 years ago
KILLUMINATI
You cant add to your debate
Posted by mengel1 4 years ago
mengel1
It's hard for me to explain this from a philosophical perspective (I even confuse myself when I think about it haha), but from an evolutionary standpoint it makes sense. When we imagine life without death, we imagine that we would just keep on doing what we're doing indefinitely. However, when we look at ourselves from an evolutionary perspective it is actually death that drives life. Without the threat of death we would not be what we are. All of our experiences and activities have evolved from the need to gather energy. Life is the drive to sustain our energy and fend off death. Without the existence of death, life would be impossible.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
You can't have life with no death? Hows that?
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Whenever i hear that example of Albert Einstein, I'm always embarrassed for the philosopher teacher for being unable to answer such a simple objection...
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
Pro, you're killing me. You had this debate in the bag, then you shot yourself in the foot with a shotgun.

So I end up having to go with the con debater, kind of grudgingly, for the following reason:

What this debate inevitably comes down to is what is evil, and can good exist without evil? The definition of evil was the main clashing point in the round, with the good existing without evil was a kind of minor argument. I think that both of you are doing a good job arguing the definition of evil, and it's a bit of a stand-still to see whose really winning that debate independent of any other variable. So in order to resolve that, I have to look to the debate on can good exist without evil, which is where pro completely falls flat on his face in so far as he completely drops con's round two, which was massively devoted to this one debate. Pro's third round argument adresses this fairly well, but it was kind of already answered in con's round two, and since that was never touched I have to end up giving it weight.

So from there, if evil acts as a counter-balance to good to allow good to exist, then evil can't just be the absense of good. It would have to be it's own independent idea, while being dependent on good to give definition to evil. They would both be interconnected, each giving value to the other, and I think the con does a good job in showing this.

Pro, your arguments were good, you just didn't win. Always adress the opponent specifically. I give you sources, since you had the only ones, but that's really all I can give you. Con just won this.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
Interesting argument from Pro in R3. Never thought of it from that angle.
I'll vote in a second.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
1dustpelt
KILLUMINATImengel1Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: same as wiploc
Vote Placed by oheesak 4 years ago
oheesak
KILLUMINATImengel1Tied
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Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
KILLUMINATImengel1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: counter VB. (ipwnu) Sources because he actually had them.
Vote Placed by iPwnuNOW 4 years ago
iPwnuNOW
KILLUMINATImengel1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Quality not Quantity Con arguments will stand DISMISSED
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
KILLUMINATImengel1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: The resolution is that good can exist without evil. Pro says it can, and he gives a reason of sorts. Then Con agrees, and gives a different justification. Both parties agree that the resolution is true. Therefore, Pro wins. Con never contested the resolution.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
KILLUMINATImengel1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con gets more convincing arguments but only barely. Pro gets reliable sources because he was the only one to use a source.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
KILLUMINATImengel1Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.