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Good & Evil: Can one exist without the other?

Outspoken
Posts: 85
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4/7/2011 10:56:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
This came to my mind during a completely different discussion with a friend. I very flippantly made the point that you don't know life without death, hot without cold, peace without war, etc. My point to her was not to shy away from the trials and tribulations of life because without them one cannot perfect.

I began to think about this. Theses extremities exist all around us;

hot : cold
black : white
up : down
high : low
good : evil
life : death
dark : light
right : wrong
malevolent : benevolent
war : peace
conservative : liberal
democrat : republican
wealth : poverty or
rich : poor

And the list can continue to grow... to what extent are these extremes a necessity to our existence? Can we truly have one without the other?

Is there a such thing as too much of a good thing?

You see people out their striving for things like world peace? How could achieving an extreme be detrimental? Is world peace a good thing?

I think it was B. Franklin that said, "all things in moderation."

Is the middle of road the answer - balance? Or is balance mediocre?
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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4/7/2011 11:00:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/7/2011 10:56:01 PM, Outspoken wrote:
And the list can continue to grow... to what extent are these extremes a necessity to our existence? Can we truly have one without the other?

Are they a necessity? I'm not sure. Are they inevitable? Yes.

I hold "extreme" opinions -- I'm an anarchist, atheist and nihilist. I would not say these are necessities to life but I would argue that they are the inevitable conclusions of logical thinking.

Is there a such thing as too much of a good thing?

Yes. When something "good" kills you, you've had too much.

You see people out their striving for things like world peace? How could achieving an extreme be detrimental? Is world peace a good thing?

I'm skeptical of such an ideal but I would hope that peace exists between countries at one point. And I do see it as beneficial overall.

I think it was B. Franklin that said, "all things in moderation."

Is the middle of road the answer - balance? Or is balance mediocre?

Balance is by far the best approach.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
willywonka
Posts: 12
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4/7/2011 11:01:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Well you hae to keep in mind that Good and Evil are both very subjective. Your idea of crossing a line might be much different than that of someone else. With that said, yes, I think you need one to have the other. (Yin and Yang) it is a balancing game. Would you enjoy the sun on your face if you hadn't been in the middle of a rain shower? Of course not! it's the things that we seem to find negative in our life that give positive things meaning.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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4/7/2011 11:14:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/7/2011 11:00:35 PM, annhasle wrote:

I hold "extreme" opinions -- I'm an anarchist, atheist and nihilist.

By what means would you defend a disputed claim of right to action?
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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4/7/2011 11:15:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/7/2011 11:14:30 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 4/7/2011 11:00:35 PM, annhasle wrote:

I hold "extreme" opinions -- I'm an anarchist, atheist and nihilist.

By what means would you defend a disputed claim of right to action?

Expound please.

Define "right to action".
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
PervRat
Posts: 963
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4/7/2011 11:53:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
For those of you in the 30+ range, who could remember not just 9/11 but life before and how fast things seemed to change ... for at least a month afterward, we stopped griping about the usual minutia and unified for action. There were very few times I had ever seen the nation pull together like that in my life. I think a lot of us realized how good we have it here where most other places in the world, terrorism and bombings are not as unknown.

You won't find me arguing we should have kept him around longer, but I think Hitler may have had as strong of an influence on American Society as Gandhi or Martin Luther King to ditch discrimination, when we realized how evil and sick supremacism is.

So yeah ... you need to experience a bit of cold to appreciate warmth.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/8/2011 1:11:30 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
You can't have one without the.. Other!..
http://books.google.com...

that said... the pivot lies in accepting things as they come...

what you care about as well.

it's called "walking two roads" b/c while you Realize that the declaring of "this" and "that" is all a matter of perspective..it is in accepting things as they come, that is according your natural perspective, while at the same time understanding the limits of such a perspective, and Not clinging to the divisions as absolute... That you find "the pivot" of the dao ;) http://books.google.com...
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,264
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4/8/2011 1:29:17 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
From what I see from above: Good and Evil must exist together to give either a sense of value.

So the question arises just how much evil should exist in the world to give us optimal happiness? Equal amounts?
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/8/2011 1:29:32 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
All things can only be understood through contrast. In this sense, even "nothing" is something because we wouldn't know what "something" was without a concept of what it is not.

By the way, welcome to the site.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,264
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4/8/2011 1:32:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 1:29:32 AM, FREEDO wrote:
All things can only be understood through contrast. In this sense, even "nothing" is something because we wouldn't know what "something" was without a concept of what it is not.

By the way, welcome to the site.

AHHH FREEDO! You are uniquely the most qualified person on this site to answer the question I posed.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/8/2011 1:38:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 1:29:17 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
So the question arises just how much evil should exist in the world to give us optimal happiness? Equal amounts?

Evil and happiness cannot be measured.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,264
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4/8/2011 1:39:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 1:38:21 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:29:17 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
So the question arises just how much evil should exist in the world to give us optimal happiness? Equal amounts?

Evil and happiness cannot be measured.

Expound please!
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/8/2011 1:44:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 1:39:49 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:38:21 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:29:17 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
So the question arises just how much evil should exist in the world to give us optimal happiness? Equal amounts?

Evil and happiness cannot be measured.

Expound please!

You can't count happiness.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/8/2011 1:44:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 1:44:09 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:39:49 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:38:21 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:29:17 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
So the question arises just how much evil should exist in the world to give us optimal happiness? Equal amounts?

Evil and happiness cannot be measured.

Expound please!

You can't count happiness.

Also, the notion of happiness is not clear. Many things can be meant.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/8/2011 1:45:14 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 1:44:52 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:44:09 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:39:49 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:38:21 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:29:17 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
So the question arises just how much evil should exist in the world to give us optimal happiness? Equal amounts?

Evil and happiness cannot be measured.

Expound please!

You can't count happiness.

Also, the notion of happiness is not clear. Many things can be meant.

Nor of evil.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,264
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4/8/2011 1:47:17 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 1:44:09 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:39:49 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:38:21 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:29:17 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
So the question arises just how much evil should exist in the world to give us optimal happiness? Equal amounts?

Evil and happiness cannot be measured.

Expound please!

You can't count happiness.

Okay lets just assume you can give a survey where x percentage of people say they are happy and x percentage of people say that the world should have less evil in it.

Your thoughts?
PervRat
Posts: 963
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4/8/2011 2:15:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 1:47:17 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:44:09 AM, FREEDO wrote:
You can't count happiness.

Okay lets just assume you can give a survey where x percentage of people say they are happy and x percentage of people say that the world should have less evil in it.

Your thoughts?

That's not a reliable nor accurate meter to measure happiness. You could not use that to measure unhappiness or evil to compare them, and a person who has never known unhappiness would measure their happiness differently than someone who has had bouts of depression or is manic depressive, for instance.

Have you seen how ridiculous some folk rate things, such as movies or books where most folk either give 10 out of 10 or 0 out of 10 with little in between? Same deal with trying to measure happiness by getting folk to 'rate' how happy they feel.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,264
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4/8/2011 2:19:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 2:15:04 AM, PervRat wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:47:17 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 4/8/2011 1:44:09 AM, FREEDO wrote:
You can't count happiness.

Okay lets just assume you can give a survey where x percentage of people say they are happy and x percentage of people say that the world should have less evil in it.

Your thoughts?

That's not a reliable nor accurate meter to measure happiness. You could not use that to measure unhappiness or evil to compare them, and a person who has never known unhappiness would measure their happiness differently than someone who has had bouts of depression or is manic depressive, for instance.

Have you seen how ridiculous some folk rate things, such as movies or books where most folk either give 10 out of 10 or 0 out of 10 with little in between? Same deal with trying to measure happiness by getting folk to 'rate' how happy they feel.

I agree with you, such a survey could not be accurate. For the sake of argument I want to pursue the premise though as if it were a possibility.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/8/2011 3:14:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Take note of this:

The best answer to most questions lies in pointing out it's absurdness. For I assure you, it has absurdness.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,264
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4/8/2011 4:12:27 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 3:14:04 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Take note of this:

The best answer to most questions lies in pointing out it's absurdness. For I assure you, it has absurdness.

This is what I was waiting for. Thanks Freedo.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/8/2011 4:24:53 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/8/2011 4:12:27 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 4/8/2011 3:14:04 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Take note of this:

The best answer to most questions lies in pointing out it's absurdness. For I assure you, it has absurdness.

This is what I was waiting for. Thanks Freedo.

http://oi53.tinypic.com...
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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4/8/2011 11:53:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/7/2011 11:15:56 PM, annhasle wrote:

Define "right to action".

Someone is about to instigate an action (or has an action underway) which extends into your sphere of influence and has a negative consequence.