Total Posts:22|Showing Posts:1-22
Jump to topic:

Can Good Exist Without Evil?

HisFlyness
Posts: 17
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/7/2011 2:46:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If evil weren't around, how would we know what good is? Even if there were just varying degrees of good, that which was furthest from the best good would be considered most evil, right? Not that we need rape, murder and every other evil in the world, but how can we consider the good without its inherent juxtaposition with evil? I feel like this requires more consideration than the simplistic analogy of "Can't know the light without the dark."
"Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost." - Tolkein...or Babe Ruth. One of those guys.
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/7/2011 4:11:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/7/2011 2:46:34 PM, HisFlyness wrote:
If evil weren't around, how would we know what good is? Even if there were just varying degrees of good, that which was furthest from the best good would be considered most evil, right? Not that we need rape, murder and every other evil in the world, but how can we consider the good without its inherent juxtaposition with evil? I feel like this requires more consideration than the simplistic analogy of "Can't know the light without the dark."

Opinion: The law of opposites is the only explanation that you logically need. Nothing more needs to be said.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/7/2011 4:26:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/7/2011 2:46:34 PM, HisFlyness wrote:
If evil weren't around, how would we know what good is? Even if there were just varying degrees of good, that which was furthest from the best good would be considered most evil, right? Not that we need rape, murder and every other evil in the world, but how can we consider the good without its inherent juxtaposition with evil? I feel like this requires more consideration than the simplistic analogy of "Can't know the light without the dark."

It really depends on what you think good and evil are.

If you believe everything is good, nothing can be evil.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/7/2011 4:49:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/7/2011 4:26:02 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 7/7/2011 2:46:34 PM, HisFlyness wrote:
If evil weren't around, how would we know what good is? Even if there were just varying degrees of good, that which was furthest from the best good would be considered most evil, right? Not that we need rape, murder and every other evil in the world, but how can we consider the good without its inherent juxtaposition with evil? I feel like this requires more consideration than the simplistic analogy of "Can't know the light without the dark."

It really depends on what you think good and evil are.

If you believe everything is good, nothing can be evil.

Reply: Whatever an individual considers good, the opposite would be evil. If you believe the existence of everything is good, than the non-existence of everything would be evil.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/7/2011 5:05:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/7/2011 4:26:02 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 7/7/2011 2:46:34 PM, HisFlyness wrote:
If evil weren't around, how would we know what good is? Even if there were just varying degrees of good, that which was furthest from the best good would be considered most evil, right? Not that we need rape, murder and every other evil in the world, but how can we consider the good without its inherent juxtaposition with evil? I feel like this requires more consideration than the simplistic analogy of "Can't know the light without the dark."

It really depends on what you think good and evil are.

If you believe everything is good, nothing can be evil.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just like your opinion, man.

Do you apply this degree of subjectivity to other disciplines? Any standard of good or evil should be based on, at the very least, some semblance of rational thought. For that reason alone, a microwave really couldn't be labeled "evil" by any rational person attempting to discuss morality. Is no one's opinion on morality wrong? I know you've been a little all over the place discussing your own morality, and I guess it's about time for another one of these discussions now.
Rockylightning
Posts: 2,862
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/7/2011 8:55:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yes.

Let's put it on a scale of -10 to 10. Negatives being evil and positives being good. If there are no negatives, then positives are just varying degrees of good (or is 4 equal to 10 plus -6).
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/7/2011 9:17:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/7/2011 4:49:40 PM, Tiel wrote:
At 7/7/2011 4:26:02 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 7/7/2011 2:46:34 PM, HisFlyness wrote:
If evil weren't around, how would we know what good is? Even if there were just varying degrees of good, that which was furthest from the best good would be considered most evil, right? Not that we need rape, murder and every other evil in the world, but how can we consider the good without its inherent juxtaposition with evil? I feel like this requires more consideration than the simplistic analogy of "Can't know the light without the dark."

It really depends on what you think good and evil are.

If you believe everything is good, nothing can be evil.

Reply: Whatever an individual considers good, the opposite would be evil. If you believe the existence of everything is good, than the non-existence of everything would be evil.

So if I consider voluntarily giving money to charities dedicated to solving world hunger to be good, then I should consider not voluntarily giving money to charities as evil? Or do you mean 'opposite' as in acting in violation of whatever principle justified giving money as good?

Point is, contrary to what you may think, your talk of the grand 'law of oppositions' doesn't do much but cause more confusion.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 1:33:24 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/7/2011 5:05:37 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/7/2011 4:26:02 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 7/7/2011 2:46:34 PM, HisFlyness wrote:
If evil weren't around, how would we know what good is? Even if there were just varying degrees of good, that which was furthest from the best good would be considered most evil, right? Not that we need rape, murder and every other evil in the world, but how can we consider the good without its inherent juxtaposition with evil? I feel like this requires more consideration than the simplistic analogy of "Can't know the light without the dark."

It really depends on what you think good and evil are.

If you believe everything is good, nothing can be evil.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just like your opinion, man.

Do you apply this degree of subjectivity to other disciplines? Any standard of good or evil should be based on, at the very least, some semblance of rational thought. For that reason alone, a microwave really couldn't be labeled "evil" by any rational person attempting to discuss morality. Is no one's opinion on morality wrong? I know you've been a little all over the place discussing your own morality, and I guess it's about time for another one of these discussions now.

Morality is meaningless until its purpose is defined.

If you were to look at morality from a totally objective stance, everything is as it should be. Everything is good.

Morality in the traditional sense however, is not totally objective. It can only be objective from a relative standpoint. Morality in the traditional sense is "What you aught to do"

This is obviously incomplete. To say, "You aught to do this" is meaningless unless you explain why you aught to do something. Traditional morality is really "You aught to do this, if you want to accomplish this, while avoiding that".

The people who simply believe in morality, but do not realize this have no idea what the purpose of morality is, and their idea of morality is skewed by their lack of understanding. Anyone who simply believes something is moral because some authority said so would fall in this category. They are incapable of detecting any of the wisdom in a moral statement. They are fools. They are not moral, they are obedient.

My position is far more rational than you might think.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 2:29:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/8/2011 1:42:19 AM, FREEDO wrote:
No. Both are only concepts. And concepts can only be understood through contrast.

I see no reason to assume, for example, that one cannot understand how positive integers work without having knowledge of negative integers. After all, children generally learn about positive integers before negative integers (and addition before subtraction, multiplication before division, square before square root). There's no law that says one cannot understand X without understanding the opposite of X.
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 2:40:53 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/7/2011 8:55:07 PM, Rockylightning wrote:
Yes.

Let's put it on a scale of -10 to 10. Negatives being evil and positives being good. If there are no negatives, then positives are just varying degrees of good (or is 4 equal to 10 plus -6).

What ethics system do you subscribe to?
tornshoe92
Posts: 361
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 11:31:42 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/8/2011 2:40:53 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
At 7/7/2011 8:55:07 PM, Rockylightning wrote:
Yes.

Let's put it on a scale of -10 to 10. Negatives being evil and positives being good. If there are no negatives, then positives are just varying degrees of good (or is 4 equal to 10 plus -6).

What ethics system do you subscribe to?

Dead Baby Monthly. Lulz
"Next time I see a little old lady going to church I am going kick her in the ovaries because she is personally responsible for this. Thanks Izbo." -C_N
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 2:32:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/8/2011 1:33:24 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 7/7/2011 5:05:37 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 7/7/2011 4:26:02 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 7/7/2011 2:46:34 PM, HisFlyness wrote:
If evil weren't around, how would we know what good is? Even if there were just varying degrees of good, that which was furthest from the best good would be considered most evil, right? Not that we need rape, murder and every other evil in the world, but how can we consider the good without its inherent juxtaposition with evil? I feel like this requires more consideration than the simplistic analogy of "Can't know the light without the dark."

It really depends on what you think good and evil are.

If you believe everything is good, nothing can be evil.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just like your opinion, man.

Do you apply this degree of subjectivity to other disciplines? Any standard of good or evil should be based on, at the very least, some semblance of rational thought. For that reason alone, a microwave really couldn't be labeled "evil" by any rational person attempting to discuss morality. Is no one's opinion on morality wrong? I know you've been a little all over the place discussing your own morality, and I guess it's about time for another one of these discussions now.

Morality is meaningless until its purpose is defined.

If you were to look at morality from a totally objective stance, everything is as it should be. Everything is good.

Morality in the traditional sense however, is not totally objective. It can only be objective from a relative standpoint. Morality in the traditional sense is "What you aught to do"

This is obviously incomplete. To say, "You aught to do this" is meaningless unless you explain why you aught to do something. Traditional morality is really "You aught to do this, if you want to accomplish this, while avoiding that".

The people who simply believe in morality, but do not realize this have no idea what the purpose of morality is, and their idea of morality is skewed by their lack of understanding. Anyone who simply believes something is moral because some authority said so would fall in this category. They are incapable of detecting any of the wisdom in a moral statement. They are fools. They are not moral, they are obedient.

My position is far more rational than you might think.

Opinion: This is impossible, for an object that is does not have subjective thought cannot look at the world or think about the world in any way shape or form. Objective morality does not exist as a result of this simple truth. If you have conscious thought, you think subjectively. Morality exists in all subjective minds.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 3:36:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
To say, "You aught to do this" is meaningless unless you explain why you aught to do something.

Completely agree. Do you believe we are capable of rationally engaging the problem of moral reasoning? It would seem so, because you've already stated that those who follow a moral command simply because an authority instructs them to has some problems. If you were a nihilist this would hardly be a meaningful statement, because you could jump lump it in with all the other attempts to explain morality.
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 4:09:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/8/2011 2:32:38 PM, Tiel wrote:
Opinion: This is impossible, for an object that is does not have subjective thought cannot look at the world or think about the world in any way shape or form. Objective morality does not exist as a result of this simple truth. If you have conscious thought, you think subjectively. Morality exists in all subjective minds.

You're oversimplifying the objective/subjective distinction. It is, for example, an objective fact that I'm am currently thinking about the words I'm typing. The fact that this is contingent on a human mind does not make it a subjective fact, because it is true regardless of anyone's opinion on the matter. Similarly, morality could be contingent in some way on human minds and yet be objective.
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 4:55:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/8/2011 4:09:03 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 7/8/2011 2:32:38 PM, Tiel wrote:
Opinion: This is impossible, for an object that is does not have subjective thought cannot look at the world or think about the world in any way shape or form. Objective morality does not exist as a result of this simple truth. If you have conscious thought, you think subjectively. Morality exists in all subjective minds.

You're oversimplifying the objective/subjective distinction. It is, for example, an objective fact that I'm am currently thinking about the words I'm typing. The fact that this is contingent on a human mind does not make it a subjective fact, because it is true regardless of anyone's opinion on the matter. Similarly, morality could be contingent in some way on human minds and yet be objective.

Question 1: How can this be an objective fact, when it is merely an observation stated by a subjective mind?

Opinion: A fact is only information that is believed to be true by the subjective mind. A fact equals a solid belief. Belief and experience is formed and observed by the subjective mind. All knowledge is subject to belief, therefor all "facts" or "beliefs" are subjective.

Question 2: In your reality, what is the difference between a belief and a fact?
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 5:21:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/8/2011 4:55:38 PM, Tiel wrote:
Question 1: How can this be an objective fact, when it is merely an observation stated by a subjective mind?

It isn't 'merely' an observation stated by a mind. It is a true observation stated by a subjective mind - and its truth is not dependent on my believing it to be true. Objective facts are those not dependent on human opinion for their truth. The moon would still orbit the earth if every living thing on the earth died tomorrow, and there were no minds to perceive that fact.

Opinion: A fact is only information that is believed to be true by the subjective mind. A fact equals a solid belief. Belief and experience is formed and observed by the subjective mind. All knowledge is subject to belief, therefor all "facts" or "beliefs" are subjective.

I deny that knowledge is subject only to beliefs. Knowledge must be connected to reality in some way, or it is not knowledge.

Question 2: In your reality, what is the difference between a belief and a fact?

There are several accounts of what it takes to make a belief 'true' (or 'a fact') - I take a correspondence view. A belief is true if the content of the belief corresponds to an actual aspect of reality. For example, the belief 'The earth is nearly a sphere' is true if it corresponds to reality in the way the belief claims.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 7:53:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/8/2011 3:36:14 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
To say, "You aught to do this" is meaningless unless you explain why you aught to do something.

Completely agree. Do you believe we are capable of rationally engaging the problem of moral reasoning? It would seem so, because you've already stated that those who follow a moral command simply because an authority instructs them to has some problems. If you were a nihilist this would hardly be a meaningful statement, because you could jump lump it in with all the other attempts to explain morality.

Moral Nihilists just don't know what morality is. Just as atheists don't really know what God is.

Their idea of what these concepts are happen to be very narrow. If you hang around people who describe a morality that is clearly nonexistent, or describe the idea of a god that is clearly nonexistent, you of course are going to become a nihilist or an atheist.

Unfortunately, that type of "denial" mindset can really stunt ones ability to communicate effectively with other human beings. What they call "blah" is in fact the same thing as what another calls "Bleh", but they don't even realize it due to their own inability to wrap their head around semantics.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 8:40:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/8/2011 5:21:26 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 7/8/2011 4:55:38 PM, Tiel wrote:
Question 1: How can this be an objective fact, when it is merely an observation stated by a subjective mind?

It isn't 'merely' an observation stated by a mind. It is a true observation stated by a subjective mind - and its truth is not dependent on my believing it to be true. Objective facts are those not dependent on human opinion for their truth. The moon would still orbit the earth if every living thing on the earth died tomorrow, and there were no minds to perceive that fact.

Question: But the perception is 'merely' an observation stated by your mind. You are the one that stated it. Anyone else that perceives the same is also subject to the same logic. It is an observation made by a conscious mind and all conscious minds are subjective.

Opinion: A fact is only information that is believed to be true by the subjective mind. A fact equals a solid belief. Belief and experience is formed and observed by the subjective mind. All knowledge is subject to belief, therefor all "facts" or "beliefs" are subjective.

I deny that knowledge is subject only to beliefs. Knowledge must be connected to reality in some way, or it is not knowledge.

Opinion: You may deny it. I do not. Reality is subjective, for reality can only be perceived to exist in the subjective conscious mind.

Question 2: In your reality, what is the difference between a belief and a fact?

There are several accounts of what it takes to make a belief 'true' (or 'a fact') - I take a correspondence view. A belief is true if the content of the belief corresponds to an actual aspect of reality. For example, the belief 'The earth is nearly a sphere' is true if it corresponds to reality in the way the belief claims.

Opinion: A belief is true in a collective conscious reality if another conscious mind agrees with another's belief. Collective agreement of the belief forms collective reality. All conscious reality (both individual and collective) is subjective, for conscious reality is only the conscious existence of awareness. Conscious awareness creates perception, perception creates reality.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 10:39:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You can still make objective statements, even if you are limited by a subjective experience.

If you define morality as "How things aught to be" or "How people aught to behave", the totally objective interpretation would be that all is good, and nothing is bad, as everything is as it should be.

This is not an assumption, because if it wasn't supposed to be that way, it wouldn't be that way. It couldn't be any other way. You could argue that I am assuming determinism, and I am, but I'm reasonably certain that determinism is true, and the alternative is impossible. Am I 100% certain? No, but I am not 100% certain of anything. However, I am certain enough to make the leap of faith necessary to make that judgement. Could I be wrong? Maybe, but if I am right, I've made an objectively true statement right there.

Now still, these concepts are meaningless silly things that only humans worry about. In actuality, it is what it is. That is it. Objectivity can be described or translated with words, but the words should be recognized as the symbols that they are, and not the actual object that they are describing. The object that is being described should not be mistaken for the symbol that is describing it.

The very nature of what I'm describing makes it rather hard to communicate.

But you are needlessly getting hung up in what appears to be some kind of fuzzy appeal to solipsism. Obviously, as human beings, we are limited in terms of perception, but your denial of our ability to ascertain objective facts is rather mad.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
phantom
Posts: 6,774
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/8/2011 11:53:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Good can exist without evil, but you'd have nothing to compare it too.

Although I suppose it all depends on definitions...
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/9/2011 1:52:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Without evil, we would not have need to designate good as good, since it counterpart is now gone or nonexistent.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau