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What is Evil?

logicrules
Posts: 1,721
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10/29/2011 9:49:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Having read a number of the posts on here I was struck by the seemingly universal acceptance that if something is negative in our society it is evil. eg suffering I contend that most of what we experience is at best, morally neutral, and true evil only appears as good. I would define Evil as any action of an individual or group taken without consideration for its rightness,whatever your standard, and/or having evaluated the Right thing to do done something else. Additionally, or as caveat, assuring sufficient information upon which to base ones determination of action. This definition excludes all Natural phenomena like floods, famine, etc. as evil. Also excluded are human emotions, per se.

I also distinguish between evil and Wrong. Wrong is any action generally accepted as bad in society. ie Theft is wrong but not evil, nor is a thief evil.

The technical term for this is "Individual Right Agency".
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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10/29/2011 11:44:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/29/2011 9:49:09 AM, logicrules wrote:
Having read a number of the posts on here I was struck by the seemingly universal acceptance that if something is negative in our society it is evil. eg suffering I contend that most of what we experience is at best, morally neutral, and true evil only appears as good. I would define Evil as any action of an individual or group taken without consideration for its rightness,whatever your standard, and/or having evaluated the Right thing to do done something else. Additionally, or as caveat, assuring sufficient information upon which to base ones determination of action. This definition excludes all Natural phenomena like floods, famine, etc. as evil. Also excluded are human emotions, per se.

I also distinguish between evil and Wrong. Wrong is any action generally accepted as bad in society. ie Theft is wrong but not evil, nor is a thief evil.

The technical term for this is "Individual Right Agency".:

Evil is a subjective term. Evil exists as an abstract concept, and I believe it serves an indispensable function, but I don't believe it exists as an absolute.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
logicrules
Posts: 1,721
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10/29/2011 11:57:11 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/29/2011 11:44:31 AM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
At 10/29/2011 9:49:09 AM, logicrules wrote:
Having read a number of the posts on here I was struck by the seemingly universal acceptance that if something is negative in our society it is evil. eg suffering I contend that most of what we experience is at best, morally neutral, and true evil only appears as good. I would define Evil as any action of an individual or group taken without consideration for its rightness,whatever your standard, and/or having evaluated the Right thing to do done something else. Additionally, or as caveat, assuring sufficient information upon which to base ones determination of action. This definition excludes all Natural phenomena like floods, famine, etc. as evil. Also excluded are human emotions, per se.

I also distinguish between evil and Wrong. Wrong is any action generally accepted as bad in society. ie Theft is wrong but not evil, nor is a thief evil.

The technical term for this is "Individual Right Agency".:

Evil is a subjective term. Evil exists as an abstract concept, and I believe it serves an indispensable function, but I don't believe it exists as an absolute.

Would you also consider Love and/or pain an abstract concept?
PARADIGM_L0ST
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10/29/2011 11:59:03 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Would you also consider Love and/or pain an abstract concept?:

Yes.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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10/29/2011 1:03:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/29/2011 9:49:09 AM, logicrules wrote:
Having read a number of the posts on here I was struck by the seemingly universal acceptance that if something is negative in our society it is evil.

Woah woah... one retard does not make a common consensus!

eg suffering I contend that most of what we experience is at best, morally neutral, and true evil only appears as good. I would define Evil as any action of an individual or group taken without consideration for its rightness,whatever your standard, and/or having evaluated the Right thing to do done something else. Additionally, or as caveat, assuring sufficient information upon which to base ones determination of action. This definition excludes all Natural phenomena like floods, famine, etc. as evil. Also excluded are human emotions, per se.

I also distinguish between evil and Wrong. Wrong is any action generally accepted as bad in society. ie Theft is wrong but not evil, nor is a thief evil.

The technical term for this is "Individual Right Agency".

Seems like an overcomplication of what ought to be a very simple matter.

Evil is what you find to be evil, good is what you find to be good, the terms are subjective and meaningless.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
MyVoiceInYourHead
Posts: 260
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10/29/2011 1:14:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If I were to define evil as anything I would define it as knowingly causing (by acts or omissions) unnecessary suffering or cruelty to another human or animal. The more indiscriminate the act, the more evil it is. The more ignorant somebody is, the less evil they are capable of (eg diminished responsibility), although it may still be morally wrong or bad for society. How morally bad something is depends on the value judgement I place on the harm it causes (instead of benefit) for myself or others. How about that?
logicrules
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10/29/2011 1:34:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago


Seems like an overcomplication of what ought to be a very simple matter.

Evil is what you find to be evil, good is what you find to be good, the terms are subjective and meaningless.

It may seem that way, and if you deny objective evil....well, that is convenient, but seems to mean there is no good, nothing better than what is right here right now. Not an argument just an observation.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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10/29/2011 1:38:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/29/2011 1:34:41 PM, logicrules wrote:


Seems like an overcomplication of what ought to be a very simple matter.

Evil is what you find to be evil, good is what you find to be good, the terms are subjective and meaningless.

It may seem that way, and if you deny objective evil....well, that is convenient, but seems to mean there is no good, nothing better than what is right here right now. Not an argument just an observation.

We call things that violate our empathy and other moral emotions evil, but objectively there is no good nor evil.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
logicrules
Posts: 1,721
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10/29/2011 1:40:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/29/2011 1:14:14 PM, MyVoiceInYourHead wrote:
If I were to define evil as anything I would define it as knowingly causing (by acts or omissions) unnecessary suffering or cruelty to another human or animal. The more indiscriminate the act, the more evil it is. The more ignorant somebody is, the less evil they are capable of (eg diminished responsibility), although it may still be morally wrong or bad for society. How morally bad something is depends on the value judgement I place on the harm it causes (instead of benefit) for myself or others. How about that?

First thought is, necessary suffering then is fine, and I hope I am the determiner and not the recipient of your "non evil" actions. As to the judgement...absolutely. However, if one has the ability to remove their ignorance and choose not to that ignorance becomes an aggravating factor not mitigation. That would also go to culpability, not evil or moral.

Is it not possible to do great harm believing what you are doing is good, or even harmless?
logicrules
Posts: 1,721
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10/29/2011 1:45:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/29/2011 1:38:34 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 10/29/2011 1:34:41 PM, logicrules wrote:


Seems like an overcomplication of what ought to be a very simple matter.

Evil is what you find to be evil, good is what you find to be good, the terms are subjective and meaningless.

It may seem that way, and if you deny objective evil....well, that is convenient, but seems to mean there is no good, nothing better than what is right here right now. Not an argument just an observation.

We call things that violate our empathy and other moral emotions evil, but objectively there is no good nor evil.

That certainly is the prevalent standard today. Empathy isn't a moral concept in any codified morality with which I am familiar, it is used to measure maturity though. I would also assert that morality is not a feeling on any list of feelings I've seen, if you have a credible source Id be happy to read up because that would be a brand new twist on subjectivism.
MyVoiceInYourHead
Posts: 260
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10/29/2011 1:50:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/29/2011 1:40:16 PM, logicrules wrote:
At 10/29/2011 1:14:14 PM, MyVoiceInYourHead wrote:
If I were to define evil as anything I would define it as knowingly causing (by acts or omissions) unnecessary suffering or cruelty to another human or animal. The more indiscriminate the act, the more evil it is. The more ignorant somebody is, the less evil they are capable of (eg diminished responsibility), although it may still be morally wrong or bad for society. How morally bad something is depends on the value judgement I place on the harm it causes (instead of benefit) for myself or others. How about that?

First thought is, necessary suffering then is fine, and I hope I am the determiner and not the recipient of your "non evil" actions. As to the judgement...absolutely. However, if one has the ability to remove their ignorance and choose not to that ignorance becomes an aggravating factor not mitigation. That would also go to culpability, not evil or moral.

Is it not possible to do great harm believing what you are doing is good, or even harmless?

Good points. Well presented.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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10/29/2011 1:51:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/29/2011 1:45:02 PM, logicrules wrote:
At 10/29/2011 1:38:34 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 10/29/2011 1:34:41 PM, logicrules wrote:


Seems like an overcomplication of what ought to be a very simple matter.

Evil is what you find to be evil, good is what you find to be good, the terms are subjective and meaningless.

It may seem that way, and if you deny objective evil....well, that is convenient, but seems to mean there is no good, nothing better than what is right here right now. Not an argument just an observation.

We call things that violate our empathy and other moral emotions evil, but objectively there is no good nor evil.

That certainly is the prevalent standard today. Empathy isn't a moral concept in any codified morality with which I am familiar, it is used to measure maturity though. I would also assert that morality is not a feeling on any list of feelings I've seen, if you have a credible source Id be happy to read up because that would be a brand new twist on subjectivism.

You are not saying that there is no connection between empathy and morality? Ultimately I am a nihilist however.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
logicrules
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10/29/2011 2:01:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
That certainly is the prevalent standard today. Empathy isn't a moral concept in any codified morality with which I am familiar, it is used to measure maturity though. I would also assert that morality is not a feeling on any list of feelings I've seen, if you have a credible source Id be happy to read up because that would be a brand new twist on subjectivism.

You are not saying that there is no connection between empathy and morality? Ultimately I am a nihilist however.

Well, I would never argue that connections do not exsist, however I would argue that empathy has no reliance on morality, empathy is an understanding of the feelings of others. An individual who lacks empathy may have sympathy but can never be objective. When I see my dog with a laceration requiring medical care I can empathize with the pain however, never having had such an injury and not being a canine, I can not sympathize. Connected, perhaps...reliant upon...no.
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/29/2011 10:59:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
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
sadolite
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10/29/2011 11:07:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
http://www.debate.org...
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
MyVoiceInYourHead
Posts: 260
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10/30/2011 5:37:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/29/2011 1:40:16 PM, logicrules wrote:
At 10/29/2011 1:14:14 PM, MyVoiceInYourHead wrote:
If I were to define evil as anything I would define it as knowingly causing (by acts or omissions) unnecessary suffering or cruelty to another human or animal. The more indiscriminate the act, the more evil it is. The more ignorant somebody is, the less evil they are capable of (eg diminished responsibility), although it may still be morally wrong or bad for society. How morally bad something is depends on the value judgement I place on the harm it causes (instead of benefit) for myself or others. How about that?

First thought is, necessary suffering then is fine, and I hope I am the determiner and not the recipient of your "non evil" actions. As to the judgement...absolutely. However, if one has the ability to remove their ignorance and choose not to that ignorance becomes an aggravating factor not mitigation. That would also go to culpability, not evil or moral.

Is it not possible to do great harm believing what you are doing is good, or even harmless?

Having thought again about what I meant about "necessary suffering" I would say that what I meant was it was at the level of "you can't make an omlette without breaking eggs" or "growing pains." e.g. reasonably disciplining an unruly child or e.g. if someone has a dislocated shoulder, it hurts (short-term) when a Doctor puts the shoulder back in but there is a massive long-term benefit. Another example would be imprisoning a serial killer which has a society benefit by keeping him off the streets but the killer may suffer due to freedoms having been removed. Also yesterday I had a flu jab and I felt sh!t all day but I considered it to be mild necessary suffering to prevent a nasty bout of influenza. So "prevention rather than cure" falls into this category maybe?
logicrules
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10/30/2011 10:27:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago

Having thought again about what I meant about "necessary suffering" I would say that what I meant was it was at the level of "you can't make an omlette without breaking eggs" or "growing pains." e.g. reasonably disciplining an unruly child or e.g. if someone has a dislocated shoulder, it hurts (short-term) when a Doctor puts the shoulder back in but there is a massive long-term benefit. Another example would be imprisoning a serial killer which has a society benefit by keeping him off the streets but the killer may suffer due to freedoms having been removed. Also yesterday I had a flu jab and I felt sh!t all day but I considered it to be mild necessary suffering to prevent a nasty bout of influenza. So "prevention rather than cure" falls into this category maybe?

Among the many definitions of suffer there is pain, but the primary and universal among all of the definitions is endurance. "He does not suffer fools." As such, I would argue that suffering is neutral, as it is common among all animals. We human animals often choose a lesser pain to avoid what we perceive as a greater pain, but that is our choice. The pain, and/or endurance of it, is not good or evil. (Enduring a complaining teen might be the exception) I would suggest that the inflicting of physical or psychological pain on another animal for sufferings sake is wrong, and I would not fear contradiction. My larger point though is…Many of those things we do, under the guise of Good, and/or for the alleviation of another's suffering are, in fact, Evil because they do great harm to the other, ourselves and society. Contemporary examples are legion, but might be misunderstood so eg. Prohibition in the USA. I would assert that ‘REAL EVIL" is always done in the name of Good or Right.