Life Forum
« Good and Evil »

Welcome Guest. Please Login or Register.
Feb 21st, 2018, 08:49am



« Previous Topic | Next Topic »
Pages: 1 2 3  Notify Send Topic Print
 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Good and Evil  (Read 6650 times)
Tim
Administrator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




Homepage PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 589
xx Good and Evil
« Thread started on: Feb 15th, 2004, 05:00am »

Heh smiley

(Taken from "The Toynbee-Ikeda" Dialogue")

IKEDA: The chinese Confucian scholars Mencius and Hsun Tzu expounded two opposing doctrines about the nature of man: the former maintained the idea of original goodness, and the latter the concept of original evil. These two concepts can be found in the West as well. The christian concept of orignial sin is close to the doctrine of innate evil. By comparison, Rousseau's idea of the noble savage represents something similar to the doctrine of innate goodness. Advocates of the theory of orignial evil insist that an outer force controls man, whereas supporters of the idea of orignial goodness deny such control and assign all responsibility to human nature.


Maybe an understanding of good and evil will let us expand on international affairs smiley


What do you think about good and evil?
User IP Logged

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." -Gandhi
Thoth
Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar

Scribe of the Gods


PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 293
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #1 on: Feb 17th, 2004, 9:12pm »

I don't think that there is such a thing as 'good' or 'evil', just what certain people perceive it to be. Hitler didn't think he was evil, he thought he was right. It's all morals, and morals are made-up by us as part of human civilisation. A necessary part, of course, I'm not suggesting rapists and murderers are good or anything, I'm just saying they're not evil - just different.
And understanding that would certainly help with international affairs - maybe politicians would learn to accept a difference of culture and opinion instead of certain countries being members of 'an axis of evil' and invading them.
User IP Logged

"I am Thoth who proved the truth of the words of Osiris before his enemies on the day of the weighing of words in the great House of the Prince, who dwelleth in Anu."

Chapter XI, Egyptian Book of the Dead - Papyrus of Ani
Tim
Administrator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




Homepage PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 589
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #2 on: Feb 17th, 2004, 11:42pm »

hmm, well from your explanation you're sugesting that, Sadaam Husein killing kurdish people is not evil, and that if we could accpet that we wouldn't have to do anythig about it..?
I don't think you mean it like that.

We probably don't know if Husein and Hitler knew if what they did was evil(or wrong) or not. Indeed I think that there perception was heavily distorted from their life causes.
However as Plato talked about, all people having an innate 'reason'. If people could look deep down, using common sense, there is reason and good.
Hitler and Husein were so shallow and were suffering so much, that they did not want to actually think about themselves and what were doing. They did not look into that common sense and reason of the heart. Rather they were infatuated with the material things in life, and the angry stratergies of war and terror. Instead of contemplating their own mind and heart they supressed that, and nurtured 'evil' or wrong in their material obcessed charade of a life.

Why don't you agree with this? smiley
User IP Logged

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." -Gandhi
Thoth
Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar

Scribe of the Gods


PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 293
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #3 on: Feb 21st, 2004, 10:23pm »

They weren't 'evil', they just put a different value on human life than the rest of us. Though I firmly believe that at least towards the end, Hitler was mentally ill, and obviously wasn't making rational choices... Hussein was probably more of a power-hungry, materalistic person, rather than insane, like you said. But he wasn't 'evil', he just wanted things out of life that included killing. Calling someone 'evil' is a remnant from the Dark and Middle Ages, and usually leads to going to 'Hell', or something involving demons. It's kind of like calling something 'dismal'. No-one knows the word's Celtic origins and what it used to mean.
Yes, they were morally wrong. But they weren't 'evil'. And even in being morally wrong, that's only by our standards. For all we know, Hussein and Hitler could have truly believed that everything they did was the most right and good thing they could have done. You gotta put yourself in their shoes before throwing words like 'good and evil' around. Islamic terrorists think of the West as 'evil', remember. Or at least, the leaders convince their followers that we are.
User IP Logged

"I am Thoth who proved the truth of the words of Osiris before his enemies on the day of the weighing of words in the great House of the Prince, who dwelleth in Anu."

Chapter XI, Egyptian Book of the Dead - Papyrus of Ani
torrich
Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar

"Ignorance is like an exotic fruit: exquisite, yet touch it and it is spoiled." - Oscar Wilde


PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 237
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #4 on: Feb 21st, 2004, 11:27pm »

Certainly. The perception of right and wrong is in one's own mind.
User IP Logged

A journalist (to W.S. Gilbert): How's Bloodygore coming along?
W.S.G.: It's not Bloodygore! It's Ruddigore.
Journalist: Oh well, it's the same thing!
W.S.G.: So I suppose if I say I admire your ruddy countenance, it's the same as saying I like your bloody cheek?! Well it isn't. And I don't.
Tim
Administrator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




Homepage PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 589
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #5 on: Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:25am »

The perception is, Torrich, but not necissarily the reality.

Evil is only a word that is used to relate to devaluing of human life and rights(perhaps among others). I personally don't think of it with demonic conotations or a material hell.

Is there a reality in us relating to 'reason', 'logic', "happiness", 'wrong'? Do we possess these thing outside of external influence?
Indeed we develop these things when we're older, but surely you can believe that each human being(unless mentally disabled[maybe, not sure]) has reason, logic etc.
I believe that Hitler, Husein had some degree of logic, and even reason, but didn't understand these things in a humanistic context, only a material one.
Basically all people do develop reason, hapiness, but sometimes they take a superficial view of it. But I do believe it is there.
Hitler for example had the strange 'logic' or 'reason' in creating a perfect race or killing many people for his country's or his benefit. But as you know, this 'reason' is limited or even paradoxical.

Animals eat and drink when they need to, not when they want to. They do not kill things for the fun it, they kill for a reason. But they have no societal structure like us. They have this innate reason in their DNA or their being.

Do you believe that humanity has an innate reason or logic? What that 'reason' is we can discuss.
User IP Logged

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." -Gandhi
Thoth
Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar

Scribe of the Gods


PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 293
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #6 on: Feb 22nd, 2004, 4:49pm »

Quote:
the reality


The reality is that morals, and therefore the idea of good and evil, are something we invented and then passed along the generations. Morals change.

For example, tribes in South America believed that one could absorb the energies of an enemy by eating him, i.e. cannibalism. They didn't think they were 'evil' for doing so. At the same time, folks in Europe considered such acts heresy and pure evil and proceeded to either stop them from doing so or wipe them out completely.
And, to demonstrate that morals are little more than a figment of our imagination, several species of animal engage in cannibalism, fighting, or simply killing over territory - and foxes do kill for no reason, ask anyone who keeps chickens if foxes eat everything they kill. The Christian belief is that they don't even have souls, so can't be called evil. But the logical belief is that evil is simply... imaginary. And most animals don't attack and kill other animals when they're not hungry not because of some rationality they are unaware of, but because... why take the risk that the animal could injure, or even kill, you? And, of course, animals who aren't hungry can be lazy, just like the rest of us. Why kill something that poses no threat?
That doesn't mean I agree with 'immoral' behaviour. I have morals myself, brainwashed since I was young if you like.
'Reason' is perception. Children, for example, spell words phonetically because they think that is reasonable. And different people see things differently. Happiness, then, depends on what things please you, and is also reliant upon perception (unless you're talking about happiness in the same way as before, in which case, it's a state of mind, rather than an emotion)

In essense, the only value human life has is that which we give it. And different people give different values, is all.
And unless every single person thinks the same, and sees things the same, you can't throw around words like good and evil without taking into account different beliefs and ways of thinking.
User IP Logged

"I am Thoth who proved the truth of the words of Osiris before his enemies on the day of the weighing of words in the great House of the Prince, who dwelleth in Anu."

Chapter XI, Egyptian Book of the Dead - Papyrus of Ani
Tim
Administrator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




Homepage PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 589
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #7 on: Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:08am »

Quote:
tribes in South America believed that one could absorb the energies of an enemy by eating him, i.e. cannibalism

okay, but such an example is animality. I don't want to seem like "Oh*sips wine*, yes those people are called savages."
One can of course respect the culture of 'primitve' societies, but naturally(just like in us) animality was innate in them, more so then us because of our society. Its not so much the act of canabalism that is animalistic, but the whole attitude toward their and others' lives that was animalistic.
Tribal killing is no more 'excusable' than European colonial killing.

Quote:
ask anyone who keeps chickens if foxes eat everything they kill

okay then, maybe I was wrong about some animals. But generally they have moderation. Even so it is animality that overpowers their nature, so there is the distinction between our minds and theirs'.
We have a much broader spectrum of thought and conscioussness, therefore we come up with extremes in our state of life like "good"(happiness) "evil" (unhappiness), and everything in between(including animality)

Quote:
In essense, the only value human life has is that which we give it

In some ways I can understand that. But not really, because you are saying that human life has no fundamental value. The innate potential for us to achieve and be happy also means that the value of our life is innate. Menaing that life has immense value.
User IP Logged

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." -Gandhi
Thoth
Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar

Scribe of the Gods


PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 293
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #8 on: Feb 23rd, 2004, 10:55pm »

Quote:
The innate potential for us to achieve and be happy also means that the value of our life is innate.


Happiness is a state of mind, achievement is dependant on what society views as an achievement. Some may view these as unimportant. Some, such as yourself, incredibly important. Some may view achievement as just killing as many people as you can, completely negating any value of life. Again, it's all about perception.

Quote:
We have a much broader spectrum of thought and conscioussness


Our culture has a specific spectrum of thought and consciousness. Our culture classifies certain acts as good and certain acts as evil. Other cultures do the same, with different acts.

Quote:
Tribal killing is no more 'excusable' than European colonial killing.


So far as you're concerned...



Our most basic daily activities are based on 'animalistic' traits. For example, think anyone would bother with the hassle of attracting a member of the opposite sex if their hormones weren't telling them too? No. Without animal instincts and hormones we'd be purely logical. Only the 'genetically superior' would mate for the benefit of the species, the rest wouldn't bother - and those who did wouldn't bother with all the facade that goes with it either. We wouldn't eat food that tasted nice, we'd eat pure nutrients or something. We wouldn't need friends, as we wouldn't be 'social animals' anymore. I think you see where I'm going.
The only distance from animals we have is that we say we have. Just because we can cover the ground in tarmac and call it a road we think we're a whole new lifeform...
Therefore 'primitive' behavior is what we say it is, it isn't actually 'anything', if you see what I mean.
User IP Logged

"I am Thoth who proved the truth of the words of Osiris before his enemies on the day of the weighing of words in the great House of the Prince, who dwelleth in Anu."

Chapter XI, Egyptian Book of the Dead - Papyrus of Ani
Tim
Administrator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




Homepage PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 589
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #9 on: Feb 29th, 2004, 5:05pm »

Quote:
Happiness is a state of mind, achievement is dependant on what society views as an achievement

Well, my perception of happiness is that, if one wants to he/she can substancially affect his envionrment the way he wants to. He is able to control the turn of his life not only outside(this is a variable point) but more importantly inside.
Therefore achievement inside, should promt action and achievement 'outside'.
As you say however our society does label achievement in certain fields. But many of us can see people who have achieved great serenity and/or confidence and/or positivity in themselves and in life.
So you may say that some societies label killing as an achievement, but the bulk of society does not. Terrorists are an extremist minority. The huge bulk of muslim nations are very much against killing.
This points toward the fact that killing is an ultimate wrong, manifested by those demented and distraught minds of the religiously outrageous.

Quote:
Our culture has a specific spectrum of thought and consciousness. Our culture classifies certain acts as good and certain acts as evil

Our culture does do that, yes. There are those cultures(or maybe societies is more fair) that nurture violence and hatred. But when you look at the Iraqi Hussein regime society, this society was able to do this by supressing the strength and free-thought of people. In a society where that is generally not so we constantly see protests and acting against the elite minority.
For example the UK and AUS saw a large anti-war march(even a couple) during the time of the Iraqi war.
In a society of individuality and freedom people can think about humanity and a better way of doing things in our societies.
Those who go the other way are usually people who have given up on themselvs, crawled into hell on earth and want to bring ohters down. So you can see how it is up to the individual(s) to effect his close friends, groups and even society(on different level).

Quote:
Therefore 'primitive' behavior is what we say it is, it isn't actually 'anything'

I definately accept that animality is innate to our human being or psyche. We see this trait all the time and cannot deny this part of us as you say. However I believe that we can bring out strong humanity(or even buddhahood) through this animal instinct. It is irrepressible in the sense that we cannot deny it, but it is something that we can develop humanity and happiness though.

I don't know if that made sense. Apologies too for not posting here of late sad
« Last Edit: Mar 1st, 2004, 02:24am by Tim » User IP Logged

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." -Gandhi
Thoth
Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar

Scribe of the Gods


PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 293
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #10 on: Mar 1st, 2004, 8:49pm »

If we were 'cavemen', and society as we know it hadn't formed, but physically we were the same, do you think you would be aiming for such 'achievements'? I doubt it. It is a state of mind.

Quote:
So you may say that some societies label killing as an achievement, but the bulk of society does not. Terrorists are an extremist minority. The huge bulk of muslim nations are very much against killing.
This points toward the fact that killing is an ultimate wrong, manifested by those demented and distraught minds of the religiously outrageous.


Only because we (Europeans (including America and Australia etc)) kill anyone who disagrees. The Celts had many 'primitive' beliefs, including sacrifice. The Romans subdued them.
The Welsh frequently engaged in such 'primitive' activities. The English invaded them and still haven't left.
The Aztecs believed their Gods demanded blood sacrifice. The Spanish obliterated the 'heathens'.
The various tribes of South America, and indeed some of Africa, were either obliterated or 'educated' by our 'civilisation'.
Hitler, in Europe itself, saw no problem with genocide. The Allied forces occupied Germany.
Even recently, terrosts suggest that killing is necessary to their beliefs. We either kill them in wars, or lock them up without trial.
Saddam Hussein had no problem with killing. We invaded his country and locked him up.
Those two dictators had supporters, not just out of fear (they're still supporting Saddam in Iraq, he can't hurt them anymore but they support him).
See a pattern forming yet?
Actually, the fact that most of the world views killing as wrong is nothing to do with morals. It's because those who originally believed it killed those who didn't, and had the technology and manpower to enforce those beliefs. It's lucky the rest of the world fell in line when they did, or we'd probably have invaded them too.
The fact that isolated societies such as the Aztecs, South American and African tribes believed that sacrifice was necessary, in the case of the Aztecs regularly, shows more than anything else that killing is in our nature, and that we've invented such morals.
User IP Logged

"I am Thoth who proved the truth of the words of Osiris before his enemies on the day of the weighing of words in the great House of the Prince, who dwelleth in Anu."

Chapter XI, Egyptian Book of the Dead - Papyrus of Ani
Tim
Administrator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




Homepage PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 589
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #11 on: Mar 2nd, 2004, 12:01am »

Quote:
If we were 'cavemen', and society as we know it hadn't formed, but physically we were the same, do you think you would be aiming for such 'achievements'? I doubt it. It is a state of mind

Heh, yet again we come to the brainless person analogy. BUt I agree, if we had no society we would be animals. That influence(of not having society, doing primitive things) would cause us to animalistic, so I doubt then that we would be educated enough to learn about philosophy and such.

Quote:
The fact that isolated societies such as the Aztecs, South American and African tribes believed that sacrifice was necessary, in the case of the Aztecs regularly, shows more than anything else that killing is in our nature, and that we've invented such morals.

So here as I just pointed out is an example of a primitve society that still holds strong to animalistic tendancies like killing and sacrifice. They are not educated in other forms of thinking and base their lives on a religion that forces them to act on their animality.
It is of course part of our animal nature or as we call it(for some reason) 'human nature'. But there is another type of human nature that is more in touch with the reason and meaning of our inteligent life.
Animals cannot contemplate the meaning of their life or what it means to kill, and for a long time(depending on different places and times) humanity was still searching for this, and naturally along the way had religions that fit their current understanding of the their life, themselves and their environment.

Thats why in our society when people like Hitler and Hussein arise, we know that they are trapped in the thinking of suffering, ignorance and insolence.
User IP Logged

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." -Gandhi
Thoth
Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar

Scribe of the Gods


PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 293
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #12 on: Mar 2nd, 2004, 8:37pm »

I just find it ironic that the civilisation you pride on being moral, the civilisation that abhores killing, has killed everyone who doesn't think the same way.
User IP Logged

"I am Thoth who proved the truth of the words of Osiris before his enemies on the day of the weighing of words in the great House of the Prince, who dwelleth in Anu."

Chapter XI, Egyptian Book of the Dead - Papyrus of Ani
Katerina
Established Member
ImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar




Homepage PM

Gender: Female
Posts: 71
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #13 on: Mar 3rd, 2004, 03:41am »

Yes, I'd side with Tim somewhat here, of course, because my world view is shaped somewhat by Christianity as well as my society.

If Thoth sees killing as being morally OK depending on how you look at it, what about Lying? Greed? Selfishness? Selfishness is a debateable construct, I guess, but what you say about lying, Tim? To me it's just the pits. Little white lies, big fat black lies. They compromise one's reality, I believe. They confuse one's state of mind, forcing one into a duality.

Perhaps it could be argued that at certain times one needs to go into such a state in order to cope with various situations, but again that's focusing on the material plane. If one looks beyond this, acknowledging that we create our own realities with the choices that we make, and that by choosing honesty, selflessness, caring, gentleness, etc, we bring about a "better" (more peaceful, calm, manageable) reality for ourselves and others, one can less easily pretend it's all a matter of opinion.
User IP Logged

Life is so simple and yet so complex. Cliche
torrich
Moderator
ImageImageImageImageImage


member is offline

Avatar

"Ignorance is like an exotic fruit: exquisite, yet touch it and it is spoiled." - Oscar Wilde


PM

Gender: Male
Posts: 237
xx Re: Good and Evil
« Reply #14 on: Mar 4th, 2004, 03:06am »

Lying is not necessarily "evil". What if the lie told is to protect another from harshness, or to save someone from humiliation or heart-break? Surely then it is justified?
User IP Logged

A journalist (to W.S. Gilbert): How's Bloodygore coming along?
W.S.G.: It's not Bloodygore! It's Ruddigore.
Journalist: Oh well, it's the same thing!
W.S.G.: So I suppose if I say I admire your ruddy countenance, it's the same as saying I like your bloody cheek?! Well it isn't. And I don't.
Pages: 1 2 3  Notify Send Topic Print
« Previous Topic | Next Topic »

Donate $6.99 for 50,000 Ad-Free Pageviews!

| |

This forum powered for FREE by Conforums ©
Sign up for your own Free Message Board today!
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Conforums Support | Parental Controls