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What is evil?

 
 
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 03:17 pm
I feel that evil is something completely based on an individual's perspective, but it is generally what is thought to be what is wrong as deemed by surrounding society. Others may take on a more theological view and say that evil is the absence of God's presence.

Thoughts? Comments?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 1,259 • Replies: 22

 
cicerone imposter
 
  3  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 03:58 pm
Once you include god into your discussion, all else fails.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 08:06 pm
I only acknowledge one sense to this heavily loaded word concerning human behaviour...
Evil is above all absence of perspective upon Reality, therefore ignorance on meaning...not so much about (not) knowing in the information sense, since such is unachievable, but about lacking the sense of Social Goal upon the very rules of Nature through manĀ“s perspective...

The "evil" one is the one who is lost...
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 09:06 pm
Quote:
What is evil?


An intellectual construct which has no objective existence.
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north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Sep, 2010 09:13 pm

evil is a term invented by religion

otherwise it is pure savagery

even in the wild any animal like this is either killed or sent out from the community to die
0 Replies
 
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 07:09 am
The real question might be what does it mean that we apply evil to certain occasions (and not to others) and do we always mean the same thing in each case?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 07:19 am
@imbored123,
imbored123 wrote:

I feel that evil is something completely based on an individual's perspective, but it is generally what is thought to be what is wrong as deemed by surrounding society. Others may take on a more theological view and say that evil is the absence of God's presence.

Thoughts? Comments?


You think that if there is an earthquake in Haiti that kills and maims many thousands of innocent people including small children, that whether it is an evil is something that is "completely based on an individual's perspective" (do you know any individuals who don't thing that is a bad thing?). That is like saying that whether a fire-truck is red "is, something completely based on an individual's perspective, but it is generally what is thought to be what is wrong as deemed by surrounding society". What would the color of a fire-truck be if not red? And what value would the death of many thousands of innocents be, if not evil?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 07:21 am
@jgweed,
jgweed wrote:

The real question might be what does it mean that we apply evil to certain occasions (and not to others) and do we always mean the same thing in each case?


That's a question, certainly. But not the question he asked. So why is that "the real question". (Or as you said, "might be the real question").
0 Replies
 
imbored123
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 08:50 pm
@kennethamy,
Quote:
You think that if there is an earthquake in Haiti that kills and maims many thousands of innocent people including small children, that whether it is an evil is something that is "completely based on an individual's perspective" (do you know any individuals who don't thing that is a bad thing?). That is like saying that whether a fire-truck is red "is, something completely based on an individual's perspective, but it is generally what is thought to be what is wrong as deemed by surrounding society". What would the color of a fire-truck be if not red? And what value would the death of many thousands of innocents be, if not evil?


I agree that the incident in Haiti was a a terrible occurrence, and I have not personally met anybody who has thought otherwise. I am sure that most people would agree that that incident was evil, but their view of evil was determined by their upbringing and how they are taught morals by peers and the society that they grow up in. There very well may be some sociopath who thinks that the earthquake in Haiti was a wonderful thing due to some past event that happened in that person's life that twisted his or her mind. Color is also something that we are taught as we grow up and develop. We are told that firetrucks are red, yet it is unknown whether every person sees that same "red" of a firetruck. They could very well see that firetruck as the color that others perceive to be blue, but are taught that that color is called red. Imagine trying to describe the color of a firetruck to a blind man who has never seen in his life. Each person's description of that firetruck would not be exactly the same.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 04:04 am
Kennethamy's response is essentially just a word game, and not a legitimate response to your question. Your question is "what is evil," and essentially asks if evil has an independent existence. Kennethamy's response refers to the Haitian earthquake, and is describing "an evil," an event which is deplored because of the consequences of the event. But one cannot reasonablly assert that an earthquake is a sentient being, some evil god which decided to shake the island so badly that thousands were killed and many thousands more left homeless. Kennethamy's response is not an answer to your question.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 04:10 am
@Setanta,
Setanta is quite right. No natural disaster can be legitimately described as 'evil.' That is a personification of ethics-neutral events. Mother Nature ain't evil.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 10:51 am
Evil is spiteful action. Action undertaken where the motive of doing harm to another overshadows any motives of gain, personal or otherwise. Regardless of the outcomes of such an action, the act in itself was evil.

That's the best practical definition I can come up with.
0 Replies
 
amer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 11:12 am
Evil is the intention or deliberate action to cause harm. what is harm? Well you can define that on principles or make up a laundry list, neither of which may be complete or accurate. However, the difficulty in producing a robust definition of harm does not detract from this robust definition of evil.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 06:18 pm
@amer,
amer wrote:

Evil is the intention or deliberate action to cause harm. what is harm? Well you can define that on principles or make up a laundry list, neither of which may be complete or accurate. However, the difficulty in producing a robust definition of harm does not detract from this robust definition of evil.
True. Could you be said to cause harm by failing to act?

Guilt can be felt by simply making a mistake. A doctor doesn't intend to do harm if he amputates the wrong leg, but he might feel guilt about it. What he or she feels is beyond the grief anybody else would feel about the matter. It's changes from grief to guilt because he took responsibility for the patient.

So the more responsibility you take on, the more subject you are to guilt. Honor and duty are complex ideas. The harm involved extends out beyond one event. You see how your actions impact your world.

But I imagine the origin of guilt is in childhood. The roots being empathy and the withdrawal of fondness from others.
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 09:24 pm
@imbored123,
imbored123 wrote:

I feel that evil is something completely based on an individual's perspective, but it is generally what is thought to be what is wrong as deemed by surrounding society. Others may take on a more theological view and say that evil is the absence of God's presence.

Thoughts? Comments?


the presence of god
Shlomo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Oct, 2010 03:29 pm
@north,
God created both good and evil, thus providing environment for moral behavior. We always have to choose between evil and good. Our relation to these two sides of reality defines our moral stance, and not the reverse.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Oct, 2010 03:51 pm
@Shlomo,
There is no such thing as Good or Evil, there is Change !
Hard, fast passed, and violent, or slow, accommodating and somewhat "pacific"... its all about Rhythm !
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 Oct, 2010 03:59 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

There is no such thing as Good or Evil, there is Change !
Hard, fast passed, and violent, or slow, accommodating and somewhat "pacific"... its all about Rhythm !


unless you're talking about gay marriage, right
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Oct, 2010 04:28 pm
@djjd62,
Again, I never though Gay marriage being BAD in any sense, is just not adequate if to retain all the symbolism of heterosexual marriage without adding their own characteristics...

I AM ALL IN FAVOUR OF GAY RELATIONSHIPS being FULLY protected by the STATE in every possible sense !!!

We are debating peanuts for several pages !
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Oct, 2010 04:32 pm
@imbored123,
Ignorence, arrogance, pride, honor, cynisism, group think, flock instinct, siding, oppotunism.
0 Replies
 
 

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