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What is evil?

 
 
Reply Tue 10 May, 2011 06:21 pm
what defines evil? is it a good thing, or a bad thing? would the world be better without it?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,787 • Replies: 24
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JLNobody
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2011 10:13 pm
@hamilton,
Evil's no more than a thought, an idea. Your question should be Do we need such a thought?, not Is there such a concrete thing as evil?
hamilton
 
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Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 05:54 am
@JLNobody,
well, is there?
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 10:45 am
@hamilton,
No, it can serve some uses like all absolute abstractions. But ontologically speaking they exist only in our heads, like up-ness and down-ness.
hamilton
 
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Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 04:20 pm
@JLNobody,
"if all evil were prevented, much good would be absent from the universe."
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 05:24 am
@hamilton,
JL's take is that evil and good are just a concept, rather than a law.

There's an old saying that we only know good because of evil, but I don't buy into that silliness - we are driven to many things, most of which can be overcome by our minds...including the need to believe that goodness exists because of the evil. Warmth is capable of existing without hate.

In terms of the usefulness of the word 'evil' - if it did not exist, another word would exist in it's place. Humans find the word useful in power struggles too.
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hamilton
 
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Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 06:04 am
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

No, it can serve some uses like all absolute abstractions. But ontologically speaking they exist only in our heads, like up-ness and down-ness.

well, we have those thingies in our ears to tell which way is down...
0 Replies
 
royable
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 08:02 am
@hamilton,
Evil is the nemesis of mankind.
hingehead
 
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Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 08:13 am
I thought this take was worth considering
Why a lack of empathy is the root of all evil
From casual violence to genocide, acts of cruelty can be traced back to how the perpetrator identifies with other people, argues psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen. Is he right?

By Clint Witchalls

Click article title to read article.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 10:18 am
@hingehead,
I would say that compassion is the root of interpersonal beneficence. So perhaps the lack of it may be considered something like "the root of all evil." When one considers others to be objects rather than subjects (like oneself) this failure to identify with others may be seen as a kind of dehuminization of others, a very common way to enable or motivate soldiers to kill their country's enemies.
0 Replies
 
Render
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 01:11 pm
Evil is simply an idea that we create.
0 Replies
 
hamilton
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 06:46 pm
@royable,
royable wrote:

Evil is the nemesis of mankind.

evil is the shadow of mankind. it is a necessary thing, because where would we be without it?
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 07:16 pm
@hamilton,
Quote:
it is a necessary thing, because where would we be without it?

Paradise?

Actually I think we already live in a universe without it, or at least without the the traditional christian idea of what it is. I consider evil subjective, and the word is loosely applied by many people to anything that they consider abhorrent.
hamilton
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 07:17 pm
@hingehead,
without evil, we would have no way to define good. think of all the good in your life. would it paradise without that good?
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 May, 2011 12:09 am
@hamilton,
Quote:
without evil, we would have no way to define good


you mightn't, but I'd still have 'Bad'.
hamilton
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 May, 2011 06:00 am
@hingehead,
is there a bad? or is there an oppisite of good, or a something other than good?
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 May, 2011 06:23 am
@hamilton,
Quote:
is there a bad?

I'd suggest there is, you seem to be suggesting there isn't - or why ask the question?
Quote:
or is there an oppisite of good,or a something other than good?

Well yeah: 'bad'. But I feel we're talking semantics rather than concepts
hamilton
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 May, 2011 07:51 am
@hingehead,
i dont know how to respond to that statement. could you rephrase (or something) that?
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 May, 2011 08:08 am
@hamilton,
Which one ham? You asked if there is a bad I said I think there is.

You asked what is the opposite of good, I said 'bad'. But I'm not certain that we mean the same thing when we use words like good, bad, or evil.
hamilton
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 May, 2011 08:22 am
@hingehead,
either one. i cant respond argue against something when you give me something to argue against...
 

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