View Full Version : Are people inherently evil?


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??!!?!?_particlename
06-19-02, 11:10 AM
Are people naturally evil?
I need any information or sources that help to prove people are naturally evil. Both religous and non-religous are desired. (any religion, preferably many religions)

Banshee
06-19-02, 12:20 PM
No, I don't think people are naturally evil. it's just what you call evil. There's a dark side in everyone, so it's just whenever and however it comes forward. Some people are getting "evil" when life is to hard on them or they are striving for some goal they think everuything is allowed to reach that goal. Like in the holy wars. People say they fight because of others not believing in god. Then again, god is supposed to be love. So where is the love in this. Forcing people to believe in that almighty loving god? Seems not very loving to me.

I think people can get evil, when not treated right in their childhood and if they have a wrong view on society in which they see a lot of violence. Some people like it to hurt others. I cannot find the reason, though, why it has to be so.

Guess I am rambling.

Anyway, welcome to Sciforums ??!!?!?_particlename. :) May the next poster be a lot more clear in answering. I am in a strange mood today, sorry...:)

%BlueSoulRobot%
06-19-02, 04:04 PM
Yo, I asked this exact same question before!! That's cool!!

I think you'd still be able to find the thread I started with that question, somewhere down the line; a lot of people answered it, and it was very helpful in opening my mind up to other ideas...May I ask, is this for an essay for school, possibly Civics??

Tyler
06-19-02, 04:07 PM
Blue...what school do you go to? what grade, 9?

%BlueSoulRobot%
06-19-02, 04:09 PM
Earl Haig S.S.
Grade 10

Tyler
06-19-02, 04:13 PM
Lawrence Park right here!

(Q)
06-19-02, 04:24 PM
Are people naturally evil?

It certainly *feels* natural to be evil. No reasonable facsimiles required here.

%BlueSoulRobot%
06-19-02, 04:26 PM
pssst...check ur private messages

Neutrino_Albatross
06-19-02, 05:01 PM
I don;t think people are evil. They are just motivated 100% by self interest, frequently at the expense of otherrs.

*stRgrL*
06-19-02, 06:41 PM
e·vil (vl)
adj. e·vil·er, e·vil·est
Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.

Yes, there are people who are born evil. Sorry to say it but its true. True, there are people that are driven to do evil things, that are not naturally evil. That actually feel remorse for something. But I seriously cant comprehend how a person can look at Charles Manson or that guy down in South America that killed 200 kids - and say that they are not naturally evil.


I think people can get evil, when not treated right in their childhood and if they have a wrong view on society in which they see a lot of violence.

No, that is just an excuse to do bad things. You know how I know? Because Ive had the most f*cked up childhood of anyone that I have ever been in contact with. And its very temptful to use that as an excuse to be bad, but I know, deep down, that its not right.
So no, thats wrong.

Take care, and Welcome Particle!!!! You'll enjoy this place very much:)

Banshee
06-19-02, 08:47 PM
No, that is just an excuse to do bad things. You know how I know? Because Ive had the most f*cked up childhood of anyone that I have ever been in contact with. And its very temptful to use that as an excuse to be bad, but I know, deep down, that its not right.
So no, thats wrong.

Disagree highly! You know how I know? Because I've had the most horrible childhood you can imagine. Hell, you are not even capable of imagining it. I didn't turn out to be all evil, though. That's how I know. How can you say this? That you've had the most fucked up childhood? How can you have such self pity? I am real sorry you had to go through it, it sure stinks, big time. Don't say that you've had the most fucked up childhood because you simply do not know that. I don't mean it in a bad way *stRgrL*. :) No offense please. :)

I still think people are not natural evil. And I stick to it...

Adam
06-19-02, 08:55 PM
Some people are good, some are bad, most are a bit of both.

Xev
06-19-02, 08:58 PM
Accusing Star of self-pity is like saying that Jenna Jamison can't give good head. :rolleyes:

Banshee
06-19-02, 09:11 PM
Yep! You're right. I take the self pity part, back...

??!!?!?_particlename
06-20-02, 11:24 AM
e·vil (vl)
adj. e·vil·er, e·vil·est
Morally bad or wrong


How do you define evil?
your dictionary defeniton says that evil is morally bad or wrong.
Your arguments arguments imply evil is some child murdering Hitler type figurehead.
I was vague, but I meant evil as morally wrong.
Yes, the above mentioned figure is evil.
I was refering to whether people are morally wrong.
This of course implys that lying would be morally wrong, cheating would be morally wrong, etc.



May I ask, is this for an essay for school, possibly Civics??

For a speech in my public speaking class

Which I might add is due tuesday, so if you could include any references you have on this topic as well, it would be appreciated (the more specific the better)

Ender
06-20-02, 01:31 PM
Concider this


Are people inhernetly evil?

You also must ask are people naturaly good.

Communism was based on a rational that the nature of man is good, that is one of many reasons it failed.

When young childern born at very earlie ages the lie because they know they don't want to get in trouble. thier parents are always telling them to not bite, not to hit, share their toys, and things that are silly. But nobody tells them how to hit people, how to bite people, they are born with the basic survival instint that says do whatever it takes to survive, tht may be killing/ hurting other people. They are taught to be good, and to make people feel good.

Think about all the wars, they were mainly used to get more power and money to greedy warlords.

We are born to be evil, and are taught to be good.

So, are we naturaly evil?

yes.

wet1
06-20-02, 02:10 PM
We are a mixture, in my opinion. Some inherently good others inherently evil (or bad). I would hazard the guess that bad and evil are not the same things. What someone does to you or me may be bad in your book while it benefits the other that did it to you. That does not make him evil. Only that he benefited at your expense.

Now someone like Manson, who killed a number of people (or more accurately caused a number of people to be killed) might truly be considered evil. But is he evil or insane? What of Jeffery Balmer (?) the one who was killing and eating people? Evil or insane?

I think that more are on the good side than the evil side. You don't hear so much about those who help their neighbor or their community. News doesn't report it, as it doesn't sell well. However if they can come up with a serial killer or some off the wall, way out there person, doing something outlandish to folks then that will get the attention that sells their product. As a result you hear far more about the weirdo's behavior than you do Joe Blow Average.

I always noticed that when you move to a new area that it seems you meet the criminal type and people users first. Later you meet the "nice folks". I always assumed it was because those doing what they shouldn't do were hiding by moving amongst the crowd. Whether it was the law or their conscience following them was always open to speculation. But move around society, they do.

*stRgrL*
06-20-02, 04:10 PM
Hell, you are not even capable of imagining it. I didn't turn out to be all evil, though. That's how I know.

Exactly, because your not evil. You can take a person who had a good comfortable childhood that can still be naturally evil.


How can you have such self pity?

I dont have self pity. I know that there are people out there that have had the same or a worse childhood, I said I have never met anyone though. And it seems silly to argue whose life was worse.

??!!?!?_particlename

I dont really understand what you mean. Sorry.

Xenu
06-20-02, 04:36 PM
Communism was based on a rational that the nature of man is good, that is one of many reasons it failed.

Communism has never yet been implemented, only socialism.

Good/Evil is all based on cultural standards. It's not an absolute.

Ender
06-20-02, 09:13 PM
Communism has never yet been implemented

But the point is that it was tried in russia, china, and other coutries.

Every time though it has failed.

Adam
06-20-02, 11:23 PM
Communism was not tried in Russia. They called it a People's Revolution and it is referred to as a communist revolution, but they went straight into a socialist government system.

Ender
06-20-02, 11:51 PM
well excuse me!!

~The_Chosen~
06-21-02, 05:07 AM
Originally posted by wet1
We are a mixture, in my opinion. Some inherently good others inherently evil (or bad). I would hazard the guess that bad and evil are not the same things. What someone does to you or me may be bad in your book while it benefits the other that did it to you. That does not make him evil. Only that he benefited at your expense.

Evil is definitely subjective. I'd say insane, not evil, their childhood probably seriously fucked around and messed up their way of thinking. So killing or whatever becomes a habit and/or motivation, NEVER because of nature. That's just a stupid and pathetic excuse.

But there is no such damn thing as people being born NATURALLY to be evil.

Evil is merely an absence of good.

Asguard
06-21-02, 05:26 AM
"Evil is the lack of emapthy" acording to a jewish shrink asociated with the Neranberg trials (well at least thats what the movie said, i don't know if its fact or fiction)

i agree to some exstent because without emapthy there is nothing to stop you doing "evil" and it dosn't seem wrong ie: slavery, the masicur of the jews, masicurs of native populations around the world

*stRgrL*
06-21-02, 11:33 AM
But there is no such damn thing as people being born NATURALLY to be evil.

Then how do explain 2 people that have had almost identical f*cked up lives - and 1 person turns out a murderer and 1 turns out a social worker? There has to be something else there. You cant just say - a person had f*cked up things happen - so they turned bad. No, some people were bad from the beginning and were later influenced in bad ways.

orthogonal
06-21-02, 12:43 PM
As I've posted in other threads, man is by nature an aggressive animal. Women are less aggressive by nature. If one does not agree with the various theories put forth for the causes, one might at least examine the statistics of the results. Men are far more likely to be institutionalized for violent behavior than are women. That's the bad news for us men.

The good news is that men sit on juries, act as judges, and generally build and maintain the prisons that will contain the most violent men among us. In other words, man is far more than merely an impulse for violence. The vast majority of men overcome their aggressive inclination towards violence. Thankfully, the mind of man is complex enough to often favor cooperation rather than contention.

I don't look at the few men in prison to conclude that men are evil. I look at the many honest and peace loving men that have successfully buried their instinctive aggression to conclude that men are overwhelmingly good.

"You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses." Ziggy

Michael

Xenu
06-21-02, 01:53 PM
As I've posted in other threads, man is by nature an aggressive animal. Women are less aggressive by nature. If one does not agree with the various theories put forth for the causes, one might at least examine the statistics of the results. Men are far more likely to be institutionalized for violent behavior than are women. That's the bad news for us men.

What's your definition of aggression? You seem to be switching aggression and violence interchangeably. In my eyes they aren't the same.

orthogonal
06-21-02, 03:01 PM
Hello Xenu,

Aggression is a proclivity to want to split your skull rather than to patiently answer your request for a definition. ;)

Joking aside, my definition of aggression hopefully isn't much different that your definition. An aggressive nature is hostile or quarrelsome. Aggressive personalities tend to attack rather than cooperate in the search for an equitable and peaceful solution to differences. However, cooperation is not the antithesis of aggression; an aggressive character often cooperates with others to further his own aggression (alliances, etc.).

No Xenu, the words ‘”aggressive” and “violent” are not synonyms. Rather, unchecked aggression typically leads to violence.

However, my argument does not hinge upon the difference between aggression and violence. Leaving out the word "aggression", here is my argument again, presented a bit more schematically:

The fact that prison populations are overwhelmingly composed of males suggests to us that males are more apt to commit violent acts than females. The premise is fairly evident, and the conclusion follows by deduction.

I'm further stating that there must be something unique about males that incites us to commit proportionally far more violence than females. In my earlier post I suggested that while various reasons have been put forward, it isn't necessary to understand the exact reason for the male tendency to violence. For the sake of this argument, it's only necessary to accept that there is some inherent male tendency towards violence.

Next, I note that despite an inherent tendency to violence in men, the number of civilized men that actually commit violent acts is rather small. I conclude that the vast majority of non-violent men must have quelled whatever it is in men that produces violence in the first place.

Lastly, I ask you to share with me the optimistic outlook that good men do more than simply flip a coin to decide how to deal with a situation. It isn't "heads equals murder" and "tails equals peaceful cooperation." No, good men work hard to suppress their inclination to choose violence as arbitrarily as they choose peaceful cooperation. Good men live their entire lives preferring peaceful rather than violent solutions to their conflicts. I am saying that this is not an accident. Men have brains complex enough to invent and generally prefer the concept of ethical behavior.

Michael

~The_Chosen~
06-21-02, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by *stRgrL*
Then how do explain 2 people that have had almost identical f*cked up lives - and 1 person turns out a murderer and 1 turns out a social worker?

Proof? "Almost identical lives" - you aren't living in fantasy, are you?


There has to be something else there.

Well, don't blame it on nature, "has to be something else there"? Hmmm...delusional??


You cant just say - a person had f*cked up things happen - so they turned bad. No, some people were bad from the beginning and were later influenced in bad ways.

Proof? Name someone who was born an evil person. A baby born that would want to kill right away.

Once again, proof? You asserted, so prove.

ubermich
06-22-02, 05:40 AM
are you kidding original-message-posting-guy-dude? (sorry i dont know your name and im too lazy to scroll up.)


I need any information or sources that help to prove people are naturally evil. Both religous and non-religous are desired. (any religion, preferably many religions)

well, let me see . . .

*searches non-existent database of absolutist encyclopedias on obscure/subjective subject matter

ahhh.

heres one that was never written. "Why people are naturally evil." I think it details every possible human motivation and how it all somehow relates back to the imposition of insidious manipulation, ruthless violence, or indirect personal gain. yeah, yeah, pretty comprehensive.

no seriously, though dude, if this is for some lame school report, and time really doesnt matter, check out hobbes and rousseau and locke--political philosophers from the enlightenment.

Neutrino_Albatross
06-23-02, 10:21 AM
Evil is a much simpler concept than most of you are taking it for.

You simply combine our natural self interest with enough ambition to carry out that self interest at the expese of others and you have evil. So i guess since everyone has self interest and at least a little ambition everybody is at least a little bit evil.

orthogonal
06-23-02, 11:04 AM
Hello Neutrino,

Is it not possible to cooperate with other men as a way to further our own self-interest? I might have a self-interest of obtaining food for my dinner. A farmer might have the self-interest of obtaining some of my money. I'm sure you could think of a way that mutually satisfies our individual self-interests, and results in a "win-win" for both the farmer and for me. Self-interest can drive us to cooperate as much as it drives us to compete.

Marcus Aurelius noted that: "What's good for the bee is good for the hive." In other words, while individuals might not know what is in their own self-interest, in the big picture, what is healthy for the man always improves the health of society as a whole.

So, perhaps evil has less to do with self-interest and ambition, than it has to do with ignorance? Please remember Socrates assertion that, "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.".

If "good and evil" were simple concepts, why do you suppose the world's greatest minds have struggled for several millenia to understand them? Why do you think that the same human species that understands quantum physics, might after several thousand years, still be wrestling with such "simple" concepts as the origin and nature of evil?

Neutrino, I'd like to gently persuade you that understanding quantum physics is nothing compared to understanding why men act as they do. If morality were simple and physics were hard, we might today be living in a morally sophisticated, nearly utopian world of benevolent men, with the aid of woefully primative technology. Instead, we find ourselves living with sophisticated technology amid constant fears of our primative morality.

Michael

Neutrino_Albatross
06-23-02, 11:40 AM
Is it not possible to cooperate with other men as a way to further our own self-interest?
Who said it wasn't? Im not even saying that self interest is bad we need it to survive. The desire to improve one's self is one of the primary traits of humans and there is nothing wrong with that. But you have to admit that without self interest there would be no evil (barring the occasional psychopath lunnatic of course).

Marcus Aurelius noted that: "What's good for the bee is good for the hive." In other words, while individuals might not know what is in their own self-interest, in the big picture, what is healthy for the man always improves the health of society as a whole.
True and this is where ambition takes over. In a totally cooporative system everyone should be about equal. But people with high ambition don't want to be equal they want to be better and if they have the skill they will get ahead of everybody else. If they have enough ambition they don't worry about who they hurt on thier way to the top.

So, perhaps evil has less to do with self-interest and ambition, than it has to do with ignorance? Please remember Socrates assertion that, "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.".
I agree. Ignorance is a factor because it prevents people from realizing that in most cases cooperation is better that competition.

Neutrino, I'd like to gently persuade you that understanding quantum physics is nothing compared to understanding why men act as they do.
What's hard about understanding people? The bottom line is people want to be happy. Period. What makes a person happy varies from person to person ubt no signifigantly.

If morality were simple and physics were hard, we might today be living in a morally sophisticated, nearly utopian world of benevolent men, with the aid of woefully primative technology.
Identifying a problem and solving it are two seperate issues. If im right (and i think i probally am) the cause of evil is built into human nature something very difficult to change. Since evil seems to be more or less constant throughout history i think it almost has to be built into our nature as humans.

orthogonal
06-23-02, 01:47 PM
Identifying a problem and solving it are two seperate issues.
Yes, but the field of Ethics encompasses both the theoretical and the pragmatic aspects of man's morality. Ethics would be little more than an academic mind-game if the the second issue were not addressed.

If im right (and i think i probally am)
I suspect that what I think and write is probably not the truth. Max Guyll observed that, "Eventually, everything we currently believe will be revised. What we believe, then, is necessarily untrue." My approach to Philosophy is similar to that of Niels Bohr when he said, "Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question."

Since evil seems to be more or less constant throughout history i think it almost has to be built into our nature as humans.
I think free-will, rather than evil is built into our nature. We have the freedom to chose between good and evil. If evil were actually built-into our human nature, then men could no more avoid doing evil, than they could hold their knee still while the doctor hit it with a rubber hammer. It would be nearly a reflex action. The fact that the vast majority of men lead lives of goodness belies the notion that we have been pre-programmed for evil.

What's hard about understanding people? The bottom line is people want to be happy. Period.
I honestly wish it were so simple Neutrino. Could we understand the actions of the two kids that went on a murder spree through Columbine high school on the basis that they only wanted to be happy. Period? People have incredibly complex minds. The British astrophysicist, Martin Rees, commented that, "A star is simpler than an insect." Yet think of how much more complex is the behavior of a human than an insect. We have very good theories to explain the life cycle of a star on the opposite side of the Galaxy, yet we puzzle over the motivation our two kids had for their murderous rampage. On the basis of solvability, I'd take a physics problem over an ethical problem any day.

...barring the occasional psychopath lunnatic of course
Yes, but men only occasionally commit acts of evil. Could it be that all acts of evil are only commited by psychopathic lunatics? If not, how might you differentiate an evil man from a lunatic? Could you do it on the basis of happiness. Period?

I agree. Ignorance is a factor...
I'm pleased that you accept this point Neutrino. However, your original statement was, "You simply combine our natural self interest with enough ambition to carry out that self interest at the expese of others and you have evil." But you now accept that ignorance plays a part as well. You are beginning to lose the simplicity of your definition. It seems as if the problem is more complex.

Mea Culpa
Let me stop here and say that I think it was a sign of fairness that you've accepted a point that I made. Please don't think that I want to put your face in it. I don't mean to sound harsh in my arguments, and I hope that I can be as fair minded as you are showing yourself to be. Thanks.

But people with high ambition don't want to be equal they want to be better and if they have the skill they will get ahead of everybody else. If they have enough ambition they don't worry about who they hurt on their way to the top.
But this only brings me back to my contention that we often don't know what really is in our own best interest. The executives at Enron mistakenly imagined that using questionable accounting practices would be in their own best interest. Yet look what they've done to themselves. Not only have they destroyed their company, they have rocked the entire Western financial word. I can almost hear Emperor Aurelius repeating that what's good for the bee is good for the hive. Enron not only hurt the bee (the workers, and the company as a whole) they hurt the hive (Wall Street, and the United States as a whole). I would submit that it was not ambition that killed Enron, it was an ignorance of what actions were truly in the best interest of the company. I won't belabor this point any further because, as I've already noted, you were kind enough to accomodate me on it.

Thanks for the interesting discussion Neutrino!

Michael

*stRgrL*
06-23-02, 02:10 PM
Proof? "Almost identical lives" - you aren't living in fantasy, are you?

Is it so hard to believe? I do know a set of twins, who had "almost indentical lives" - not absolutely identical, but pretty darn close. 1 of them is now a social worker, and the other is doing life in prison for murder. Same virtues instilled at a very young age, they were exposed to the same things as children. You honesly dont believe that 2 people can have almost identical lives, and 1 person takes it one way and the other can take it a different way? I dont know any infant that was born wanting to kill someone. But I do know a child that was born extremely hyper active and was a constant trouble maker as soon as she could walk. She was a bully all throughout school, she beat up people constantly, and about 2 years ago, she blugeoned someone to death to get the poor souls disability check. You may say... "mental illness, hyper activeness, etc.." I say, "bad seed". Sorry, but you havent convinced me otherwise, but I do like that your trying:)
In all honesty I would like proof that people are not born bad. I find it difficult to believe myself, but the actions and the things that I have seen first hand, have proven otherwise.

Take care:)

Banshee
06-23-02, 02:56 PM
I think it has to do with perceiving things which come on your way during your life. It's up to you yourself to give it a place in your Inner Self and how you handle life's experiences. It may be that two persons have gone through the same basic life forces, it does not mean they both, do perceive it in the same way and place it in the right perspective.

A newborn baby is basically "good", if you want to go from one extreme to the other, by saying a person is natural evil or good.

One person has a more optimistic view on life than the other and shall therefor be able to see "things" in a more "bright" light, so to say. It's totally up to a person him/herself to deal with life experiences, whether good or bad, in the right perspective. It is very easy to go with the flow and say that it all has to do with bad experiences in childhood or whatever. It is never an excuse to behave "evil", because you had such bad experiences in the past. Live and deal with what comes on your way. There are two paths you can go on. Up to you which one you chose.

Oh yes, there is always the gray area in between, like in follow the herd, be a sheep among all the others...I guess it's best to never lie to yourself or pretend towards others. It will always come out and that's worse. Be yourself and treat other people the way you want to be treated yourself...

Ender
06-23-02, 09:13 PM
The basic instinct of man and every living thing on the planet is to pass on thier genes. They don't care who they have to hurt, or not help in order to do get the basic instinct done.

It goes back to what Neutrino_Albatross said


You simply combine our natural self interest with enough ambition to carry out that self interest at the expese of others and you have evil.

Evil could be something as not helping someone when the needed it. Also it is killing someone, but what many people are doing is classifing evil as killing someone, or stealing thier life savings. However it could be something like keeping the change when the person at the store gives you too much.


A newborn baby is basically "good", if you want to go from one extreme to the other, by saying a person is natural evil or good.

Banshee, how do you come to this conclusion? Don't childern demand candy azt the grocery stores, and want thier parents to give them stuff. If childern were naturaly good, when a parent said no wouldn't they accept no for an answer, or would they beg and pled and cry until they got what they want?


If evil were actually built-into our human nature, then men could no more avoid doing evil, than they could hold their knee still while the doctor hit it with a rubber hammer. It would be nearly a reflex action.

orthogonal,

There is a difference between a reaction and a mindset. A preprogrammed mindset for evil can be changed as childern are raised and brought into socity.


The fact that the vast majority of men lead lives of goodness belies the notion that we have been pre-programmed for evil.

but you say...


Is it not possible to cooperate with other men

Is it not possible to cooperate with other men to lead a life of goodness also!


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What's hard about understanding people? The bottom line is people want to be happy. Period.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I honestly wish it were so simple Neutrino. Could we understand the actions of the two kids that went on a murder spree through Columbine high school on the basis that they only wanted to be happy. Period?

Yes, they wanted to stop being made fun of. So they killed everyone that made them feel bad in prusit of a feeling fo acomplishment and thus leading them to happiness. It is that simiple.

Neutrino_Albatross
06-23-02, 10:23 PM
The fact that the vast majority of men lead lives of goodness belies the notion that we have been pre-programmed for evil.
My fault i phrased that badly. I meant that the factors that couse evil are prebuilt into humans as survival instincts. Only when they are taken to extremes does it cause evil.

The British astrophysicist, Martin Rees, commented that, "A star is simpler than an insect." Yet think of how much more complex is the behavior of a human than an insect.
I know he said that. but he was talikng about how the cellular and chemical reations that make an insect live are more complicated than the nuclear reations that keep a str going. He wasn't talking about behavior at all. But taken out of context it sounded good ;) .

Yes, but men only occasionally commit acts of evil.
I guess im just a hell of alot more cynical than you. I see evil not as somthing that is occasional but as a dominat trait of human society. Just look at the crime statistics.

If not, how might you differentiate an evil man from a lunatic?
Insanity can be and is diagnosed and treated.

But you now accept that ignorance plays a part as well. You are beginning to lose the simplicity of your definition. It seems as if the problem is more complex.
I don't think ignorace really complicates it. The main part it plays is it deludes the evildoer into thinking that what he is doing is in his best interest when it probally isn't. That does nothing to change the motivation.

The executives at Enron mistakenly imagined that using questionable accounting practices would be in their own best interest.
What they did would have been in their best interest if they hadn't been caught. That whole enron thing is probally the best example of my "Theory of Evil" at work.

*stRgrL*
06-24-02, 02:21 AM
Has anyone ever bought a bag of apples? And bit into one of them, and it was rotten to the core? Well. apparently the same laws that apply to nature, apply to us... and it seems like us to, can be rotten to the core....
Have you ever seen a person that was deformed on the exterior? Does it seen so far fetched that a person could be born deformed on the interior??????

Take care :rolleyes:

Adam
06-24-02, 02:59 AM
I know for a fact that people can indeed be simply warped and twisted and deformed inside. I truly wish I could tell everyone about it, just so you could see what some people are like. But it is someone else's personal business so I can't.

Asguard
06-24-02, 04:25 AM
im really going to disapoint you here star:p
i agree
*shocked silance*:p

seriously you are right

there are some twisted people

i don't know why they are like they are

they just are

for some reason they don't have the same moral code that others have

maybe they are insane, maybe not

i don't know

i don't think killing them is the answer but thats a different topic

Banshee
06-24-02, 05:26 AM
Originally posted by Ender
Banshee, how do you come to this conclusion? Don't childern demand candy azt the grocery stores, and want thier parents to give them stuff. If childern were naturaly good, when a parent said no wouldn't they accept no for an answer, or would they beg and pled and cry until they got what they want?

No, they don't. It's case to learn your child(ren) they cannot always have what they want and it is very good to bring that to their minds. I didn't have trouble with my son when he was at that age, between 2 - 8 years old. Simply learn them they don't get what they want, it is not always possible. If children demand candy and other stuff in the store and really make an issue out f it, it says more about the raising from the children and the behaviour of parents in this. Sorry, I am dead tired and am not really capable of giving a more specific answer now. I'll be back...

Ender
06-24-02, 06:25 AM
I can't post now, but hold that thought!!!

Maria
06-24-02, 08:50 AM
I don't believe anybody is evil. When all we know for sure is that 'we' as in our own person 'feels' then I think wanting the best for oneself is perfectly understandable and healthy. The kid in the shop who wants candy doesn't know that it will upset his parent he just knows it as the only way he has a chance of getting candy.
Of course I don't think a person who hates themselves however is evil it is more then likely a psychological problem

*stRgrL*
06-24-02, 10:23 AM
Thanks Adam. I to, know a few people like that. I guess some just dont understand that.
Asguard - Omigod!! We finally agreed on something:D

Take care:)

Ender
06-24-02, 11:21 AM
If children demand candy and other stuff in the store and really make an issue out f it, it says more about the raising from the children and the behaviour of parents in this.

That isn't really important. Almost every child I have ever seen has had fits or tried to get something after thier parents said no. If a child has a fit in a store it doesn't mean that the parent is a bad parent.

The point that I was making was that when a parent says no, and yet the child still wants something it is direct evidence for natural self interest, this then makes people want something and will do anything to get it (with in reason). They have thier own self interest with disregard for other people.


The bottem line is that everything people do is done with the basic instinct of "what will this do for me?"


If people were naturaly good, they would say "how will this benifit others?"

Banshee
06-24-02, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by Ender
The bottem line is that everything people do is done with the basic instinct of "what will this do for me?"

If people were naturaly good, they would say "how will this benifit others?"

There you are right yes. Most people actually keep this attitude and hold on to it till extremities to just do anything what's in their capability to reach whatever they want, just for the sake of wanting it, because there's a certain something that is in it for them. Children try this out in their early years and see how far they can go with it. It's case then, to teach them they can not always get what they want. Which brings me to your second point: It is case to teach your child(ren) how they can be a benefit to others. There's more to life than only their own life. And it is not good to only live on behalf of your self centred egotistic self. To many people live like this nowadays and it brings a lot of hurt to other humans feelings.

Because of the egoistic behaviour and so many people choosing for themselves and their refusing to do something for others, the general behaviour of people is getting worse. More people are on the Earth than ever before. People seem to blind themselves to much and keep on telling themselves, everybody has to take care of themselves. So, ignore feelings of compassion and care for others and teach the children to first take care of themselves. Yes, they all get a period in which they become aware of the fact that toys, for instance, belong to them, that it is theirs, as in posession. Then you learn the child that he/she can play with the toys together with other children, without losing the toys, so to say.

Sometimes parents try to teach their children "rules" in the wrong way, like in this example:

My son went to a new school when he was 4 years old. In his class there was another boy who used to bite, scratch and kick the other children, all the time. Teachers of the school tried to talk with this boy over and over. At a certain moment the teacher of my son's class had to change the shirt of the boy because of a little accident, I think it was. Then she found out, the boy had scars and red marks all over his back. Mind you, this boy was only 4 years old! The teacher went to the parents of this boy and heard from the mother that the boy was whipped by his father whenever he did not do as his father pleased. So, question is this: Was this little boy guilty of "evil" behaviour or was he just teached wrong and did he express his frustrations, about the behaviour of his father, on the other children purely out of evil?

I don't know what has become of this boy, because we moved on to another city after the Summer holidays, I guess he can be an angry young man by now, because of what happened to him. I think also that boy's/girls like him can become "evil". As other boy's/girls can, not as easily though.

I am sorry, I think I wandered off to much from your original post. I will do better the next time...;)

Ender
06-24-02, 08:37 PM
There's more to life than only their own life. And it is not good to only live on behalf of your self centred egotistic self . To many people live like this nowadays and it brings a lot of hurt to other humans feelings.

That's exactly my point, it is not good to only live on behalf of yourself. However, People do.

Again the self centerdness (???) of people is the root of all evil; everyone just wants to better themselves, and be sure that they have other people with thier genes.

~The_Chosen~
06-25-02, 03:34 AM
Originally posted by *stRgrL*
Is it so hard to believe? I do know a set of twins, who had "almost indentical lives" - not absolutely identical, but pretty darn close.

stRgrL, I am a twin. Everyone shares different experiences. Hard to believe? It's not true, no one is born to do *just* evil. Evil is not a part of nature.


1 of them is now a social worker, and the other is doing life in prison for murder. Same virtues instilled at a very young age, they were exposed to the same things as children.

My brother and I are totally different, I know more sets of twins that are totally different (one quiet, the other loud). They do not share the same experiences.


You honesly dont believe that 2 people can have almost identical lives, and 1 person takes it one way and the other can take it a different way?

No possible way, there are too many probabilities involved to have "almost identical lives" - no one shares the same experiences. Even having one different and unique experience can change the course of one's entire life.

Dear, apply logic and common sense here.


I dont know any infant that was born wanting to kill someone. But I do know a child that was born extremely hyper active and was a constant trouble maker as soon as she could walk. She was a bully all throughout school, she beat up people constantly, and about 2 years ago, she blugeoned someone to death to get the poor souls disability check.

Explain her experiences to me. You call her evil, but she wasn't born an evil person, she has reasons to be evil. Evil is also very subjective and relative.


You may say... "mental illness, hyper activeness, etc.." I say, "bad seed". Sorry, but you havent convinced me otherwise, but I do like that your trying:)

No, you just refuse to open your mind, that's all there is to it. Someone that is insane, you may call them "evil"?


In all honesty I would like proof that people are not born bad. I find it difficult to believe myself, but the actions and the things that I have seen first hand, have proven otherwise.

Take care:)

Sure there, you just have a twisted definition of evil.

What is evil to you? Elaborate and I can point out how you think.

~The_Chosen~
06-25-02, 03:42 AM
Originally posted by *stRgrL*
Has anyone ever bought a bag of apples? And bit into one of them, and it was rotten to the core? Well. apparently the same laws that apply to nature, apply to us... and it seems like us to, can be rotten to the core....
Have you ever seen a person that was deformed on the exterior? Does it seen so far fetched that a person could be born deformed on the interior??????

Take care :rolleyes:

stRgrL, you believe evil to be apart of nature? Evil was invented by humans, it was never part of nature. Look at the mantis killing her own lover, you call it evil? That is nature. Your perspective is twisted, just like Adam's is.

That's also a very bad analogy. Once a baby is born, it starts learning about the world, if it is taught wrongly through its experiences, it'll influence the baby towards evil. What is this "deforming on the interior"? It's in the interior and if someone is deformed in the interior, they are insane. Insane people don't know the difference between right and wrong, could you possibly call them evil?

You are just labeling others with very little current understanding of why they behave that way. I suggest you study some Neuro Linguistic Programming, it structures the human mind.

Take care :rolleyes:

Asguard
06-25-02, 03:52 AM
i would love to comment but i can't

i will just say that adams right and there are some VERY twisted people in this world

we should acept this as FACT

dosn't mean there is nothing we can do about it

hopfully science will deveope a way to cure this but for the moment we must be satisfide with locking them up

~The_Chosen~
06-25-02, 03:53 AM
Originally posted by Asguard
i would love to comment but i can't

i will just say that adams right and there are some VERY twisted people in this world

we should acept this as FACT

dosn't mean there is nothing we can do about it

hopfully science will deveope a way to cure this but for the moment we must be satisfide with locking them up

But are they born to be specifically that, twisted? Or was it their experiences that lead to motivations/reasons/habits to become "evil"?

There is no such thing as good and evil in nature. Nature is nature.

Asguard
06-25-02, 04:01 AM
as i said i can't explain further but there is NOTHING that would make that ok, nothing that could MAKE someone do that

Ender
06-25-02, 09:32 AM
Evil was invented by humans, it was never part of nature. Look at the mantis killing her own lover, you call it evil? That is nature.

Well Yes! The mantus had killed her lover so that she could benifit, and she KILLED.

Last time I checked killing was evil.

Evil was notminvented by humans, it is in all of nature, like like the mantis. Being evil is a part of nature. It's Human nature to be evil.

~The_Chosen~
06-25-02, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by Ender


Well Yes! The mantus had killed her lover so that she could benifit, and she KILLED.

Last time I checked killing was evil.

Evil was notminvented by humans, it is in all of nature, like like the mantis. Being evil is a part of nature. It's Human nature to be evil.

LOL, OMG, think about it, you are the one calling nature evil. I don't think it is evil. So who's right? Nature is nature, just because something kills doesn't mean it is evil, you're only describing it to be.

Humans invented the concept of "evil" More like religions did.

Adam
06-25-02, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by ~The_Chosen~


stRgrL, you believe evil to be apart of nature? Evil was invented by humans, it was never part of nature. Look at the mantis killing her own lover, you call it evil? That is nature. Your perspective is twisted, just like Adam's is.

Dude, you may only be young, but you're still a fuggin psycho. It's narrow-minded crap like that which spawned and drove the Inquisition, the witch-hunts, and more.

Ender
06-25-02, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by ~The_Chosen~ LOL, OMG, think about it, you are the one calling nature evil. I don't think it is evil. So who's right? Nature is nature, just because something kills doesn't mean it is evil, you're only describing it to be.

I never said nature was evil, I said the nature of man and almost every animals is evil. When I use "nature" it means that the root of human behavior is evil.


Originally posted by ~The_Chosen~ Humans invented the concept of "evil" More like religions did.

Humans may have named it, but it was always there!

~The_Chosen~
06-25-02, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by Adam

Dude, you may only be young, but you're still a fuggin psycho. It's narrow-minded crap like that which spawned and drove the Inquisition, the witch-hunts, and more.

ROFL!! LMAO!!! :D

Nah, I'm not pyscho, you can't call someone's instinct to be "evil" I know nature is ugly and so on, but it is that - nature.

The concept of God and religions brought about evil this and evil that. You do know that right?

Look at religions, some actually thought sex was a form of evil since it was seductive. So sex is evil then just because we humans say so?! hahaha, and yes, I do believe killing is evil, but depends on the situation.

Ender
06-25-02, 10:52 AM
~The_Chosen~

Are you saying that befor religons were invented, that killing someone was not evil?

What religons did was to say well, sex is evil, killing is evil, they could pick out what was evil by thier own instincts and experiences. They would name what was evil, but befor it was still evil, just not proclaimed evil. Evil had existed in the animal instinct befor religon was present. I hope you understand what I'm saying.

Adam
06-25-02, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by ~The_Chosen~

The concept of God and religions brought about evil this and evil that. You do know that right?

You have actually been to school, right? Rape, murder, incest, child abuse, and more were all around long before religion. You do know that right?

Unfortunately, some holy texts actively encourage such behaviour by showing that the central figure of that religion itself indulges in such things.

~The_Chosen~
06-25-02, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by Adam

You have actually been to school, right? Rape, murder, incest, child abuse, and more were all around long before religion. You do know that right?

Unfortunately, some holy texts actively encourage such behaviour by showing that the central figure of that religion itself indulges in such things.


Yes, but they would say that was wrong, when do you think evil was literally introduced?

Everytime you think of the word "evil" what do you picture?

I picture something related to religions, like Satan, the devil.

~The_Chosen~
06-25-02, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by Ender
~The_Chosen~

Are you saying that befor religons were invented, that killing someone was not evil?

What religons did was to say well, sex is evil, killing is evil, they could pick out what was evil by thier own instincts and experiences. They would name what was evil, but befor it was still evil, just not proclaimed evil. Evil had existed in the animal instinct befor religon was present. I hope you understand what I'm saying.

It is wrong, but not evil. Evil is a concept, i hope you understand that.

Adam
06-25-02, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by ~The_Chosen~


Yes, but they would say that was wrong, when do you think evil was literally introduced?

Everytime you think of the word "evil" what do you picture?

I picture something related to religions, like Satan, the devil.
I would suggest your thoughts are severely influenced by christianity. I see evil as anti-human, anti-social behaviour.

Ender
06-25-02, 11:16 AM
Evil is something done that is harmful, or hurtful to yourself or other things!

If it is a concept, that is the concept.

More notaby however, evil is a mindset.

When I think of evil, I think of anything wrong! I don't think of anything like satan...

Xenu
06-25-02, 11:37 AM
orthogonal,

This is a little far back, but we were talking about aggression and violence. I do define aggression in a different way, and because I do I have a bit of a different outlook.

For me aggression, means more "to approach", "to do something", it's what allows us to get things done. If I want to beat someone's face in, I have to approach that person. If I want to pick up a pencil, I have to approach it (not nearly as much of course). This also ties into being a creative person. It takes aggression. It probably sounds a little weird, but is held by some widely known psychologists.

When we want to do something, our body metabolizes energy to do it, when we stifle the expression of such energy (however, sometimes the stifling can be a good thing society-wise), it turns into anxiety. Like a machine that works against itself. Eventually this builds up and something happens. There can be an implosion, which could turn into severe depression, breakdown, neurosis, etc. There can be an explosion, which could result in violence. It all depends on how the person copes.

So for me, violence is a mixture of things. Biologically the amount of approach energy (aggression) a person naturally has. Culturally, how the person has learned to cope with such aggression. Culturally, not having outlets to express aggression.

~The_Chosen~
06-25-02, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by Ender
Evil is something done that is harmful, or hurtful to yourself or other things!

If it is a concept, that is the concept.

More notaby however, evil is a mindset.

When I think of evil, I think of anything wrong! I don't think of anything like satan...

It is a concept.

Right and wrong are not concepts.

Good and evil are.

There is a fine line between them. Ponder about it.

For example, a priest tells you, "You are evil to not teach your children about God!!" But can he say you are wrong?


Originally posted by Adam
I would suggest your thoughts are severely influenced by christianity. I see evil as anti-human, anti-social behaviour.

I was raised as a Catholic, so I guess you could say that. Evil is still a concept. Something that doesn't suit us morally, we call evil.

Banshee
06-25-02, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Ender
Evil is something done that is harmful, or hurtful to yourself or other things!

If it is a concept, that is the concept.

More notaby however, evil is a mindset.

When I think of evil, I think of anything wrong! I don't think of anything like satan...

Yes, exactly! I guess it is the easy way out, donig wrong and hurting other people is so easy to do. just go along with the flow and you find always people who find a certain satisfaction in hurting others. And that, indeed, is a mindset. You always have the opportunity to choose the other way, how hard it may be sometimes, because of others hurting you, it's the way you handle this. If you choose to still go on, on the "good" path, there will be many obstacles, it is certainly worth to overcome this and stay your own "good" self. Even in this world of violence.

It is a mindset, you can always change and not react on "evil" done to you, with "evil".

I think the word "evil" is highly overdone. It's again not exactly what I wanted to say, can't find the right words at the moment. I hope you get my point people...

(Talk to you later, when the clouds in my head have disappeared. ;) )

orthogonal
06-26-02, 08:18 AM
Neutrino,
I used Ree's quote, "A star is simpler than an insect," in my earlier post to buttress my claim that biology is more complex than physics. Hopefully the following two paragraphs taken from two of Martin Ree's books (the second of which contains my earlier quote), will ease your worry that I've somehow taken his quote out of context. By the way, Richard Dawkins makes the same point, perhaps even more forcefully in the early chapters of his book, The Blind Watchmaker. David Deutsch also says as much in his, The Fabric Of Reality.

"The amazing and fascinating complexity of biological evolution, and the variety of life on Earth, makes us realize that everything in the inanimate world is, in comparison, very simple. Things are hard to understand because they are complex, not because they are big. The challenge of fully elucidating how atoms assembled themselves-here on Earth, and perhaps on other worlds-into living beings intricate enough to ponder their origins is more daunting than anything in cosmology." Just Six Numbers, Martin Rees, p.19

"Friendly skeptics sometimes ask me: "Isn't it presumptuous for cosmologists to claim to explain anything bout the vast cosmos?" My response is that what makes things hard to understand is how complicated they are, not how big they are. Under extreme conditions-inside the stars or in the hot early universe-everything breaks down to its simplest ingredients. A star is simpler than an insect. Biologists, tackling the intricate multilayered structures of butterflies and brains, face tougher challenges than astronomers." Our Cosmic Habitat, Martin Rees, p.63

Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida noted that, "Darwin's man, though well behaved, at best is only a monkey shaved." My previous posts to this forum speak often of the tense alliance between the ape and the man in us. We've inherited a genetic proclivity to seek solutions through violence. Fortunately, we've also inherited a brain complex enough to have the ability to override such a predisposition. Civilized men do just this. However, benevolent men are as superior, as malevolent men are inferior to the basic social necessity of civility. Carl Sandberg says as much in his poem Wilderness:

There is a wolf in me...fangs pointed for tearing gashes...a red tongue for raw meat...and the hot lapping of blood -- I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a hog in me...a snout and a belly...a machinery for eating and grunting...a machinery for sleeping satisfied in the sun -- I got this too from the wilderness and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a baboon in me...clambering - clawed...dog faced...yawping a galoot's hunger...hairy under the armpits...ready to snarl and kill...ready to sing and give milk...waiting -- I keep the baboon because the wilderness says so.

Oh, I got a zoo, I got a managerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head, under my red - valve heart - and I got something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart: it is a father and a mother and lover: it came from God-Knows-Where: it is going God-Knows-Where --

For I am the keeper of the zoo: I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work: I am a pal of the world; I came from the wilderness.

Regards,
Michael

Neutrino_Albatross
06-26-02, 06:15 PM
I used Ree's quote, "A star is simpler than an insect," in my earlier post to buttress my claim that biology is more complex than physics
Fine. I agree that your probally right but again all your examples are talking about the bilogy that makes the animal "work" which is totally irrelevent to the motivations that cause evil. I agee that bilogy is complicated but animal behavior is amazingly simple. animals just want to survive in a reasonable level of comfort. Nothing else.

And in the words of Dorothy L Sayers "A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought" ;)

orthogonal
06-27-02, 12:24 PM
And in the words of Dorothy L Sayers "A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought" Despite the fact that I do little else but read, ponder, and think; I rather doubt that I've had an original thought in my entire life. :)

Michael

Adam
06-27-02, 12:31 PM
Every time I see some teenage sciforums user mention some moment of clarity or realisation, I think "Yep, that was me years ago". And I also know that almost every teenager in the history of the human race has had such moments. As for philosophical considerations in general, I'm sure everything any of us ever discusses or thinks about right and wrong, religion, the nature of the universe, et cetera, has all been considered zillions of times by millions of people. That doesn't negate the value of such thoughts, however. If anything, it should provide some sense of relief that others out there are also thinking.

orthogonal
06-27-02, 10:00 PM
Xenu,

Thanks for the reply. That's an interesting view of aggression which I've not heard before.

I generally agree that our traits are not neatly compartmentalized and isolated from one-another. My capacity to love is affected by my honesty, patience, and aesthetics, etc.. I've long suspected that man's aggressiveness might fuel both his unusual violence as well as his unusual creativity. This was summed up nicely in a quote by Camille Paglia:

"There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack-the-Ripper. "

Michael

Kater
06-30-02, 05:43 PM
I'm not sure any of your definitions adequately cover what I personally believe evil is. Its certainly not a concept though I can see why that was argued, I don't think its 'doing wrong' either other than as a gross generalisation. Doing wrong suggest anything from pinching a candy bar to genocide. I think Evil is the ultimate expression of man's darker nature. Linked almost certainly to physical violence, Evil I don't think can be expressed through words, not in the sense that I can't explain it but in the sense that what someone says cannot be evil, it can be vicious, malevolent and malicious but not Evil. Evil I think is a category that is reserved purely for the most atrocious acts and also for those who commit such acts, knowing full well what they do and still continually do it.

Ender
06-30-02, 10:13 PM
Linked almost certainly to physical violence

What about ENRON, they didn't physocaly hurt anyone, however they did do damage to bank accounts, and almost distroy lives because of bad buisness, and they did this knowing full wel lwhat they were doing. Yet this is not evil?

Just because physical violence is not done doesn't mean that it isn't evil.

Kater
07-01-02, 06:39 PM
But what ENRON did was damaging only to materialistic items, it did not take lives, it did not rape women, mutilate children. I accept it was terrible but Evil, I genuinely don't think so. Such events occur not frequently but fairly often IMO, but tell me how many holocausts have there been? Before you argue I'm not saying frequency has anything to do with the definition.

Tyler
07-01-02, 07:13 PM
"evil; Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant; Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful"

Don't go pulling a Nelson (hmmmm. Can I make this an official term at sciforums?) and trying to change the English language to suit your beliefs.

Ender
07-01-02, 09:16 PM
I won't go pulling a Nelson (sure). But I was explaining that just because physical harm wasn't done, doesn't mean that its not evil.

Tyler
07-01-02, 09:22 PM
Not directed at you Ender, directed at Kater who seems to have his/her (I don't know, so I won't assume either way) own definition of evil and thinks it applies to every human being.

Ender
07-01-02, 09:53 PM
ok i wasn't sure!!

wet1
07-01-02, 10:37 PM
What ENRON did was steal people's futures. It took from them their life savings in many cases. Short of killing some one that is pretty evil. In some cases it may well result in dying because of not being able to meet the high cost of getting medical help and in obtaining drugs to help or remedy their ailments. That's pretty evil to me.

Kater
07-02-02, 06:02 PM
"directed at Kater who seems to have his/her (I don't know, so I won't assume either way) own definition of evil and thinks it applies to every human being."

His. Surely, seeing as everyone who has posted on this thread has a differing definition of Evil, they each apply it to the actions of every human being. How then is mine inherently wrong or inaccurate because it does not equate to yours. The point of a debate forum is exactly that, debate, there is no black and white view so I am only offering what is my opinion. I'm not changing the English language to suit my beliefs I was simply following the line of the thread about what Evil is. You seem awfully eager to be antagonistic over something so minor as a difference in definition.

Tyler
07-03-02, 03:30 PM
Kater you're making a small error in your judgement here. You say that everyone has a different definition of evil. Well, yes and no. We all have different judgements on what is 'bad' enough to qualify as evil. However, when you state that there must be physical harm involved (or something of the likes) to qualify as 'evil' you are contradicting the dictionary.

If I said killing a man in self defence when there may have been another route out is not evil but you say it is, we are not arguing the dictionary definition of evil. What we are debating is how we perceive and interput the dictionary definition of evil.

You flat out changed the definition.

Kater
07-03-02, 05:31 PM
And the dictionary definition is right because it says so? It says in the bible that christ walked on water, is this also right purely because it says so in a book?
The point your missing is that the definition in the dictionary was interpreted by a person just like us, the word he interpreted was further derived from an earlier strand of language which was also interpreted. There is always something lost in interpretation, and even were this a totally accurate definition which single person can define something that, as winessed on this thread, means differing things to different people.
There's a definition for ghost in the dictionary - does this make it correct and totally accurate without recourse to change? Again I restate I was offering what I thought evil was, irrelevant of how a dictionary or you defines it

Tyler
07-03-02, 05:51 PM
You're going to have to learn something here. In a debate, you go by the dictionary definition of a word. Otherwise, the debate is useless because everyone's taking about different things.

It is up to you to interput this definition differently as you wish. However, when it says "morally bad or wrong" that means it does not HAVE to encorporate violence. You have to get it through your head that the dictionary definition is what English is. Do you want me to quote more dictionaries?

You can interput the definition of a word in many different ways. But you cannot change it. That is a simple rule of debating.

Squid Vicious
07-04-02, 05:43 AM
*frantically rummaging through the dictionary trying to find "interput"*

Neutrino_Albatross
07-04-02, 10:18 AM
kater,

Could you mabey just mentally change each usge of the word evil in this thread to something more like "wrong doing" so we can end all this stupidity now.

ortho,

I was simly making a reference to the fact that you haven't made a post yet without a Rather large number of quotes. To me when someone uses a quote as evidence it kina like they're saying "My arguement isn't good enough to stand up on its won evidence so ill take on line that was said by a well know smart guy that makes it sound like he agrees with me wheather he does or not and that will cover my lack of evidence." Of course i could be wrong.

Oh and a slightly irrelevent point: "There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack-the-Ripper. "


Since nobody knows who jack the ripper was we really don't know for sure he wasn't a woman.


But enough pointless rambling...
Back to the subject at hand

Can you name another motivating factor to cause evil? All you've said so far is that people are complicated (and your only "evidence" for that is a bunch of maeningless quotes) and you've said that ignorance is a motivator. While I think you are partly correct ignorance is involved (it makes people think they are acting in thier best interest when they really aren't) ignorance in itself is not a motivator (i mean how many times do you do something because you're ignorant)

Tyler
07-04-02, 10:58 AM
Haha! Good point Squid!

(Q)
07-04-02, 12:18 PM
Neutrino

Since nobody knows who jack the ripper was we really don't know for sure he wasn't a woman.

Testimony of Mrs. Elizabeth Long regarding the murder of Annie Chapman:

Mrs. Long identified Annie Chapman in the mortuary as the woman who had been facing her as she passed down Hanbury Street. Unfortunately, the man Annie was conversing with, who was almost certainly her killer, had his back to Mrs. Long. She did her best to describe him in her testimony to Coroner Wynne E. Baxter:

BAXTER: "Did you see his face?"

MRS. LONG: "I did not and could not recognize him again. He was, however, dark complexioned, and was wearing a brown deerstalker hat. I think he was wearing a dark coat but cannot be sure."

BAXTER: "Was he a man or a boy?"

MRS. LONG: "Oh, he was a man over forty, as far as I could tell. He seemed to be a little taller than the deceased. He looked to me like a foreigner, as well as I could make out."

BAXTER: "Was he a labourer or what?"

MRS. LONG: "He looked what I should call shabby genteel."

http://www.crimelibrary.com/jack/jackannie.htm

orthogonal
07-04-02, 11:06 PM
Neutrino wrote:

I was simly making a reference to the fact that you haven't made a post yet without a Rather large number of quotes. To me when someone uses a quote as evidence it kina like they're saying "My arguement isn't good enough to stand up on its won evidence so ill take on line that was said by a well know smart guy that makes it sound like he agrees with me wheather he does or not and that will cover my lack of evidence." Of course i could be wrong.
Ach, look, now I've quoted you. :)

Yes, I knew what you were getting at Neutrino. I tend to sprinkle quotes liberally throughout my vocal conversations, so you likely wouldn't enjoy talking to me as well. It has to do with the way I'm wired.

A good quote is an elegant means to compress a fair amount of thought into a succinct and easily remembered package. Mathematical equations often fit this criteria. If I wished to discuss probability functions for electron orbits, would you think it improper of me to quote Schrodinger's Wave Eqation? If I were to write a paper on electromagnetic radiation, should you be surprised to find Maxwell's Equations quoted therin? Does the scientist who thinks of electromagnetic radiation in terms of Maxwell's equations merely display "A facility for... the absence of original thought"?

Progress throughout our past ten thousand years of written language has come from building upon the good ideas of our predecessors. It's entirely reasonable to want to place one's own thoughts within the proper context of our vast human legacy of recorded ideas.

"To read is to borrow; to create out of one's reading is paying off one's debts." George Christophe Lichtenberg

Michael

Squid Vicious
07-05-02, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by orthogonal
Progress throughout our past ten thousand years of written language has come from building upon the good ideas of our predecessors. It's entirely reasonable to want to place one's own thoughts within the proper context of our vast human legacy of recorded ideas.

"To read is to borrow; to create out of one's reading is paying off one's debts." George Christophe Lichtenberg

Michael

Orthogonal...

And if the original thought of our predecessors was wrong, but so well worded it has now become canon?

It seems here, that you are saying we should evolve thought from what was previously thunk.... but the snare here is that we are thus unable to take a different path.

orthogonal
07-05-02, 11:30 AM
Hey there Squid,

Thanks for the reply.

To quote myself, "... building upon the good ideas of our predecessors." The qualifier "good" is important. Better ideas tend to leave good ideas in the dust. In fact, I've always found that a good idea begs for a better idea.

The inventors of the vacuum tubes, for example, doubtless understood that their crude devices would one day be superceeded by better designs. The semiconductor paradigm-shift was aided, rather than hindered by our use of vacuum tubes. Vacuum tubes, even elegantly designed vacuum tubes, were an idea that begged for a better idea.

I'm thinking now of James Burke's book and PBS television series from fifteen or twenty years ago titled, Connections, where he follows the development of one new idea that leads to the next idea, which leads...

One thing leads to another,
Michael

Squid Vicious
07-05-02, 12:04 PM
Ummm... good. I'll get back to you on this... I know i disagree with something here, but i'm a little too drunk to articulate it.

Latexlover
07-05-02, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by Squid Vicious
Ummm... good. I'll get back to you on this... I know i disagree with something here, but i'm a little too drunk to articulate it.

You wouldn't happen to be Dave that own an Audi TT would you?

Neutrino_Albatross
07-06-02, 12:53 PM
Ach, look, now I've quoted you.
But only to give a reference point so people knew what you were talking about.

A good quote is an elegant means to compress a fair amount of thought into a succinct and easily remembered package. Mathematical equations often fit this criteria. If I wished to discuss probability functions for electron orbits, would you think it improper of me to quote Schrodinger's Wave Eqation? If I were to write a paper on electromagnetic radiation, should you be surprised to find Maxwell's Equations quoted therin? Does the scientist who thinks of electromagnetic radiation in terms of Maxwell's equations merely display "A facility for... the absence of original thought"?
An equation and a quote are not the same and you know it. In many cases a specific equation is the only way there is to say something. Quotes are easily taken out of context to say someting they don't really mean its a bit harder to do that with equations. Quotes that sound good can still be flat out wrong while equations are mathmaticly proven concepts.

I hope that you didn't honestly believe that crap you posted.

I'm thinking now of James Burke's book and PBS television series from fifteen or twenty years ago titled, Connections, where he follows the development of one new idea that leads to the next idea, which leads...
Ive seen Connections and Connections 2 multiple times. I own every book written by James Burke. I agree with his ideas. And it is irrelevent. Just because everything is built on the past dosen't change the fact that quotes are more or less pointless.

The only advantage of quotes is that yes they allow you to phrase things better but there are two major problems with them:

1. Just because sombody said something dosen't make it right. Einstein said that "God does not play dice" but it seems that he was probally wrong there. If you use a quote just because its well phrased and then defend it with a logical arguement its fine. But you haven't been doing that. You've just been using a quote as if its actually evidence in iitself.

2. Eaisy misinterpreted when taken out of context. Like earlier when you use Martin Rees' quote "A star is simler than an insect" as proof that human behavior is complicated. In context what he was actually saying that due to the number of forces involve it is easier to explain how a star works than to describe the cellular and chemical interactions that keep an insect alive. In context your quote was irrelvent to the debate even though out of context it sounded good for you side.

But we've taken this thread off topic enough. If you want to contiue our bickering start a new thread or we can use private messages.

orthogonal
07-06-02, 08:33 PM
An equation and a quote are not the same and you know it.
If you carefully re-read what I wrote, you will note that I did not say an equation and a quote were the same thing. An equation is not a quote, a sentence is not a quote either, but both an equation and a sentence may be quoted! A quote is a grammatical device for repeating another man’s idea without the associated guilt of plagiarism. Words between quotation marks only become quotes when a source is included, before or after the quotation marks. We do exactly the same when we quote an equation or a theorem. However, in mathematics the quotation marks are implied when we include a source along with a group of symbols (i.e., Taylor’s Series, Lagrange’s Theorem, or L’Hopital’s Rule). Earlier I wrote:

A good quote is an elegant means to compress a fair amount of thought into a succinct and easily remembered package.
By this definition, equations make some of the best quotes. Equations are compactly expressed ideas. My personal notebooks are filled with equations that I’ve pulled from their original documents. I'm careful to always include the author of a mathematical or philosophical idea in my personal journals.

In many cases a specific equation is the only way there is to say something. Quotes are easily taken out of context to say someting they don't really mean its a bit harder to do that with equations. Quotes that sound good can still be flat out wrong while equations are mathmaticly proven concepts.
It does not matter if I were to write Pythagorean’s Theorem symbolically or if I simply wrote it out in words, the idea is the same. Mathematics is no more about symbols than music is about notes. Mathematical symbols are merely a shorthand notation to replace words, and the words represent ideas. These ideas were not handed down from the gods, they were invented or discovered by men, and as such, the ideas contained in them are subject to error.

For nearly two thousand years, Western men thought that Euclid’s geometry represented the ultimate description of space. Then men such as Lobachevsky and Riemann came up with new ideas on the subject. Einstein’s decidedly non-Euclidean concept of space likely put the final nail in Euclid’s coffin as a representaton of space. Of course, the three interior angles of a plane triangle still sum to 180 degrees today the same as they did before Riemann and Einstein. However, I’d be “flat out wrong,” to use your words, if I tried to tell you that space is Euclidean in nature, even though the contents of Euclid’s Elements are all “mathematically proven concepts”. Mathematical ideas may be taken out-of-context as well as any other ideas.

Ive seen Connections and Connections 2 multiple times. I own every book written by James Burke. I agree with his ideas. And it is irrelevent. Just because everything is built on the past dosen't change the fact that quotes are more or less pointless.
Did you think I was speaking to you about James Burke? I was replying to Squid Vicious’ question concerning the continuity of ideas. What I wrote to him had nothing to do with quotes.

You've just been using a quote as if its actually evidence in iitself.
Evidence? I don’t understand? I’ve been talking about philosophy here, either pure philosophy, or the philosophy of science and mathematics. Science relies on evidence to support hypotheses. Did you think I was doing science here, Neutrino? Philosophy relies on reason to amplify suppositions. You are free to disagree with my suppositions, yet it helps a great deal if we both agree to use the same reasoning. A philosopher is free to draw ideas from any source; a quote, a rabbit eating grass, or a random thought that comes into his mind when he's driving to work. Are you telling me in effect, that you have some sort of evidence for your own philosophical conjectures? Hmm…

Fine. I agree that your probally right but again all your examples are talking about the bilogy that makes the animal "work" which is totally irrelevent to the motivations that cause evil. I agee that bilogy is complicated but animal behavior is amazingly simple. animals just want to survive in a reasonable level of comfort. Nothing else.
Chimpanzee gang murder is “...marked by a gratuitous cruelty – tearing off pieces of skin, for example, twisting limbs until they break, or drinking a victim’s blood – reminiscent of acts that among humans are regarded as unspeakable crimes during peacetime and atrocities during war.”

Do you think the motivations for Chimpanzee gang murder are “amazingly simple”? Anthropologists and primate specialists are fairly baffled by this behavior. You might lend them a hand by explaining it to them in your “amazingly simple” terms of Chimps only wanting “to survive in a reasonable level of comfort.” :rolleyes:

A second point; did you notice I did not give a source in my above quote about Chimpanzee gang murder? I'd like to remind you that you wrote:

Just because everything is built on the past dosen't change the fact that quotes are more or less pointless.
Do you think I have ever observed Chimpanzee gang murder? Are you even slightly curious where I might have come up with such a description of their behavior? Perhaps I dreamed it last night? Maybe I’m just making it up? You’d never know unless I told you a source for my information. If I gave you a source, “my” words would become someone else’s words, and you would have the luxury of finding the source to check if I quoted them fairly. You would also be able to judge the reliability of my source. But since you say that, “quotes are more or less pointless,” it appears that none of this counts as much to you. You seem to be saying that the only ideas we may speak of, are the ones that originate in our own heads, for fear we might be guilty of taking another person's ideas out-of-context. I simply disagree. I think it's important to both read other people’s ideas, and to give them the credit when I use their ideas in my discussions.

I hope that you didn't honestly believe that crap you posted.
Neutrino, this is not the way a gentleman debates a point. If you come away with nothing else from your exchange with me, I hope you would take away the understanding that it's possible for two men to hold different opinions, and still treat each other with respect. Implicit in the rules for civilized debate is the precept that you do not characterize my thoughts as crap. I’m asking that you apologize for having done so.

Michael

*Unless otherwise noted, all quotes are from Neutrino Albatross.
*Chimp quote taken from page 70 of, Demonic Males; Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, by R. Wrangham and D. Peterson.

Squid Vicious
07-09-02, 02:17 AM
Originally posted by orthogonal

To quote myself, "... building upon the good ideas of our predecessors." The qualifier "good" is important. Better ideas tend to leave good ideas in the dust. In fact, I've always found that a good idea begs for a better idea.


This is the bit I dont like...
You've said here the qualifier "good" is important... But in my experience it is not whether or not an idea is "good" which makes it canon, but how popular it is. Most of your examples have been technologically based, and in that area your idea runs true, but in philosphy I dont agree that this is always the case.

Sorry i've just had my appendix out, i'm still a little woozy. Good drugs they give you in hospital... been away a few days.

Doane McTork
07-15-02, 03:07 PM
Going back eons and will exist until armageddon is Priority #1 --> "Self-preservation". A catalyst for bad behaviour but...

The word evil is a concept defined by a multitude of evolving societies.

I eat beef so I could be evil in the eyes of a Hinduist. They don't pray to Jesus or Yahway so a Christian or Jew might think them evil (or sadly in need of conversion and enlightenment ).

Am I evil? I can be but don't dwell on developing evil tendencies.

"Think honestly" Miyamoto Musashi

glaucon
07-21-02, 06:09 AM
Yes.
Or No.
Depending.

Dark Master
07-23-02, 05:39 AM
Are people inherently evil? Yes and people are inherently good. It is our primitive instincts that does what is best for us, which is in good thought, and selfish, but for others it is evil because it is not in best interest for them. It is in our nature to act by instinct. That intent is the intent to only do good for themselves, or what they want, which creates the evil, and which is selfish, survival instinct. So this "good(selfish)" we produce for ourselves is actually evil, only to others.

BTW, why would anyone or ANY being want to do evil out of nowhere if it does not benefit them??? Everyone and everything works to their best interest. Even animals don't kill for no reason. It's all about instinct and what's best for yourself. Anyone understand?

It is the instinct to live, but being selfish in most cases is considered evil, or wrong; but not for the one being selfish. Therefore good and evil must exist in the world. For example, you need to be selfish, by instinct, to survive for the good of yourself and your family, but in doing so, it creates some evil in it, maybe you killed an animal to survive, or other humans might starve because you need to eat.

To ask if we are inherently evil, we must go back to being primitive, where it is only basic survival.

Because morals has nothing to do with evil, but humans interpretation of what evil is. Compared to society’s morals, which is evil or good; for example, what a native might do might seem evil to a European, but good to a native. Therefore morals don't have strong ground on what evil is.

Has anyone ever read Joseph Conrad's novella, Heart of Darkness? It explicitly talks about evil. I learned much from his book.

Simple as this, most of evil today is based on morals and there is that natural good and evil in this world that must co-exist.

withoutGodIamnothin
02-23-03, 08:30 PM
ok guys. Here's the scoop. We ARE born naturally evil because we were/are born in sin. We all have the tendency to go evil. We have the choice whether to go evil or good. Hitler went evil. Mother Teresa (sp) went good. One person said that if we were born good...then we would look out for the goodness of others...and do we? no! Unless you make that choice...but still it is very hard. I am a strong christian and I still struggle with put others first. Evil is REAL. It is real. Look at all the lunetics (sp) in the world right now. And how many bad things have been done!
I don't agree with this statement: "When I think of evil, I think of anything wrong! I don't think of anything like satan..." WHAT!?! Satan isn't evil?!!? He is the root of all evil! He is the master the King of evil! He was the one that introduced evil into this world! When Eve took the fruit from the tree...it was satan that tempted her. it was satan that lied to her. it was satan that convinced her to take the fruit which was wrong because God said so. Period.
We have the choice whether to be evil or good. But we were/are born into evil. Period.
That is the christian view. Hope its not too late to post something.
I respect everyone's views. Please respect mine too.

man_of_jade
02-23-03, 08:40 PM
I'd say that people arent inherently evil, its the path they choose to take in life after. Perfect example being... Right now, in your city, are most people evil, as in a murderer rapist etc? Most people arent, i mean looking at most of the people on this forum... They havent murdered someone, they didnt rape someone, they didnt go on a killing spree or anything. If people were REALLY inherently evil, this would be an anarchy, every single person would be a vicious backstabber, and everybody would kill without a second thought.

Xev
02-23-03, 08:40 PM
*Alarm goes off*

Nutso alert! Nutso alert! Grab the nets!

withoutGodIamnothin
02-23-03, 08:42 PM
Why would they do that? Not at all! Not every person would go around killing everyone. I said ppl have the CHOICE whether to do evil or not.

Xev
02-23-03, 08:49 PM
Do you even know what evil is?

withoutGodIamnothin
02-23-03, 08:53 PM
ok then....what is your definition of evil then? huh?

Xev
02-23-03, 09:02 PM
Shifted burden of proof fallacy. I asked you.

I do not believe in 'evil' anyway.

Jarax
02-23-03, 09:08 PM
I think we should consider whether or not our terminology is correct. "Good" and "Evil" are such subjective terms that one cannot possibly find true meaning in them. Perspective is kept whenever discussing moral philosophy. Keep in mind that what one man perceives as good another perceives as evil.

Take the September 11th incident of 2001 for instance. The majority of the world saw this as an evil, diabolical act while a sect of individuals saw it as a great and glorious thing. While I do not agree that such an act was indeed good, one must keep an open mind in understanding why such things would occur. If a man commits an evil act, who is to say it is evil? Should the individual judge them or should society? Everything along these lines is subject to what any particular person believes at any particular time. Moral codes are not universal and that is something I think our society seems to lack in understanding. I think we have too much bias in favor of our own views and not those of other groups.

As for whether man is either one of the two, I say he is neither. Man is simply a product of himself and can be equally creative or destructive in his actions. Neither name can be given without closing ourselves off from another point of view.

man_of_jade
02-24-03, 09:31 AM
What is YOUR definition of evil, Iamnothinwithoutgod? You are making the claim that people are inherently evil, but that would have to be based on your definition of evil, not ours.

Amie
02-24-03, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by withoutGodIamnothin
ok then....what is your definition of evil then? huh? absence of good.

I actually believe that people are inherently good as strange as that may sound to some...

Helloooooooooooooooo all :)

man_of_jade
02-24-03, 11:10 AM
I think that evil is when people dont give a crap about anybody else...
Oh, and welcome to Sciforums Amie!:D

withoutGodIamnothin
02-24-03, 02:19 PM
I'm glad to hear everyone's opinion on what evil is. I think evil is the abstance of good (which is what someone said too) . But isn't that an "oxy moron"(used the term lightly) ??
ok sin. sing is evil right? sin is not what is good. just like evil is not what is good. if we are born into sin....doesn't that mean that we were born into evil? or born evil? born sinful. born evil. We are like sheep that have been led astray the Bible says. We are sinful. We can't help it. But we can deal with it.
just like stealing a candybar as to killing billions of jews. sin is sin. evil is evil. of course saying you are evil for stealing a candybar can be pretty harsh. usually ppl will say naughty or bad. but there is no greater sin over another. sin is sin. there may be harder consequences....but its still sin just the same.
Now i realize that I might have gone a little off topic...but this is what I believe evil is. For that is the question I asked of course.

man_of_jade
02-24-03, 04:00 PM
What would you consider worse, bending the truth a little to suit the circumstances, or murdering 12 million people? (Hitler murdered 12 million people total, 6 million of which were Jews.)
Some things are more severe than others, some sin is worse than others. Both examples are sin, but i'd say that near genocide is worse than being slightly dishonest (Ex. Someone forgot to to put away the dishes, but that person, lies about it.)
If we are born into sin, how does that make us evil? Does the evil infect us, we are automaticaly consumed by it, no chance that we resist it? We may be born into sin, but can we not rise above that?
It seems that your definition of good means not perfect... Is that what you mean?

withoutGodIamnothin
02-24-03, 09:14 PM
You're right! We can rise above sin. I don't mean that we all do evil intentionally (sp), not at all. We can rise above sin with God's help of course.
good isn't perfect. but evil is always bad.
You're right. there are some sins that are greater than others....but sin is still sin. Like i said before....there are greater consequences depending on what has been done.
evil may not be just the 'evil' and really horrible stuff that ppl do like Hitler, evil is evil. some things are more vil than others. like i said, evil is a strong word. but whether we like it or not....we are naturally evil....BUT WE CAN OVERCOME IT AND LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE!
i hope i answered your question and confusion. plz ask me again if i'm way off.
:)

Xev
02-24-03, 10:07 PM
Kids, if you wish to discuss religious nonsense, please spew it in the religion forum. While I'll submit that this has some philosophical value, I'd prefer that religion be kept in its forum.

man_of_jade
02-24-03, 10:11 PM
Ill try stay away from the religon part then Xev hehe...
Ah, but how are we naturally evil?

withoutGodIamnothin
02-25-03, 02:44 PM
umm...if I'm not mistaken....the first post actually asked for religious views on this topic....


I need any information or sources that help to prove people are naturally evil. Both religous and non-religous are desired. (any religion, preferably many religions)

so ya. i think reliegion is fine if the person that asked the question in the first place wanted it.

am I right Xev?

man_of_jade
02-25-03, 03:11 PM
well i do have to admit, that religon and philosophy are permanantly intertwined.... A little religon mixed in with a philosophical topic is nothing to worry about Xev:D

Xev
02-26-03, 01:22 AM
so ya. i think reliegion is fine if the person that asked the question in the first place wanted it.

That person is not the mod - I am.
And "God says so" is not only begging the question, it is not philosophy.

More importantly, even hearing of this nonsense is making me want to either vomit or yell the lyrics to Coven's "Fucking a Nun".

Now, please - just talk like sensible, sane, non-deluded humans do and not about God? I'm not saying, I'm asking.

everneo
02-26-03, 05:48 AM
Oh..Xev, true u have the right as a mod. But is it objective to feel like vomiting when hear about something not acceptable to u.. every field has its philosophy wing as escape route...u know :D

orthogonal
02-26-03, 08:23 AM
I don't see what the problem is. You're simply being asked to take your religious discussion to the religious forum. Like-minded people will welcome your ideas there.

Western philosophy does consider the question if there is a God or gods, but it only does so using the methods of philosophical speculation. Discussions about a God or gods constitutes theology. If you think otherwise, I'd invite you to visit the philosophy department of any university and ask to speak to a theologian.

I support Xev in her efforts to keep this forum free for philosophical discussions. It's a daunting task when so many are intent on posting theological and eastern philosophical topics (i.e. "Ying and Yang") in this forum. I notice that JamesR has been similarly deluged with pseudoscience posters in his Physics and Mathematics forum. Another annoyance is those who see this as another "free thoughts" forum. We can all live with an occasionally misplaced thread; that's not a problem. The problem occurs when the "signal to noise" ratio of this forum drops to such a low value that persons wishing to discuss philosophy (such as myself) are driven away.

What is philosophy?

"Logical argumentation is the hallmark of philosophy. Philosophy is characteristically dialectical; it consists of reasoned arguments for philosophical views, as well as presentation and consideration of possible opposing arguments....

People uneducated in academic philosophy often have trouble distinguishing philosophy from anthropology, mythology, or folklore, which all have as a primary objective to report, catalog, and compare what people believe. The common misunderstanding is that philosophy is just "what you believe"....A simple uncritical inventory of beliefs is not a statement of philosophy in the academic sense....

Philosophy never takes beliefs at face value. Many people believe patently false and irrational things. Philosophy’s task, rather, is to put beliefs to the test of critical analysis, to determine which beliefs are well-supported by reason and which are not....The philosopher’s question is: is it rational to believe X?

There is more to philosophy than logical analysis; there are standard topics to which philosophers apply their tools: topics like the existence of God, the nature of reality, the relation between mind and matter, what it means to be a person, the fate of a person after death,....But note that in order to count as philosophy, the approach to these topics must be critical as well as speculative. Joseph Campbell’s work is often (wrongly) thought to be academic philosophy because it describes and compares beliefs about these topics; but description and comparison are not critical analysis. Religious beliefs are commonly conflated with philosophy, but the religious approach is generally grounded in faith, which is quite different from critical analysis.

These misunderstandings lead to a vexing result for philosophers around the world today.....Since most people do not understand philosophical method – i.e., since they think philosophy is "just what you believe" – they conclude (wrongly) that any culture that simply has beliefs about any of these topics has "philosophy", whether or not it has a sustained tradition of dialectic....

Folk thought, as a rule, consists of bald assertions without argumentative justification, but philosophy in the narrower sense must contain not just theses. Without argumentation and clarification, there is, strictly, no philosophy."
Professor and Dept. of Philosophy Chairperson, S. LaFave

Michael

man_of_jade
02-26-03, 10:08 AM
Just wondering withoutgod, HOW are peoplee inherently evil? Are we evil beings as babies or something?

Neville
02-26-03, 11:07 AM
Personally i agree with locke who said that the mind is like a blank slate from birth. I dont know if i agree with a 'human nature'.

CyberLogic
02-26-03, 12:36 PM
In my opinion, human beings aren't born naturally evil. Look at infants and young children. None of them are evil. They are creative, happy, and playful. I think the society has a lot to do with how a person behaves and acts. The environment too. But I believe that every human being has the potential to do an evil act. Its just most of us have learned to keep it dormant.

Neville
02-27-03, 09:56 AM
Surely 'evil' and 'good' depend on peoples definitions too. While the majority would agree on whether something was an evil act or not, there are no clear cut boundaries. Most of peoples definitions come from what they have been taught (IMO) and so people are not inherently evil or good, they are just inherently human. They will control their actions by what they have been taught.

Dana D
02-27-03, 06:42 PM
As far as babies go - is inately selfish considered evil?

Truthseeker3
03-29-09, 09:04 AM
People are Evil they just don't want to accept it. Look at how they treat each other. There is very little sympathy. You want historical proof? Rome. You want modern proof? America. Look at how kids tease and are cruel to one another and how people at the workplace relish in a coworkers failures. People are pure evil but there might be a few rare exceptions.

swarm
03-29-09, 08:30 PM
Evil is more about the person declaring something evil than it is about the object so declared.

Oli
03-29-09, 08:31 PM
People are pure evil but there might be a few rare exceptions.
Now there's a jaundiced view....

DiamondHearts
03-29-09, 08:49 PM
Islam views human beings as naturally good and aspiring to the worship of One God. Though human beings are also weak to their desires and can be tempted into evil, yet God can forgive many mistakes which humans may commit. The goal in Islam is the reach a higher level of human understanding of his place on Earth and with His Creator, in which he is no longer tempted by evil (this is called Ihsan, enlightenment.

The Breaker
03-30-09, 12:13 AM
This question is flawed from the beginning. Asking whether people are inherently evil assumes a universally accepted definition of evil. Good and evil are relative terms, so human beings are neither good nor evil at any time their lives.

Algernon
03-30-09, 12:55 AM
I like how the definition included "MORALLY wrong or bad". Aren't morals relative to whoever holds them? What someone may consider morally bad may be ok for someone else.

I guess somebody can consider someone "evil" if the person who is being considered also understands that what they are doing is socially/morally wrong and still performs the evil deed anyways, or rather someone who desires to commit moral wrongdoings or harm upon other people. However, the number of people who truly do those things or do that degree of hatred isn't that many.

A lot of times, criminals don't commit a certain crime because their intentions are true evil. For example, bank robberies are not committed for the most part because people enjoy stealing from the bank... most likely they enjoy the the money... or even the thrill of robbing a bank.
Sometimes people kill or hurt people, but out of revenge or anger. Drunk driving I wouldn't consider evil, but rather an irresponsibility that deserves to be punished accordingly.
However, there are a small number of "evil" people. But I don't believe that they were born that way. Just as goodness, as relative as it is to some people, is cultured and developed after a baby is born, evilness could probably be cultured, but not always due to external stimuli. Even in some of the most benevolent of environments and upbringings, a serial killer/evildoer could still develop, maybe by random chance.

The navy/soldier who sat from the tower of a college and shot all those people, apparently an autopsy determined that he had a brain tumor. Thus his actions were due to a medical condition.

I guess some people can develop, while who knows why, into serious, determined evilness. They learn what society deems immoral, and use those moral guideless to commit things that society has defined as evil acts or wrongdoings. Some people over time derive these forbidden pleasures that they may feel defines who they are. Some people who cannot be famous choose to be infamous, and it becomes a part of their identity.

There just may be a correlation between neural circuitry and how people develop into morally evil beings. It may be some mutation or genetic, or due to environmental factors (the latter being the most reasonable IMO). But the same could be said of people who become geniuses or innovative successful people, but those people aren't as socially undesirable.

Twine
03-30-09, 07:58 PM
Algernon and The Breaker are definitely on the right track. There cannot be any such thing as something that is "inherently evil" - evil only exists as a human idea, as an interpretation of an action. If nobody ever acknowledged the "existence" of evil, it would truly not exist.

But really, The Breaker's dead on - there is no objective "evil", so the question of humans being *inherently* evil is flawed from the start.

Enmos
03-31-09, 02:46 AM
Humans certainly all have the capacity to be 'evil'.

sniffy
03-31-09, 03:18 AM
That person is not the mod - I am.
And "God says so" is not only begging the question, it is not philosophy.

More importantly, even hearing of this nonsense is making me want to either vomit or yell the lyrics to Coven's "Fucking a Nun".

Now, please - just talk like sensible, sane, non-deluded humans do and not about God? I'm not saying, I'm asking.

Ah, Xev, is it inappropriate to say, right here right now, I did love thee? Just seeing your name in this resurrected thread makes me want to hum the 'melody' of 'Rhinestone Cowboy'.

As for humans being inherently evil I would say that possession of a brain configured in the way the human brain is certainly gives us the capacity to 'act' in an unseemly manner and not give a fig about the consequences. Such behaviour might then be construed as being 'evil' as it may well be detrimental to certain individuals, as well as groups. However if the individual acting in said unseemly manner is doing so without any capacity to act in an alternative way; would it be proper to label said actor as 'evil' or just being true to him/helr self? Or would it, indeed, be a truism to label said person 'inherently evil' as 'Inherently' leaves little individual choice in the matter?

As for 'evil' itself; if it is to be associated with 'acting badly' and assuming that humans have a choice as to whether or not they can act badly perhaps the 'evil' is in choosing not to act goodly.

To choose or not to choose would seem to be the question.

swarm
03-31-09, 04:48 AM
As far as babies go - is inately selfish considered evil?

My babies aren't innately selfish.

I remember my son could barely speak and he had his favorite beanie cow which he was almost inseparable from. My nephew (who is 20 years older) was trying to make just this point and said "let me have your cow." My son gave it to him without a second thought.

Both the older kids break off bits of treats to share with the baby and my son, who is starting to figure out money, wants to contribute to charity to help the poor.

All from kids who have no religious background.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
04-01-09, 02:07 AM
I'm glad to hear that about your children but it doesn't mean they're not innately selfish.



As for humans being inherently evil I would say that possession of a brain configured in the way the human brain is certainly gives us the capacity to 'act' in an unseemly manner and not give a fig about the consequences. Such behaviour might then be construed as being 'evil' as it may well be detrimental to certain individuals, as well as groups. However if the individual acting in said unseemly manner is doing so without any capacity to act in an alternative way; would it be proper to label said actor as 'evil' or just being true to him/helr self? Or would it, indeed, be a truism to label said person 'inherently evil' as 'Inherently' leaves little individual choice in the matter?

As for 'evil' itself; if it is to be associated with 'acting badly' and assuming that humans have a choice as to whether or not they can act badly perhaps the 'evil' is in choosing not to act goodly.


That is all evil can possibly be.

Algernon
04-01-09, 02:54 AM
Ah, Xev, is it inappropriate to say, right here right now, I did love thee? Just seeing your name in this resurrected thread makes me want to hum the 'melody' of 'Rhinestone Cowboy'.

As for humans being inherently evil I would say that possession of a brain configured in the way the human brain is certainly gives us the capacity to 'act' in an unseemly manner and not give a fig about the consequences. Such behaviour might then be construed as being 'evil' as it may well be detrimental to certain individuals, as well as groups. However if the individual acting in said unseemly manner is doing so without any capacity to act in an alternative way; would it be proper to label said actor as 'evil' or just being true to him/helr self? Or would it, indeed, be a truism to label said person 'inherently evil' as 'Inherently' leaves little individual choice in the matter?

As for 'evil' itself; if it is to be associated with 'acting badly' and assuming that humans have a choice as to whether or not they can act badly perhaps the 'evil' is in choosing not to act goodly.

To choose or not to choose would seem to be the question.

That is quite some insight. that also made me wonder, while given the choice, in my opinion it would be easier to do the good things. In fact, doing something morally justified seems to hold no social taboos; ie, nobody would condemn you or hate you for it, you just might be loved or acclaimed by others. In addition to that, doing something morally unjust would definitely cause people to either hate you or criticize your behavior, especially if they were allowed to know. But some people want people to know, either they want themselves to be hated or it is some form of self-punishment to create an environment in which they feel they deserve to be in.

With self-punishment then, would that not be judging one-self and understanding that one's own deeds were evil? Is that not why we confess our sins? In order to consider it a sin, it must have been defined through religious means as something that was one of the 7 deadly sins or evils. Thus would the self-punishment of criminals, in that they want to kill themselves or torture themselves qualify as redemption or choice to be good?

Being inherently evil, or thus lacking the choice to be good, I guess you could say that there was no choice given so it wasn't the person's fault. However if given the choice, and they chose "EVIL", would that be considered evil. Besides... who benefits from being evil anyways? (that could be relative however).


Food for thought: If a baby was placed in a society where evil was considered the "right" thing to do, where people respected and honored you for killing people and stealing things and doing bad deeds while being nice or caring was a sign of weakness... how would this experimental baby react? Would it develop signs of "weakness?" Would the baby fight against the flow and manifest signs of benevolence, generosity, and selflessness in this type of society? While this may seem to be an arbitrary example, it is quite in fact somewhat inspired by real life. What happens to kids that grow up in gang neighborhoods? Or kids that are raised by extremist religious terrorist groups? Thats not to say that goodness would not still find its way into these young humans but at the same time it is rather hard to express or cultivate those socially defined goodness in these environments.

Syzygys
04-01-09, 07:20 AM
Damn, took me 5 mins to realize it was a 7 year old thread!

Anyhow, if we define "evil" as to cause harm and suffering to others, then the answer is yes, humans are naturally evil, but it is not their fault.

The logic/explanation is really simple. Since there is are very few places on Earth where the population can go without hitting resource boundaries, humans need to fight for these resources and by doing it they cause harm and suffering to others.

The question is rather similar to : Are lions naturally evil, (or they just like to kill)? :)

John99
04-01-09, 08:25 AM
Clinically we should not think in terms of evil.

Baron Max
04-01-09, 08:28 AM
Clinically we should not think in terms of evil.

What should we think in terms of then?

Baron Max

John99
04-01-09, 08:31 AM
The old gray marble.

Cortex_Colossum
04-01-09, 09:21 AM
I like how the definition included "MORALLY wrong or bad". Aren't morals relative to whoever holds them? What someone may consider morally bad may be ok for someone else.

I guess somebody can consider someone "evil" if the person who is being considered also understands that what they are doing is socially/morally wrong and still performs the evil deed anyways, or rather someone who desires to commit moral wrongdoings or harm upon other people. However, the number of people who truly do those things or do that degree of hatred isn't that many.


People can be considered evil not merely because they understand but because they accept evil. Good can change while evil wishes to remain stagnant.

Syzygys
04-01-09, 09:34 AM
What should we think in terms of then?

Baron Max

Good/bad, useful/useless.

For example signing your post is useless>>>evil

swarm
04-01-09, 10:30 PM
I'm glad to hear that about your children but it doesn't mean they're not innately selfish.

Since we are talking very young children here, young enough that they don't have the cognitive capacity to over come their "innate" behaviors, the fact that they don't act just in wholly selfish ways actually does mean that they aren't innately selfish.

And that makes perfect sense when you consider that we evolved as social animals. Being innately selfish doesn't work well in a social setting.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
04-02-09, 03:35 AM
Innately selfish doesn't mean EVERY thing 1 does is selfish.

No, it doesn't make sense when I consider that you evolved as social animals. Being selfish obviously works very well for some. It can't work well for every person at the same time & place. People are obviously very selfish & whether it's innate has nothing to do with whether it works well.

sniffy
04-02-09, 04:53 AM
Surely in any given society one's first duty is to oneself? Everything one does is self orientated in some way consiously or not. Individuals may like to think they can and are acting selflessly but in reality how can one possibly act 100% selflessly......

something in it for you somewhere

StrangerInAStrangeLa
04-02-09, 06:33 AM
That's another topic.

swarm
04-04-09, 06:59 AM
Innately selfish doesn't mean EVERY thing 1 does is selfish.

So basically you have no point except you think selfishness is an inborn trait along with unselfishness and a number of other traits.

swarm
04-04-09, 07:01 AM
Surely in any given society one's first duty is to oneself?

It doesn't have to be and there are natural examples where individuals sacrifice themselves to further other ends.

The Breaker
04-04-09, 08:22 PM
Since we are talking very young children here, young enough that they don't have the cognitive capacity to over come their "innate" behaviors, the fact that they don't act just in wholly selfish ways actually does mean that they aren't innately selfish.

And that makes perfect sense when you consider that we evolved as social animals. Being innately selfish doesn't work well in a social setting.

Ah, but we are never able to over come our innate, built in behaviors. Adults are no different than children except that they have a slightly more developed brain, adults haven't magically gained some ability to change their behavior. Every organism acts in their own best interest in order to preserve their genes. That is evolution.


It doesn't have to be and there are natural examples where individuals sacrifice themselves to further other ends.

I disagree. Natural selection is selfish. Every animal is selfish and will fight to protect itself, not just humans. Even actions which appear altruistic are done because they make you feel good. If you felt bad every time you helped someone, would you do it?

Oli
04-04-09, 08:26 PM
Ah, but we are never able to over come our innate, built in behaviors.
Never?


Every organism acts in their own best interest in order to preserve their genes. That is evolution.
So you wouldn't ever get say, someone throwing themselves onto a grenade to save their buddies?
Or acting as a bodyguard and taking a bullet for their client?
Or dying while attempting to rescue a stranger?

Killian_1_4
04-04-09, 08:29 PM
Well here's what it is. Natural selection is selfish on the genomic level. We are reminded of this by books like Richard Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene." But beyond genetic frequencies, or what Steven Pinker calls the "ultimate cause" of human behavior, humans are in reality motivated by "proximate causes", like love, which ultimately move along the genes. Some proximate causes can, however, be labeled as "evil." An answer to the question of whether humans are evil really depends on whether humans are motivated by more "evil" proximate causes, like greed, than good.

The Breaker
04-04-09, 09:06 PM
Never?


So you wouldn't ever get say, someone throwing themselves onto a grenade to save their buddies?
Or acting as a bodyguard and taking a bullet for their client?
Or dying while attempting to rescue a stranger?

These actions are performed with a lack of foresight. The person who performs these actions does so because they expect some sort of reward, perhaps in the afterlife. Every action is done for selfish reason. There is biological proof for this. Every act is performed because endorphins are released in your brain which make you feel good and dopamine is released in your brain which tells you to do it again.

Oli
04-04-09, 09:10 PM
These actions are performed with a lack of foresight. The person who performs these actions does so because they expect some sort of reward, perhaps in the afterlife. Every action is done for selfish reason. There is biological proof for this. Every act is performed because endorphins are released in your brain which make you feel good and dopamine is released in your brain which tells you to do it again.
Pure and utter nonsense.
Afterlife?
There is a biological basis for altruism.
Do it again?
How many times CAN you die by throwing yourself onto a grenade?

The Breaker
04-04-09, 09:21 PM
Pure and utter nonsense.
Afterlife?
There is a biological basis for altruism.
Do it again?
How many times CAN you die by throwing yourself onto a grenade?

Perhaps in their haste, they wrongly assume that jumping on the grenade will not be the end of their life. What biological basis is their for altruism if it is not going to eventually benefit the individual in some way? Unless an action makes you feel good, you are not going to do it.

Oli
04-04-09, 09:32 PM
In their haste?
A soldier's training includes EXPLICIT demonstrations of the killing power of grenades.
Facile rebuttal.

What does it matter whether the individual benefits or not?
The altruism is a biological aid to the species: any specific individual doesn't matter.
It's a numbers game.

How about kamikaze pilots?
Did they believe they'd survive hitting a multi-thousand ton warship at 300 mph with an explosive-filled aircraft.
Tch, of course they did, everybody knows that sort of thing isn't really dangerous.:rolleyes:

The Breaker
04-04-09, 09:44 PM
People do things in the heat of a moment that they might not normally do. I'm not going to pretend to know peoples reason's for performing acts which appear to be altruistic, I can only speculate. However, What reason does the individual have for caring about his species? Humans are not hive minded, the individual is what matters. Evolution occurs at the genomic, not population, level.

Oli
04-04-09, 09:53 PM
People do things in the heat of a moment that they might not normally do.
So now you've changed your mind about them doing things out of selfishness?
Heat of the moment?
Yup: kamikaze training took me a month or so, but I didn't realise I was doing until too late..

Hive minded?
Wow, you sure have a talent for not getting a grasp.
Altruism helps individuals get on with each, helps them function in society.
Man is a social animal.
The individual may not actually CARE about the species, but then again the altruism doesn't function at conscious level.

The Breaker
04-04-09, 10:02 PM
So now you've changed your mind about them doing things out of selfishness?
Heat of the moment?
Yup: kamikaze training took me a month or so, but I didn't realise I was doing until too late..

Hive minded?
Wow, you sure have a talent for not getting a grasp.
Altruism helps individuals get on with each, helps them function in society.
Man is a social animal.
The individual may not actually CARE about the species, but then again the altruism doesn't function at conscious level.

I haven't changed my mind, I just said I am not sure of their reason. And if an action helps individuals get along with and help each other, guess what? It's good for the individual, which is why the action is performed.

Oli
04-04-09, 10:09 PM
I haven't changed my mind, I just said I am not sure of their reason.
Hmmm

The person who performs these actions does so because they expect some sort of reward, perhaps in the afterlife. Every action is done for selfish reason. There is biological proof for this.


And if an action helps individuals get along with and help each other, guess what? It's good for the individual, which is why the action is performed.
It's only incidentally good for the individual: it's very good for the species.
If it developed for the individual rather than the species it would have been eliminated long ago.

The Breaker
04-04-09, 10:13 PM
It's only incidentally good for the individual: it's very good for the species.
If it developed for the individual rather than the species it would have been eliminated long ago.

Can you elaborate? Why would it have been eliminated?

Oli
04-04-09, 10:28 PM
If only certain individuals were altruistic and the rest weren't they the altruistic would be taken advantage of: to the extent that their numbers would reduce and altruism would kill itself off in a society of people who only cared for themselves.
The altruistic would be the ones doing things for others, dying for others and there'd be no advantage to it.
The species "cares" about the species: not individuals.

Killian_1_4
04-04-09, 10:39 PM
This is especially to Breaker:

Well here's what it is. Natural selection is selfish on the genomic level. We are reminded of this by books like Richard Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene." But beyond genetic frequencies, or what Steven Pinker calls the "ultimate cause" of human behavior, humans are in reality motivated by "proximate causes", like love, which ultimately move along the genes. Some proximate causes can, however, be labeled as "evil." An answer to the question of whether humans are evil really depends on whether humans are motivated by more "evil" proximate causes, like greed, than good.

Building off this, just because your genes are "selfish" does not mean you are. Just because it feels good to help, love, and commit acts of altruism, and just because this good feeling incidentally helps the genes, does not mean you give and love for evil intentions.

People do not mentally verbalize "Give to charity for reward system dopamine to kick in", we think "I want to help people." Perhaps this desire to help is created out of a subconscious or unconscious reasoning for the reward this action brings, but it certainly is not an overt, cynical, selfish thought/behavior, even though the ultimate cause and subconscious reasoning is indeed selfish.

Cyperium
04-08-09, 05:51 PM
Are people naturally evil?
I need any information or sources that help to prove people are naturally evil. Both religous and non-religous are desired. (any religion, preferably many religions)People are like birds, they can fly up in the sky. But they can also dump shit on you.

Challenger78
04-08-09, 06:12 PM
Yes, People are inherently evil. It's only our survival instinct that keeps us in balance, and prevents us from trying to kill everyone.

swarm
04-09-09, 04:35 AM
Ah, but we are never able to over come our innate, built in behaviors.

Actually we do it often enough that it has been noted as one of our odd traits.


Every organism acts in their own best interest in order to preserve their genes. That is evolution.

Its nice that you like believing this, but the evidence doesn't support it. People and even other creatures can sacrifice their own interests to further other causes.


Natural selection is selfish. Every animal is selfish and will fight to protect itself, not just humans. Even actions which appear altruistic are done because they make you feel good. If you felt bad every time you helped someone, would you do it?

I'm glad you have found your religion.

wesmorris
04-09-09, 05:32 AM
Hmm. What dichotomies apply to humans?

Evil and good are perspectives. Everyone's some of each to someone.

Is there evil with no humans?

Is there good with no humans?

Whatever either are to whomever, I think we bring them about.

swarm
04-10-09, 05:07 AM
Is there evil with no humans?

Is there good with no humans?


Wait until there are no humans and then you will know.

MysteriousStranger
04-14-09, 08:09 PM
People must have an "evil-side" within themselves in order to identify what "evil" is.

Now if having an "evil-side" makes you evil then the answer (to the topic question) is yes.

If in order to be evil you must actually do evil things then no.

Depends on the definition of "evil", I guess.

glaucon
04-14-09, 08:32 PM
People must have an "evil-side" within themselves in order to identify what "evil" is.



Must I have a "square-side" to know what "square" is?




Depends on the definition of "evil", I guess.

Exactly.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
04-14-09, 08:36 PM
People must have an "evil-side" within themselves in order to identify what "evil" is.


Did you fabricate that absurdity on your own or did someone teach it to you?

swarm
04-15-09, 03:29 AM
If only certain individuals were altruistic and the rest weren't they the altruistic would be taken advantage of

You assume that being taken advantage of is necessarily a fatal disadvantage and that altruism has no innate benefits which would offset being taken advantage of.

Although not directly related, it reminds me of a story. 3 monks were on a trip to a temple a good day's journey from their own on a hot day. The eldest monk soon tired of his pack and asked the youngest monk to carry it. With the enthusiasm of a novice he agreed and they continued. Soon the other monk tired of his pack and the novice was carrying all three.

They came to the city and got on a ferry to cross the bay and the novice was so tired he quickly fell sound asleep. When he awoke he was greeted by a surprising scene. Every one was looking decidedly ill. Many were covered in vomit. It seems the ferry was caught in a sudden squall which being so tired, he had slept though.

MysteriousStranger
04-16-09, 11:17 AM
Did you fabricate that absurdity on your own or did someone teach it to you?

Fabricated it. What I mean by this is that you identify a part of yourself which is evil. Wrath. Greed. Lust. Whatever. Seems quite self-evident to be honest. I mean, if you don't have an evil part of you (that you might reject, nontheless) how are you supposed to identify if an act is evil or not?

Unless of course you can be taught what evil is. But then really do you ever know what it is? Evil is being morally bad or wrong. Can a person be told what is morally wrong and know evil or must he first experience evil in order to know what it is? Is it enough to witness evil externally in order to identify it or must you witness it, atleast initially, internally?



Must I have a "square-side" to know what "square" is?

I think so, yes. A side of the mind that can correllate four equally size lines forming four perpendicular angles, sure. I mean, you require spacial awareness in order to do so which is definitely a side of the brain anyways.

Baron Max
04-16-09, 11:26 AM
Fabricated it. What I mean by this is that you identify a part of yourself which is evil. Wrath. Greed. Lust. Whatever. Seems quite self-evident to be honest. I mean, if you don't have an evil part of you (that you might reject, nontheless) how are you supposed to identify if an act is evil or not?

Unless of course you can be taught what evil is. But then really do you ever know what it is? Evil is being morally bad or wrong. Can a person be told what is morally wrong and know evil or must he first experience evil in order to know what it is? Is it enough to witness evil externally in order to identify it or must you witness it, atleast initially, internally?

Expand that to other facets of human life and you'll have a better perspective on evil (or anything else). You've limited your viewpoint, thus you fail to see the error of your thoughts.

Baron Max

MysteriousStranger
04-16-09, 12:23 PM
Expand that to other facets of human life and you'll have a better perspective on evil (or anything else). You've limited your viewpoint, thus you fail to see the error of your thoughts.

Baron Max
I can't think of any other relevant facets of human life.

:shrug:

You would be doing me a favour if you just gave me a quick example.

glaucon
04-16-09, 02:50 PM
...
I think so, yes. A side of the mind that can correllate four equally size lines forming four perpendicular angles, sure. I mean, you require spacial awareness in order to do so which is definitely a side of the brain anyways.

Interesting.
While this would be off topic, how then could you ever account for any original thought? What you describe here implies the denial of imagination. What's more (and perhaps even scarier..) it implies some sort of 'innate' knowledge-set.

hmmm

MysteriousStranger
04-17-09, 08:47 PM
Interesting.
While this would be off topic, how then could you ever account for any original thought? What you describe here implies the denial of imagination. What's more (and perhaps even scarier..) it implies some sort of 'innate' knowledge-set.

hmmm
I think you misconcieved what I said. I just pointed out that there's something that becomes before the square: the ability to distiguish between two points, spacial awareness. You can then go around and use that spacial awareness to learn things from the world, like what a square looks like. The square and that which comes before it; the part of the brain that allows the observer to comprehend the square. Logic and that which comes before it; the part of the brain that allows the observer to comprehend logic, etc.

glaucon
04-17-09, 08:57 PM
I think you misconcieved what I said. I just pointed out that there's something that becomes before the square:
,,,


Perhaps I did; I interpreted what you wrote as implying some sort of 'truth'; some sort of universal standard against which our perceptions are 'measured'...
Nonetheless, I disagree. The square (in this case) is our construction; there is no before..



...
Logic and that which comes before it; the part of the brain that allows the observer to comprehend logic, etc.

Again, I cannot support any 'before'...

Regardless, we must somehow get this back on topic.
Or, create some new thread.

USS Exeter
04-17-09, 09:05 PM
As I'm concerned, most humans have a survival instinct. This does not necessarily make us do evil things, (although it can), but this instinct is almost a part of us everyday and we don't even know it.

In addition, evil is just a word.

MysteriousStranger
04-17-09, 09:14 PM
Perhaps I did; I interpreted what you wrote as implying some sort of 'truth'; some sort of universal standard against which our perceptions are 'measured'...
Nonetheless, I disagree. The square (in this case) is our construction; there is no before..
I think it more of a launch pad. The launch pad is what allows us to comprehend the square. The rocket is our concious thought. The destination is the knowledge itself.

To put this in the square example: The rocket, our concious thought, is what allows us to contruct the square. The destination is the knowledge retained on what the square is.

Well to get back on topic: To decide wether people are inherently evil we must first assume that there is some sort of objective morality. Until we can prove the existance of such a thing this question has no determinable answer. Unless we define evil as going against an individual's own subjective moral code.

glaucon
04-18-09, 12:08 AM
I think it more of a launch pad. The launch pad is what allows us to comprehend the square. The rocket is our concious thought. The destination is the knowledge itself.

To put this in the square example: The rocket, our concious thought, is what allows us to contruct the square. The destination is the knowledge retained on what the square is.


Aaah. I see; you're a Kantian.
Nice.



...
Well to get back on topic: To decide wether people are inherently evil we must first assume that there is some sort of objective morality.
..


Why is that?
I see no need whatsoever.



...
Until we can prove the existance of such a thing...


We cannot.



... this question has no determinable answer.
...


Given the above (incorrect) premiss, this is correct.



...
Unless we define evil as going against an individual's own subjective moral code.

You think this is the only alternative?

Cannon
04-18-09, 01:39 AM
Good and Evil...

Something one knows they are every day until they are not. A good person knows a evil act and spots them easily, a evil person knows a good act and spots them easily.

I find it is what we don't see that we notice the most.

Morals have nothing to do with Good and Evil.

Morals are a socio-based logic, good and evil is not. It is not evil to kill a child molester who is let off on a technicality but it is indeed morally wrong to do so.

Conflict between Good-Morals-Evil-Intentions

What one intends is to ones self only, you only know your true intentions cause it takes all the words you know to explain yourself.

cosmictraveler
04-18-09, 04:11 AM
Something one knows they are every day until they are not. A good person knows a evil act and spots them easily, a evil person knows a good act and spots them easily.

Depends where you live doesn't it. In many cultures there are many differences in the way they see good and bad or right and wrong. Some cultures have no education for women as an example as a good thing as they see it but many others do not see it like that. Are they bad if they do not educate their women? Some societies allow for the use of drugs like pot while others forbid it and jail offenders for using pot.

MysteriousStranger
04-18-09, 11:50 AM
Why is that?
I see no need whatsoever.
To judge wether or not people are evil you need to define what evil is.

If morality is objective then we have a set of morals of which we can use to identify evil acts.

If morality is subjective then each person will have his own view on what evil is and we have no way in determining which subjective opinion is greater than another's, this means that what one person might call an evil act another might find it perfectly well. Who is right?

One person could define evil as going against any instinctual urges that is felt by man, which would make people, from their perspective, inherently good (I think Ayn Rand believed this or something close to it).

Another person could define many instinctual urges felt by man to be evil, such as lust. This would mean that people, from their perspective, are inherently evil.

There's no way in determining wether or not people are inherently evil if moraility is subjective.



We cannot.
That's the problem. Many religions believe in an objective morality set forth by a God but we can't prove the existance of any of those Gods.




You think this is the only alternative?
I suppose if everyone in the world came to a consensus on wether or not certain acts are evil, then we might have a premiss from which we can determine what is evil and isn't. For example, if everyone agreed that murder is wrong then we can surely define murder as evil.

glaucon
04-19-09, 02:42 PM
To judge wether or not people are evil you need to define what evil is.


I agree. But to define something is not to assert any objective ontological status. The definition alone suffices.



If morality is objective then we have a set of morals of which we can use to identify evil acts.

No such need. All that is required is to define which acts are to be classified as immoral.



There's no way in determining wether or not people are inherently evil if moraility is subjective.

Just as there's no way to make the determination if morality is objective. The problem here is a question of the nature of a person to behave, not of how we choose to describe that behaviour.

MysteriousStranger
04-20-09, 08:07 AM
No such need. All that is required is to define which acts are to be classified as immoral.
Which would require objective morals or a consensus on subjective morals. Still, someone else might not define some acts as evil whereas others would. As evil is defined as going against morals it is dependant on wether morality is subjective or objective as to wether we can objectively judge what is evil and what isn't.

Just as there's no way to make the determination if morality is objective.
If morality is objective then there are set standards on what is good and what is evil; it is not required that you believe in those standards as they simply are.

The problem here is a question of the nature of a person to behave, not of how we choose to describe that behaviour.
Indeed, the former of which you speak would require there to be an objective morality and with the latter subjective morals suffice.

glaucon
04-20-09, 04:03 PM
Which would require objective morals or a consensus on subjective morals.


Given that the former is impossible, the latter must suffice (as it does..).



Still, someone else might not define some acts as evil whereas others would. As evil is defined as going against morals it is dependant on wether morality is subjective or objective as to wether we can objectively judge what is evil and what isn't.


Close, but not quite.
In practice, the judgment is not contingent upon anything but an ad hoc 'objective' standard, which is to say, a consensus. It is we who determine what 'objective' is.




If morality is objective then there are set standards on what is good and what is evil; it is not required that you believe in those standards as they simply are.



Given the impossibility of making this kind of discrimination, the point is moot.



Indeed, the former of which you speak would require there to be an objective morality and with the latter subjective morals suffice.

Not at all. Behaviour precedes judgment.

The Breaker
04-21-09, 05:00 PM
This is especially to Breaker:


Building off this, just because your genes are "selfish" does not mean you are. Just because it feels good to help, love, and commit acts of altruism, and just because this good feeling incidentally helps the genes, does not mean you give and love for evil intentions.

People do not mentally verbalize "Give to charity for reward system dopamine to kick in", we think "I want to help people." Perhaps this desire to help is created out of a subconscious or unconscious reasoning for the reward this action brings, but it certainly is not an overt, cynical, selfish thought/behavior, even though the ultimate cause and subconscious reasoning is indeed selfish.

Certainly most believe they are acting in others interest, but in reality you are doing it because it feels good. You give to charity because it releases dopamine in the same way that taking advantage of others to become rich releases dopamine. There is no difference. This is supported by evidence.


Actually we do it often enough that it has been noted as one of our odd traits.


Its nice that you like believing this, but the evidence doesn't support it. People and even other creatures can sacrifice their own interests to further other causes.



I'm glad you have found your religion.

Read up on modern neurobiology. All your actions are mediated by neurotransmitters. You would not do something if it did not make you feel good. Animals deprived of dopamine don't even move or eat, let alone act in others interest. What relevance does the last sentence have at all? I fail to understand how you've concluded I have created some religion.

Drphail
04-21-09, 10:57 PM
what is evil and what is not is merely what we have perceived throughout mankind. labels, simply. one can argue there is only evil and less evil. taking, or greatly hindering one's life is perceived as the ultimate act of sin, yet the afterlife is considered to be spiritual... positive. i find it to be over-analyzed, and misunderstood.

mass amounts of alcohol numb my pain.

scifes
05-18-09, 04:47 AM
most of the time people aren't evil..they're just different.. hence their interests clash..

cosmictraveler
05-18-09, 07:15 AM
Desperate people do desperate things in desperate times. So do mentally unstable people who do not reason very well or who have disorders that are not being treated.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-18-09, 09:56 PM
Morals are a socio-based logic, good and evil is not. It is not evil to kill a child molester who is let off on a technicality but it is indeed morally wrong to do so.

Conflict between Good-Morals-Evil-Intentions


Absurd.
If it is not evil to kill that child molester, it is not morally wrong.
Morals are not logic. People's morals are based on what they perceive as or believe to be good & evil.

tomidea
05-18-09, 10:41 PM
human beings are born free of sin, just like trees and flowers, which are free of sin. When trees and flowers get sick, they are not sinning, there are simply some structural damages. when human gets sick, that is not sin, that is just organ damages.

The sin is a result of knowledge and communication, it is because of knowledge, human becomes sinnful. There are different types of knowledge, the one causes sins are essentially: any ideas associate with selfishness.

Sexual sin is a very complicated area because it relates to human's biological function. If it is only biological, then there is no sin. That's why when animals have sex, there is no sin. But human beings have higher thinking abilities, it makes human being very different. It is therefore, when coming to sex, society's rule becomes very helpful to avoid certain acts.

Sin, it is for people who do not fully understand the reason of being human, it is also for people who are physically mature but lack mental understanding; for people who have great knowledge of laws and rules, if they sin, this is essentially a form of ending his or her life.

Hope my views are helpful.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-18-09, 11:27 PM
There is no such thing as sin.

scifes
05-19-09, 02:31 AM
There is no such thing as sin.

lol yes there is!!!

John99
05-19-09, 02:38 AM
there is right and there is wrong. post #194 must be referring to the things that would not be considered wrong (although they may not be the ideal) unless there was not a religious influence.

Enmos
05-19-09, 05:30 AM
lol yes there is!!!

Yes there is, but it's completely subjective.
Objectively seen there is no sin.

swarm
05-19-09, 06:02 AM
Certainly most believe they are acting in others interest, but in reality you are doing it because it feels good.

1) You can be "acting in others interest" inspite of it not feeling good.

2) The two are not mutually exclusive. You can be "acting in others interest" and also "doing it because it feels good."


Read up on modern neurobiology.

Done. Even got a degree in Cognitive Science in the process.


All your actions are mediated by neurotransmitters.

D'uh.


You would not do something if it did not make you feel good.

Happens all the time.

Dopamine is not the only neurotransmitter nor is it the only "feels good" which releases it and "feeling good" is not the end all be all of motivation and neurotransmitters are only part of the picture.


Animals deprived of dopamine don't even move or eat, let alone act in others interest.

No one ever said dopamine wasn't a key neurotransmitter and inflicting Parkinson's on animals will of course slow them down.

scifes
05-19-09, 09:53 AM
Yes there is, but it's completely subjective.
Objectively seen there is no sin.

lol i used to put it like that too..i used to think that's the relativity theory..
i'll put it's solution in one sentence..:

isn't something subjective to everyone objective?

(Q)
05-19-09, 10:17 AM
human beings are born free of sin, just like trees and flowers, which are free of sin. When trees and flowers get sick, they are not sinning, there are simply some structural damages. when human gets sick, that is not sin, that is just organ damages.

The sin is a result of knowledge and communication, it is because of knowledge, human becomes sinnful. There are different types of knowledge, the one causes sins are essentially: any ideas associate with selfishness.

Sexual sin is a very complicated area because it relates to human's biological function. If it is only biological, then there is no sin. That's why when animals have sex, there is no sin. But human beings have higher thinking abilities, it makes human being very different. It is therefore, when coming to sex, society's rule becomes very helpful to avoid certain acts.

Sin, it is for people who do not fully understand the reason of being human, it is also for people who are physically mature but lack mental understanding; for people who have great knowledge of laws and rules, if they sin, this is essentially a form of ending his or her life.

Hope my views are helpful.

So many words, so much nonsense, so little understanding.

scifes
05-19-09, 12:00 PM
Hope my views are helpful.


So many words, so much nonsense,

isn't that a bit not too nice??


so little understanding.

:wave:

(Q)
05-19-09, 12:56 PM
isn't that a bit not too nice??


As nice as the author of that post was attempting the validation of reality with myth and superstitions.

S.A.M.
05-19-09, 01:27 PM
isn't that a bit not too nice??



:wave:

Don't judge him. He's merely demonstrating the inherent nature of some people.

baftan
05-19-09, 01:32 PM
People are inherently violent. Violence is somehow hardwired into our brains just as many animals, and violence is not evil. However, if the word "evil" refers to a calculated and sophisticated harm to others (even stubbing someone is in this category), here we talk about humans and no other agent in nature.

Tricky point is, that does not necessarily give right to exercise evil actions. "Something natural" can not be an argument in human relations, because our kind has been struggling against nature's disasters, diseases, harsh rules for thousands of years. So even if "evil" is intrinsicly and/or inherently natural, it can be changed.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-19-09, 10:33 PM
Read up on modern neurobiology.


1) Done. Even got a degree in Cognitive Science in the process.


Are people inherently ridiculous?
We see such arrogant assumptions so often here despite the assumers having no way of knowing what education, experiences or accomplishments the person they're talking with has.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-19-09, 10:37 PM
There is no such thing as sin.



lol yes there is!!!


Prove it.

scifes
05-19-09, 11:37 PM
Prove it.

aww man, that game can be played by two players..

prove it doesn't..

scifes
05-19-09, 11:44 PM
Are people inherently ridiculous?
We see such arrogant assumptions so often here despite the assumers having no way of knowing what education, experiences or accomplishments the person they're talking with has.
hey that goes for you too..look:

Prove it.

TFL
05-20-09, 12:37 AM
prove it doesn't..
He doesn't have to; You're the one making the claim that it does exist, thus you're the one who needs to provide evidence.

scifes
05-20-09, 01:50 AM
He doesn't have to; You're the one making the claim that it does exist, thus you're the one who needs to provide evidence.

that may be so..in this forum..which is a wicked experiences btw..

but most of the world, i.e all the nutters and sheep..say that he does exist..and YOU'RE the ones making the claim he doesn't

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-20-09, 09:32 PM
There is no such thing as sin.

tomidea
05-21-09, 04:03 AM
Sin is not difficult to prove. But there is no need to prove sin(in most cases).

Sin is simply a by-product of human beings' folly. Many things we did as a child were 'sinful', we don't do them anymore as we mature. But an adult tend to do things in a so called 'smart' way: try to deceive others for personal gain for example, it appears nice and harmless, but it is actually sinnful. He might say that he caused no harm, the other person was simply not smart enough to play the 'game'. Well, such reasonings are too frequently used by many people committing wrongful acts. For certain people, they tend not to see the non-sin side. Again, selfishness plays a major part in their action.

A way to prove sin (and your own awareness of sin) is: if oneday you go swimming and see a real, thick gold chain on the floor of an empty locker room, what will you do? Will you take it and keep it or will you give it to the swimming centre staff?

(Q)
05-21-09, 09:42 AM
A way to prove sin (and your own awareness of sin) is: if oneday you go swimming and see a real, thick gold chain on the floor of an empty locker room, what will you do? Will you take it and keep it or will you give it to the swimming centre staff?

An atheist would reason that the chain is not theirs to keep and if they had lost such a chain, they would want someone to return it to them, so they would turn it in to the staff.

A theist would only fear for what his god might do to him in the afterlife and make his decision based on that. If the theist thought that he could simply repent his sins on his deathbed, he might just keep the chain.

Of course, the prisons being filled primarily and overwhelmingly with theists would support that assumption.

swarm
05-21-09, 09:05 PM
Actually the theist would think it was a gift from god and keep it even if he knew who it actually belonged to.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-21-09, 10:06 PM
Sin is disobeying gods. No gods, no sin.

scifes
05-22-09, 06:49 AM
An atheist would reason that the chain is not theirs to keep and if they had lost such a chain, they would want someone to return it to them, so they would turn it in to the staff.

A theist would only fear for what his god might do to him in the afterlife and make his decision based on that. If the theist thought that he could simply repent his sins on his deathbed, he might just keep the chain.

Of course, the prisons being filled primarily and overwhelmingly with theists would support that assumption.
an atheist will remember a chain he lost and never found and deem it neccesary to balance the world..

an atheist will be having some hard financial time and say "oh well, whoever this belonged to has to be rich enough not to care for it" and takes it..

an atheist would be the dumbest person on the planet if he didn't look around..if no one is watching slips it in his pocket(and since you guys aren't stupid..i'm sure in real life you'll take it..so stop kidding yourself)

a theist is only afrid of his god..so he will give it back because his god sees everything..

and thank god the prisons are full with sinning theists..loooooooool..if it were up to atheists they will hold the policeman and tell him "hey on what base are you locking that killer?? sin doesn't exist!!"

Actually the theist would think it was a gift from god and keep it even if he knew who it actually belonged to.
in islam a found "lost" item is supposed to be announced for a whole year before being given to its finder..how strong a believer is decides how far he goes with his religion's teachings..

Sin is disobeying gods. No gods, no sin.
yepeeeeeeeeeee!!

NO SIN..LET'S KILL AND RAPE....LETS STEAL AND BLOW THINGS UP..NOOOOOO GOOOOODS..NOOOOOOO SINNNNNNS.. EVERY ONE IS FREEEEEE:xctd:

so like..what stops you from doing all these things..you're going to die one day..

Enmos
05-22-09, 07:35 AM
an atheist will remember a chain he lost and never found and deem it neccesary to balance the world..

an atheist will be having some hard financial time and say "oh well, whoever this belonged to has to be rich enough not to care for it" and takes it..

an atheist would be the dumbest person on the planet if he didn't look around..if no one is watching slips it in his pocket(and since you guys aren't stupid..i'm sure in real life you'll take it..so stop kidding yourself)

a theist is only afrid of his god..so he will give it back because his god sees everything..

and thank god the prisons are full with sinning theists..loooooooool..if it were up to atheists they will hold the policeman and tell him "hey on what base are you locking that killer?? sin doesn't exist!!"
I have no words..

scifes
05-22-09, 09:50 AM
I have no words..

lol

sorry..got carried away in the "bite me, bite you, you're an idiot,-,well you're a bigger idiot" affair..

will try to keep myself composed..

sorry..

BUT THOSE GUYS DESERVE IT!!

Cowboy
05-22-09, 10:02 AM
I think that most people are actually pretty decent to a certain degree. Generally speaking, they won't kill, rape or burglarize you.

Cowboy
05-22-09, 10:08 AM
An atheist would reason that the chain is not theirs to keep and if they had lost such a chain, they would want someone to return it to them, so they would turn it in to the staff.

A theist would only fear for what his god might do to him in the afterlife and make his decision based on that. If the theist thought that he could simply repent his sins on his deathbed, he might just keep the chain.

Of course, the prisons being filled primarily and overwhelmingly with theists would support that assumption.

You seem to be assuming that an atheist will behave rationally when it comes to property rights (not saying that he or she won't, but it isn't a given).

And regarding religious folks in prison; keep in mind that many of them became ultra-religious *after* being incarcerated.

scifes
05-22-09, 11:42 AM
You seem to be assuming that an atheist will behave rationally when it comes to property rights (not saying that he or she won't, but it isn't a given).

And regarding religious folks in prison; keep in mind that many of them became ultra-religious *after* being incarcerated.

no, but putting emotion aside..pure rational thinking will tell you to take it if you don't believe in god..who can disagree?

and because people are theists doesn't mean they all believe in god to the same degree..

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-22-09, 09:21 PM
an atheist will remember a chain he lost and never found and deem it neccesary to balance the world..

an atheist will be having some hard financial time and say "oh well, whoever this belonged to has to be rich enough not to care for it" and takes it..

an atheist would be the dumbest person on the planet if he didn't look around..if no one is watching slips it in his pocket(and since you guys aren't stupid..i'm sure in real life you'll take it..so stop kidding yourself)

a theist is only afrid of his god..so he will give it back because his god sees everything..

and thank god the prisons are full with sinning theists..loooooooool..if it were up to atheists they will hold the policeman and tell him "hey on what base are you locking that killer?? sin doesn't exist!!"

in islam a found "lost" item is supposed to be announced for a whole year before being given to its finder..how strong a believer is decides how far he goes with his religion's teachings..

yepeeeeeeeeeee!!

NO SIN..LET'S KILL AND RAPE....LETS STEAL AND BLOW THINGS UP..NOOOOOO GOOOOODS..NOOOOOOO SINNNNNNS.. EVERY ONE IS FREEEEEE

so like..what stops you from doing all these things..you're going to die one day..


no, but putting emotion aside..pure rational thinking will tell you to take it if you don't believe in god..who can disagree?

and because people are theists doesn't mean they all believe in god to the same degree..


Rational thinking is obviously not telling you much.
You need to support those prejudicial insults with facts or shut up.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-22-09, 09:26 PM
You seem to be assuming that an atheist will behave rationally when it comes to property rights (not saying that he or she won't, but it isn't a given).

And regarding religious folks in prison; keep in mind that many of them became ultra-religious *after* being incarcerated.


Keep in mind they had the belief before committing crimes.

(Q)
05-23-09, 09:56 AM
an atheist will remember a chain he lost and never found and deem it neccesary to balance the world..

I already told you that an atheist would reason that the chain is not theirs, and would turn it in regardless of their loss.

This must be what YOU would do.


an atheist will be having some hard financial time and say "oh well, whoever this belonged to has to be rich enough not to care for it" and takes it..

Again, the chain is not theirs to take, regardless of their situation.

And again, this must be what YOU would do.


an atheist would be the dumbest person on the planet if he didn't look around..if no one is watching slips it in his pocket(and since you guys aren't stupid..i'm sure in real life you'll take it..so stop kidding yourself)

So, you admit that this is what a theist would do. You are a petty thief.


a theist is only afrid of his god..so he will give it back because his god sees everything..

Exactly. The theist lives in fear of their god and does not reason such things.




yepeeeeeeeeeee!!

NO SIN..LET'S KILL AND RAPE....LETS STEAL AND BLOW THINGS UP..NOOOOOO GOOOOODS..NOOOOOOO SINNNNNNS.. EVERY ONE IS FREEEEEE:xctd:

so like..what stops you from doing all these things..you're going to die one day..

That is quite obviously something you will never understand.

(Q)
05-23-09, 10:01 AM
You seem to be assuming that an atheist will behave rationally when it comes to property rights (not saying that he or she won't, but it isn't a given).

Of course, it isn't a given, but it does describe the difference between how a theist lives in fear of their god as opposed to reasoning the consequences of their actions.


And regarding religious folks in prison; keep in mind that many of them became ultra-religious *after* being incarcerated.

No, they didn't, they were religious when they went in.

S.A.M.
05-23-09, 10:02 AM
That must explain why communism is so popular with atheists. Because they don't believe in property rights. At least in theory.

Bebelina
05-23-09, 10:03 AM
Of course they are.

MysteriousStranger
05-23-09, 06:27 PM
Evil People are inherently evil.

People are inherently people and aren't inherently anything else.

tomidea
05-24-09, 01:06 AM
It is true that some people are more evil than other but the fact that A says that B is evil, A is already showing his or her inability to treat others with goodness and kindness. The problems of the world arise because people like to criticise others, judge others, they think they are always right and other people are not as good. Of course, some people are much better at showing goodness towards other people, such people generally are people with more non evil thoughts. However, evils thoughts still can happen, less evil people tend to have more wisdom and commen sense to break up the chain of evil thoughts. For evil doers, they tend to like what they do, mostly for selfish reasons.

Life is about overcome these evil tendencies. People all sin, no one is not a sinner. But the ability to overcome evil with good is actually very difficult to attain. This is again due to human's selfish desires.

darksidZz
05-24-09, 01:14 AM
No, in each of us is yin/yang..

tomidea
05-24-09, 01:36 AM
If A sees a thick, expensive, gold chain in a empty locker room, the best thing A should do is to notify the swimming centre staff, so the staff can keep it for the chain's owner. (if the chain's owner never come back to the swimming centre, the swimming centre can keep it).

The second best option is A take the chain but wear it everytime A comes for a swim, and hope the chain's owner can see it and then return the chain to the owner.

The third best thing A can do is take it but donate the gold chain to charity.

A can take the chain and keep it only if A is in need of money and does not have a stable income and have 5 children to support. (This option can be regarded as a divine gift if A is religious).

If A is a rich person, A must take option 1 and 2 to show goodness. If A takes it, it shows greed.

If A is very poor and a non religious person and has 5 children to feed, A should take it, but only for the reason of supporting A's family. This intention shows goodness and has nothing to do with religion.

If A was a thief, A must choose option 1 to show improvement in understanding of law.

If A sees it and does nothing, it is better than taking it (if A is rich). If A's reason is: the owner might come back, this is not a good reason because someone else may take it for selfish reasons.

If A is a child, say, 5 to 10 years old, well, the above does not apply to the child, but apply to the child's parents.

If A sees it and picks it up and throws it into the rubbish bin, this is not a wrong intention: to keep the floor clean, but return it to the owner is better!

Xylene
05-24-09, 02:11 AM
But if I see a perfectly good dog-chain lying in a gutter, as I did a few months ago, and I pick it up and take it (becuase if I don't someone else will, I reckon) I'm not evil for doing so, just expedient. I'm no more wrong to pick it up than anyone else would be, because who knows how many people have walked past that dog-chain and left it lying in the gutter.

Same thing applies if my sister and I are driving along, as we were a couple of years back, and we see a big log-chain that has fallen off the back of a truck because it wasn't secured properly, and the truck took a corner too fast. We weren't evil to pick up that log-chain and put it to our own uses--no more so than anyone else would've who saw it and got to it before we did. It just happened to be our lucky day.

Evil, as I see it, is when you go out to do something which you know is wrong or cruel and will mess people around badly, and for whatever reason you not only don't stop yourself from doing it, but you actually enjoy what you are doing, and go ahead and do more. That's what seperates the soldier who does their duty from the psychopathic butcher who puts abullet in the back of a child's head because that toddler belongs to another race or religion. Kill if you must, but do so without hate, without pleasure, without pride--because those are the marks of an evil mind.

tomidea
05-24-09, 02:36 AM
But if I see a perfectly good dog-chain lying in a gutter, as I did a few months ago, and I pick it up and take it (becuase if I don't someone else will, I reckon) I'm not evil for doing so, just expedient. I'm no more wrong to pick it up than anyone else would be, because who knows how many people have walked past that dog-chain and left it lying in the gutter.

Same thing applies if my sister and I are driving along, as we were a couple of years back, and we see a big log-chain that has fallen off the back of a truck because it wasn't secured properly, and the truck took a corner too fast. We weren't evil to pick up that log-chain and put it to our own uses--no more so than anyone else would've who saw it and got to it before we did. It just happened to be our lucky day.

Evil, as I see it, is when you go out to do something which you know is wrong or cruel and will mess people around badly, and for whatever reason you not only don't stop yourself from doing it, but you actually enjoy what you are doing, and go ahead and do more. That's what seperates the soldier who does their duty from the psychopathic butcher who puts abullet in the back of a child's head because that toddler belongs to another race or religion. Kill if you must, but do so without hate, without pleasure, without pride--because those are the marks of an evil mind.
If the dog chain, for whatever reasons, is no longer wanted by the owner, then it is for others to take.

If the expensive, gold chain (for human use), is also no longer wanted by the owner, then anyone can take it. (The point I try to make is when you see something valuable but knowing it clearly belongs to someone else who most likely still needs it, what is the best thing to do? Of course there can be several different outcomes, but we should try to aim for the best outcome, the most reasonable outcome).

scifes
05-24-09, 03:43 AM
I already told you that an atheist would reason that the chain is not theirs, and would turn it in regardless of their loss.
This must be what YOU would do.

Rational thinking is obviously not telling you much.
You need to support those prejudicial insults with facts or shut up.
http://www.blacktable.com/images/0311pics/matrix.jpg
looool



Again, the chain is not theirs to take, regardless of their situation.

And again, this must be what YOU would do.

yes..i mean, why not??

really..if no one is seeing me..then why not take it..if it was me who lost the chain..how would i know if the guy who took it will think like you said..he might..but he might not..so i rather play it safe..and just take it..




So, you admit that this is what a theist would do. You are a petty thief.

that's a mean way of putting it..i'm just a natural cause of the chain being lost..hey i lose things too you know..


Exactly. The theist lives in fear of their god and does not reason such things.
i have to agree on that..



That is quite obviously something you will never understand.

i don't.. but why the "never"? i'm sure you can counter my stupidity by your smartness.. i'm ready and willing to learn..please do enlighten me..
:idea: a torch should do it!!

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-24-09, 07:03 AM
It is true that some people are more evil than other but the fact that A says that B is evil, A is already showing his or her inability to treat others with goodness and kindness. The problems of the world arise because people like to criticise others, judge others, they think they are always right and other people are not as good. Of course, some people are much better at showing goodness towards other people, such people generally are people with more non evil thoughts. However, evils thoughts still can happen, less evil people tend to have more wisdom and commen sense to break up the chain of evil thoughts. For evil doers, they tend to like what they do, mostly for selfish reasons.

Life is about overcome these evil tendencies. People all sin, no one is not a sinner. But the ability to overcome evil with good is actually very difficult to attain. This is again due to human's selfish desires.


Recognizing evil is not a fault.
There is no such thing as sin.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-24-09, 07:09 AM
If A sees a thick, expensive, gold chain in a empty locker room, the best thing A should do is to notify the swimming centre staff, so the staff can keep it for the chain's owner. (if the chain's owner never come back to the swimming centre, the swimming centre can keep it).

The second best option is A take the chain but wear it everytime A comes for a swim, and hope the chain's owner can see it and then return the chain to the owner.

The third best thing A can do is take it but donate the gold chain to charity.

A can take the chain and keep it only if A is in need of money and does not have a stable income and have 5 children to support. (This option can be regarded as a divine gift if A is religious).

If A is a rich person, A must take option 1 and 2 to show goodness. If A takes it, it shows greed.

If A is very poor and a non religious person and has 5 children to feed, A should take it, but only for the reason of supporting A's family. This intention shows goodness and has nothing to do with religion.

If A was a thief, A must choose option 1 to show improvement in understanding of law.

If A sees it and does nothing, it is better than taking it (if A is rich). If A's reason is: the owner might come back, this is not a good reason because someone else may take it for selfish reasons.

If A is a child, say, 5 to 10 years old, well, the above does not apply to the child, but apply to the child's parents.

If A sees it and picks it up and throws it into the rubbish bin, this is not a wrong intention: to keep the floor clean, but return it to the owner is better!


In your 1st option, the swim center should give it to the finder rather than keep it if the owner is not determined.

I tried the 2nd option. It usually works very well.

Trashing it is as bad as stealing it.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-24-09, 07:17 AM
scifes
You blatantly called atheists thieves. I asked you to support that or shut up. You attempt to just laugh it off.
You should be banned.

swarm
05-24-09, 07:26 AM
scifes
You blatantly called atheists thieves. I asked you to support that or shut up. You attempt to just laugh it off.
You should be banned.

You can only expect so much from the insane.

scifes
05-24-09, 07:43 AM
You attempt to just laugh it off.
You should be banned.

i was kidding:bawl:



scifes
You blatantly called atheists thieves. I asked you to support that or shut up.



If the theist thought that he could simply repent his sins on his deathbed, he might just keep the chain.

Of course, the prisons being filled primarily and overwhelmingly with theists would support that assumption.


Actually the theist would think it was a gift from god and keep it even if he knew who it actually belonged to.






You can only expect so much from the insane.
why are you so mean??:bawl:

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-24-09, 07:48 AM
Kidding about what?
Why are you so mean?

DiamondHearts
05-24-09, 12:32 PM
When calling Muslims terrorists and liars is done with immunity hundreds of times in this forum, how do you expect to get one person calling Atheists thieves banned? It should first be established how is it acceptable to say the first, only then can we have any opinion on the second.

Also, scifes you are too nice of a person. These people are basically heartless wolves, don't feel about about it. Someone who calls Muslims liars in every thread, and you who sarcastically called some atheist liars while they were insulting you. There is a vast difference between the two.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-24-09, 12:52 PM
Calling Muslims terrorists and liars is not done with immunity hundreds of times in this forum.
Even IF it were, it's unrelated to calling the Irish thieves.
Since I was the specific 1 attempting to get something clear with him just prior to this, I must guess you're calling ME a heartless wolf. You need to support that or retract it.

Cowboy
05-24-09, 01:56 PM
Of course, it isn't a given, but it does describe the difference between how a theist lives in fear of their god as opposed to reasoning the consequences of their actions.



No, they didn't, they were religious when they went in.

And you know this...how? It's not uncommon for prisoners to "find" God/Allah/Odin or whatever while incarcerated.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-24-09, 05:13 PM
Did they misplace them?

thinking
05-24-09, 05:25 PM
people are not inherently evil

some people are just put in the position of survival , whether it be emotional or feeding themselves or both at the same time

its not a position they want to be in , it is though " their " reality in which they are in

Oli
05-24-09, 05:30 PM
So Hitler, or Stalin or Pol Pot, didn't actually want to be leaders?
They were just "forced" into that position?
The Yorkshire Ripper (or, I dunno, the Unabomber, or the Columbine shooters) were doing it purely out to survive?

DiamondHearts
05-24-09, 06:41 PM
Calling Muslims terrorists and liars is not done with immunity hundreds of times in this forum.


Look in the posts on Islamic topics, you will see a trend.

I don't know you, so I am not passing judgment on you. I am referring to the general trend I see on this forum.

StrangerInAStrangeLa
05-24-09, 07:42 PM
I must prove your ridiculous claim???

scifes
05-25-09, 03:48 AM
yup, that's what you always ask for..

swarm
05-25-09, 07:14 AM
why are you so mean??

Indicators of a delusion

The following can indicate a delusion:[2]

The patient expresses an idea or belief with unusual persistence or force.
That idea appears to exert an undue influence on his or her life, and the way of life is often altered to an inexplicable extent.
Despite his/her profound conviction, there is often a quality of secretiveness or suspicion when the patient is questioned about it.
The individual tends to be humorless and oversensitive, especially about the belief.
There is a quality of centrality: no matter how unlikely it is that these strange things are happening to him, the patient accepts them relatively unquestioningly.
An attempt to contradict the belief is likely to arouse an inappropriately strong emotional reaction, often with irritability and hostility.
The belief is, at the least, unlikely.
The patient is emotionally over-invested in the idea and it overwhelms other elements of his psyche.
The delusion, if acted out, often leads to behaviors which are abnormal and/or out of character, although perhaps understandable in the light of the delusional beliefs.
Individuals who know the patient will observe that his belief and behavior are uncharacteristic and alien.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusional_disorder

Perhaps we should have a Mecca syndrome:

The Mecca syndrome is a group of mental phenomena involving the presence of either religiously themed obsessive ideas, delusions or other psychosis-like experiences that are triggered by, or lead to, a visit to the city of Mecca.
Based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_syndrome