epistemontology

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Onefinity, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

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    I like Mary Parker Follett's definition of evil, which is very generalizable: "Evil is non-relation." It results from objectification (of self, of others, of world), which is what invites people to do destructive things. Of course, this can be seen going back to the beginning of known history. It's just that in recent history, through a combination of things like Cartesian duality and the Industrial Revolution and consumerism and fundamentalism and vast gaps of wealth, human-caused bad things happen on a more massive scale - genocide, high rates of extinction & loss of natural habitats, wars that kill hundreds of thousands to millions (and still the potential danger of nuclear war), etc. etc.

    But the flip side of the coin (or the sword) is more people than ever have more opportunity to become educated and to have a chance to participate in governance, health care is better than ever; there is more interaction than ever between individuals and ideas and cultures to create new diversities and frontiers; interconnectedness.

    I see both of these as an inevitable spiraling upward of the stakes. It's part of the adventure played out. What exciting times to live in! If you are doing something that feels like part of the epic, at least. But the outcome is, I think, knowable - not as specific form, but as pattern. We need only to look at the breathing...1-->2-->1-->2-->...
     
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  3. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Onefinity:

    The problem with such a definition of evil, is that it assumes that destruction is, fundementally, evil. All creation requires destruction, does it not? The old adage of the necessity of cracking a few eggs to make an omlette seems to be in play here.
     
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  5. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

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    I don't think that it assumes that destruction is fundamentally evil.
     
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  7. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    The notion that it "invites people to do destructive things", seems to indicate a general evil to destruction, no? Also, isn't even an "evil relation" a relation?
     
  8. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

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    An evil relation is a non-relation wrapped in a relation. For example, a father and son have a relation, regardless of the nature of it. But if the father beats his son, he - in that context, at least - objectifies him, and that, although it is a relation in terms of person-object, is a non-relation in terms of humans. So relations/non-relations are wrapped up in contexts of relations/non-relations.

    As far as people doing destructive things, there can be much non-relation going on there (see above in terms of disconnectedness), but construction men can also tear down a building that is decrepit, and that would be different.
     
  9. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Onefinity:

    How is it necessarily objectifying someone to treat them poorly?

    So then the notion of non-relation is not -necessarily- part of it?
     
  10. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

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    It's very hard to treat a co-subject poorly, but easy to treat an object (of your love, of your hate, of your envy) poorly.
     
  11. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Onefinity:

    How do you figure? A person is just a person, what makes them special and deserving of not being treated poorly?
     
  12. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

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    I'm afraid that question is beyond the scope of this thread. Consult family, friends, neighbors, and your own heart. It's a question like that which makes you sound young indeed. Not young like 8, because that's not old enough to have been so disenchanted with people. It's more like the stage one finds at 17-24 or so, for some. Not that that's a bad thing, for there is a time for all seasons. I love you, man!
     
  13. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Onefinity:

    The problem, again, is not really one of age, I'd envision, but more a matter of not being so willing to place subjective value as an objective thing. I may love, for instance, my family, friends, et cetera, but I cannot claim that this love is something else but a subjective feeling and these people aren't really that "special" and must be "treated well". I treat them well because it serves my own values, and it benefits me subjectively to do so, whilst at the same time recognizing such.
     
  14. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    I'm trying to figure out what you're thinking here, so if you don't mind... where exactly was subjective value placed as an objective thing? I'm just tryign to understand how you're framing this.

    I think his point was that if you are the subject and see someone else as also subject, it's difficult to treat yourself badly in terms of what you consider to be bad, thus you don't treat them badly. If however, you see them as an object, not relating to them as subject, then your manner of treatment towards them is that of total lacking empathy, if only in a particular context. I don't understand why you seem to think that's claiming anything but the subjective.

    Hopefully I haven't clouded the issue. Hopefully I'll be corrected if I've misinterpreted something.
     
  15. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Wesmorris:

    The value of human lives being, in and of themselves, incapable of being construed as worth destroying or non-relating to, precisely because they are humans, or "co-subjects". I view this as being rooted in the value of human life.

    If I see someone as subject, I can still treat them poorly if that is how I wish to treat them like. Their humanity, or subjecthood, does not stop one really from doing as one wills to them. This is what I am claiming is subjective.
     

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