Evil in the Eye of the Beholder?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Guyute, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,779
    Mephurio:
    Well, slap the bitch back to life again. Watch this:

    Jan:
    Your mother's so short she cuffs her panties.

    Kidding.

    Conclusive nonsense based on illusions.................hmmmm.....have you not been doing that? Psychological absolutes always are just that. And is that not what you've been doing, Jan? You've made it indispensible that certainties exists in this world, and the whole fucking world is subject to how a small few classify them.


    Definitive nonsense is what's evil.


    Love,

    Gendandruff
     
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  3. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

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    JAN: (I am finally getting back to you.)

    YOUR WORDS: Perception? Yes. But the perception is one of illusion.

    I GIVE YOU: Illusion = a false idea or conception, something misleading, unreal. ..///...Perception = The mental grasp of objects, (and so forth) through the senses; insight or intuition; the knowledge, etc., obtained by perceiving.

    Oftentimes, we believe what makes us the most comfortable.

    YOUR WORDS: I would agree that 'evil' does not rest 'naturally' within the individual, but can reside within the perception the individual has of themselves in relation to the world they inhabit. The point that it does not reside naturally within the individual is a good indicator that it can be fully understood, one only has to understand ones individual self in order to discriminate.

    ME: ....I find it somewhat common in such discussions for opposing beliefs to be belittled by applying some kind of psychological reasons for difference of opinion. Therefore, in all due respect to you, I would challenge that to understand something one must first acknowledge that it exists.
    >Secondly, you say: “one only has to understand ones individual self in order to discriminate.” This sounds as though you do not believe “it can be understood,” or “that it exists;” otherwise, your two statements contradict. Because, unless I am misunderstanding you, it seems that you would challenge anyone who perceived evil --to look within his or herself, and find out what psychological reason(s) caused them to entertain such an idea in the first place.

    ME: I cannot, nor would I even try, to prove to you that there is evil. You do not like the idea, and I am convinced that evil cannot be proven to you with my words.
    YOUR WORDS: To me, evil is not the poisoned gas, but the intention of the user of the poisoned gas. The fact that the gas is poisonous to some beings is purely natural.

    ME: ..I was giving an analogy, not a facsimile. Many natural things are harmful, so where are you going with that? Many things that can be harmful are not necessary so, if confined, but that was not my point. My point is that whether or not I perceive that poisonous gas is present, it can do damage to me. I was saying: just because one cannot know something is, by senses, does not mean that it does not exist or is not already commencing its damage.

    YOUR WORDS: To me, evil is not the poisoned gas, but the intention of the user of the poisoned gas. The fact that the gas is poisonous to some beings is purely natural.

    ME: ..The intention of the user??? Come on! I have to wonder if you have ever read St. Augustine’s take on the parable of the Good Samaritan. Not that I am always so cool, but you really took the poison gas away from the simple comparison I was making to what-seemed-like defending its existence.

    ME: ...I understand that you think individuals more or less dream up this “evil” of which we speak. A direct statement to that effect would be okay. You have every right to your opinion, and to think that I have no basis for mine, and that is no big problem to me, but adding all that stuff, and leaving it hanging, really serves no purpose.

    YOU SAID: Again, i need to know what you regard as evil to put foreward a response.

    ME: …I say (said), I think it is a destructive force. So, let me say this: It can work in the heart of man, yes. It is an absence of good. Evil is that which we ignore until we are consumed with, or in the middle of, all manner of wickedness.

    I read a lot of history, especially the really old stuff, and have noted the spiritual decay, the slowly consuming “thing” that takes away all civil concern for humanity, that restlessness that cannot eat enough, drink enough, kill enough, torture enough. You must know there is evil. Perhaps you have another word for it.

    Evil is something always available if we wish to find it. It gets into those who would speak for God, act for God, maim and kill for God. It plundered and raped, it took horses and men to their death. It drained water sources, food sources; it wasted the lands it drove its murdering thugs through. Time and again -in not just one country, it not only took children from parents and sold them, but it tried to kill the human spirit and rob it of all dignity.

    Evil worked its gruesome deeds through superstition and fear, until it burned people alive at stakes; it fed Christians to Lions; it called Jews Christ killers, and martyred them in the name of God; in the name of Hitler, it tormented and demeaned, through those who had succumbed to its powers, until they harbored all manner of corrupt thoughts, and damning deeds. The instruments that evil used, mostly did not commence with any intention of doing mean things, and certainly could not admit that they were serving evil. No, the force of evil grew, and one deed led to a worse deed.

    People let themselves be deceived by their own hearts, and did evil. Yes, they did. In reading history, one could scarcely recall how a leader was in his first days, because of his hardened heart, vile dispositions, and lack of remorse for his horrendous deed, in their last days. And, not only did they do evil things, but they encouraged, and even ordered others to do the same, or maybe worse, and then gloried in the blood shed and the destruction of yet another community. They gave little thought to the ruin they caused as those who were still able to, rode home with their spoils

    I STILL HOLD THIS TO BE TRUTH: WITH ALL MY HEART, I BELIEVE THAT IT IS BETTER TO RECOGNIZE EVIL AS SOMETHING REAL, THAN TO CLOSE VIRGIN EYES, OR WISK AWAY THE THOUGHT OF IT WITH FANCY PHRASES CONSIDERED POSSIBLY MORE INTELLECTUAL THAN BELIEVING THAT THERE IS SUCH A THING.

    IN A NUTSHELL: Evil is something that overcomes the good in us.

    The best of everything to you, Jan. You presented quite a challenge. … PMT
     
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  5. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    PMT,

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Whose belittling?
    I think we should start from the definitions given in dictionaries as to what ‘evil’ is.

    [url]http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary[/url]

    Websters; 1 a : morally reprehensible : 3 a : causing harm…etc, etc…
    To put it down to “in the eye of the beholder” is either stupid, dangerous or ignorant, either way is not born of reality.

    Obviously!

    That is in response to your statement; “I am convinced that evil is real, but does not rest in individuals, but a culmination of factors mixed with something that you or I do not fully understand.” I am in no doubt that evil exists, whether I like it or not.

    No. Just to understand what evil is.

    Can you prove anything to me by words without my approval.

    What does this have to do with what evil is, and whether or not it is only in the eye of the beholder?

    Then your understanding is wrong. I believe evil is a consequence of a persons actions, that has been my stance all along. The idea that evil is only in the eye of the beholder, to me, is a nonsensical illusion. If you think I’m wrong then please state why. That is the whole purpose of this dialogue. Is it not?

    So, to you, destruction itself is evil?
    Okay!

    How does ‘destruction’ get itself into the heart of man?

    Do you regard ‘good’ as ‘construction’?

    What do you regard as ‘wickedness’? And how does wickedness manifest itself in the heart of man?

    As I stated above I am fully convinced that ‘evil’ exists.

    Do you think evil is a separate entity, separate to man and his desires?

    Thanks!
    I hope I have.

    Love

    Jan Ardena.
     
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  7. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Instead of perpetually vomiting nonsense directly into an oncoming gale-force wind, why don't you put your brain to good use and explain how evil is not a purposely harmful act by one person (human) to (an)other living being(s), for ones own selfish reasons, with no care, compassion or empathy, and how it is only in the eye of the beholder, and therefore evil if one says so.

    And are you not doing the same by suggesting that certainties do not exist?


    Look the word up in the dictionary, you will find my definition concurs with at least part of their definitions.


    Love,

    Jan Ardena.
     
  8. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    574
    JAN: ……………………………………………………………………………………………..Perhaps I should have said that sometimes we MORE READILY ACCEPT (rather than believe), what is most comfortable to us.
    ………………………………………………………

    Evil & Wickedness

    FROM YOU:
    /> quote:

    Because, unless I am misunderstanding you, it seems that you would challenge anyone who perceived evil --to look within his or herself, and find out what psychological reason(s) caused them to entertain such an idea in the first place.

    AND YOU ANSWERED: No. Just to understand what evil is. >>>

    THEN I WOULD HAVE TO DISAGREE
    I HAVE LEARNED WHAT EVIL IS THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE OF LIFE. IF THERE IS ANYTHING I LEARNED WITHOUT PARTICULARY CARING TO, IT IS TO RECOGNIZE EVIL, BUT THEN I DO NOT DEFINE EVIL AS ONE PERSON DOING SOMETHING BAD TO ANOTHER. TO ME IT IS FAR MORE DANGEROUS AND ENCOMPASSING THAN THAT. NOR DO I CONCERN MYSELF MUCH, BECAUSE IT CAN BE OVERCOME WITH GOOD. I MIGHT COMPARE THIS WITH A DELAPIDATED SHIP. ONCE I KNOW THAT IT IS A WRECK AND UNSAFE, ALL I NEED TO DO IS STAY AWAY FROM IT.
    ………………………………………………………………………………..
    /> YOU WROTE: Can you prove anything to me by words without my approval.

    Answer: BINGO! ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    /> What does this have to do with what evil is, and whether or not it is only in the eye of the beholder?

    NOTHING! IT HAS ONLY TO DO WITH YOUR OPINION THAT POISONOUS GAS IS NOT ALWAYS A BAD THING, OR SOMETHING TO THAT EFFECT, WHICH HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE POINT I WAS MAKING. I WAS SIMPLY ATTEMPTING TO HALT YOUR PROLIFERATION, before the poison gas asphyxiated us. (Anyway, I think you already knew the answer to that one.)
    …………………………………………………………………..
    /> Then your understanding is wrong. I believe evil is a consequence of a persons actions, that has been my stance all along. The idea that evil is only in the eye of the beholder, to me, is a nonsensical illusion. If you think I’m wrong then please state why. That is the whole purpose of this dialogue. Is it not?

    IF YOU SAY SO , but so far as evil being “a consequence of a persons actions,” I have to tell you that this statement leaves far too much unsaid. First of all, “actions” would be defined. Further, as my definition of evil is quite the opposite; that is, a person’s actions is the consequence of evil, -when there is evil.
    A good short definition of what evil is, was given in my last message; that is, evil is what overcomes the good in us, but even then I seem to need to emphasize the word “overcomes,” because one wrong deed is just that, a wrong deed. In fact, there can be many wrong deeds in the absence of evil; however, when that which is good in us is overcome with evil; we have laid good aside.

    Example: Warmongers, such as many of those who robbed, tortured, and killed to “purify” Germany. Their hearts hardened, their consciences seared, their deed evil! They resisted any good left in themselves,, so they could despise and destroy with no remorse. The more they did, the worse they became, until their wickedness was so hideous that they hated even themselves. Later, some could not explain what had come over them. Once the war was over and the frenzy was only a memory, they felt hopelessly damaged by that awful war, and some were. What a shame that was, -that they should let themselves be convinced that what they were doing was a good thing for Germany, or was a good thing at all. ……………………………………………………………………………………………
    /> How does ‘destruction’ get itself into the heart of man?

    YOU TELL ME! ………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    /> So, to you, destruction itself is evil?
    Okay!

    WAIT A MINUTE..... If I say that a hurricane is a destructive force, you would surely not say, “So, to you, destruction itself is a hurricane. Of course not, nor did I say that destruction is evil, but that evil is a destructive force. I also believe that hate is a destructive force. However, to raze a building, one would not use hate or evil, nor would they be inclined to wait for a hurricane, but we cannot deny that razing a building is destructive, can we? ………………………………………………….

    /> Do you regard ‘good’ as ‘construction’?

    Do you mean constructive? If so, in what way?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    MY STATEMENT, prev. msg.: You must know there is evil. Perhaps you have another word for it.

    AND YOUR RESPONSE WAS: /> As I stated above I am fully convinced that ‘evil’ exists.

    This was not clear to me at first; and yet, you seemed far too bright and too interested in the subject for me to believe that you denied the existence of evil. Now, you have made it clear that you do believe there is—what you define as evil, but we still seem not to be speaking of the same thing.
    Not to gag on semantics, but we do differ in definition. I was sincere when I suggested that you might be calling—what I call “evil”—by another name. I am still thinking this might be a possibility. I find the “evil” of which you speak, too simple to be compatible with that dastardly force that deceives, consumes and often destroys. ……………………………………………………

    /> What do you regard as ‘wickedness’? And how does wickedness manifest itself in the heart of man?

    I am not answering that at this time. If you simply have a problem with the term—which I doubt—put it into words, and then I will be happy to exchange thoughts on the matter, if you still care to. ……………………………………………………
    /> Do you think evil is a separate entity, separate to man and his desires?

    This would depend upon the man.
    ……………………………………………………………….

    I have sat here too long. Have a great weekend. PMT
     
  9. Guyute Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
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    gendanken
    The Gargammel (3,386 posts)

    11-30-03, 03:10 PM
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    Mephurio:

    As far as i am concerned, this thing is dead.






    And so it shall be.
     
  10. kriminal99 Registered Senior Member

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    292
    theres no such thing as evil... its funny really, we go nuts over people doing selfish things like stealing while in the meantime we hack up animals and eat them.... If anything is evil hairless monkeys like us not knowing that we truly are just animals is it.
     
  11. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    454
    mmm i think things just are. then we call them things. somethings work, other things dont work so well. or..some thoughts and actions follow a productive logic others can be very misguided. it depends on perspective. i say there is no evil or good. another perspective says there is evil and good. certainly both perspectives can be correct... from their local points of veiw. in a way each and every person has different ideas of what this reality we share is made of and is all about. apparently, almost infinate veiws on reality can co-exist. i wonder why we are so bent on trying to decide on what veiws are ultimately correct?
     
  12. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    9,844
    But what you just said is correct. That's basically my thousands of words in this damned thread in many, many less words. To me, that's exactly moral relativism. It's just annotating the structure of the system, this fits into that depending on how you're looking at it, since this and that are all in your head. Stating "there is an objective moral code" is simply incorrect since it dissallows that other valid perspectives exist. Obviously as you just showed, they do. YOURS can be right for you, but that doesn't mean other's aren't right for them: Moral relativism.

    It's precedented by the inescapable subjective value.
     
  13. kriminal99 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    292
    Heres the problems with the "too each his own" philosophy type. It isn't that both views are right, its just that sometimes you don't have enough information to find out which is right and which is wrong and therefore resort to arguing in circles until they give up and say "to each his own". To actually figure anything out when you don't have enough information you have to break down what it is you are looking at to a simpler level, with the simplest level not being quantum physics but rather sense perception.

    In this example I believe the information to solve the problem of weather or not there is good or evil is there, its just most people aren't willing to look that far in depth for it. In this case the concept of evil seems to me simply to be a mechanism for the mind to force us to resort to anger when we might otherwise sympathize with someone or something that would take advantage of us.

    Evil is just a propaganda term that we throw anyone into that we don't understand and who intentionally pisses us off. What many people who speak of evil don't realize is that they are simultaneously behaving in the exact same fashion as they would categorize as evil were they in the other person's shoes. If you were suddenly placed in the body of a murderer on trial and saw the look on the face and the behavior of the cops, the family of the victim etc, you would be unable to distinguish this behavior from any other attitude you would consider evil. What you may not realize is while you think the murderer started it by killing someone, it may very well be that this murderer has dealt with "evil" people all his life that drove him to kill someone. IE he didn't start it, society did and to the murderer he is the righteous one. But you don't have to resort to observing such an extreme case to see this, in the most simple cases where anger is involved on both sides, both sides think they are righteous and the other is morally in the wrong.

    If you want to hold that the acts themselves are evil, then to be truthful your view is flawed. To do this you either have to claim that only physical acts matter, or that while mental anguish is the mainstay of evil only terrible acts such as murder provide enough anguish to qualify as evil.

    If mental anguish is not related to evil then why should physical acts be considered evil? If you chop off someones leg they can still get around just fine. At most it might produce a slight reduction in their efficiency, but then some people start off handicapped that way (ie just being short). If thats all that was meant by evil it could be righted simply by having the offender pay for the difference in economic efficiency of the victim. In reality it is the emotions that occur as a result of these physical acts which are considered the result of an evil act.

    And are traditionally evil acts the only ones that can result in extreme mental anguish? No... Some people can make your life miserable without even doing anything society considers wrong. A girlfriend can dump you for instance and never talk to you again.
     
  14. TheHeretic Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    171
    whats good? whats bad? "Its all Relative"
     
  15. Mephura Applesauce, bitch... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,065
    Why the hell is this thread still alive???
     
  16. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    454

    i think all the things youre describing here are after the fact. things just are. at the point before we convert experience into language and concepts, there is no evil, no right or wrong. things just are. then we call them things, then we work them into concepts and fit them into language and terms and logics, and validations and justifications. but before all the conceptualizing. evil is a concept fitted to an event. same for good. it doesnt exist until it is a concept that we create to layer over an event.
     
  17. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    454
    but at some point youre correct as well, which in turns illustrates i guess..
     
  18. Lord_Phoenix New World Order Registered Senior Member

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    123
    This topic is closely related to the topic I posted up "What is right or wrong?"
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2005
  19. kriminal99 Registered Senior Member

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    292
    Yes I agree, and if you simply limit the definition of evil to be the target of our emotions when we feel angry and self righteous then noone can dispute that it "exists" because we concieved of it simply to name a real world event.

    However as we do with all our definitions causing us all kinds of confusion we do not limit them as such... People add to the definition of evil all kinds of connotations and make all kinds of generalizations. People are always evil or not they don't just get angry and do bad things sometimes... Evil people deserve to burn in hell... Evil people would commit all kinds of detrimental acts if they could get away with it. ...and all kinds of other unjustified attributes.

    It all comes down to the generality problem of induction... One person who pissed you off did this so probably all people will, so just add that to the definition of evil... This person makes you mad every time you see him so make evil a permenant attribute... etc

    I don't know why it was bumped but whats the difference between posting here and just starting a new thread. Just because you don't want to talk about something anymore doesn't mean the subject has "dried up"
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2005
  20. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,574
    Haha, yes!
    You should be ashamed, fag.

    Obviously evil is in the eye of the beholder, all the things that people are claiming are objectively evil weren't considered evil at all untill jews came along.
    We just happen to live under jew rule, and be the products of jew ruled breeding strains.
    So we have their unique little faggy moral code ingrained into us, washing our brains.

    Everyone in the whole thread, both sides, are so jewed up you can taste it (it's kind of a gross sweatty nervous flavour).
    There seems to be this agreement that harming others is wrong "but what if like they're harming some other guy" haha.

    Not harming others could concievably be just as wrong, jews were victimised so consistently as social groups that they developed a jew-wide empathy. They had no need for harming others to be acceptable as they weren't competent enough to harm others anyway. All they knew was that everyone kept harming them because they were such weak pathetic losers, so they decided harming others in general was a bad thing.
    Gee, what a surprise, hardly a biased stance there.

    But because they dropped all territoriality and adopted a moral code which loaned itself to unnatural degrees of cooperation, they ironically grew "strong" in their own cute little way.
    And because the slavery concept was keeping inferior organisms alive longer than they by rights should have been kept alive, all these millions of pathetic subs were catching word of this lovely concept where it was wrong for people to harm others, naturally it was appealing to them being so regularly on the bad end of harming(on account of being douchebags).
    And so jewey-christianness eventually took over.
    And thats what we live under today.

    It's all on a very delicate foundation to say the least.
     
  21. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    9,844
    "Obviously evil is in the eye of the beholder"

    I mean, where else could it be? Well, the brain I guess... but close enough.

    It's fucked up to me that people believe it comes the consequences of their sky-daddy, something they made up.... instead of you know, the fucking obvious. Skirting responsibility to hold themselves responsibile to something they made up, that's fucked up.
     
  22. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    i agree. thats why im pretty focused on words and concept being a corruption. never exactly true. sure they describe real world events sometimes, but that just reduces the reality of whatever to the size and shape of the definition. it wouldnt be so bad if everyone realize what language is and is for, but for most people and still myself, tho im trying, our world is made of language and concepts. weve labeled everything thruout our lives and eventually added concepts to our labels. we reference our " knowing of things" by way of memories back to when we were taught or learned our labels and from then one the added concepts and emotions weve attached as we reexperience the things. all in all a very chancy way to process the world as well as it is just false. things are not their labels. a tree isnt a fucking tree. it just is. its HUGE when you dont say" uh huh.its a tree. so?"

    side note: im making good progress by now in my life with not using internal dialogue and language so much to reprocess my world. language is great til you get the hang of things, but once you know something, it can be simply cognitive. that opens the field of experience up tremendously as labels and concepts define their object's very limits. or at least the implied percieved and mostly agreed upon limits (without really needing to really look at it) huh?
    what does this have to do with there being evil or not? well we can contrast concepts and ideas until forever, and still were not looking at anything but words and our ideas of how the words translate into concocted imagery and so on. not real. we need to get out more and really look at things. heh. ill drive
     
  23. §outh§tar is feeling caustic Registered Senior Member

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    4,832
    Dr Lou,

    What's the best solution to your Jewish problem?
     

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