Evil in the Eye of the Beholder?

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

  1. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    12,112
    VossistArts,

    Would you agree that causing harm to others perniciously, lies at the heart of the definition of 'evil'?

    The point is, the nature of the act commited, was at the level defined as evil. That the person was very ignorant or had some mental illness is besides the point.

    I try to look at it for what it is, rather than take one particular viewpoint or perspective.

    In my opinion the word informs me of the level of mentality of a person or act.

    So the act of sending fingers of kidnapped children through the post to taunt the parents should not be directly seen as 'evil' as that would be too reactionary?
    So what would your instant reaction be?
    And what would it be if it were your kidnapped childrens fingers?

    What do you mean "what wed like to call evil?"
    I think it is clear to state that some actions are just plain evil by any standard, if you go by the essential definition of evil, which is why there is a common understanding of what 'evil' is.

    Are you suggesting that only the people who get caught, and the public are aware of, are evil?

    Thank you.
    Peace to you.

    Jan Ardena.
     
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  3. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    Holy christ, JESUS.

    This thread still up?
    Don't you ever get sick of arguing the nature of evil, Jan?

    14 pages so far, the madness must end!
    Look at your language- rather the way you eat yourself for every sentence you use to talk about evil, evil, EEEVIL.
    So far, 'common' and 'perniciously'

    If you can't detach yourself enough from that buring desire you have to label things 'evil', you'll forever itch with a need to do so.

    You evil/good people are religious manges/stds.

    What's this 'common' understanding?

    It also lies at the heart of ferral cats and driver ants.
    They're evil?
     
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  5. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    What was this thread again? Oh yeah "is evil in the eye of the beholder?". Of course it is. I dont hold evil to be a thing like Jan choses to do. What more does one need to answer this? Evil is a word that is explained by a concept that is supposed to represent a tangible thing. Nothing we have a name for is the name. A tree isnt a tree. It is what it is as in "things just are", then we call them things. I think the fact that we can argue what evil is illustrates the conclusion. Evil is a concept. Its without substance and its been created by and maintained as a word by people and it exists in our minds and voices. You cant argue a person killing another person away. You can argue to keep or discard a concept like evil because it is without substance beyond the sound when make when we intonate...

    heh like my echo?
     
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  7. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    Agree me this then, oh my brother:

    Personality as product of what person agrees and disagrees with.
    Agreement means good.
    Disagreement as not good.

    The existence of both entities- agreement and disagreement- are the sole acts by which problems are made possible.
    Therefore, the labels we use are innocent but become problems when handled by personalities.

    And since you cannot have an argument without personality
    and personality the products of what the person agrees and disagrees with and all persons agreeing and disagreeing to their wont,
    these problems are unsolvable becuase there is no problem.

    Mammals like dolphins think in terms of symbols as well, and none lose sleep over their apparently 'evil' abuse or 'pernicious harm' (Jan's phrase for Evil) towards a porpoise for the fun of it.
     
  8. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    Interesting way of putting it and I agree. In the context of personalities coming to terms on whether a label is appropriate or not, you have possible outcomes : agreement , disagreement, or submission.

    I wonder though, if two dolphins were hassling a third, and a fourth swam by and considered what it was seeing, it might agree and partake in the fun, it might submit that its acceptable behavior for the two even if not for itself and swim on, but might it not also disagree and insert itself between the two and the one in protest?
    I think the issue is partly in consideration of the act or actuality, certainly it is an issue for all perceiving parties concerned, but at this point its pretty well all individually internalized and its not absolutely necessary that anyone communicate their feeling about the thing in order for them each to decide how to approach it. When the idea to act “civilized” occurs to them the need for communication and consensus arises whereby language and concepts are utilized to re-create the event symbolically (with words and concepts) and it becomes much more convoluted. Perhaps tho language in the long run in this kind of situation would seem to be the better course to use for settling matters when an active (or non-active) response choice is indicated because obviously without it (language communication) each person will just do what they feel tuned to do. One might want to accept and promote the thing, the other might be indifferent and the other still might opt nonacceptance and prevention of the thing in which case the accepting party and the non accepting party will clash. Somehow I think that short of communication this confrontation will be boiled down to a physical confrontation, the stronger of the two deciding the outcome. There is a slightly better chance of avoiding this settling it with language IF both parties agree on terms, and if both consider a clear logical proof for either side to be the ultimate deciding factor on what to do about it. But then, as we still see in abundance today around the world, philosophy is not reality when someone decides its not.
    I don’t have any issue with using language and concepts to an extent. I think it important that as humans we somehow learn to use them only as one possible tool or perspective for processing the world, and that the more honest and direct approach of pure consciousness perceiving /grievingly be utilized too in things.
    Jan and I both agree that what we’re talking about here is unacceptable (the acts were discussing as an example of evil or not) . this too tells me that the idea of it being evil or not is ultimately unnecessary and only complicates things by implying that the thing is even more unacceptable than the standard nonacceptance we hold it as being. In my opinion especially concerning the word/idea evil, it was created to be used to facilitate being immediately rid of a thing or an act without consideration for what it might really be or be a result of by way of any given personalities feeling towards it and calling it evil. Of course we all have to generally agree that evil things are super-bad and as such its acceptable to eradicate them without debate or consideration, but I don’t agree because I think that that is dangerous and only really propagates ignorance and further injustice.

    Man did that last bit make sense (I meant for it to)? am i wrong?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    oh and I re-read this and I had spelled ignorance incorrectly. Funny huh.
     
  9. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    6,442
    It is not about "losing sleep" over evil. It is about how to defend yourself from evil.

    Since we can't just go and fight with fists (hit a fucker picking on you and it is you who goes to jail), we have to have *verbal* arguments, non-fist arguments to defend ourselves. We find ourselves having to *justify* our actions -- and this is where the whole discussion about evil comes in. And in order to be able present any justification (of the kind that is accepted by society and laws), one needs an established and intellectually defendable moral system; evil being a concept in that moral system.

    Dolphins don't have to justify their actions.
     
  10. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    454

    people dont need to justify their actions either unfortunately. some trade that bit in for whatever the consequences might be.
     
  11. Jenyar Solar flair Valued Senior Member

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    3,833
    That already depends on your moral framework: whether you think justice is a norm, or just an alternative lifestyle. Of course, it's hard to justify justice as a standard if you don't believe in the authority that defines and enforces it.
     
  12. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    9,686
    No. Green Peace does that for them. When they don't just ignore their iniquities, that is.
     
  13. water the sea Registered Senior Member

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    And what happens with these people?
     
  14. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    12,112
    gendanken,

    Of what type of act is refered to as evil.
    For example sending fingers of kidnapped children through the post to taunt the parents. You may not see that as evil, but i'm quite sure you understand why it is described as evil.

    VossistArts,

    What is the concept?

    In the same way, to see the word 'tree' as purely relative without even trying to understand the concept, would be seen as not intelligent even though we have the capacity to. When we understand the concept then we know what 'tree' means, and there is no reason to toy with the word. Why isn't the "concept" of evil understood in the same way?

    That is a weak argument because we can discard any concept we like as no word has any substance beyond what we choose to give it. But what's the point of that?


    Aren't all words?

    You never answered my questions.

    Jan Ardena.
     
  15. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    454
    What is the concept?

    the concept is its definition, what the word is supposed to mean.

    In the same way, to see the word 'tree' as purely relative without even trying to understand the concept, would be seen as not intelligent even though we have the capacity to. When we understand the concept then we know what 'tree' means, and there is no reason to toy with the word. Why isn't the "concept" of evil understood in the same way?

    what we call a tree.. isnt a tree. it isnt its label and it isnt it definition. it just is. the label and the concept are created in mind by people to symbolize or represent their perception of what were calling a tree. you agree that symbols are not what they symbolize? a representitive is not what it represents? and there is good reason to toy with any word because labels arent what theyre attached to. when you see a thing you call a name without calling it its name or the memories or concepts you associate as being the thing, then you see it for what it is.

    That is a weak argument because we can discard any concept we like as no word has any substance beyond what we choose to give it. But what's the point of that?

    the point of that is to see things just as they are because concepts are corruption in the sense that we take them to be the thing they describe and they are not the thing. the way you like to use labels and concepts your consideration of a thing labeled and defined by concepts doesnt even need to be present for you to believe youre experiencing it.. or just as good as experiencing to the point where you think you can examine it thru debate and logic.. and etc .. and that thinking false. you cant know a thing unless your experiencing. its like delusion. the bottom line probably is that because of the exclusive use of language to represent reality we dont even look at the reality once we feel we have it " covered" with language. this too is thinking in error.im not going to explain why again. if you havent got it perhaps i cant explain it. dunno



    Aren't all words?

    You never answered my questions.

    Jan Ardena.[/QUOTE]
     
  16. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    How about we try it this way jan, tell us what evil is to you. Can you do it without siting examples? Can you show what it is without examples? Does its definition somehow illustrate what it is? Also, explain why you find the use of the word evil necessary or indispencible if you see it like that way. How is using the word/idea evil more useful or approapriate than is the defining statement chose to use, highly misguided?

    My stance in answer to the question this thread poses is yes, evil is something you chose to see or not. it is in the eye of the beholder. it doesnt exist outside of our thoughts as anything but spoken opinion. it is not different from saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder. yes it is. or truth, again in the eye of the beholder. i could go on. concepts are real or not real depending on who you talk to, but i cant help but thinking if either choice is possible than the not true side wins it because its disputable. unlike you and i standing in front of a big rock. we dont need to agree to call it rock or communicate what we think of it for both of us to be plainly aware that there is this thing before us. if you cant demonstate your concept as something that is apparent without speaking of it.. then its not real or rather actual
    in my opinion.
     
  17. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    4,779
    Water:
    No, its about using the term "evil"
    Half you people go around with 'intellectually defendable moral systems" proclaiming this as good and that evil, oh so “objectively" defending one factor in lieu of another never once stopping to analyze why you do so.

    You like to tell yourselves that your ethic is built around an objective deduced from fact and reason, you sit down to your little notepads or keyboards or fester in conversations worldwide to justify your notions of "selfless" logic.

    But no, your whole ethic is smeared with Ego and self-interest my dears- what you call good is in your favor.
    What's not, you term evil.

    If for no other reason, this is why you 'defend' yourself from it.

    Years ago, in Long Island a black man gets on a subway and kills 5 people.
    I was living in NY then- I suffered the plague of interviews and talk shows on this one woman who because of her husband being killed became an activist for gun restriction.

    All her life, this woman sat through movies and documentaries filled with blood and violence, she sat through the evening news a good third of her life filled with murder, suicide, and warfare.

    Yet all this was a general malaise she took for granted and Evil was more the biblical sorcery of Lucifer than it was the material simplicity of a gun.

    But oh noo, now that its become personal, now that its gotten her in her home, she's built an 'intellectually defendable moral system' where the central player and nemesis, Lucifer himself, is a 9 mm Luger.


    All you people here would wretch at the thought of eating human flesh, bet Jan condemns at as evil, but let me starve the girl to the brink of death and we’ll see if her "intellectually, defendable moral system" up and contradicts itself.

    Vossiarts:
    Which would be the reasoning behing behing civilized.


    Says Freud:
    “If the attempt (Gend: to regulate men’s relations with each other) were not made, the relationships would be subject to the arbitrary will of the individual; that is to say, the physically stronger man would decide them in the sense of his own interest and instinctual impulses….”

    Imagine Arnold running the whooooole fucking world.

    Then please tell her to shut up.
     
  18. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

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    401
    I like Mary Parker Follett's succinct and general definition of evil: "Evil is non-relation." In all instances of what is called "evil" in human affairs, or in environmental damage, etc. etc., there is either lack of or destruction of relation.

    This holds true even in the case of an abusive relation, and here is how: say a father beats his son. Some say this is a relation, and it is evil, thus my argument is bunk. However, it is actually a non-relation wrapped in a relation. That is, there is a PHYSICAL relation as between two objects - father treating son as an object of anger - but it is related to, and partly a result of, a lack of relation between the two people, as co-subjects.

    Evil is non-relation. Try this definition on for size.
     
  19. selfeducated1 Registered Senior Member

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