What is your definition of evil?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by akoreamerican, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    Ok you've convinced me, trump is evil.
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    It was not my intention to convince you of the content of your own previous statement.
    My intention was to persuade you to examine the reason and logic of your own statement.
    As a minor point of fact, although I have facetiously called him an evil clown, I don't believe that he is evil. I believe he has the intellect and social skills of an overindulged three-year-old, exacerbated by delusions of grandeur and possibly senile dementia.
     
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  5. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    I will thank you all the same, as you have helped me put another doubt to rest in my mind.

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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    any time!
     
  8. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    How can there be too much altruism? If anything, there is not enough altruism in the world.
     
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    In the world, we could use a lot more.
    Kind of like blood and organ donations.
    But it really wouldn't be good for the donors if the 'more' came from the same people who already give as much as they safely can.
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Generally, sure. But we were talking about specific acts. The assertion was that specific acts of selfishness are evil. They're not, necessarily.

    If one doesn't take the time to look after oneself sufficiently, that can have consequences.
    • If you are in a busy train station during the morning crush, and you hold the door open for literally everyone, you will quite possibly miss your train.
    • When the cabin pressure on a plane drops, and oxygen masks deploy, if you try to put someone else's mask on first (say, your children), you may pass out, risking both your lives. That's why they tell you to put your own on first.
    • If you are lost in a desert, and there's too little water to go around, so you give it all away... etc.
    The Social Contract is a balance - between looking out for others, and looking out for oneself.
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That describes an adult man who will do evil if granted power over others - intentionally, coldbloodedly, and (in his own view) rationally.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    If they don't know any better because they refuse to acknowledge information they possess, we may regard them as responsible for their delusion, and therefore the evil of their doing.
    Not knowing any better is a poor excuse for an adult, in many cases - and especially cases of doing evil.
    When the evil master they fear is their own status and wellbeing - such as losing their seat in Congress and the perks thereof, or the ability to provide for their families in the style to which they have become accustomed, or the payoff of a deal already made, - we may consider them cowardly
    but as an explanation for their complicity in evil.

    When they do not fear the evil master, but allow and abet evil deeds as a means of gaining auxiliary benefits - such as in the apparent Republican Congressional policy of letting Trump trash the place and abuse its citizenry while the tax cuts, deregulation policies, and Judiciary appointments they favor are pushed through - then complicity becomes inadequate as a description.
     
  13. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    You are both right. When someone asks money from me I have to consider, do these people look honest? Is giving them money the best way to help them? When in doubt, I do not, and I do not let my doubts bother me unless it is proven otherwise.
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I assume you mean a loan of money.

    If you're just giving them money, then it is irrelevant whether they're honest or not - and, arguably - irrelevant whether it's for their own good or not.
     
  15. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    I don't mean a loan. Yes, I suppose when in doubt I should give the benefit of a doubt, unless proven otherwise. I would say it is relevant if they are lying or not because if I give them money while they're lying, it encourages them to lie to get free money. It's also relevant if it's good for them or not, because if just give them money, it's not actually helping the situation. I admit I should consider my own financial situation as well, I would not be giving money out in sacrifice of my own well being.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  16. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Evil is kept in lowest realm of Hell, where Murder is detained by the devil, while God is entirely safe in every way. Whereas the devil exist in a nirvana of retribution of hatred and suffering. This is the top level, and strongest level of hell, all the beast on this level merley suffer, or help others. In other words Evil is worse than the devil.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    If you're planning on giving them money, what does it matter what reason they give?

    Do you have a special sentimental attachment to those dollar bills, that you care about their well-being after they've left you?
     
  18. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    What is evil?

    I'm not a psychopath, if you'll take my word it as I can start crying a the drop of a hat, but maybe I can become evil in doing something so undeserving of empathy?

    I can't get a reference, but anyway, when ancient Rome ruled in Israel (not looking at the Romans in particular) there was unearthed an area where new born baby remains where found in that red light district. Unharmed but more like tossed and left to die. I can't wrap my head around why a mother would do this, yet what if a pimp did this so the prostitutes would be able to earn more money?

    ...

    I can't actually finish this thought ATM.
     
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I'm with akoreamerican on this matter.
    I'm not crazy about some of the ways my tax money is spent, but I have no choice in the matter; the only way I can limit the actions of my government is through voting - and that makes me liable to a good deal of involuntary guilt by association.
    With voluntary charity, I have greater control, and therefore greater responsibility.
    If I'm asked to perform an altruistic act, I want to be sure that I really am doing good rather than harm. I want assurance that I'm not enabling someone to harm themselves or others.
     
  20. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    In Rome, as in other ancient civilization (as well as earlier primitive societies), exposure was a standard disposal of unwanted babies. Usually, there was a known depository where childless women could go foraging, as it were - so the unwanted infants might have a slim chance.
    The Romans didn't have reliable birth control; the prevention methods didn't always work, especially for the promiscuous, and the abortion methods were more likely to kill the mother than not, and they did have grinding poverty - a numerous underclass that was barely surviving, and very high infant and child mortality. Some of those prostitutes' babies may have been stillborn or died in a few days from malnutrition and insanitary conditions. And some were put out to die, because it was less cruel than the life they would have had.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I ... thought we were talking about homeless people and the like...

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  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I mentioned taxation only in contrast to voluntary money-giving, that we have some control over.
     
  23. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

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    The way the current US Government is functioning... I would say "Republican" is a pretty damn good synonym for evil.
     

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