The Origin of evil

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Ranvier
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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Ranvier » August 4th, 2017, 1:38 am

Good is the origin of evil because there can't be evil without good. Evil is actually good, revealed in several posts, because good usually doesn't survive long enough to procreate while evil is good in allowing survival of the species. Therefore...God must be good :)

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Socrateaze
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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Socrateaze » August 4th, 2017, 2:33 am

Greta,
Ha! Love the prose :)

What I'm hearing is that evil ⩰ self-interest. I think people usually associate evil with sadistic sociopathy. Maybe that could be first degree evil? From there we might work down the degrees until we reach the dispassionate "steamrollering" self-interest you described above.

The common element between degrees of "evil" is the objectification of living, feeling things, which is a necessary mindset for any predator to survive. a predator that hesitates through a sense of kinship with other living things is not one to survive and pass on its genes. So we humans necessarily have this capacity to "switch off" our empathy in the presence of certain stimuli. The law of averages suggests that some people will be more prone to predatory objectifying mindsets than others.
That's more or less what it boils down to, except maybe for the fact that, as I say, the less fortunate: People who do things, which we describe as evil, "torture, rape, theft and murder," may have an inferior "evil" inside them or none at all. I don't believe evil, when I'm talking about hosts, are passed on when they die. Again, it is in our DNA, or rather, again, has pro-biological and -cosmological evolutionary origins. It is certainly not some immortal force that "jumps" from host to host, but ... our children might inherit it through the knowledge we impart on them as well as our wealth. In other words; I would rather prefer calling the evil we seem to be discussing here self-destructive behavior or anarchy a force that consumes itself and harms its environment. Well established evil, if I may repeat myself, would seek to increase its comfort and personal peace. It seems only natural that the evil that indwells us would want this. The rapist and murderer might be "evil in torment" or a soul without genius, that has no enlightenment to guide itself to a healthy mental and physical life-style. And if genius evil does commit atrocities, it would certainly not do it in such a fashion as to disturb or harm its inner peace. That's why people get other people to fight wars for them, etc. Or even better, they are the ones who sit untouchable and unaffected in their mansions, obliviously enjoying the advantages of others doing things for them, perhaps even shedding a tear for the poor souls lost in wars. Ignorance is bliss and money and good environment seems to be the only thing that can provide you with that luxury.
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Ranvier
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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Ranvier » August 6th, 2017, 4:36 am

This thread is amazing! It nips the entire notion of universal morality because we can't even define evil. Is there evil at all?

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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Judaka » August 6th, 2017, 12:57 pm

I think that debates in ethics often ignore that the entire issue of ethics is fundamentally abstract, thus seek to approach the problem as though it were a pursuit of knowledge - yet whatever justifications are given hold significance or even relevance only based upon particular interpretations. The origin of evil depends upon the nature of evil and since the nature of evil can be interpreted to be any number of things based upon ones personal feelings, this is not a question that can have an answer that satisfies everybody. You can attempt to monopolise the word evil by defining it more strictly or rejecting definitions that lack historical accuracy but so long as evil simply means immoral or wicked I think it is safe to say that the definition and therefore the origin of evil shall remain too contentious for any unilateral agreement. The question shall only appear enigmatic to those who fail to recognise this.

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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Spectrum » August 6th, 2017, 10:51 pm

Ranvier wrote:This thread is amazing! It nips the entire notion of universal morality because we can't even define evil. Is there evil at all?
???

There are no ontological universal moral Laws, e.g. from a God or whatever.
There is also no ontological evil [by Satan, jinn, ghosts, etc.] like what is claimed by theologians.

But for a Moral and Ethical Framework and System to work effectively we [all humans] need to establish absolute Moral Laws as a team as guidance to maintain what is 'good'.
To understand what is good, we need to understand what is evil at least conceptually.
To do so we need to define what is 'good' and 'evil' to ensure our Moral and Ethical Framework and System works effectively.

"Evil" is any human act or thoughts that is net negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom the collective.
There are degrees of evil from low [e.g. petty crimes] to high [e.g. genocides, mass rapes, etc.] We need to establish some kind of a rough taxonomy of evil as a guidance.

'Good' can be defined in contrast to 'evil' and vice-versa.

So there you have it, universal absolute moral laws reasoned [by the individuals as a collective] out for guidance and a definition of evil within a Moral and Ethical Framework and System that can work effectively.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Ranvier » August 8th, 2017, 6:08 am

Naive utopia. You can enforce laws but not morality, especially in a naturalistic reductionist reality. On our current path, we strive to become emotionless pragmatic mindless... machines. Everything is meaningless, we're nothing but a collection of random matter with fake concept of consciousness and free will. Nothing matters, there is no good or evil... no morality needed. Did you read all the posts in this thread?

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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Greta » August 8th, 2017, 7:55 am

Ranvier wrote:This thread is amazing! It nips the entire notion of universal morality because we can't even define evil. Is there evil at all?
Only subjectively. Objectively there is growth and decay, promotion and destruction. I liked your comment earlier about evil being the flipside of the good - night and day, Yin and Yang. However, I use see evil as sickness and immaturity, and goodness as healthfulness and maturity.

In the end everyone is simply doing the best they can, having at some stage been dumped unceremoniously into this life, clueless, terrified and screaming. It's easy to lose one's way in life. That's how I see those who are generally considered to be evil. They are incomplete, damaged.

I admit that this is based on the highly speculative premise that life, reality, the world, existence or whatever is fundamentally good. It's my one belief, my philosophical "guilty pleasure". It's not based on hard evidence, given how power and ruthlessness tend to be richly rewarded at this stage of our development. I intuit that humanity, through all of its blunderings, debasements, vandalism, sadism, selfishness and recklessness can potentially be "better", perhaps as the experienced adult you is better than the child version.

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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Socrateaze » August 8th, 2017, 8:07 am

Ranvier wrote:Naive utopia. You can enforce laws but not morality, especially in a naturalistic reductionist reality. On our current path, we strive to become emotionless pragmatic mindless... machines. Everything is meaningless, we're nothing but a collection of random matter with fake concept of consciousness and free will. Nothing matters, there is no good or evil... no morality needed. Did you read all the posts in this thread?
I agree that we have no free will and are mindless, but are all these discussions not pointless then? It seems we're not only without mind or will, but doomed to inflict mindlessness on others. That sounds pretty grim indeed. It sounds like puppets fighting. Is this forum Sesame Street? I wonder who we are entertaining, someone, no one? I can't decide which of the two last options are more disturbing. Furthermore, if we have no fee will, how can we come to any conclusions about evil. Suppose the true origin of evil is out there, how will we find it if we have no free will?
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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Ranvier » August 8th, 2017, 5:00 pm

Morality, if it exists, can emerge only from within not from the outside. Therefore, there can't be objective morality until all evil "understands" an error of conviction. Good can't fight evil because it becomes evil itself. I perceive mindlessness and lack of "free will" as a defense mechanism to deny the ugliness of the truth. We can't know right from wrong, only an outcome of choices that is favorable or not. Everything must "play out" for us to understand.

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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Socrateaze » August 9th, 2017, 2:32 am

Ranvier wrote:Morality, if it exists, can emerge only from within not from the outside. Therefore, there can't be objective morality until all evil "understands" an error of conviction. Good can't fight evil because it becomes evil itself. I perceive mindlessness and lack of "free will" as a defense mechanism to deny the ugliness of the truth. We can't know right from wrong, only an outcome of choices that is favorable or not. Everything must "play out" for us to understand.
Yes, this is true. I just want to know, if we do not have free will, how can we be sure that any thoughts are accurate? There are many discussions if we are real; but let's take it a step further. If free will does not exist, how can we be sure of anything? Is our intelligence even real, or is it just something that works because of something else? I don't believe in the concepts of good and evil, especially evil. Good at least can mean pleasant or peaceful, which is tangible concepts, but evil is not a tangible concept and seems to have emerged from a more abstract plain of thought. But if free will does not exist, it means our thoughts are not our own, so how can we pride ourselves in discussions like this? Then our thoughts are purely environmental and evolutionary. If we have no say in our free will, who or what are we speaking? If we are speaking for a universe that is unintelligent from which we came, all our thoughts may be hogwash, yet we are programmed to feel or deem it important. It reminds me of the man in the cave looking at the shadows against the wall, that cannot turn around to see what's really happening. The frightful truth is that, since we have no free will, none of us may be right or even be able to perceive the true problem. Or at the very least none of us can ever truly be original. And though I do not believe in free will at all, the fact that I do not have it bothers me for these reasons. Lastly, there may be a redeeming quality to not having free will; can it be that the very fact that our thoughts are not our own, can make them more accurate? All of the reverse can also be true, and that gives me hope. Because when you and I are speaking, it is not us, but age old evolution.
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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Ranvier » August 9th, 2017, 4:41 am

Sound reasoning. I can't tell you what's evil or even that there is such a thing as evil, unless you knowledge it for yourself. The same is true with free will, it must make sense to you either way in your own deduction. You can imagine anything you want without boundaries, then ask yourself what caused you to imagine whatever came to your mind. Our thoughts determine who we are, not the other way around, although our experiences do affect how we think.

-- Updated August 9th, 2017, 4:43 am to add the following --

*acknowledge

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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Socrateaze » August 9th, 2017, 11:35 am

Ranvier wrote:Sound reasoning. I can't tell you what's evil or even that there is such a thing as evil, unless you knowledge it for yourself. The same is true with free will, it must make sense to you either way in your own deduction. You can imagine anything you want without boundaries, then ask yourself what caused you to imagine whatever came to your mind. Our thoughts determine who we are, not the other way around, although our experiences do affect how we think.

-- Updated August 9th, 2017, 4:43 am to add the following --

*acknowledge
You touch on a very true point there; our experience certainly does affect our thinking. As I said today to a friend in a letter, (mailing it the old fashioned way), what is inside us is what matters. People and things will always try to break us down and detract from what we could be. Perhaps one of the origins of evil is giving up and let the world shape us instead of us shaping the world. Perhaps true evil is to surrender to the oppressor.
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Jacqueline Sheehan
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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Jacqueline Sheehan » August 9th, 2017, 3:00 pm

The origin is just animals from my point of view. We were born with the ability of being evil. The greeds, anger and foolishness. I don't think we have to learn how to be greedy, angry and foolish. Those are just the emotions and feelings that we were born with. And all these things lead to evil deed. Thus, I think the origin is just inside of us.

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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by LuckyR » August 10th, 2017, 1:39 am

Jacqueline Sheehan wrote:The origin is just animals from my point of view. We were born with the ability of being evil. The greeds, anger and foolishness. I don't think we have to learn how to be greedy, angry and foolish. Those are just the emotions and feelings that we were born with. And all these things lead to evil deed. Thus, I think the origin is just inside of us.
You are half right. Greediness is a prime driver of actual evil deeds but greed in isolation is not evil. In order to have evil there must be an obligation to act cooperatively and then (perhaps through greed) break that obligation.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: The Origin of evil

Post by Ranvier » August 10th, 2017, 6:42 pm

I agree, although I don't perceive greed as an absolute evil or the fact that some people don't want to cooperate. We're born with inherent burden of individual genetic makeup forced to react to the external environment, collecting wealth of data in experience and for some knowledge of how to satisfy that greed and lust. What is evil, is the lie we perpetuate about ourselves and our reality to continue to function in self interest. Self interest is not evil but there is something wrong with the society and each individual that feels the need to lie about it. That's evil. For every "pathology" there is always a yang, masochist for sadist; people who wish to die and people who wish to kill; people who wish to give and those who wish to steal; except perhaps pedophilia which is difficult to reconcile with the immaturity of the moral agent desired. Otherwise, I would not claim a moral high ground to judge such deviancy from "normal", as it would cause me to lie about my right to do so. The only thing one can do is to be honest about the futile attempt to separate self from such reality.

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