The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

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Steve3007
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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Steve3007 » February 14th, 2018, 7:43 am

Personally I take a pragmatic, consequentialist approach and don't really care about the "evil" label one way or the other. I agree that it's silly to try to pretend that evil is some objectively existing quantity that can be measured.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Count Lucanor » February 14th, 2018, 11:49 am

Spectrum wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 2:23 am
Note we are starting with facts within human history.
It is observed factually and objectively there are a certain pattern of a range of acts which are abhorrent, abominable and negative to humanity.
Generally such a range of acts [genocide, murder, rapes, thefts, etc.] have been labelled as bad or evil, but I have classified them as 'evil' for easy communication sake.
A simple look at how humanity has judged these acts differently, with diverse moral dispositions, proves that what you call "abhorrent, abominable and negative" are not objective properties. Some people commit murder and are exalted as heroes. Two sets of people can be killed in the same way, but some are thought to be fairly executed in the name of justice and the others simply murdered. The concrete, physical aspects of the act can be objective properties (the weapon used, the speed of the bullet, the type of wounds inflicted, etc.), but the judgements of the act as good or evil are intrinsically subjective, they are not objective properties and the pretension of measuring them becomes quite difficult. I happen to agree these acts are evil, but that's because I share the same mindset that other contemporaries have towards them.
Spectrum wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 2:23 am

Since such acts of evil are factual, it is inferred there must be something within the psyche of these humans to cause this range of evils.
The above acts of evils is also represented by a trend over the history of mankind.
As I just observed, the objective properties of these acts are not what make them evil. The same act can be seen as good or evil, given the circumstances or mindsets of people judging them. Different motivations will be behind them, so it's not possible to infer a simple, mechanistic trigger in human psychology, that will produce the same act and identify it immediately as evil.
Spectrum wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 2:23 am
Thus we can infer there is a potential within humans to commit those terrible acts.
Humans have the potential for anything. To measure it and predict it, that's something else.
Spectrum wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 2:23 am
This potential of evil can be easily predicted and verified.
For example, I predict there will x hundreds of murder in the city of Chicago in 2018, I am confident my prediction will not be far off.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_ ... go_by_year

In this case we can conclude the existence of a potential to commit evil within humans will definitely result in murders and other types of evil acts.

We can also conclude a theory based on observations 'where there a humans [in sufficient numbers] there will be murders.'

From historical data we know not all but only a small percentage will commit murder and this can be represented in a Normal Curve. The same is applicable to evil in general.
Note that there's no degree of evilness of potential for evil being measured here. You are just measuring the number of murders. In the examples I gave above of subjects #1 and #2 it is clear that you cannot isolate an "evilness" variable and measure it.

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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Spectrum » February 15th, 2018, 12:43 am

Burning ghost wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 6:09 am
As I have been having a long discussion (through PM) with someone else about "intelligence", I think you'd have an incredibly hard time pushing for a scale of "evil". The modern equivalent is simply "the law".

It is a tough problem because I remember someone saying "volcanoes" were "evil". Which makes no sense to me.

I don't equate someone who has little to no capacity for empathy an "evil" person anymore than I deem a tiger to be "evil" when it eats someone.
Based on real empirical evidences of a certain pattern of humans acts that are sensed as abhorrent, abominable, detestable, and the likes, I believe we can categorize them as evil acts and to deal with them we have to abstract principles out of them. To deal with them effectively we have to impute numbers. It is not easy but we should not give up.

Note:
During the past thirty years, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil. This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors of the past eighty years, e.g., the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and killing sprees by serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer.

It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’

We need the concept of evil.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/
In Philosophy we should not take the easy defeatist way out but strive against the odds and if we fail [optimistic not in this case] then at least we have tried.
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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Spectrum » February 15th, 2018, 1:01 am

Burning ghost wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 6:09 am
I don't equate someone who has little to no capacity for empathy an "evil" person anymore than I deem a tiger to be "evil" when it eats someone.

You don't seem to understand something here and I cannot figure our quite what it is ... ? I'll have to think about this and see if I can find a way of making it clearer to you that lack of empathy does not make someone "evil" and I am not really sure we can use the term "evil" empirically when we have "law" that dictates degrees of punishment to uncivil behavior. Psychopaths are not "evil" they simply don't possess the common mindset of thr populace.
Here is one attempt to correlate lack of empathy with evil.

The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty

Image

The thesis is quite reasonable but I don't agree totally.
Rather I would prefer to deal with 'evil' directly.
Those consciously out for the destruction of human life and to wilfully cause the greatest suffering they can on other life forms I consider to be "evil". It is complex now because the question is what is meant by "wilfull". Some people would argue that any act carried out regardless of outcome should be judged in and of itself, whilst others argue that the outcome worse.

Attempted murder and successful murder are punished differently. Why is this? How do they differ? If thr intent is the same shouldn't the punishment be equal on bith counts? Tricky questions. Questions it seems you've stepped past simply to push home your position.

Explore the law, why mentally ill people go free ... I'll post Sapolsky vid later that gors over this subject and how a woman was found not guilty of murder due to her being on her period.
The critical issue here is;
  • 1. There are facts of empirical human acts which can be labelled as evil acts, genocides, mass rapes, murders, drugs crimes, torture, kidnap, and the full range along a continuum.
    2. Thus we must take steps to resolve and prevent them.
    3. To do so we need to apply the effective problem solving techniques.
    4. The Bell Curve is on effective tool to act as a guide.
In the above processes it is typical we have to deal with various issues [how do define psychopathy, etc. how to deal with them] and to present side-effects.

However what is critical is we must quantify the relevant variables as much and as best as we can.
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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Spectrum » February 15th, 2018, 1:05 am

Steve3007 wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 7:39 am
One question that I find interesting is: Could anybody imagine themselves ever regarding any action of a non-human animal as evil? It's closely related to the question of where, in the scale of complexity from microbes to humans, we place the dividing line above which we deem consciousness to exist.

There is evidence that chimpanzees engage in warlike behaviours that, when humans do them, we usually regard as evil:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ ... vil/58643/

Can some chimpanzee actions be regarded as evil? If so, do we draw a line just below chimps? Or could some of the actions of tigers also be regarded as evil? Does it make sense to draw a dividing line at all?
I have always define 'evil' as confined only to 'human acts' and nothing else.

Non-human of animals can be classified as 'dangers' which could be fatal or injurious and the necessary precautions need to be taken.
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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Spectrum » February 15th, 2018, 2:01 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 11:49 am
Spectrum wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 2:23 am
Note we are starting with facts within human history.
It is observed factually and objectively there are a certain pattern of a range of acts which are abhorrent, abominable and negative to humanity.
Generally such a range of acts [genocide, murder, rapes, thefts, etc.] have been labelled as bad or evil, but I have classified them as 'evil' for easy communication sake.
A simple look at how humanity has judged these acts differently, with diverse moral dispositions, proves that what you call "abhorrent, abominable and negative" are not objective properties. Some people commit murder and are exalted as heroes. Two sets of people can be killed in the same way, but some are thought to be fairly executed in the name of justice and the others simply murdered. The concrete, physical aspects of the act can be objective properties (the weapon used, the speed of the bullet, the type of wounds inflicted, etc.), but the judgements of the act as good or evil are intrinsically subjective, they are not objective properties and the pretension of measuring them becomes quite difficult. I happen to agree these acts are evil, but that's because I share the same mindset that other contemporaries have towards them.
Those acts that are defined as 'evil acts' can be objective via the Golden Rule.
Other than perverts [very rare] which human would want to be killed, murdered, raped and other evil acts to be done to them.
So evil acts as defined and identified can be a universal and objective.

No sane person would exact murderers as heroes except for a rare number of perverts.

I do agree people in Nations at war may rejoice on the numbers killed in a war. War by itself is an evil act but tolerated at present but the trend within human moral is to prevent and stop all wars to align with the objective moral law of no killing another human being.

Thus from empirical facts and the Golden Rule we can abstract an objective moral law re Killing another human being is evil.
Spectrum wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 2:23 am
Since such acts of evil are factual, it is inferred there must be something within the psyche of these humans to cause this range of evils.
The above acts of evils is also represented by a trend over the history of mankind.
As I just observed, the objective properties of these acts are not what make them evil. The same act can be seen as good or evil, given the circumstances or mindsets of people judging them. Different motivations will be behind them, so it's not possible to infer a simple, mechanistic trigger in human psychology, that will produce the same act and identify it immediately as evil.
Note my counter argument, we can abstract by reason, a universal objective moral law that 'murder is evil' and deal with the exceptions.

I believe it is possible to trace to the root causes of why people murder.
If we do not know precisely, we at least know which group has high probability, e.g. those diagnosed with malignant pscyhopathy with certain backgrounds.
With the trend of an exponential expansion of knowledge and technology, we will able to narrow the cause to more specific variables.
Point is we must be optimistic based on what is possible now and strive to improve at more precise methods.

If we ignore to strive for more effective solutions to the problem of evil and continually improve them then we are doomed with its consequences forever.
Spectrum wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 2:23 am
Thus we can infer there is a potential within humans to commit those terrible acts.
Humans have the potential for anything. To measure it and predict it, that's something else.
Spectrum wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 2:23 am
This potential of evil can be easily predicted and verified.
For example, I predict there will x hundreds of murder in the city of Chicago in 2018, I am confident my prediction will not be far off.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_ ... go_by_year

In this case we can conclude the existence of a potential to commit evil within humans will definitely result in murders and other types of evil acts.

We can also conclude a theory based on observations 'where there a humans [in sufficient numbers] there will be murders.'

From historical data we know not all but only a small percentage will commit murder and this can be represented in a Normal Curve. The same is applicable to evil in general.
Note that there's no degree of evilness of potential for evil being measured here. You are just measuring the number of murders. In the examples I gave above of subjects #1 and #2 it is clear that you cannot isolate an "evilness" variable and measure it.
As I had claimed there is a correlation between evil acts and the potential for evilness.
If you come to know of a person who is exactly like Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and the likes, you will surely agree such a person has a high potential [perhaps 90%] of killing you or other people in a matter of time.

Note I can predict with the following;
  • 1. All humans has the potential to commit evil and 20% are born with an active evil tendency. - the evil prone.
    2. The Quran [core of Islam] has loads of evil laden elements.
The 20% evil prone is a representation within a Normal Curve.
Research has shown evil elements will trigger evil prone people to kill.
There are real evidence SOME Muslim has committed terrible evils and violence.

Image

As such there is a degree of evil potential in Islam and Muslims.
I can predict where there are Muslims, SOME [not all] will 'definitely' [with high confidence levels] commit terrible evils and violence.
You wanna bet on this?
We can check our bets on the increase in the above statistics after say 3 months or statistics of rapes and murder by Muslims in European countries or wherever there are many Muslims.

Thus we should not just give up in striving to establish an active 'potential for evil' within certain humans.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Steve3007 » February 15th, 2018, 3:51 am

Spectrum wrote:I have always define 'evil' as confined only to 'human acts' and nothing else.

Non-human of animals can be classified as 'dangers' which could be fatal or injurious and the necessary precautions need to be taken.
Why? What's the difference between human activities and the activities of the chimpanzees described in the article that I cited? Sure, there is a difference of degree between humans and our closest surviving relatives, but why draw a hard dividing line? If our recently extinct much closer relatives were still around (such as Homo Erectus) would you regard them as capable of good and evil? How close to homo sapiens would a species have to get before it suddenly becomes capable of good and evil?

I think classifying non-human animals the way you have is related to the old habit of classing all animals with the single exception of ourselves as automata. Nature generally has continua, not hard dividing lines. It is us that impose those lines.

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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Spectrum » February 15th, 2018, 4:09 am

Steve3007 wrote:
February 15th, 2018, 3:51 am
Spectrum wrote:I have always define 'evil' as confined only to 'human acts' and nothing else.

Non-human of animals can be classified as 'dangers' which could be fatal or injurious and the necessary precautions need to be taken.
Why? What's the difference between human activities and the activities of the chimpanzees described in the article that I cited? Sure, there is a difference of degree between humans and our closest surviving relatives, but why draw a hard dividing line? If our recently extinct much closer relatives were still around (such as Homo Erectus) would you regard them as capable of good and evil? How close to homo sapiens would a species have to get before it suddenly becomes capable of good and evil?

I think classifying non-human animals the way you have is related to the old habit of classing all animals with the single exception of ourselves as automata. Nature generally has continua, not hard dividing lines. It is us that impose those lines.
My point is to avoid confusion within my Problem Statement related to the issue of evil.

The concept of 'evil' is already very complicated and to add other elements like non-humans animals would create a greater mess.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Steve3007 » February 15th, 2018, 4:14 am

The concept of 'evil' is already very complicated and to add other elements like non-humans animals would create a greater mess.
I disagree. I think one of the ways in which we can try to understand what we mean by that word is by considering the actions (and the actors) to which we attribute it and the actions to which we do not attribute it. I started to do that in my reply to Burning Ghost's comments about volcanoes, tigers and humans.

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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Burning ghost » February 15th, 2018, 10:59 am

Spectrum -

I'd be interested to here what Baron-Cohen had to say? What did he have to say? I've never read that book.

Here is Sapolsky btw:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9 ... F91F3F9683
AKA badgerjelly

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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Spectrum » February 15th, 2018, 9:52 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
February 15th, 2018, 10:59 am
Spectrum -

I'd be interested to here what Baron-Cohen had to say? What did he have to say? I've never read that book.

Here is Sapolsky btw:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9 ... F91F3F9683
THE SCIENCE OF EVIL
The approach to Barry Cohen thesis is this;
As a scientist I want to understand what causes people to
treat others as if they were mere objects.
In this book I explore people can treat each other cruelly not with reference to
the concept of evil, but with reference to the concept of empathy.
Unlike the concept of evil, empathy has explanatory power.
In the coming chapters I put empathy under the microscope. - pg 6

The challenge is to explain, without resorting to the all-too-easy
concept of evil, how people are capable of causing extreme hurt
to one another. So let’s substitute the term “evil” with the term
“empathy erosion.” Empathy erosion can arise because of corrosive
emotions, such as bitter resentment, or desire for revenge,
or blind hatred, or a desire to protect. In theory these
are transient emotions, the empathy erosion reversible. But
empathy erosion can be the result of more permanent psychological
characteristics.
I don't quite like his approach of dealing indirectly via 'the lack of empathy.'
But is does show there is now a popular interest in the subject of 'evil.'
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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Spectrum » February 15th, 2018, 9:59 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
February 15th, 2018, 10:59 am
Spectrum -

I'd be interested to here what Baron-Cohen had to say? What did he have to say? I've never read that book.

Here is Sapolsky btw:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9 ... F91F3F9683
I have listened to most of Sapolsky's lectures re religion, evil and certain others.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Count Lucanor » February 16th, 2018, 11:55 am

Spectrum wrote: Those acts that are defined as 'evil acts' can be objective via the Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule will not determine objectively that an act is evil or not, as it does not qualify acts. It actually just sets a relation which is still calculated subjectively. The same act can be thougth to be good by some people, and bad for some others.
Spectrum wrote: Other than perverts [very rare] which human would want to be killed, murdered, raped and other evil acts to be done to them.
You're assuming everyone is obliged to use the Golden Rule maxim, but the obvious truth is that it's optional. People murder, rape and do evil acts even though they would not want to suffer those themselves, because there are many motivations. Some things as simple as greed or jealousy.
Spectrum wrote: No sane person would exact murderers as heroes except for a rare number of perverts.
You forget that warriors and the acts of war have been exalted since the dawn of humanity. Currently, soldiers from hegemonic powers are exalted as heroes. Are these nations full of "rare perverts"? Does any church goer see Joshua as a sick pervert? Do you think the enemies of Japan were regretful in the days they nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Or all the bombing campaigns during WWII, which George Orwell applauded?

I concede this: when Hillary Clinton went on tape rejoicing about the lynching of Ghadaffi, my first reaction was that she was a sick pervert.
Spectrum wrote: I do agree people in Nations at war may rejoice on the numbers killed in a war. War by itself is an evil act but tolerated at present but the trend within human moral is to prevent and stop all wars to align with the objective moral law of no killing another human being.

Thus from empirical facts and the Golden Rule we can abstract an objective moral law re Killing another human being is evil.
You put wars as if they were things that just happened to people. As if those crimes were not committed by people. Why couldn't we say the same about regular crimes? That they are just tolerated by populations, but the trend is to prevent them?
Spectrum wrote: If you come to know of a person who is exactly like Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and the likes, you will surely agree such a person has a high potential [perhaps 90%] of killing you or other people in a matter of time.
Actually you only get to know the Manson, Bundy or Dahmer type once you have found out about their murders. In other words, there was no way to know then and there isn't now, at best just fit into a suspicious profile, but thousands of innocent people would be going to jail if we just based our judgements on this profiling. To make discrete variables out of these profiles is also almost impossible.
Spectrum wrote:
Note I can predict with the following;
1. All humans has the potential to commit evil and 20% are born with an active evil tendency. - the evil prone.
2. The Quran [core of Islam] has loads of evil laden elements.
The 20% evil prone is a representation within a Normal Curve.
Research has shown evil elements will trigger evil prone people to kill.
There are real evidence SOME Muslim has committed terrible evils and violence.

Image

As such there is a degree of evil potential in Islam and Muslims.
I can predict where there are Muslims, SOME [not all] will 'definitely' [with high confidence levels] commit terrible evils and violence.
You wanna bet on this?
We can check our bets on the increase in the above statistics after say 3 months or statistics of rapes and murder by Muslims in European countries or wherever there are many Muslims.

Thus we should not just give up in striving to establish an active 'potential for evil' within certain humans.
If we look at the statistics of mass shootings, turns out that USA citizens by far exceed any other nationality in this category. Not even close to the normal distribution. Based on your assumptions, USA citizens, as compared with other nationalities, have the highest potential of evil and the evidence shows that they should be feared.

We can play with statistics as much as we want. If you look at homicidal rates in UN data, the US has a lower rate than some African countries, but if you set the criteria by continent, the whole of the Americas has a higher rate than any other. Translate that into religious affiliation and you have that Christians appear to have more evil potential. The highest homicidal rates in the US in 2012 were found in Washington DC, Lousiana and Puerto Rico. Are they the most evil of the US?

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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Spectrum » February 17th, 2018, 10:35 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
February 16th, 2018, 11:55 am
Spectrum wrote: Those acts that are defined as 'evil acts' can be objective via the Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule will not determine objectively that an act is evil or not, as it does not qualify acts. It actually just sets a relation which is still calculated subjectively. The same act can be thougth to be good by some people, and bad for some others.
It is the other way round.
First we identify what acts [abstracted from empirical evidence] are defined as evil.
Then we apply the Golden Rule to establish objectivity.
Spectrum wrote: Other than perverts [very rare] which human would want to be killed, murdered, raped and other evil acts to be done to them.
You're assuming everyone is obliged to use the Golden Rule maxim, but the obvious truth is that it's optional. People murder, rape and do evil acts even though they would not want to suffer those themselves, because there are many motivations. Some things as simple as greed or jealousy.
It is the basic instinct of survival to avoid being murdered, rape and other evil acts [other than perverts].
Whatever other motivations we can think of are secondary.
Spectrum wrote: No sane person would exact murderers as heroes except for a rare number of perverts.
You forget that warriors and the acts of war have been exalted since the dawn of humanity. Currently, soldiers from hegemonic powers are exalted as heroes. Are these nations full of "rare perverts"? Does any church goer see Joshua as a sick pervert? Do you think the enemies of Japan were regretful in the days they nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Or all the bombing campaigns during WWII, which George Orwell applauded?

I concede this: when Hillary Clinton went on tape rejoicing about the lynching of Ghadaffi, my first reaction was that she was a sick pervert.
See below;
Spectrum wrote: I do agree people in Nations at war may rejoice on the numbers killed in a war. War by itself is an evil act but tolerated at present but the trend within human moral is to prevent and stop all wars to align with the objective moral law of no killing another human being.

Thus from empirical facts and the Golden Rule we can abstract an objective moral law re Killing another human being is evil.
You put wars as if they were things that just happened to people. As if those crimes were not committed by people. Why couldn't we say the same about regular crimes? That they are just tolerated by populations, but the trend is to prevent them?
There are degrees to what [is inherently evil] has to be tolerated in the present circumstance but need to be prevented and eliminated in the future.
Note Chattel Slavery was tolerated by most 200 years ago but at present Chattel Slavery is illegal in all Countries.
War [inherently evil] at present is tolerated but humanity is striving its best to eliminate wars and this could be possible within the next 100 years or more.
Spectrum wrote: If you come to know of a person who is exactly like Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and the likes, you will surely agree such a person has a high potential [perhaps 90%] of killing you or other people in a matter of time.
Actually you only get to know the Manson, Bundy or Dahmer type once you have found out about their murders. In other words, there was no way to know then and there isn't now, at best just fit into a suspicious profile, but thousands of innocent people would be going to jail if we just based our judgements on this profiling. To make discrete variables out of these profiles is also almost impossible.
We have to make a start somewhere then to improve our skills based on accurate data [with lots of caution and avoid hasty generalizations]. What is relevant here is there is a trend of an exponential expansion of knowledge in the various advance fields to increase precision but of course we need to exercise lots of care on such things.
Spectrum wrote:
Note I can predict with the following;
1. All humans has the potential to commit evil and 20% are born with an active evil tendency. - the evil prone.
2. The Quran [core of Islam] has loads of evil laden elements.
The 20% evil prone is a representation within a Normal Curve.
Research has shown evil elements will trigger evil prone people to kill.
There are real evidence SOME Muslim has committed terrible evils and violence.

Image

As such there is a degree of evil potential in Islam and Muslims.
I can predict where there are Muslims, SOME [not all] will 'definitely' [with high confidence levels] commit terrible evils and violence.
You wanna bet on this?
We can check our bets on the increase in the above statistics after say 3 months or statistics of rapes and murder by Muslims in European countries or wherever there are many Muslims.

Thus we should not just give up in striving to establish an active 'potential for evil' within certain humans.
If we look at the statistics of mass shootings, turns out that USA citizens by far exceed any other nationality in this category. Not even close to the normal distribution. Based on your assumptions, USA citizens, as compared with other nationalities, have the highest potential of evil and the evidence shows that they should be feared.

We can play with statistics as much as we want. If you look at homicidal rates in UN data, the US has a lower rate than some African countries, but if you set the criteria by continent, the whole of the Americas has a higher rate than any other. Translate that into religious affiliation and you have that Christians appear to have more evil potential. The highest homicidal rates in the US in 2012 were found in Washington DC, Lousiana and Puerto Rico. Are they the most evil of the US?
The USA citizens has the same evil potential like any other group of citizens, i.e. 20% of any citizens are born with evil tendencies.
Thus there is no change in the evil potential.
If all influencing factors are the same, there is no difference in the number of individuals committing murder.

The only difference is the number killed are more because Guns can easily kill many in one attack.
In terms of guns, there would a greater sense of fear [not greater potential] in the USA when compared to Britain.

You are going too wild with statistics without taking other specific factors into consideration.

We know 20% of Christians are born with an active evil tendencies.
But we also know Christianity has an overriding pacifist maxim. e.g. love your enemies, etc. Thus even if all Christians carry guns in the USA, in general it is not likely they will go against God's commands to kill simply because they have guns, else they will go to hell [as usual there will be exceptions].

So in general the evil potential will not change.
What make the difference are the stimuli that triggers the potential into actions.
Note there is a high rate of crimes in Mexico because of drugs and low enforcements.

There is a high rate of evils and violence that generate terrors from Islamists because the religion is inherent evil and violent.

All the above I believe can fit into the Normal Distribution in some ways.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: The Normal Distribution = Bell Curve, - Exceptions?

Post by Count Lucanor » February 18th, 2018, 2:02 pm

Spectrum wrote: First we identify what acts [abstracted from empirical evidence] are defined as evil.
Then we apply the Golden Rule to establish objectivity.
So you're acknowledging that at first, defining an act as evil belongs to the subjective sphere (since it has not been established objectively). The Golden Rule, however, will not make its "evil property" objective, it will just set an intersubjective relation based on the effects of the act, not on the nature of the act itself: if an act affects me negatively, I should not apply the same effect unto others. I received flowers in St. Valentine's Day, but I hate flowers. Should I not send flowers to anyone else? If the person knew I hated flowers, the act would be judged differently than if they didn't. As we can see, the act itself becomes meaningful only in a given context, which varies under different personal or social circumstances. Even if you define social conventions as objective, they are not universal or absolute.
Spectrum wrote: It is the basic instinct of survival to avoid being murdered, rape and other evil acts [other than perverts].
Whatever other motivations we can think of are secondary.
Survival instinct has nothing to do with defining the "evil property" of an act as an objective quality. Actually, the words murder and rape already contain a social convention, which is based on the circumstances surrounding the act. In other words, several variables are taken into account and the acts alone of ending someone's life or having sex do not imply evil every time. In many cultures, the marriage contract implies the obligation of performing sexual acts and they are not considered rape. Punishing sin with death is also socially accepted and not considered murder. The French writer Catherine Millet described in full detail how she went on to have a promiscuous life in which she didn't mind her body being raped by strangers in streets and plazas.
Spectrum wrote: There are degrees to what [is inherently evil] has to be tolerated in the present circumstance but need to be prevented and eliminated in the future.
Note Chattel Slavery was tolerated by most 200 years ago but at present Chattel Slavery is illegal in all Countries.
War [inherently evil] at present is tolerated but humanity is striving its best to eliminate wars and this could be possible within the next 100 years or more.
Again, the word "tolerated" is used to imply that these are things that just happen to people, like epidemics or earthquakes, as if they weren't intentional human actions. But the fact is that certain acts that may be conventionally regarded as evil today, and consequently classified as unlawful, were not regarded as evil and unlawful before. The evilness compass changed.

BTW, slavery seems to be making a comeback and the idea that humanity is striving to end wars is very much disputable.
Spectrum wrote: We have to make a start somewhere then to improve our skills based on accurate data [with lots of caution and avoid hasty generalizations]. What is relevant here is there is a trend of an exponential expansion of knowledge in the various advance fields to increase precision but of course we need to exercise lots of care on such things.
Your whole statistical approach to judging groups is guaranteed to produce hasty generalizations. And that's exactly what is shown in your preliminary examples.
Spectrum wrote: The USA citizens has the same evil potential like any other group of citizens, i.e. 20% of any citizens are born with evil tendencies.
There's no factual basis for this assertion. Talk about hasty generalizations.
Spectrum wrote: Thus there is no change in the evil potential.
If all influencing factors are the same, there is no difference in the number of individuals committing murder.

The only difference is the number killed are more because Guns can easily kill many in one attack.
In terms of guns, there would a greater sense of fear [not greater potential] in the USA when compared to Britain.
You're now admitting that a good number of variables are to be taken into account for making sense of the data. The selection of variables itself and the weight one gives to any of them is greatly influenced by subjectivity. That proves that no "evil potential" can be measured as a discrete quantitative value or objective property.
Spectrum wrote: You are going too wild with statistics without taking other specific factors into consideration.
That's exactly my critique of your statistical approach. You can do almost absolutely anything with statistics. Remember: there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Spectrum wrote: We know 20% of Christians are born with an active evil tendencies.
Oh, really? What's the factual basis for that assertion?
Spectrum wrote: But we also know Christianity has an overriding pacifist maxim. e.g. love your enemies, etc.
Well, actually it stands besides other Christian maxims that run against pacifism. They made possible the Crusades, the Inquisition and the killing of indigenous populations.
Spectrum wrote: Thus even if all Christians carry guns in the USA, in general it is not likely they will go against God's commands to kill simply because they have guns, else they will go to hell [as usual there will be exceptions].
Guns are specifically manufactured and sold for killing. And they don't just happen to appear in people's hands, so that beats your argument. But It's interesting to see how you manipulate the variables, finding arguments to include or exclude those that you find convenient, so that statistics show what you want them to show. As usual in these apparently objective studies about human behavior, it's never about the raw numbers and objective properties of human action, but how to justify hasty generalizations.
Spectrum wrote: What make the difference are the stimuli that triggers the potential into actions.
Humans are not Pavlov's dog. Behaviorism and its stimulus-response theory was debunked and abandoned several decades ago.

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