• leo
    619
    What if the fundamental entities of the Universe are not matter, or consciousness, but Good and Evil?

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

    Then fundamentally there is no randomness, no laws, no destiny and no death, rather everything that happens is a result of the fight between Good and Evil. What makes things happen is the will of Good and the will of Evil.

    What we call the material world would be a manifestation of this fight between Good and Evil, but a very limited picture of everything that goes on.

    Evil has plenty of tricks to attempt to win and destroy Good: make us believe that Evil doesn’t exist so that we don’t fight against it, make us believe that he is inevitable no matter what we do, make us believe that the Universe obeys laws that we have no control over and so that we are fundamentally powerless, make us believe in destiny and so that we are powerless to change the future, afflict us with diseases that bring us down, make us pursuit pointless endeavors so that we don’t fight against him in the meantime, pit people against one another through various means so that the Good fights itself instead of Evil, give us fears that prevent us to spread Good through love and actions and that lead to hate, make us believe that we can fight him with hate, separate people who love one another with the illusion of death by making us believe that those who have died have stopped existing, trick us by making us see or hear things that lead us to spread Evil, make us believe that those who want to spread Good and fight Evil are crazy and shouldn’t be listened to or believed, make us believe that all that is Good will eventually disappear and that what we do fundamentally doesn’t matter, make us believe that we can’t be absolutely certain of anything and so that the world could be an illusion and it fundamentally doesn’t matter what we do, make us believe that he is weaker than he is, make us forget that Good exists, trick us into mistaking Good for Evil and Evil for Good, make us believe that everything is relative including Good and Evil.

    I have spent decades attempting to understand the universe and existence, and recently I had this epiphany and I find everything makes sense, to me it all fits. Good really exists and Evil really exist, and they manifest in various ways. They manifest through our will and what we believe and what we experience. It is a struggle between the two. Paradise is what will happen if the Good wins. Hell is what will happen if Evil wins. When we die we keep existing in some way. What changes the world is the will of Good and the will of Evil that manifest through us. I have a lot more I want to communicate but I can’t put it into words for now.
  • Tzeentch
    445
    So, in your view, what is evil? Where does it stem from? How is it different from Good?
  • tim wood
    3.3k
    What ifleo
    "If" can be a perfectly good place to start an argument, but at some point the 'if" has to be removed, else the whole edifice rests on it, and "Ifs" don't make good foundations.
    Good really exists and Evil really exists, and they manifest in various ways. They manifest through our will and what we believe and what we experience.leo
    I buy this, perhaps with the qualification that good and evil aren't that which manifests, rather they are the manifestations themselves, "good" and "evil" being abstract terms for classifying. To hold that the good and the evil in some way exist - are real - apart from their instances, is the mistake of scholastic realism, supposing that universals are real existents.
  • leo
    619
    So, in your view, what is evil? Where does it stem from? How is it different from Good?Tzeentch

    Good is that which loves, which wants to unite and to create happiness, whereas Evil is that which hates, which wants to separate and to create suffering.

    I used to believe that there was no Evil, that some people only committed evil acts because they were mistaken, because they didn’t see things clearly, but I have come to realize that there really is Evil. There really is a powerful force that acts to separate and to create suffering, on purpose. If there wasn’t the world wouldn’t be that way, the efforts of Good would have made the world a much better place a long time ago, but these efforts are not effective because Evil is there to actively counter them.

    Where do our desires come from, our beliefs, our experiences? In my view they stem from Good and Evil, they are the ones who create them. We are part Good and part Evil. Out there there are entities that are pure Good and pure Evil, we might call them God and the Devil. Sometimes we can get a glimpse of them.

    As to where Good and Evil stem from, in my view they have existed for aeons, and they are what has given rise to what we call the Universe, or the material world, but that material world is only a small part of what’s out there.

    In my view there is no randomness, no absolute laws that dictate how things behave, no destiny, rather it is the will of Good and the will of Evil that create change, that create motion. The will of Good works to create and sustain life while the will of Evil works to destroy it.

    "If" can be a perfectly good place to start an argument, but at some point the 'if" has to be removed, else the whole edifice rests on it, and "Ifs" don't make good foundations.tim wood

    I only started that way because I realize that what I say can be hard to believe as it is very different from the common paradigms. I know that if someone had said all that to me some years ago I would have rejected it. So the “What if” served as a way to help people entertain what I’m saying instead of rejecting it outright. To me it’s not a “What if”, it’s what I believe, it’s what I have seen.

    To hold that the good and the evil in some way exist - are real - apart from their instances, is the mistake of scholastic realism, supposing that universals are real existents.tim wood

    In my view there really are entities out there beyond our common experiences, I have felt them, and there are reports of other people who have too. I have had the experience that these entities have the power to make us see things, hear things, feel things, believe things. To people who haven’t had this experience it isn’t real. To the people who have it is real.

    So when I talk of Good and Evil I am not referring to specific experiences that we have classified as good or evil, I am referring to that which creates our experiences, our beliefs, our desires, they exist apart from these instances because they are not limited to these instances.
  • I like sushi
    1.6k
    Good is that which loves, which wants to unite and to create happiness, whereas Evil is that which hates, which wants to separate and to create suffering.leo

    I disagree. If Evil wants Evil then Good must make Evil suffer, ergo the Good causes suffering and is therefore Evil by your definition.
  • leo
    619
    I disagree. If Evil wants Evil then Good must make Evil suffer, ergo the Good causes suffering and is therefore Evil by your definition.I like sushi

    You are assuming that Evil suffers. If Evil wants pure suffering, why would it suffer from the lack of it? Evil cannot feel Good or else it wouldn’t be Evil. Evil doesn’t fear, it creates fear. If something doesn’t fear, can it suffer?
  • I like sushi
    1.6k
    If Evil wants to be Evil and Good stops it surely it suffers?

    The point is you’re talking in absolutes aren’t you? Some hypothetical ‘pure’ form.
  • Possibility
    661
    Good really exists and Evil really exist, and they manifest in various ways. They manifest through our will and what we believe and what we experience. It is a struggle between the two.leo

    Will is that which determines and initiates action, based on what is believed and what is experienced. ‘Good’ manifests when the actions initiated increase awareness, connection and collaboration. ‘Evil’ manifests whenever these actions increase ignorance, isolation and exclusion - and is concealed by further ignorance, isolation and exclusion...

    In my view, this ‘evil’ is simply a manifestation of fear: a ‘no’ answer to the opportunities for awareness, connection and collaboration that present themselves with every interaction with the world. Because with each increase in awareness, connection and collaboration comes the painful, humiliating, overwhelming and temporary reality that is our existence. And it can be enough to make anyone but the most courageous run screaming for the hills or simply give up - ignoring, isolating or excluding anything that reveals this suffering in our experience.

    Strangely enough, the only way to effectively alleviate the current experiences of pain, humility, loss and lack is to continually increase awareness, connection and collaboration - which then leads us to new experiences of pain, humility, loss and lack...

    The trick is to understand the difference between suffering and evil, and to recognise that ‘good’ and ‘evil’ come down to the actions we initiate in every interaction with the world, despite the inevitable experiences of suffering.
  • Mark Dennis
    397
    Good’ manifests when the actions initiated increase awareness, connection and collaboration. ‘Evil’ manifests whenever these actions increase ignorance, isolation and exclusion

    I hadn’t asked you before what the opposite of our modality of ethics definition was but it makes so much sense now that I am reading it.

    How do you answer people who would say this is incorrect and that there is no good and evil? Is this black and white thinking or just identifying that black and white exist in a colour/morality spectrum?
  • ssu
    1.6k

    Separating absolutely everything to good and evil is actually evil, no matter how good the intensions would be.
  • Mark Dennis
    397
    I agree that black and white thinking should be frowned upon. However, is that the same as saying black and white don’t exist on a morality spectrum? Is there no colour or is there many colours?
  • I like sushi
    1.6k
    False analogy. Show us pure Evil and pure Good. I can certainly show you black and white.
  • Mark Dennis
    397
    it’s a metaphor not an analogy. Wilful Ignorance, apathy and absolutism are forms of pure evil in my eyes.
  • Mark Dennis
    397
    My counter, The universe is a fight for balance and equilibrium.
  • I like sushi
    1.6k
    Incorrect. You made an analogy between black and white and good and evil. It was a false analogy because we can all agree on a T-shirt being completely black or white, but we cannot say a T-shirt is pure Evil or pure Good.

    It would be a metaphor if you didn’t say ‘colour’.

    How do you know ‘willful ignorance’ when you see it? You’re displaying ignorance of the difference between ‘metaphor’ and ‘analogy’. Are you Evil? See my point. If not never mind.

    We can certainly agree on a societal level about heinous crimes. Even there there are grey areas though - stealing to feed a starving child etc.,.
  • Mark Dennis
    397
    “Morality is a colour spectrum” - Metaphor

    “Morality is like a colour spectrum” - Simile

    “Talking to you about morality is like trying to speak to a brick wall” - Analogy

    A, if you’re going to correct someone’s English, learn basic English.

    B, This is a philosophy forum that welcomes people at all levels of both philosophy and English. Since it is a philosophy forum the philosophy takes priority and the sign of a poor argument is one that is based purely on English (yknow unless it’s english words in nonsense syntax).

    “I agree that black and white thinking should be frowned upon. However, is that the same as saying black and white don’t exist on a morality spectrum? Is there no colour or is there many colours?”

    If we take the first question and leave off the part about colours it’s not even an analogy. “Is there no colour or is there many colours” is me implying morality as colour, therefore a metaphor. If you understood the implication you might have realised that I was suggesting that different ethical stances such as Kantian ethics, Virtue theory, divine command theory, utilitarianism, natural law theory etc.. can be viewed as part of our human morality spectrum.
  • I like sushi
    1.6k
    I agree that black and white thinking should be frowned upon. However, is that the same as saying black and white don’t exist on a morality spectrum? Is there no colour or is there many colours?Mark Dennis
  • I like sushi
    1.6k
    I’ll stick to talking to the OP thanks.
  • Metaphyzik
    6
    I’m stuck on the epistemological grounds for either good or evil. Things and actions exist I’ll grant that. And the prime motivation of life seems to be to survive and reproduce. And all the gradients from the most extreme to the effects - ie wanting additional security (aka money) for survival.

    And since we are in a state of scarcity one persons good is another persons evil. It’s the traditional us vs them scenario and what means justify what ends.

    So in that sense good and evil are antiquated concepts. Really what we are talking about is a state where survival instincts have been propped up into theories of morality.

    Really is the difference between the 2 how survival is attained? How it is gained? How a cushion is built (financial wealth)? How we react to others who are trying to do the same and proactively attack them for the betterment of our own group, country, family, friends.. etc etc.

    Pink Floyd: money, so they say, is the root of all evil today. And I need a Lear jet!
  • Mark Dennis
    397
    I’ll stick to talking to the OP thanks.

    Have some humility and learn to admit when you are wrong. Grow up. Also the OP is about Ethics and morals so any talk of ethics and morals IS sticking to the OP.
  • Mark Dennis
    397
    How do you know ‘willful ignorance’ when you see it? You’re displaying ignorance of the difference between ‘metaphor’ and ‘analogy’. Are you Evil? See my point. If not never mind.
    Tonight’s homework for you, should be learning the difference between metaphor, simile, analogy, cognitive dissonance and projection. ;)

    Also, if good and evil exist, then evil are those who don’t believe in morals and good are those who do. So which one of us does that make evil I wonder.
  • Wayfarer
    8.7k
    There were many ancient religions that believed exactly this. Zoroastianism was one. Many Gnostic sects believed similar things. For example Manicheism:

    Manichaeism taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness.[6] Through an ongoing process that takes place in human history, light is gradually removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light, whence it came. Its beliefs were based on local Mesopotamian religious movements and Gnosticism.[7] — Wikipedia

    Augustine was Manichean before converting to Christianity. And a point that is worth considering is Augustine's post-conversion teaching of 'evil as the privation of the good'. This is the principle that evil has no intrinsic or ultimate reality, that it merely comprises the absence of the good, which is real. So, as illness is the absence of health, and shadow the absence of light, then evil is the privation of the good. So it doesn't see the same kind of stark opposition, even though it can recognise evil as evil.


    But I think the problem is, as a practical matter, it would be exceedingly difficult to follow such a path in today's world. This is not to say that your intuition in the issue is mistaken, but there's also the matter of what Buddhists call 'skillful means', meaning ways in which to practically realise the aims of a teaching.
  • Swan
    175
    Yeah, I don't think so. Define "evil" and explain why "evil" is a problem of the irreligious.
  • uncanni
    338
    As to where Good and Evil stem from, in my view they have existed for aeonsleo

    I can't think of two more anthropomorphic words than Good and Evil: these concepts apply to human behavior; I see no evidence of Good or Evil up to anything anywhere else in the cosmos.
  • Possibility
    661
    How do you answer people who would say this is incorrect and that there is no good and evil? Is this black and white thinking or just identifying that black and white exist in a colour/morality spectrum?Mark Dennis

    To be honest, I’d say they’re probably right - especially if they’re arguing against the ‘good’ and ‘evil’ as described by @leo.

    There’s a reason why I put ‘evil’ in scare quotes: I don’t believe what we commonly refer to as ‘evil’ is what we think it is.

    I don’t agree that the universe is ‘a fight between good and evil’ - they don’t exist as external forces that we either align with or fight against. They’re a verbal convenience that enable us to talk about morality, to structure the value of our behaviour in relation to each other. Like ‘space’, they’re concepts: ideas, not entities. And the more we strive to understand these concepts, the less we need to fight.

    In my view, actions of ignorance, isolation and exclusion at the sub-atomic level are responsible for the diversity of the universe - they’re the reason we have the different elements and the different species of plants and animals, the ‘forces of nature’, etc. It is where opportunities for interaction, for increased awareness, connection and collaboration have been met with a negative ‘response’ that distinguishes between, say, a hydrogen and a helium atom. That’s not ‘evil’ as we commonly understand it.

    So how did ignorance, isolation and exclusion become this ‘evil’ we need to combat?

    When I described ‘the most courageous’, who continue to increase awareness, connection and collaboration, I’m talking about life - and, more specifically, about humanity. This is what we’ve evolved to do best, what we’re physically and mentally built to do - not to survive as such.

    But we’re still made up of elements and systems that have their limitations - that ignore, isolate and exclude in their own way, like everything else in the universe. We need to be aware of these limitations, and find ways to connect anyway and to collaborate with these systems and elements where they’re at: to work around and with their resistance.

    It is when we add to that resistance, when we contribute to the ignorance, isolation and exclusion and even encourage it in others, when we act on this fear and then build on it to conceal it, that we manifest ‘evil’. In the end, it’s just fear - and if we treat it as such, rather than attack it as ‘evil’, then we can work around and with this ignorance, isolation and exclusion in others as well as in ourselves.
  • I like sushi
    1.6k
    Don’t get me wrong. I get the gist of what you’re saying.

    The problem is knowing how you can determine what is Evil or Good. Is it possible for an Evil person to do something Good or is it the intention that matters more?
  • creativesoul
    6.5k
    What if the fundamental entities of the Universe are not matter, or consciousness, but Good and Evil?leo

    If that's the case, then I've got it all wrong...

    :razz:
  • Serving Zion
    158
    Most of what you've said is agreeable, and is a typical religious philosophy. I cannot understand how a person can have a philosophy that does not acknowledge good and evil, unless they have (somehow) chosen to deny the meaning of the words.

    fundamentally there is no randomness, no laws, no destiny and no death, rather everything that happens is a result of the fight between Good and Evilleo

    Those statements are at extreme odds with the truth.
    • Randomness is what empowers the war between good and evil (ie: the potential for the devil to doubt God).
    • Laws are merely described ideas, and ideas certainly exist.
    • Destiny is at odds with randomness, but one who has power to maintain control even when circumstances are beyond their control, can manufacture destiny.
    • To say there is no death is to misuse language itself. Death describes the end of a period of life, and everything that can be observed as living, also can be observed as dying.

    What makes things happen is the will of Good and the will of Evil.leo

    They are the motivational forces. It is the individual's decision that empowers those forces to manifest.

    When we die we keep existing in some way.leo

    Are you describing life after death? If so, can you show evidence to support this?
  • leo
    619
    The point is you’re talking in absolutes aren’t you? Some hypothetical ‘pure’ form.I like sushi

    Some people have felt/seen God, pure love. Some people have felt/seen the Devil, pure Evil. Indeed these would be absolutes and not relative, they would be the only absolutes. As I mentioned in the OP often good can be mistaken for evil and evil can be mistaken for good, but when Good or Evil are felt they cannot be mistaken, that’s what allows to see them as absolutes. It would be the force of Evil that attempts to convince us that Good and Evil are relative rather than absolutes.

    If Evil wants to be Evil and Good stops it surely it suffers?I like sushi

    I see it as misleading to talk of what Evil ‘wants’, earlier I mentioned that Evil ‘hates’ but that’s misleading too, Evil doesn’t feel, Evil acts so as to separate and create suffering, but it doesn’t feel, it doesn’t suffer. Evil is extremely frightening when you really feel it, and Good is extremely beautiful when it is really felt, but most of the time we don’t feel them, and it seems some people never really feel them. However when they are felt we know they really are out there. That’s the only absolutes I have ever experienced.

    If Good stops Evil then there would be pure love and unity, there wouldn’t be suffering, there would be the absence of Evil.

    Is it possible for an Evil person to do something Good or is it the intention that matters more?I like sushi

    I don’t see a person as inherently Evil, but a person can be used by Evil to destroy Good. I don’t see how Evil could do something Good. But a person used by Evil can find the willpower that stems from the Good in them to counter that Evil and do something Good.
  • leo
    619
    I see no evidence of Good or Evil up to anything anywhere else in the cosmos.uncanni

    We see life and death in the cosmos (such as that of stars, which power life). We see creation and destruction. Attraction and repulsion. Everywhere.
  • I like sushi
    1.6k
    I don’t think we’re going to get too far exchanging thoughts here. I can, I hope, at least assist you in pointing out parts you’ve written that would benefit from further clarity.

    For starters are Evil and Good similar? Do neither ‘feel’ or ‘want’? If not then they don’t appear to be completely related.

    If they can be mistaken for each other how are we to know which is which? I don’t think anecdotal evidence from singular individuals holds up well in a philosophical discussion - interesting, but not really convincing evidence.

    Personally I don’t see how anyone can appreciate anything without suffering. If we don’t know how bad things can go then how do we protect against such things? Think of children. They are innocent and vulnerable because of this.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.