• I like sushi
    1.7k
    We also see left and right, hot and cold and numerous other flavoured antonyms (gradable, relational or complimentary). I am assuming you don’t consider them all aspects of Good and Evil, but I’d love to hear more if you do.

    Thanks
  • leo
    631
    For starters are Evil and Good similar? Do neither ‘feel’ or ‘want’? If not then they don’t appear to be completely related.I like sushi

    I suppose it would be more accurate to say that Good gives love and acts towards unity, whereas Evil gives suffering and acts towards separation.

    If they can be mistaken for each other how are we to know which is which?I like sushi

    Evil is what makes one forget what is Good and what makes one mistake them. But when you feel unconditional love within you you you know what Good is. You can learn to see that fear leads to separation and suffering. You can learn to see what leads to love and what leads to suffering and destruction, and that way you can learn to see the tricks Evil uses to spread.

    I don’t think anecdotal evidence from singular individuals holds up well in a philosophical discussion - interesting, but not really convincing evidence.I like sushi

    What else do we have besides anecdotal evidence from singular individuals? That’s all we have in any philosophical discussion. My anecdotal evidence isn’t convincing to you simply because you haven’t experienced what I have experienced. Just like anecdotal evidence of colors wouldn’t be convincing to someone who has never seen colors. If most people were blind, those who see would be seen by the majority as delusional, or unconvincing. For a great part of my life I didn’t have these experiences and a lot of what goes on didn’t make sense to me, but now it all seems to fall into place.

    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.I like sushi

    Look at it this way: would there be a need for suffering in a world without Evil? A little suffering is helpful to us in this world because it helps us fight Evil. Too much suffering destroys us.

    We also see left and right, hot and cold and numerous other flavoured antonyms (gradable, relational or complimentary). I am assuming you don’t consider them all aspects of Good and EvilI like sushi

    I believe that in a world without Evil the concepts of left and right and hot and cold wouldn’t make sense, but I don’t see them as characteristics of Evil per se, rather I see them as concepts that result from the fight between Good and Evil. Evil works towards separation while Good works towards unity. A world with a different balance of Good and Evil would have different characteristics.

    I see Evil spreading in our world. We are more and more divided. We destroy one another, other species, the environment. We see love as a weakness, suffering as a strength, unsustainable growth that leads to destruction as desirable, profiting at the expense of others as a success. If that Evil keeps spreading that world will turn into a desolate wasteland, almost devoid of love, beauty, life, happiness. At that point the best you can hope is that you won’t be there to see it, but if when you die you don’t really die and keep existing in some way, then there you will experience Evil, for Evil will have spread much more than Good.
  • I like sushi
    1.7k
    We have very different ideas about what evidence philosophy works with and our general view of the world.

    Thanks for expressing yourself.
  • Possibility
    665
    Wilful Ignorance, apathy and absolutism are forms of pure evil in my eyes.Mark Dennis

    Yes, this behaviour can be destructive, but I wouldn’t call it ‘pure evil’ - I would think that’s a form of absolutism. In my opinion, if our response to ‘pure evil’ is to fight it - to exclude, isolate or ignore it - then we cannot hope to reduce its impact on the world.

    Wilful ignorance, apathy and absolutism are examples of fear manifesting as what we would call ‘evil’. Why would one ignore something that should be obvious? Because to acknowledge it is to face information about the world that requires effort, attention or adjustment (ie. energy) on their part in order to integrate it into their reality.

    Sometimes what is required is simply to adjust one’s course, to halt momentum or change direction in a way that accomodates the new information. Other times, what we need to change is our whole perception of reality, which can not only be painful and humiliating, but involve a loss of what we value in our current perspective, and remind us of how much information we are still lacking about our world.

    In refusing to initiate the required action, we show our fear - and then attempt to conceal it by ignoring, isolating or excluding anything in our world that draws attention to this information. If the information continues to present before us, and we continue to resist, that resistance can lead us to initiate acts of hatred, violence, oppression or despair - and then we are manifesting ‘evil’.
  • leo
    631
    We have very different ideas about what evidence philosophy works with and our general view of the world.

    Thanks for expressing yourself.
    I like sushi

    That’s okay, thanks for listening.

    I’m just going to clarify something for those who might be interested (you don’t have to reply if you don’t want to), in the view I’m presenting Good and Evil do have a will, otherwise it wouldn’t be coherent for us to have a will, but I disagree that it implies that Evil suffers when Good reduces suffering.

    We are used to encounter suffering when we don’t get what we want, but not getting what we want doesn’t imply suffering, for instance Buddhists have realized that it isn’t wanting something that leads to suffering, it is being attached to what we want.

    To me there is also a difference between wanting and willing: wanting seems to me to be a state of dissatisfaction from not having something that is desired, whereas willing is acting to reach some purpose. There can be will without suffering.

    Finally, and I know this won’t count as evidence to you but it is evidence to me and it might be evidence to some, the Evil I have experienced cannot suffer, it is the source of suffering itself. Even the worse psychopaths and serial killers have a little bit of Good in them, but Evil is not like them, it has none.


    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.
    Serving Zion

    I say there is no randomness in the sense everything that happens happens for a reason, as it was willed by Good or Evil.

    I say there are no laws again in the sense that things do not happen because they follow laws that are written somehow into the fabric of the Universe, rather the combined effect of the will of Good and Evil give rise to some apparent regularities that we describe through laws. I agree that laws are ideas, what I’m saying is that the Universe doesn’t behave the way it does because of these laws.

    I agree also that one can manufacture destiny though will, again what I was saying is that there is no destiny set in stone that is inevitable no matter what we do if everything is the result of will.

    And I agree that we observe what we call death, what I meant again is that the combined effect of the will of Good and Evil leads to that apparence of death, to the separation of a being from other beings. But if all there is is Good and Evil, then that being was part Good and part Evil, so he doesn’t simply disappear the moment he dies, he keeps existing in some way, he doesn’t suddenly turn into a heap of dead matter that disintegrates, rather his will dissolves into his surroundings and retains an indirect influence on everything else.

    Are you describing life after death? If so, can you show evidence to support this?Serving Zion

    It’s simply a logical consequence in this model, everything is connected, if fundamentally everything is will then it wouldn’t make sense that this will suddenly disappears into nothingness.

    As to the validity of this model, it is to me the one that fits everything. I would have never got to this model if I had never had experiences of universal love, of everything being connected and of evil entities, and to me since I’ve had these experiences it is more than a model, it’s reality.

    However even without having had these experiences one can entertain it and see how it fits what they experience.

    To me other models do not work as well, for instance materialism cannot explain how it is that experience can arise from matter, or why the laws of the universe are what they are and not something else. Other models usually involve an arbitrary distinction between reality and imagination/hallucination but here there is no such distinction needed. Models that involve only a God have a hard time explaining why there is so much evil. Models that involve no will underlying the universe have a hard time explaining how some things appear so finely tuned. There is a whole lot more I want to communicate but it is hard to convey with words.
  • uncanni
    338
    We see life and death in the cosmosleo

    So you perceive the death of a star as evil? Or the big bang, or a black hold? I can't agree with that. I see evil as a strictly human action. Although sometimes I'm not sure whether cats are being evil when they toy with their prey....
  • 3017amen
    860
    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.leo

    My philosophy is similar to Wayfarer's thoughts on evil. Also I'm sure you're familiar with Taoism, where you cannot have one without the other, like rain and sunshine.


    On Evil:

    "To understand the Taoist notion of good and evil, it is important to distinguish between the "concept" of evil versus the "reality" of evil.

    As a concept, Taoists do not hold the position of good against evil; rather they see the interdependence of all dualities. So when one labels something as a good, one automatically creates evil. That is, all concepts necessarily are based on one aspect vs. another; if a concept were to have only one aspect, it would be nonsensical. "

    Read more at https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/taoism/what-do-taoists-believe.aspx#Z8Rsay3Tmiwp6rOL.99


    Also, as Existential Psychologist Maslow said in an interview prior to his death:

    PT: In our society, we see all behavior as a demon we can vanquish and banish, don't we? And yet good people do evil things.

    Maslow: Most people are nice people. Evil is caused by ignorance, thoughtlessness, fear, or even the desire for popularity with one's gang. We can cure many such causes of evil. Science is progressing, and I feel hope that psychology can solve many of these problems. I think that a good part of evil behavior bears on the behavior of the normal.

    PT: How will you approach the study of evil?

    Maslow: If you think only of evil, then you become pessimistic and hopeless like Freud. But if you think there is no evil, then you're just one more deluded Pollyanna. The thing is to try to understand and realize how it's possible for people who are capable of being angels, heroes, or saints to be bastards and killers. Sometimes, poor and miserable people are hopeless. Many revenge themselves upon life for what society has done to them. They enjoy hurting.

    PT: Your study of evil will have to be subjective, won't it? How can we measure evil in the laboratory?

    Maslow: All the goals of objectivity, repeatability, and preplanned experimentation are things we have to move toward. The more reliable you make knowledge, the better it is. If the salvation of man comes out of the advancement of knowledge--taken in the best sense--then these goals are part of the strategy of knowledge.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    if all there is is Good and Evil, then that being was part Good and part Evilleo
    I don't see the person as possessing good and evil, but good and evil possessing the person according to God's judgment of that person, in response a) primarily, the reward for their decisions, b) secondarily, the right of good treatment for those whom God is working justice, by those who are not His possessions (as above).

    Therefore, whether a person is of good or of evil in their spirit, changes from moment to moment, and whether their heart and philosophy tend to yield toward one or the other, is a result of the influence of the words (concepts conveyed) by good and evil over time, and resentments / detachments.

    IOW, "heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool" and "as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways".

    But if all there is is Good and Evil, then that being was part Good and part Evil, so he doesn’t simply disappear the moment he dies, he keeps existing in some way, he doesn’t suddenly turn into a heap of dead matter that disintegrates, rather his will dissolves into his surroundings and retains an indirect influence on everything else.leo

    It seems to me you would have to agree that it is speculative and theoretical only. Would you agree?

    ("For the living know that they will die,
    but the dead know nothing.
    They have no further reward,
    even the memory of them is forgotten.
    6 Their love, their hatred, and their zeal
    have already perished;
    never again will they have a share
    in anything that is done under the sun." Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).

    if fundamentally everything is will then it wouldn’t make sense that this will suddenly disappears into nothingness.leo

    Make sure to include the caveat "individual" wills, because my will is not her will and neither is hers his, or that's. So new wills come into the world through new life, but those wills pass out of the world through death. There are eternal wills too, as you know, of good and evil, of God and the sons of God (John 8:34-36), etc (eg Matthew 25:41).
  • Teller
    14

    Serving Zion...Might be time to put down the "good book" and and put yourself in order with how things work out--
    the Tao.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    That's a strange thing to say. I don't remember that we have spoken before.. could you please explain?
  • staticphoton
    121
    I see Evil spreading in our world. We are more and more divided. We destroy one another, other species, the environment. We see love as a weakness, suffering as a strength, unsustainable growth that leads to destruction as desirable, profiting at the expense of others as a success. If that Evil keeps spreading that world will turn into a desolate wasteland, almost devoid of love, beauty, life, happiness.leo

    When you are a child you are nourished and protected, existence is centered around you. From that point it is a process adapting to your environment and the perspective shifts from you to your surroundings. As you age your ability to adapt can't keep up with the changing world, and you become fearful of the future as your environment appears to become less and less survivable. "The world is going to hell" attitude is a perspective as ancient as man.

    Lets face it, the farther you look back in human history the lesser quality of life and the greater suffering you find.

    Good and evil can't be absolutes, they will always be a matter of perspective. You can make a valid point by sayin good is that which benefits you and those within your circle, and that evil is that which disrupts you and those within your circle. Or that good and evil are measures, not entities: We call the absence of light "darkness" and give it an entity, but darkness is nothing but the absence of light in the same sense that evil is the absence of good.

    Animals act by programmed instinct, as humans we perceive ourselves able to raise above our animal impulses and are expected to exercise our humanity through free will, and do that which benefits the group in the long term as opposed to what benefits us individually and immediately. We call that good. When we fail to raise above our basic animal instincts, we call that evil.

    The acts of a "evil" human, such as a psychopath opening fire on a crowd or a dictator exploiting his people, you can't remove the responsibility of the individual's act by blaming it on evil.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    You have said three things that I don't understand:

    • It seems that the time is good for me to stop reading the bible.
    • Things work out (somehow - context is undefined).
    • I need to put myself in order with that ("the way things work out").

    I said it is a strange thing to say because it doesn't contain enough information to understand what you mean by saying it, and it is said in a way that assumes it carries the implied meaning you wish for it to carry. That assumption of reader inference is a strong device when people have a history that is useful for it, but you are a person I don't remember having spoken with before, so it is strange that you have omitted all the necessary context for me, as a stranger, to understand what you want me to understand.

    So, I'd like an explanation so I can know how I should respond. Thank you.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    Lets face it, the farther you look back in human history the lesser quality of life and the greater suffering you find.staticphoton

    Not necessarily. Culture is constantly fluid. One thing we can know for sure, is that vacuum cleaners and chemical technology have (potentially) contributed the greatest advances in environmental health, by reducing presence of toxic dusts and molds in homes. On the other hand, the pollutants from vehicular transport exposes us to harmful dusts and fumes that probably life would suffer less if the clock was rolled back. And that's besides mentioning the more obvious sufferings that polution has brought to the world, the extinctions from humans pillaging the environment, mass murders, riots, man-made diseases, nuclear fallouts, indoctrinations, forced medications, politicians disregard for justice, judges revelling in their wickedness, social disdain for holiness, beggars lying for drugs, cities imprisoning homeless to prepare for sports events, radicals chopping heads off in the name of God, laws making pregnancy an alternative to working and marriage, etc.

    No, the world is in a bad way, like never before, and on a global scale, and in the whole world, with the whole world aware of these things, nobody has stopped it, and the ones who would stop it if they had power, are not drawing interest from those who have the power.. in fact to the contrary they are seen as enemies because of the natural indignation that the truth is, the powers are afraid of standing in proximity to them, for fear of how they might measure up to the stature of their name in light of the truth.
  • staticphoton
    121

    Not necessarily. Culture is constantly fluid. One thing we can know for sure, is that vacuum cleaners and chemical technology have (potentially) contributed the greatest advances in environmental health, by reducing presence of toxic dusts and molds in homes. On the other hand, the pollutants from vehicular transport exposes us to harmful dusts and fumes that probably life would suffer less if the clock was rolled back. And that's besides mentioning the more obvious sufferings that polution has brought to the world, the extinctions from humans pillaging the environment, mass murders, riots, man-made diseases, nuclear fallouts, indoctrinations, forced medications, politicians disregard for justice, judges revelling in their wickedness, social disdain for holiness, beggars lying for drugs, cities imprisoning homeless to prepare for sports events, radicals chopping heads off in the name of God, laws making pregnancy an alternative to working and marriage, etc.

    No, the world is in a bad way, like never before, and on a global scale, and in the whole world, with the whole world aware of these things, nobody has stopped it, and the ones who would stop it if they had power, are not drawing interest from those who have the power.. in fact to the contrary they are seen as enemies because of the natural indignation that the truth is, the powers are afraid of standing in proximity to them, for fear of how they might measure up to the stature of their name in light of the truth..
    Serving Zion

    Ah we have to disagree then.
    If you feel that living today is worse than in an epoch when it is commonplace for an enemy to march into your home and kill your family or take them into slavery, when it was normal for disease or famine to kill a significant portion of your offspring and neighbors. To constantly fear the unknown, or worse yet, the complete lack of empathy from those who ruled and exploited the land you lived on.

    I think you overestimate the "goodness" and "decency" of folks of them old days.

    But worse yet, you underestimate the goodness of the common man of today. Although it is the scandalously wicked and the atrocious acts that make the headlines, most of us are hard working, we educate and nourish our children, and we look forward to a better day. We have faith in the new generations to negotiate through the flaws of past generations.
    Your characterization is unfair and does NOT represent an accurate picture of today's humanity.

    If you're scrounging the bottom of the barrel, that is exactly what you will find. There is PLENTY of good also to be found if that was what you were looking for.
  • Mark Dennis
    433
    If only it were that Binary and dualistic things would maybe be simpler haha.

    To describe what goes on within, look outward. A political landscape adrift in a sea of unknowns. So it is outward, so it is within. The self is a raging war deep within, with many internal and external agents.
  • Banno
    6.5k
    Good against evil; simplifying a complex world down past the point of absurdity.

    This thread is another symptom of the paucity of philosophical content on this forum.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    Ah we have to disagree then.staticphoton
    If you say so.
    If you feel that living today is worse than in an epoch when it is commonplace for an enemy to march into your home and kill your family or take them into slavery, when it was normal for disease or famine to kill a significant portion of your offspring and neighbors. To constantly fear the unknown, or worse yet, the complete lack of empathy from those who ruled and exploited the land you lived on.staticphoton

    Yes, that is my life, precisely!

    I think you overestimate the "goodness" and "decency" of folks of them old days.staticphoton

    That is fair to say, but it doesn't necessarily mean that there weren't days past where folks were decent and relatively good. It also does not negate what I have said (read again, carefully).


    But worse yet, you underestimate the goodness of the common man of today. Although it is the scandalously wicked and the atrocious acts that make the headlines, most of us are hard working, we educate and nourish our children, and we look forward to a better day. We have faith in the new generations to negotiate through the flaws of past generations.
    Your characterization is unfair and does NOT represent an accurate picture of today's humanity.
    staticphoton

    It is only a reflection of my experiences and knowledge, especially in context of a world that keeps burying itself into wrongness by opposing the true things I say. What your experience is, is different from mine. Where the real distinction is found, is not in the value of optimism as you have proposed, but real justice, that I am warning has failed to hold back the tide of evil that is rushing over the minds of the people.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    If you're scrounging the bottom of the barrel, that is exactly what you will find. There is PLENTY of good also to be found if that was what you were looking for.staticphoton

    My real complaint is that the bad keeps getting in the way of the good, and there is no power against it because justice is woefully absent.
  • staticphoton
    121
    Yes, that is my life, precisely!Serving Zion

    That being, I understand your perspective.

    My real complaint is that the bad keeps getting in the way of the good, and there is no power against it because justice is woefully absent.Serving Zion

    Justice is a worthy ideal to fight for, yet my point only being that although an epoch of justice for all might lay in a far future, I cannot think of a time in history when (in proportion with the number of humans living on the planet) the justice situation was better. As you step back in time it progressively diminishes, all the way to the point where it completely disappears with the early homo sapiens.

    Good and bad are relative terms... after all the bad is gone, the meaning of good would only last as long as our memories of the bad that once was.
    This "battle between good and evil", the light that emanates from a star to fill the darkness around it, the forces that attract from one place to another... that is what sets the universe in motion, and without that motion reality would not exist.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    Justice is a worthy ideal to fight for, yet my point only being that although an epoch of justice for all might lay in a far future, I cannot think of a time in history when (in proportion with the number of humans living on the planet) the justice situation was better.staticphoton

    I appreciate your input, but I really don't think that is the best measurement. Any injustice is too much for me to be satisfied, but what we have in the present age is destruction and harm on scales that the world has never seen, that indeed would have seemed impossible before the industrial revolution .. so the responsibility upon justice, and thereby the gravity of it's failure, contributes to the measurement of my complaint and desire for better days.

    As you step back in time it progressively diminishes, all the way to the point where it completely disappears with the early homo sapiens.staticphoton

    I don't accept that view, because as I have said, it depends upon culture and culture is constantly fluid. When I look at the records in the Old Testament of the bible, there are fluctuations of periods of righteousness and wickedness, where my complaint of the present is rooted in a knowledge that the world's knowledge of righteousness has seen better days. And, righteousness is paramount in justice, because those who exercise power in the name of justice are tasked to discern and judge right from wrong - but how can a judge who is not righteous, possibly discern righteousness? Of course their skepticism is weighted and biased to automatically presume that every person has wicked intentions just as they do, and thus comes the declaration of moral depravity "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". You might see in the very words of official judgements in courts of law, judges gloating about how clever they are at evading possible recourse as they declare how they have managed to present the law in favour of their chosen party. It truly is a sickening reality.

    Good and bad are relative terms... after all the bad is gone, the meaning of good would only last as long as our memories of the bad that once was.staticphoton

    But there would be no cause for complaint about any bad, so therefore it can only be said to be good.

    It is a twisted logic that says bad is necessary for good. I don't buy it. As you know as well as I do, by removing all bad, only good remains, and even within the realm of all that is good, there is ample provision for creativity.

    This "battle between good and evil", the light that emanates from a star to fill the darkness around it, the forces that attract from one place to another... that is what sets the universe in motion, and without that motion reality would not exist.staticphoton

    I think you have gone too far with that metaphor. For instance, light does not fill darkness, it travels through it. Only when the light encounters an object that it cannot penetrate, does it become known in the darkness.

    I do understand what you are trying to achieve with the metaphor - that the relationship between gravitational bodies demonstrates "potential difference" (an electrical expression), where in terms of spirituality and life, it is the potential difference between people that provides for creativity. That is valid logic to follow, but I just caution against following the argument that says evil is necessary for good to be appreciated, because it only gives support to the idea that evil is somehow a thing to be appreciated. As soon as someone takes an axiomatic approach like that, they have yielded themselves to arguing for the sake of the argument rather than assessing the reality for what is true and right.

    I say that in absence of evil, all people being individuals with individual strengths, interests and experiences, together are no less able to create than if evil is to exist. I say this because creativity itself is an expression of love, which is antithetical to evil. IOW, evil is, in truth, the force that destroys. In absence of evil, therefore, is potential for everlasting life - and it's interesting when you dig into the meaning of the text in Genesis 3:24, to find out what it means to have Cherubim and a sword of fire guarding the way to the tree of life. Only because Adam had guilt, could the flaming sword sear his conscience, and only because he had fallen, could he not stand in judgement of the one who would rob him of his access to life.
  • staticphoton
    121
    I say that in absence of evil, all people being individuals with individual strengths, interests and experiences, together are no less able to create than if evil is to exist. I say this because creativity itself is an expression of love, which is antithetical to evil. IOW, evil is, in truth, the force that destroys. In absence of evil, therefore, is potential for everlasting life - and it's interesting when you dig into the meaning of the text in Genesis 3:24, to find out what it means to have Cherubim and a sword of fire guarding the way to the tree of life. Only because Adam had guilt, could the flaming sword sear his conscience, and only because he had fallen, could he not stand in judgement of the one who would rob him of his access to life.Serving Zion

    I cannot pretend to convince you to believe otherwise, as your faith has to be uncompromising to function.
    But the meaning of goodness is acquired in the "movement" from bad to good. Good is what happens when men rise above adversity in times of difficulty... "the worse of times bring the best in men" was not stated without precedent. Creativity is what happens when men strive to overcome hardship, difficulty and need are the engine that moves ideas and imagination.

    And although it is true that justice has seen fluctuations through time, the trend from the beginning to now has moved towards improvement. You reject that but that is how I see it.

    I'm going to step down from the discussion at this point, as neither of us is ready to concede, but I wish you my best.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    I cannot pretend to convince you to believe otherwise, as your faith has to be uncompromising to function.
    But the meaning of goodness is acquired in the "movement" from bad to good. Good is what happens when men rise above adversity in times of difficulty... "the worse of times bring the best in men" was not stated without precedent. Creativity is what happens when men strive to overcome hardship, difficulty and need are the engine that moves ideas and imagination.

    And although it is true that justice has seen fluctuations through time, the trend from the beginning to now has moved towards improvement. You reject that but that is how I see it.

    I'm going to step down from the discussion at this point, as neither of us is ready to concede, but I wish you my best.
    staticphoton

    So before our conversation is over, I see that I haven't clearly shown you the difference between evil and bad. I say this because what you are speaking about comes from a view of the world that does not see the spiritual forces of evil and good that are behind human actions.

    When you use the example of hardship, difficulty and need as being bad things that are a driving factor for creativity, and the overcoming of that bad is good: that is acceptable, logical and true in my view, but it doesn't quite reach to address the message of what this thread is about: that (cosmic) evil creates bad, and (cosmic) good is at war with it for life's sake.

    Everything I have said about justifying evil, has not been said in context of the bad that you have spoken of, and that I have found acceptable. It has been spoken of in context of the cosmic forces of good and evil that vie for dominance in the mind. And that is an important difference to understand.

    I have said that if the world gave no place for cosmic evil in the mind, then all that remains is good, and there is still ample creativity in that setting. Further to that, I said that (cosmic) good is the only reason creativity exists, and that (cosmic) evil is only a destructive force.

    While I speak hypothetically of a perfect world in which every mind has learned to not give evil a hold over it, in that world where the spiritual environment is only good, there is still opportunity for hardship, difficulty and need (IOW: bad can still exist in the absence of evil). This is made possible in my use of language because "bad" is a description of a thing that desire would prefer to change.

    To give an example: a child gets a new toy and instantly breaks it. It is bad because the toy is broken, and therefore it needs to be fixed before it can be good again. But did evil inspire the child to break the toy? No, in fact it was creativity that caused it. So bad things do not always come from the manifestation of evil spirits. On the other hand, an evil spirit might create bad, such as for example siblings play and one begins to be offended that the other will not share, so in the absence of the (cosmic) good subduing it (consider Genesis 1:28), rage eventuates and he breaks his sister's toy. So evil does certainly cause bad to happen.

    So in terms of conflict, I observe the spiritual reality as cosmic struggle - where the mind is the battleground. Each mind must decide whether it will think in the way of (cosmic) good or (cosmic) evil, that is to say that either the mind will choose to think in the mode of love or in the mode of sin. In my vocabulary, according to my understanding, sin is the cosmic adversary of all living things. I say it is cosmic because it can only manifest into the physical realm through the mind having yielded itself to the spirit that ensnared it by the lure of sin.

    St. James wrote that we are tempted by our desires to do things that cut us off from righteousness, and then when we choose to go that way, it gives birth to sin. Then when sin has grown to maturity, it brings forth death. This is describing cosmic death, of course. There are many examples of people who develop their sinfulness well beyond maturity, and their body endures to old age. So the cosmic death that Christian philosophy speaks about, is an utter detachment from reality and truth.

    When a person begins to do sin, they are hesitant, and their heart races, but then they become comfortable with it. Then their attitude toward it is so adjusted that their worldview is actually so disjointed from reality, that they say things that aren't true and they are blind to their hypocrisy. They are cut off from life spiritually, because they do not see reality in truth.

    It is the cosmic evil that has the intention to corrupt our thinking and lure us into sin so that we become enslaved by sin to do the actions belonging to evil - as opposed to the cosmic force of good that works to bring our mind to an opportunity to break free from the power that sin has, so that by resisting the desire to do sin, we think according to the truth and increase in understanding of the truth.

    So the spirit that operates within us is the result of our decision to do good or evil (to do what is right according to the truth, or to do sinful desires, requiring distortion of facts to evade conviction). That is the difference described in 1 John 2:9-10 for example, where the darkness conceals things whereas the light makes all things visible. We who are living without sin, actually have nothing to hide! .. and you can see a stark contrast between us and them with a very simple test. They are afraid of having their conversations recorded because their heart is wicked and they instinctively fear being exposed.

    So, to bring it back into focus, consider who Jesus was, in Christian philosophy: the one who had no sin. Since He is without sin, we say that He was a pure expression of cosmic good, there was no expression of cosmic evil through Him. Yet, someone once asked the question of how his father Joseph would respond when He, as a carpenter, broke His first piece of timber. It is purely speculative, of course, to suggest that Jesus might have over-salted his food while learning to cook as a teenager, or that He might have coloured outside the lines as a four year old learning to draw. We don't have explicit information that He did make such natural mistakes, but it is a safe assumption because such things are natural for a human who is learning, and they can be said to be bad things, but not necessarily evil - the spirit in which they are done, and the spirit of the parent who would punish or forgive, that is where cosmic good and evil should be recognised as distinct from the carnal judgements we make - whether a thing is good as it is, or whether it is so bad that it should be changed into good, evil behaves such as in order to destroy, whereas love behaves so as to build-up.
  • staticphoton
    121
    Everything I have said about justifying evil, has not been said in context of the bad that you have spoken of, and that I have found acceptable. It has been spoken of in context of the cosmic forces of good and evil that vie for dominance in the mind. And that is an important difference to understand.

    I have said that if the world gave no place for cosmic evil in the mind, then all that remains is good, and there is still ample creativity in that setting. Further to that, I said that (cosmic) good is the only reason creativity exists, and that (cosmic) evil is only a destructive force.
    Serving Zion

    If you think that evil minds, evil spirits, or even the devil himself, are devoid of creativity... you need to look again.

    When a man is confronted with a fork in the road he makes a decision based on many things such as desires, capacity to evaluate consequences, tolerance to risk, moral adherence, etc.
    I don't believe that cosmic evil and good forces are wrestling for control of the joystick of his mind, I believe that man is fully responsible for his actions. Anything that could be interpreted as good or evil comes from within.
    I seriously doubt that "...But the evil spirit made me do it..." will be a valid excuse on judgment day.

    I do appreciate your post, as it is well intentioned.
    But you must admit, its dogmatic content forces it into the realm of preaching and not discussion.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    If you think that evil minds, evil spirits, or even the devil himself, are devoid of creativity... you need to look again.staticphoton

    Well, yes ok, but that is different from what I have said though, so it really does show that we aren't going to achieve much good by continued discussion.

    What you said here is a bit like the statement that Jesus said "when the devil lies, he speaks his native language because he is a liar and the father of it" - which means to say that even though the devil can say things that are true, it isn't said for the purpose of telling the truth.

    Just as evil can be creative, it isn't creativity for the purpose of creating ("the thief comes for nothing other than to steal, kill and destroy").

    When a man is confronted with a fork in the road he makes a decision based on many things such as desires, capacity to evaluate consequences, tolerance to risk, moral adherence, etc.staticphoton

    Yes, both sides are aware of that. It is the subject's ignorance of the mechanism of his decision, that puts him at risk of making poor decisions. Why does he make a poor decision?

    I don't believe that evil and good forces are wrestling for control of the joystick of his mind,staticphoton

    Yep, it's just as I mentioned, axiomatic. That's why you won't enter the path into knowledge of the cosmic struggle, to understand why people become demonically possessed, agents of deceit.

    I believe that man is fully responsible for his actions.staticphoton

    Well, you can only think so if you don't agree that sin takes the mind captive into slavery, but it is obvious that people do get stitched up in denial of truth, lying, and being unable to express themselves freely because of sin.

    The bible tells of a time before sin, when surely man was responsible for his own actions. But ever since sin has been here, it has been an adversary to us (Genesis 4:7), and the tragedy of life is that we, mortals, are born with zero experience and wisdom regarding sin, while sin has thousands of years of experience of finding corruption in every single person that has ever lived.

    I seriously doubt that "...But the evil spirit made me do it..." will be a valid excuse on judgment day.staticphoton

    No, it probably won't because the next question will be "why did you believe what he said but not what I said?", and because God has wisdom, he will have ensured that you won't be able to say that you didn't have a chance to listen. So it is wise to think about those things early and see whether we can't receive His judgement sooner (John 3:17-21, Ecclesiastes 9:4-5).
  • Banno
    6.5k
    Treating good and evil as metaphysics. Is this a low point for the forum?

    And there is no argument for it - just

    I had this epiphany and I find everything makes sense, to me it all fits.leo

    That's what counts as quality philosophical thinking now?

    Consider:
    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

    So here Leo bases good and evil on happiness and suffering. He's actually a hedonist.

    So party on.

    And add @Serving Zion, who replaces inquiry with Biblical quotation.

    This thread ought be removed.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    replaces inquiryBanno

    That is not the purpose of my having given reference to material for further consideration.
  • PoeticUniverse
    781
    the cosmic evil that has the intention to corrupt our thinking and lure us into sin so that we become enslaved by sin to do the actions belonging to evilServing Zion

    Seems that 'God' allows this cosmic evil and/or the Devil, which allowance can't be approved and thus prevents the following of 'God'.
  • Serving Zion
    160
    Seems that 'God' allows this cosmic evil and/or the Devil, which allowance can't be approved and thus prevents the following of 'God'.PoeticUniverse
    It's cunning, how it appeals to our desire to blame a higher authority - because that is a natural human response. In order to be a valid complaint, one has to prove that the authority has been sinful to allow the evil - because without sin, evil does not exist. A bad thing in absence of sin is only bad because of a mistake or mishap - and then it is not an injustice, it is only sad.

    When you look at examples individually, however, it is clear that the human choice is what empowers evil. If our faith and knowledge has been made perfect, we would be consistently choosing to empower God instead of evil, and that is precisely why the cosmic war goes on. Where on Earth, this day, is the person who has such a perfect knowledge and faith? Why? (iow, is it truly God's fault or humans' fault).

    .. So when you say that God allows the cosmic evil, it is only partially true, because the human is expressing his preference to follow the lure of the cosmic evil when he chooses that which appeals to his desires instead of the wisdom of God.

    Ultimately, we have to acknowledge that no human is born with desires that empower sin, but rather it is through the exploitation of those enslaved by sin in the world, that children are led and pressured to assimilate.

    Do you see how children are shielded from the knowledge of evil at a young age, and as age advances, the world invites them to participate? This happens because ultimately, the sinful world is sick: it suffers from a cognitive dissonance wherein it admires the innocence of children but it also is convicted by their conscience in light of that innocence that it is eager to shape the children into it's sinful form.

    So, really, it is because the whole world is of the propensity to do sin, that evil is allowed within it.
  • PoeticUniverse
    781
    It's cunning, how it appeals to our desire to blame a higher authority - because that is a natural human response. In order to be a valid complaint, one has to prove that the authority has been sinful to allow the evil - because without sin, evil does not exist. A bad thing in absence of sin is only bad because of a mistake or mishap - and then it is not an injustice, it is only sad.Serving Zion

    As the 'Designer' of our world, its creatures, and their nature, 'God' bears the full responsibility, whether intended, or not intended—as mistake or mishap. The blame is not shirkable.

    When you look at examples individually, however, it is clear that the human choice is what empowers evil. If our faith and knowledge has been made perfect, we would be consistently choosing to empower God instead of evil, and that is precisely why the cosmic war goes on. Where on Earth, this day, is the person who has such a perfect knowledge and faith? Why? (iow, is it truly God's fault or humans' fault).Serving Zion

    'God' as the originator places inherent evil in human nature and so allows it and tolerates its subsequent expression. We, for example, as the Allies in World War II, stand against evil and therefore also against its source as 'God' plus 'His' further not ever doing anything about it. So, that's bad enough as evil but we had to ourselves rise to stop it, which was additional suffering.

    .. So when you say that God allows the cosmic evil, it is only partially true, because the human is expressing his preference to follow the lure of the cosmic evil when he chooses that which appeals to his desires instead of the wisdom of God.Serving Zion

    The human nature provided by 'God's planning, thinking, design, and implementation of course expresses 'God's' recipe in its far ranging spectrum from good to evil, which is no surprise and thus not just a partial allowance by 'God', leaving no excuses.

    Ultimately, we have to acknowledge that no human is born with desires that empower sin, but rather it is through the exploitation of those enslaved by sin in the world, that children are led and pressured to assimilate.Serving Zion

    Human nature indeed can swerve to sin and did and thus that is indeed inherent and known.

    So, really, it is because the whole world is of the propensity to do sin, that evil is allowed within it.Serving Zion

    The propensity is indeed part and parcel of 'His' Design from the get-go, as I have shown. If, even further, 'God' permits a 'Devil' to have the power to add to add to the built-in propensity, then that is an additional offense toward which we again easily outthink 'God' and therefore go even more against 'God's' world in which evil can try to flourish via the created human nature made capable of such in the first place.

    It is thus not likely that 'God' exists, as per the above and for other reasons:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/6817/an-estimate-for-no-god/p1

    I can give 'God's existence a doubtful but still generous 'maybe', but for the religious to teach or preach it as if it were truth is intellectual dishonesty, especially as indoctrinating to the young or the unsuspecting. Further, 'He' is not a good role model, for more reasons, such as breaking of 'His' own recommended Commandment in the Great Flood, and is thus not followable. It is also curious that the foundational Biblical Genesis is the polar opposite of what's been found, dooming th emotion of divine inspiration.

    side note: A poem I'm working on:

    Evil’s on Earth again, in World War II:
    If ‘God’ allows it, we stand against Him;
    If human nature, we stand against it—
    It’s up to the Allies to kill Evil!

    The Enterprise, due into Pearl Harbor
    On December 6th, 1941,
    Is delayed by storms, and sneaks in on the 8th,
    The sinking Arizona still burning.

    She refuels and restocks in seven hours,
    Amid the destruction of the Battleships,
    Halsley noting, “The Japanese language
    Will one day be spoken only in Hell!”

    Yamamoto now feels free to conquer
    The Pacific islands and Australia,
    Not realizing he’d made what would come to be
    His worst foe: the Gray Ghost—the Enterprise.

    She’d be reported sunk by Japan four times,
    But she’d e’er return from the grave to haunt.
    The Navy would switch to her carrier base,
    With Yorktown, Hornet, Lexington, and Saratoga.
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