• Brett
    2.3k


    I don’t think we select behaviour. It rises up according to conditions. I think we chose when and how to let it assert itself through our free will. We can be good or bad.

    Social civility (I don’t know how that got in there) is a set of cultural actions; chimpanzee or human. Those are actions of free will, maybe imbedded in culture over time but not inherent in us, they’re learned. You can break those civilities any time you want.

    Let’s say that evil is the absence of good. Those are the two primary tendencies we swing between. These are inherent in us, not culturally acquired.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    Let’s say that evil is the absence of good.Brett

    Who’s to say what is good? I’m thinking of the old Taoist parable. Also the story of Adam and Eve who thought they could gain such knowledge by eating the forbidden fruit (knowing better than God). Would it have been bad to kill Hitler in cold blood? Perhaps you might argue that’s murder. Perhaps you would call it justifiable homicide. Perhaps someone more evil than the murdered Hitler had hypnotized the Germans during their time of runaway inflation caused by the winners of the First World War. My point is that people have differing views on what is good and what is bad. Also that there are no absolutes. Perhaps you think you’re generally a good person. I doubt the world’s dolphins swimming through the pollution and plastic you’ve contributed to would think so.
  • Brett
    2.3k


    I think that’s just relativist thinking, it doesn’t help me at all.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    I think that’s just relativist thinking, it doesn’t help me at all.Brett

    To dismiss it as “just relativist thinking” doesn’t do away with its strength. My response should have been directed to the thread as a whole, not just you. Didn’t mean to single you out, although that’s exactly what I did.
  • Isaac
    3k
    Those are actions of free will, maybe imbedded in culture over time but not inherent in us, they’re learned. You can break those civilities any time you want.Brett

    But all creatures like us are embedded in a culture, so how would you know that angry behaviour isn't also the product of culture, learned during childhood? You can break anger responses any time you want too.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    You can break anger responses any time you want too.Isaac

    They used to give lobotomies for that.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    You can break anger responses any time you want too.Isaac

    Now they just lock you up.
  • Brett
    2.3k


    But all creatures like us are embedded in a culture, so how would you know that angry behaviour isn't also the product of culture, learned during childhood?Isaac

    That’s where we’ll never agree.
  • Isaac
    3k
    That’s where we’ll never agree.Brett

    You don't think chimpanzees have a culture?
  • Tzeentch
    828
    Sure, but that is too simple. A perceived bad act by one may not be perceived as bad by another. A perceived bad act can cause a perceived bad act by another, which to yet another might be perceived as justice.Noah Te Stroete

    My earlier posts deal with the matter of perception.
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    I don’t think it means that. We have the tendency to be angry but we can chose to override it.Brett

    What is the process by which one overrides our tendencies? How do you which are your tendencies?
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    For simplicity's sake, lets call good actions those which bring happiness, evil actions which take it away, and neutral actions those that do not affect our happiness.Tzeentch

    How does this relate to the free will defense of the problem of evil? You said ignorance leads to evil. What exactly do you mean?
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    You don't think chimpanzees have a culture?Isaac

    :grin:
  • Tzeentch
    828
    At the very start of this thread it was claimed that humans have an innate tendency towards immoral behavior.

    I disagreed, stating that humans have an innate tendency towards being happy, but that their ignorance leads them pursue things that do not make them happy and to do things that are immoral.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    Am I the only one on this forum with self-awareness? It seems that everyone here feels they are guiltless good people. I try to be good to the best of my capabilities, but I often fail. Is everyone here a saint?
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    Who's to say what is good?
    If who's to say what is good, then who's to say what is evil?
    Who’s to say what is good? I’m thinking of the old Taoist parable. Also the story of Adam and Eve who thought they could gain such knowledge by eating the forbidden fruit (knowing better than God).
    I'm not sure that's the best interpretation of that story, but that's a separate topic entirely.

    Would it have been bad to kill Hitler in cold blood? Perhaps you might argue that’s murder. Perhaps you would call it justifiable homicide. Perhaps someone more evil than the murdered Hitler had hypnotized the Germans during their time of runaway inflation caused by the winners of the First World War.
    I was planning on reading up on the laws and rules of war, just as Just War Theory hypothetically, had the Allies assinated him, i t wouldn't have been "murder" or killing in cold blood.

    My point is that people have differing views on what is good and what is bad.
    True, but I'd argue that, much as a person with 20/20 vision as opposed to one with 20/200 vision, that there are objectively better ways of discerning what is good or bad.

    A person who thinks that exterminating people with concentration camps is "good", could be reasonably inferred to be a very horrible idea of what is "good".

    If you mean, there's no "exact science", or 'perfect' mathematical formula for discerning the good and bad of every individual scenario, then yes (e.x. in theory, "murder" is morally wrong, however in practice, there is no perfect way of defining it, which is why courts of law have definitions, rules of evidence, and so forth which have developed and been in use for a long period of time, and rely on the subjective judgments and discernments of the judges, juries, etc).

    Also that there are no absolutes.
    But you're saying that the statement "there are no absolutes" is an absolute.

    Much as, as far as the Tao is concerned, Lao Tzu obviously holds following the Dao to be an "absolute", and superior to not following it and it principles, whatever they consist of.

    Perhaps you think you’re generally a good person. I doubt the world’s dolphins swimming through the pollution and plastic you’ve contributed to would think so.
    Even then, you're inferring that "polluting the ocean" is "bad" in some absolute sense, if there are 'no absolutes' (other than, ironically, the 'absolute' that there are no absolutes), you can't even say that polluting the ocean is "wrong" in any inherent sense to begin with.

    Or that it is "absolutely bad" to put one person's view of good and evil over another person's species, etc.

    Hypothetically, what if the death of the dolphins prevent them from preying on other marine life, would said marine life look up to us as war heroes?
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    Am I the only one on this forum with self-awareness? It seems that everyone here feels they are guiltless good people. I try to be good to the best of my capabilities, but I often fail. Is everyone here a saint?

    As far as that goes, I believe most would argue there are different degrees of "goodness and badness". (I'm not aware any legal or moral system in which all wrong acts are considered 'equally wrong', whether one wished to reference the Bible, the contemporary Common Law, or otherwise, obviously some wrongs are considered worse or more severe than others, and punished in a harsher way).

    Most people aren't a saint, like Jesus, Ghandi, or someone of that nature, but they aren't a Hitler, a Gacy, a Dahmer either.

    So why does falling one righteous act below 'perfect' Sainthood make one a 'bad person', yet if one wanted to be an even worse person, they would have a lot of work cut out for them if they wanted to achieve a Hitler, a Gacy, a Dahmer status?
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    You completely misunderstood me. Also, to say there are no absolutes is an absolute is like saying the fictional unicorn is an actual unicorn.

    I meant for someone to kill Hitler before the concentration camps or even before he took power.

    My point is that it’s all about perception. Certainly I have views about what is good and what is bad, as the dolphins probably do. Mine differ from theirs, however, I’m sure. Furthermore, I believe that Hitler was evil. As certainly the Jews do. Did the Nazis know they were evil?
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    You completely misunderstood me. Also, to say there are no absolutes is an absolute is like saying the fictional unicorn is an actual unicorn.
    [/quote]
    No I believe it fits, it's holding that premise or 'prime truth' to be an absolute.

    I meant to kill Hitler before the concentration camps or even before he took power.
    I would argue no on that one, as far as courts of law and the moral philosophy they're based on is concerned.

    My point is that it’s all about perception. Certainly I have views about what is good and what is bad, as the dolphins probably do. Mine differ from theirs, however, I’m sure.
    But here you're arguing that the statement "it's all about perception" is an absolute independent of perception (or else, then the statement "it's all about perception" is a matter of perception as well).

    My argument is that it could be reasonably inferred that there are better or worse ways of perceiving things than others; much as how a person with 20/20 vision, and one with 20/200 vision might but perceive the same event, however the person with better vision would be more credulous in regards to that than the person with worse.

    As far as courts go, obviously it's at the perception or delegation of the individuals participating the court (e.x. judges, juries, etc), however this doesn't mean that any and all perceptions or subjective judgments are considered equally valid, which is why the court has rules and procedures, and is built on a system of checks and balances to help ensure better and more rational judgment, as opposed to mob rule, or blood feuds, or more primitive systems of resolving conflicts which modern courts and legal systems 'evolved' out of.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k


    Okay. The one absolute is that there are no other absolutes than this self-referring statement.

    Also, you continue to misunderstand me. If, for example, this turned out to be the best of all possible worlds where in others the Nazis blew up the world with nuclear bombs, would this world not be good compared to the others?
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    Okay. The one absolute is that there are no other absolutes than this self-referring statement.
    [/quote]
    Why?

    Also, you continue to misunderstand me. If, for example, this turned out to be the best of all possible worlds where in others the Nazis blew up the world with nuclear bombs, would this world not be good compared to the others?
    But you said it's about perception, so then blowing up the world with nuclear bombs isn't immediately "wrong" to begin with, yet you seem to be inferring that it is so.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k


    My point is: compared to what? Some fiction where people don’t suffer? If there is an absolute, then it is in Heaven with God. I’m sure you don’t believe that, though. To God there are absolutes. Everything is good to Him. To us self-centered humans, there is relative good and bad. I think my life is bad, but to someone living in Haiti it is probably very good looking from their perspective.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k


    Clearly, I think exterminating people is bad. To the dolphins, it would be very good.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    To us self-centered humans, there is relative good and bad.
    [/quote]
    What is "wrong" with being self centered.

    I think my life is bad, but to someone living in Haiti it is probably very good looking from their perspecti
    I understand that, but that's just a matter of comparison, and doesn't attempt to substantiate what things contribute to either situation to make it 'good' or 'bad' for the percipients.

    For example, even if a man losing his finger isn't "as bad" as losing he entire right arm, but would be different degrees of injury or loss, and there would be similarities between the two of them which could be compared and contrasted.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    Fair enough then, so "to the Nazis", putting Jews in gas chambers was "good", who's to say there was anything wrong in that perception?

    So based on your absolutes, it would be a "greater evil" to impose your judgment on the Nazis, than for the Nazis to exterminate Jews? Okay...
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    For example, even if a man losing his finger isn't "as bad" as losing he entire right arm, but would be different degrees of injury or loss, and there would be similarities between the two of them which could be compared and contrasted.IvoryBlackBishop

    What about to the guy who hates him?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    715


    Furthermore, I believe that Hitler was evil. As certainly the Jews do. Did the Nazis know they were evil?

    People can actually knowingly commit evil, at least in the sense that they're fully under the impression that they're doing or about to do is wrong but they do it anyway.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    What about him?

    As far as the woman who was raped, what about the satisfaction of the rapist?

    etc...
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    45
    ↪Noah Te Stroete
    Fair enough then, so "to the Nazis", putting Jews in gas chambers was "good", who's to say there was anything wrong in that perception?
    IvoryBlackBishop

    Nope. You’re still not getting it. Humans are not the center of the universe as you might think. To us, it is bad. To them, it was good. There is no right or wrong without a percipient. I’m not denying that. When did I deny that?
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