• Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    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.BitconnectCarlos

    Most people want to live in a world without suffering. Of course. But to some other conscious beings what are we? We all must suffer to experience and learn from life, as well. That is my ontology. How much we suffer is a matter of perspective.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    A matter of perspective to ourselves and others.
  • Qwex
    366
    I think a judge is required.

    If you lived under me, you'd be good by my standard; you'd have privilage to be evil, under me, but my voice should ring in your head 'but that's not good, is it?'.

    You take my idea good.

    You take the ideal human's idea of good.

    In any case, there is no order lest there be justice.

    You CANNOT say something is good or evil, and it hold any logical weight, unless there is a judge.

    Perhaps because most of the universe is growing and focused on health, this points to the righteous judge. He/she would say, 'destroying the planet - that's not good, is it?'
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    Nope. You’re still not getting it. Humans are not the center of the universe as you might think.

    Basically you're asserting that putting humans at the "center of the universe" is absolutely wrong, so that's another flaw in your argument.

    And as far as that goes, whether we were talking "humans" specifically, or a race of aliens or androids who were comparable to humans in terms of their inherant faculties, I believe that the same scenarios would apply.

    I think that most people would reasonably agree that a "rock" doesn't have the rights that humans do not because of human "preference" but because it lacks sentience.

    Or in regards to animals, even if they weren't viewed in strict "human or animal dichotomies", but in terms of complexity hierarchies (e.x. molecules combining to create cells, cells combining to create organs, etc) - humans would have more rights due to being at a higher degree of complexity.

    (Much as how more complex animals, such as Tigers, have "more rights" than less complex ones, such as insects).
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    You CANNOT say something is good or evil, and it hold any logical weight, unless there is a judge.Qwex

    I agree with this, but probably not in the way you think. Humans have no business judging absolute good and bad. Only God has that authority.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    Well, as far as the legal systems of any 1st world nations go, humans can and do judge good and bad, so it's your word against theirs, unless you claim to be "god" or to speak for god.
  • Qwex
    366


    What's the value of rationality to you?

    I rationalized most of the universe is focused on healthy progression, and I would rule anyone who is against it as evil.

    Am I the/a righteous judge?
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    And as far as that goes, whether we were talking "humans" specifically, or a race of aliens or androids who were comparable to humans in terms of their inherant faculties, I believe that the same scenarios would apply.IvoryBlackBishop

    Humans aren’t absolutely good or bad. Likewise, there are no absolutely good behaviors. You might give money to the poor. Something you and I think is good. The poor then buy consumer junk that ends up in landfills, just like you and I do. The poor may use that money to heat their homes. That causes global warming, etc. etc.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k


    I don’t think humans can be rational. Everything about us is irrational.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    Well, as far as the legal systems of any 1st world nations go, humans can and do judge good and bad, so it's your word against theirs, unless you claim to be "god" or to speak for god.IvoryBlackBishop

    Of course I don’t speak for God. I think you are confusing me with you.
  • Possibility
    1.6k


    I believe humans are motivated primarily by a desire to be happy. When a person's actions do not contribute to or even undermine their happiness, I consider those actions ignorant.Tzeentch

    Well, I don’t agree with this part. We think we want to be happy, but for the most part we don’t even know what it IS to be happy. I think our strongest motivation is fear, but I believe there is an underlying impetus to increase awareness, connection and collaboration, which can operate at its fullest capacity in humanity - although it rarely does.

    Ignorance, for me, is refraining from interaction with new information as it becomes available, on the grounds that we might not like what we find. The various ways that we do that, we refer to as ‘evil’: hatred, oppression, violence, destruction, aggression, force, abuse, etc.

    So if evil is in our nature and we have "tendencies" then doesn't that mean, since "tendencies" sounds like we have no or little control in the matter, we lack free will? If we don't have free will and can't make choices against our "tendencies" which you say can be both good and bad, then how does that weigh in on the free will defense argument for the problem of evil? We're simply being led by the nose by our "tendencies".TheMadFool

    Tendency is not a lack of control - I’d say it’s more like a movement that occurs when we let go of the steering wheel, so to speak. I think like most animals, we’re genetically disposed to a certain level of awareness, connection and collaboration without conscious effort. Beyond that, we have a capacity to increase our awareness, but a tendency towards fear: avoiding interaction with any new information that may cause experiences of pain, humility, loss or lack.
  • Tzeentch
    828
    Well, I don’t agree with this part. We think we want to be happy, but for the most part we don’t even know what it IS to be happy. I think our strongest motivation is fear, but I believe there is an underlying impetus to increase awareness, connection and collaboration, which can operate at its fullest capacity in humanity - although it rarely does.Possibility

    Could you be more specific with what part you don't agree? Because to me it seems like we're mostly in agreement.

    Maybe I would add that fear and happiness are closely related, in the sense that fear almost always directly interferes without our desire to be happy.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    By what absolute is there anything "wrong" with speaking for God?
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    I said I didn’t speak for God. You seem to know Him better than me. After all, you claim to know the absolute standards for good and evil.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    Do I have a perfect scientific or mathematical formula for what everyone should do in every situation? No.

    But yes, I do believe asserting some absolutes, or that some perspectives on them are better than others is good or doable; such as asserting that perspective of a Nazi who wishes to exterminate Jews is much "worse" than a perspective which supports rights and so on and so forth.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    I agree with you that there are healthier (for overall society and individuals) ways to deal with one another over others. I also agree that what Hitler did was evil, but that really wasn’t the point I was trying to make. I guess my point is that we shouldn’t assume our suffering is in vain simply by the intensity of our emotional responses. Only God knows best.
  • Brett
    2.3k


    That’s where we’ll never agree.
    — Brett

    You don't think chimpanzees have a culture?
    Isaac

    Maybe you’re being amusing. But in any case I mean we’ll never agree over the whole nature/nurture thing.
  • Brett
    2.3k


    What is the process by which one overrides our tendencies? How do you which are your tendencies?TheMadFool

    Free will. We don’t have to be angry. We can chose to manage it, or not. We can take something lying around that’s not ours or we can leave it. We can lie or chose not to. We can chose to fight or not to. The tendencies, like I said, swing between good and the absence of good, which is evil. Your problem, it seems to me, with this is that the three cannot exist in one person: evil, good and free will.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    Free will. We don’t have to be angry. We can chose to manage it, or not. We can take something lying around that’s not ours or we can leave it. We can lie or chose not to. We can chose to fight or not to. The tendencies, like I said, swing between good and the absence of good, which is evil. Your problem, it seems to me, with this is that the three cannot exist in one person: evil, good and free will.Brett

    This goes against the claims of most contemporary neuroscientists, who I grant aren’t infallible but have lots of evidence to back up their claims. In some individuals the prefrontal cortex doesn’t override the impulsions of the limbic system no matter how much they try. Their emotions are in effect uncontrollable. You might experience this if you ever had to fight for your mortal life, in fact. It is very, very difficult if not impossible for some victims of early childhood abuse to control their emotions all the time due to impeded brain development from the trauma, for example. That’s why it’s not good to stress these people out too much.

    Now I agree to an extent that we have free will, but our version of consciousness as humans is a relationship between mind and brain, whatever the relationship is truly we may never know, but damage to the brain causes changes in behaviors. It is now proposed that the brain can heal itself to a degree (possibly mind over matter), but there are really strong limitations to this. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe strokes and aneurysms come to mind.
  • Brett
    2.3k


    In some individuals the prefrontal cortex doesn’t override the impulsions of the limbic system no matter how much they try. Their emotions are in effect uncontrollable.Noah Te Stroete

    Well I think that contributes towards my feelings about natural tendencies. And it’s the damage done to people by childhood abuse that makes it difficult to control those existing tendencies. And it’s clear to most that our fight to preserve our life is not taught but instinctive. So these tendencies are inherent in us.

    Of course not all people who have been through such childhood experiences are unable to manage their impulses, or they at least manage it to the degree it’s not destructive.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    Of course not all people who have been through such childhood experiences are unable to manage their impulses, or they at least manage it to the degree it’s not destructive.Brett

    Depends on the type and duration of the abuse, the individual physiology, and what you mean by “destructive”.
  • Brett
    2.3k


    Yes of course. But that’s not really my point. What I mean is that acts of evil are not necessarily caused by outside influence , or culture. Otherwise all those that were abused would commit acts of evil. I can’t prove that without data of course, or without knowledge of the degree of abuse. I don’t know if anyone can prove that. My feeling is, still, that humans have the potential for evil, it doesn’t need to be introduced to them from outside.

    Edit: for me you would need to find evidence that all people who murder have been damaged in some way.
  • Possibility
    1.6k
    Could you be more specific with what part you don't agree? Because to me it seems like we're mostly in agreement.

    Maybe I would add that fear and happiness are closely related, in the sense that fear almost always directly interferes without our desire to be happy.
    Tzeentch

    It certainly seems that way, doesn’t it? But our desire to always ‘be happy’ (whatever we understand that to be at the time) invariably results in ignorance - we suppress, isolate or exclude information, and even feel justified to attack or hate potential interaction with the world that threatens our ‘happiness’. When we do this, we perpetuate and contribute to evil, but because we have excluded this information, we ignorantly believe ourselves to ‘be happy’. It is our fear of not being ‘happy’, and our relentless pursuit of this temporary interoception of positive affect at all cost, that most contributes to evil.

    Increasing awareness, connection and collaboration enables us to face specific fears, but not to eliminate fear altogether. Joy comes and goes - we will always find it where we are so long as we’re not afraid of experiencing pain, humility, loss or lack. But ‘happiness’ is not a permanent state to strive for - there is no permanent state except non-existence, and success in achieving a state of ‘happiness’ entails an ignorance of the inevitability of change.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    I agree with this. Put an otherwise good person in a “bad” situation, and the stress can lead to bad decisions. That doesn’t excuse it, but there are degrees of culpability.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    Increasing awareness, connection and collaboration enables us to face specific fears, but not to eliminate fear altogether. Joy comes and goes - we will always find it where we are so long as we’re not afraid of experiencing pain, humility, loss or lack. But ‘happiness’ is not a permanent state to strive for - there is no permanent state except non-existence, and success in achieving a state of ‘happiness’ entails an ignorance of the inevitability of change.Possibility

    This is very enlightened. I just prefer the theistic bias as opposed to the atheistic or other bias. I think there is something in us that continues on after our bodies die. I have no proof of this in a scientific sense, but what would that proof even look like? I have my reasons which are sufficient for me.
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    We think we want to be happy, but for the most part we don’t even know what it IS to be happy.Possibility

    What is happiness?

    I think our strongest motivation is fear,Possibility

    What do we fear? Do we fear to be unhappy, whatever that means? In my book, we seem to fear suffering, itself and its cause, generally identified as evil. If so, do you think fear is conducive to free will? Can we fear and still be free? What about the problem of evil? If our motivation is based entirely on fear of evil (suffering & its cause) does it make sense to claim god allows evil so that we may be free?


    Free will. We don’t have to be angry. We can chose to manage it, or not. We can take something lying around that’s not ours or we can leave it. We can lie or chose not to. We can chose to fight or not to. The tendencies, like I said, swing between good and the absence of good, which is evil. Your problem, it seems to me, with this is that the three cannot exist in one person: evil, good and free will.Brett

    All I'm saying is there's no need to carry coal to Newcastle. If evil is a tendency then god allowing evil so that we may have free will doesn't make sense. Imagine I create a robot and program it with a tendency towards evil. Now, if my explanation for whatever immorality that follows is that I wanted the robot to have free will, then people will not buy my argument. The robot is evil even without free will; in fact if free will has any role, it would be to allow the robot to be good, not bad.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    All I'm saying is there's no need to carry coal to Newcastle. If evil is a tendency then god allowing evil so that we may have free will doesn't make sense. Imagine I create a robot and program it with a tendency towards evil. Now, if my explanation for whatever immorality that follows is that I wanted the robot to have free will, then people will not buy my argument. The robot is evil even without free will; in fact if free will has any role, it would be to allow the robot to be good, not bad.TheMadFool

    Suffering is baked into the cake because people are so selfish that they think they are entitled to a creation for each individual’s desires. We were given a “Garden of Eden” and managed to live in harmony with it for tens of thousands of years. Don’t blame God for humanity’s hubris that we should all be entitled to creations for each individual taste. We think we know better than God. You are a puny human who should be grateful that you are even alive in this man-made hell.
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    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.
    Tzeentch


    Yes, an innate tendency for happiness but at the expense of others.
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    Suffering is baked into the cake because people are so selfish that they think they are entitled to a creation for each individual’s desires. We were given a “Garden of Eden” and managed to live in harmony with it for tens of thousands of years. Don’t blame God for humanity’s hubris that we should all be entitled to creations for each individual taste. We think we know better than God. You are a puny human who should be grateful that you are even alive in this man-made hell.Noah Te Stroete

    I am grateful but the free will defense for the problem of evil is wrong.
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