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A question about Evil

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posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 12:34 PM
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Good/bad, evil/good, right/wrong... Kind of all the same except that evil/good can be seen as actions spread across a period of time and not just singular actions. I guess it all comes down to society norms as to what is what with some actions perpetually considered evil or good most of the time, but still I think just about every evil act ever considered was at one time seen as good too. I bet there isn't a person here that can come up with an evil act that has been universally considered evil.




posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 01:06 PM
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A couple of thoughts on this.

First, to define evil as a universal concept with a set nature or characteristic or group of characteristics, there has to be a fixed, immutable, transcendent standard against which it can be measured. In other words, when you say “evil," exactly what do you mean, and why and how can you call it such?

If such a fixed, immutable and transcendent standard does not exist, then one person's or culture's definition of evil is just as meaningful - and by the same token meaningless - as the next. If, as grey580 says, evil is subjective, who's to say that if I decide that grey580 is not worthy to live, then it's wrong for me to do away with him? This is exactly what has happened in multitudinous cultures over the millennia. When the transcendent standard of good and evil is denied, then anything goes! If there exists no immutable, transcendent standard for good and evil, then Nietzsche nailed it; the guy with the biggest stick is right. The very idea of evil being subjective makes this entire line of discussion completely meaningless. It’d be like a group of people all born blind trying to decide which color is the most pleasant.

The only way to establish a transcendent, immutable standard for good and evil is to acquiesce to the existence of the divine; a God-creator who made all that is and who is the standard for what is good. We know, in a given socio-political construct, what is considered legal and illegal is so only because there is a recognized standard of law that is backed by the authority of the law-giver or law-maker. Why would creation at large be any different? If there is no law-giver or law-maker, then cosmic anarchy is the order (or disorder) of things, chaos reigns and anything goes.

Now, I say that this God-creator would be the standard for what is good, not what is evil. What is evil is whatever does not meet that standard; in other words, evil is nothing more than the absence of what is good, just as dark is nothing more than the absence of light energy, or cold the absence of heat energy. In support of this, let us look at what Justoneman said: If good men do nothing, then evil reigns. That is, precisely, my point. Doing nothing - allowing for the absence of good - allows evil to reign.

So, given this, I guess you could say that evil is kind of an "illusion", in that it does not exist of its own, but it exists in the absence of something else. However, it would be a very 'i]"real illusion" in that its results are very real and very measurable. So, even is we look at evil as something of an illusion, we do not have the luxury of pretending that it does not exist. We are called upon to exercise good in the context of existence so that evil does not fill the vacuum, just as one would keep the heat on in the winter to fill the void of cold with the energy of heat, or as one turns on a light to fill the void of darkness with the energy of light.

Are cold and darkness illusions? We might not call them so, and they may not be, but they exist only because something else is absent. So evil exists only because good is absent.

I have a theodician theory of why evil exists in a cosmos created by a God who is only good. I have shared it with a few people, but some don't seem to get the idea. I’ve thought about introducing a thread on it here, but the general tenor of dialog discourages me. I’m not interested in presenting philosophical and theological ideas in a forum where they will be shouted down by the most disagreeable and offended people instead of discussed with serious thought.
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edit on 2019 4 29 by incoserv because: I'm a bit anal about my orthography.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 01:33 PM
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Now, regarding the idea of entropy:

There is an interesting verse in the epistle to the Romans, chapter 8, verse 20: For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope...

The Greek word that was trasnlated as futility in this translsation (ESV), is rendered in other translations as frustration, vanity, failure and unreality, confused, loss of purpose.

The Greek word is ματαιότης/mataiotēs, which indicates inutility; figuratively, transientness; morally, depravity. This is from a root-word, μάταιος/mataios; empty, or literally profitless.

Now, I am not alone in thinking that this idea of futility, emptiness and profitlessness points to entropy. Entropy happens when there is no new energy introduced into a closed system. This idea would align with my previous assertion that evil is a absence of the divinely defined good.

I hold (and this is from an orthodox Christian perspective, I think) that God, the Uncaused Cause and the Uncreated Creator, subjected His creation the the effects of entropy for a reason; a reason that is far beyond anything that we can perceive from our point of view. The creation was subjected in hope.

Exactly what that hope is and what it means would be a divergence from this line of discussion and more appropriate for another thread, but I’ll leave it there for now, with the idea that there is a hope inherent in the current situation; however, I must interject here that this biblical idea of hope is not a matter of wanting something that may or may not come true. Michael McClymond explains well this idea of hope: "Yet the biblical virtue of hope involves not only wishing but expecting something—even confidently expecting something—on the basis of God’s promise."

As a devout Christian and a student of the Bible, I believe that simulation theory is onto something serious. I read about how perhaps this reality is the result of a simulation running in some cosmic supercomputer, assumed to be developed by some alien civilization. Nobody thinks about the possibility that is is a simulation (albeit a very real and very important simulation) running in the mind of the transcendent Uncaused Cause and Uncreated Creator.

The catch phrase that I've run across many times in reading about simulation theory is base reality. Some physicists claim that we do not live in base reality. I whole-heartedly agree. But I hold that base reality is what, from a biblical perspective, we'd call the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Entropy has occurred in this cosmological construct because of a break with that base reality. The break was allowed because of a plan put in place by the Creator that is based in a hope/i] (i.e., the certainty of a predetermined outcome) for an ultimate purpose.

So, entropy is part of the system in which we live, but it is due to a brokenness that will be remedied. This is the hope, to ultimately remedy that brokenness, to fill that vacuum that allows for evil to exist.
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edit on 2019 4 29 by incoserv because: I'm a bit anal about my orthography.



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 01:16 AM
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a reply to: LucidWarrior

Shalt we twist, and dig our feet, down through the mud, until we can stand on bedrock?




posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 02:03 AM
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"If only I could kill the killer" -Alanis Morissette


Definitely interesting to note how Jesus overcame death. He simply demonstrated that the virtues of love, faith, selflessness, etc transcend this entropic world.



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 04:13 AM
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originally posted by: cooperton
"If only I could kill the killer" -Alanis Morissette


Definitely interesting to note how Jesus overcame death. He simply demonstrated that the virtues of love, faith, selflessness, etc transcend this entropic world.


Jesus was/is the key to the hope spoken of on Romans 8:20.



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: LucidWarrior

Hi


I recently came across this great explanation for the existence of evil. It was written by someone with the user name OccultOwl and is found on the reddit site:

/r/conspiracy Round Table: Gnosticism, Archons & the Demiurge

Here is what he wrote:




Suppose you're an infinite being. The problem with being an infinite being is that you have to be infinitely evil in addition to being infinitely good.

So you want to find out how to stop being evil, and then you want to do whatever that is. The way to discover the solution is to setup a series of experiments, and the way to implement the solution is to setup an iterative process and run through it over and over.

So you create an infinite universe, and then create an infinite number of these universes to make a multiverse. Then you run the experiment to find out what to do with evil.

Ultimately, you come to the unfortunate conclusion that you're infinite, and you can't get rid of evil because that would require you to be finite. However, good news, you can quarantine evil.

So you create a soul soup, think of it like an infinite bowl of mud, good water mixed with evil dirt. This soup is you. You create stars and worlds and people, and when each person is born, you pour some of the soul soup into them, creating them out of a part of you.

So as part of this experiment, you now start an iterative process to identify, separate, and quarantine evil. You create karmic vacuum cleaners to gobble up and store all the evil dirt. When each person dies, you separate the dirt from the water. The water goes back in the bowl, the dirt in the vacuum cleaner. As you iterate this process, the soul soup gets increasingly clearer and the vacuum fills up. Iterate this for all of time, and mission accomplished.

Fortunately, time is something you constructed, so this actually happens instantly for you. Now some people figured this out, and they put some names to it. The infinite being is god, the karmic vacuum cleaners are the devil(s) or archons, the soul soup is heaven, and the quarantine is hell. Different people have different names, but it's the same idea.

We are all part of a larger whole that encompasses all matter, energy, and thought. We are running a simulation, a combination experiment and iterative process to solve the problem of evil. Our role is to materialize good and evil so it can be identified and separated. Our job is already done, but we don't know it yet. At some point we will be finished, and we will all come back to one.


My thoughts based on some curious dreams and meditations is that we are all playing a game with ourselves for a multitude of reasons.

If you are interested, here is a thread detailing the nature of what, imho, is our holographic reality:

Apocalyptic Revelation: “Our Entire Reality is Run by Intelligent AI” (And God)



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 05:33 PM
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a reply to: OwenandNoelle

Would said infinite being, also not infinitely procrastinate, and be infinitely lazy?

-Dude! Did you build your soup-filter universe yet?
-Nah. Maybe tomorrow.



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 06:07 PM
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Evil is a word used to describe a horrible act.
Horrible is contextual, but evil does exist because people do horrible things.

#BanEvil



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 11:56 PM
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originally posted by: Justoneman
The nature of mankind is for people to want to dominate others. That is the crux of our problem.

Evil is that which results in pain, sorrow, or distress. The Holocaust and all the other acts of genocide committed throughout human history prove that “man has dominated man to his injury.” (Ecclesiastes 8:9)

And because evil is not an illusion, we can keep conquering the evil with the good:

(As told by Pavel Sivulsky, Russia)
In 1959, I was arrested for printing Bible literature. I spent half a year in solitary confinement. . . .
While in prison, during an interrogation the investigator yelled, “Soon we will stamp you people out like mice against the floor!” I replied, “Jesus said that the good news of the Kingdom WILL be preached in all the nations, and no one can stop it.” Then, the investigator switched tactics and tried to persuade me to renounce my faith, as I mentioned in the introduction. When neither threats nor enticements worked, I was sentenced to seven years of hard labor in a camp near the city of Saransk. . . .
In 1966, I was freed from the labor camp and the four of us moved to the city of Armavir, near the Black Sea. . . .
It did not take long before KGB officers began to raid our home, looking for Bible literature. They searched everywhere, even in the cows’ feed. On one such occasion, the officers were perspiring from the heat, and their suits were covered in dust. Maria felt sorry for them, as they were only obeying orders. She poured them some juice and brought them a clothes brush, a bowl of water, and towels. Later, when the KGB chief arrived, the officers told him about the kind treatment they had received. When they left, the chief smiled and waved to us. We were happy to see the good that can result when we try to “keep conquering the evil with the good.”​—Rom. 12:21.
edit on 1-5-2019 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 12:18 AM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: LucidWarrior

Evil is a human construct that attempts to label or resolve when things are out of kilter/harmony/balance.

Nature entertains no such illusions I'm afraid, only us.


Pretty sure nature is incapable of evil. Only man Is capable of evil. Man kills for revenge, man locks man up out of revenge, takes away freedom because of revenge. Takes away property out of revenge for being poor. Evil evicts due to poor. Evil denies care care because of poor.

Humanity is the only species that imprisons itself for any perceived wrongdoings...



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 12:35 AM
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originally posted by: EternalSolace

originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: LucidWarrior

Evil is a human construct that attempts to label or resolve when things are out of kilter/harmony/balance.

Nature entertains no such illusions I'm afraid, only us.


Pretty sure nature is incapable of evil. Only man Is capable of evil. Man kills for revenge, man locks man up out of revenge, takes away freedom because of revenge. Takes away property out of revenge for being poor. Evil evicts due to poor. Evil denies care care because of poor.

Humanity is the only species that imprisons itself for any perceived wrongdoings...


Good.
Would you like to look at what may be these 'capacities for evil', that we may experience, that apparently no other animal experiences?



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 02:45 AM
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originally posted by: OwenandNoelle

Suppose you're an infinite being. The problem with being an infinite being is that you have to be infinitely evil in addition to being infinitely good.



That would be like saying because something is infinitely bright it must also be infinitely dark. Darkness is the absence of light. I think a better definition of evil would be the absence of good. Therefore, trying to fight evil would be like trying to remove darkness with more darkness. Instead, simply shine brighter.



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 05:07 AM
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a reply to: EternalSolace

And yet Man is part of nature.

Capable of great empathy as well as a capacity for evil.

What a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma is humanity indeed?

Go figure.



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 08:18 AM
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Speaking as someone who is not religious at all, I find 'evil' is simply a human construct, a label used to tag those things which we find morally and ethically repugnant at this particular point in our history.

Whilst the whole of humanity can generally agree on a fairly broad spectrum of things that would constitute 'evil' (rape, murder, etc), it is also wholly subjective. Did Hitler consider himself evil? I don't think so; he felt he was cleansing the human race and doing the world a service. But we still think of the things he did as evil.

Did those carrying out Mayan and Egyptian sacrifices thousands of years ago consider themselves evil? Probably not, it was part of their culture and society. But if a cult leader carries out a human sacrifice now, we look at it as evil.

When a Lion chases a pregnant gazelle, and eats the innocent baby fawn that was growing inside it, is it evil? We say it isn't - it's 'part of nature' - but nevertheless it generally invokes sympathy and sad faces. If the same Lion ate a deadly snake, we don't feel that same concern as we did for the fawn. Yet neither animal is more worthy or innocent than the other. They should invoke the same reactions in us, but we are effectively brainwashed by our history and culture to think of the snake in different terms to that baby fawn.

The point I'm making above is that we are collectively conditioned as humans to react in certain ways to certain situations, and this can change hugely from one generation to the next as society itself changes. So you could argue that Good and Evil per se don't actually exist as far as the overall universe is concerned; things simply happen, and then we react to them. And those reactions define how the event that happened is labelled - it was 'good', he was 'bad', it was 'terrible', etc.

With that said, that doesn't absolve us of any responsibility for our actions or how we react to the actions of others. A Christian for example will use the 10 Commandments and Bible teachings as a general guide to their moral and ethical path in life, but one could ask (and it has been asked often) what an Atheist like myself would do. Why have an internal moral compass at all if I don't believe that Good or Evil actually exist, and that there is no reward or punishment for our actions?

Well, humanity still has to progress and to evolve and that is not achieved through destructive means. Growth, development, intelligence, shared experiences, learning - these are all things strengthened by what we would call good behaviour rather than evil behaviour. Whilst Human Law defines a baseline for what we are allowed to do (and generally, this splits things into Good and Evil categories), we can also define our own moral compasses for what we are comfortable with. In my own mind, peace and kindness and good acts are things which promote our growth collectively and inspire friendships and happiness. And that's what we should strive for, irregardless of any kind of reward at the end.



posted on May, 1 2019 @ 08:46 PM
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a reply to: cooperton

Yet the light can never truly remove darkness... Only temporarily move and/or remove it from the picture .

I'll reply to everyone eventually lol



posted on May, 2 2019 @ 03:46 PM
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originally posted by: elgaz
Speaking as someone who is not religious at all, I find 'evil' is simply a human construct, a label used to tag those things which we find morally and ethically repugnant at this particular point in our history.

Whilst the whole of humanity can generally agree on a fairly broad spectrum of things that would constitute 'evil' (rape, murder, etc), it is also wholly subjective. Did Hitler consider himself evil? I don't think so; he felt he was cleansing the human race and doing the world a service. But we still think of the things he did as evil.


Concepts are constructed by humans and the same words can signify different concepts to different people? Wow. Who would ever have thought. People are attracted or repulsed by different things? What tremendous insight. You've thoroughly demolished, by your brilliant semantic juggling, the idea that "evil" could actually be used in reference to an objective reality.



posted on May, 2 2019 @ 04:00 PM
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originally posted by: LucidWarrior
is it possible that evil, corruption, death, entropy, etc, are merely illusions, designed to provoke a response and, thereby, be made real?


That's nice. No meaning that can be assigned to these words will change the fact that human subjects experience pain, suffering and death and that these words therefore refer to really existing phenomena. The "illusion" here is replacing what is simply given by life with some conceptual scheme cooked up by the human mind and calling the latter "reality". It's the never-ending game of metaphysical bull#ting, from the ancient Eleatics who denied the possibility of motion right on down to the wizards of "scientific materialism" who think they can ontologically reduce everything to the mathematical abstractions of particle physics.



posted on May, 2 2019 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: incoserv

Ok, that post of yours above was deep and very sophisticated. I believe similarly to that post. And, being a similar personal interest in God and Science. I truly believe what Christ stands for is Love and Forgiveness and for us to follow his example. Now, if other people would accept it face value we could solve so many issues. We should all know in the Kingdom of God, right now, there is a place for the Prince of the Air that will rule on Earth for a short time. Evil will always exist until the day of Judgement is my belief. How we deal with it is our measuring stick.

Lucid
Without the darkness, how could we know the light? There has to be both physically and metaphorically I believe.
edit on 2-5-2019 by Justoneman because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2019 @ 05:42 PM
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a reply to: Theosist

You sound a little prickly today.

Was my opinion on the subject not valid enough?



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