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Good and Evil

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posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:52 AM
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Leaving Religion Aside.....
Leaving Science Theories that tell you how you should think aside....

Can anyone using common sense distinguish Good vs Evil?

I often find myself in discussions where people say well I don’t see anything wrong with that...

Well in my opinion using my common sense evil is anything that tries to harm/kill other humans with no excuse at all when other better alternatives exist...

Examples:
In my opinion if a man hits a woman (not in self defence) - Evil
If a fireman risks his life to save a child - Good

I’m trying to get a thread going without the use of links that tell you what’s good or evil....I want responses based on personal opinion and common sense.....

Where did the word Good/ Evil definition come from? is good really Good?
Can Good really be Evil ?
Can Evil really be Good?

Reason I’m asking is : WWII taught us that some people believe exterminating other humans is for the good of human kind....how can anyone with common sense think in such a way?

Any Ideas? Again please try to avoid getting into Religion or Science Theories that tell you how to think instead of using your own common sense....

PS: I dont know if this is the right forum, my apologies if I posted in the wrong area.


[edit on 1-9-2006 by a1ex]




posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:02 AM
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To me, good and evil are just like any other set of opposites... hot and cold, up and down, in and out, alive and dead, action and inaction... it's just one example of the dual universe we live that I believe to be fundamentally based on the interaction of positive and negative forces.

As human beings, life is all what about how we act... we make decisions and we act upon those decisions. We have the choice of acting in 'good' or acting in 'evil'. To me, good and evil are just the two polarities of action (or inaction) and in this universe of positive and negative, there cannot be good with out evil and vice-versa. If there was no evil, we wouldn't truly know good because there wouldn't be a way to put it into a polarity-format for us to comprehend it... no context for us to understand it in. Aside from that, there are many many reasons why people commit acts of evil-- mental illness, ignorance, etc. I also think that people are conditioned at various levels on the good-evil continuem. Many Evangelical Christians are fairly conservative on what is considered good and evil... if it doesn't benefit a life built around religion, it's evil. Other people don't have that strict framework built in... their range of what's good and evil is broader and less defined.

Ultimately, good is what we strive for... but we wouldn't know what it looked like or where to look (or rather, where NOT to look) for it if we didn't have evil to balance the equation... to provide us with a context to define good and pureness. It's like light and dark... if there was only darkness, how could we truly call it 'dark' if there was no 'light' or concept of 'light' to contrast it with?

I don't even know if any of this made sense, just rambling really.....


[edit on 1-9-2006 by firebat]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:04 AM
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Originally posted by a1ex
some people believe exterminating other humans is for the good of human kind....how can anyone with common sense think in such a way?


Not sure what any of this has to do with O&C, but.....

In any case, I would imagine that most people believe exterminating some humans is good for human kind. I would imagine that there are whole groups of people that think it's common sense to execute prolific child molesters.

Theres a whole class of people who support the death penalty, believing that human kind is better off without murderers, etc.

Personally... were something to happen to me like seeing my wife, or my child raped... I could see myself believing that exterminating an individual would be for the good of human kind.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 03:04 PM
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It's funny how people still view "evil" as a entity on its own and giving reasons why murders kill or child molestors rape children as "there just evil." Yes, every form of violence(phsyical, sexual, psychological, neglect, deprivation, etc.) is tragic and at times horrific but saying something is evil doesn't do anything for finding a solution to end this epidemic.

All it does is continue this self-defeating cycle which consists of people hurting others, blaming the perpetrators then using our own form of violence known "justice" or punishment. If it was in fact true, that punishment deters people to commit violence, than there would be no one in prisons anymore because this social experiment( punishment detering behavior) began historically by the first law givers over four thousands years ago like Hammurabi. To put it bluntly, the hypothesis failed and has made violence escalate and spread. And now humans are the first species to be able to being there own extinction.

In my opinion, "evil" as so many people put it is essentially societys inability to find the causes and prevent violence.


Originally posted by a1ex
Reason I’m asking is : WWII taught us that some people believe exterminating other humans is for the good of human kind....how can anyone with common sense think in such a way?


How can anyone think this way? When they think it's right. When in there perceptions and schema, violence is fine. What you have here is a sick person, and in your example referring to Nazi's, millions of sick people. Who through societal conditioning and ultimately skewed self-preservating reasons, thought it was fine to elimiate a group of people.



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 04:49 PM
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in my opinion there really isnt any good or evil, its just a matter of perpective, popular opinion changes thru-out the ages and peoples ideals of good and evil change with them. also what is good for one is bad for another.for example if england lost the war would winston churchill still be concidered the good guy. if i make a successful company and my employees get rich from me they would say i was a good man, but the owners of my competition of who i bought out would say i was bad.ect,ect.
the only good is what one believes to be good the only evil is what one believes is evil



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 06:04 PM
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I truly think that good and evil are a mindset. Those that strive to do go will do good to the best of their ability. But then those that focus on evil will continue to do so.

In the end, good and evil is a part of us. And our actions and emotions are always constantly dealing with what we feel is "good" and what we consider is "evil". And of course our larger societal position, especially when it has to do with class, culture and belief system dictate what is "good" and "evil" all the time.

But I don't think that one can be totally "good" or "evil" all at once. It depends on the mindset, the intentions and of course, how one views their own morals.

Or else, we could treat "good" and "evil" like some treat other subjects on this board: "stop talking about 'good' or 'evil' and they will disappear".

[edit on 1-9-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:55 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I truly think that good and evil are a mindset. Those that strive to do go will do good to the best of their ability. But then those that focus on evil will continue to do so.


I find your reply interesting "mindset" .... yes the more I think about this subject the more I come to realize that being "in between" seems the logical solution for balance....(this may contradict some people's beliefs)

I posted an example earlier:

Originally posted by a1ex
If a fireman risks his life to save a child - Good


Today I was discussing the same topic at work and the response was:


"What if the kid being saved was hitler?"


I just did not know what to answer right away as this question really challenges my personal beliefs...can evil be justified?

Can it be possible that for us to advance as a race would be to understand the balance btw good and evil?

Or eradicating Evil?......(I sound like some presidents out there... )

Thanks for the replies....



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:06 PM
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Some may find the following references from The Urantia Book to be valuable in helping to understand good and evil:

Paper 130

Paper 132

Paper 148


[edit on 2006/9/1 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:14 PM
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Evil is a point of view. God kills Indiscriminately and so shall we. For no creatures under the heavens are as we are. None are more like unto him than ourselves.


Ann Rice wrote that in, Interview with the vampire. (It's not an exact quote)

It is true though. Evil is a point of view, nothing more.

Just my thoughts on it.

wupy

[edit on 1-9-2006 by mrwupy]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:25 PM
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Originally posted by mrwupy

Evil is a point of view. God kills Indiscriminately and so shall we. For no creatures under the heavens are as we are. None are more like unto him than ourselves.


Ann Rice wrote that in, Interview with the vampire. (It's not an exact quote)


Pretty close.


Evil is a point of view. God kills indiscriminately and so shall we. For no creatures under God are as we are, none so like him as ourselves.

--Anne Rice, Interview with a Vampire
US novelist (1941 - )



[edit on 2006/9/1 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:45 PM
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a1ex,
I bet this show will interest you. its an attempt to rank evil on a scale.

dsc.discovery.com...

Discovery Channel takes viewers beyond the police tape and deep into the minds of the world's most notorious, most merciless and most deadly criminals with an in-depth scientific look at the world's MOST EVIL, premiering Thursdays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), beginning July 13. Columbia University's Dr. Michael Stone uses his "scale of evil," which has never before been profiled on television, to rank and measure the evil found within the infamous. Forensic psychiatrists, neurologists and psychologists use scientific evidence to unravel the inner workings of criminal masterminds.

I saw the show he did on the guy that inspred the buffalo bill character in silence of the lambs



very creepy, very riveting



posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:58 PM
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syrinx

Thanks for the Excellent link I will defenitely watch this ......

Its interesting how this is done by the Discovery Channel in the US... I wonder what would happen if The did the same show in Arab countries or Asia....would some american presidents be in the list?



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 02:28 PM
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When trying to look at the diffrences between Good and Evil without a God of some sort, its easier to look at Good and Evil not by their titles but by a shorthand definition.
Good definitions
Shorthand, or more of a synonym, is the word RIGHT.
Evil definitions
Shorthand, or more of a synonym, is the word WRONG.

In situations where there is specifically a right or wrong, there is a good and an evil. In situations where it's f***** up no matter how you choose, the situation may be evil, but not the choices. In situations where almost all choces (but the choicees only an insane person would make...and I mean like deciding between a loaf of wheat or white bread, the point at which you decide to urinate on any bread you don't buy, and maybe the one you're going to, as well) are acceptable, then there is no Good vs. Evil. Not even in religion is evey single decision a matter of right or wrong. Many things are just personal preference. In those instaces some basic rule of nutrality is the standard. Since many cases still only have a right or a wrong, there is no nutrality to stand on....nutrality is not the end all to Good and Evil.

The thing is that specific moral codes call some things as good that aren't right...and evil that aren't in any way wrong. The issue is that the moral codes are bassed off of: 1. a religious belief, 2. a reaction to a religious belief, 3. based upon personal experience (fairly dangerous, since many time we can't even remember the details of certain events several years down the road). Go to any stongly emotional issue in politics (hell, Israel vs any Musslim nation)...you'll see people on either side of the line cliaming to be right while the other side is wrong. They directly contradict each other. Both can't be right, sometimes neither are right, nd sometimes everything is so FUBAR that nothing is going to be right. Often, the reasoning has little to nothing to do with religion, even when they are fighting over religion.

Now, back to the point of saving Hitler as a child. Hitler was human. He was born in a day when births were still hit or miss. Someone cleaned him up, and helped with the birthing process. A whole host of things could have wiped him out that first year. Or any year for that matter. Most doctors were still severely limited in how they could have saved him, if and when he got really sick. Most of us wouldn't have been able to let Hitler die as a kid, if it was in our power....those same people could murder him in his sleep when he came into power.

If there is a God, He had to face this decision throughout Hitler's life. Now there's a thought few of us willingly face.

I'd have killed him...or even caused the accident that someone else would try to rescue him from, even as a kid. I'm not all that ...nice. My real ideas of Good and Evil don't really mesh well with "right" and "wrong", since both are oversimplification.



posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 09:04 AM
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- Some people find it hard to define Good & Evil without the "guidelines" of religion or a religious person (some people find it easier when someone else does the thinking)...or when the guidelines are already there.....

- The people who turn to science to define good and evil find themselves facing questions like:
Well Science tells us the strongest, smartest has to survive the weakest species
has to die...its just the way nature selects and there is nothing wrong with this....

- Some other people make their own judgement and dont let others say what is right
or what is wrong.....(it could be an informed decision or a gut feeling)

Now if you had a political leader what kind of thinking would you prefer him/her to have?



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 01:41 AM
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*snort*
A balanced combination of all 3. Being solely any of the 3 is utterly useless.

I am a Christian. There are some morality barriers I won't cross due to them being unacceptable because of archaic moralities that I personally believe were handed down from God. I don't believe these blindly. I've tested some of those barriers. I will wind up testing more throughout my life. Humans are like that. I don't like the consequences, and I'm going to expose my failures to my kids so, hopefully, they won't mess up their life the way I have. They can find new ways to f*** up.

Why does everybody and their mother assume that those who follow any god are Sheeples? That is not only rude, but often quite baseless. Hell, there are sheeples on both sides of the line. In fact, the ratio of non-thinking twits who have to opinionate this world as to the stupidity on the other side of the line is about the same. Few are thinking at all, and I mean extremely few. This is why I have a faint contempt for humantiy, overall. I fight against it because it's not conductive to life.

I am a Christian. Sometimes, for the survival of a whole group, someone's gain has to be sacrifced. As I do indeed worry about genetic stability, and know scientifically that not all inferiority is a result of genetic damage (nature vs nurture), I may well need to ensure that some sheeples get into the mix, because they mean long term survival, even when the short term is maddening to the point of murder. Plus, putting all your eggs continuously in one basket has repeatedly failed.

Christians who double as scientists (
now, that cracks me up) make decisions that to many christians would be considered very unchristian, but see no deviation from their beliefs, personally.

I am a Christian. I will meet my maker. I am responsible for my decisions. I will make my choices and not anyone else, especially the crazies on both sides of the line who think that either 1. I'm not a good christian for disagreeing with their leaders and 2. since I believe in a morality based upon the thought of God, that I'm inferior. When God comes into the equation, it's almost always based upon experience. I have faith in those things that work.

/rant off

Anyway, there have been some athiests that have had my best interest in mind. When they support what I need them to support, I go along with it. This is the same for Jews, Buddhists, Satan Worshippers, and a whole host of people I can't place. When they are being raving lunatics (including christians), I go for the juggular. When it doesn't matter, I don't care.



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 02:28 PM
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This is a good day for us to pause to consider what evil truly is and the extent to which evil exists. I know that there are those who believe that evil is relative and that nothing is absolute. In this world, it is impossible to understand many things until they have been experienced.

I have experienced evil. Have you?



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
This is a good day for us to pause to consider what evil truly is and the extent to which evil exists. I know that there are those who believe that evil is relative and that nothing is absolute. In this world, it is impossible to understand many things until they have been experienced.
I have experienced evil. Have you?


When I was in Junior Kindergarden a troop of Government militia stormed into our school and they killed Most Teachers and students, I remember one getting killed in front of me after the student was beggin for his life...All i remember was the pool of blood after our class walked away (This happened in my country of Origin)

Also the Opposition frabricating land mines out of beer caps (Explosive in the middle and two beer caps on the sides like an Oreo Cookie)...this led to many Kids having No arms or Legs...when they did nothing wrong other than play outside....

And your are so rightyou do not know evil until it is experienced.... I guess you dont truly know someone until you put a gun in their hand.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 05:53 PM
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Good is Constructive.

Sometimes to build we must first destroy, tear-down, shatter Idols and Icons. But, if we are doing so for the good, we build upon what has been destroyed, to make better of the whole.

Evil is Destruction without Construction.

Evil is that which destroys with neither act nor thought to make better of the whole.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 06:17 PM
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The word itself implies a simple thing.

Evil is Live backwords so to live is to move energy in one direction and evil is to move energy in the other direction.

Love is an energy which exists to provide positive things and pleasure and such.

The opposite of that exists to take from that process. Like Devo said to de-evolutionize. Move forward and grow and move into a higher frequency is to live and to not live or be evil is to go backwards and tear down (as mentioned earlier) and destroy, etc. To work against the positive potential by causing chaos and pain or to derail the uplifting of humanity. To remain in karmic debt.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 06:27 PM
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Originally posted by interestedalways
The word itself implies a simple thing.

Evil is Live backwords so to live is to move energy in one direction and evil is to move energy in the other direction.

Love is an energy which exists to provide positive things and pleasure and such.

The opposite of that exists to take from that process. Like Devo said to de-evolutionize. Move forward and grow and move into a higher frequency is to live and to not live or be evil is to go backwards and tear down (as mentioned earlier) and destroy, etc. To work against the positive potential by causing chaos and pain or to derail the uplifting of humanity. To remain in karmic debt.


Thats funny because I just got done reading over a thread that suggested our language has been subliminally created by our subconscious mind. (Esoteric heres another good example). I can see dalways that your mind is still stuck on this idea.

What I was going to say before I read over all these posts is this.
I have thought long about how to possibly define good and evil.
I believe the best way to define good is to love life and I believe that evil hates life.
What ever you may be facing in your life you should remember that "this" life on this planet is just a flicker in a candle and before it goes out and you are light again you should embrace this minor test with joy. The longer you live the easier it is to understand what I am trying to say.

All I can say is keep going.. or you might just reincarnated as a fly a few million times and you don't want that.



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