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Is there such a thing as good and evil?

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posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 11:57 AM

Originally posted by dk3000
Who cares what society thinks. What do you think is the question.

I generally get my knowledge and opinions about things like this from society, as do you. We learn about the basic concepts from our parents - good boy, bad boy - and we grow and learn to modify and refine those concepts as we encounter different situations where the simple duality of good/evil doesn't particularly apply.

The concept does not exist in a vacuum, either. Good and evil are linked to actions. And regardless what I personally think about actions being good or evil, I recognize that I pretty much have to conform to what the majority of people think, or they have a societal right to judge me and potentially kill me. Or in the case of this forum, ban me.

We're not born with an opinion about good and evil. We learn it from other people. So an exploration of societal factors is appropriate to the discussion.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 12:40 PM

Originally posted by ahuman
reply to post by Seiju

If evil and good didn't exist, we wouldn't be discussing those 2 things. Use common-sense. You're not dumb. Deny ignorance. Only ignorant & evil people would claim that good and evil do not exist. [/quote

Thats the whole point of this thread. Maybe good and evil dont exist and weve all been blinded by the fact that all of us think there is.


They're all just labels

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 12:46 PM

Originally posted by Nohup
And regardless what I personally think about actions being good or evil, I recognize that I pretty much have to conform to what the majority of people think, or they have a societal right to judge me and potentially kill me.

What a pitiful way to perceive your world. What would you do to warrant being executed, that it's on your mind? Who would kill you, and for what? This country was built on principles of emphasizing individual freedom, not mass conformation, and most people are completely free here (or at least have the personal option within grasp) and have no problems. It would be completely insane to try to execute any large number of people for thinking or behaving differently (ie evolving, becoming more intelligent and aware, let's say), and that is exactly the kind of behavior nobler men have tried to root out by creating small governments and "free" countries. Even people that would potentially be executed often find ways to avoid the right people, and what can you (or anyone in the government) do about them? (Nothing, at least for the ones that never get caught.)

Your world is dependent upon much, much more than just what you're allowed to do by others. The people that make all the big decisions have realized this, but you have not. Much more importantly, you can most certainly see things and think and feel however you want to, without anyone necessarily even knowing the difference.

[edit on 19-12-2007 by bsbray11]

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 12:54 PM
Whose to say what is good or evil, no one.
just a matter of moral and choice really, having both qualities are fabulous.

Lets turn it around, a child you have made with love sometime the line which never in your wildest dreams is raped by three paedophiles and eye poked out with heroin injected in the blood stream, would it be wrong to be angry and evil? no.
any living human being will be subject to evil and good. So the whole point to the question really is pointless.

anyone who deny this truth is one sick individual.

Edit for spell check.

[edit on 19-12-2007 by deathpoet69]

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 01:12 PM
Living creatures have free will to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

Any attempt by another creature to prevent that from occuring defines the nature of 'evil'.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 01:14 PM
ok well let everyone do what they want.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 01:15 PM
I think the fact that People have to define good and evil as a whole society is one of the things that makes us special.

Good and evil is a higher thought process probably, and we are probably the only species that uses this.

However yes, different groups have what they believe is good and/or evil. Different religions, different societies, different governments... its just who you are influenced by.

Is the feeling of good and evil natural? thats a point, or are we just socially conditioned into what other people think.

I guess the difference between good and evil is where law started, religion; if you were good you would be promised 'heaven', or some decent prospect of an afterlife. Bad and you get sent to 'hell'. hell-prison? heaven-life? I think there is a clear link between this, what is evil is usually against the law. All of he ten commandments in some ways or another are all illegal, or at least frowned upon.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 01:22 PM

Originally posted by deathpoet69
ok well let everyone do what they want.
You can ofcourse force your will upon another person.

But unless you change the will of that person, you will achieve nothing.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 02:01 PM
Evil exists. Good exists. Anyone who does not agree that taking or destroying innocent life is evil, is in my opinion a sick individual. Some things are not just opinions however they are fact. Destroying innocence for your own gain is evil. The truth no matter how hard it is to swallow is a good thing. There are lots of grey areas for sure but pure evil and pure good are pretty easy to identify.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 02:13 PM
I think that evil constitutes 'all things that are bad for us' on the whole--such as murdering an innocent bystander, or murdering anyone--most people would agree with that, since most people wouldn't wish to see themselves murdered, or anyone they loved murdered--

--stealing is another thing considered 'bad for us', since who wants their laptop stolen--or, their paycheck? Lump in kidnapping with stealing, since no reasonable person would enjoy being kidnapped--nor would most people want to see anyone that they loved kidnapped, as well--

--lying is yet another 'bad for us' thing--since, no one in their right mind likes a liar--no one truly would enjoy it if someone had lied to them about the bridge being washed out ahead of them, then they found out they'd been lied to, as they sailed over the edge into the river below--nor would they enjoy having someone lie to someone they loved, either--for instance, having that same liar tell the one[s] you love[d] that you had actually not driven over the edge of the bridge--when, in reality, you were by then under 10 feet of muddy river water--

--they truly are not subjective things--the concepts of good and evil, I mean--although, often, it might seem that way--as though all things are 'relative'--as though truth is 'relative'--I have some 'relatives' that are not truthful, and that is in no way 'relative'--the crux of what is being asked here might truly be--is there 'such a thing' as a standard for 'right' and 'wrong', so far as human behavior goes?--and, if so, who, if anyone, will enforce that standard?--as well as, if they exist, do they have a right to enforce that standard?


posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 02:16 PM
Good and Evil are man made concepts.

As the term is used in mainstream cognitive science and philosophy of mind, a concept is an abstract idea or a mental symbol, typically associated with a corresponding representation in a language or symbology.

I have never seen a zebra turn to a lion and say "when you
ate my sister, that was evil", that is just life.

Mother nature shows no indication of good or evil.
So, good and evil is just a way to communicate and does not really exist.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 02:23 PM
I think about concepts like these all the time. What is good and bad? Right and wrong? Morality plays a huge part in this, not only common or natural morality, but also religious morals that compound those initial feels of what is "good" and what is not. I've been playing with the idea of it coming down to "necessary" and "unnecessary." If the world used foresight and common rationale, things would be drastically different. And who's to say for the "better."

An endless thought. Definitely worth it, though.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 02:32 PM

Originally posted by bsbray11
What a pitiful way to perceive your world. What would you do to warrant being executed, that it's on your mind?

Oh, I don't know. In the past I've advocated large-scale temporary sterilization of a random section of the Earth's population as a way to gain some time to figure out what the best population load might be. If I was to go through with that, I'd pretty much be vilified as the worst evil person who ever lived, and large groups of people would want me burned and strung up by piano wire for it. So I'm not going to make mass sterilization anything I'm going to work toward. Not because I think it's evil. But I don't need that kind of trouble.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 02:39 PM
Good and evil most certainly exist. And the refusal by many in this world to acknowledge and confront evil when and where it exists has resulted in millions and millions of unnecessary deaths.

Look at people like Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Hitler, Stalin, or even people like Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, etc. Then try telling me with a straight face that evil does not exist.

Chamberlain's refusal to acknowledge the evils of Nazism and Adolf Hitler, and his attempts to pacify the Furor, resulted in the murder of millions of innocent men, women and children. And I believe we are seeing another sequel to this moral dilemma with the world refusing to accept the true nature of the Iranian government and the evilness of their ideology and policies.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 03:07 PM

Originally posted by Choronzon
Living creatures have free will to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

Any attempt by another creature to prevent that from occuring defines the nature of 'evil'.

So by this thinking if a child molester enjoys raping little kids and its thier way of pursueing happiness. Then to stop them would be evil? You have to be kidding right?

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 03:16 PM

Originally posted by Roland Deschain
I tend to agree with those who say good and evil is just a perception. What's evil to one individual could be the greatest of all goods and vice versa. However I think there is a fine line drawn in the sand...somewhere.

Before I read every post I wanted to just respond,
Yes, one man's evil can be another's good, only because peoples perception of good and evil are flawed, this does not make good evil, or evil good.
There is pure evil, and pure good, and layers in-between.
Just because a cannibal sees eating one's deceased as a positive thing doesn't make it so, so apparently mankind doesn't inherently recognize good verses evil, but in many ways it must be taught,

[edit on 033131p://bWednesday2007 by Stormdancer777]

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 03:19 PM
reply to post by geemony

The lines between good and evil are certainly becoming less defined,
as the anything goes mentality sears people's consciousness.

We are becoming desensitized to evil.

[edit on 033131p://bWednesday2007 by Stormdancer777]

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 03:33 PM

Originally posted by gkgoten100
reply to post by Seiju

I will have to agree with you on that.
IMO nothing was ever good or evil until religion had come along.
Also, before evil refered to intentional behavior, which does harm, is dishonest, or fails to honor agreements. If what you were refering to was evil in ethics.

You have a point, but I would say it was civilization, that was in need of laws.
Code of Hammurabi

[edit on 033131p://bWednesday2007 by Stormdancer777]

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 03:48 PM

Originally posted by cheeser
as ive said in another thread..

"good and evil" doesn't exist imo, we are survivalist machines trying to perpetuate our genes. don't be propagated by hollywood and harry potter (and definitely some religions).

so fundamentally i see this discussion as flawed.

I understand what you are saying, in many ways this is true, it is in many ways about survival, however,

Honor Among Beasts


Bekoff was able to show--after at least a decade of painstaking observation and analysis--that canine play is actually a complex social interaction in which the participants constantly signal their intentions and check to make sure their behavior is correctly interpreted. Dogs that cheat--promising a playful bite but delivering a harsh one, for example--tend to be ostracized.

possess not just raw emotions but also subtler and more sophisticated mental states, including envy, empathy, altruism and a sense of fairness. "They have the ingredients we use for morality," says Frans de Waal, a professor of primate behavior at Emory University in Atlanta, referring to the monkeys and chimps he studies.

We must have morals and ethics.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 03:51 PM

Originally posted by GirlNextDoor
reply to post by shug7272

Excellent reply. You said what I wanted to say, only you said it better.

Relativism is a lie. People would rather believe the lie than accept that there are universal truths because believing the lie requires no change on their part. If all is relative, then you can do whatever you want, without consequence or guilt. But when you get right down to it, relativism will only get you so far. Just because you believe something doesn't make it true. You must test it. If you jump off a building believing you can fly, you'll still fall to the ground.

[edit on 12/19/07 by GirlNextDoor]
Thank you very much. I was waiting for the reply of people are just taught to believe "good" or "bad" from birth and their bodies conditioned to that response. Of course that is a ridiculous theory and can be proven so easily.

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