Philosophy of Good and Evil(very interesting read inside)

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posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 09:46 AM
I came across this very interesting article of Good and Evil couple of days ago. It deals with a Philosophical/Psychological views on Good and Evil.

Questions to ATS community:

- Does good and evil exist?

- Is there more evil now, or less evil, than there was five years ago, or five centuries?

- Is an individual born evil or do they become evil?

- Does good become meaningless without evil?

Here is the article:

I think there should be a Dark Willard.

In the network's studio in New York City, Dark Willard would recite the morning's evil report. The map of the world behind him would be a multicolored Mercator projection. Some parts of the earth, where the overnight good prevailed, would glow with a bright transparency. But much of the map would be speckled and blotched. Over Third World and First World, over cities and plains and miserable islands would be smudges of evil, ragged blights, storm systems of massacre or famine, murders, black snows. Here and there, a genocide, a true abyss.

"Homo homini lupus," Dark Willard would remark. "That's Latin, guys. Man is a wolf to man."

It will take about 10-15 minutes to complete the read but is VERY interesting and highly recommended.

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 12:15 PM
71 views and no replies

Nobody has any opinions whatsoever?

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 12:21 PM

Originally posted by apk4o7mxb
71 views and no replies

Nobody has any opinions whatsoever?

It's a very compled subject and I'm sure posters, myself included, want to give it the attention it deserves and not just write a glib response.

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 12:25 PM
I've found that discussions of good v. evil really are most informative within a particular philosophical or spiritual framework. Otherwise, the "it's a matter of opinion" effect pretty much stops people from understanding and exploring new opinions.

Just saw your thread, haven't read your linked article yet, but since you want people's opinions, I'll play along:

"Does good and evil exist?"

"Is there more evil now, or less evil, than there was five years ago, or five centuries?"
Yes, in terms of a larger human population in which judgeable acts can be expressed, questionable in terms of 'intrinsic evil in the land'.

"Is an individual born evil or do they become evil?"
I don't know. Is expression of evil, and evil acts, the same 'being' evil?

Does good become meaningless without evil?"
No, although I know many would disagree, from a dualistic point of view. I believe the entirety of 'goodness' (to apply the terms of this context) contains infinite diversity.

Edit to add: agree with sc2099; please realize that this is a glib response and I'm not giving this subject the attention it deserves

[edit on 17-7-2008 by Ian McLean]

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 01:08 PM
Very interesting thread.
I read the article and found it to be incredibly thought-provoking as well.

I believe morality to be extremely subjective and what can be considered “good” to one person might easily be condemned by another. Good and evil can be anything an individual believes them to be, and because this varies from person to person, there is really no absolute standard for morality. I think that what is considered to be “good” or “evil” depends entirely on the individual and his idea of morality. I, for example, find cold-blooded murder to be “evil” (for lack of a better word), but it is only so based on my own personal moral standards and might not have been “evil” to the person committing the crime.

As far as the world being more evil than in the past, I guess we can’t really judge the past by our current standards because the idea of morality around the world changes constantly over time. Human sacrifice was considered to be normal to the ancient Aztecs, for example, but can easily be considered “evil” by modern standards. For all we know, typing out our opinions on this very topic might be considered to be highly indecent by the standards of society hundreds of years from now, even though it’s perfectly normal now.

Because I don’t believe there to be a set moral standard, I don’t think a person is born evil nor can they become evil. For example, a thief can certainly be considered to be evil because of his actions depending on the moral code society or the individual has established, but just because we as a society or as individuals find his actions to be “evil” doesn’t necessarily mean that they were to the thief himself.

As far as good existing without evil goes, assuming that everyone has the exact same moral code that does not change over time, I don't think good would have a meaning to us if we are shown just that throughout our lives. If we were to exist without knowing what evil is, then we wouldn't be able to determine what good would be, so it would hold no meaning to us. I hope I'm making sense here.

That's about all I can think of writing at the moment.

I look forward to reading the opinions of others on this subject and I do hope I haven't offended anyone here.

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 08:10 PM
reply to post by nina.

you have a similar philosophy as I do. I have felt similar, in that there is no absolute evil and absolute good, and most importantly that it is relative to the mind contemplating the energy at hand.

Some questions from the article that I found interesting and decided to answer according to my reality.

Is there more evil now, or less evil, than there was five years ago, or five centuries?

Measuring the amount of evil, to me, is a waste of time. It is a waste of time because you are focusing on that energy, magnifying it and not doing anything about it.
Healing is probably one of the most giving things a person could do.
By healing oneself, one heals others.

If you are unfamiliar with the Tao and the true meaning of Yin and Yang than I suggest you do some will be worth it...

New forms of evil raise new moral questions. Who is to blame for them? Are they natural evils -- that is, acts of God and therefore his responsibility, or acts of the blind universe and therefore no one's? Or are they moral evils, acts that men and women must answer for?

I believe that we are all to blame, if there is any blame to be casted at all. Blaming others is ,again, to me a significant waste of time. The amount of energy put into blaming another could have been used for a better cause. Perhaps even solving the problem with a bit of effort.
There are people who act and people who react. Then there are also people who remain neutral doing nothing.

like Einstein said

"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

also check out what einstein had to say to a professor on the subject of evil, darkness, and heat by clicking here

That suggests a refinement of an old argument favored by Romantics and 19th century anarchists like Bakunin, who said, "The urge for destruction is also a creative urge." It is not an argument I would try out on Elie Wiesel or on the mother of a political prisoner disappeared by the Argentine authorities.

Im sure that the argument would stir up emotions in many people. It did for me too, but that changes when you begin to realize, that, in this universe, the only thing that remains constant is change. 3 stages in a cycle of creation, sustainment, and destruction. Then the cycle repeats itself over again.

I have encountered several ''evil'' people throughout my few years here on earth, but all I can show them is love. This wasn't the case until the last truly ''evil'' person I came across, however.
So in essence, a person that did the most evil act I had ever experienced ( getting shot point blank in the chest by a wild eyed, cranked out, brotha) also created the most change in my life. While at the time I may have believed that it was negative change, I soon realized that it was positive change in the long run.

As hard as it seems, I believe that we should never let our circumstances determine our attitudes. We have the power to choose our attitudes.....

check out the Tao

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:52 AM
Thanks for all the reply's

Yeah...I agree that Evil cannot exist without Good or vice-versa.

I researching about the Tao and Ying-Yang...seems quite interesting too!

[edit on 18-7-2008 by apk4o7mxb]

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 09:03 AM
Bhagavadgita (2.15):
“A sober person who is not influenced by external conditions and who is neither distracted by happiness nor by distress, in both cases keeping equanimity, is certainly ready for liberation”
This quote to illustrate that good and evil only exist in your dualistic mind. The notion of good and evil is a fiber of your free will. If one inters the realm of mystical reality, one has to subtract him self from the condensation of matter where light and darkness convene and divide. It is the mother of all labyrinths.
This labyrinth is engraved in to our consciousness, the undiscovered map of our free will.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:10 AM
reply to post by kacou

Sweet. Also, from Hamlet:

Hamlet: ...what's the news?
Rosencrantz: None, my lord, but that the world's grown honest.
Hamlet: Then is doomsday near: but your news is not true. Let me question more in particular: what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
Guildenstern: Prison, my lord!
Hamlet: Denmark's a prison.
Rosencrantz: Then is the world one.
Hamlet: A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o' the worst.
Rosencrantz: We think not so, my lord.
Hamlet: Why, then, 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me it is a prison.
Rosencrantz: Why then, your ambition makes it one; 'tis too narrow for your mind.

Shakespeare: early proponent of the Law of Attraction?

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:46 AM

Originally posted by apk4o7mxb

Questions to ATS community:

- Does good and evil exist?

- Is there more evil now, or less evil, than there was five years ago, or five centuries?

- Is an individual born evil or do they become evil?

- Does good become meaningless without evil?

Ok, my philosophical take on good and evil. I believe that duality from the eastern philosophical tradition, and "Original Sin" from the religions of the middle east, are one and the same thing. In my readings of the various sacred texts, I note a similar caution that judgment, (the naming of something as "good" or "evil") IS the problem. At the heart of all the sacred traditions, whether you call them religious or philosophical, there is an idea of an original Divine state in which things just "Are" without division, without judgment or duality. They also all allude to some event in the minds of humans (or even in the Gods, such as the Hindu tradition) that begins the dividing, naming, judging of things. This judging or dividing is described as a "sin" which also translates as "mistake" or illusory, depending on which tradition you choose to read.

So, in answer to your questions;

-Good and evil exists because we humans "create" it in our minds and then manifest it in our actions.

-There would of course be more evil in the world as more humans are born and begin naming or creating it. Also, we have more access to things to name as technology increases and we have greater exposure to things, events, other people, tec.

-A person would be born "not evil" because initially the capacity for judgment would be weak or non-existent and evil-ness would increase over all of our lifetimes IF we judged things. (We could take Jesus' commandment not to to heart or the Buddha's for that matter, we just dont)

-Good as opposed to evil would become meaningless, by definition.

Nice post. I love philosophy in the morning.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 11:13 AM
I guess it all depends on what your definition for 'evil' is. For me it means 'The willfull execution of destructive force or power'.

But that debate is a whole nother topic im sure....

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 01:10 PM
Nice all...very very interesting points of views!

Now here is what I believe Evil and Good are:

I believe Good and Evil was created by humans in order to exploit there power against others in that respective time period. In other words, it was use to take advantage of people by using the majority of society views and applying it to the lesser few one might say.

Does good and evil exist? I believe it just perspective of an individual living in a specific time,place, and period. Good and Evil cannot be proven because these two perspective are only apply according to what society(majority) in that specific time, place, period consider good and bad.

Is there more evil now, or less evil, than there was five years ago, or five centuries? We can't really tell because as we advanced old evils are overwritten by the new evils.

Is an individual born evil or do they become evil? I believe that we have the power to choose what is right in our own. It does not matter what happens next but what matters are good intentions of an individual. Many will say this is a flaw but I like to think otherwise

Does good become meaningless without evil? Definitely...if I know no evil than I can't know what is good. And like one member said earlier this is when the Ying-Yang are apply. They cannot co-exist without each other.

I'm looking forward in reading more post

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