posted on Apr, 17 2004 @ 11:58 PM
Okay, well now at least the argument makes sense to me, panchovilla. If you define evil the way you did in response to my post, then yes I would have
to agree with your assessment. However, I think the definition you're using here kind of oversimplifies the matter a little. Most people, when they
say that they believe in evil, are not saying that they believe that any action, even taken out of the context in which it was contemplated and
performed, is always going to be either good or evil. Most people who believe in evil don't see it as such a black and white issue. I tend to agree
with Leveller, who defined evil as "the absence of love." When most people consider whether something is good or evil, they take into consideration
more than just the act itself - they also look at intentions, motivation, extenuating circumstances, a person's state of mind, and any number of
other factors as well as the act itself. No, I don't think you can just take some broad category of actions such as "taking another person's
property" and say that all actions that fall into that category are automatically either good or evil. One evil action and one good action can both
fall under the same category of actions, but that doesn't mean that the same action is both good and evil at the same time. Therefore, I don't
really think the "it always has to be true or it's never true" argument works too well in this case.
One other thing - you also argued the second time around that evil cannot exist because different people perceive it differently. To me, this is not
that much different from your original argument in the first post, but oh well. Seriously, think about the implications of saying that there are no
objective standards of right and wrong, good and evil. That means there was nothing wrong or evil about the holocaust, that there is nothing wrong or
evil about mass murder, that there is nothing wrong or evil about ANYTHING. For that matter, while we're at it, let's try to be perfectly
consistent here. Since you think that evil is just something made up for selfish reasons to deceive the masses, it would follow from your argument
that there was nothing wrong or evil about that. Do you agree? Is it really logical to condemn their action as a wrongful deed and then a couple
sentences later, using that same condemnation itself, say that the very moral standards you used to make said condemnation do not even exist? If you
want to say that good and evil don't exist or are entirely subjective, that's your right to do so, but at least be consistent. If you believe that
right and wrong don't exist, don't say that you do things right or that other people do things that are wrong.
Of course, you could just say that you are free to set your own definition of evil as the one you gave in your second post, in which case this whole
debate would be kind of a mute point. But then again, that would also mean that all you really "disproved" was a definition of a word that most
people probably don't even accept...
Anyway, looking back over this post, I've noticed that parts of it might come across as hostile. I hope it didn't come across that way. I think
this is turning out to be an interesting debate, and I'm eager to hear what y'all's take on all this is. Thanks for reading.
EDIT: After looking back over the previous posts, I realized that the person whose post I was responding to in this post was, in fact, not
panchovilla. So I am sorry to have directed my arguments at the wrong person. I should have been referring to Jonna, I believe, not panchovilla.
Please take that into consideration and ignore parts of the post that probably do not make sense in light of this observation. Sorry for any
confusion this might cause - it's very early in the morning, and I guess my brain is falling asleep before the rest of me is.
[Edited on 18-4-2004 by chrishack14]