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Good and Evil: People or their actions?

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posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 03:35 AM
I've been thinking a lot recently about what makes someone good or evil. I've come to the conclusion that individuals are neither good nor evil, only their actions take on a value.

Firstly, the terms Good and Evil are ambiguous. Good for whom? Evil in who's eyes? Some issues are black and white. Killing someone in cold blood is evil. But killing in self defence? Even then the situation creates the value. What if they could have used non-lethal force? Etc.

I believe that a person cannot be inherently good or evil. There is too many factors involved to be just stick a label on someone.

If that is the case, then there are questions that need answering. Such as:

If someone repeatedly performs good or evil deeds, does it make them so? At what point does someone become good or evil?

What do you think?

Can people be purely good or evil? Or are we simply products of our actions, our choices?

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 03:44 AM
reply to post by fooffstarr

I've broken the laws of the land a few times and I'm not proud of it but I don't think I'm evil . In fact , some people have said that I am kind and loving . However , I think that some people perform evil deeds without breaking the law . Fooffstar , I think that your theory could be correct excepting cases where people have , for instance , killed in the cold light of day , knowing full well what they are doing .

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 03:55 AM

Originally posted by fooffstarr
I've been thinking a lot recently about what makes someone good or evil. I've come to the conclusion that individuals are neither good nor evil, only their actions take on a value.

I would say it's the intention behind the action. It's like with God, we might see or feel a bad action, but once we understand the intention, it makes it good. I'd add more but over here it's really late, tomorrow

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 04:18 AM
i don't think that someone is inherently good or evil, they might have had a troubled life which resulted in them doing bad things, i admit i've never done anything that falls in either catagory, we can't say something is good or something is bad because another persons good is another persons evil, is someone evil if they stop a burglar?, is someone evil if someone shoots a criminal?, etc etc.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 04:48 AM
You picked a good subject to discuss. It certainly is an age old problem.

I believe humans are capable of being both good and evil.

To me evil is the act of doing something selfish or harmful to another. Just as being good is doing things that are positive and kind to others.

That would seem to answer your question. But, what about evil and good thoughts not acted upon? Would evil and good still exist if those thoughts ere not acted upon?

As to taking a life it is my opinion that to kill to protect yourself or someone else is not an evil act. To kill because you don't like someone or want to rob them is evil.

I don't imagine most people are much different than me with that little devil on one shoulder and the sweet angel on the other shoulder.

It's my choice to be good or evil.

Mental illness and/or abuse can and does cause some people to act in evil ways. Fortunately most of us decide to be good.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 05:05 AM
reply to post by fooffstarr

Ask Sean Hannity about that subject. He will name who is evil with furvor, intent that those people be killed. Is Sean Hannity evil? I think so. Are the people he says are evil, evil? Maybe. Who knows. The people I fear are those that are enthusiastic about killing. Those people scare me to no end.

When Pete Coors ran for US Senate, he had a political ad on television, I poop you not, saying--among other things (not paraphrasing)--"Pete Coors will hunt down the terrorists, and kill them." It was a woman's voice for the ad, and I could remember be absolutely floored. The message: vote for Pete Coors, he will kill people.

That scares me to no end. That is evil.

I am a disciple of Plato. Truth is in a lock-box somewhere. It is wrong/evil to step on a kitten's head. That much I know.

[edit on 16-4-2009 by pluckynoonez]

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 05:34 AM
reply to post by fooffstarr

I have a theory in progress that there is no such thing as a negative like evil. There is good and then there is the lack of good which can look like evil.

Well it really started as...there is no cold just the lack of heat and there is no darkness just the lack of light. Absolute cold and absolute darkness do not exist. This has since progressed into there is no evil and there is no death only that which is good and life that once has been created will always exist and then transform into other existences.

I got into some trouble explaining my concept of how the anti-Christ and hell were the imagination of God fearing Christians attempting to scare people into follwing their religion. Anyway I believe evil is an entity that is made up in our imaginations and this makes it real even though it is false.

The good news is that it takes an infinite amount of effort to make something negative like absolute cold and evil but just the slightest amout of warmth and goodness makes a world of difference.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:18 AM

good and evil

Good and evil are subjective concepts. They are descriptors of circumstance relative to an observer. "Good" and "evil" are very much like "up" and "down." From your perspective where you sit at your computer, the roof over your head is "up." From the perspective you have when you fly over your house in an airplane, the roof of your house is "down."

But, from the perspective you'd have standing on Venus, the ceiling of your house on earth would be neither "up" nor "down."

"Good" and "evil" are this way.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 11:17 AM
I believe that Shakespeare put it best when he said.

"It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so."

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 11:24 AM
I also think that good people can do bad things, and bad people can do good things. I think the "good or bad" comes from the degree and number of times certain acts, of evil or kindness, are done.

So, I guess you don't know if you're good or evil until you're dead and can look back and assess everything. Or, I mean, others do it for you.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 11:31 AM
I admire this thread and don't understand why more are not participating.
Genuine and pertinent topics on the table here....with out the fantasmagorical

Thanks..OP..s & f..

Perhaps we should all practice: Responding instead of reacting.


posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 11:41 AM
How can someone be ''inherently'' good or evil when good and evil are relative words? At best they can be ''inherently good as looked upon from a society's moral code / viewpoint".

As you said yourself what's good for one might be bad for another, they're no more than indicators for a society's morals, their ''code of conduct''.

If Hitler would've still lived and conquered the world the majority might believe that killing Jews would be ''good'', and in that way Jew-haters that act upon their hate would be inherently good, but not be considered good by those that oppose him.

However in this current day and age, killing people for their heritage is considered racism / discrimination, and is frowned upon. In this case, a jew-hater that act upon their hate would be inherently evil, but not be considered evil by those that hate jews as well.

I think a global accepted definition of being ''inherently good'' or ''inherently evil'' however, would be a person whose total actions would be considered more good than evil, or vice versa.

I think a few factors determine whether someone can be called inherently good or evil:
o The moral code of the Society that judges the ''good/evil'' status of a person.
o The time at which a certain action happened. (A ''let go of the past'' kind of thing)
o The frequency of the action.

I have the idea that the severity of a good or evil deed doesn't even matter that much, I think what matters most to people, is whether you are consistent in your actions, no matter how ''little'' they mean for the world.

A man who does something extremely good or evil might be immediately considered a "Hero" or a "Villain". However someone that helps people all his life, will be called a "Saint".

Take your pick.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 11:45 AM
reply to post by fooffstarr

The duality concept has been the dogma of creation but I'm more inclined toward believing in cause and effect or karma.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 11:55 AM
I think that there are three kinds of people in this world. The first are the good, they make up the majority of people but just barely. They don't always do the right thing, but for the most part they at least try. Then there are the neutral people. There aren't quite as many of them as the first group, but the number is close. They do less good than the first group, but don't always do bad/evil. The final group are the truly evil. These people are rare. The rarely ever do anything that doesn't cause harm to someone else. People who kill for pleasure would fall in this category. It would be possible for someone from the first group to become neutral, and for people who are neutral to become more good, but almost impossible for anyone from the first two groups to become truly evil.

As for what makes an act either good or evil, I tend to look at it close to the way dizziedame already stated it. Actions that that help others or are positive, are good. Actions that harm others or are negative are bad/evil, not all actions in this category are truly evil though so I add "bad" to the label for them.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 11:59 AM
Good is that which creates a growth in understanding reality. Evil is that which distorts or inhibits a growth in understanding.

Terrible things can teach wonderfull lessons. Its all in how the action effects anothers growth in understanding reality. We all know that those that understand survive, teach, and prevent the same mistakes from happening again.

If you ever get a chance to see and understand a complete life you would realize that we are a sum of our memories. All of our choices and emotions are based off of our experiances. All life is loved... only a fool would overlook how we are all victums of the same reality... we are all in our separate perspectives in life doing what we "know" to be good and fair.

You HAVE to separate youself from your individual prespective in reality to understand good and evil. No "one" life can ever experaince enough suffering to truely see the design that the universe presents us.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 04:53 PM

You picked a good subject to discuss. It certainly is an age old problem.

its not a good subject, and its not an age old problem. there is no such thing as good or evil. one mans good is another mans evil. good and evil are completely subjective, and are just belief systems drilled into you by the society you live in. if you were raised in a society with no outside contact, that burned handicap babies, rather than give them the chance to live, and it was accepted, and fine to do based on your societies belief system, than you wouldnt know any better, and wouldnt consider it a bad thing.

good and evil is a joke. a game. its not technically real. we just make it real

[edit on 16-4-2009 by jimmy1200]

[edit on 16-4-2009 by jimmy1200]

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:10 PM

Originally posted by jimmy1200good and evil is a joke. a game. its not technically real. we just make it real

That is the kind of stuff I am seeking.

And thanks to everyone who has posted so far.

See, good and evil might be a joke. But the products of 'good or evil' actions certainly aren't.

What I'm trying to fuel here is a discussion about choice, actions and consequences.

Good and Evil are simply words. In reality, things are far more complicated but as humans we like to label things.

If we create our own reality like you suggest, wouldn't good and evil be products of that creation? There are people with good and evil intentions and actions, so wouldn't that world then become as such?

[edit on 16-4-2009 by fooffstarr]

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 08:01 PM
Inaction is also an action. Subconscious evil can also prove one culpable. As humans we are indeed subject to the forces of good and evil, but as humans we cannot be the judges of such; Any attempts to do so would necessarily lead to absurd cycles of justification for one's actions. And what, from experience, I know about trying to live the righteous life is this: that it is impossible if you're honest with yourself.

"Despair is the result of each earnest attempt to go through life with virtue, justice and understanding and fulfil their requirements. Children live on one side of despair, the awakened on the other side."

[edit on 16-4-2009 by djr33222]

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 08:29 PM

If we create our own reality like you suggest, wouldn't good and evil be products of that creation? There are people with good and evil intentions and actions, so wouldn't that world then become as such?

technically no. good and evil cant exist, if they dont exist. no matter what any religion says, any government says, any god, any aliens, any one person or trillions of people, we just dont have any objective way to say whats good and bad.

does that mean i justify killings, murders, rapes, etc.., with philosophical blabber? absolutely not, and i do not consider those "good" things to do to another, but let me play a scenario for you.

as horrible as it sounds. say a woman is walking home from work. its late, she worked overtime, and she normally is walking down her street around 6 when its busy, but its 10 now, and its just her. she doesnt have mace on her, or any weapons, but is very attuned to her environment. as she passes an ally, she sees no one, so goes to throw away a soda she was drinking in the trash. a man jumps out assaults her, and threatens her with a weapon. the man then sexually assaults her, and leaves his victim bruised, scared, sad, mad, and in tears.

years later this women has become a trillion times more empowered in life. she is more conscious of where she goes, who she talks to, who she makes friends with. she carries mace now, and keeps it on hand when walking alone. she now speaks to young females who have been through what she has been through, and ends up saving lives, and helping to heal those who didnt know how to deal with such an atrocity.

this is a bad, turned good, but what is it really. was it good it happened to her, to transform her into someone she probably would have never been without going through that, or is it bad for her because of the trauma she suffered from such an event, regardless of its powerful end result. im sure no one would shake her hand, and say, thank you for being raped, and becoming who you are, i cant believe what we would do without you. lets take the man that raped you out to dinner, for he has truly created an angel on earth. so since thats not the case, we say its bad, but with a happy ending. it still doesnt negate the point that the event itself is gray. the feelings and words we attached to it are what give it its meaning, and most of that is just trained human behavior.

this is why good and bad do not exist. if humans would be able to gather some sense of themselves, to sometimes see that gray area, and not let the black and white just trample them, then they can elevate themselves to levels they never new. for the sake of the world we live in, these blacks and whites will be represented and respected in society, as to maintain some level of stability until we evolve pass black and white, but the gray area is the truth. the nothing zone, where the event thats happening means nothing until you make it mean something.

so yes, we accept good and bad things within our society, but its blatantly obvious these things are very subjective, and vary from culture to culture, town to town, state to state, country to country, religion to religion, etc.. good and bad are i guess nice measuring markers for society as it is now, because as a whole, most of us agree to the same good and bad things, minus and dogmatic religious garbage. we dont live in a world of these crazy demon people who think eating babies is the greatest thing since peeing after a night out after the bar, so point being, again, yes, we do seem to have a general mutual understanding of good and bad on this planet, but it still doesnt technically exist.

in my opinion

[edit on 16-4-2009 by jimmy1200]

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 08:49 PM
reply to post by jimmy1200

I agree. That scenario omits a sense of fate and fate can never be good or bad, it's beyond good and bad, to the realm of what is meant to happen simply because it has. All good and bad need is time. In time every good transforms to evil and every evil into good, hence the apparent law of irony. But for the moment, we need these powerful forces to spur us to action, to emotion, to the negation of complacency and the ultimate acceptance of our destiny. Let's be in the moment.

I hope this post doesn't give the sense that I feel rape can be justified or apologized for.

[edit on 16-4-2009 by djr33222]

[edit on 16-4-2009 by djr33222]

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