Does evil exist

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PostThu May 31, 2012 2:21 pm » by Fatdogmendoza


This is not necessarily my opinion however it is a good point to start at as the debate cocerning this subject is akin to does god exist...What do you think...does evil exist...yes/ no and why...



The problem of evil rests on two eminently plausible background assumptions: that if God exists then he is omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good, and that evil exists in the world. It is on the remaining premise, which states that if God existed then evil would not exist, that most discussion of the problem of evil focuses. The background assumptions are usually granted.

There are, however, two responses to the problem of evil that do not grant the eminently plausible background assumptions. The first is the denial that God is morally good. The second is the denial that evil exists.

To most of us, the existence of evil appears to be undeniable. There is widespread suffering in the world. We have all experienced some amount of pain, both physical and emotional; evil confronts us all. Some, however, have sought to deny the reality of evil, and so to eliminate the problem of explaining how evil can exist in a world governed by God.

Christian Scientists are among those that teach that evil is an illusion. The movement’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, “Sin, disease, whatever seems real to material sense, is unreal.” Suffering, on this view, may appear to surround us, but this only an appearance.

It is difficult, however, to dismiss all evil as illusory. If it appears to me that I am racked with disease, but that appearance is merely illusory, then it is nevertheless a painful illusion. Even if the disease is no evil because it does not exist, the appearance of disease remains an evil. Objective suffering may, perhaps, coherently be dismissed as illusory, but subjective suffering cannot be.

Far more promising than the dismissal of evil as illusory is the Augustinian and Thomist view that it is nothing more than a privation of good. According to this view, evil is not a positive thing that is out there in the world, but merely an absence of good. God therefore cannot be blamed for bringing evil into existence; evil is not a thing and so was not brought into existence. The idea that the world contains evil (i.e. certain privations of good) can thus be reconciled with the idea that it was created by a God who would not create evil; it is only the good in the world that was created, the bad is merely an absence of good.

Even if this account of evil were accepted, however, it would not completely resolve the problem of evil. For it may still be asked why God neglected to create those goods that are found to be lacking in the world. Even if evil is simply an absence of good, there is a tension between this absence of good and the existence of a Creator that knows how to, is able to, and wants to create all goods. The problem of evil, then, in some form at least persists.

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PostThu May 31, 2012 2:48 pm » by Slith


Yin/Yang FD. The debate on this will never cease. Good post! :flop:
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PostThu May 31, 2012 2:56 pm » by Tonyw


I think that Good, and Evil is inherent in all of us. Some people are not wired up right, and they have a leaning towards Evil, and normal people are basically good. I have an Evil streak when it comes to Child molesters, those that beat old people up, those that commit genocide, Politicians, and Councilors (Except the honest ones of course which are very few, and far between). Those that commit burglaries, and beat people up just to feed their habit. I am basically a good person, and will do anything to help anybody but i have only to be Crapped on once, and there is no going back. That's me, look at my signature.
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PostThu May 31, 2012 3:08 pm » by Shendao


In answer to the question, yes I believe evil exists. However, I believe it can be argued that the concepts and realities of both good and evil are not existential to our human condition. Based upon that it would be logical to predict that the existence of God is uneccesary in relation to good or evil and should god exist, releases it from the constraints of acting within those parameters.

To expand. Good and evil are concepts that are intimately related to social etiquette, and the manipulation of that etiquette can cause both states to exist within one condition.

E.G. : 'Thou shalt not kill' presupposes that the act of murder is an evil act. However, if we as a society decide that killing someone benefits our society it suddenly becomes good. The man who kills a child is seen as evil but, the man who then kills the murderer is seen as good, yet both events rob someone of existence and are 'murderous' by definition.

Furthermore, let us look at the philanthropist who generously gives thousands to charity. Would we say they were 'good'? What if we found out they did this in order to garner positive fame whilst secretly despising the very folk they help? Are they now evil?

You see how the concept of good or evil can change based up culture, circumstance or individual viewpoint. The problem of defining 'how' comes about when we remove the process from ourselves and give it to some existential deity. Then we believe our actions are regulated 'on high' or we are in combat with external dark forces. This stops our progress, denial always stops progress.

“Sin, disease, whatever seems real to material sense, is unreal.” Suffering, on this view, may appear to surround us, but this only an appearance.


This is a very taoist approach, as it seperates the 'I' as spirit from the 'me' as body. In essence it shows that whatever happens in the physical realm has no true bearing upon the spirit involved. Some thinkers believe that we manifest here within physical form only to experience. It does not matter what we experience as the experience itself has no direct effect upon us outside of the experience. So experiencing good or evil is equal in action and inaction.

If it appears to me that I am racked with disease, but that appearance is merely illusory, then it is nevertheless a painful illusion.


It is real in that it happens to the body, it is illusionary in that it doesnt happen to the 'I' therefore both states are true.

If good and evil are seen as states or order or chaos then we can identify a sort of entropy of each to the other, this can be seen in the yin/yang symbol where each becomes the other and yet contains the other as a seed.

In summation, God did not create good or evil nor is it found within god (if it exists). Good and evil are ego constructs of the human social collective order played out in a limitless variety of ways that create viewpoints.
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PostThu May 31, 2012 3:55 pm » by Fatdogmendoza


Shendao wrote:In answer to the question, yes I believe evil exists. However, I believe it can be argued that the concepts and realities of both good and evil are not existential to our human condition. Based upon that it would be logical to predict that the existence of God is uneccesary in relation to good or evil and should god exist, releases it from the constraints of acting within those parameters.

To expand. Good and evil are concepts that are intimately related to social etiquette, and the manipulation of that etiquette can cause both states to exist within one condition.

E.G. : 'Thou shalt not kill' presupposes that the act of murder is an evil act. However, if we as a society decide that killing someone benefits our society it suddenly becomes good. The man who kills a child is seen as evil but, the man who then kills the murderer is seen as good, yet both events rob someone of existence and are 'murderous' by definition.

Furthermore, let us look at the philanthropist who generously gives thousands to charity. Would we say they were 'good'? What if we found out they did this in order to garner positive fame whilst secretly despising the very folk they help? Are they now evil?

You see how the concept of good or evil can change based up culture, circumstance or individual viewpoint. The problem of defining 'how' comes about when we remove the process from ourselves and give it to some existential deity. Then we believe our actions are regulated 'on high' or we are in combat with external dark forces. This stops our progress, denial always stops progress.

“Sin, disease, whatever seems real to material sense, is unreal.” Suffering, on this view, may appear to surround us, but this only an appearance.


This is a very taoist approach, as it seperates the 'I' as spirit from the 'me' as body. In essence it shows that whatever happens in the physical realm has no true bearing upon the spirit involved. Some thinkers believe that we manifest here within physical form only to experience. It does not matter what we experience as the experience itself has no direct effect upon us outside of the experience. So experiencing good or evil is equal in action and inaction.

If it appears to me that I am racked with disease, but that appearance is merely illusory, then it is nevertheless a painful illusion.


It is real in that it happens to the body, it is illusionary in that it doesnt happen to the 'I' therefore both states are true.

If good and evil are seen as states or order or chaos then we can identify a sort of entropy of each to the other, this can be seen in the yin/yang symbol where each becomes the other and yet contains the other as a seed.

In summation, God did not create good or evil nor is it found within god (if it exists). Good and evil are ego constructs of the human social collective order played out in a limitless variety of ways that create viewpoints.

Excellent reply Shendao. In many contexts the differences between what we deem to be good or what we see as evil are paradoxical to say the least...

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PostThu May 31, 2012 5:09 pm » by 1973samtyler


This is a very taoist approach, as it seperates the 'I' as spirit from the 'me' as body. In essence it shows that whatever happens in the physical realm has no true bearing upon the spirit involved. Some thinkers believe that we manifest here within physical form only to experience. It does not matter what we experience as the experience itself has no direct effect upon us outside of the experience. So experiencing good or evil is equal in action and inaction.


Migrate this conclusion into traditional Western beliefs (for example Islam or Christianity)then the experience of evil or good has no effect upon the 'I' or 'soul', which negates the 'judgemental' qualities of those beliefs, since it appears the 'I' or 'Soul' is imune from the contamination of evil (or good?) and logically you would have to ask: "Good or evil - does it matter?"

What would be the purpose of a 'Good' life of poverty and hardwork, if your 'I' or 'Soul' is treated the same as a life of evil, robbery, murder etc - is to to learn and obtain the next level? If so, how would such knowledge and experience be retained for further development if such experiences have no bearing upon the 'I' or 'Soul'? Such experience (good or evil) would be pointless, unless retained in some form for recollection and application in later experiences.

This would surely mean that all human experience is worthless, save for experience sake and only relevant to the physicall reality of the 'flesh' - it matters not if your Mother Teresa or Adolph Hitler - the 'I' or 'soul' is apparently imune from the actions of the flesh and if correct, what's the result for humanity and this planet (though of course, if the taoists have it correct - it really doesn't matter!) I can't help thinking that such a concept would degrade humans from humanity into animals. They appear to have no need to 'justify' their existance, except to exist, and imagine the world created by the human-animals.

Or do I have it totally wrong! :?
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PostThu May 31, 2012 6:32 pm » by SonOfGodEternalFlame


evil is commonly associated with conscious and deliberate wrongdoing, discrimination designed to harm others, humiliation of people designed to diminish their psychological well-being and dignity, destructiveness, motives of causing pain or suffering for selfish or malicious intentions, and acts of unnecessary or indiscriminate violence.

let me ask some questions
1. if you take something that's not yours and in the act of taking it does your subconscious mind
remind you there's something wrong going on.
2. if someone breaks into your house kills your wife and kids, your in the hospital and still survive
would you feel in you heart what happened that night was a wrong action taken against your
family?

How about our reactive senses to bad things that happen ?
being that humans can think,process thought, come to an idea of an outcome or a consequence,and then
proceed with the action after we know the outcome puts us on whole other level, than the animal
kingdom. still after that we can be more monstrous than they.

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PostThu May 31, 2012 6:44 pm » by Cognoscenti


My way of thinking about it is that when human actions demonstrate a lack of compassion for any other living things especially other humans those actions are evil.

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PostThu May 31, 2012 6:50 pm » by Tuor10


Cognoscenti wrote:My way of thinking about it is that when human actions demonstrate a lack of compassion for any other living things especially other humans those actions are evil.


That is a perfect critique of evil.

:flop:

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PostThu May 31, 2012 7:09 pm » by Fatdogmendoza


Tuor10 wrote:
Cognoscenti wrote:My way of thinking about it is that when human actions demonstrate a lack of compassion for any other living things especially other humans those actions are evil.


That is a perfect critique of evil.

:flop:

....I think it is a perfect definition of what we are programmed to believe evil to be...So a sociopath is evil, in this sense of the word, when the definition of such sociopath is a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. Is the sociopath suffering from a psychological disorder if they commit a crime that would fit into that defined evil category, also are we saying that evil can be cured...Or that an evil person can be 'saved'.... were do we draw a line if there is actually a line to be drawn...


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