Do Theists own the term evil?
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02-11-2012, 11:06 PM
Do Theists own the term evil?
Evil is a term that in the right sentence can hold much power in the images and historical references it brings forth to the reader/listener. It's used as a label for many reasons, but most notably to categorise a certain time of psychological behaviour that is framed by the notion of the committing of sin. It is for this reason that some suggest the term evil should no longer be used within academic circles, in particular philosophy, because as soon as one mentions the term sin, religion holds a position in the discussion.

I had never thought of it in such a way, as for me, evil was simply an adjective given to those who met a certain set of criteria. The notion of sin did not consciously come to mind, when I applied the term. However now I am left wondering.... Do Theists own the term evil, and for this reason should people who don't believe in a God, refrain from using it philosophically? The following articles broach the issue well.

http://neophilosophical.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/do-atheists-believe-in-evil.html

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?page=simon_26_1§ion=library

Huh
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03-11-2012, 12:32 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil?
No they don't. I do.

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03-11-2012, 12:50 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil?
They can keep it.
The Sumerian mythological concept of Chaos, (vs Order), is much more authentic.
Chaos vs Order is really what Genesis is built on, (see Martin Buber's "Good and Evil" pII).
It's not about sin, (evil), and :disobedience.

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03-11-2012, 02:06 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil?
I do "refrain from using it philosophically". Mainly for the reason you stated, i.e. it takes a listener into a religious domain.

However, I have no problem with it being used in a secular sense i.e. applied to an outrage against ethics. Therefore e.g. genocide or a psychopath could be described as "evil".

Ironically, the god of the bible fits nicely into that category.

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03-11-2012, 02:24 AM (This post was last modified: 03-11-2012 08:05 AM by ClydeLee.)
Re: Do Theists own the term evil?
Never associates evil to religion personally. I use it more often now because by Co worker uses it non stop, it's one of his favorite words as he is a horror buff. I just associate it with villainess fends.

But I am beyond good and evil. Wink

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03-11-2012, 07:14 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil?
Probably, the Vatican has enough money I'm sure it could just buy the word.

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03-11-2012, 07:42 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil?
Yeah, cause they're evil. Big Grin

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03-11-2012, 08:00 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil?
I don't believe in the concept of good and evil. I accept that others do, however I do not.

It's very much a salvationist idea. Daniel Quinn does an excelent deconstruction of the origin of good and evil as it pertains to the Story of the Fall.

My belief is that this religious notion was adopted by secular punishment-style legal systems. Punitive systems outlaw unwanted behaviour and make the assumption that those that violate the bans are somehow broken, ie, evil. It fits nicely but it's BS.

Anyhoo, I could go on for a long time about this. I think it is an idea with a great deal of traction that shold be abandoned, but should and a nickel will get me a cup of jack squat. My problem with its use is not that religion gets a place in the discussion, that's just petulent. My issue is that it is a fanciful notion with no scientific value no matter if religious or secular institutions use it.

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03-11-2012, 08:05 AM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil?
(03-11-2012 08:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I don't believe in the concept of good and evil. I accept that others do, however I do not.

It's very much a salvationist idea. Daniel Quinn does an excelent deconstruction of the origin of good and evil as it pertains to the Story of the Fall.

My belief is that this religious notion was adopted by secular punishment-style legal systems. Punitive systems outlaw unwanted behaviour and make the assumption that those that violate the bans are somehow broken, ie, evil. It fits nicely but it's BS.

Anyhoo, I could go on for a long time about this. I think it is an idea with a great deal of traction that shold be abandoned, but should and a nickel will get me a cup of jack squat. My problem with its use is not that religion gets a place in the discussion, that's just petulent. My issue is that it is a fanciful notion with no scientific value no matter if religious or secular institutions use it.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt







Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist and Levitating yogi, CAAT-LY.
Yeah, for verily I say unto thee, and this we know : Jebus no likey that which doth tickle thee unto thy nether regions.

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03-11-2012, 02:31 PM
RE: Do Theists own the term evil?
Thanks Bucky.

That's important stuff, that is.

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