Good and Evil
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
09-02-2011, 12:57 AM
RE: Good and Evil
To Ghost;

You said "Just as one simple example (please don't take this to be the extent of what I'm talking about). Jeffrey Dahmer killed 17 people. You could very easily say he did it because he's evil. Or you could say that he was a sociopath. If you take the clinical route, there's no room for an idea like evil. Evil doesn't play into it at all."

You are making n error to try to separate or attach words and such.

To kill 17 people is Wrong. It is ALSO Because he was a sociopath/psychopath etc. but the word "OR" is misplaced here! Because in Addition to and aside from the facts; it is/was an EVIL thing to do!

The Beauty of The Scientific Method , is the Anticipation of a Better Explanation.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-02-2011, 11:11 AM
 
RE: Good and Evil
If you are talking about the idea of good and evil as forces or energy that affect a person's choices and behavior, then no, I don't think they could apply in a secular world (unless, of course, evidence that they exist comes to light).
Quote this message in a reply
15-02-2011, 01:49 PM
RE: Good and Evil
I've never even considered the idea that good and evil are secular or theistic. I'm thinking along the same lines as BnW. To me they are descriptive words. I'm not sure when they originated in the english language, but I don't suspect they are a "crossover" so much as words used more frequently as description within religion. I don't think that makes them theistic words, only words more oft used by theists.

I do, however, see a difference in their usage. In religion, they are more of a dichotomy. When used outside religion (by atheists and theists alike) they are more of an indication of what side of a percieved moral boundary something lies. There's lots more wiggle room here, since something can have degrees of good and evil. So the way one interprets the words can be different depending on the context that they are used in.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-02-2011, 07:28 AM
RE: Good and Evil
As far as anthropology is concerned a loaded word like evil is a difficult descriptor, since in all sorts of situations of cultures clashing you will see things culturally percieved as wrong. However, in observance these seemingly wrong acts often will work for the culture which percieves them as right. The term evil has gained too far reaching of a construct to be used debateably. If you say evil, then whatever is evil tends to be shown as something completely incapable of being good.

Good is a word with many forms, I usually consider good/bad when looking at such. Good/bad are words that describe your opinion and don't carry the same weight. right/wrong also are used for lighter things than evil as they are your views. Not going into every form of good.

My question to you Ghost is did theism create the black/white model or did the culture have it before theism? Your theory operates on a false premise. You must proove that the idea of good/evil is a theist construct before determining it as such. That the books describe it does not mean they were not borrowing from their own cultures. Theistic books are written with a lot of cultural views the people of that era already held. Normally the main point of a religious text is to fill the holes where there is no answer.

Remember that religious texts may be old now, but during their times they were developed to be plausible to people of the time.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-02-2011, 11:20 AM
RE: Good and Evil
Hey, Monkeywithcrayons.

Quote:If you are talking about the idea of good and evil as forces or energy that affect a person's choices and behavior, then no, I don't think they could apply in a secular world (unless, of course, evidence that they exist comes to light).

That has a lot to do with it for me.

I'm also a cultural relativist, so for me, that which is considered an act of good or an act of evil is relative, meaning that nothing can be either good or evil as a state of being.

So if good and evil aren't responsible for anything and if good and evil are only opinions, not states of being, then of what value are they as concepts?

In theistic terms; however, and I'll use a pretty broad brush here, evil is that which is against God. What is for God is clearly laid out in religious texts, meaning that evil can exist as a state of being. Also, in theistic terms, evil is an influencing force. I see the theistic concepts of good and evil and quite distinct from any possible secular concept of them.

Hey, Lilith Pride.
Quote:My question to you Ghost is did theism create the black/white model or did the culture have it before theism?

You may find the transcript of this speech by Daniel Quinn interesting.
Our Religions: Are they the Religions of Humanity Itself?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-02-2011, 12:15 PM
RE: Good and Evil
I love Daniel Quinn and own two copies of Ishmael, one to share and one to keep. He has a very perceptive understanding which I agree with, but often get confused on because in my own life I struggle to live. I've never understood the idea of society as presented or been able to live in it, but the fact is I have to try and live. Beore I can fully remove all falsities, I need to be able to sustain myself. I would like to have been looking at what he was looking at as much as some of the stupider questions I've pondered, but as a poor person I have to look at the fact that I must handle my needs first. Escaping western thought becomes harder and harder as time goes by. Eventually the western society will have conquered the entire world.

And of course a very good answer Ghost.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: