There is no such thing as evil
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17-06-2014, 03:37 PM (This post was last modified: 17-06-2014 03:45 PM by Luminon.)
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 01:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I'd try to understand it, I would try to find weaknesses in your definition. I'd raise my concerns.
Thank you for your concerns. However, I took care not to invent anything new, I just generalized what is already out there. I drew a lot from the book Universally Preferable Behavior. In case you ever choose to look for the weakest link, I advise you to look there and blow me out of water.

I do have an objection to the UPB book. The problem is, it makes no difference in the present. It only is a problem I had to fix, because I wanted to make a universal theory of morality, independent on the state of culture, economy, technology and language. The author makes a case that voluntary trade is universally preferable to forceful orders, which is correct. He just doesn't say why. Trade isn't universally preferable on its own as a 24h activity, only in comparison to violence. So there might be a solution that is even more preferable than trade.

(17-06-2014 01:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What difference would it make in your life?
Probably none.[/quote] That is honesty and saving my time Thumbsup

(17-06-2014 01:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I have no interest in being good, unless of course, there a real tangible benefit in it for me personally, then I might consider being good. Actually, if there is a real tangible benefit in it for me to be evil then I would consider being evil. I think the good/evil distinction is irrelevant. I'm just interested in the benefits for myself.
Fair enough, except I don't know what do you mean by good or evil. AFAIK, the only one who defined these things any time recently was me.
For example, enslaving your neighbors forcefully or getting them addicted to meth that you'd sell would bring you a real tangible benefit through evil. Now, that would amount to you making a rule that it is beneficial that people be addicted to meth and then you excepting yourself from that rule and placing yourself in control of them.

(17-06-2014 01:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What stops me are the following:
1. I have no belief in good or evil
2. I have no incentive to care about good or evil
3. I think a distinction of good and evil increases the likelihood a person will justify violent behaviour, oppressive behaviour, possibly justify a war.

Well, if 1. and 2. were true, then why do you care about 3.?
I'd say that you do have a distinction between good and evil, even if you try not to call it that way.
You say that a person making a distinction between good and evil will more likely justify violent behaviour, oppressive behaviour, possibly justify a war.
Now, why would someone talk of good, if the goal was the war and violence? If there was nothing wrong about violence, oppression and war, people would just talk about it directly.
You recognize that it is wrong to talk about X if the goal is actually to cause anti-X. This is called misuse or abuse.
If we act rationally, and I think you do, rationality means, if you want X, say X. If you want anti-X, say anti-X. If there is nothing wrong with either, you will just say that and get what you ask for. If people really thought that war, violence and oppression are such good ideas, why don't they try that with themselves first? Why do they have to arbitrarily and inconsistently exclude themselves and choose other victims?

Maybe you don't like the words good and evil, but you do recognize consistent and inconsistent behavior. I think you get what I mean. Good is all about consistency, evil is all about inconsistency, if we're talking about the same "level", that is human relations.
I just went a lot more ahead and talked about the right order of all the other levels, from nature to abstract ideas. That sort of thing might help if aliens visited Earth and judged us for eating animals, which is an idea that spoils many sci-fi books.
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17-06-2014, 03:55 PM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 03:10 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Well, I'll try. I hope we mean the same thing by objectivity.

Well, I would consider something objective if it were true from any perspective. We may individually evaluate related concepts subjectively, of course.

For example, one car may be objectively faster than another. That being said, one individual may find that more desirable than another, which would be a subjective evaluation of an objective fact.


(17-06-2014 03:10 PM)Luminon Wrote:  <snip>

Does that make any sense to you? I use the force metaphor, because in the original theory I draw a lot of parallels to natural (electric) force, matter and so on.

Not entirely. I'm not saying you're wrong, but it seems vague enough to me that I can't see it as useful. When you talk about more options, do you mean for everyone in aggregate? Obviously, limiting one's actions may aid another's, and vice versa. Or, are you talking about increasing options in everything?


(17-06-2014 03:10 PM)Luminon Wrote:  OK, so how do you feel about scientific method and Bible? Do you paint the scientific method all white and the Bible as a method of knowledge all black? Isn't that overly simplistic and too comfortable to just dismiss God's word about how the world was created?
Are you comfortable with an idea that sometimes things are black and white?

I would consider the intellectual honesty of the scientific method to be pretty much white. The Bible isn't really "black". There are a lot of terrible aspects to it, but it and of itself isn't solely black. The intellectual dishonesty displayed by many of its followers is closer to black, but that is often done out of ignorance.

It's not that it's overly simplistic to dismiss claims of YHWH creating stuff. There are lots of creation myths out there. It's impossible to hold them all as simultaneously true, and picking one because it makes you feel good, or other arbitrary reasons, is dishonest. Dismissing all of these claims barring further evidence is the only honest position.

I mean, yes, I could waste a lot of my time wondering if I'm in the Matrix, but to what end? What good is that doing anybody?


(17-06-2014 03:10 PM)Luminon Wrote:  These concepts will serve you good within your culture. You may encounter problems when you go to another culture, meet a politician or some annoying person asks you to define them objectively. No need to right now, just sayin'. That's where my job starts.

I know. That's part and parcel to things being subjective.
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17-06-2014, 03:55 PM (This post was last modified: 17-06-2014 04:00 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: There is no such thing as evil
The game mr transparent OP is most likely playing is the "define evil and good without religion's influence" game. What and who says what is moral goodness and what defines evil. I have dismantled these approaches before. All poppycock.

Below is a paper I wrote for one of my previous religion classes on this very subject;


Moral Theology is the study of how persons live in response to what God has done for them (Mueller 221).

Morality is concerned with human conduct but goes to a deeper level of personhood, such that our conduct is a reflection of who we are, a reflection of our character (Mueller 221).

Ethics can be defined as a discussion of the formation of human conduct… How responsible human beings capable of critical judgment should live using reflection on fundamental issues in description of concrete cases (Mueller 221).

Conscience is the voice of God written in our hearts, in accordance with the second Vatican Council. Natural law is considered one of the major sources of moral theology and answers the question: how do I know what is good or evil? Christians believe that natural law has been a factor in our decisions of what is morally right and wrong, good and evil (Mueller 222 – 227).

“This people who may personally and individually be moral and good people and have no intention of conflict and harm on others often share a Christian theory called the collective guilt “social sin.” (Mueller 257). The depths that theists go to fabricate the conception of sin knows no bounds, here you can be a good person yet you still have “social sin”. John Paul II said that social sins are “collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even of whole nations or blocks of nations” (Mueller 258). Social sin becomes personal sin of individuals through complicity, indifference, or reluctance of those in a position to exert influence for change who do not do so (Mueller 258).

Catholic social teaching looks to gospel teaching to form the moral foundation the Catholic approach to questions of social justice. And assist the disciple in the ongoing task of reflecting on the challenge of Jesus in the sermon on the Mount and in discerning what it means in a consumer, technological, and globalized society to be poor in spirit and to embrace a sorrowing and the lowly (Mueller 260).


Secular morality is the aspect of philosophy that deals with morality outside of religious traditions. Modern examples include humanism, freethinking, and most versions of consequentialism. Additional philosophies with ancient roots include those such as skepticism and virtue ethics. Greg M. Epstein states that, "much of ancient Far Eastern thought is deeply concerned with human goodness without placing much if any stock in the importance of gods or spirits. Other philosophers have proposed various ideas about how to determine right and wrong actions. An example is Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative: "The idea that actions can only be considered moral if they could be imitated by anyone else and produce good results."

A variety of positions are apparent regarding the relationship between religion and morality. Some believe that religion is necessary as a guide to a moral life. This idea has been with us for nearly 2,000 years. There are various thoughts regarding how this idea has arisen. For example, Greg Epstein suggests that this idea is connected to a concerted effort by theists to question nonreligious ideas: "conservative authorities have, since ancient days, had a clever counter strategy against religious skepticism—convincing people that atheism is evil, and then accusing their enemies of being atheists.

Others eschew the idea that religion is required to provide a guide to right and wrong behavior, such as the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics which states that religion and morality "are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other". Some believe that religions provide poor guides to moral behavior.

Popular atheist author and biologist Richard Dawkins, writing in The God Delusion, has stated that religious people have committed a wide variety of acts and held certain beliefs through history that are considered today to be morally repugnant. He has stated that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis held broadly Christian religious beliefs that inspired the Holocaust on account of antisemitic Christian doctrine, that Christians have traditionally imposed unfair restrictions on the legal and civil rights of women, and that Christians have condoned slavery of some form or description throughout most of Christianity's history. Dawkins insists that, since Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Bible have changed over the span of history so that what was formerly seen as permissible is now seen as impermissible, it is intellectually dishonest for them to believe theism provides an absolute moral foundation apart from secular intuition. In addition, he argued that since Christians and other religious groups do not acknowledge the binding authority of all parts of their holy texts (e.g., The books of Exodus and Leviticus state that those who work on the Sabbath and those caught performing acts of homosexuality, respectively, were to be put to death.), they are already capable of distinguishing "right" from "wrong." (Boghossian 248).

The well-known passage from Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, "If God is dead, all is permitted," suggests that non-believers would not hold moral lives without the possibility of punishment by a God. This is absurd as all one has to do is look at Scandinavian countries to see that this largely atheist area enjoys being at the top tier of civilization.

Phil Zuckerman, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California, in his article, "Is Faith Good For Us" states the following: "A comparison of highly irreligious countries with highly religious countries, however, reveals a very different state of affairs. In reality, the most secular countries-those with the highest proportion of atheists and agnostics-are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies. And the most religious nations-wherein worship of God is in abundance-are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute."

A study by Gregory S. Paul, entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look," was done and the study's conclusion was that there was an inverse relationship between religion and poor societal health rates. What that means is that the higher the level of religious belief in a country, the lower the level of societal health (more violent crimes, suicides, teen pregnancies, etc.).

So it seems that a plethora of evidence exists to show that not only do we not need religion in our lives to be good humans, but that having it in our lives can be counter-productive and unhealthy.



Works cited


Mueller, J.J., Theological Foundations: Concepts and Methods for Understanding the Christian Faith. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2011. Print.



Boghossian, Peter. A Manual for Creating Atheists. Durham: Pitchstone Publishing, 2013. Print.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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17-06-2014, 04:31 PM (This post was last modified: 17-06-2014 04:35 PM by Stevil.)
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 03:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I advise you to look there and blow me out of water.
It isn't my goal to blow you out of the water.
I am a skeptic, I currently hold the position of lack of belief in morality, lack of belief in good and evil.
If you present a case for it. I will look at it from a skeptical eye. If I am interested enough, I will challenge any bits that I see as contradictory or non sequitars or with other such flaws. If it still holds up then maybe I will recognise a universal morality.
(17-06-2014 03:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Fair enough, except I don't know what do you mean by good or evil.
I have no belief in good or evil. I'd be keen to try and understand your universal hypothesis.
(17-06-2014 03:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  For example, enslaving your neighbors forcefully or getting them addicted to meth that you'd sell would bring you a real tangible benefit through evil. Now, that would amount to you making a rule that it is beneficial that people be addicted to meth and then you excepting yourself from that rule and placing yourself in control of them.
If I could get away with it then why not? But currently there is much risk for me. They might fight against me and harm or kill me. Others might discover my activities and harm, kill me or lock me up.
I m not the most powerful person, what is to stop others doing this to me?
I think it is in my best interests not to do this and to support a law against this. Not because it is evil, but because it improves my own chances of surviving and living reasonably free.
(17-06-2014 03:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(17-06-2014 01:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What stops me are the following:
1. I have no belief in good or evil
2. I have no incentive to care about good or evil
3. I think a distinction of good and evil increases the likelihood a person will justify violent behaviour, oppressive behaviour, possibly justify a war.

Well, if 1. and 2. were true, then why do you care about 3.?
I care about 3 because I don't want to die, I don't want to be oppressed. If my country deems another country to be evil then we might declare war, I might get drafted and forced to fight. If Muslims or Christians consider it evil not to believe in their god them they might kill me or lock me up for not believing. Thus even though I personally have no belief in good or evil, I can forsee how the belief of others can impact me.
(17-06-2014 03:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I'd say that you do have a distinction between good and evil, even if you try not to call it that way.
No, I don't have this distinction or belief, but nice try.
(17-06-2014 03:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  You say that a person making a distinction between good and evil will more likely justify violent behaviour, oppressive behaviour, possibly justify a war.
Now, why would someone talk of good, if the goal was the war and violence?
To quote yourself

(17-06-2014 04:51 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Is caution about definitions the last thing stopping you from spreading and teaching the message of good and fighting evil?
What do you mean by "fighting evil"?
(17-06-2014 04:51 AM)Luminon Wrote:  If there was nothing wrong about violence, oppression and war, people would just talk about it directly.
This is a non sequitar.
Violence, oppression and war are a threat to our own personal survival. It makes sense from a survival perspective that I try to avoid these things. This doesn't make them bad or evil, from my own perspective, just dangerous.
(17-06-2014 04:51 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Maybe you don't like the words good and evil, but you do recognize consistent and inconsistent behavior. I think you get what I mean.
No I don't get what you mean. If I am consistent then I must accept that there is no universal morality.
If there is no consequence to behaving immorally, then it would be irrational to discount personally acting immorally.
My philosophical position is that of Descriptive egoism, also called psychological egoism, which acknowledges that people's own interests and desires motivate their actions. 
I do not hold to any form of normative egogism as I don't believe that I am qualified to know what others "should" do. Although stealing an idea from Rational egoism, I do hold that acting out of self-interest is rational and acting out of idealism or beliefs (such as moral beliefs) is irrational.
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17-06-2014, 04:47 PM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 03:55 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Well, I would consider something objective if it were true from any perspective. We may individually evaluate related concepts subjectively, of course.

For example, one car may be objectively faster than another. That being said, one individual may find that more desirable than another, which would be a subjective evaluation of an objective fact.
Right. Here you see the problem with facts, they only thing that they mean is what they say, no more. You can imagine objectivity as a great network of facts that still holds true from any perspective, that's why objectivity is so difficult.

(17-06-2014 03:55 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(17-06-2014 03:10 PM)Luminon Wrote:  <snip>
Does that make any sense to you? I use the force metaphor, because in the original theory I draw a lot of parallels to natural (electric) force, matter and so on.

Not entirely. I'm not saying you're wrong, but it seems vague enough to me that I can't see it as useful. When you talk about more options, do you mean for everyone in aggregate? Obviously, limiting one's actions may aid another's, and vice versa. Or, are you talking about increasing options in everything?
Fair enough. It is supposed to be vague, because it is a meta-theory, a theory to judge other, more useful theories of morality. It's what I do and so it's useful to me. I already mentioned the Universally Preferable Behavior book, that's one of things I judge.

Yes, there may be a conflict between people, on the same level. That is quite common. However, human level is not the only level there is. When we encounter such a conflict, we can do two things. The more abstract or the more concrete one. Either we reach upwards, into the vague, generally applicable ideas (reason, logic, arguments, evidence, voluntary trade, negotiation, economic science and so on), or we reach downwards, into the specific facts that are not true or applicable universally (I am stronger, give me your stuff or I beat you up).

Being stronger is a fact. Ideally, this fact would mean just that you have more muscle mass than me, no other meanings, no threats. But if you make this fact more important than my freedom, then you initiate force and restrict my variability - and also restrict yours! Because using force is the least creative way. Creativity only starts when force is not an option. Just like love and relationship in marriage only starts when we do not beat up our wife and children when there is some problem to solve.
The higher path, to use abstract ideas (logic, reason, empathy, negotiation, etc) requires creativity, because they're vague and they need translating into physical facts in right order. Applying abstract ideas (such as scientific method) in a specific way (biology research) is a good thing to do. But preferring concrete things (your power) to abstract things (my freedom of doing whatever I might want) is a perversion of this natural order of variability and it is objectively recognizable as evil.

(17-06-2014 03:55 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I would consider the intellectual honesty of the scientific method to be pretty much white. The Bible isn't really "black". There are a lot of terrible aspects to it, but it and of itself isn't solely black. The intellectual dishonesty displayed by many of its followers is closer to black, but that is often done out of ignorance.

It's not that it's overly simplistic to dismiss claims of YHWH creating stuff. There are lots of creation myths out there. It's impossible to hold them all as simultaneously true, and picking one because it makes you feel good, or other arbitrary reasons, is dishonest. Dismissing all of these claims barring further evidence is the only honest position.
Fair enough, except I'd just add that in case of science and Bible we really can paint things completely black and white. Why? Because it is not about content. There are or were things in science in 20th century which are not true (read Ludwig Fleck) and there are some good and useful things in Bible that sound sciencey, such as "by their fruits ye shall know them".
But science is not the content. It is the method. We choose the method, because it can reproduce the results consistently.
If we get a thousand of bronze age goat herders to write random sentences, and they write down something true, does it mean they are right? No, they might as well be chimpanzees with typewriters. They do not even know they got something right, because they have no method of knowing that. Content can not be more true than the method by which it was created. Teach a man to fish...

I must admit there are some special, one might say "mystical" circumstances in which that does not apply, because objectivity is impossible at the moment. We can still think and act with integrity in circumstances of complete subjectivity. But then there is the trade-off that we can not talk about what we did, at least not with any authority. Such accounts can be taken at face value, but only as facts, that is, only as facts about what people subjectively experienced. And they may be checked for internal consistency and compared as cultural and neurological artifacts. But they are not obligatory in any way for other people, they only may be obligatory for that person, because we are allowed to act upon personal experience, because we really have no other way.
To think otherwise would be to enslave our daily life to scientific journals, or paralyze ourselves with wondering if we're in Matrix.

(17-06-2014 03:55 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I mean, yes, I could waste a lot of my time wondering if I'm in the Matrix, but to what end? What good is that doing anybody?
Congratulations, you just kicked Descartes' ass. And confirmed my theory, if the "good" would mean freedom or variability.
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17-06-2014, 05:43 PM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 04:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I have no belief in good or evil. I'd be keen to try and understand your universal hypothesis.
OK, I will try not to use these words.

(17-06-2014 04:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If I could get away with it then why not? But currently there is much risk for me. They might fight against me and harm or kill me. Others might discover my activities and harm, kill me or lock me up.
I m not the most powerful person, what is to stop others doing this to me?
I think it is in my best interests not to do this and to support a law against this. Not because it is evil, but because it improves my own chances of surviving and living reasonably free.
Sounds like a lot of choices to make, based on good reasons. You choose the scenario that gives you the most freedom (variability). You recognize that some actions can not be done universally and consistently, that is, also by others to you, and so you refrain from these actions by yourself.

In my opinion, I have summed up your statement accurately. If I did so, then you have the morality of bilateral reciprocal human relations. They are universally applicable and non-arbitrary, which is very good, because these network-type relationships form objectively with no need for additional facts to set up, unlike hierarchical relationships, which are based on arbitrary (subjective) facts (who's stronger etc) and full of conflicts because of that.

In other words, you follow both UPB and the Golden rule of Bible, you just choose a lot of tough-sounding words to make it sound more sciencey and darwinistically, because that is the most objective and rational thing you know.
Be assured, that the Golden rule morality is rational and logical and derived from undeniable first principles. For example, enslavement can not be the moral thing to do, because 100 % of society (or two guys in the room) can not be both consistently enslaved to each other. Or a guy in a coma, if enslaving is good, then how can he both be a slave and master? It's just logically impossible.

The only way to do logically impossible is to do the illogical, inconsistent thing, to make special cultural bullshit rules for a stronger group of people. Maybe you hate politics. But maybe it is news to you that you can hate it doubly, both with moral passion and with rational analysis.

(17-06-2014 04:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I care about 3 because I don't want to die, I don't want to be oppressed. If my country deems another country to be evil then we might declare war, I might get drafted and forced to fight. If Muslims or Christians consider it evil not to believe in their god them they might kill me or lock me up for not believing. Thus even though I personally have no belief in good or evil, I can forsee how the belief of others can impact me.
Yeah. You know they are wrong and you know that it is universally preferable not to make up bullshit rules. Because then everyone makes a different set of bullshit rules. There is no way to start with bullshit and arrive at the same set of laws. And different sets of laws only lead to the law of the jungle.

As far as I am concerned, you are objectively moralizing in the best possible way. I'd just like if you gave yourself some credit for that. You are doing vastly better than all the cultures before and you can prove that to everyone who can process a logical argument.

(17-06-2014 04:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  No, I don't have this distinction or belief, but nice try.
Distinction is not a belief. You make pretty good objective distinctions of human behavior, which is the area of morality.

(17-06-2014 04:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(17-06-2014 04:51 AM)Luminon Wrote:  If there was nothing wrong about violence, oppression and war, people would just talk about it directly.
This is a non sequitar.
Violence, oppression and war are a threat to our own personal survival. It makes sense from a survival perspective that I try to avoid these things. This doesn't make them bad or evil, from my own perspective, just dangerous.
I dn't think it is a non-sequitur. It's a description of how people choose not to call things their true names, if they make special privileges from themselves. For example, when a politician says "we're going to war", he really means "your children are going to war and you will be taxed, not me".

(17-06-2014 04:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  No I don't get what you mean. If I am consistent then I must accept that there is no universal morality.
If there is no consequence to behaving immorally, then it would be irrational to discount personally acting immorally.
"There is no universal morality" is a universal statement. It is also an empirical claim and empiricism is impossible to prove or disprove universally. (like you can't prove that there is or isn't some kind of god somewhere in the universe) This kind of claim can only be made universally and proven or disproven rationally. And in rational method, we are allowed to say "There is a universal morality, such and such" and then we try to disprove it. Find circumstances in which it does not apply (no supermen or gun and boat scenarios please. Real examples.)
And until we disprove it, it is obligatory for all rational people. Cool, huh? Cool

(17-06-2014 04:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  My philosophical position is that of Descriptive egoism, also called psychological egoism, which acknowledges that people's own interests and desires motivate their actions. 

I do not hold to any form of normative egogism as I don't believe that I am qualified to know what others "should" do. Although stealing an idea from Rational egoism, I do hold that acting out of self-interest is rational and acting out of idealism or beliefs (such as moral beliefs) is irrational.
Woah. That's some deep stuff. I just suggest to you that rationality is rooted in the first principles. Rationality is in fact ideal. So there is nothing wrong or irrational with ideals, instances are imperfectly derived from principles (ideals).

I would also suggest that what you call "egoism" is not in fact egoism as colloquially understood, but a reference to individualism, or the philosophical principle of integrity of the self, or human dignity. I would only consider it egoism if you considered yourself to know what others "should" do. Some people nowadays refer to themselves as "egoists" or "post-modernists" (Hubertus von Schoenebeck) because they disregard the arbitrary culture, but in fact they do so only to go back to the universal first principles and so they are rational idealists without actually knowing about it.
Man, you already understand the universality and consistency of behavior, which is what morality is about. I just wish that you gave yourself some credit. If you can logically prove it from the first principles (the guy in a coma, two guys in a room), then everyone rational will have to agree with you and adopt that kind of behavior.

We can in fact rationally formulate a universal objective morality, because rational method allows to define it negatively. Such a morality can only be negative. We can not say that something positive is moral, because it would be immoral to anything else 24 hours a day.
So we can say negatively, that it is impossible to provide a universally consistent reason for initiation of aggression by force or threats or lies, or as you say, knowing what others "should" do. That would be a positive obligation. We can only make that negative obligation for everyone. Please note that this does NOT make any normative claims! It only forbids people from making any unjustified, coercive normative claims. Cool, huh? Cool
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17-06-2014, 06:50 PM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(17-06-2014 04:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If I could get away with it then why not? But currently there is much risk for me. They might fight against me and harm or kill me. Others might discover my activities and harm, kill me or lock me up.
I m not the most powerful person, what is to stop others doing this to me?
I think it is in my best interests not to do this and to support a law against this. Not because it is evil, but because it improves my own chances of surviving and living reasonably free.
Sounds like a lot of choices to make, based on good reasons.
I wouldn't classify my reasons as being good, why do you attach that label? What value (additional information) is provided by including that label? What assumptions have you made with regards to my position?
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  You choose the scenario that gives you the most freedom (variability). You recognize that some actions can not be done universally and consistently, that is, also by others to you, and so you refrain from these actions by yourself.
These are awkward statements. It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, because your goal is to prove that a square peg is actually round.
I am not interested in giving myself the most freedom, I am willing to compromise sometimes, depending on what my goal is.
People can enslave me. It is disingenuous to state that I recognise that they cannot.
There is nothing (with regards universal and consistent) to precluding the concept that Might rules, that the most powerful can rule the roost and force others to comply to their will.
I refrain, not due to universal consistency, but due to the compromise of wanting to live within a safe and stable society. I could choose to live outside that society, I could choose to raid that society that I don't belong to, taking what I want. It is my choice, I accept the risks and compromises of either decision thus there is nothing universal.
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  In my opinion, I have summed up your statement accurately.
It is interesting to me, the way you have phrased the above. Not as a question regarding confirmation but as a statement that you are correct.
BTW. You are incorrect about my statement/position as I have pointed out above.
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  If I did so, then you have the morality of bilateral reciprocal human relations.
I have already shown that you have summed up my position incorrectly.
But one thing to point out here. Just because a bunch of people can get together and come up with a set of rules for the group (society) this does not mean that the rules represent universal moral truths. A rule could just as easily be an agreement to drive on the left side of the road. There is nothing evil about driving on the right side of the road, it just suits people's goal of survival if there is an agreement as to which side of the road to drive on.
Same thing for murder, there is nothing evil about murder, it just suits people's goal of survival if there is an agreement not to murder each other.
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  They are universally applicable and non-arbitrary, which is very good, because these network-type relationships form objectively with no need for additional facts to set up, unlike hierarchical relationships, which are based on arbitrary (subjective) facts (who's stronger etc) and full of conflicts because of that.
These are arbitrary rules. They are not to be discovered via an objective universal method. You are assuming that all people are vulnerable and thus not in a position of power and thus need reciprocal laws offering protection to all. You are assuming all people want to live in a society and are happy to be ruled rather than being ruler. You are assuming what is common human behavoural traits are a universal rather than being specific to humanity. You are assuming that all people are born essentially equal.
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  In other words, you follow both UPB and the Golden rule of Bible, you just choose a lot of tough-sounding words to make it sound more sciencey and darwinistically, because that is the most objective and rational thing you know.
No that's not what I do. There is nothing tough about my words. I do not follow the golden rule. I don't know if I follow UPB. I do what is in my personal best interest because I am me, and I feel my own hunger pains, my own physical pains, my own boredom, I have a vested interest in my own survival.
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Be assured, that the Golden rule morality is rational and logical and derived from undeniable first principles.
No, it is not rational.
It is a belief and can be used to act irrationally.
Lets say you visit China, a society that is not your own. You walk past a hungry beggar and give him your own food. You go hungry this lunchtime but he is fed.
How does this benefit yourself? It doesn't influence your own society so there will be no reciprocal. You have suffered to someone else's gain. This appears to me to be irrational. Of course you could say that it alleviated your sympathy pains, your empathy and guilt, but those too are irrational. You are not the hungry begger, why would you be motivated to suffer in his place?
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  For example, enslavement can not be the moral thing to do, because 100 % of society (or two guys in the room) can not be both consistently enslaved to each other.
This sounds like Kant. Kant is an idiot whom doesn't understand diversity.
If 100% of people are gay then there will be no more babies and human society will die off.
but in reality we don't have 100% of people being gay.
There is nothing immoral with being gay or choosing not to procreate. Kant may rant but he is still an idiot.
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(17-06-2014 04:31 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I care about 3 because I don't want to die, I don't want to be oppressed. If my country deems another country to be evil then we might declare war, I might get drafted and forced to fight. If Muslims or Christians consider it evil not to believe in their god them they might kill me or lock me up for not believing. Thus even though I personally have no belief in good or evil, I can forsee how the belief of others can impact me.
Yeah. You know they are wrong and you know that it is universally preferable not to make up bullshit rules.
They are not wrong. They are just doing what they believe to be the right thing. From my perspective it endangers me, so I see them as a threat. We all have different perspectives, there is no universal right and wrong.
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  As far as I am concerned, you are objectively moralizing in the best possible way.
I don't moralise at all. I have no beliefs in good, evil, right, wrong, moral obligation, normatives...
(17-06-2014 05:43 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Distinction is not a belief. You make pretty good objective distinctions of human behavior, which is the area of morality.
Distinction is a belief if you are distinguishing between good and evil as there is no objective way to discover what is good and what is evil, thus you must rely upon personal belief. I don't have this belief and I don't make this distinction.
If you keep insisting this of me then our conversation will be over. There is no point talking to a prick with his fingers in his ears.
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17-06-2014, 06:58 PM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 03:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  For example, enslaving your neighbors forcefully or getting them addicted to meth that you'd sell would bring you a real tangible benefit through evil. Now, that would amount to you making a rule that it is beneficial that people be addicted to meth and then you excepting yourself from that rule and placing yourself in control of them.

You can't possibly be serious. What benefit exactly would that bring ? In fact if that were possible, and that were the course taken by humans, we would all be losers. No one would benefit for that pathetic childish example. We have evolved to perceive "good " as that which promotes GROUP survival, in the long run, and within that paradigm, also maximizes, as far as possible individual freedom, and personal fulfillment, (which assumes a well adjusted healthy personality).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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17-06-2014, 09:50 PM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 10:31 AM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  So.... I can't be evil? WTF?

*Pout*

Come to the Sexy Banter Thread.....heh....

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


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17-06-2014, 10:13 PM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 06:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(17-06-2014 03:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  For example, enslaving your neighbors forcefully or getting them addicted to meth that you'd sell would bring you a real tangible benefit through evil. Now, that would amount to you making a rule that it is beneficial that people be addicted to meth and then you excepting yourself from that rule and placing yourself in control of them.

You can't possibly be serious. What benefit exactly would that bring ? In fact if that were possible, and that were the course taken by humans, we would all be losers. No one would benefit for that pathetic childish example. We have evolved to perceive "good " as that which promotes GROUP survival, in the long run, and within that paradigm, also maximizes, as far as possible individual freedom, and personal fulfillment, (which assumes a well adjusted healthy personality).

Don't bother Bucky, he thinks that anything that limits personal freedom whatsoever, even if done for the benefit of the group as a whole, is akin to slavery and is evil.

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