Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
Well without a doubt no. Otherwise you wouldn't be asking the question right? :] You have to define what is good & evil and then decide for yourself if whatever fits under good or evil.
I believe in most cases the answer is "yes!" Call it Karma, call it a sixth sense, but I believe most people know evil when they see it. Even if it comes wrapped up in a clean, shiny new package!
I agree with, Apepperson. Instinct should tell you what is right & wrong. We all have the ability to distinguish this, it is merely being taken in by people & not standing back & listening to our own intuitive guidance which will blur many peoples ability to be decisive on this.
No, not with our current limited knowledge of the universe. We are conditioned from young to differentiate good and bad, and we may grow to believe that our ability to differentiate such is pure intuition, that we're born with it. That doesn't mean that what we've been conditioned to believe really is good or really is evil.
Take a look at babies or toddlers. They may do things to one another that seem pretty evil or cruel, because they don't fully understand the consequences. How do we know, even as adults, that we actually understand all the consequences from our actions? What if what we perceive to be good, affects someone else in a negative way without us realizing? Can we be so sure of all consequences in this entire universe?
Even something that some people might perceive as evil, can be perceived as good by others. For instance, natural disasters are widely believed worldwide to be acts of God, for "He works in mysterious ways". Because we do not understand these acts of God, we might end up thinking such disasters are "evil", but perhaps there is some good in it that we are not able to perceive with our limited minds.
Check the deed; Is it going to hurt anybody/any society? then it will be bad. if it has some beneficial effect to the individual or society it's good.
And if the deed has both hurting and beneficial effects, count the hurting and beneficial elements. the deed will be good or bad according to which have high count.
Hmmm.... I am not absolutely agreeing to the thought that a deed that is done can already be labeled as good or evil right away, without doubts because at any story there are always more than two sides. Just think about something that you have done which you may consider out of bounds or out of the rule book, but then you did not regret doing it...it made you happy... you were happy...how would that deed be then considered when you don't even feel bad doing it? I believe there is no definite borders when it come to determining good and evil.
Interesting question, ChilliWilly (I like the code name by the way, I think there was a cartoon character by that name if I'm not mistaken).
But I digress.... I was saying you pose an interesting question. I would start by saying those people who are truly 'good' do not "know" they are good, if you know what I mean. And people, like Hitler, say, whom we would all agree -- I hope -- was practically, effectively "evil," nevertheless, as you know, certainly do not see themselves as evil.
But am I saying that a lack of self-knowledge on the part of an "evil" person, in anyway negate the evil?
I assume, ChilliWilly, that you ask this question because it is something you want to know; and I also assume that no answer from "scripture," or anything like that will satisfy you -- which is as it should be; I too dislike "easy" answers.
So, is it at all possible to "know" what is good and what is evil? Speaking in naturalistic terms (I use the word 'naturalistic' loosely) I would actually say that "human nature" is basically "good" or at least evolutionarily functional. Human beings (or the creatures that would morph into human beings) could never have survived as a species without developing characteristics of cooperation and compassion.
I would say that which is "good" furthers compassion, cooperation, life (but I am no "pro-life" conservative), art, and beauty. I would say that which is evil runs counter to that, indeed threatens the survival of humankind and the rest of the world while we're at it.
I would say that nuclear weapons (no matter who has them) are evil because they threaten global annihilation, to give one example.
No I don't believe it is possible to know without a doubt what is good and what is evil.
Every single being on the planet will see what they choose to see and will judge for themselves what they think. So what one person thinks is evil, another my not see as evil.
Everyone's opinion on the matter may be different. So who has the final say on what is good and what is evil?
Admittedly there are occasions where many humans will agree on what is good and evil e.g. The Holocaust, most will agree this was evil. But maybe not ALL will agree it was evil.
Since nobody really has the final say over what is classified as good and evil I think as humans we just see and judge for ourselves what is good and evil, and that is enough for most of us.
Experience always is subjective, which implies good and evil is also subjective. Stealing for instance is considered bad and when you look at it energetically, in many cases it does create negative consequences. However, when stealing a bread to feed your children and seeing no other possibility to do so, I would say that's a different story.
At the same time, everyone knows deep down inside exactly what is good and what not.
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