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Does the concept of good and evil come from the awareness of life's fragility?

  1. Trevor Davis profile image55
    Trevor Davisposted 6 years ago

    Does the concept of good and evil come from the awareness of life's fragility?


  2. msorensson profile image72
    msorenssonposted 6 years ago

    For one who is aware, there is no distinction, the contrasts are what we need to experience life as it is, but duality is of the mind only.

  3. Doc Snow profile image94
    Doc Snowposted 6 years ago

    I don't think so, though the two are related.  I think that the concept of good and evil comes from our biological imperative to survive--and to do our utmost to make sure our kids survive.  Traditional theologies have frequently (though not always) tended to associate the body with evil, albeit in a qualified way in such doctrines as Original Sin:  the metaphysical baggage from the disobedience of Adam and Eve to God was said to be inherited by all humans.  This evil inheritance explains the need for redemption, which in turn explains Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

    I've come to believe that the body, interacting with our culture as we grow up, provides us with a proto-morality.  Experiments seem to show that our sense of 'fairness' (for example) has biological roots, and in fact may be shared to some degree by our primate cousins--this leads to what has been dubbed "primate morality."

    Good and evil as a fully-developed concept arise as thinking humans process these imperatives and attempt to make sense of the world that they live in--and thereby to discover how better to live.

  4. Lisa HW profile image71
    Lisa HWposted 6 years ago

    I think it comes from compassion and empathy, but also from the common sense in recognizing that it can't be good to cause harm, "horror", and/or destruction in one's own or someone else's life; but also from the belief that one "tiny, human-being, of a creature", within the scheme of "all of life" and "all of the world", has no right to inflict destruction or destructive elements on others or into life in general.

    So, I think it's more a matter of the evolution of man's increasingly enlightened mind when it comes to the way evolution moves things in a more advanced direction (and direction that favors life, rather than destruction of it); and the belief/awareness that what's in keeping with Nature and/or the natural order of things (and evolution) are "good"; while things that go against them are destructive, out of line with Nature, and therefore "evil".

    I think that as man has become more and more capable of higher thinking (a lot of people aren't there yet, but that's a subject for another time), the simple concept that human beings should not make life on Earth a "hell" (especially since so much pain is often caused when Nature does her thing, like bring ice ages and massive storms and death to individual creatures).  I think it's in human nature to accept what no human being can do anything about, but I think it's also in human nature to see pain and suffering and try to sort out whether it was caused by the actions of any human being(s).  I think when it comes down to it, "good" and "evil" amount to what makes a positive contribution to life in general (or at least doesn't take away from it) and what is intentionally and/or carelessly destructive in this world.

  5. profile image0
    ExoticHippieQueenposted 6 years ago

    I never read what anyone else wrote before I write my answer, but my understanding of the concept of good and evil is that it is an innate characteristic of human beings.  We just know there is good, and there is evil, a knowing built into us by God.  Even a toddler already knows on some level, when they are behaving badly. The awareness grows as we do.  Knowing and accepting the fragility of life runs hand in hand with gratitude and all of the higher thinking concepts of love that accompany the acknowledgement of just how fleeting our lives are, and how incredibly small and stupid we are.