To answer the question, you have to have a definition of Evil.
If you say that Evil is the opposite of Good, then you have to have a definition of Good.
Can you define Evil and Good without using the words from the Bible(s)?
Man made concepts with no inherent meaning.
Good is that which sustains and perpetuate the Growth of all things.
Evil is that which prevent and undermines the growth of all things.
Evil is that which proceeds from nothing while still remaining as nothing.
Good breeds smiles (constructive)
Evil breeds tears (destructive)
Evil hitched a ride on the....RAILROAD, I say, Evil hitched a ride on the...RAAILROAD mama . Evil came a flyin' through my WINDOW, yeah, now, I said evil came flyin' through my WIINDOW, baby! Been a long time at my door, now. Yes, it's been a long time at my door now, daddy. Saw it sneakin' round that corner, the one with that guy named Jack Horner, yeah, and Evil knows my name , yeah, evil knows your name, yeah, EVIL...Knows...Our....NAAAMESS!
Evil is the absence of light. Good is the light. In other words Evil is lack of awareness or part thereof and light is more awareness or part thereof.
Where does the good light end and the bad ligth begin?
Do you mean that evil equates with ignorance as opposed to awareness/open-mindedness (as light?) I guess I'm confused by this interpretation.
Personally I wouldn't call it ignorance, but lack of awareness,(Dark). Awareness/Openmindedness, (Light) yes.
A man who beats his child because that is the only way he has known, may not view it as wrong/bad, because that is how his Dad disciplined him. In his view his Dad did it out of love to make him a better person.
It isn't till he is shown there is another way or shown the effect it might have on a child, and understands it in its entirety, he is more likely to become more aware.
No longer unaware, he is now able to make a choice of how he treats his child.
If he is shown a better way and does not understand he will remain in the shade of darkness till more light is shown.
Do you refrain from the term "ignorance" because of its connotation or because it is actually an inappropriate word for the scenario? I don't mean this antagonistically (mean-spirited) rather rhetorically for the merit of introspection and potential illumination.
Interestingly, this continues to show the subjectivity of moral standpoints on Good/Evil. "It isn't until he is shown-" what would be the threshold that a man raised to believing corporal punishment was good would be convinced that it was lacking "awareness?" Divine intervention? I have a feeling he wouldn't change his colors over a parenting manual, even by a reputable author or child psychologist, as these people often represent "outsiders" or enemies to the inner-family establishment.
But lastly, you make an interesting point. Is evil about what people call "willful ignorance" in most religions this is "simplified" as choosing "evil."
Why would he choose this? It cannot be mere sloth. If he was "shown" it indicates he has a redeemable conscience- thus it is absolutely a willful choice. Evil in this theory would be selecting an improper trauma-inducing path based on what? (Inspiration to perpetuate an unhealthy tradition, often referred to as perversion?)
Thanks for tolerating this, Penny. I didn't respond to this for ego (heh, well not MAINLY anyway...XD ) but because I found your phrasing interesting and actually similar to how I used to think about this. I'm a pretty spiritual guy, too.
Could be I don't know? You decide....for me ignorance brings to mind someone who is ignoring what they know to be true or false. If they don't know I don't view it as ignorance.
There is that which is naturally arising in us that attempts to do away with the false beliefs we are taught. If for you that is divine intervention then yes. Manuals etc may not work either I agree.
Then there may be someone this dude meets that he respects and is more likely to emulate him if what he observes is understood. Perhaps this someone and his way of living is an example of how one does not need to beat their child to mold them (if that is what they are doing) or guide them. In observing that love has other ways of expressing itself that does not require abuse, he has then been shown another way. Whether he understands it that way or not is subjective.
Willful ignorance, (as you term it) then would only apply if he was aware of another way.
The improper trauma-inducing path that you are pointing to, (if I am understanding you correctly) is usually taught. Does not come naturally in my view.
Good is that which is alighned to the purpose of human life set by the Creator-God; and that which is not aligned to the purpose of huma life is evil.
Evil is a human concept with variations all over the world.
No, it is a religious concept with variations all over the world.
No. It's a human concept, just like religion is a human concept.
All concepts we hold are technically of "human" origin considering humans are the only known species to hold such concepts.
But, to find the origins of the concept of evil, we need to turn to religion as it was religion that attempted to define this concept from a moral standpoint.
From closer inspection of this concept, we gloss over many acts and consider them evil rather than finding a rational explanation from a humanist perspective.
In that case, do humans even need the concept of evil outside of its morally religious origins?
The concept "evil" exists outside morals of religion. Simply because "morals" are another concept, based on the human conscience and actions of people. It helps people to recognize "good" and "bad".
Interesting, the more I try to find the origins of the concept of evil, the more I find it only existed within religion as the precursor to the devil.
It seems to me that the word evil probably originated with religion, but the concepts behind it didn't. "Wrong", "bad", "cruel"; all the negative actions of mankind have always existed. They are termed "evil" now, but were there with different names prior to organized religion.
A caveman killing his progeny as future competition would have been "evil" to the mother even if she had no words at all!
I think people already know what is right and what is wrong.
Evil is the absence of reason and therefore religion has a lots absence of reasons. Due to the facts and also the lack of diversity in 1000s of other good books and more importantly experiences in life. Many people try to find all their answers in one med evil time’s book
I would tend to agree with that. However, I mentioned that we also tend to gloss over acts that we consider evil rather than looking for a rational explanation.
Perhaps, the mother understood why the progeny had to be killed but did not consider it evil, but instead, irrational.
That's because the bible recognized evil, saw evil and explained evil to mankind; who thought evil was just another action that mankind could either do or not do reguardless of the consequences.
evil has bad consequences
good sometimes has bad consequences because evil showed up and dissed good.
evil by definition is the enemy of good. Those that do evil persecute those that do good. The evil of muslim is not recognized by muslim but others outside of muslim. The evil of the 'tolerance religion' is not seen by those that are tolerant but by those are intolerant, therefore the intolerant seek after good. Enjoy munching on this.
And yet, mankind was well aware of the actions they committed and the consequences thereof, your bible had nothing to do with that as that was discovered long before your bible existed.
As puerile and ignorant a response as that in the glaring light of reality, one is merely munching on bland fodder.
Gee, Cag. You are way smarter than Beel. KUDOS to you. I bow and give yield to your solar plexus!
I think good and evil is an indivual choice in terms of expressing one's own moral beliefs and will vary from person to person on what is good, or bad in relation to their morals.
That is why we have laws to confine the subjective value of good and evil.
I would prefer ethics rather than morals; ethic would more coincide with natural life.
Ethics are part of the society, and as the society changes so do the ethics.
Think about the German society under Hitler.
I think that good and evil need to be more objective.
Hey Duck, you bring up an interesting point of view here and I'm going to broaden it a bit.
Ethics is for businesses and best left to businesses.
Morals are best for the individual. Those who understand their conscience, know what the best morals can be achieved.
First you have to get people to accept the concept in it's entirety, and not everyone can wrap their minds around the subject matter. Many people dismiss "good" and "evil" as concepts unproven, because the concepts are simply social behavior. It coincides with those who believe truth is an individual perspective, which it's not.
There is a collective of all knowable knowledge available to the human species and not everyone is in tune with that. Therefore, ignorance tops the scale on being the downfall of humanity, in the end.
Not enough people on the same page. It would be nice if people looked at "good" and "evil" objectively. It might just increase their awareness enough to realize the more life still has to offer them.
If we look at the concept of good and evil and light and dark. It is pretty much agreed when the light is bright that it is good, and when the light is dark that it is evil.
The problem is when the light grows dimmer or the darker becomes brighter. Then we have trouble making a clear decision as to good and evil.
Unfortunately it is not black and white, but shades of gray.
911 Terrorists kill people on planes, and in the WTC
Good for Terrorists Evil from our view.
Terrorists taking hostages and cutting off their heads on TV.
Good or Evil?
Terrorists blowing up buses with children and adults on board.
Good or Evil
US CIA waterboarding suspected Terrorists.
Good or Evil
That's limited thinking. Black and White is all. The gray area is nothing but subjective garbage to make people second guess themselves.
I've put my response to your examples, just to give you the perspective I would think would be the standard for moral right and wrong. I have written a hub about, however, the hub does not address rights issues.
Don't forget the million Iragi death on their soil
I think evil is very hard to define, although i have never been able to truly say whether it is a natural thing, ie: it exists because good does, or if it is something that is un natural.
Its a big topic, very interesting replies so far.
If you are religious and you believe god created everything, then god created evil. Can't have evil without good to compare it to, and vice verso.
Hey Randy, I would beg to differ with you on this post. Yes, it is true that the human species does indeed live in a duality. However, I can see a world at peace with itself, where evil is barely a blip on the radar screen.
And, possibly even non-existent on the planet. Would evil still exist? Sure, just not on Earth.
That is a good point. If we do not know what good is, evil probably wouldn't exist because there would be no distinctions. Neither this nor that. ....just is.
that is just about the way it is.
Here is my thinking. When we are born, we "know" very little. We have to be taught things,, or much of our behavior is a learned habit.
Good or bad is from the heart. People either tend to have a good nature or an evil nature. I can't imagine why God would have created evil.
But, if we don't know something, then we are not likely to present it. Sorta like the idea if we aint got something or never had it, then we don't know what it is like to miss it.
In that hypothetical, maybe He was bored with having a well-defined system so he created evil. Unfortunately, the topic not only confused humankind but God himself.
"Oh, crap... so am ' I ' evil now?! So confusing..." Hahaha
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