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No Such Thing As Good/Bad

virtualinsanity

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I've come to the conclusion that the only place "good" and "bad" exists is within our own minds. The words are subjective but in the grand scheme of things, they have no basis in logical reality. I realize that this kind of logic wouldn't be very productive in society and would probably be a bloody mess but it still doesn't take away this logical fact.

Serial killers do nothing wrong by killing random people but most humans wouldn't be able to accept this truth unless they did the logical work. This is also what got me out of religion. Good and Bad are really 2 sides of a coin and there's only opposition.

Because I have a heart and wouldn't want to walk in bloody streets, I would rather have life as it is now, opposed to living the raw truth.. but it's still true.

So, being selfish, lazy, rude, etc.. is not wrong or bad. People aren't obligated to adhere to anything that deals with ethics. Everyone could do what they want to do. The only reason for jail is because we need structure but that's it. :elephant:
 

Sandglass

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Pretty much, but punishment isn't just for structure - people by nature and nurture adopt ethics that make them see things as right and wrong. It is an evolutionary trait.
 

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I agree. "Good" and "evil" are adjectives, subjective things, categories that only exist in the human mind.

Not necessarily something that rules out religion for me though. I just have different views from organized religions I know of, or interpret things in a different way.

You can't really be whole unless you embrace and integrate the darker aspects of yourself and reality into your consciousness. Ignoring or turning a blind eye on parts of yourself or humanity as a whole that you deem "evil" just builds up the Shadow Self (an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself. In short, the shadow is the "dark side".)
Nanook posted the link to a video the other day that I found to sum up a lot of things I believe quite nicely
 

Animekitty

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If we do have a dark side and it is not integrated I do believe we can commit evil acts. A person may not be evil but their actions can be evil simply because it is unnecessary to hurt others. Killing people for fun or because you think they deserve it is a mental illness in my opinion. If something is wrong then doing it is evil but this is in the contexts of actions that are totally unjustified. If you believe hurting others for fun is wrong then there is no reason not to call such actions evil and those perpetration such actions mentally ill. Sometimes actions can be mistakes but mistakes are not the same as pathology.
 

virtualinsanity

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If we do have a dark side and it is not integrated I do believe we can commit evil acts. A person may not be evil but their actions can be evil simply because it is unnecessary to hurt others. Killing people for fun or because you think they deserve it is a mental illness in my opinion. If something is wrong then doing it is evil but this is in the contexts of actions that are totally unjustified. If you believe hurting others for fun is wrong then there is no reason not to call such actions evil and those perpetration such actions mentally ill. Sometimes actions can be mistakes but mistakes are not the same as pathology.
I disagree with this, mainly because whether something is "unnecessary" is subjective and up to an individual to decide.. and even then.. Just because something is unnecessary doesn't make it evil. A "dark side" in my opinion is the very thing that does not exist. If dark and light cannot survive without the other, validating it, then the two are sides of 1 coin. Something that is deliberately done is not a mistake. Ethics are needed for things to work but no action is logically evil because evil is subjective and bound to individual evaluation.

Just as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".. Good/Evil works the same. Everything is simply what it "is".. and anything we decide afterwards, is secondary.
 

onesteptwostep

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If you believe there is no such thing as actual evil, then you've probably never been dealt with lies, assault, manipulation, robbery, and so on. Try imagining a war- that's truly evil in many respects.

There is also no metaphysical underpinning to as to why good or evil doesn't exist. Does this mean that justice doesn't exist? That virtue doesn't exist?

I'm not even sure whether or not you're thinking of the human cost of such ideas. If power is might, institutions such as laws or the courts or the police shouldn't exist.
 

Animekitty

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I disagree with this, mainly because whether something is "unnecessary" is subjective and up to an individual to decide.. and even then.. Just because something is unnecessary doesn't make it evil. A "dark side" in my opinion is the very thing that does not exist. If dark and light cannot survive without the other, validating it, then the two are sides of 1 coin. Something that is deliberately done is not a mistake. Ethics are needed for things to work but no action is logically evil because evil is subjective and bound to individual evaluation.

Just as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".. Good/Evil works the same. Everything is simply what it "is".. and anything we decide afterwards, is secondary.
So you disagree that hurting people for fun is wrong? It is only subjective thus not in any moral sense good or bad? From one perspective yes that is true but from my perspective, it is not true. There is no objective perspective from which to judge but all people exist as moral agents that make judgments on a daily basis. They cannot make any decision without considering the right and wrong of it, for themselves and others. So even if from your perspective evil does not exist, most people will consider somethings evil because in them it is the opposite of what is good. A scientist may say it is stupid for people to believe in a 6,000 years old earth and a creationist will say scientists are evil for "believing" in evolution. But this is because of an emotional attachment to religion. If the dark side did not exist people would not burn 6-year-olds alive for being a witch. The animal side of people makes them burn and rape children and other such acts. If that is not evil it is still certainly dark. A scientist would not burn you alive for believing in creationism. Whatever it is that makes people burn and rape children it must be in the animal instincts. Emotional detachment keeps people away from such subjectively evil acts. But not even scientists are immune to emotions. Few people have high emotional detachment.
 

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A question to ask people who disbelieve in good and evil is:

Should six years old be burned to death for being witches?

Just remember that this is an "ought" question, not an "is".
 

Lazy Vulpes

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There is no "good" and "bad" per say, there is however, productive, and unproductive.

What is productive, and what is unproductive? You might ask then. Well that is a good question. Productive is a type of behavior that furthers the goal in mind, unproductive is of course the opposite.

What is "the goal" then.

To answer that question, you'll have to take a closer look at what existence means, what consciousness is, and in general, just take a real good look at yourself, internally. I cannot tell you your goal.

How to increase productivity then? Balance.. It's that simple really. You need to balance your variables to increase productivity. Analyze and adapt.

The reason why you "have a heart" is simply emphathy. With emphathy, it is easy to realize that the happiness of others increases yours as well. (It's nice to be with nice people) As you probably know, people who cannot feel empathy might not develop this inclination to be nice, and might find great enjoyment from causing great harm to other people. (Most serial killers lack the ability to feel emphaty as far as I know)

There are various strategies however, that you can employ for cooperation, but a popular one for random unknown encounters seems to be "tit for tat". That is to say, be nice, but fuck douchebags.

If you wanna sit and play games all day, figure out a way where you can do that. It will take compromise, but if you are ready to think outside the box, and are able to adapt, I bet you'll be able to play a shit ton of computer games. This will be good because, you shown people how to be cooperative, think outside the box, and adapt to your situation. This will increase the productivity of others, therefor environment, and thus, your productivity.

Btw, there is a VERY good reason for jails, I won't really get into that, only that the kind of "jail" I have in mind are the Norwegians once. Prisons are first and foremost suppose to help the prisoner.

EDIT:

Think of humans as neural networks. How does one increase the efficiency of a neural network? It's simple, have it try things out, then adapt it's network accordantly to the results.

Since we're multiply subjects interaction in the same environment, our collective goal should be to cooperate to improve our environment so that we collectively can enjoy a better life, and their by, improve our environment even more, and so on.


Re-Edit:

So I guess, ones goal is to nurture and adapt to your environment. (by my definition, your body also being an environment)
 

Hadoblado

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If you believe there is no such thing as actual evil, then you've probably never been dealt with lies, assault, manipulation, robbery, and so on. Try imagining a war- that's truly evil in many respects.

There is also no metaphysical underpinning to as to why good or evil doesn't exist. Does this mean that justice doesn't exist? That virtue doesn't exist?

I'm not even sure whether or not you're thinking of the human cost of such ideas. If power is might, institutions such as laws or the courts or the police shouldn't exist.
I have dealt with these things, but still don't think evil truly exists as anything other than a category.

Basically, if you took away the observer, there would be no evil. It's a social construct.

While I might experience lies, assault, manipulation and robbery as really bad, take out the human aspect and all you've got is nature. Animals constantly act this way to one another, and no moral judgements are made. The tiger is not evil, it's just a predator.

This doesn't mean you should live your life as if the concept has no effect. Take out the observer of government, religion, or any social system and you come up with the same answer. They exist to the extent that they are useful to perceive as existing. I personally see little value in branding anything evil. Even psychopathy is a neurological deficiency. Who am I to brand the mentally ill as evil? Children often act in similar ways to psychopaths, not because of a deficiency, but because they haven't developed morality. Are they evil?

A question to ask people who disbelieve in good and evil is:

Should six years old be burned to death for being witches?

Just remember that this is an "ought" question, not an "is".
No, they shouldn't. I find it unlikely at that age that they've acquired the skills to become witches :p
 

Lazy Vulpes

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Basically, if you took away the observer, there would be no evil. It's a social construct.
If you took away the observer there would not be a thing, only possibilities, chaos, everything at once whilst nothing at the same time.

The observer IS the thing, the play, both the actor and the scene.
 

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Hadoblado

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That's a whole other discussion. I mean the human observer that's able to make these judgements.

If you took away the observer of night and day, it'd still get dark/light. If you take away the observer of a killing, there's still a death, but there is no crime/sin/evil. Just nature.

Phrased another way: If it's not a complex concept, but you still need a society to teach you it, it's probably socially constructed. Would Tarzan inherently understand capitalism, morality, or government?
 

Lazy Vulpes

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Would it still be night and day if you took away the observer though? Have you tried it? Of course not, you cannot experience not experiencing. What you're saying is an assumption. Assumptions are dangerous if you wanna know the truth.
 

Rixus

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Bad as in evil in a biblical sense? No. That's just fear of things people didn't understand being driven by the need for power and control.

Predators in the animal kingdom do as they do out of necessity and out of instinct. While I believe humans to be a highly developed animal, I think we've evolved beyond our base instincts. Call that idealistic if you want - but we display a level of intelligence and self control not found in nature. When you take away a dogs need to fight for food - it can be trained to be passive and not harmful or aggressive. Starve it, and the dog will revert to it's base instincts.

I don't perceive evil as doing what is necessary for survival - I do consider harmful things that are truly unnecessary to be for the purpose of gaining pleasure, or power for powers sake and that is little more than pleasure. Therefore one could argue that as this is something that isn't seen in nature - animals hunt for food and fight amongst themselves mainly in order to get food, or to reproduce (both of which are necessary for survival), that inflicting suffering in our world is mostly unnecessary and therefore termed as evil.

Suffering is something we would not want inflicted upon ourselves, so to unnecessarily inflict it upon others is an enjoyment of that suffering and that, in my mind, constitutes as evil. Personally, I think saying it doesn't exist because we've invented it is like saying a chair doesn't exist. Or that time doesn't exist - days pass by and we get older, so it's irrelevant.
 

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Phrased another way: If it's not a complex concept, but you still need a society to teach you it, it's probably socially constructed. Would Tarzan inherently understand capitalism, morality, or government?
A complex mind is more capable of being moral is what I think.

Would it still be night and day if you took away the observer though? Have you tried it? Of course not, you cannot experience not experiencing. What you're saying is an assumption. Assumptions are dangerous if you wanna know the truth.
If I die I believe the universe will still exist just without "my" observation.

(But I believe in life after death so things are not as they seem)

The universe existed before complex morality existed,
quantum particles may be tiny observers themselves.
 

Hadoblado

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Would it still be night and day if you took away the observer though? Have you tried it? Of course not, you cannot experience not experiencing. What you're saying is an assumption. Assumptions are dangerous if you wanna know the truth.
Have you proved that observing things makes it true? Or is that an assumption?

You see because everything you have ever experienced has happened on the inside of your head. Unless you make some assumptions you can't say... anything?

That's why I say it's a whole other discussion. If we're having a conversation about anything, we're both coming in with assumptions. If you think the world revolves around perception (as opposed to on its own axis, creating the day/night cycle), then we can't agree on anything and the pursuit of mutual understanding is pointless from moment one. The pursuit of truth is doomed entirely for anyone that believes truth is dictated by a deeply flawed sensory intake over the most basic principles of object constancy.
 

Lazy Vulpes

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If I die I believe the universe will still exist just without "my" observation.
Of course it will, there are other observers. But what IS existence? The act of observing. What is observing? To measures an environment. What is an environment? The thing that's being observed.

You see, both are mutually exclusive, they exists together as a whole. One cannot be without the other.

What is a neural network if there is nothing to be networked? Stagnant date. uncomputable information. A shape with out a medium which to provide form.

Existence is a "play" it's two things. The stage, and the actors. There is no play without a stage, there is no actor without the stage. You can also think existence as a game if you will. Same difference. There is no game without the player, there is no player without the game.
 

Lazy Vulpes

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Have you proved that observing things makes it true? Or is that an assumption?

You see because everything you have ever experienced has happened on the inside of your head. Unless you make some assumptions you can't say... anything?

That's why I say it's a whole other discussion. If we're having a conversation about anything, we're both coming in with assumptions. If you think the world revolves around perception (as opposed to on its own axis, creating the day/night cycle), then we can't agree on anything and the pursuit of mutual understanding is pointless from moment one. The pursuit of truth is doomed entirely for anyone that believes truth is dictated by a deeply flawed sensory intake over the most basic principles of object constancy.


How long is your nose?
 

Animekitty

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solipsism and sophism

(derailment)

quantum particles may be tiny observers themselves.
this is my assumption but as hadoblado said, paraphrase: existence needing observers to exists is an assumption. both assumptions and their opposites are plausible.
 

Lazy Vulpes

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solipsism and sophism
No, I'm not preaching. I'm trying to entertain myself productively :) That is my only goal here, to spend time efficiently.

I don't care about Hadoblados assumptions, nor do I have any of my own. I am merely in an exchange of ideas.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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No good and bad? Wow...

So every choice you make is absolutely pointless. I suppose there is no free will either.

What a useless philosophy.
 

Lazy Vulpes

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You should adopt whatever idea is most helpful to you.. That's my point from the start. To analyze and adapt.. For some people, my approach isn't good at all, but for me, it's great, and the people near me seems happier for it, which because of empathy makes me even more happy.


So in short.. It would seem from the inherit substance of reality (no matter our different perspective) cooperation is the best way of living as you are depended on your environment, and the environment is affected by others than yourself.
 

Hadoblado

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No, I'm not preaching. I'm trying to entertain myself productively :) That is my only goal here, to spend time efficiently.

I don't care about Hadoblados assumptions, nor do I have any of my own. I am merely in an exchange of ideas.
You care about them enough to bring them up. And in doing so you hamper the exchange of ideas. It doesn't feel as if you are conversing in good faith if you hold other people to the standard of proving object constancy while you make similar assumptions in introducing the discussion.

If you want to talk about phenomenology, I think that deserves its own thread.

Edit: it occurs to me that using the term 'observer' was not particularly accurate while inviting a whole other line of conversation. Maybe 'believer' would serve better?
 

Lazy Vulpes

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You care about them enough to bring them up. And in doing so you hamper the exchange of ideas. It doesn't feel as if you are conversing in good faith if you hold other people to the standard of proving object constancy while you make similar assumptions in introducing the discussion.

If you want to talk about phenomenology, I think that deserves its own thread.

Edit: it occurs to me that using the term 'observer' was not particularly accurate while inviting a whole other line of conversation. Maybe 'believer' would serve better?

I'm not really sure what you're going on about, I am in-fact trying to facilitate new ideas.

Phenomenology do deserve it's own thread, and I'm sure it got loads of them, but I also feel the subjective cannot go unmentioned.

There exists different ways of perceiving reality, each have their own merits on their own terms. Chances are that mine are not the same as yours, by far, but that's okay too. I think we can agree on what's the important about this subjective. To live long, and prosper!

We are together in the same environment, and each of us can act independently if we so choose to do so. Therefor, the best cause of action is to adapt to our environment, and if that doesn't work, make the environment adapt to us. (each other being being your environment, and you theirs.)

However, in a normal modern day scenario, changing your environment to adapt to you is almost impossible on your own.. You go ahead and try and push a Windows update you like on your own, let me know when it succeeds.

So, we have to cooperate. Make a standardized intermediary medium through which we can establish recognizable patterns.

Language, syntax, size, color, etc. All rules we have agreed upon in order to increase productivity.

Cooperation is the key to success in a fixed multilayer environment, unless you want to not exists I guess.
 

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Evil is a result of natural selection, the fight for survival. Its form has changed, but inherently it is still the same.
 

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I've come to the conclusion that the only place "good" and "bad" exists is within our own minds. The words are subjective but in the grand scheme of things, they have no basis in logical reality. I realize that this kind of logic wouldn't be very productive in society and would probably be a bloody mess but it still doesn't take away this logical fact.
Agreed. Completely.

Serial killers do nothing wrong by killing random people but most humans wouldn't be able to accept this truth unless they did the logical work.
Also agreed.

This is also what got me out of religion. Good and Bad are really 2 sides of a coin and there's only opposition.
Mm, the idea drew me away from more common interpretation of religion, but definitely has not ruled religion out for me. Helped me come around to viewing God as encompassing both of what humans normally categorize as "good" AND "evil".
It's so natural. It feels so right and clear to me. He is everything. The universe, the good, the evil, the ugly, it all comes from him. It's all God.

Because I have a heart and wouldn't want to walk in bloody streets, I would rather have life as it is now, opposed to living the raw truth.. but it's still true.

So, being selfish, lazy, rude, etc.. is not wrong or bad. People aren't obligated to adhere to anything that deals with ethics. Everyone could do what they want to do. The only reason for jail is because we need structure but that's it. :elephant:
Something that I have always seemed to find at the end of long, meandering philosophical searches is just entropy.
--

This whole conversation is bringing to my mind the NBC show Hannibal. It's all philosophical/ creepy/ poetic bs and I absolutely love it..

Will Graham: What do you think about when you think about killing?
Dr. Hannibal Lecter: I think about God.
Will Graham: Good and evil?
Dr. Hannibal Lecter: Good and evil has nothing to do with God. I collect church collapses. Did you see the recent one in Sicily? The facade fell on 65 grandmothers during a special mass. Was that evil? Was that God? If he's up there, he just loves it. Typhoid and swans, it all comes from the same place.
They talk about God a lot. It's so fun. A cooking show that leaves you with some food for thought, ay.

Hannibal's interpretation of God throughout the show really got to me
The show also led me to discover 'Dante's Inferno,' which got me to be a God-fearing mess for a little while..
Terrifying.
A very satanic view of God.


I'm going off topic now, apologies.
Anyway, Hannibal also addresses entropy a lot, talking about teacups falling and the pieces coming back together; Kintsukuroi- the Japanese art of repairing broken poetry with gold, and the philosophy that it is more beautiful for having been broken.
Wabi-sabi, seeing the beauty in things as they are, broken, imperfect, incomplete, finite.


These are things I believe and feel much, much more than feelings or perceptions of things as "good" or "evil."

Or I suppose, I do believe in "good"- because I think that everything is natural and a part of God and the way things should be.
Hmm.
 

Happy

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While it may or may not be true that good/evil are possibly arbitrary labels, our societies still need a common notion of good and evil if we're to have any chance of passing on a liveable world to our descendants; particularly as our societies are drawn into greater densities in modern cities, and particularly mega cities.
 

Hadoblado

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While it may or may not be true that good/evil are possibly arbitrary labels, our societies still need a common notion of good and evil if we're to have any chance of passing on a liveable world to our descendants; particularly as our societies are drawn into greater densities in modern cities, and particularly mega cities.
Do we though?

Why does anything have to be evil? Can't it just be wrong without dismissing its source as a negation of all that we believe in? Do we actually require an over-simplified narrative to bring about a better world?

For example, assuming some sort of eminent environmental apocalypse, does polluting or resource consumption actually need to be considered evil rather than ignorant or selfish? Can the mother who kills her daughter not just be considered extremely ill, rather than evil?

The good/evil narrative is a layer smeared over the top of a judgement to polarise it. It's a lot easier to hate someone who represents negation of your world-view, rather than the absence of it. One threatens, one demands empathy.

Labeling people evil forever closes the door on cooperation or rehabilitation. Only through understanding can we address the root causes of the things that are wrong with this world.
 

AndyC

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Let us consider the place of our morals, which exists within our actions to maintain humanity's survival, and such that disobeys maintenance is immoral and hence, is evil. What is not being discussed is the misinterpretations of evil such as utilitarian ideologies neither is there recognition of the attribution of things as evil, what evil entails, what is intended evil, etc.
 

QuickTwist

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Understanding the true motivation why people do what they do is very enlightening. Challenging judgement on why people do "bad" things is the best way to create an environment where we can have real peace. If everyone would just stay accountable to themselves, we wouldn't even need punishment, government and power struggles in general.

As opposed to the OP, I am actually in the opposite camp and I think we need to make people aware that everything is subjective and give awareness into the self and to be accountable to the self only and to have accountability on others only in the form of leading by example. I don't see humanity prospering later down the road if these petty power struggles are allowed to persist.
 

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There's definitely such a thing as GoodBad though
 

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Labeling people evil forever closes the door on cooperation or rehabilitation. Only through understanding can we address the root causes of the things that are wrong with this world.
People may not be evil but muffins definitely are evil.

 

Animekitty

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If you break down the word Evil you get (eternally - vile).
Some humans are vile creatures, they do bad things on purpose.
So whereas Evil does not exist because vileness is not eternal.
Some people do bad things and it is not right for them to do it.
Eventually, A.I. will see everything and it will be difficult for people to do bad things.
Then most everyone will be happy and we can all have milk and cookies.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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Then most everyone will be happy and we can all have milk and cookies.
Andy Kaufman applauds you! :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dScO-yZXw8

Skip to 1:14:30

Or watch the whole thing.

I highly recommend watching the whole thing.
 

onesteptwostep

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I have dealt with these things, but still don't think evil truly exists as anything other than a category.
I think that's what most people mean when they say evil exists; that it exists as a category of a type of virtues or pleasantries or justice.

Basically, if you took away the observer, there would be no evil. It's a social construct.

While I might experience lies, assault, manipulation and robbery as really bad, take out the human aspect and all you've got is nature. Animals constantly act this way to one another, and no moral judgements are made. The tiger is not evil, it's just a predator.
Yes, but can't the victim and the perpetrator be observers themselves too? I don't think you can divorce the idea of an observer and say that good and evil doesn't not exist objectively. We are making the subjective choice to brand whatever action is objectively wrong, therefore to say that some action is objectively wrong is completely within our agency to say so; it concerns us, not empirical, scientific laws. To clarify, these are not scientific laws but moral laws; Moral law and natural law are all valid systems- though its degrees are slightly dependent from culture to culture.

This doesn't mean you should live your life as if the concept has no effect. Take out the observer of government, religion, or any social system and you come up with the same answer. They exist to the extent that they are useful to perceive as existing. I personally see little value in branding anything evil. Even psychopathy is a neurological deficiency. Who am I to brand the mentally ill as evil? Children often act in similar ways to psychopaths, not because of a deficiency, but because they haven't developed morality. Are they evil?
We should separate intended harm with harm that's caused by unintended causes.

Consider a completely sane man raping someone because he had a sexual deficiency. Are we to forgive the man just because there was a root cause in all this or should justice take its course and give him a stiffer sentence (pun) than usual? The entire realm of law was made so as to support the idea of justice, of good. Or take for example of a simple act of shooting someone just for the sake of shooting and for domination, as gangs have done. How is that not evil? Perhaps the person is not 'evil', but the act of taking another life so pointlessly and violently is evil.

Perhaps the whole good and evil idea should be considered in terms of justice rather than good or bad.
 

Animekitty

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Cognisant

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Good and Evil are decision making heuristics, ethical shortcuts for immature minds that aren't ready to grasp the full complexities of a world in which morality is relative and often subjective.

If an adult is relying these moral training wheels (i.e. they believe good and evil are actual phenomena) they're either poorly educated, developmentally stunted or just fucking stupid.
 

Animekitty

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I love how cog thinks.
 

higs

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I've come to the conclusion that the only place "good" and "bad" exists is within our own minds. The words are subjective but in the grand scheme of things, they have no basis in logical reality. I realize that this kind of logic wouldn't be very productive in society and would probably be a bloody mess but it still doesn't take away this logical fact.

Serial killers do nothing wrong by killing random people but most humans wouldn't be able to accept this truth unless they did the logical work. This is also what got me out of religion. Good and Bad are really 2 sides of a coin and there's only opposition.

Because I have a heart and wouldn't want to walk in bloody streets, I would rather have life as it is now, opposed to living the raw truth.. but it's still true.

So, being selfish, lazy, rude, etc.. is not wrong or bad. People aren't obligated to adhere to anything that deals with ethics. Everyone could do what they want to do. The only reason for jail is because we need structure but that's it. :elephant:

So why does the fact that good and bad exist in the mind mean they have no basis in logical reality, I don't get what is being refuted. Like what is this "logical reality" I don't get the reference point.
 

Cognisant

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He's saying good and evil are subjective notions, that there's nothing objectively good or evil about any real object, person or process.

If this seems obvious to you congratulations for not being one of the countless idiots for which it isn’t.
 

QuickTwist

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Good and Evil are decision making heuristics, ethical shortcuts for immature minds that aren't ready to grasp the full complexities of a world in which morality is relative and often subjective.

If an adult is relying these moral training wheels (i.e. they believe good and evil are actual phenomena) they're either poorly educated, developmentally stunted or just fucking stupid.
Great post.
 

Hadoblado

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@Cog
I take issue with the way you're attacking the competence of people that disagree with you. Just because they have a different opinion does not make them stupid, poorly educated, developmentally stunted, or idiots. Please treat the other members of this forum with respect, and refrain from using ad homs in future. People seem to like your points, so you shouldn't have any issue arguing your position honestly.
 

Jennywocky

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I reached the same conclusion as many here some years back (good and evil just being categories at least partly dependent on who is doing the sifting), it's not D&D where there are tangible alignment realms somewhere. And heck, I was raised to believe in the "pearly gates and streets of gold," but that did not last long for me. Life seemed more complex than that.

There does seem to be some fundamental motivational and strategic differences between those two categories though. M. Scott Peck wrote an interesting book called "People of the Lie" where he suggests one of the trademarks of what we might want to deem "evil" is "propensity for mistruth." The level of dedication to "what is true" seems to determine a lot of behavior, and people who fear truth seem to more easily drop into behaviors that could be viewed as destructive. And once you get a sense of where you fit into the cosmos (especially if you are mortal, and death is inevitable), it's hard to take oneself as seriously as some do.

Empathy got mentioned in the thread. Well, yeah. If I know it will hurt me if someone kills someone I love or takes something that is mine, and I am just a person like they are, then why would I want to do those things to them? Empathy is basically the extension of the personal ego boundary to other human beings, in an ever-widening circle. If I view someone else as being within my ego boundary, then I will treat them as I would want to be treated; if I don't, it would be like destroying parts of me. Usually we don't step back from it that far, we just inherently will view some people in ways that leave us hurting if they are hurting, but that's the gist of it. One can see empathy as worthless and not something to pursue, but that also says something about how they view themselves and how large (or small) their ego boundaries are. We don't have to define it as "good" or "evil", but basically certain behavior is expansive and seems to improve enjoyment of life overall even if it could leave one vulnerable if someone wants to exploit that, while other behavior is constrictive and seems to lead one towards a less happy, less healthy/balanced life even if one is geared up for defense and conflict. Are those two endpoints worth labeling as good and bad? The labels of course are arbitrary, but there could be certain endpoints worth viewing as such depending on outcome.
 

virtualinsanity

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If you believe there is no such thing as actual evil, then you've probably never been dealt with lies, assault, manipulation, robbery, and so on. Try imagining a war- that's truly evil in many respects.

There is also no metaphysical underpinning to as to why good or evil doesn't exist. Does this mean that justice doesn't exist? That virtue doesn't exist?

I'm not even sure whether or not you're thinking of the human cost of such ideas. If power is might, institutions such as laws or the courts or the police shouldn't exist.
Of course I'm not thinking of human cost of such ideas because it would defeat the purpose of the idea. Removing all compassion and consideration, the raw truth is, these things don't exist. Humans just create it.

Life seems pretty ambiguous. We create elements that weren't there, prior to. We were all made to die, so killers are simply doing life's bidding when it all boils down...

That's my point. Going by raw logic, these things shouldn't exist. However, as a human being, I don't want to live in a lawless place because I like having peace of mind. If we had no laws, I probably would've already gotten murdered, raped, or etc.. (People still suffer from people who do such things but it would be heightened, if people were able to get away with it.)

I've dealt with liars and backstabbers and I hated what they did to me. I don't agree with their behavior but in the grand scheme of things, they've done nothing "bad." They only acted in such a way that is in opposition to what I thought they should have.

..but I'm not the end all be all.

So when people ask, "Why do bad things happen to good people" - The answer is "They don't." Good/Bad humans don't exist, humans do.

So why does the fact that good and bad exist in the mind mean they have no basis in logical reality, I don't get what is being refuted. Like what is this "logical reality" I don't get the reference point.
Basically, human beings live in ethical illusions. That is one point I'm trying to make. The other reason I brought this up was to simply spark conversation so that I could read different replies and learn to think in newer perspectives. I'm not sure I'll even have the same perspective of it not existing in a few days. I just wanted to see what everyone was going to say back to it. (Sometimes I make posts as a means to read opposing views and engage until my perspective is torn apart. If I leave without it torn apart, I keep searching until I figure I'm flat out , right.)

Good and Evil are decision making heuristics, ethical shortcuts for immature minds that aren't ready to grasp the full complexities of a world in which morality is relative and often subjective.

If an adult is relying these moral training wheels (i.e. they believe good and evil are actual phenomena) they're either poorly educated, developmentally stunted or just fucking stupid.
The thing is, I believe most of society does.

We condemn liars, cheaters, manipulators, and etc.. because we feel offended by those things but in reality, we have no reason to because they've done nothing wrong. I'm using the word, "reason" here in a literal, (raw logical).. sense. You literally have no reason to feel upset because they've done nothing "wrong" in actuality even if you feel they have... because wrong and right don't exist.

Of course I don't live my life this way but I'm just engaging the thought of it. There's really no point, here.
 

AndyC

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It is no illusion, it is the definition of good and evil, ethics, moral and immoral. To argue it is an illusion is to give it a definition that is beyond human, beyond the mind, by which it has no grounds. I define it above, I maybe should have explicitly mentioned it's implications.
 

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It is no illusion, it is the definition of good and evil, ethics, moral and immoral. To argue it is an illusion is to give it a definition that is beyond human, beyond the mind, by which it has no grounds. I define it above, I maybe should have explicitly mentioned it's implications.
Doesn't this go back to cogs relativism and also Jennys circle of empathy. I cannot force people to have empathy for me and I cannot force people to think clearly and "properly" (if proper thinking is achievable?). So we all must make choices and as I've said, a more complex mind is more capable of being moral.
 

EyeSeeCold

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I don't see how the OP is anything but moving the goalposts for what is acceptable manifestations of good and bad. You mention logic but I don't see any justification for your point just restatements of the premise.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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Good and Evil are decision making heuristics, ethical shortcuts for immature minds that aren't ready to grasp the full complexities of a world in which morality is relative and often subjective.

If an adult is relying these moral training wheels (i.e. they believe good and evil are actual phenomena) they're either poorly educated, developmentally stunted or just fucking stupid.
Things that are relative and things that are subjective are still real.

Goodness exists as an absolute measure, and to think otherwise is to fall into nihilism in which nothing means anything, and at that point we may as well not be nihilists, because not being a nihilist is consistent with both nihilism and non-nihilism.

If you think you can say there is no absolute good but still prefer one state of being over another, then you are being contradictory. If you think goodness is complex, that is irrelevant.

Without an absolute measure, subjectivity is purely arbitrary, whereas relativity is just a modification on the absolute anyway.

Basically, I fail to comprehend your point in a comprehensible manner.
 
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