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Featured Let Us Say Evil is Purely Relative...

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    It's the motivations and desires behind what leads to actions. People embody characteristics of character. A person can desire honesty. A person can desire maliciousness. Justice and goodness is for the cause of living life, and eliminating needless suffering, as well as experiencing worthy things of love. A malicious person seeks out to harm or destroy justice. That would be objectively evil desires if you recognize that some people embody characteristics of desires contrary to life and living.

    It's recognizing the world of human capacity and potential to embody characteristics of character that illuminate the objective nature of good and evil.

    Motivations from understandings and desires drive actions.
     
  2. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    Is intentionally burning someone alive evil? Is intentionally cutting a persons abdomen open to let their abdominal contents fall out and die an excruciating death evil? Is intentionally drowning thousands of families of men, women and children evil? Is using anything and everything you want because it makes you feel good knowing that others will starve and suffer for your actions evil?
     
  3. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Isn't the bold begging the question.

    If one is making the statement that x is evil, then one is assuming evil is not relative.

    If we change this statement to the "it is entirely possible the holocaust was not considered evil by all people.

    I am not so sure that the rest of the logic follows if this is the case.

    As now we just accept that some people believed the holocaust was morally justified. This then only implies that people can believe something is morally justified when we do not.
     
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  4. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    The only thing that is absolutely evil is people who think their own version of what is evil is absolute.
     
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  5. MNoBody

    MNoBody Well-Known Member

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    say a group of travelers had their spaceships astronavigation computers knocked out,
    they had no group reference in common to use to coordinate their efforts....
    a good question would be to establish what is up?
    x,y,z?
    consensus attained would be the only logical recourse to pursue.

    master-of-myth-joseph-campbell.jpg
     
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  6. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    Well, ya know… It’s all about the apples.

    The sneaky thought that maybe we do it, not the father, instantly makes us feel naked. Apples will make you powerful - not,... just afraid. Knowledge of good and evil, a conundrum with no solution. Luckily, all we have to do is stop eating the apples. Good and evil seems a false dichotomy.
     
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  7. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    But of course the entire concept of evil is only relative to human beings. Human beings view one group of humans exterminating another group of humans to be an evil practice. Do ants also view one group of humans exterminating another group of humans to be an evil practice? I seriously doubt it, since when one ant colony attacks and wipes out another ant colony humans don't tend to view it as an evil practice. It's viewed as simply being natural behavior for ants. Any other species would likely view humans killing humans as being nothing more than natural human behavior. In fact, for many species whose survival is threatened by human encroachment upon their natural habitats it would be reasonable to view humans killing off other humans as being a good thing, not an evil one.

    Thus it seems obvious to me that evil is nothing but a relative concept.
     
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  8. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Yes I did. I chose an alternative path of reasoning to the one you presented and found problematic.

    Any declaration of good and/or evil are degrees on a spectrum. (Otherwise we could not speak of "lesser evils" or "greater goods.") Theoretically, there might be a limit on the degree of evil people might do. If you declare something to be absolute evil, that there is no possibility of being more evil, some human will probably step up to the plate and say, "Hold my beer."
     
    #28 crossfire, Apr 4, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  9. EtuMalku

    EtuMalku MERCURÆN LUCIFERIAN

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    Gotta disagree here . . . Existing or not existing is neither good nor bad, it is subjective to the one experiencing it. The existence of Hitler was bad for many and good for others. Existing allows for both good and bad. Not existing at (e.g. Hitler) would have been good for many, and not so good for others. So, your theory holds no water.

    Good and Evil do not, they cannot, exist prior and separate from the one experiencing it (whether Good or Evil). To do so, there would have to something or someone that has already decided on what is Good and what is Evil . . . like a God for example. This theory, I cannot accept as I have no evidence or knowledge of any gods. And even if there did exist a Being prior to us, that being still could not decide for each of us what we experience as Good or Evil.
     
  10. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Aryan supremacy and Aryan blood purity were specific policies of the Third Reich. The Holocaust was therefore officially 'good'. To explain how Germans ran the death camps with a fairly high degree of efficiency, perhaps the Milgram experiments tell us something about everyone, not just Nazis.
    In the previous thread I mentioned that H sap sap is a gregarious primate with a mix of evolved moral tendencies, acquired moral values, empathy and conscience.

    The existence of evolved moral tendencies (eg in this case the conflict between dislike of the one who harms, and respect for authority) is the starting point for all such questions, the reason why morality isn't trivial even though good and bad are relative.

    If anyone thinks there's objective morality, that there are absolute moral statements ─ the implied contrast to relative morals ─ I invite them to set out a clear example of an absolute moral statement to illustrate the point, and how they know it's absolute. I've never seen such a thing.
     
  11. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Admittedly, the example given in the OP is exceedingly likely to require some close study before one fully grasps its implications. In part --- but only in part -- that's because of how I worded it. Yet, the idea is not original to me. You can find it -- and other ideas like it -- in academic journals. Almost never elsewhere.
     
  12. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Of course, most words have more than one meaning. Your usage of "relative" and "absolute" is naturally legitimate. Only you are not using the terms as they are used in the OP. This has the unfortunate consequence of rendering your comments irrelevant to the example presented in the OP. That does not, however, distract from how interesting your comments are. Thank you for them.
     
  13. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I'm unsure whether I adequately conveyed in the OP that the example asserts the proposition "evil is relative" is self-contradictory. Hence, the example might be confusing.
     
  14. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I don't follow. What is your point, and how does it relate to the OP?
     
  15. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    You are right. The mental states of those weighing the actions before doing the actions as well as the mental soundness of those judging the actions can be grouped under surrounding circumstance. With the variability of all the fluid factors comprising circumstance, I'm not sure if a codified protcol can be developed that can be applied generally to any and all given circumstances which will always lead to a truthful conclusion of "good" or "evil," as the application of such protocols could also be grouped under "surrounding circumstance" when producing a judgement. Someone will find a way to game the system.

    My conclusion is that judging good and evil is more of an art than a science.
     
    #35 crossfire, Apr 4, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  16. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Would that not depend on how you are defining "evil"? What is your definition of the term?
     
  17. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    That all went over my head, but then, quite a lot does.
     
  18. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    That's a question for you to answer, since you started this thread questioning whether or not 'evil' is relative. Is evil something that only applies to humans? Should ants consider humans exterminating other humans to be an act of evil? Should humans consider ants exterminating other ants to be an act of evil?
     
  19. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    Just because the holocaust could be good for some people, it does not automatically follow that the Holocaust was good for some people.
    Further, perhaps the correct question to ask might be, "was the Holocaust good for humanity on the whole?
     
  20. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    This was conveyed. However i am suggesting the logic used to convey it was fallacious.

    While such a contradiction may exist, your quote seems to assume the contradiction in order to convey it.
     
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