Good versus Evil - it's a human thing

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by StarShip2100, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. StarShip2100

    StarShip2100 Futurist

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    Until and unless there is other life found in the cosmos, the issue of good and evil seem to be manifest only in mankind. The rest of what happens in the universe simply is, it is not either good or evil.

    A dingo is not evil for attacking its prey, nor is the the universe inherently evil because it exists.

    It seems that only man can develop a spark of evil that leads to genocides, murders, subterfuge and more.

    So do you think that there is a universal battle for man to make him one or the other? Or is it purely a environmental circumstance that leads some to this path?
     
  2. Jake Starr

    Jake Starr

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    Not to sound trite but I believe it is a combination of the two. I believe that man create with the ability to do either good or evil. Now it is a matter of environment and personal choice. But when it is all said and done...everyone makes their own choice, regardless of what may have served as an influence.
     

  3. StarShip2100

    StarShip2100 Futurist

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    The ability is within every man to do either, but circumstance is what drives the decision?
     
  4. icantpick

    icantpick Señor Member

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    I always considered infanticide and vengeful cannibalism to be somewhat evil, so I don't really agree with your basic premise.
     
  5. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

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    Not really true. When the dingo kills pups sired by another just to avoid competition doesn't that not pass the same smell test for evil? What about the two gorillas that were taught sign language (actually, one was taught by us and that one taught the other)? One of the first things they learned how to do with structured language was use it to lie.

    No man is not unique in this regard, just better at it than any other creature.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  6. Jake Starr

    Jake Starr

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    Well not wanting to take this topic to religious issues, since I am a retired pastor...I would say that man has the ability to choose between lesser forms of evil...but never really chooses that which is ultimately good. Man will always have something either from within or without that will either, drive, influence or temp his decision...same goes with the choosing of the good...but that is another story.

    Man is never as evil as he could be but neither is he ever as good as he should be.
     
  7. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

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    There is rape, territorial killing, cannibalism and infantcide in the animal world.

    Also I'll put the flame suit on , and say if you believe in an omnipotent God, some of the things he has done could be considered evil.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  8. StarShip2100

    StarShip2100 Futurist

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    But is that inherent to the person or is it a learned value?
     
  9. StarShip2100

    StarShip2100 Futurist

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    The dingo has no concept of right or wrong, only what his instincts tell them. SO the question of is it evil really is hard to fit to the circumstance. The other issue with the gorilla could also be conditioned response. If we baited them for food and they figured that as a response to the circumstance, then was it evil or a conditioned response to get something.
     
  10. StarShip2100

    StarShip2100 Futurist

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    OK, I get that as far as the walking to wards or walking away. But still, are some humans not influenced by self? Mother Theresa was selfless, but still acting in the pursuit of what she believed need to be done and there was still a reward to her in another life.

    So you feel that man can be noble but always serves self in the decision making equation tree?
     
  11. StarShip2100

    StarShip2100 Futurist

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    But without a sentient thought pattern and a framework of good and evil, are the acts evil or just instinct? OK, lets frame this a different way. If a human is rasied ferrel, does it have the capacity for good or evil?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  12. Jake Starr

    Jake Starr

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    Sure. That is what I meant by being influence from within. Man never chooses to do something willie-nillie. There will always be something that helps to influence or determine their choice. But every choice that man makes is base upon self-determination. Some influences, be they external or internal, are more powerful than others. Man has a "chooser" within them but their chooser has a propensity towards the negative rather than the positive unless their is something that helps to influence their will or "chooser."

    Such as?
     
  13. StarShip2100

    StarShip2100 Futurist

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    Is that to say man is inherently evil and must choose to do or be good? Or are some predisposed to be good? To follow that logic through, everyone has some threshold, desire or circumstance that will cause them to do evil. Over the edge if you will.
     
  14. gearjammer351

    gearjammer351 EnemyOfTheState

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    Soooo....what is 'ultimately good' for man to choose?
     
  15. G33

    G33 Frisky! Millennium Member CLM

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    Split...

    Appears to be brains issues in some serial killers.

    Clearly child stressors in others.

    Beware the combo in one individual.

    Dr. Stone has a nice book on it--2009 publish.
    :supergrin:
     
  16. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

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    If you believe God creates natural disasters as punishment, then you would got to believe that God would have no problem killing innocent children who have no control over the adult population.

    Personally I feel God does not play this role, that Natural disaster just happens, and are not a direct punishment from God, however then that means an Omnipontent God simply allows natural disaster, along with mass murders/genocide, to occur. Is a Nazi soldier evil when he allows Jews to die, and he has the abaility to free them?

    Also you get into the heven/hell paradox. God is forgiving yet he is willing to give someone the ultimate punishment, an eternity in Hell. Where is the cutoff? Does every sinner go? If a hungry man steals food to feed a child, if a soldier kills another soldier, if someone is a good man but has doubt, does he go to hell forever? Do Millions of children go to hell every year because they don't believe in Jesus, a fate of eternal Hell simply because you were unluck enough to be born in the wrong country? Is a dictator evil when he imprisions his citizens for not bowing down to him?

    I have a personal relationship with God, and I don't find him evil at all, however my beliefs go way against man-made religious dogma and scripture.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  17. Jake Starr

    Jake Starr

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    Not to hijack thread but to respond. I agree with this to a degree. Many disasters are just that, natural. But according to the doctrine of Providence God may choose to use a natural disaster in a divine fashion. Hence a judgement. Often this is seen in the eye of the believer.

    Whatever an Omnipotent God allows He in some sense, ordains. If He could have stopped it but chose not to He did it for a reason. That is the mystery.

    From a humanistic position, whatever is deemed "good" for that person at that time, as long as it does no harm to others and no grave harm to himself.

    From a biblical perspective whatever is God's will for that person is ultimately for that persons good. However what may be good for you may not be good for me....There are things such as the general will of God for all people and the specific will of God for certain individuals. IMHO.

    I believe it is God's general will for all people to treat people with respect and dignity...do to them as you want them to do to you. God's specific will for me was to be a pastor (now retired) but for you it may have been a truck driver.
     
  18. gearjammer351

    gearjammer351 EnemyOfTheState

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    I'm not a truck driver, but my s/n and the song which inspired it make many people think that. :supergrin:

    I was looking for a more general definition of 'good.' God's will, while I suppose is an acceptable answer, is vague.

    Treating other people respectfully and with dignity is a good idea, but is it really a fundamental element of human nature? Is it really what seperates good from evil?
     
  19. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

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    Actually, I'm quite sure the dingo does know when its acting within the realm of socially acceptable behavior (as defined by pack society) and when it's not. Since that is what the concepts of good and evil really are (whats considered acceptable behavior in a given soceity and what is not).

    Once you get past the idea of objective good and evil, it's much easier to recognize that the animal kingdom has these traits as well. They just aren't as well defined or expressed due to their more limited mental faculties.

    That's just what makes the gorilla anectdote so interesting. The gorillas had only ever been exposed to the use of language to relay factual information. If conditioning were key then the conditioning would have been that language = truth, but they figured out how to lie all on their own.

    To extend the story. At one point, one of the gorillas was able to relay the experience of how their mother was shot and killed by poachers in the wild while still young. A memory from before the gorilla had the ability to sign.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  20. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

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    Cool! I'm sig worthy! :embarassed: