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Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by StarShip2100, Oct 25, 2010.
I like to use my sig line to acknowledge the wisdom of regular folk. :courtsie:
Absolute, utter BS. Animals are well known for being 'evil' at times. Some have been documented to kill just for the fun of it.
BTW they're just now discovering sociopaths and serial murderers don't have the physical ability to feel empathy. The frontal lobe simply doesn't light up when shown horrific images.
I do not believe in evil. Certainly people do things that I would not. However it has been my experience that people do what seems right to them at the time.
Even the seriously sick things that some humans do seemed like the right thing to do at the moment for that person.
For pretty much any situation where you can point to some behavior and say that is evil. I am certain that with some investigation you find some rational behind what the person did. I am not saying the rational will seem rational or sane to you and me. But to the person doing acting it all makes sense.
Killing "for the fun of it" is not evil. They are :"having fun
Would you feel bad if Went out into the woods and started wacking a new trail with a machete through the grass and undergrowth.
You are out chopping up living things.... Are you having fun...
Before you even say it is different..... realize you are bigoted specieist.
nasty ugly spiders or cute cuddle cats are both animals. Would you feel bad if you backed over either one in your car? You eat cows but how about dogs?
If you think some animals deserve differential treatment then you are a specieist.
Sorry, not swaying me. People that kill for fun are...also doing it for fun, and to satisfy some inner urge to do so. In my book that is 'evil'. Not my fault you don't believe in a 'higher power'.
there does seem to be a connection between believing in evil and belief in "higher powers".
I guess in absence of faith I believe that people decide what to do for themselves and are not influenced by either "god" or "satan." (I put those in quotations to include all variations of peoples symbols for divine good and evil).
One is juxtaposed over the other, isnt it? Many times when people act out, they do so because of defiance of what they perceive God did to them. Others just do so because they have a very limited basis for accepting that harm to others is not an acceptable norm. Still others do so knowing full well they intend to harm and injure, and have no regard for life.
Society where life is cheap is a danger to all. Look at inner city gang members that were self-raised. No moral compass, they have never been subordinate to someones authority. No belief or at least only a distorted belief in a deity, they kill with no remorse or even so much as a thought.
But they question still remains valid; will anyone eventually get to a point of influence, pressure or desire that they will act out in a way that society considers evil? Look at Donner, party of 32. While it is considered unacceptable to social norms, they actually viewed it at the time as protein that was already perished.
All you're really talking about is things we like ("good") and things we dislike ("evil"). We screw ourselves up by acting on the basis of our ability to distinguish between the two in ways that are not in our best interests ("Bet you can't eat just one!"). In other words, we "eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."
That fact has no relevance to how many life forms there are in the universe, or whether God created evil, or whether there is a God. And besides, God isn't keeping track of our stupid things - that's Santa Claus who does that. The crucifixion was a prophetic demonstration of unconditional love, not about sin.
Ah, the rub but I would say "yes." I want to be left alone, to live my life as I choose, so I will grant you the same courtesy. However you deem it good to come and take what belongs to me and do harm to my family. I deem that as evil. So if you choose to enter my home, uninvited with a knife and try to kill me because I am an infidel you may you are doing a good thing but I think it is evil. Then I am going to shoot you between the eyes and roll your body into the street for the dogs to eat and I deem that good but your family with think that what I did was evil. Maybe. If they think you died a martyr they think it was good but bad that I lived. But I digress.
There has to be something somewhere that is the line in the sand that sets the stands for what a person believes is good or evil. I may be ones own belief system, the values of a specific culture or a religious ideology. Which you live by is your choice.
"Good" and "Evil" are man made concepts. Therefore they may only be applied to man.
Animals cannot be good or evil, they are what they are and they do what they do. Simple as that.
Children are not good or evil, even when they lie or steal. They simply dont have the inhibitions drivin into their skulls not to do so.
"Good" is anything we find acceptable or anything we agree with.
"Evil" is anything which makes us uncomfortable or may be a danger. Or that which we dont understand.
A snake is not evil, yet its used to portray evil in some cultures, it is also not good yet it is revered in other cultures.
Good and evil do not exist except in the mind of man.
Or God if you believe.
Good/evil are defined by the culture in charge.
The difference between humans and dingos, in this regard, is intelligence: we are smart enough to (a) come up with more efficient ways to do more "evil" and (b) we have the capacity to give our action abstract, idealized labels like "good" and "evil."
Both men and dingos do what they do based on pure self-interest, but dingos aren't smart enough to come up with excuses why it's not true.
Even Mother Theresa did nothing, ever, that can't be explained by pure self-interest. Surely you see that this is never more true than for a religious person. One could even argue that a religious person can never be morally good, since all of their actions are based on a belief that they lead to reward or punishment and are, therefore, selfish.
Man is a base animal. Without external influence he, like all animals, will be self-seeking, protective of his own, desirous of what others posess.
One only has to look at the various Utopian social paradigms to see this. Marxism/Socialism is based on the very wrong assumption that people will do good for goodness sake. Libertarianism assumes that coporations will operate ethically out of some sense of "enlightened self-interest." Neither has ever proven true.
Our Founding Fathers knew this and Jefferson emphasized it in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote:
To an extent, Gokyo, I believe, is correct; people behave the way they do because that is what they know (I usually phrase it as "people play the game with the cards they've been dealt). To many, what seems irrational and evil to us is the result of what for them seems rational and just.
For you movie buffs, think of it as Doc Holiday explained it to Wyatt when he was explaining Johnny Ringo,
If you want to call that "evil" you'll get no argument from me.
God (as I understand him) gave us free will in the hope that we would turn to Him and live as He would have us live, just as any parent must eventually turn loose of his child and allow him to find his own way, hopefully in a way that honors and brings joy to that parent.
He doesn't force us to follow His will for us, but He rewards us for right behavior and our obedience.
I also do not believe that God makes bad things happen to us, but that He makes the bad things that happen to us have purpose. Humans don't grow (spiritually, emotionally, or morally) from pleasant experiences, we grow from and during adversity. That's the old "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
Last, is that it is irrational for anyone who believes in God to assign to Him human motives or to seek to understand in any but the most peripheral and superficial ways what He does, thinks, or wants (including me and all of my pontificating).
As a person of faith, I do not believe that I need to know why, doing while not knowing why is part of "faith."
I digress, but not true. At least not among Reformed Christians who understand that nothing they can do can either add to or take away from their justification. Their actions of doing good for others or self are a result of obedience and gratitude not rewards. May not look different in outward action but huge difference in inward motivation.
Great point! I meant to address that comment as well. I doubt Mother Theresa was motivated by her expectation of reward in the after-life, I suspect she was motivated by her desire to ease the suffering of others out of pure compassion.
Sage words, given that they came out of a Greek some 2500 years ago.
Similar to the old adage "Is Truth a Perception?" (or Truth Is a Perception); it is sometimes fun and worthwhile to ponder such points. At other times, less so.
As for "absolutes" in my limited experience, birth, life and death constitute absolute reality (I think); ideas of right/wrong, good/bad and everything grey in between, are cultural conscripts typically based on a concept of treating others as you would have them treat you... unless you're the one firmly in the drivers seat and/or paying the bills, at which times, who cares what others think?
Still and all, it would be cool to know what elephants, whales and some apes are thinking at times... cats and dogs, less so.
HOw very wrong your understanding of Christianity and faith is. People who are truly motivated by God and their faith; spiritual people, act out of their desire to do as God would have them do, without any expectation of reward above the joy it brings them to do good for others.
If doing good for others for the pure joy of doing so can be described as being selfish, then the world could stand a heck of a lot more of that kind of selfishness. Some people do good solely because they believe that is why God placed them on Earth. Some people do acts of kindness anonymously solely for the joy of serving others.
Calling those motivations "selfish" surely stretches the definition of the word beyond all boundaries of reasonability.
Bren, if you come to the aid of one of your wounded comrades in battle, do you do it for some expectation of "reward" or payback, or do you do it because it is the right thing to do? Do you do it because you care for the individual more than you care for your own safety or reward. Is that being "selfish?"
Christ taught us "Greater love hath no man then he lay down his life for his fellow man."
You do that for some "reward" or do you do it because it is the right thing to do? Is self-sacrifice for the sake of others not the quintescence of selflessness?
I had a long talk with my Pastor recently,he informed me I was evil...