Good versus Evil - it's a human thing

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

  1. StarShip2100

    StarShip2100 Futurist

    Messages:
    2,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    In the New World
    so in the entire history of the world, no one has ever performed a selfless act? I find that hard to believe. What of the guy that throws himself on a grenade to save his buddies? Or the guy that gives a kidney to his brother?

    Certainly there have been selfless acts that were done contrary to the preference of the individual.
     
  2. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

    Messages:
    13,123
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Green Country

    IMO, it's something inherent....that's learned. I believe the structure is there from birth, a structure that allows one to do what they perceive as being in their best interest, and later in life learned to be used in a way most others perceive as evil. It's when one takes something out of the realm of just being done in one's own self interest, and turns to something done to harm others....whether or not it also serves that self interest....that it's perceived as being "evil". A child who may do something just to serve his/her own self interests is expected to do nothing else, until they learn where the "limit" is It's at that point they are expected to not go beyond that limit. And when they do, knowing the difference..............we often view the act as evil.

    So I believe the structure is there from the beginning, it's how one learns to use it that differentiates between good and evil. And there are many forms of learning what is right and wrong.....unfortunitly for the kids.


    Just my opinion.









    That would simply be your opinion, no?

    While it may be indeed what you believe, not sure that alone would make it a fact... or the way of the world, would it? Many people do see "good" and "evil" as separate and viable entities, in and of themselves. Now, they may be not correct either.....but their believing one way and your believing another supports neither belief system with any facts as I see it.


    Any "proof" of such an assertion would certainly be welcome.
     

  3. nmk

    nmk

    Messages:
    9,244
    Likes Received:
    2,939
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    And you think this is common?
     
  4. fwm

    fwm

    Messages:
    2,632
    Likes Received:
    40
    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    Near Central US
    Inherent in the person. I grew up in a very poor and tough neighborhood. Some of us grew up always honest and ethical, and some spent most of their lives in jail. It was obvious from about 4 or 5 years old which was going to be which. All had the same environment and all had the same possibilities laid out before them. It was individual choice that made the difference. Go home and study or go break into a house and steal.

    I am sick to death of people wanting to blame everything and everybody else for the failings of certain individuals
     
  5. Catswold

    Catswold God rules all!

    Messages:
    6,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    Houston
    If you mean, common among the devout, yes. I see a great deal of selflessness among people who feel called upon to help others.

    If you mean common among humanity, you need to read my prior comment, https://glocktalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16201155&postcount=35 , but short answer, no.

    My comment, however, was a direct response to Bren's comment that even Mother Theresa's behavior could be explained by self-interest and reward.
     
  6. Catswold

    Catswold God rules all!

    Messages:
    6,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    Houston
    Too some extent you are right, but to some degree nurture also influences how one behaves and how one perceives the world. Within that tough neighborhood, different family dynamics occurred in each house. I suspect that some were alcoholic or drug addicted family members, parents, some had abusive parents, some had apathetic parents, some were single parent homes, some had parents who encouraged their children to excel, some who made a point to raise their children with the certain knowledge of right and wrong and who maybe brought their children up in a "Christian" or otherwise loving environment.

    There are a lot of variables for which one must account before making a generalized statement, but there is no doubt that "nature" accounts for a lot of our behavioral patterns. Some kids are just naturally obedient and well behaved, some are rebellious, and some are just down right determined to act out in bad ways.

    There is no simple answer to the OP's simple question.
     
  7. Ol'Slabsides

    Ol'Slabsides

    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Deep South near Memphis
    Dunno how directly this applies to this conversation/thread, but I've been studying a series titled "The Prodigal God." It takes a look at the prodigal son, his father, and the older brother in the story. I've always looked upon the older brother as a byline in the story, little more. He's actually half the story.

    To make the author's point very briefly, he says that we should not just confess our sins, but also confess our acts of righteousness-because even those acts are generally done in an attempt to be the "good son," the obedient servant of God, in order to gain His inheritance. Hence, the prodigal son AND the good son were both lost, but just in opposite directions. Still equally lost...

    My belief is that we're all born with a predilection for sin, and left without instruction will generally only be "good" when it suits us. Even with God and instruction, we will attempt to serve self first.
     
  8. Jake Starr

    Jake Starr

    Messages:
    5,256
    Likes Received:
    1,141
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Must be a young pastor...I could have told you that in the first 30 secs. :supergrin:
     
  9. Jordan81

    Jordan81

    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    Short answer: Yes, it's a human thing. Because humans are the only species on earth who, regardless of season, environment, genetics or biology can for any reason make a choice to do anything. Whether the acton is "expected", "contrary", "good" or "evil" is irrelevant. Within the realm of possibilities and some annoying physical laws, there's no end to the possibility of a human being to do.....anything.
     
  10. Catswold

    Catswold God rules all!

    Messages:
    6,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    Houston
    Yep, only one "perfect" person so far. The rest of us fall short regularly.

    I'm certain if you had asked Mother Theresa if she was a "good" person, she would have said "No." Even Christ took one of his disciples to task for calling him "good," saying that he only knew of one who is good and that is the Father.
     
  11. Texas Rebel

    Texas Rebel Member

    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    lol,he's 56.
    I guess in the eyes of the sheep my job would be considered evil.I considered it my duty.Opinions differ I reckon. :wavey:
     
  12. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

    Messages:
    13,123
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Green Country
    I don't believe that the good vs evil discussion should be tilted toward religion, although it certainly can be in somes view. IMO, they do exist, side by side in the universe. That's just my opinion you understand. And while it can be turned toward a religious conversation with little effort, they would exist outside of that point of view as well. Good, evil, karma, right, wrong........ whatever one cares to call it, it does exist to may way of thinking. Even if it only exist in our minds as one poster stated, since our minds and perceptions are what shape our being and world....what else are we to, or can we consider? Get into the realm of Metaphysics much?


    To me, simply put.....there's right and wrong. Not the sort of personal right and wrong many live by, but the more inclusive kind of right and wrong of the universe. Most everyone knows it's wrong to take another's life without good and true cause.....and how we know that is the type of right and wrong I speak of. Although that is certainly something that can be put in religious terms, it doesn't have to be. What one believes in the way of religion, even if it's a belief against any sort of religion.... doesn't relieve one of the responsibility of ensuring they do good/right, as opposed to evil/wrong.

    I believe that's as inherent within us as the capacity to do good or evil. In the end...for me, it all boils down to the thing that a large majority of people want least to hear, IMO............personal responsibility. One can't stand back and be "good" without an effort. To me, that simply leaves one open to evil, especially if they do nothing to prevent it. As with most things, and to most people's chagrin.................to do nothing, while it is the easiest thing...is the wrong thing. Folks just can't be "good", without an effort from them, as much as they may wish otherwise.

    Again....to me, that's one of the biggest reasons there's evil...or whatever one cares to call it... in the world. It's just easier to do nothing and wait for the pill.

    Just one man's opinion.
     
  13. fwm

    fwm

    Messages:
    2,632
    Likes Received:
    40
    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    Near Central US
    That's just Bull C. From the same family, with the same dynamics, one kid was always a bully. From maybe age 1 or 2. Spent most of his life in jail. His brother and two sisters were all nice and decent people, from the age of one or two.

    From another family. One brother ALWAYS mean and rowdy, sent to Vietnam by a judge in 68 because he set a police chief car on fire so the chief couldn't take him to jail for molesting his 13 year old daughter. Came back and then spent time in jail for running a drug ring. Always ran around, cheated on his wife, with mine once even, and I was probably his only friend. Other brother nice, gentle, married for 45 years now with 6 kids and dozens of grandkids.

    I can go on and on about the families in my neighborhood and the way different people where FROM BIRTH. Maybe some of the bad ones could have been helped in different circumstances, BUT THEY NEVER EVER HAD A SENSE OF ETHICS AND RIGHT FROM WRONG and that can not be taught.

    I once had ashop teacher that taught convicts a trade. He said he would never have hired any of them, EVER. He said they just did not grasp the concept of ethics, and you either have it or you don't.

    Yeh, there is a simple answer. Some people are born male, some female, some gay, some straight, and some just plain mean!
     
  14. Catswold

    Catswold God rules all!

    Messages:
    6,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    Houston
    Either you are not a very good reader, or you didn't read the entire post before you commented.

    Believe it or not, parents rarely, if ever, treat all of their children in the same manner, with the same amount of attention, or even with the same amount of affection.

    As for the sense of good and evil "can not [sic] be taught," there you are dead wrong. Children learn from a very early age. They learn from the day they are born and they learn their behavioral patterns and beliefs from their parents. While we are, to some extent, hardwired, that hardwiring is primarily that of a base animal. People are not by their nature inherently good.

    Again, as I have previously stated, read your Declaration of Independence. Our forefathers knew that men, left to their own devices are corrupt and require an outside influence to behave: ". . . that to secure these rights, [Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness] governments are instituted among men . . ."

    For some, the learning may be easier and for others the intransigence may be insurmountable, but no one is born "good, kind, or caring for their neighbors."
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  15. StarShip2100

    StarShip2100 Futurist

    Messages:
    2,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    In the New World
    I get the points above. But lets examine something related to a universal good or evil.

    If you go by the Bible, upon creation God stated that the earth was good. Not the universe, not other planets. The specific creation of the earth.

    So does a universal good or evil exist anywhere other then on the earth?

    Now, is an infant in the womb good or evil? Are they predisposed to being one or the other prior to being born? And at what point does freewill cause them to become one or the other by choice? Is a baby that has not developed sentient thought capable of making such a choice?

    Another question would also have to exist then. Is there a point at which ANY man would cross to evil? Does every human have some threshold that can be crossed to make them do bad deeds?
     
  16. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

    Messages:
    13,123
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Green Country
    Boy, you sure have a lot of term papers to write these days.
     
  17. fwm

    fwm

    Messages:
    2,632
    Likes Received:
    40
    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    Near Central US
    And I totally disagree with this. I have known people that WERE born good, kind, and caring for their neighbors. Haven't changed from the day they were in born for the 62 years I've known them. And I've known people just the opposite. And I've known evil people that have had their true self suppressed by good parenting, but their true nature usually still comes out occasionally, like when they drink.

    To assume that "no one is born "good, kind, or caring for their neighbors" would feed into the anti-gun people that people are inherently evil and no one is good enough to carry.
     
  18. Catswold

    Catswold God rules all!

    Messages:
    6,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    Houston
    I believe this discussion is about behavior, not about whether God's creation is/was "good."

    As for babies, any comment there is pure conjecture, as no one will experiment on them to determine whether some are good and others bad without parental or surrogate interaction.
     
  19. Catswold

    Catswold God rules all!

    Messages:
    6,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    Houston
    NOt "evil," but self-seeking and selfish to the detriment of others. Our Founding Fathers believed that, as I have stated repeatedly on these forums.

    You cannot know people that were "born good, kind, and caring for their neighbors" without their having had instruction and example from their parents or surrogates. Babies learn from birth. They learn from touch, sound, expressions, everything in their environment; you cannot separate a baby from what it has been taught from the very beginning.
     
  20. fwm

    fwm

    Messages:
    2,632
    Likes Received:
    40
    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    Near Central US
    You ARE what your genes say you are, male, female, straight, gay, mean, nice. Some are born mean just as others are born gay. NOT a choice at all.

    Some gays choose to marry and raise families. Doesn't mean they are not gay and fight it daily.

    Some mean people pretend to be nice because it serves them better. But get them drunk and irritate them and you still see their true nature.

    And some people are very nice by nature, but harm their family and they can do really bad things to you.

    I wonder if some of these people on this thread have ever had children. If you have, you know you don't get an empty vessel to work with, you get individuals with personalities, desires and directions all their own, THAT DO NOT CHANGE THROUGHOUT THEIR LIVES. All you can do is attempt to guide that personality in the direction they can handle life correctly on their own, but a crooked arrow will go where it is going to go no mater how well you aim it..