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Old 10-08-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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Most acts labelled "evil" will occur. Our nature is to lend to malevolence on occasion. So where does the distinction of good and evil come from?

And as morals are relative, then how can good and evil be objectively defined?
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Ohio
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There is no such thing as evil, only a word to describe our more primitive actions coming out.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:34 PM
 
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Good and Evil appear to be moral concepts created by humans. They are malleable to the point that each culture has their own idea of which is which. Some anthropologists have claimed that there are certain world-pervavise beliefs of morality that are shared by all peoples, and thus could make good candidates for a universal "good" and "evil": murder, incest, etc. I'm not sure how much water this theory holds anymore - we seem to be learning more and more about different peoples, and constantly finding that one man's "good" is another man's "evil": it just happens to fall to that whole "accidents of geography and birth" thing some people seem to have so much gripes with.

I knew a cultural anthropologist who was annoyed by his college's insistance on teaching 'cultural relativism', because he believed in a universal good and evil. He felt that it was a difficult subject because our own cultural values AFFECT our ideas on cultural relativism heh heh! A very good point, I think...
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:45 PM
 
3,115 posts, read 2,281,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
Good and Evil appear to be moral concepts created by humans. They are malleable to the point that each culture has their own idea of which is which. Some anthropologists have claimed that there are certain world-pervavise beliefs of morality that are shared by all peoples, and thus could make good candidates for a universal "good" and "evil": murder, incest, etc. I'm not sure how much water this theory holds anymore - we seem to be learning more and more about different peoples, and constantly finding that one man's "good" is another man's "evil": it just happens to fall to that whole "accidents of geography and birth" thing some people seem to have so much gripes with.

I knew a cultural anthropologist who was annoyed by his college's insistance on teaching 'cultural relativism', because he believed in a universal good and evil. He felt that it was a difficult subject because our own cultural values AFFECT our ideas on cultural relativism heh heh! A very good point, I think...
Nature vs. nurture.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Moral nihilism exists, I know that much.
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:19 PM
 
44 posts, read 27,587 times
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Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
There is no such thing as evil, only a word to describe our more primitive actions coming out.
so why should these primitive actions be curbed?
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Originally Posted by leytonthom View Post
so why should these primitive actions be curbed?
Good question!
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:19 AM
 
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in short, good and evil are caricatures of right and wrong.

first you need to establish what is right and wrong.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:45 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by leytonthom
Quote:
so why should these primitive actions be curbed?
For the same reason(s) that our economy keeps proving, time and again, that greed (wanting things) is not good. That when you keep buying stuff on credit equals digging your own grave.
Besidez, in 'primitive' nature it simply is impossible to spend resources that you do not have (aka credit).
So it is imperitive to know the difference between want and need.

Last edited by Tricky D; 10-09-2011 at 01:07 AM..
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:11 AM
 
35,016 posts, read 9,057,473 times
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Originally Posted by Theophane View Post
Moral nihilism exists, I know that much.
Does it? What actually is moral nihilism? I shall have to look it up, but you should be able to explain.

Ahh..."Moral nihilism, also known as ethical nihilism, is the meta-ethical view that morality does not exist as something inherent to objective reality; therefore no action is necessarily preferable to any other. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is not inherently right or wrong. Other nihilists may argue not that there is no morality at all, but that if it does exist, it is a human and thus artificial construction, wherein any and all meaning is relative for different possible outcomes. As an example, if someone kills someone else, such a nihilist might argue that killing is not inherently a bad thing, bad independently from our moral beliefs, only that because of the way morality is constructed as some rudimentary dichotomy, what is said to be a bad thing is given a higher negative weighting than what is called good: as a result, killing the individual was bad because it did not let the individual live, which was arbitrarily given a positive weighting. In this way a moral nihilist believes that all moral claims are false." (Wiki)

Yes, I can see the point and in a way it is true. Morality like good and evil do not exist..in a way. And thus moral nihilism does not exist...in a way. But as a choice, either nature, nurture or both (plus reason) we construct a morality which we think is beneficial to humans, collectively and individually, to follow (which should really be all the validation needed) then good, evil and morality exist because we have made it so. In just the same way, art. music and language exist - very definitely they do - because we have made them. Without man they would not exist. The same applies to morality.

If good, such as being able to east survive and reproduce, and evil, such as being buried in a landslide or caught in a forest fire, exist apart from humanity, then they are down to nature. I have never denied that nature can inflict some pretty pointless and random evil because that is really and truly, random, chance and 'just the way it is'. We must find ways to deal with it.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 10-09-2011 at 06:21 AM..
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