IS EVIL REAL? OR, LIKE GOD, A HUMAN INVENTION?

Homepage Forums Small Talk IS EVIL REAL? OR, LIKE GOD, A HUMAN INVENTION?

This topic contains 179 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 180 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #8794

    Strega
    Moderator

    Can you operate with never using the word ‘evil’?  Would there be an obstacle to your communications without this word?  It’s a ‘magic thinking’ word, and since no human is all bad or all good, it would appear to be an invalid term

    #8795

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Strega, in some instances those adjectives are insufficient to express the degree of  malevolence.  If the word evil is  reserved for the nadir in human behavior then i support its use.

    Besides, what fun would it be to chant EVIL MONKEY unless those precise words are chanted?  Do we want to be limited by spiteful monkey? Or worse yet, unkind monkey!

    #8796

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    We could say that those other kinds of horribleness are just different degrees and types of evil.

    #8797

    What would you call or label the absence of evil?

    #8798

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Why do we need an antonym to validate a word or concept?

    Absence of evil might be identified with absence of humans…

    #8799

    jakelafort
    Participant

    How does that work?

    TRANSCENDENT

    #8800

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    What would you call or label the absence of evil?

    – peace.

    #8801

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Discussions of evil are much better with epic film and music

    The concept works well for simpletons.

    #8802

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    This is excellent too

    #8803

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    So, I think that evil is not so much a human invention, as an emergent property of: 1) all being competitive individuals 2) in a world where we have to cooperate to survive.

    Natural selection is relative to those around us, so it’s not enough to be doing well, there is a tension between doing better than others and helping others.

    Competition and self-interest can become distorted into domination and spite.

    #8804

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    The thing about the word evil is, it strongly implies some kind of consistently malevolent agency as its sponsor, in fact, consistently malevolent enough to define the agency’s over-riding character. Think Satan, for instance. Like Strega says, there’s the implication (if not certainty) that what’s behind the evil is supernatural agency.

    It is human nature to demonize an enemy, especially an enemy that foments atrocities. Hitler’s a good example, and some if his henchmen. Here’s the thing… when theists use the word, they know what they’re saying, and it’s not only a valid word to them, but it’s clear to (e.g.) atheists what they mean. I’ve used the word often, but always with a flavor of hyperbole, just like a lot of other hyperbole that’s common in human language. And language is completely a human construct.

    I’d say ISIS is evil. Ok, that’s hyperbolic, but I’d say it to their faces. After all, that’s how they think.

    #8806

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I don’t at all appreciate a necessary implication or association between evil and supernatural.  The word evil does not bar the supernatural but neither is it required.

    In a philosophical perspective evil is perhaps a silly human construct and we and everything else in the universe is simply matter in motion or reducible to physics.  Evil is also a concept that is used by simple-minded people who mostly see black and white.  But ya know what, we are human and it is a really useful concept and word.  It oughtn’t be used frequently and when a literal meaning is conveyed it ought to be reserved for seriously depraved cruelty.  I am reminded of the issue of free will and strict determinism.  For those of us who subscribe to it we may compartmentalize our day to day lives in which we judge and become emotional all the while realizing that there is no real blame or justifiable condemnation of anything or any person.

    #8807

    tom sarbeck
    Participant

    The words good and evil have a political use, which is the first purpose of government: to control large numbers of people.

    They have synonyms, which are I like and  I don’t like respectively, and they are masks for the rulers’ motives.

     

    #8809

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @tomsarbeck – I think the terms can be manipulated for political purposes, but surely the “others” only go from “weird” to “bad” when they become a threat to “us”.

    #8811

    tom sarbeck
    Participant

    @simon, it’s the people who are being manipulated for political purposes, not the terms.

    I don’t know what your “but surely” clause means.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 180 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.