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Thread: ORIGIN OF EVIL

  1. #21
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    Originally posted by Kiddo:
    I really don't believe in creationists stories but I'll analyze the ideas.
    What are the most "evil" things in the world? Molestation? Rape? Genocide? What are these things? My guess would be humans exploiting other humans. They are chosen actions that deny other humans their choice. Substitute said it before, we have choice and freedom. Freedom comes and goes, but choice is eternal, and I believe the action of denying it is the foundation of evil.
    Human nature is evil you say because it chose evil, and we need to save ourselves from our own selves..yet I would ask you, what about that which is corrosive to the human kind and is not human such as an earthquake? Did Nature choose to do evil by taking the lives of thousands of people, by destroying everything they have? Not only does it eradicate the gift of life, but it does so in some of the poorest countries in the world! (e.g. Tsunami,etc). How will we save ourselves from the wrath of Nature, and further how did Nature become evil? Did it choose to destroy instead of preserve and thus became EVIL?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIND View Post
    what about that which is corrosive to the human kind and is not human such as an earthquake? Did Nature choose to do evil by taking the lives of thousands of people, by destroying everything they have?
    Natural disasters are not examples of evil. They're no different than the lion killing the zebra. They're just shit happening. They're not even non-beneficial in the long-term, bigger picture, though they cause temporary suffering. They enable the continuation of the ecosystem, on which we all rely. And there are far worse things that can happen to people than sudden death, IMO. And if people put as much effort into sciences of peace as into those of war and money making, the loss of human life by natural disaster could be avoided, if not entirely eradicated.


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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIND View Post
    Human nature is evil you say because it chose evil, and we need to save ourselves from our own selves..yet I would ask you, what about that which is corrosive to the human kind and is not human such as an earthquake? Did Nature choose to do evil by taking the lives of thousands of people, by destroying everything they have? Not only does it eradicate the gift of life, but it does so in some of the poorest countries in the world! (e.g. Tsunami,etc). How will we save ourselves from the wrath of Nature, and further how did Nature become evil? Did it choose to destroy instead of preserve and thus became EVIL?
    I don't believe nature is capable of reason, so how could it possibly do evil? Evil as I came to define it in my analysis only applied to choice. So if nature has no capacity for choice, how could it be evil? I just don't understand how you can define a natural disaster as evil.

    I think the biggest flaw in your reasoning is you haven't considered the agreement man has with his environment. Man chooses where he lives and he accepts all the good and bad that comes with it. That is why people will continue to rebuild their homes after they have been destroyed by flood or tornado, or whatever natural force comes their way. Nature is a process, and it is necessary for all of it, including earthquakes, floods, twisters, hurricanes, etc. to continue in order for all life on this planet to survive. Man obviously will willfully put himself in the path of that harm.

    By example, if a man were to jump in front of a moving train and get killed, would that make the train evil? If a man were to strap weights to his legs and jump into a lake, would that make the water evil? Nature has no means to make a choice, but man does. And it is man who chooses to put himself in nature's way, and thus in the way of all the potentially harmful things necessary for his survival.

    Another point, would God's wrath on Sodom and Gamorrah be considered evil? Or how about God's flooding of the earth? If we have already established that God is a pure being incapable of evil, then that doesn't correlate.

    If you think about it, the story of Noah is proof of God allowing man freedom of choice. God warned Noah that a flood was coming and to build an ark. Noah in turn warned man. It was because man chose to ignore Noah and put himself in the way of the coming natural disaster that he died. The same could probably be said of Sodom and Gamorrah.

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    Originally psoted by KIDDO:
    Man chooses where he lives and he accepts all the good and bad that comes with it.
    This discussion is slowly turning into a topic called "freedom of choice" or "are we really free", yet to reply to your belief in this choice that man makes , I would argue that man has already built in within himself a personality that he has not chosen, but instead that was given to him. For example I never chose to land on this earth, and become part of the family which is now mine, but instead I without my will was placed into something that I didn't know anything about. Given that we receive our personality( one that I never asked for), we have already at that point been bereft of choice (as we would like to choose).

    I think the biggest flaw in your reasoning is you haven't considered the agreement man has with his environment.
    I would ask you, when did you personally sign that contract with nature? Was it you that chose nature, or was it nature that chose you? Perhaps there are people who do not enjoy making a deal with nature but we know very well that us humans can't just pick up and leave this planet for another!
    Once we are aware of this constraint, this box that we're confined to, the environment that we choose, we choose based on financial grounds, our likes and dislikes, our wishes, our job demands,..etc.

    If we have already established that God is a pure being incapable of evil, then that doesn't correlate.


    Have we? What was the purpose in destroying Sodom and Gamorrah?
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    Originally posted by Substitute:
    Natural disasters are not examples of evil


    I was merely arguing from the stanpoint of a Higher Being, such as God placing certain laws within the laws of nature which at a fixed time manifest themselves in a corrosive display. This line of reasoning, still aligns with the initial question of this thread.
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    You have to distinguish between bad with an intention, a motive, and something that just doesn't happen to please us. A rotten donut? Uncomfortable chair? I was under the impression that this discussion is not about unpleasurable emotions per se.

    We have perception and judgement, which we can use to evaluate different situations to say whether they please us or not. Our concept of something "bad" is then just the result of our capability to evaluate situations.

    It's impossible to give definitive description of what constitutes evil actions (see my first post), but many people agree that things like rape, genocide, etc may be motivated by evil intentions. By most standards (mine included), they constitute an evil act by themselves, without the need to examine motivations behind them. Evil - it's just a word we attach to some intuitively noticable pattern.

    Life ain't entirely fair, but it ain't entirely unfair either. Shit really does happen. We are victims of many situations, and the heros of others. A person can't but to make the most of it.

    Edit: I found out a point in how my answer is unsatisfying. I began to think about an innocent person's feelings about everything evil. She might not find the kind of feelings from her heart so as to understand some evil person's motives. Well, it's nice that she doesn't. Some people grow up to be so balanced and benevolent that they maintain their innocence. Of course, environment, genetics, and person's choices affect. Much of that is random. No higher power maintains "fairness" or equality in the world at the moment, so that random things happen. Some behaviour patterns reinforce themselves in the person as well as in the society, so that there may emerge consistently repeating patterns of "evil" behaviour. If such behaviour has developed long enough in an environment unknown to you, it may seem as uncomprehensibly evil. Well, this forum is filled with people who try to understand each other, and still fail sometimes So is it any wonder that a person can't understand how everyone else thinks?

    Edit 2: I've developed my world view from both secular and theological elements. I represented my secular views here more, because I know that discussing some bible concepts can become too long a task to conduct online.. and possibly as Substitute so eloquently put it.. hi subs . After one issue is handled, another one presents itself.. of all the topics I know, it's this that tends to stray off the topic the most. So, PM me for the theological interpretation..

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    Quote Originally Posted by LIND View Post
    This discussion is slowly turning into a topic called "freedom of choice" or "are we really free", yet to reply to your belief in this choice that man makes , I would argue that man has already built in within himself a personality that he has not chosen, but instead that was given to him. For example I never chose to land on this earth, and become part of the family which is now mine, but instead I without my will was placed into something that I didn't know anything about. Given that we receive our personality( one that I never asked for), we have already at that point been bereft of choice (as we would like to choose).
    For someone who is arguing from a religious standpoint, you are certainly making a lot of assumptions that have absolutely no Biblical support.

    1. We never chose where we would end up.
    2. We never chose the family we have.
    3. We didn't know where we would end up.

    Now who is to say that before we are born we are not given all of those choices? Maybe all the soon to be born souls in heaven gather around God and play poker to decide who is going where. What is certain is once we are here, either us or the people who are responsible for us (our parents) are responsible for our well being. Someone, somewhere, makes a choice.

    As far as being given our personality, I say bullshit. True, some of our personality is determined by genetics, but a great deal of it is still influenced by our environment and how we choose to live our lives in that environment. Choice will always be the quintessential essence of humanity.

    I would ask you, when did you personally sign that contract with nature? Was it you that chose nature, or was it nature that chose you? Perhaps there are people who do not enjoy making a deal with nature but we know very well that us humans can't just pick up and leave this planet for another!
    Once we are aware of this constraint, this box that we're confined to, the environment that we choose, we choose based on financial grounds, our likes and dislikes, our wishes, our job demands,..etc.
    There was once a man named Socrates who was going to be put to death and he said to his old buddy Crito, "Dude, I've like totally lived in Athens my whole life, allowed this city to nurture and eductate me, lived under its protection, and raised my children here.'

    But Crito was like, "Socrates, my main man, these officials are totally gonna deep six you with no good reason."

    And Socrates was like, "Crito, it's been a kick ass life, but when I chose to stay in this city and enjoy all the benefits I made an unspoken agreement to follow all its laws and any punishments handed down."

    Okay, I mighta fudged those quotes just a bit, but you get the point. We didn't exactly sign any contract when we were born into this country and yet we follow all its laws and regulations. We have the choice to leave if we don't want to. But I don't recall every agreeing to follow all the laws. It's just understood. And that is the concept of an unspoken agreement. If you have kids, then you have an unspoken agreement to provide for them and care for them. Any government has an understood contract to provide for the welfare and security of its citizens. (Although we actually wrote ours up. ) And human beings have many agreements with the natural world, to care for it, maintain it, and to get the hell out of its way when it starts acting up.

    Have we? What was the purpose in destroying Sodom and Gamorrah?
    You kinda missed the point there. Man made choices that put himself in the path of natural disaster.

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    Originally posted by KIDDO:
    For someone who is arguing from a religious standpoint, you are certainly making a lot of assumptions that have absolutely no Biblical support.
    I am arguing from a spiritual perspective which is different than a religious/man made perspective. As a matter of fact, the reason why I posted this particular thread is due to a lot of obliquities found in the Bible, obliquities that demand clarification in order for them to be valid.
    Yet it seems strange to me that you would point out the fact that my assertion has no biblical support, without providing for me those particular biblical passages that veer from my initial statement. What is the biblical support for your assertion that somewhere, somehow we've made a choice! Oh but perhaps you might say that you are not arguing from a biblical standpoint, yet in most of your comments you surely defend the divine against the human.
    You want some biblical support? Here is some': apostle Paul asserts that we should avoid doing anything that might 'seem' as evil-sin, without specifying exactly what shouldn't we do! What does this entail, you say? Paul trusts Reason, as a quality that's been bequeathed to us humans- from above, a quality which allows us to decipher strange circumstances and walk the right path. Reason allows man to fill in the gaps for those situations in which we do not have perhaps a straight answer (since sometimes the Bible posseses an esoteric scent ), or for which we have no answer whatsoever. Once you annex Reason with the Bible as a guide, you might get further than just limiting yourself to a single source.That is why I've made the assertion that I do not remember choosing my family, since the Bible doesn't provide me with a reponse in those matters, Reason has.

    We have the choice to leave if we don't want to. But I don't recall every agreeing to follow all the laws. It's just understood


    Once again, I want you to look at the bigger picture: John Locke would say that we've tacitly signed a contract with the society that we live in (a position germane to yours) yet what if I said that I don't like this PLANET, and I just wanted to move to a different one. The answer to that is that I can not! Why? Well .....

    As far as being given our personality, I say bullshit


    You're telling me that a child who enjoys doing numbers/mathematical inclinations and enjoys spending time inside the house in his own little world instead of playing outside with his buddies, has shaped this personality himself or his parents have? Once again I see a Lockian mentality stamped on you, since you assert that child's mind is a tabula rasa/empty slate on which you can just write whatever you desire; unfortunately for that argument, the 21st century data doesn't support it, which means that it is simply nugatory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIND View Post
    Once again, I want you to look at the bigger picture: John Locke would say that we've tacitly signed a contract with the society that we live in (a position germane to yours) yet what if I said that I don't like this PLANET, and I just wanted to move to a different one. The answer to that is that I can not! Why? Well ......
    A social contract is a product of convention, not divinely inspired truth.



    Quote Originally Posted by LIND View Post
    You're telling me that a child who enjoys doing numbers/mathematical inclinations and enjoys spending time inside the house in his own little world instead of playing outside with his buddies, has shaped this personality himself or his parents have? Once again I see a Lockian mentality stamped on you, since you assert that child's mind is a tabula rasa/empty slate on which you can just write whatever you desire; unfortunately for that argument, the 21st century data doesn't support it, which means that it is simply nugatory.

    There is no doubt we were born with predilections to develop certain personality traits, though this does not by any means advance an argument in favor of an intelligent design of a sort. Or in other words, mother nature endowed us with potential talents we have or may have, not your father figure god.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by LIND View Post
    I am arguing from a spiritual perspective which is different than a religious/man made perspective. As a matter of fact, the reason why I posted this particular thread is due to a lot of obliquities found in the Bible, obliquities that demand clarification in order for them to be valid.
    Yet it seems strange to me that you would point out the fact that my assertion has no biblical support, without providing for me those particular biblical passages that veer from my initial statement. What is the biblical support for your assertion that somewhere, somehow we've made a choice! Oh but perhaps you might say that you are not arguing from a biblical standpoint, yet in most of your comments you surely defend the divine against the human.
    You want some biblical support? Here is some': apostle Paul asserts that we should avoid doing anything that might 'seem' as evil-sin, without specifying exactly what shouldn't we do! What does this entail, you say? Paul trusts Reason, as a quality that's been bequeathed to us humans- from above, a quality which allows us to decipher strange circumstances and walk the right path. Reason allows man to fill in the gaps for those situations in which we do not have perhaps a straight answer (since sometimes the Bible posseses an esoteric scent ), or for which we have no answer whatsoever. Once you annex Reason with the Bible as a guide, you might get further than just limiting yourself to a single source.That is why I've made the assertion that I do not remember choosing my family, since the Bible doesn't provide me with a reponse in those matters, Reason has.
    Well I reasoned that it is possible we did have a choice, therefore it seems that your argument isn't conclusive.

    Once again, I want you to look at the bigger picture: John Locke would say that we've tacitly signed a contract with the society that we live in (a position germane to yours) yet what if I said that I don't like this PLANET, and I just wanted to move to a different one. The answer to that is that I can not! Why? Well .....
    You do have an option to leave this planet. You could die. The fact is, there will always be a choice. And even when you seemingly don't have a choice, someone will make it for you.

    You're telling me that a child who enjoys doing numbers/mathematical inclinations and enjoys spending time inside the house in his own little world instead of playing outside with his buddies, has shaped this personality himself or his parents have? Once again I see a Lockian mentality stamped on you, since you assert that child's mind is a tabula rasa/empty slate on which you can just write whatever you desire; unfortunately for that argument, the 21st century data doesn't support it, which means that it is simply nugatory.
    As bluewing said, nature provides our genetics. Your personality has more to do with your earthly father than your heavenly one. As far Lockian mentality, you are thinking too far ahead. My views, like Locke's, are largely shaped by Plato. I don't recalll ever asserting anything about a child's mind being blank. My exact words were "some of our personality is determined by genetics, but a great deal of it is still influenced by our environment and how we choose to live our lives in that environment. Choice will always be the quintessential essence of humanity." I think you will find the evidence supports that assertion quite nicely. I'll cite the developmental psychologists Erickson and Vygotsky as my references to environmental influences on human development.

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