I am fundamentally good but I have done specific deeds of evil-ness while being fully conscious of the fact. I agree that there is no absolute or objective good, just different levels of specific good and specific evil.
The purpose of being good is so that society won't attack and imprison you. It basically is for coexistence. I will be evil if I have my chance but I won't risk getting caught so I'll be "good" for now. In other words, Utilitarianism.
What is your attitude to Good and Evil? Do you want to serve one or the other in your life? Why?
As I'm sure most are aware, "Good" and "Evil" are culturally defined social norms.
Good is typically anything that fosters community development - things that create opportunities for the progression of mores and the protection of the individual, as an entity within the group. Sharing, for example, is a universally recognized Good as it establishes trust between individuals. Honesty is another example. Honesty provides a sense of intellectual clarity for others, that they may behave without indirect coercion or manipulation; honesty implies respect for the freedom of another being to live without unnecessary social restraint.
Conversely, Evil is often any activity that comes at the expense of the community in favor of the individual. Things like stealing (resource management), cruelty to others (destructive to the propagation of social trust/cooperation) and so forth. The hard and fast rule is that Evil is an expression of malignant self-interest, such that the rest of the group suffers.
Values differ between culture and generation, but I submit that our shared evolutionary psychology demands distinctions centered around the advancement of a group, vs. the conscious self-promotion of an individual above the interests of a group.
To that end, it's probably best to follow a lifestyle of Goodness. There's greater opportunity for prosperity and mainstream success when shared values are at the crux of one's decisions. To choose Evil is to ultimately choose failure; to select behaviors with a higher propensity for personal risk.
I agree with Night on this. 'Bad' is generally doing something where you perform an action beyond what is necessary to help yourself at the cost of others. There are varying levels of this at which people will consider them changing from good to bad (or somewhere in between). For example, killing someone is generally considered bad, because it is the destruction of someone elses life completely, which is a lot of harm, especially if it does not have a greater than equal opposite effect such as saving someone elses life. How much greater it has to be also varies from person to person in their own value standards. Some people are more focused on 'immediate good' where a bad action is just bad, like killing someone, and others more on the 'greater good' where a bad action can be done for a good reason. If someone does a bad action for a good reason, this may still cause some people to dislike them for that either because they are more focused on the immediate good or out of fear that that bad action could lead to bad actions for bad reasons.
Ti | Fi | Ne | Si | Te | Ni | Fe | Se
Enneagram: 5w4 sx/sp
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."
Only humans are capable of being good or evil, because they are conscious (at least in theory) of what they do.
But it's not like we share a consciousness and have universal rights and wrongs, those are personal, add them up to what society teaches you and you get your beliefs.
Can we define what's good and what's wrong so that every individual would accept such a doctrine?
These things are relative.
A guy, living in a neighborhood where people deal drugs and shoot themselves. He will assimilate the things around him, most likely, and has a very big chance of becoming a drug dealer/killer.
That is Evil.
But if evil is what one knows, evil is what one does.
Put in a different environment, he would develop very differently. He can be good. He can be anything.
So who is evil in this case? Because that person fits the evil pattern perfectly, but, is he evil? When the odds of not becoming evil are so low?
Is evil born or we are just born neutral? I guess it's somewhere in between.
I guess good and evil are on the 2 sides of an equation. Can't have one without the other. We're not robots.
This is what I know, what is true is good, what is untrue is bad. It is bad to lie, no? Nobody will disagree with that ("except in extreme cases" which only seem to indicate that you're looking for an excuse!) and that means to go into this question saying this is good and this is bad, is overall bad because the fact we disagree shows that we truly do not know. Children do not be taught to lie. Everyone is bad. Especially me, I lie all the time. I just lied a few times yesterday even and barely batted an eyelid. Even the ugliest truth is better than the perverted beauty of the whitest lie.