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  1. #11
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Why is this point important?
    Good and evil does not require some external omnipotent force. Adding that into the mix confuses and muddles the entire argument surrounding it.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Does a psychopath realize he/she is a psychopath? Is it a conscious choice?
    That is a good point and a very valid question.

    I have known young people who have wanted to be considered psychopathic and been capable of some seriously unconscionable behaviour in an effort to convince others they deserve that label.

    I also think that there is a possibility that the idea has been glamourised to a certain extent by film, story and pop culture, objectively speaking no one would glamourise other psychological disorders in the same way or desire to be labelled with them, for instance, as learning disabled or autistic.

    In some ways psychopathy deserves to be considered as akin to learning disability, there is not the same popular moralistic definition attached to both disorders, but the abscence of empathy within a psychopath prevents them from experiential learning, they can make a good study of humankind, they can to a good impression of being a human being but obviously the conscience is not there to inhibit behaviour, in the same way that the abscence of other traits of mind in other disorders can result in disinhibited behaviour.

    There are not so many true psychopaths around as I believe there are other sorts of psychological traits, which result in the rationalising of human misconduct, things like narcissism, injured pride, inferiority complexes I think drive a huge amount of criminal and evil behaviour, also boredom among unimaginative individuals who already possess tendencies towards cruelty or violence.

    Although, something which is worth baring in mind, is that all these exercises in explanation or analysis are viewed as so much wasted, pointless and meaningless theorising by most evil individuals, its the actions of losers, victims and perceived as weakness. A true psychopath may not care either way, they are likely to care little enough to label a thing as evil or good in the first place, at least in any way other than a superficial way.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    I would say the concept of evil serves as a simplifier for emotionally and informationally complex or disturbing matters, making it easier to handle otherness and easier to distance oneself from it. Naturally, evil as such, just as its opposite, does not exist.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Blegh, I hate philosophy, too much semantics.

    I come from the standpoint that good and evil are defined by humanity since we decided what counts as each. Even if we are gone, our definition could still apply, and it could still be defined within those parameters.

    And no, I do not care to define what good and evil is. You all can do that shit . In my mind I know what it is, and that's good enough.
    I'm not sure it is a matter of semantics.

    However, I do believe that it is important to consider that a vital factor in the perception of evil as evil is humanity, there are things within the animal kingdom which would be considered as evil by human beings, for instance Dolphins torturing closely related species of sea life for apparent sport, but the crucial factor is that it is a human labelling it as such.

    On the other hand I do not think because humans are conscious of it as such means that it is wholly a social or human construct, that is kind of to put the horse before the cart, the cosmos objectively exists whether humans perceive it or not, cause and effect exist whether they are perceived or not, there is a spontaneous order, whether it is consciously perceived as such or not.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Good and evil does not require some external omnipotent force. Adding that into the mix confuses and muddles the entire argument surrounding it.
    That is my view too.

    There was an interesting book I read once called The Sovereignty of Good, which argued that this was one of those concepts, goodness, which appeared as a governing principle, even greater than God or to which God submits.

  6. #16
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm not sure it is a matter of semantics.
    It absolutely is a matter of semantics. It ultimately comes down to the definition of words, and the meaning of things. That, is semantics. I can not stand such things which is why I tire of such arguments so quickly and feel like it's a bunch of navel gazing and a largely pointless activity as there is no practical purpose of it.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by serenesam View Post
    If evil is a necessity (for the purpose of growth and development), where is the freewill in individuals choosing to be evil, sadistic, sociopathic, or psychopathic?

    This is of course assuming that there is no such thing as an outside Creator.
    I dont believe it necessarily follows that evil of any sort, including necessary evils (of which I consider there to be very few), will have any relationship to growth and development. In what sense are you considering this? Do you mean in the like of individuals who refuse to play the role of victim when they fall prey to criminals but instead play the role of a survivor? Or do you perhaps mean, slightly darker idea and one I would reject, that consciously choosing to do evil things can cause an individual to grow and develop themselves, either embracing or rejecting evil and reforming themselves consequently?

    From the outset I would say that if this is a some kind of Neitschean navel gazing beyond good and evil bullshit you are wasting your time, its impossible to transcend that dichotomy, you can be extra good or extra evil but you can not go beyond either, you can rationalise evil but it remains evil and you can cynically dismiss good but it remains good. I dont believe its manichean to acknowledge that.

    I believe that evil is perrenial, however, what is evil and constitutes evil can change and in that respect I acknowledge a kind of progressivist notion, there is less human sacrifice, particularly officially sanctioned human sacrifice (whether religious or politically sanctioned), all of which is evil, but there is still a lot of assault, rape, murder etc. which are a different sort of evil. If human civilisation were ever to reach the point in which evil was a matter of rebukes and insensitivity, as opposed to violence, we'd be doing pretty well.

    There are disorders which I think can motivate, incentivise, compell but I think there is usually always a choice involved, which is generally affect driven and rationalised after the fact, but I dont believe there are that many people who have completely no empathy in the way a true psychopath does in order to disinhibit choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    It absolutely is a matter of semantics. It ultimately comes down to the definition of words, and the meaning of things. That, is semantics. I can not stand such things which is why I tire of such arguments so quickly and feel like it's a bunch of navel gazing and a largely pointless activity as there is no practical purpose of it.
    OK, I dont agree with you.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    I can not stand such things which is why I tire of such arguments so quickly and feel like it's a bunch of navel gazing and a largely pointless activity as there is no practical purpose of it.
    Said no INTP ever.
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  9. #19
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    OK, I dont agree with you.
    But there really isn't anything to agree or disagree with. It's a factual statement. If the issue at hand is defining what things mean and how they apply, then it is an issue of semantics, as that is what the word literally refers to. It's not the ENTIRETY of it, but's a major part of it, along with pretty much every single philosophical debate there is.
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  10. #20
    is indra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    But there really isn't anything to agree or disagree with.
    Except the entire second half of the post.
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