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  1. #121
    Senior Member Alienclock's Avatar
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    I think once you throw the word morals in there I am confused. I hate morals. I don't know what they are. I guess they are some kind of internal sense of what is right and wrong...

    But on to perspective, and murder and mutilation of animals and other humans. Radical evil from the human perspective is that which is most likely to cause human kinds extinction. This is why we hate people who attack kids, pregnant women etc...

    But honestly everything to do with survival is utterly subjective. My survival or yours? I think a radical evil would be that I kill you over food, then I don't eat it, and then I poison the food for everyone else, before I kill myself. Thats something generally NOT subjective... And generally its not good for growth either. and in my humble opinion its pretty bad...

    How do I, as an NF convince myself that there is not radical evil? I don't. There is no need to, and the question has some annoying implications.

    Maybe the question should be something like, how do I overcome adversity and still believe that although all of us are racing towards the same end, DEATH, how do I remain up beat and enjoy people and enjoy life and enjoy any good and well being that I interpret? I credit that with my general emotional and mental health. Also the realization that I can't know everything, and I have not got it all figured out!

  2. #122
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think one could claim there is a natural biological distinction simply from the perspective of sentience / species between humans and Other, but not really a substantial biological distinction among humans, the line between us and the rest of the world is not as really arbitrary but has some foundation.
    Very subjective - what defines the line between "similar enough" and "not similar enough"? Is a human who hasn't achieved the same level of enlightment fair game? What defines "evolved"? The most evolved has the right to do anything, except to it's own group of similarily evolved bethren? If we define the sphere as humans, how is it different if I define my sphere as "myself", therefore entitling me to kill all those below me, morally (and being able to be killed by those greater than me, morally). I don't look forward to finding a superior species that believes this, since in that instant, all this moral guidance would mean human life is morally forfeit.

    Is that not the natural conclusion from that premise? That the only life of value is the one at the top of the food chain (or some other defintion of evolved?)

    [/NT] Sorry for the NTness

  3. #123
    Senior Member Alienclock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Is that not the natural conclusion from that premise? That the only life of value is the one at the top of the food chain (or some other defintion of evolved?)
    [/NT] Sorry for the NTness
    I hope you don't mind me butting in.

    I think that the right conclusion is that all things can be justified for some reason... but in talking about what is best for growth vs what is worse for growth is inherently a subjective argument. And as to The torturing of a human NOT being important for human growth... All things that we humans do that is not important for survival could be considered culture, and culture HAS become important for the humans survival... and its entirely subjective as well.

    I think most advanced humans are turned off to torture because no one likes what it represents, culturally we have reached a place where we like to believe in higher truths etc... and random mutilation and destruction represent a waste of energy and a destruction of the idea of the sanctity of life. We don't like it because it represents a kind of de-evolution.. Which is not good for the growth of the species... Its a kind of culture that is very much against the culture that all life is sacred, and that it should be respected. So we call it evil. But I don't think the folks torturing people in IRAQ think they are doing evil.

    I think a good question would be something like, what sorts of cultural ideals do we have that are all around good for humanity and the other earthlings, and the earth as a whole... I think that many people are trying to work towards those sorts of ideas, and create that kind of culture...

  4. #124
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    I think we better stop this discussion and make sure that we are on the same page about what we understand for evil to be.

    Somebody could legitimately say that 9/11 was evil because it hurt people. That is an assessment of an act. I am thinking about the entity in metaphysics of morals that inspires people to do evil. I argue that it is our egoism that makes us do things of the like.

    The root of all evil is what we are concerned with here.

    Egoism later evolves into malice and gives us the mindset to do evil things. So the person with the most malicious mindset will be the most evil because he will be clearly the most prepared to hurt others implicitly and explicitly.

  5. #125
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    (or perhaps other god concepts as well) offers both physical resurrection as well as fully-realized fulfillment....REGARDLESS of how we happen to feel in the short term. Because God is omnipotent, we do not have to fear death (i.e., the survival instinct); because God is good, we do not have to fear going unfulfilled, ultimately (the self-gratification instinct).
    4. Thus, we are free to give to others / sacrifice / whatever else, rather than being enslaved by our own innate and ultimately selfish desires.

    I'd point out that it's a fallacy to always assume these two drives are BAD/EVIL. They exist for a reason... and originally it was a good one. They simply easily become distorted, or take priority over things they have no business taking priority over.

    It is not clear how God can solve the problem of evil coming in the vein of our drive to survive.

  6. #126
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    I think most advanced humans are turned off to torture because no one likes what it represents, culturally we have reached a place where we like to believe in higher truths etc... and random mutilation and destruction represent a waste of energy and a destruction of the idea of the sanctity of life. We don't like it because it represents a kind of de-evolution.. Which is not good for the growth of the species... Its a kind of culture that is very much against the culture that all life is sacred, and that it should be respected. So we call it evil. But I don't think the folks torturing people in IRAQ think they are doing evil.
    Considering how... mainstream... torture has become, I think you are probably correct... perhaps beyond what you said. I'm not disagreeing with you at all, but posing the question - what determines the line?

    But I think the same argument can be applied against cultural standards. If you draw a sphere around a culture and claim it as good, does that not make all others evil? If we draw it around a geographic location... if we draw it around an ideology, a philosophy, a religion...?

    What defines the line? You say species above, or culture... but why is drawing the line around the human species a more valid statement than drawing around a culture or ideology, or around sentient life? (And to illustrate it further - just conceptually - if UFOs visited us today, would their genocide of the human race be immoral?)

  7. #127
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    It is not clear how God can solve the problem of evil coming in the vein of our drive to survive.
    errr... (from a Christian perspective) because we no longer have to live according to the rules of survival and self-gratification, because we can supposedly trust that God is both capable of keeping us alive and also capable of fulfilling our innermost needs?

    Thus there's no need to be ego-centric in nature, and one can sacrifice without ultimately fearing death or deprivation. The ultimate example of this (in Christian doctrine) was Jesus Christ.

    Now, coming from a more secular POV, we'd have to find some other ways of dealing with the egoism you are describing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Very subjective - what defines the line between "similar enough" and "not similar enough"? Is a human who hasn't achieved the same level of enlightment fair game?
    I was considering something very basic, like genetically part of the human species (ability to interbreed, etc.). You know: Physically human and genetically human. I'm not sure how "evolved anyone is" has anything to do with how they should be treated in terms of better inferior or superior to someone else.

    What defines "evolved"? The most evolved has the right to do anything, except to it's own group of similarily evolved bethren?
    Ah, there we go. I'm with you now.

    If we define the sphere as humans, how is it different if I define my sphere as "myself", therefore entitling me to kill all those below me, morally (and being able to be killed by those greater than me, morally).
    So technically, if you have a choice of whether to save a human life versus a parrot's life (for example -- suppose a tenement is burning or something), there is really no distinction between either potential victim, nor difference in what is chosen (as long as, in fact, you do try to save something... although I guess even that is not a given either, is it?

    Except for the fact that the trait of empathizing and identifying with another is built into many human beings by nature, so in a sense it's like a productive beneficial biological imperative... so doesn't that make it "good"?

    Perhaps "good" can be expanded to include one's identifiable, empathizable species? Or should it be broader than even that?

    I don't look forward to finding a superior species that believes this, since in that instant, all this moral guidance would mean human life is morally forfeit.
    Well, yes. But if there is no such thing as absolute good somewhere, then I suppose we'll just have to live (and die) with that, right? Or are you actually suggesting there IS some more universal standard of good that should operate in encouraging a stronger species to treat a weaker one with respect/benevolence?

    Is that not the natural conclusion from that premise? That the only life of value is the one at the top of the food chain (or some other definition of evolved?)
    I was thinking that we tend to value life that we identify with and/or are genetically most related to.

    Although, getting back to REAL LIFE and not addressing universal aspects of good and evil, as far as my actual behavior goes in real life, are there things that we can agree are generally good (or motivations that are generally good) or not? Regardless of where a philosophical discussion might go, when the rubber meets the road, we all seem to agree on SOME rules of good and evil and see certain interactions with each other as positive-directed versus other interactions that are always destructive.

    Sorry for the NTness
    Actually, I'm quite sure you relished every moment of it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #128
    Senior Member Alienclock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I think we better stop this discussion and make sure that we are on the same page about what we understand for evil to be.

    Somebody could legitimately say that 9/11 was evil because it hurt people. That is an assessment of an act. I am thinking about the entity in metaphysics of morals that inspires people to do evil. I argue that it is our egoism that makes us do things of the like.

    The root of all evil is what we are concerned with here.

    Egoism later evolves into malice and gives us the mindset to do evil things. So the person with the most malicious mindset will be the most evil because he will be clearly the most prepared to hurt others implicitly and explicitly.
    The root of evil? What you call evil I might call good.
    So in determining the root of evil I would have to look deeper inside your mind. You have judged certain things evil.

    1. Why would someone do what you call evil?
    2. Why would someone choose to murder countless people who they have never met?
    3. What would make someone blame the ego for all evil?


    These are the kinds of questions we should look at.
    • 1.You call it evil because you do not understand the reasoning behind the behavior?
    • 2.People murder people they have never met probably due to logical fallicies, and mis-direction from leaders, and a non inclusive culture etc.
    • 3.I feel people blame the ego for evil because they don't understand the
      fuction of the ego. And they mistakenly believe that evil is commited by the egotistical. The ego serves to protect the interests of the individual. Someone killing themselves really is not the act of the healthy ego. Also, people doing that sort of behaviors consider it a sacrifice, and they call them selves martyrs.


    If you were talking about people hoarding things or stealing things, only concerned for their well being.....Thats egotisical... Blowing yourself up is more a selfless thing?

  9. #129
    Senior Member Alienclock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Considering how... mainstream... torture has become, I think you are probably correct... perhaps beyond what you said. I'm not disagreeing with you at all, but posing the question - what determines the line?

    But I think the same argument can be applied against cultural standards. If you draw a sphere around a culture and claim it as good, does that not make all others evil? If we draw it around a geographic location... if we draw it around an ideology, a philosophy, a religion...?

    What defines the line? You say species above, or culture... but why is drawing the line around the human species a more valid statement than drawing around a culture or ideology, or around sentient life? (And to illustrate it further - just conceptually - if UFOs visited us today, would their genocide of the human race be immoral?)
    lol
    Yeah! I think if a species destroyed us it would be horridly immoral. But from their perspective it might just be spring cleaning, or perhaps getting rid of household pests...

    I don't draw lines around other cultures really. I think in terms, would I like it if everywhere was like there? What is the chance that culture would catch on here? Its horribly subjective. I don't wanna get female circumsized or even see it! I don't wanna do anything weird my culture doesn't already do!

    I think the very existence of the idea of evil/good means that someone is going to have to get the short end of the stick, some poor schlep is going to have to be considered evil. As long as we consider evil existing there is always going to be a witch to burn at the stake, and something that we are going to feel justified in destroying or otherwise treating horribly... (those 9/11 fools thought they were attacking an evil empire!)

    The thing about good and evil is that it is entirely subjective. Its completely illogical. It just serves to harden our hearts and close our minds. Its nonsense, to me anyway. It serves as justification for the self righteous!

  10. #130
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alienclock View Post

    If you were talking about people hoarding things or stealing things, only concerned for their well being.....Thats egotisical... Blowing yourself up is more a selfless thing?
    I'd argue that all of these things were selfishly inspired.

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