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  1. #71
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    Evil: Evil and its root cause, Ignorance: What causes Evil? Can you forgive evil? What is to be done about evil? Who defines what's good and evil?

    deathwarmedup wrote, (all quotes by deathwarmedup followed with my reply)

    (1). "...take ... notion of "ignorance"... spiritual sense." and "Evil" acts result from our sense of separation: we have no responsibility towards the Other."

    I believe we are all interelated including our animan brethren and all life. The closest analogy for god or being spiritual is being connected to nature.

    (2). "...plaything ... gratification...vanity, our sense of power, our lust for domination."

    I believe in humanitarian ideals such as children, education, health care, increasing the happiness quota ratio and decreasing the gap between the rich and those who are poor. Instead of doing this we as a society (generalization) focus on money, power, fame and beauty. We do not seek inside as all the major religions guide but pursue 'Mara' or the worldly illusions of the world. it is a never ending black hole to fill. True happiness from a spiritual standpoint comes from within. We have misguided priorities in society.

    (2) "Secular speaking, evil means nothing." "....artifact of our values...fears...culturally rooted morals."

    I concur that the idea of evil is an abstract taken to be truth and part of our reality. There is a biological component to pure evil, such as those who have neither empathy or remorse but are psychopaths. Most evil in my mind is caused by ignorance. There are so many people who advocate that love is THE answer to all are problems. I am much more scientifically inclined. I say the heart must be trained by empathy lessons in classrooms at an early age.

    In addition mindfulness of cognitive fallacies and outright distortions in thought, writing and speech must be rooted out. This too must be taught. it isn't instinctual but is hampered by blind spots, rationalization, denial and emotional reasoning.

    (3)" Psychology...explain it all away in terms of a "lack of empathy", "projected hostility", "ego gratification", "the sublimation of our natural aggression's" ..."

    As far as science is concerned there is a big researched field called 'Resiliency' and the development of the 40 developmental assets for a healthy human being. The more developmental assets you don't have in childhood the greater the likelihood of dysfunction breeding dysfunction. These are the 40 developmental assets I've discussed that lead to resiliency and are crucial in the child rearing age and development. What is more the main article shows parents and providers how to implement these developmental factors in a young child's life.

    Our parents are metaphorically our gods and they can shape and mold the child just as they would a vase. If the parents provide love, safety and proper boundaries the child will most likely grow up with a healthy self concept. The reverse is also unfortunately true. If the parents don't provide these nourishing factors into a child's life and abuse them emotionally, verbally, sexually, physically and psychologically the 'vase' or child will not be straight but dysfunctional leading an entire lifetime of distress all stemming from childhood.

    The earliest intervention of an adult figure not in the immediate family can help regulate a child through the storms of home life. There are 40 developmental assets that instill resiliency. If the child does not have access to these other developmental assets then sadly statistically they will suffer from mental illness, dysfunction and or substance abuse. Resiliency studies have replicated these scientific findings that in a dysfunctional home life one of three children can still thrive despite the odds.

    The unacknowledged truth due to emotional reasoning, rationalization, denial, blind spots, defense mechanisms and overcompensation still regulate the other two children to be in the throws of the dysfunctional cycle. Children and this country would be better off learning the two mental disciplines of critical thinking (being aware of distortions in the thought, written and speech format of our thinking. We need to be taught to think critically.

    All the wise sages say it so but the government stares at the wisdom on the road as if blind and do not address this quality. The second crucial learning is developing empathy skills to grow up more humanitarian and with Agape compassion for all life: human, animal and plant.

    https://www.search-institute.org/…/4...tal-assets-…

    (4) "Secular psychology threatens to remove blame, and therefore responsibility."

    I don't believe this to be true. Many would advocate to not use subjective labels such as evil and condemn but rather seek to understand and hold accountable those who have digressed from the law.

  2. #72
    cute lil war dog Bush's Avatar
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    There are many, many stabs at a clear picture of what evil is -- lack of empathy, intentional harm, collateral damage, sinning, denying a god or gods, violating some set of ethical principles. I could rattle specific stabs off all day.

    But there are many common themes in many of them -- for example, murder is generally seen as bad -- though there are some differences among them too. Those stabs aren't made in complete darkness, though they're not made in the brightest of rooms either. They're still made.

    At least as it manifests in the real world, it's an instinctual, psychological huge bucket into which we tend to throw 'stuff that is bad' and 'stuff that is wrong.' We need that big bucket, that mostly-catchall term, primarily to try to put any sort of finger on something that's bad so that we can mull over it in our heads or disseminate it in the first place. In some contexts we might be able to replace it with something that's more 'accurate,' in others we can't. Hell, there are schools of thought out there that say that we shouldn't define it.

    That isn't all to say that morality itself is necessarily subjective: there are many things that motivate us and drive us even if we can't pinpoint what they are or where they come from -- like that instinct.

    What to do about it? First and foremost, get past the notion that it necessarily has to be defined. Well, you can take a pickaxe to some rock even if you don't know what's underneath. It's good to brush up on your geography, but it's also good to dig even if you don't completely understand what you're going to unearth.
    J. Scott Crothers
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    "Just as jet fuel cannot melt steel beams, so too cannot the unshakeable pillars of Truthtology ever be shaken, whether by man, nature, or evidence."
    - Elevenetics
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  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bush Did 9/11 View Post
    There are many, many stabs at a clear picture of what evil is -- lack of empathy, intentional harm, collateral damage, sinning, denying a god or gods, violating some set of ethical principles. I could rattle specific stabs off all day.

    But there are many common themes in many of them -- for example, murder is generally seen as bad -- though there are some differences among them too. Those stabs aren't made in complete darkness, though they're not made in the brightest of rooms either. They're still made.

    At least as it manifests in the real world, it's an instinctual, psychological huge bucket into which we tend to throw 'stuff that is bad' and 'stuff that is wrong.' We need that big bucket, that mostly-catchall term, primarily to try to put any sort of finger on something that's bad so that we can mull over it in our heads or disseminate it in the first place. In some contexts we might be able to replace it with something that's more 'accurate,' in others we can't. Hell, there are schools of thought out there that say that we shouldn't define it.

    That isn't all to say that morality itself is necessarily subjective: there are many things that motivate us and drive us even if we can't pinpoint what they are or where they come from -- like that instinct.

    What to do about it? First and foremost, get past the notion that it necessarily has to be defined. Well, you can take a pickaxe to some rock even if you don't know what's underneath. It's good to brush up on your geography, but it's also good to dig even if you don't completely understand what you're going to unearth.
    Bush Did 9/11 wrote, (all quotes are Bush Did 9/11 followed by my commentary). (1) "... lack of empathy, intentional harm, collateral damage, sinning, denying a god or gods, violating some set of ethical principles."

    I say most of evil stems from human ignorance. There is a biological component as well. Narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths have a missing spirit of the human element.


    (2) "...common themes in many of them -- for example, murder is generally seen as bad... "


    I have a basic philosophy, do no harm. This means to say verbally, sexually, psychologically, physically and emotionally. This premise in it's more ideal state is to apply to how we treat our animals. I speak metaphorically but to me animals have just as much a soul as a human being. Unless the animal is hunted for food, I can't go along with it. I am a proponent of population control. One species should not dominate the earth at the expense of bio-diversity, mega-fauna and life in general. To me trophy is a moral blind spot due to the intrinsic soul of each animal. That being said I am highly against poaching wildlife.

  4. #74
    Phase-shifted beam Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightsun View Post
    Coriolis wrote, (all quotes are Coriolis followed by my reply). (1) "I disagree that ignorance is the root cause of evil." and "...think that the evil are able to exploit ignorance for their own purposes..."

    I do believe ignorance with blind spots, (cognitive distortions) rationalization, denial and emotional reasoning are the prime cases of evil. The aforementioned list of cognitive distortions are a direct result of not being cognitively trained.

    If ignorance is not the prime mover and shaker of evil perpetrated on planet earth Coriolis, then what is?
    First, labels like "good" and "evil" are highly subjective, and I find of limited utility in discussing harmful human behavior (harmful is also subjective). We must first define evil before we can determine the extent to which it is related to ignorance. To me, evil implies an enjoyment of the suffering of others; a desire to cause harm for its own sake, rather than as a means of achieving personal gain. People who do what is generally considered evil are often quite aware of the consequences of their action and the harm caused, and they do it anyway. On the other hand, many people are ignorant but not evil, and when confronted with the knowledge that dispels their ignorance, they consider it and incorporate it into their worldview.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha
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  5. #75
    Senior Member deathwarmedup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    People who do what is generally considered evil are often quite aware of the consequences of their action and the harm caused, and they do it anyway.
    I might be putting words in Lightsun's mouth, but I originally assumed he meant ignorance in a spiritual sense, as in an "illusion of separation" or some such idea.

  6. #76
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    Rewrite and Reedit

    "I do not like to use subjective labels as evil. However a person who harms another person verbally, physically, psychologically or sexually is doing harm. As I said they honor no personal boundaries or rights of others. They must be stopped and be held accountable for they are acting out of concert with society and peaceful coexistence mixed with compassion, respect and understanding of their fellow human beings. Irregardless they must face the consequences of their actions. Society has to be safeguarded from those who lack morality and perpetuate crimes against their fellow man. Morality is subjective.

    But there are some things so reprehensible that they would almost certainly be classified as evil. How does hatred enter the mix of evil? I do not know what causes hatred. Certainly there are many variables. Evil consists of two categories. It is human ignorance. All manner of evil is done is blind spots of awareness (hence human ignorance), rationalization (lack of awareness), denial (lack of awareness) and emotional reasoning (ignorance). All manner of evil has been done by the former with the cause of ignorance and lack of empathy. All the while professing they are loving as well caring souls.

    There is the biological component where some people are born without a conscious. This would qualify as evil. These individuals do heinous acts which either has biochemical component or else were shaped and molded into becoming predators. It is inherent in their DNA and there are individuals who seemingly do not possess a conscious or feel remorse for their actions. They apparently feel little remorse or sense of responsibility towards their fellow man in their actions. (Generalization) They do not care if they harm or hurt as long as they get their goal driven objective. I have one pet peeve with the use of the term self righteous anger. What's more deplorable is in the Bible many people point to the fact of Jesus overturning the money lenders table. Speaking as a rational scientist first, if there is a negative emotion it is a sign of an internal disturbance.

    It is classified and outlined as one of numerous cognitive distortions. Secondly what did he propose to accomplish? The money lenders would just be there the next day. Personally I find this a fictionalized account of Jesus. He acted very uncharacteristically. People lack mindfulness, critical thinking, reason and reflection. They may hold on to love but without reason they are half blind. It is important to have an internal locus of control responding to each situation with reason and compassion. Calling one side the righteous good and the other the evil heathen is where many of the wars throughout history where fought.

    There is a belief by many (I do not subscribe to this idea) that religion is a cause of much of the world's evil. Proponents of this idea call for an end of religion. Personally I think the human species would commit all manner of evil irrespective of religion or not. The evil perpetuated would just fall under the guise of a different mantle such as nationalism. It is the old adage of taking the much more difficult high road. It is easy to succumb to base emotion and react outwardly against the world or another person. This shows an external locus of control. The individual will blame others or life for their predicament and their own internal feelings.

    However taking this approach you are only stunting a learning experience if you take the low road by succumbing to base emotions. There is a valuable lesson for you to learn when triggered. It stabs at unresolved issues and conflict. Now is the time to grow. Have that iron steel discipline of mindfulness and taking self responsibility. Or else cave in and do the easy thing. Play the blame game, condemn and judge. How could we start to alleviate the problem of evil? There are many components: having an internal locus of control, responding to each situation with reason and compassion. Such as taking the much more difficult high road. It is easy to succumb to base emotion and react outwardly against the world or another person.

    Lack of understanding and fear come to mind. We have not grown spiritually or emotionally since the dawn of man. What we do have are laws. But all these laws were fought and a lot of misery came through trying to implement change. We are not true humanitarians who look out for the interests of all mankind. How long will evil last on this earth? Until we develop a society of like minded individuals who realize the great truth of taking self responsibility. Such a society is unlikely to exist when we can't even have dialogue at the highest political positions in the country using reason and a debate style of mutual respect.

    Until we have a pretty good grasp on parental upbringing, cognitive disciple in the school systems to teach critical thinking and having empathy skills as part of the curriculum this mad merry go round of dysfunctional families replicating and continuing will continue. According to current scientific replicated resiliency studies a dysfunctional home life of 2/3 of the offspring being brought up in an environment that does not posses needed developmental assets in nurturing areas of love, safety and proper guidelines shall continue the dysfunctional cycle. It will continue unabated. What is evil's worst portrayal? It comes in the form of nationalistic wars and inhumanity against fellow humans. War is a human disease. We were not meant for war psychologically. The after affects is swept under the covers while we raise the flag and announce our patriotism.

    Believe me nationalism and patriotism blinds the individual to the fact that we have a social responsibility for all beings as well all life forms. I've read in the comments by some respondents that evil is a choice. Yet I have heard accounts of men who committed heinous acts and despised and hated themselves for it. It goes back to the unconscious and as Jung said, "To make the unconscious conscious." What is the only recourse available to a single individual in a world surrounded by war and hate? Taking the high road and walking the middle path is a hard life choice but ultimately the only power is over ourselves and our will to better ourselves. Hopefully we can become a role model and a beacon of hope inspiring others."
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  7. #77
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    In what way evil? Your DNA is inherited, your situation upon birth and during childhood is also not your doing, yet, your mental capacities are set and defined thanks to these factors. So, if you're 'evil', it's because you're a product of events and limitations beyond your control.

    My point is that 'evil' doesn't just emerge out of nowhere, because nothing does.
    Was Hitler pure evil or were the causes for his emergence evil? I agree with OP that ignorance but also hypocrisy are the roots of all evil.

    My definition of 'evil': allowing yourself contradictions in your judgement and actions. The punishment for it comes with the consequences.

  8. #78
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    The closest we have come to absolute evil is genocide carried out by a bureaucracy, narcissists can only focus on individual evil
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  9. #79
    Flickering light тень's Avatar
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    Boredom is the root of all evil.
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  10. #80
    Senior Member sLiPpY's Avatar
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    Evil is a silly notion...the universe is indifferent.

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