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[NF] Radical Evil in human nature?

Alienclock

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I think once you throw the word morals in there I am confused. I hate morals. :doh: 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. :D Also the realization that I can't know everything, and I have not got it all figured out!
 

ptgatsby

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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 :D
 

Alienclock

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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 :D

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...
 

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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.
 

SolitaryWalker

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(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.
 

ptgatsby

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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?)
 

Totenkindly

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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.

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.
 

Alienclock

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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.

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?
 

Alienclock

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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!
 

SolitaryWalker

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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.
 

Totenkindly

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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!

I'd probably be willing to invest more in what you were saying if you actually bothered to qualify your statements.

Using words like "entirely" and "completely" and other such things comes across as sloppy and careless and undermines (at least, for me) the validity of the points you're trying to make.

for example

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...

Why is this necessarily the case? Can't an action ever be deemed as more constructive or more destructive, regardless of the people who were involved? Good people sometimes do harmful things, and bad people do beneficial things... and the labels "good and bad" when applied to people as character traits are basically just the culmination of their actions over a long period of time anyway. So everything is based on the act, not who has done it.

Thus, any judgment is also a judgment of the act, not the person who did it.

We can condemn certain actions as harmful, can't we, and other actions as nurturing, without having to create a scapegoat or an enemy? Shouldn't that be feasible? And isn't it exactly what happens in a *cohesive* community?
 

SolitaryWalker

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And if you got rid of the ego what would happen. Hive mind? :yes:
Do you have any idea of what the purpose of an ego is?


Exactly. Salvation comes when the intellect takes primacy over the ego. You know how you'd say that you definitely would die right this moment if this brought paradise to Earth. But your ego may prevent you from doing this.


The ego does not have a purpose other than just blind existing.
 

Alienclock

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I'd probably be willing to invest more in what you were saying if you actually bothered to qualify your statements.

Using words like "entirely" and "completely" and other such things comes across as sloppy and careless and undermines (at least, for me) the validity of the points you're trying to make.

ok
shrugs...
You want me to qualify what exactly?
Maybe you could ask a specific question?

I would ask you what did you particularly find hard or to follow?
 

Totenkindly

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ok shrugs...
You want me to qualify what exactly?
Maybe you could ask a specific question?
I would ask you what did you particularly find hard or to follow?

Uh, read the rest of the post, for an example.

(to be honest, it all felt haphazard to me.)
 

Alienclock

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Why is this necessarily the case? Can't an action ever be deemed as more constructive or more destructive, regardless of the people who were involved? Good people sometimes do harmful things, and bad people do beneficial things... and the labels "good and bad" when applied to people as character traits are basically just the culmination of their actions over a long period of time anyway. So everything is based on the act, not who has done it.

Thus, any judgment is also a judgment of the act, not the person who did it.

We can condemn certain actions as harmful, can't we, and other actions as nurturing, without having to create a scapegoat or an enemy? Shouldn't that be feasible? And isn't it exactly what happens in a *cohesive* community?

I think that using ones subjective idea of evil vs good to judge another's behavior does not further understanding.

Ideas like good and evil, are not used to further understanding, but are instead judgments. These judgments may be towards the act, but how do you separate an act from an individual? "People" are penalized for their acts... And their physical body ends up in jail, their person is in jail.

We can condemn certain actions as harmful. We could determine what is harmful for our community, and can hold each other to those standards. But each standard would be different for each community, and each community is bound to have different standards. Now accross the community lines, calling these acts good or evil,(across communities) creates ill will, as one party would have to be the good and the other evil. Understanding stops when you call something evil. (because it means you have already determined something about the person, community, culture, ie intent.)

Calling them evil, would imply that they intend only harm, and would keep us from understanding them, and implies our inherent superiority. I think that evil has to have a scapegoat because it implies that something is intentionally wrong.
 

ptgatsby

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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.

I can accept that definition. Now why draw the line there? As I said in another one of my posts, what makes specisim the right line, but not religion? Culture? Race? What is it that makes that line unique to all the other lines that we draw?

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?

No, I'm saying that the very attempt to define good and evil requires us to draw arbitrary lines. It is a requirement for any philosophy that follow this methodology to eventually invoke 'high order'. Christianity does it - clear line separating God's chosen... to separates us from animals. Contrast this with Sila from Buddhism for a practical example of the difference in viewpoints (from what authority does the sanctity of life come from?)

By far and large, the mindset that you talk about here is the "spherical" view of morality. It is dominant in western - namely monotheism - values. And it isn't just a philosophical question; there is a reason why monotheism is prone to drawing spheres around itself, against other religions, cultures and so forth. It's endemic to monotheism, despite any overlying beliefs in peace and love.

If you asking how I deal with it – I don’t. I subscribe to an absolute moral code that involves making the right decision at the moment it is presented to me. I do not believe in a universal standard, or the right moral choice (taken at the moment the choice is offered). I would save the person because the balance of life leans in his favor since I'm the actor and am human.

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"?

If you step back from the morality of empathizing, the statement that 'beneficial biological imperative' makes everything natural good. Bacteria is a requirement for human life. Disease can be viewed as a natural biosphere imperative. So is death. Ego. Ethno centric behavior. Lust. Violence (against nature, if not against man). Greed. All variations on humans, nature and environmental pressures. These things just are... Everything is systemic. Human perception of what they are is a moral judgment made to support other moral judgments - it ends up being circular reasoning, or something similar... ie: "It's good because it exists."; Mob "It's good because most of us think/act like it's good"; Authority "It's good because x says so".

It doesn't change that it requires us to draw a subjective line since the basis for preference of the line is subjective.

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

I empathize with my furry dog, since for some reason humans strongly prefer furry pets. A few thousand miles away, they kill the same animal and eat it. They have ‘suppressed’ empathy for animals because it isn't common in their culture. It's trained, just as empathy for subsets of man are trained... slavery? Nationalism? Happens all the time – and is happening all over the world. Empathy is a word that safe secure people use. Tribalism is what we call it when we are fractured. Empathy there is a survival instinct and limited to the clan.

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?

There are three main ways to resolve this;

1) Treat others according to their own demonstrated moral code;
2) Redefine the concept of good and bad to define the gap between intentions and actions (utilitarian viewpoint assumed);
3) Define good in a non-spherical way (do not draw lines at all)

Each has a different set of issues, yes.

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.

These are foundational issues, which I tried to highlight above. The very concept of drawing lines implies a vastly different approach to morality, with very different tangible issues. It is not the universal standard in the world.

Actually, I'm quite sure you relished every moment of it.

*shrug* I follow my nature, but it doesn't mean I don't have empathy for those that I may impose upon on my way through life! :D
 

rank

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Dearest NFs?

How do you go about convincing yourselves that it is not really there?
Love.

I'm afraid it's a permanent condition, though. No possibility for general improvement after some age.

I think NFs have experienced more love than others within their families. And this is somehow set in stone. Every person tends to imagine the world and the other people as a magnified version of their own family.

I know love is possible. It's within every part of me, that's how I've come here. I fail to understand completely WHY other people insist on making their own lives even more miserable by making the lives of others miserable too. It's a lose-lose situation. I don't understand how it brings satisfaction to harm someone deliberately, or to take revenge. It never does. It makes things even worse for both sides.

I don't think that 'evil' (as we call it) is there - in the newborn. All problems come from bad matching and misunderstanding. I call this 'cognitive dissonance' in a group sense - it's what MBTI eventually illustrates. We are all crazy in our own way, but messing the wrong types together messes them up even more and they become hostile towards each other. That's all about failing to see what the other one sees or has seen. We used to hide it behind dogma or knowledge. But even knowledge is not enough, it's still subjective. Everyone needs to accept their own cognitive imperfection and then all parts can function as one organism.

In the human body many systems are incompatible and can harm each other in direct contact - that's why they are divided and separated with tubes, skin etc. It's the same in society. Internet brings everyone together and it's like massive infection within the body - everyone goes crazier and crazier. But that's unnecessary. No body part is 'evil'. No human being is essentially evil. I trust nature to fix this problem eventually, we'll work it out somehow.
 

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What's radical evil?

I feel like giving a superficial example. If I happened to consume someone, would that be radically evil, seeing as I've pretty much erased that someone from existence and turned him/her into heat? Nope. You can disapprove all you want, but who's to say that some happy-go-luckily cannibalistic African tribe wouldn't approve in return, seeing that by consuming another human being, I've fulfilled a critical need that is necessary for my survival and propogation?

Now I wouldn't consume anyone, but sure enough, if I did, you won't be able to convince me of my deed being evil all by yourself. Let me do that myself. Judgments of good and evil are leashes for our ever-rationalizing minds. There's a reason why our chains of thought don't go along the lines of 3, sentence, comma, giraffe, Kiril Dzajkovski, yeah. It's glue, but please, keep your own glue to yourself.
 
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