Author Topic: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?  (Read 2023 times)

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Online Desert Fox

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I am curious if the very concept of evil is a dangerous concept that if never even though of, might be better for society in general? Very few, if anybody, does anything for actual evil purposes? There are no demons or devils. Even the most horrid serial killer does it for just personal pleasure. Sure we can call them evil but they have definite motivations.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 01:55:31 PM by Desert Fox »
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 01:34:26 AM »
Evil doesn't mean that the act has no motivation. It means that the motivation is selfish, or without regard to the suffering of others.

You're right in that those who do evil rarely believe that what they are doing is evil. They just have a view of morality that it not in sync with that of others. Evil is something that is always what someone else is doing.

Though I do believe that evil as a concept is dependent on communities rather than something that has an objective existence, I think that it is a useful idea in the conversation about morality.

Offline jt512

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2017, 06:19:45 AM »
I am curious if the very concept of evil is a dangerous concept that if never even though of, might be better for society in general? Very few, if anybody, does anything for actual evil purposes? There are no demons or devils. Even the most horrid serial killer does it for just personal pleasure. Sure we can call them evil but they have definite motivations.

There are Republicans.
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Online Desert Fox

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2017, 06:33:41 AM »
I am curious if the very concept of evil is a dangerous concept that if never even though of, might be better for society in general? Very few, if anybody, does anything for actual evil purposes? There are no demons or devils. Even the most horrid serial killer does it for just personal pleasure. Sure we can call them evil but they have definite motivations.

There are Republicans.

They, most Republicans, think they are saving the world from demons and devils though. . . .
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
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Offline jt512

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2017, 06:48:26 AM »
I am curious if the very concept of evil is a dangerous concept that if never even though of, might be better for society in general? Very few, if anybody, does anything for actual evil purposes? There are no demons or devils. Even the most horrid serial killer does it for just personal pleasure. Sure we can call them evil but they have definite motivations.


There are Republicans.

They, most Republicans, think they are saving the world from demons and devils though. . . .

Do they?  Is that what Trump thinks when he introduces a bill that will deprive 25 million people of access to health care?  An epidemiologist or actuary can literally calculate the cumulative number of years of life that will be lost if such a bill is enacted.  This certainly seems like evil to me.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 07:11:25 AM by jt512 »
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Offline Caffiene

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 06:50:25 AM »
Though I do believe that evil as a concept is dependent on communities rather than something that has an objective existence, I think that it is a useful idea in the conversation about morality.

In what way do feel its useful as opposed to just using the term "immoral"? (Or, "very immoral", if its a matter of degree)
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Offline Rai

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 07:59:33 AM »
How about the people running Flint, who are now threatening 8000 residents with foreclosure over unpaid water (more like poison) bills.

Online Desert Fox

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 08:25:12 AM »
How about the people running Flint, who are now threatening 8000 residents with foreclosure over unpaid water (more like poison) bills.

Not saying I agree but it does make a sort of logic.
It is not evil for evil sake.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 08:31:07 AM »
I think that the concept of evil is inextricably bound up in religious ideas, so I try not to use the word myself.  The idea that something can be morally wrong to the point of abhorrence is, in my opinion, a useful idea.

I find it hard to come up with a term bad enough to describe, for instance, our current AG.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2017, 09:08:00 AM »
I am curious if the very concept of evil is a dangerous concept that if never even though of, might be better for society in general? Very few, if anybody, does anything for actual evil purposes? There are no demons or devils. Even the most horrid serial killer does it for just personal pleasure. Sure we can call them evil but they have definite motivations.
I don't care what their motivations are.
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Online Andrew Clunn

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2017, 09:33:09 AM »
I am curious if the very concept of evil is a dangerous concept that if never even though of, might be better for society in general? Very few, if anybody, does anything for actual evil purposes? There are no demons or devils. Even the most horrid serial killer does it for just personal pleasure. Sure we can call them evil but they have definite motivations.


There are Republicans.

They, most Republicans, think they are saving the world from demons and devils though. . . .

Do they?  Is that what Trump thinks when he introduces a bill that will deprive 25 million people of access to health care?  An epidemiologist or actuary can literally calculate the cumulative number of years of life that will be lost if such a bill is enacted.  This certainly seems like evil to me.

Was going to make a post about how "evil" is used to establish in-groups and out-groups for cults / tribes.  Thanks for doing it for me.
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Offline 2397

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2017, 10:18:28 AM »
I think evil exists as much as good exists.

Some people work for the sake of making lives better for as many people as possible, some people don't care or don't feel as if it's on them to care what happens to others, some people actively exploit others, and some people want to create suffering. From kids who torture animals, to adults who do the same.

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2017, 10:30:29 AM »
I think evil exists as much as good exists.

Some people work for the sake of making lives better for as many people as possible, some people don't care or don't feel as if it's on them to care what happens to others, some people actively exploit others, and some people want to create suffering. From kids who torture animals, to adults who do the same.
That's frequently caused by a lack of empathy. "I just wanted to see what happened." No care for what it would do to the person.
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2017, 10:41:03 AM »
As to the op, I'm not sure the concept matters much.  We humans are fine just labeling others as others and using that as an excuse to do bad things.

And, if good exists then so does evil as noted by 2397.

Offline 2397

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2017, 11:30:40 AM »
That's frequently caused by a lack of empathy. "I just wanted to see what happened." No care for what it would do to the person.

Sure, there's a lack of empathy. But wanting to see what happens is caring what happens. They wouldn't be specifically doing it to them if they didn't have any care.

 

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