Author Topic: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?  (Read 1812 times)

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2017, 11:38:16 AM »
Evil seems to me like the type of thing that carries a lot of baggage with it, and I try not to use it as a result. More specific modifiers or analogies are more productive, and don't runt he risk of wrapping in notions of predestination and fate that I don't agree with.
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Online Desert Fox

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2017, 01:40:51 PM »
Evil seems to me like the type of thing that carries a lot of baggage with it, and I try not to use it as a result. More specific modifiers or analogies are more productive, and don't runt he risk of wrapping in notions of predestination and fate that I don't agree with.

My thoughts is that somebody uses the label of evil and then does not look for what somebody's motivations actually are.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2017, 01:45:11 PM »
Evil seems to me like the type of thing that carries a lot of baggage with it, and I try not to use it as a result. More specific modifiers or analogies are more productive, and don't runt he risk of wrapping in notions of predestination and fate that I don't agree with.

My thoughts is that somebody uses the label of evil and then does not look for what somebody's motivations actually are.

Yeah, that's a good point. It's sort of a way of dismissing everything else in favor of a declaration of absolute emnity. This person is evil, they are unsalvageable. People and ideas may be unsalvageable, god knows my ex is, but labelling them evil is just a sort of lazy way out.
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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2017, 01:51:28 PM »
It certainly shouldn't be used in place of arguing why something is wrong, or why someone is in the wrong.

Online Desert Fox

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2017, 01:54:49 PM »
Evil seems to me like the type of thing that carries a lot of baggage with it, and I try not to use it as a result. More specific modifiers or analogies are more productive, and don't runt he risk of wrapping in notions of predestination and fate that I don't agree with.

My thoughts is that somebody uses the label of evil and then does not look for what somebody's motivations actually are.

Yeah, that's a good point. It's sort of a way of dismissing everything else in favor of a declaration of absolute emnity. This person is evil, they are unsalvageable. People and ideas may be unsalvageable, god knows my ex is, but labelling them evil is just a sort of lazy way out.

Mighty have been better if I also used "Evil A concept we are better off without" as the title.
"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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Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2017, 02:16:49 PM »
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.
Serial killers typically have little to zero empathy for their victims. The worst ones like to experiment to see how much pain a person can take, or how long they can live with a lung full of iron filings, etc. That's not "caring what happens" to the victim, it's just interest in the experiment.
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Online Andrew Clunn

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Re: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2017, 02:27:36 PM »
Terrorists are just misunderstood.  Pedophiles? 
Not evil anymore apparently.  But people who vote differently than I do?  Fucking scum!


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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2017, 02:37:14 PM »
Terrorists are just misunderstood.  Pedophiles? 
Not evil anymore apparently.  But people who vote differently than I do?  Fucking scum!



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Re: Evil - Is it a dangerous concept?
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2017, 02:46:25 PM »
Serial killers typically have little to zero empathy for their victims. The worst ones like to experiment to see how much pain a person can take, or how long they can live with a lung full of iron filings, etc. That's not "caring what happens" to the victim, it's just interest in the experiment.

A virus isn't evil, because there is no intent there. But if you intend to cause living beings suffering, or to test their nervous system or whatever way the interest can be described, that is as evil as it is good to give someone medical treatment to alleviate suffering.

Or are we going to define the words in a way that it's only possible to care what happens to someone if you want to improve their condition and level of comfort?
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 02:49:16 PM by 2397 »

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Re: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2017, 02:52:50 PM »
Terrorists are just misunderstood.  Pedophiles? 
Not evil anymore apparently.  But people who vote differently than I do?  Fucking scum!

Isn't it best to understand what one's motivations are. . . .Terrorists have motivations even if we don't agree.
Now, this does not eman that such actions are not consequence free either.
"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."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Online Andrew Clunn

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Re: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2017, 03:08:35 PM »
Terrorists are just misunderstood.  Pedophiles? 
Not evil anymore apparently.  But people who vote differently than I do?  Fucking scum!

Isn't it best to understand what one's motivations are. . . .Terrorists have motivations even if we don't agree.
Now, this does not eman that such actions are not consequence free either.

The ability to "otherize" and remove empathy for a group is important for things like war.  I'm not opposed to the idea of evil, nor do I think that you can get rid of it.  I see in fact that groups that have attempted to do so eventually just end up creating new notions of evil that are fucking nuts, and make the unchanging conservative thinkers look sane by comparison.  I draw a few lines.  You want me dead?  Yeah that's a line.  At that point I don't care if it's some long "who started it?" conflict from decades ago or some complex perceived cultural sleight.  At that point I'm gonna kill you first and feel no remorse.  Any other approach is just asking to get killed.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2017, 03:14:47 PM »
Terrorists are just misunderstood.  Pedophiles? 
Not evil anymore apparently.  But people who vote differently than I do?  Fucking scum!

Isn't it best to understand what one's motivations are. . . .Terrorists have motivations even if we don't agree.
Now, this does not eman that such actions are not consequence free either.

The ability to "otherize" and remove empathy for a group is important for things like war.  I'm not opposed to the idea of evil, nor do I think that you can get rid of it.  I see in fact that groups that have attempted to do so eventually just end up creating new notions of evil that are fucking nuts, and make the unchanging conservative thinkers look sane by comparison.  I draw a few lines.  You want me dead?  Yeah that's a line.  At that point I don't care if it's some long "who started it?" conflict from decades ago or some complex perceived cultural sleight.  At that point I'm gonna kill you first and feel no remorse.  Any other approach is just asking to get killed.

It's really important for things like war crimes, genocide, and race wars too. Otherizing is the unskeptical thing to do because you're deciding to shut off everything about the other rather than trying to learn and understand.

Refusing to otherize is not refusal to hold anyone accountable or denounce stupid or harmful beliefs or actions, it's refusal to let ignorance, hatred, and fear reign in place of the more sane.

You talk a big game about killing without remorse from the comfort of your computer chair though. Real convincing.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2017, 03:16:05 PM »
The ability to "otherize" and remove empathy for a group is important for things like war.

That assumes the importance of war.
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Online Andrew Clunn

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Re: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2017, 03:28:52 PM »
Terrorists are just misunderstood.  Pedophiles? 
Not evil anymore apparently.  But people who vote differently than I do?  Fucking scum!

Isn't it best to understand what one's motivations are. . . .Terrorists have motivations even if we don't agree.
Now, this does not eman that such actions are not consequence free either.

The ability to "otherize" and remove empathy for a group is important for things like war.  I'm not opposed to the idea of evil, nor do I think that you can get rid of it.  I see in fact that groups that have attempted to do so eventually just end up creating new notions of evil that are fucking nuts, and make the unchanging conservative thinkers look sane by comparison.  I draw a few lines.  You want me dead?  Yeah that's a line.  At that point I don't care if it's some long "who started it?" conflict from decades ago or some complex perceived cultural sleight.  At that point I'm gonna kill you first and feel no remorse.  Any other approach is just asking to get killed.

It's really important for things like war crimes, genocide, and race wars too. Otherizing is the unskeptical thing to do because you're deciding to shut off everything about the other rather than trying to learn and understand.

Refusing to otherize is not refusal to hold anyone accountable or denounce stupid or harmful beliefs or actions, it's refusal to let ignorance, hatred, and fear reign in place of the more sane.

You talk a big game about killing without remorse from the comfort of your computer chair though. Real convincing.

It's like you're saying that if I really think that I'm stupid and an asshole, but also trying to insult me by saying I don't actually think that.  Putting action over critical thought in situation s where you're being threatened with death, yeah there's a time where saying, "Hold on let's think about this," is the wrong move.  Hatred is not a "negative emotion."  Fear is not a "negative emotion."  Emotions are heuristics.  Sometimes they are useful, sometimes they should be overcome.  That you display such obvious hatred, while speaking out against hatred.  Come on.  Who do you think you're fooling?  You're not enlightened.  I'm just honest about the lizard portions of my brain and clear on when they have value.
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Online Andrew Clunn

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Re: Evil - Dangerous concept / Concept we are better off without?
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2017, 03:35:12 PM »
The ability to "otherize" and remove empathy for a group is important for things like war.

That assumes the importance of war.

Yes it does.
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