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Fenrir Greycloth
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[quote]Fenrir Greycloth (ID:86191)

Is the human race essentially good, or evil? What makes us good, or evil? What is Good? What is evil? How did we come to a conclusion that these are a way of behaving?


Mur:

only a third observer can observe the line of good or evil and understand the situation, not someone "inside" the issue bad/good. In humanity situation, i believe the observer is the world around us, what supports life and what brought us in the first place to existance. Considering that our impact on the nature around us, the earth and the rest of the life on earth is not at all good, i consider humanity overall can be considered BAD. We are the only animal to kill for pleasure, thats a luxury that no living beeing affords. We can, but chose not to do things to keep the ballance , we can but chose to be evil, or good, but over all i think the results of humanity over the nature, and i do not talk of ecosystem only, is i essance bad. animals are not good or evil, they are neutral, they do not chose to be evil, they do not chose to be good. We are tehnicaly capable to do better yet we dont, and its not about survival also. thats my personal opinion, and i wait for arguments against, if you think i am wrong.

Selected for public debate, but not for round 2 because of the popularity of the question.[/quote]




Your thoughts please. :)

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it's objective morality

most people would look at Hitler and say Evil, he and those around him would say Good, this can be applied to anyone you look at, anyone inherantly Good, if looked at in a certain way could be seen as Evil, and Evil as Good.

Good cannot exist without Evil and vise-versa, it's a comparitive scale, if there was nothing that we define as Evil in the world, no plague, death, famine etc. and there never was, then there would be no Good either, it works the other way round as well, without anything to compare something against, you have nothing to compare.

Good and Evil are moralistic, if your beliefs and morals tell you that something is wrong, you will see it as Evil, if they tell you that something is right or correct, then you will see it as Good

your last question, that is a something that is in our genetics, animals do not hunt for sport, like Mur said, we were animals once, apes (based on theory of evolution anyway), and in our genes was to ensure the survival of the species, we've kept that trait, but on a larger scale, we hear about someone getting hurt or killed it is against our species and thus hurts it, as we want the species to continue we dont like it happening so moralisticly people would find it wrong.
BUT, there are variations on this rule, if what we're doing ensures the survival of a larger, or more important part of our species then we will see the situation as Good to do these things, important would be from the individual's perspective.

this is what comes to mind currently anyway

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Good and evil are subjective or objective terms IMO, depending on whether or not you believe in absolute morality or not.

If you believe in absolute morality, like the one imposed by deities in multiple faiths and religions, then evil is that which has been lain down by that divine authority to be evil and good is the life that follows the scriptures and teachings.
E.g. Christian bad is sinning/worshipping satan. Buddhist good is being peaceful and try and lead a wisend life, full of study and meditation, to alleviate yourself and others of the pain that is life, via nirvana.

If you do not believe in absolute morality, but more relatively, then it is simple (IMO) but it does have very complicated consequences.
Because if you believe in a relative morality, then you will see the morality you adhere to as the correct one, even good. Those who live by a different standard or ideology may be seen as wrong. They could be evil if your relative morality includes such a thing.
But, with relative morality it is a matter of perspective, because the other person (who in this case also adheres to a morality, absolute or not) will follow his or her own ideals. That person will act and do what he or she thinks is correct, is good and if there is a big enough conflict, he or she will see the other person as wrong or even evil.

Interestingly enough, this implies that evil can exist solely in one's mind.

As to how we came to such a conclusion that these are ways of behaving, it comes forth from norms and values, thousands of years old, coming forth from personal preferences and primal instincts (such as, monkey's like sun, monkey's frown on incest) slowly evolving into laws and scriptures, each influencing a certain group. (egyptians worship sun, the sun is seen as godly good by christians.)
Later on, although later on? As early as Plato and LaoZi (legends say 5th cent bc or 4th cent bc for plato and 7th cent or 5th cent bc for laozi) philosophical thought is being written down and passed on enough that it influences us as well. (there were earlier ones, but you know, lost in the ages of time, sorta)
Basically a really complex maneuvre of social, religious and philosophical thoughts and movements influenced us.

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So, as a conclusion to Grido's loong post (which i did not read btw): good players cannot exist without DST :)

Now on a more serious tone:
"We are tehnicaly capable to do better yet we dont, and its not about survival also". How can you judge better? Who is the one capable of doing that? Aren't we the ones who wrote the set of rules that guide our lives? How do you know a thing is bad? Because you apply the rules, right? How do you know the rules are not bad? You don't! So see? You cannot say that humanity is good or bad. Humanity just is. At least for a while :D


I remember a joke:
One day a comet crosses the universe close to earth:
-Hi earth! How are you? Long time no see!
-Not that good. I got home sapiens...
-No worries, my cousin had them...they will disappear eventually...

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The terms of "good" and "evil" are manmade constructs as mankind is the only species of the planet to place such labels upon their actions.

To use an analogy, one cannot paint a picture of an elephant without knowing what an elephant is. In that sense, it is the same argument that can be attributed to man. They cannot know what it is to be "good" without first defining what it is to be "evil". In this line of logic, mankind ITSELF is neither good NOR evil due to the very nature of their definitions.

But if one were to think about the aspect of personal fulfillment and that, as Socrates has claimed within his hypothesis in dealing with the nature of man, noone intentionally harms another as even the most heinous crimes are for the "good" of the individual. Therefore, to answer your question, all human beings are inherently "good" to themselves.

But to ask if the entire group is good is preposterous since everyone will assume that an individual harming them for THEIR gain is evil.

Edited by Talos Salvitore
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  • 1 month later...

People will never do anything unless they believe there is personal gain involved. When someone works at a soup kitchen, (a free kitchen for the needy and homeless)It is not to help people, but to make yourself feel good through helping people. We are all inherently selfish that way and there is nothing we can do about it. On the other hand, a serial killer does not kill people to kill people, but because they believe that they will gain something from it that outweighs the mental cost of killing someone, which for them is very very low. Because of this there is no evil, only what others percieve to be evil. For no one will ever do anything that they truly believe is evil, unless the gain is greater than the cost. There are no exceptions.

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[quote name='aero' date='16 August 2009 - 02:01 PM' timestamp='1250452898' post='39650']
People will never do anything unless they believe there is personal gain involved. When someone works at a soup kitchen, (a free kitchen for the needy and homeless)It is not to help people, but to make yourself feel good through helping people. We are all inherently selfish that way and there is nothing we can do about it. On the other hand, a serial killer does not kill people to kill people, but because they believe that they will gain something from it that outweighs the mental cost of killing someone, which for them is very very low. Because of this there is no evil, only what others percieve to be evil. For no one will ever do anything that they truly believe is evil, unless the gain is greater than the cost. There are no exceptions.
[/quote]

That happens to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. I used to think that way, but then I realized how wrong it was. I will explain why by editing this post after I figure out how to phrase it correctly.

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I'm fairly certain my logic is sound jester. It may not be the way you would like to think but it is true. I would like you to try and name any instance where anyone has done anything that was not intended to gain something.

Edited by aero
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[quote name='aero' date='17 August 2009 - 03:16 PM' timestamp='1250482594' post='39669']
I'm fairly certain my logic is sound jester. It may not be the way you would like to think but it is true. I would like you to try and name any instance where anyone has done anything that was not intended to gain something.
[/quote]
Your logic IS sound, but not for anything like the reasons you think it is...

But as you requested, I will PM you why I disagree with your opinion...

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[quote name='aero' date='16 August 2009 - 10:16 PM' timestamp='1250482594' post='39669']
I'm fairly certain my logic is sound jester. It may not be the way you would like to think but it is true. I would like you to try and name any instance where anyone has done anything that was not intended to gain something.
[/quote]

Logic has less to do with things than you might believe. We should debate this sometime. And for the record, I wasn't calling you dumb, I was calling the idea dumb. I find ideas I used to have and then discard later extremely stupid.

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man is both good and evil. and we are capable of such great good deeds as we are great evil deeds.
we decide on the things we do base on our morality - whatever our mind, our heart, our whole being dictates. morality is different for each of us. what is good for you, may be evil for me, vice-versa. no one is perfectly evil or perfectly good. even the saints were the most ungodly people.

what makes good or evil? it's a popularity vote. whatever the collective morality deem good or evil is what is.

on response to aero, there is an eye that looks inside and an eye that looks outside. while we have great tendencies to be selfish, we can be selfless. i see people risk their lives for others without even thinking.

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Well, i believe that people who risk their lives to save others do it because it would be "evil" in their eyes if they didn't. If you had the means to save someone, but didn't, you would probably have a large amount of guilt. We all value life to some degree, and if i were to just let someone die and been able to do something about it, i wouldn't be able to live with myself, as with many people. But then there are also plenty of people who would just walk away and not care, i would imagine that those people value there lives much more than other people's. That is selfish, but it is not evil to value your own life.

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and yet, wehre is the personal gain of a firefighter saving people from a burning house, to go for extremes?
or do you also consider that not saving them would be a negative gain?
if you think in such terms, then yes, we do everything to maximize our own gain balance, by doing things that give positive gain, avoiding things that give negative gain, and in worst case, going for the less negative gain.

However, if you want to extent your definiton that far, it grows pointless because you are unable to attach an integer of gain to an action and count them up or down, let alone finding the right amplifiers for different persons and in which ways they are connected with each other...

if you want that system to run, you need to keep it very simple, and say 'people do things for ensured gain' and 'people don't do things when the gain is unsure'
however that system, as any basic system, fails in real life, because you don't have calculated that some people might run the risk of doing things for uncertain gains, or even do things that don't give them any gain at all when they have some sparetime... tell me, where is the gain of playing MD for your life? the gain of listening to classic music (more than once)? that's how your logic fails...

the basic system is useless because it has too many missing facts, and the advanced model is too complex to work with since there are too many unknown facts and figures in there

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Well there is also mental gain to consider. One doesn't play md for any physical gain, but because there is a mental gain of enjoyment and happiness that comes from playing it. And whenever you are doing nothing, like waiting for someone and just sitting around, You believe that there will be a gain in waiting, maybe you'll be able to leave faster because you're in a hurry, or maybe you have been waiting for this person to come back for a while and you miss them.Even if you're doing nothing at all, it's usually because you don't really want to do anything, you feel slightly better just sitting around. And i understand your point burns, A simple system cannot possibly work because there are too many variables. But i have come to realize that there are a lot less variables than one would imagine. Though there are still many variables to consider, it it still a fairly consistent way of predicting human reactions and behavior, based off of the average person's beliefs.

AND, I'm only talking about Really gereral behavior. Like most people would not kill someone and steal his car, and most people wouldn't burn down there house with there family inside. That sort of thing.

Edited by aero
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  • 7 months later...
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