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" width="8" height="8"/> Evil...
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necrolyte
post Mar 25 2006, 07:29 PM
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It seems honestly bizzare that people try to deny the humanity in terrorists, SS camp guards, murderers, gang members, and other "monsters".

Wouldn't recognizing the aspects of ourselves that drive them to commit such acts allow us to better recognize what causes "evil" to come out? I doubt Mohammad Atta lacks the traits that make us all human-sympathy, jealousy, love, anger, ect. Its just odd how people pretend like those terrorists on September 11th are incomprehensibly evil. Is it because they don't want to see any of themselves in such a horrible and cruel act?

If anything, has that inability for people to acknowledge and try to comprehend "evil" contributed to things like Rwanda, September 11th, Mugabe's assault on White landowners, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Holocaust, Slavery, and the Indian Removal? Perhaps a movie where the main character is an SS guard would give some people some insights into how the same drives that they have can lead to very ugly consequences from someone else. But no, there seems to rarely if ever be academic looks into what makes an Evil man Evil (can only think of some of Hannah Arendt's stuff, which I've never read.)

There's nothing demonic that doesn't come from man, and there's nothing demonic that isn't universal in mankind.
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Wolfenstein
post Mar 25 2006, 07:58 PM
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Evil is the opposite of "civilization".
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Ferran
post Mar 25 2006, 08:29 PM
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So untamed wilderness is evil, then?
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Wolfenstein
post Mar 25 2006, 09:48 PM
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I am talking about the human qualities that are associated with civilization... Should have probably used "humanism"...
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necrolyte
post Mar 25 2006, 09:58 PM
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QUOTE(Wolfenstein @ Mar 25 2006, 07:58 PM)
Evil is the opposite of "civilization".
*



I could argue just as easily that it would be the opposite of justice, the opposite of decency, the opposite of compassion.

See, Civilization has little to do with Good and Evil. The Romans and Greeks did some pretty evil things. So did Europe and the Islamic world.
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Wolfenstein
post Mar 25 2006, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Mar 25 2006, 04:58 PM)
I could argue just as easily that it would be the opposite of justice, the opposite of decency, the opposite of compassion.

See, Civilization has little to do with Good and Evil. The Romans and Greeks did some pretty evil things. So did Europe and the Islamic world.
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Refer to my previous post.
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libvertaruan
post Mar 26 2006, 01:54 AM
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What are these human qualities?
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Dragonspirit
post Mar 26 2006, 03:32 AM
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QUOTE
There's nothing demonic that doesn't come from man,


Except for that whole Satan thing, though I do not think that is sufficient excuse for people to justify their evil.

QUOTE
and there's nothing demonic that isn't universal in mankind.


There is nothing that is universal. Some people are evil, others are not.

We each choose our actions, and we are judged by them. In fact, whereas you would argue that a lack of empathy for evil breeds more evil, I would argue that tolerance for it does it.

Each person completely controls their own destiny in whether or not they will be evil. You can't reform them, and neither can I. That effort has to come from themselves.

What's important, since God will ultimately and justly punish the wicked in the end, is for us to clean our own houses (ie make sure that we don't become evil) and to impair the ability of evil people to impact our lives as much as possible.
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necrolyte
post Mar 26 2006, 06:26 AM
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Err, DS, Satan is something which is irrefutably evil because its existence is beyond our knowledge, hence only people's comprehension of something which they are told is absolute evil is "evil." A bit like saying "Sauron is Evil." I'm not trying to refute its existence, but it should be said that regardless of whether or not Satan exists, your comprehension of it is a reflection of what it is, as it IS only something you've read in a book. Your view of Satan is wholly personal.

Now, being aware of evil and its causes does not include tolerance of evil. It only allows us to better watch for it in ourselves, understand those who are evil, and answer the problem.

Also, DS, as I said, I don't think evil is universal, but the traits that can cause people to do evil things are universal. For instance (bad example IMO, but the best I could think of), you, me and Hitler all have the ability to generalize, stereotype, and categorize people. I think its the only way to avoid reletavism and double standards. And DS, I think stopping others from being "evil", as well as understanding how we're similair, is an essential part of remaining a good person.

Wolfy-sorry, I started posting that before you posted your second one.

This post has been edited by necrolyte: Mar 26 2006, 06:27 AM
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Kished
post Mar 27 2006, 10:27 PM
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QUOTE(Ferran @ Mar 26 2006, 07:29 AM)
So untamed wilderness is evil, then?
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conrad would suggest this.
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libvertaruan
post Mar 27 2006, 10:59 PM
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Conrad is wrong, then.
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Bayesian methodology
post Mar 27 2006, 11:07 PM
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libvertaruan
post Mar 27 2006, 11:41 PM
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Not only does evil exist, but it can spread by the consequences of evil actions (as the article you posted shows), or actions that seemed barely or not at all tainted with evil--for example, stupidity and ignorance.
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MindsWideOpen
post Mar 28 2006, 01:49 PM
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QUOTE(Kished @ Mar 27 2006, 11:27 PM)
conrad would suggest this.

Assuming that you are talking about Joseph Conrad, it was the civilised man who brought the evilness to the wilderness, not the other way around. There is little stretch in suggesting that the heart of darkness that he referred to was not Congo, but London or Brussels.
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necrolyte
post Mar 28 2006, 05:01 PM
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QUOTE(libvertaruan @ Mar 27 2006, 11:41 PM)
Not only does evil exist, but it can spread by the consequences of evil actions (as the article you posted shows), or actions that seemed barely or not at all tainted with evil--for example, stupidity and ignorance.
*



And we should try to understand that. Why would a person not take care of their 5 year old disabled boy? Why would they abuse him? What sort of patterns in us lead to that behavior? I hope I'd never even consider doing that to someone, I think all of us do, but why? What makes us different, if we are?
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Wolfenstein
post Mar 28 2006, 10:19 PM
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QUOTE(MindsWideOpen @ Mar 28 2006, 08:49 AM)
Assuming that you are talking about Joseph Conrad, it was the civilised man who brought the evilness to the wilderness, not the other way around. There is little stretch in suggesting that the heart of darkness that he referred to was not Congo, but London or Brussels.
*


I take it, the evilness is within people...
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MindsWideOpen
post Mar 28 2006, 10:53 PM
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I'm not certain what you're saying/getting at. I'm just objecting to what I understand to be a misrepresentation of Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness.
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Wolfenstein
post Mar 29 2006, 12:25 AM
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I don't really agree with you... I don't think Kurtz brings civilization to the wild of the Congo... He runs away from civilization... he looks into himself without the veil of civilization... and what he is sees is well known: the horror, the horror!
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MindsWideOpen
post Mar 29 2006, 01:58 AM
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Kurtz doesn't bring civilisation to Congo, he and the Company acts on behalf of and representing civilisation . He is civilisation, and he is the consequence of civilisation.

Kurtz did not go out into the jungle and then suddenly went mad, he went and did what he was supposed to do, achieving wonderous results to the amazement of the directors. Burning, pillaging, ravaging - this was not unknown to those in control in the civilised world, for much that was why Kurtz was sent there, and indeed why Marlowe was sent there too. They were not strays from civilisation but agents of it, just like king Leopold.
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Kished
post Mar 29 2006, 02:32 AM
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QUOTE(MindsWideOpen @ Mar 29 2006, 12:49 AM)
Assuming that you are talking about Joseph Conrad, it was the civilised man who brought the evilness to the wilderness, not the other way around. There is little stretch in suggesting that the heart of darkness that he referred to was not Congo, but London or Brussels.
*



While that is certainly true, throughout the book the wilderness and all that it entails is constantly refered to in negative or 'evil' terms.
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gnuneo
post Apr 4 2006, 12:00 PM
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'evil' if it exists is a lack of empathy for other creatures.

what to one person is a tasty mcdonalds hamburger is to another a symbol (and reality) of incredible suffering of other creatures, along with a level of envirnmental damage that only the ignorant or insane could consider 'good'.

what to one person was the justified removal of jewish impurity from tainting the pure aryan culture of germany, was to another a holocaust.

what to one person is the normal and justified use of smacking of a badly behaved child, is to another a brutal imposition of violence against helpless infants.

what to one person is a "bringing of peace and democracy" to an oppressed people, is to another the murder and slaughter of thousands of innocent people who do not want the occupiers there.

what to one person is an harmless fantasy movie that inspires horror, is to another a deranged and violent movie that distorts the viewer.

what to one person is a silly yet good quality rock artist with a penchant for shocking videos and shows, is to another the embodiment of satanism stealing the minds of children.

what to one person is a justified control over content to remove negative influnces from others, is to another a revolting control of the free flow of ideas.


richard bach defined evil as "that which we do not like" - and followed the buddhist argument that it does not exist, except as we create it.


its not straighforward.
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Sushi Bar
post Apr 15 2006, 01:08 AM
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QUOTE(gnuneo @ Apr 4 2006, 08:00 AM)
richard bach defined evil as "that which we do not like" - and followed the buddhist argument that it does not exist, except as we create it.
its not straighforward.es
*


Yup, Buddhists believe that in the human form, all evil stems from craving and it's ugly relatives, greed, delusion, envy, etc.

Ji San


Hello again Gnuneo, I have been reborn as "Sushi Bar". :D
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Lady Bitememan
post Apr 15 2006, 04:48 AM
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I believe that evil does exist. I believe it can be found in ANYTHING that distracts us from God. Luckily Jesus is the GOOD Sheppard, and will save us lost sheep no matter how rough the terrain. When Jesus died on the cross it was to save us from our sins (evil). He didn't give a time line, he didn't point and say, "This is just for 'you, you, and you."

I believe that God is in full control of the situation and if evil is here it is by the will of God. It is here so that we can have a choice. Who is going to love God more; the man with no choice or the man, who having sinned and suffered evil, then turns to God for forgiveness and guarantied grace? The later for sure.
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MindsWideOpen
post Apr 15 2006, 06:27 AM
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QUOTE(Lady Bitememan @ Apr 15 2006, 06:48 AM)
I believe that God is in full control of the situation and if evil is here it is by the will of God. It is here so that we can have a choice. Who is going to love God more; the man with no choice or the man,  who having sinned and suffered evil, then turns to God for forgiveness and guarantied grace? The later for sure.

Sounds like an abusive relationship.
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acow
post Apr 16 2006, 07:26 AM
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He hits me because he loves me...
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Christian
post Apr 21 2006, 11:37 PM
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I belive there is no real evil, only different paths of action....
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Harry Kewell
post Apr 25 2006, 03:30 AM
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QUOTE(Wolfenstein @ Mar 25 2006, 07:58 PM)
Evil is the opposite of "civilization".
*


Incorrect, Evil and civilisation go hand in hand. If someone does something because they don't know any better they are not evil, merely savage. Evil can only exist as a action performed under a concisous choice.
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Wolfenstein
post Apr 25 2006, 03:36 AM
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Evil is our appriciate of an action, not the action itself... Hence the act of a savage can be precieved as evil.
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necrolyte
post Apr 25 2006, 05:07 AM
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QUOTE(Harry Kewell @ Apr 25 2006, 03:30 AM)
Incorrect, Evil and civilisation go hand in hand.  If someone does something because they don't know any better they are not evil, merely savage.  Evil can only exist as a action performed under a concisous choice.
*



I think one would argue that they are "insane", or "psychopathic" not "savage". The perception of evil has little to do with civilization, it has to do with social conciousness.

Its interesting that the Lisbon Earthquake was considered an act of "Evil". It should be noted that its only pretty recently that the world has been considered an ammoral force. This of course raises the interesting point-if morality is an inherent part of the universe, how could nature be ammoral? Alternatively, if the universe is a moral entity, then wouldn't God be directly responsible for evil as well as indirectly responsible for it? Currently, the only religious excuse for evil is free will. I suppose the idea of pantheism makes that all the more interesting. Then again, pantheism would have to account for human evil too.

Evil comes from our ability to expect individuals to act with a certain conciousness of their actions. That doesn't say what evil is, but it does say where it comes from.
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libvertaruan
post Apr 25 2006, 09:59 AM
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Pantheism by definition accounts for everything.
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