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markdohle

Talk about evil

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Talk about evil

People often talk about evil in ways that keeps them out of the equation. When in fact the only way to even begin to understand the problem of evil, is to have some knowledge of ones own involvement in it and deep participation, either through our actions, or our backing away and not doing what should be done. I often have good reason for what I do, but if what I have done with all my reasons, where done to me, well they would seem cruel and yes evil because of the affect it would have on me. There are no simple answers for the reality of evil and suffering in this world, but understanding and self-knowledge can lead to some diminishment in how we treat and judge others. I need mercy for what I have done. Why would I deny that to others? It I is a struggle, but one well worth dealing with.

Evil thrives when there is little empathy or compassion.

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Knowledge is self.

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Although non-Christians will balk, Paul speaks about the paradox of internal/external evil in Romans (7:15ff.). His words are telling. I dislike considering how I support and particiiate in evil just be paying my taxes. . . or waking up in the morning. Thanks for the post--this is important for us to contemplate, whoever we are.

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Understanding the minds of certain people does not make you the same as them.

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whats evil to one person may not be evil to the next. it just depends on your definition of what evil is

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Posted (edited)

Evil thrives when there is little empathy or compassion.

I would, to a point, disagree - because this assumes evil is always a solitary pursuit - or that empathy and compassion are always good.

It was compassion which drove Christian missionaries to convert millions from their own beliefs - and in doing so they destroyed innocent cultures, families and lives. It was Christian empathy for "the Word of Christ/God", which drove them to slaughter thousands of innocents in various purges and Inquisitions.

Evil can have compassion, and evil can be empathetic. Evil is just the consequence of actions - and those actions can be pure in intent.

Edited by Leonardo
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Posted (edited)

I would, to a point, disagree - because this assumes evil is always a solitary pursuit - or that empathy and compassion are always good.

It was compassion which drove Christian missionaries to convert millions from their own beliefs - and in doing so they destroyed innocent cultures, families and lives. It was Christian empathy for "the Word of Christ/God", which drove them to slaughter thousands of innocents in various purges and Inquisitions.

Evil can have compassion, and evil can be empathetic. Evil is just the consequence of actions - and those actions can be pure in intent.

"I often have good reason for what I do, but if what I have done with all my reasons, where done to me, well they would seem cruel and yes evil because of the affect it would have on me. There are no simple answers for the reality of evil and suffering in this world, but understanding and self-knowledge can lead to some diminishment in how we treat and judge others. I need mercy for what I have done. Why would I deny that to others? It I is a struggle, but one well worth dealing with."

How have your participated in bringing evil to the world, I guess that is the main thrust of the statement. Great evil is done in the name of country, tribe and yes religion, and I would think that adults, who can reason have also done evil. It is easy to point at others, it takes the attention off of ourselves. So we have billions of people pointing at someone else.......perhaps few looking inward at themselves. Though I would guess there are innocents, perhaps you are one of them. I know of none however, so perhaps that leads to my posting.....in which I include myself, one who has done evil for all the right reasons, accept in how it affected others and how it would do me If it happened to me.

Peace

Mark

Edited by markdohle

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Posted (edited)

How have your participated in bringing evil to the world, I guess that is the main thrust of the statement. Great evil is done in the name of country, tribe and yes religion, and I would think that adults, who can reason have also done evil. It is easy to point at others, it takes the attention off of ourselves. So we have billions of people pointing at someone else.......perhaps few looking inward at themselves. Though I would guess there are innocents, perhaps you are one of them. I know of none however...

There are billions of innocents in the world, Mark. Perhaps not innocent in that they know nothing of evil, but innocent in the sense they are/were innocent of the 'crimes' some have accused them of. Such as the 'crime' of not believing in Jesus, or the 'crime' of using herbal remedies.

Edited by Leonardo
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Posted (edited)

whats evil to one person may not be evil to the next. it just depends on your definition of what evil is

Well if you got a room full of people from all over the world, from many religions as well as none, and if they were asked to give a list of what they would consider an evil against them or their loved ones I am sure that the list would be similar. I doubt that anyone would say that for someone to rape their wife would not be evil, or to steal, or to abuse or kill their children would not be evil. To burn their homes and villages would be considered evil, as well as taking their land, enslaving their children for sexual slavery etc., I can't think of anyone who would say this is not an evil. The reason the golden rule is so widespread is that it is here where we know what evil is, what we would not want to be done to ourselves, we do not do to another. Evil is not an abstract idea, but a lack of the good, of love, of caring for others as one would want to be cared for. Religion or faith is not needed to understand this, these are written into the human heart......we have no excuse for the evils we do. .

Edited by markdohle

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There are billions of innocents in the world, Mark. Perhaps not innocent in that they know nothing of evil, but innocent in the sense they are/were innocent of the 'crimes' some have accused them of. Such as the 'crime' of not believing in Jesus, or the 'crime' of using herbal remedies.

I understand my friend, but again that was not my intent, of course in the past and today there is great injustice in the world, the only way that can change is through each person, from the bottom up.....though that will most likely never happen, however, we are all responsible for our lives, that is what sin is, it points to the fact, not a pleasant one by any means, that our lives have meaning, and how we love and treat others is the most important aspect of our lives.

Peace

mark

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For the first time in history as far as we can tell, there is a creature upon the earth that is capable of rising above the savagery of its nature.

I think we should embrace this. A little bit of ethics from Socrates tells that a good human is a human that thinks well. We also have the unique trait of thoughtful compassion. In the Socratic tradition of ethics, I think if we do what our species is unique at ( thinking and showing extreme compassion) then we are embracing what it means to be human. Savagery and self seeking is the norm for most other life on earth, we are no different than animals if we behave like them. Not that animals are bad, but they are exercising their unique traits, while we do not acting like them. In some way that makes us beneath them. If humans exercised to its fullest our unique traits Truly thinking with compassion, I think we would raise the world and life up to heights that are unimaginable.

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Well if you got a room full of people from all over the world, from many religions as well as none, and if they were asked to give a list of what they would consider an evil against them or their loved ones I am sure that the list would be similar. I doubt that anyone would say that for someone to rape their wife would not be evil, or to steal, or to abuse or kill their children would not be evil. To burn their homes and villages would be considered evil, as well as taking their land, enslaving their children for sexual slavery etc., I can't think of anyone who would say this is not an evil. The reason the golden rule is so widespread is that it is here where we know what evil is, what we would not want to be done to ourselves, we do not do to another. Evil is not an abstract idea, but a lack of the good, of love, of caring for others as one would want to be cared for. Religion or faith is not needed to understand this, these are written into the human heart......we have no excuse for the evils we do. .

I see what your saying, but keep in mind that the golden rule isnt always on the mind of the person that commits an "evil" act. Of course no one would want anything to happen to there kids, but look at it from the person commiting the evil act, they may not see it as evil they may see it as a way to get what they want. Also as far as slavery goes money always triumphs over evil, people will do just about anything to get a buck and slavery is a moneymaker. As far as the taking the land goes the person taking it is only thinking about himself and not the people of that land. Do you think Hernan Cortez during the conquering and killing of the Incas was worried about the golden rule or thought that what he was doing was evil? Do you think Ghenghis Kahn was worried about the golden rule and thought to himself "him maybe me raping and pillaging and conquering is the wrong thing to do? The strong survive and take advantage of the weak, thats just the way the world works, Im sorry to say

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see what your saying, but keep in mind that the golden rule isnt always on the mind of the person that commits an "evil" act. Of course no one would want anything to happen to there kids, but look at it from the person commiting the evil act, they may not see it as evil they may see it as a way to get what they want. Also as far as slavery goes money always triumphs over evil, people will do just about anything to get a buck and slavery is a moneymaker. As far as the taking the land goes the person taking it is only thinking about himself and not the people of that land. Do you think Hernan Cortez during the conquering and killing of the Incas was worried about the golden rule or thought that what he was doing was evil? Do you think Ghenghis Kahn was worried about the golden rule and thought to himself "him maybe me raping and pillaging and conquering is the wrong thing to do? The strong survive and take advantage of the weak, thats just the way the world works, Im sorry to say

People don't seek 'evil', they seek something that they think is 'good', and what brings out the evil is what they are willing to do to get it. In order to believe that there is some kind of objective moral code; one would have to believe in some sort of moral law that was before mankind, in other words 'God". All the men you mentioned would indeed think it evil if what they did was done to them, in that, again, they have no excuse for their actions. If done to them, they would scream like their victims.

If there is no God, then yes, it is up to each to decide what is evil or good. I would think if Dawkins was taking to a friend who was also an atheist about his take or good and evil, also on our duty of override ones evolution, his friend a fellow atheist could easily disagree and Dawkins could say nothing about it. The only wrong would be to get caught. Atheism when thought through comes to some conclusions that would actually make culture impossible without some sort of ruler that would take it on his or herself to decide what is right or wrong....North Korea comes to mind for instances.

Sin means that our lives have meaning and that we actually do pay for the evil we do,in other words there is an after life.....even if mercy is sought, some sort of inner suffering would be needed to heal the soul, this perhaps comes from reliving all the evil that one has done in the first person. As Jesus said, "all will be made known. Mercy comes from insight, it is not something one would ask for on any deep level unless some inner light revelaed it leading to the seeking of mercy. Evil makes us monsters, that is a state I believe that could continue for an eternity. Only infinite mercy can heal such a state.

In a world where there is no good or evil, then justice is also an illusion and can never be reached. The problem is this, Justice is a deep need of the soul, we seek justice in many ways, to understand that men who do evil things do so with impunity is perhaps deadly to any future for mankind. If there was no afterlife, it would not be so bad; it is just a dreamless non-state-of being....so to kill someone who has done great evil, like Hitler for instance is not justice at all, but an escape into nothingness.

Believers do great evil because they are seeking some higher good, they become monsters as well, our choices create us, it is grace that heals and renews us.

Edited by markdohle

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I believe there is a God, and a Devil. Although I don't believe there is an afterlife, I think once you die that's it. I see what your saying and I do agree with you. I was just coming at the question with a different view

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I believe there is a God, and a Devil. Although I don't believe there is an afterlife, I think once you die that's it. I see what your saying and I do agree with you. I was just coming at the question with a different view

I understood, I was glad for your observation, it made me think deeper on this issue.

peace

mark

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I believe there is a God, and a Devil. Although I don't believe there is an afterlife, I think once you die that's it. I see what your saying and I do agree with you. I was just coming at the question with a different view

If there is a God, seems to me kinda stingy of him to not provide an afterlife.

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If there is a God, seems to me kinda stingy of him to not provide an afterlife.

If we assume a 'god' exists, then there is no necessity to assume this god is a creator - let alone our creator. "God" can mean many things.

Therefore, if this god is not our creator, why would this god have any interest in furnishing us with an afterlife?

People, it seems to me, have become so accustomed to thinking abut 'god' and divinity in terms expressed by only the major religions, they forget that those religions did not define the concept of 'god' or divinity - they only defined their concept of it.

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Still it is stingy of Him if He doesn't. If He can't, then I would not think he is much of a god.

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Still it is stingy of Him if He doesn't. If He can't, then I would not think he is much of a god.

Why?

If there is a god we may be nothing more to it than bacteria are to us. Why would a god have to show compassion to be a god?

God may be, by our standards, completely psychopathic - because that term is used in the context of human empathy and who says god is human? God may not even be 'super-human' or 'human-like', but be completely different to us as we are different to bacteria.

We are just as likely to find out god is 'evil' - by our standards and definition of 'evil' - as we are to find out god is 'good'.

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Then I guess the best course is to leave such hypothetical deities out of our calculations and operate on the assumption that whether or not they exist is irrelevant to our situation. Seems to me that has been taught before.

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Then I guess the best course is to leave such hypothetical deities out of our calculations and operate on the assumption that whether or not they exist is irrelevant to our situation. Seems to me that has been taught before.

:lol:

I caught an ever-so-slight sense of irony or sarcasm (a good-natured kind) in your post that made me chuckle. Forgive me if it wasn't there, but that is what I sensed.

I agree completely that injecting hypothetical deities into a discussion on evil doesn't add any meaningful information to the topic. :tu:

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That was what I wanted to do, so I'm glad. (Not sarcasm though).

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When talking about good and evil god naturally comes into it for some reason, I dont think God is stingy in anyway, were living now what point is there to have an afterlife. To go floating around as disembodied spirits?

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