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danielost

why do non-believers always

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spacecowboy342

Evil is indeed a human invention Without humans there would be no evil nor any good in the world. Only one primate other than man has ever demonstrated an ability to predict consequence and plan ahead that is the one particular ape which stores up stones to throw at people later on. he probably learned this from observation of human behaviour rather than intellectual awreness.

That's my point. It is a human idea. It is not universal. Only humans place such value on humans. If some mad scientists invented a doomsday device that killed the entire human race the rest of the universe would scarcely notice, let alone be appalled at the evil. Constructiveness and destructiveness are morally neutral acts. Only those involved see them as good or bad

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danielost

The priests in a human sacrifice knows it does no good. He knows it is evil but does it to maintain power over the people. The people who know it is wrong is also evil where as those who don't aren't.

As for the Israelites killing the cannites, god ordered them to do so because they had become evil. But from a military point of view if you are moving into an area already occupied. Anyone you don't kill can later turn on you and kill you.

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spacecowboy342

The priests in a human sacrifice knows it does no good. He knows it is evil but does it to maintain power over the people. The people who know it is wrong is also evil where as those who don't aren't.

As for the Israelites killing the cannites, god ordered them to do so because they had become evil. But from a military point of view if you are moving into an area already occupied. Anyone you don't kill can later turn on you and kill you.

So genocide is ok as long as you've got a good reason?

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Paranoid Android

So genocide is ok as long as you've got a good reason?

Within the culture of a tribal, nomadic society, yes. Resources are limited. Two tribes arrive at a place with sufficient water, cover from the elements, good hunting, and fertile soil, only one of the tribes will survive. Whichever one loses, expect total extermination - the alternative is to let the survivors go and hope that they don't grow powerful enough again to try and take your land.

We may not like that outlook today, but it was how society thought back then. Kill or be killed was the order of things.

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spacecowboy342

Within the culture of a tribal, nomadic society, yes. Resources are limited. Two tribes arrive at a place with sufficient water, cover from the elements, good hunting, and fertile soil, only one of the tribes will survive. Whichever one loses, expect total extermination - the alternative is to let the survivors go and hope that they don't grow powerful enough again to try and take your land.

We may not like that outlook today, but it was how society thought back then. Kill or be killed was the order of things.

Exactly, which illustrates my point. What one society might condemn as evil another would see as normal

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aquatus1

There is nothing subjective in ascertaining that which is positive creative or constructive, and that which is negative and destructive. Nor is there any doubt about intent in human terms.

What, are you a mind reader? What makes you decision regarding intent any more or less authoritative than anyone elses?

Constructive and destructive outcomes are measurable and quanitifiable. That is why I use them as the basis of my value lines and ethics.

I'm sure you do, but that doesn't make your claim correct. No one is questioning whether or not it can be measured. What is being questioned is whether or not it provides an objective definition of evil. You aren't addressing the reasons and examples that are being presented to you.

All functioning adult humans have the cognitive capacity to recognise consequences which is why we are held legally responsible when we do not.

Yes, again, we know this, no one is questioning it. What you were asked is how you determine that animals cannot do the same thing, and why the ability to determine consequences should be an indicator of evil. An examples was presented to you regarding a functional person carrying out an evil action knowing that he would be able to escape the consequences. Your definition does not encompass that situation (or, if it does, explain why and how).

It is a scientific fact that chimps are not capable of the same level of cognition as humans based on their neurology, on their behaviour, eg no physical expressions of abstract thought like reverence for life or burying their dead with ceremony. and most importantly their lack of biological/neurological ability to form abstract concepts and symbolic understandings. A being cannot chose to love or hate if it has no conceptual understanding of the nature of love or hate. No one really disputes this.

Oh well, if you say so then...wait a minute...are you saying chimps have not shown the ability to love or hate?

Oh, I will most definitely dispute that. Incidentally, being that all that is required of them is understanding that there are consequences to their actions, the point is moot. Or are you going to claim that chimps don't understand that either?

Liklewise it is a scientific fact that race or gender has no effect on human cognition while things like age does.

Wait, what? Are we still talking about the same subject?

So you are comparing apples and pears

What am I comparing? What comparison did I make? Are you sure you are responding to the correct post? My point is that there are people who will, regardless of what anyone says, refuse to acknowledge that some races are what most of us consider humans. Are you claiming that isn't true?

The abilty of humans to know good and evil extends to the duty to care for other animals and the environment. No other animal has a similar duty of care because they cannot form the concept of caring..

The ability of humans to recognize and address their mistakes is little more than an advanced form of molding the natural environment to suite their desires. Granted, humans are the only animals who take it so far on a regular basis. How does this translate into good and evil? If someone doesn't care about the environment or animals, are they evil?

Depriving a child of learning is evil because it deprives the child of some of its potential. it is not up to an adult to curtail that personal abilty to grow and learn.

It is universally agreed that it is a parents right to see to the education of their children, as long as the child is not coming to physical or psychological harm. This include not just the acquisition of new data, but also the control of it, and even the restriction of it. Your definition of evil will include every single parent who takes an active interest in their child's education.

And actually the person who hates in their heart is just as evil as one who does something. It is the intent which is evil even if not carried out. The evil in the heart of a man will corrupt him and destroy him even if it hurts no one else but almost always it will manifest in harmful ways to others around him. We act as we are.. A person who kills a known serial killer is probably not evil but good especially where he is protecting other innocent people. Again, it goes to intent. If he is killing the killer for pleasure and nothing else and could stop him hurting the family using other means then he is evil. It is all very simple clear and basic.

Except for the part about actually being able to determine whether he is evil or not. Being that you cannot determine a person's intent, you are basically guessing.

In other words, claiming that some is good if he feels about something one way, and evil if he feels about it a different way, but the action itself is the same in both cases and there is no way to determine the person's intent...is no different than justifying the actions. If you want to think of the person as good, you pretend he wanted to protect the others. If you want to think of him as evil, you claim he did it for pleasure. Functionally, it is identical.

It is easy to ascertain intent from people like the mayans.(or indeed most of the early civilizations) We have records of their beliefs behaviours and reasons for their actions.

All right then, their intent was to prevent the destruction of the world, which is a good thing, and they did so by sacrificing people, which was considered a fairly honorable thing to the citizens, even a reward at times (personally, I prefer a trophy or even cash).

So, the Mayans, not evil?

But for older peoples we can apply modern knowledge and understanding say for example by studying traditional aboriginal australian behaviours at the time of white settlement and for 100 years after that. Most societies organise under laws to protect, regulate and secure the growth of that society, making individuals subject to the greater good of the society which protects and nurtures all. It can be as small as a family or as grea t as a nation but ur motivations politics social behaviours beliefs religious practices etc remain the same. From my reading of mayan history, in general their sacrifices were not evil although some individuals might have acted with personal evil intent as humans tend to do if they can get away with it.

But they were being destructive. And they did so with both intent and knowledge of the consequences. According to your definition, that makes them evil.

Ps I don't know if I said this, but I have a duty to care for chimps, other animals and the environment because of my cognitive self awareness. A chimp owes me no such duty .

Really? Most animals care for others simply out of a social instinct. A chimp may not consider it a duty, but that doesn't mean they won't do it. I can't say I would prefer caring out of duty to caring out of a simply desire to care.

That is the difference between us. I spend thousands of dollars a year protecting animals from pain, suffering, cruel treatment etc. donating to animal welfare organisations and writing to governments about animal rights A chimp cant do that either.

I agree. What I don't agree with is your concept that scale makes a difference. So you spend thousands of dollars on animal rights, big deal. You are ignoring the rest of the world, where millions more suffer and die without cause.

Are you responsible for them too? Of course not. You do what you can do withing your limits. Other people, with less resources or interest, do what they can within their limits. Chimps care about their tribe, which is pretty much the extent of their limits. Claiming that because one can do more, on is therefore superior is a fallacy.

A failure by me to do this, when I know I can make a difference or should at least try to make a difference would also be evil on my part. But when a chimp fails to care about a human , or take such actions to protect humans, the chimp is not doing evil nor is it evil. It knows no better.

Yep, you do seem to be verifying it.

Your definition of evil is basically selfishness.

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Anthony North

Here's my definition of what some categorise as evil (I don't like the word as it has supernatural connotations which, in a way, absolve the person of blame).

As I see it, animals are different to humans in that there is no definite evidence of abstract thought (any evidence to the contrary could be due to mimicry, and the simple act of observation changing the reality being observed). Animals are essentially instinctual in behaviour - a thing that, except in having survival properties, is unacceptable to human society. For instance, if an animal needs something, or requires security, it does what it can to get or achieve it, without moral thought.

Human childhood holds similar properties. Yet what I call the 'thin veneer of morality' is placed through education and example. However, some adults and societies reject this, either through feelings of victimisation, superiority or lack of understanding.

Such adults are, I think, what is incorrectly classed as 'evil'. They have simply retained their instinctual behaviour. Hence, ' what we term 'evil', I would argue, is carrying out instinctual wants within human society.

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Mr Walker

That's my point. It is a human idea. It is not universal. Only humans place such value on humans. If some mad scientists invented a doomsday device that killed the entire human race the rest of the universe would scarcely notice, let alone be appalled at the evil. Constructiveness and destructiveness are morally neutral acts. Only those involved see them as good or bad

As far as we know so far, a human idea is the only universal idea there is because human ideas are the only ones in existence. There are cognitive and logical reasons why humans place values on anything, and especially why we recognise the unique nature and special place of humanity in the world Hypothetically however in your scenario the rest of the universe would indeed recognise and be saddened by the evil in that scientist and the consequent loss of even one race with the potential to make a difference to the universe

You are wrong about the neutrality of a constructive and a destructive act. ANY sapient and self aware being can recognise the different quality and nature of outcomes which flow from destructive and constructive acts. Constructive acts extend the potential of the local universe, and enhance the quality of life of those within it. Destructive ones diminish the potential of individuals, societies, and races of beings; limit growth and the evolution of racial maturity, and diminish the quality of life of all involved.. Only sapient self aware beings can MAKE a judgement about good/bad /evil.

There is no such thing as a morally neutral act, or thought, in the life of a self aware and intelligent being, only variations in how good or evil the consequences of a choice and an act, are.

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spacecowboy342

As far as we know so far, a human idea is the only universal idea there is because human ideas are the only ones in existence. There are cognitive and logical reasons why humans place values on anything, and especially why we recognise the unique nature and special place of humanity in the world Hypothetically however in your scenario the rest of the universe would indeed recognise and be saddened by the evil in that scientist and the consequent loss of even one race with the potential to make a difference to the universe

You are wrong about the neutrality of a constructive and a destructive act. ANY sapient and self aware being can recognise the different quality and nature of outcomes which flow from destructive and constructive acts. Constructive acts extend the potential of the local universe, and enhance the quality of life of those within it. Destructive ones diminish the potential of individuals, societies, and races of beings; limit growth and the evolution of racial maturity, and diminish the quality of life of all involved.. Only sapient self aware beings can MAKE a judgement about good/bad /evil.

There is no such thing as a morally neutral act, or thought, in the life of a self aware and intelligent being, only variations in how good or evil the consequences of a choice and an act, are.

Human ideas may well be the only ideas, though I think that unlikely, but that still doesn't make them universal. The universe did just fine for billions of years without human ideas and will likely do the same should we disappear. Destructive actions may be detrimental to societies but on universal terms they matter little. There is nothing we can do to match the destructiveness of nature. All actions are morally neutral except to those who either benefit or are harmed. Is it morally wrong for a lion to kill a man? If not then the act of killing is morally neutral. If the distinction is the motivation for the killing, this leads us back to the free will discussion
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Mr Walker

What, are you a mind reader? What makes you decision regarding intent any more or less authoritative than anyone elses?

I didn't say I could ascertain the intent of another, just that it is the intent which determines if an act is evil or not. Humans are not positioned to judge the intent of another but every person knows their own intent. This forms part of what we call a conscience

I'm sure you do, but that doesn't make your claim correct. No one is questioning whether or not it can be measured. What is being questioned is whether or not it provides an objective definition of evil. You aren't addressing the reasons and examples that are being presented to you.

Something which can be measured and quantified with accuracy is objective by definition. You are misunderstanding what I am saying about the nature of evil.

Yes, again, we know this, no one is questioning it. What you were asked is how you determine that animals cannot do the same thing, and why the ability to determine consequences should be an indicator of evil. An examples was presented to you regarding a functional person carrying out an evil action knowing that he would be able to escape the consequences. Your definition does not encompass that situation (or, if it does, explain why and how).

I explained this once in detail Evil can only exist where we know and understand the consequences of our actions and STILL chose to do destructive and harmful things. I also explained in detail how science knows why other animals do not have (And cannot have) this sort of mental capacity.

Oh well, if you say so then...wait a minute...are you saying chimps have not shown the ability to love or hate?

Oh, I will most definitely dispute that. Incidentally, being that all that is required of them is understanding that there are consequences to their actions, the point is moot. Or are you going to claim that chimps don't understand that either?

Chimps do not love or hate Those are human mental constructs which require abstract thought and symbolic representation to think/create Chimps do not have the cognitive processing power nor the language sophistication to form such concepts, ergo they cannot love or hate as humans do. We impute these qualities on them because we have them. Chimps have no concept of linear time or delayed gratification so for example they cannot plot revenge. They also have no concept of cause and effect they simply learn and remember form observation . Other wise they would be skilled tool constructors, something made capable only by being able to put together cause and effect and then devise and make a cause (tool) to create an effect. One or two primates, after long contact with humans come close to this skill, but most probably by mimicing human behaviour not through understanding cause and effect.

Wait, what? Are we still talking about the same subject?

What am I comparing? What comparison did I make? Are you sure you are responding to the correct post? My point is that there are people who will, regardless of what anyone says, refuse to acknowledge that some races are what most of us consider humans. Are you claiming that isn't true?

You were making a claim that some how it was the same to say chimps do not have human level cognition as to say that blacks (or women) do not have the same cognitive ability as white men. That is a silly comparison. One compares people of the same species the other compares two different species. There can be no danger in pointing out a trut hbut considerable danger in maintaining a lie.

The ability of humans to recognize and address their mistakes is little more than an advanced form of molding the natural environment to suite their desires. Granted, humans are the only animals who take it so far on a regular basis. How does this translate into good and evil? If someone doesn't care about the environment or animals, are they evil?

A being is evil when it can recognise comparative quality of outcomes, cause and effect, and its own ability to chose; and THEN consciously choses a destructive act. So a person who deliberately, and without any compensating benefit, endangers the habitat we need to survive in is evil Of course! It is why I do not fly, buy new goods, am generally vegetarian and minimise my ecological footprint. To act other wise, knowing I was harming our environment on which we all depend, would make me and my actions evil.

It is universally agreed that it is a parents right to see to the education of their children, as long as the child is not coming to physical or psychological harm. This include not just the acquisition of new data, but also the control of it, and even the restriction of it. Your definition of evil will include every single parent who takes an active interest in their child's education.

No, again the intent and outcomes determine if the parent's behaviour is evil A parent who never teaches their child to read or write is evil UNLESS they have a very compelling constructive reason for doing this. Eg if they could not read and write them selves or if all children who could read and write were executed (think khymer rouge)

Except for the part about actually being able to determine whether he is evil or not. Being that you cannot determine a person's intent, you are basically guessing.

In other words, claiming that some is good if he feels about something one way, and evil if he feels about it a different way, but the action itself is the same in both cases and there is no way to determine the person's intent...is no different than justifying the actions. If you want to think of the person as good, you pretend he wanted to protect the others. If you want to think of him as evil, you claim he did it for pleasure. Functionally, it is identical.

I do not have to know the persons intent They know and the intent exists. this is not about judging people but determining that which is evil and that which is not Something can be evil which I will never know about. including thoughts in a persons head

All right then, their intent was to prevent the destruction of the world, which is a good thing, and they did so by sacrificing people, which was considered a fairly honorable thing to the citizens, even a reward at times (personally, I prefer a trophy or even cash).

So, the Mayans, not evil?

If that was the case then naturally their intent and their act was not evil. Sacrifice is not inherently an evil act. It was done for what they believed to be a constructive purpose and they couldn't know any better. But if you or I did it, it would be evil because we DO know better.

But they were being destructive. And they did so with both intent and knowledge of the consequences. According to your definition, that makes them evil.

No They believed they were being constructive and protecting their people. For them the consequence was the survival and prosperity of their peoples. A productive and creative intent. I cannot judge another's heart and mind based on my knowledge.

Really? Most animals care for others simply out of a social instinct. A chimp may not consider it a duty, but that doesn't mean they won't do it. I can't say I would prefer caring out of duty to caring out of a simply desire to care.

If it is social instinct or biological imperative then it is not caring. Caring requires a conscious choice to care (or not to care)

I agree. What I don't agree with is your concept that scale makes a difference. So you spend thousands of dollars on animal rights, big deal. You are ignoring the rest of the world, where millions more suffer and die without cause.

No I spend tens of thousands of dollars (about 30 percent of my income) feeding children around the world, providing education for them and providing sanitation and fresh water for villages We help abused women home and abroad and provide seed money for womens cottage industries. I save hundreds of lives and improve the lives of thousands My wife and I have also cared for over a dozen young people abandoned by their parents and homeless, for nearly 40 years. if each human being in the west gave just 5 % of their income, poverty and starvation would be eliminated in the world

Are you responsible for them too? Of course not. You do what you can do withing your limits. Other people, with less resources or interest, do what they can within their limits. Chimps care about their tribe, which is pretty much the extent of their limits. Claiming that because one can do more, on is therefore superior is a fallacy.

I do as much as I can. That is true for my treatment of humans animas and environment. It is how I live my life I do not even own a mobile phone. I am realistic and feel no guilt that I cannot do more.

I never said superior, rather the opposite. Knowledge ability and skill creates in a being, a duty and an obligation to do all it can withies qualities. Chimps lack knowledge abilty and skill to do more for them selves or their world. I do not, and so I must

Yep, you do seem to be verifying it.

Your definition of evil is basically selfishness.

A tendency to self and selfishness leads people to evil acts, but is not inherently evil in itself A person who considers them selves more privileged, better, more significant, or just more important than any other human being will generally tend to do more evil than a person who sees all human beings as equal and one I love myself and then I recognise all others as my self. I wouldn't harm myself and so I wouldn't harm another who was not my self with out compelling reasons to do so, either.

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Mr Walker

Human ideas may well be the only ideas, though I think that unlikely, but that still doesn't make them universal. The universe did just fine for billions of years without human ideas and will likely do the same should we disappear. Destructive actions may be detrimental to societies but on universal terms they matter little. There is nothing we can do to match the destructiveness of nature. All actions are morally neutral except to those who either benefit or are harmed. Is it morally wrong for a lion to kill a man? If not then the act of killing is morally neutral. If the distinction is the motivation for the killing, this leads us back to the free will discussion

My point is that, whether the universe did just fine or not is irrelevant now that we are on the scene. We have the capacity and potential to do far better than what has gone before, because of the evolved capacities which exist within us. Even to the point eventually of recreating and reshaping the universe itself.

I said no action of a "self aware and intelligent being" can be morally neutral. When a lion kills there is no morality involved That doesn't make the act morally neutral . But a man cannot kill in a morally neutral way, because he knows what he is doing and the effects it will have on himself and on others

.Evil, morality, ethics, philosophy, theology, love, hate, empathy, kindness charity etc do not exist beyond humanity, as far as we know.

Ps whose ideas other than humans have you heard of?

I did say "as far as we know".

Actually there are many races, intelligences, and ideas "out there" both in our galaxy and beyond it. I learn a lot from them. But I didn't think it was believable or helpful to bring that up in this discussion. They all think a lot like us because of the universality of the process of evolution.

Edited by Mr Walker

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spacecowboy342

My point is that, whether the universe did just fine or not is irrelevant now that we are on the scene. We have the capacity and potential to do far better than what has gone before, because of the evolved capacities which exist within us. Even to the point eventually of recreating and reshaping the universe itself.

I said no HUMAN action can be morally neutral. When a lion kills there is no morality involved That doesn't make the act morally neutral . But a man cannot kill in a morally neutral way, because he knows what he is doing and the effects it will have on himself and on others

.Evil, morality, ethics, philosophy, theology, love, hate, empathy, kindness charity etc do not exist beyond humanity, as far as we know.

Ps whose ideas other than humans have you heard of?

My point is, in the grand scheme of things in the universe, humans and what we think are pretty irrelevant. I haven't heard of any ideas other than human but with the vastness of space I find it unlikely that we are alone. If the universe is truly infinite, if nothing else, there must be endless copies of us making every conceivable decision some where. I completely agree with you about evil, morality,etc. not existing outside humanity, but I think this shows that these things are not universal or absolute
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Ben Masada

The priests in a human sacrifice knows it does no good. He knows it is evil but does it to maintain power over the people. The people who know it is wrong is also evil where as those who don't aren't.

As for the Israelites killing the cannites, god ordered them to do so because they had become evil. But from a military point of view if you are moving into an area already occupied. Anyone you don't kill can later turn on you and kill you.

Parting from the principle that I don't like to anthropomorphize God with being like a man to kill to conquer, I agree with the military policy to kill to prevent further revolts with the intent to recover their possessions. Therefore, human strategy. I agree that it was the military policy at the time of the great migrations at the time of Joshua. By the way, the Israelites were not unique as it was a custom of the times. If we consider what the Europeans did in America with the dispossession of the natives to replace them with themselves, there is no difference from the migrations in Canaan of that time.

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spacecowboy342

Parting from the principle that I don't like to anthropomorphize God with being like a man to kill to conquer, I agree with the military policy to kill to prevent further revolts with the intent to recover their possessions. Therefore, human strategy. I agree that it was the military policy at the time of the great migrations at the time of Joshua. By the way, the Israelites were not unique as it was a custom of the times. If we consider what the Europeans did in America with the dispossession of the natives to replace them with themselves, there is no difference from the migrations in Canaan of that time.

You make a good point but I find genocide distasteful in any circumstance

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Mr Walker

My point is, in the grand scheme of things in the universe, humans and what we think are pretty irrelevant. I haven't heard of any ideas other than human but with the vastness of space I find it unlikely that we are alone. If the universe is truly infinite, if nothing else, there must be endless copies of us making every conceivable decision some where. I completely agree with you about evil, morality,etc. not existing outside humanity, but I think this shows that these things are not universal or absolute

No entity capable of changing their environment consciously is irrelevant to the universe because they have the ability to reshape the entire universe using mind and technology. Whether we live in an endless multiverse or a form of 'long earth' it doesn't matter. Beings like human beings will inevitably shape it to their needs if they survive for any length of time. First dyson spheres then terraforming the local solar system then stepping up to level 1 civilizations and expanding out throughout the galaxy.

Now either humans are the only self aware beings in the universe, in which case our evil and good is the only evil and good in the universe, or else there are many other similar species. In that case evil remains the same for them. As a self aware species they will also evolve the same properties of mind to construct and recognise evil and good in the same terms we do. Otherwise they would not be able to become sapient and self aware.

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spacecowboy342

No entity capable of changing their environment consciously is irrelevant to the universe because they have the ability to reshape the entire universe using mind and technology. Whether we live in an endless multiverse or a form of 'long earth' it doesn't matter. Beings like human beings will inevitably shape it to their needs if they survive for any length of time. First dyson spheres then terraforming the local solar system then stepping up to level 1 civilizations and expanding out throughout the galaxy.

Now either humans are the only self aware beings in the universe, in which case our evil and good is the only evil and good in the universe, or else there are many other similar species. In that case evil remains the same for them. As a self aware species they will also evolve the same properties of mind to construct and recognise evil and good in the same terms we do. Otherwise they would not be able to become sapient and self aware.

We can change our environment on earth but we have no influence beyond that. When you consider that all the stars and galaxies we observe make up about 1% of all the matter and energy in the observable universe I would say a group of hairless primates on one little dustspect of a planet are pretty irrelevant except to themselves. In any case what we consider good or evil is relevant only to us

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aquatus1
I didn't say I could ascertain the intent of another, just that it is the intent which determines if an act is evil or not. Humans are not positioned to judge the intent of another but every person knows their own intent. This forms part of what we call a conscience

A definition which cannot be applied to a real-world situation is little more than philosophy. I have little to no interest in such things, so I won't be following up on it should this be the case.

Something which can be measured and quantified with accuracy is objective by definition.

Again, no one is arguing that. What is being argued is whether what you are measuring actually represents a measure of evil (objective or otherwise).

Chimps do not love or hate Those are human mental constructs which require abstract thought and symbolic representation to think/create Chimps do not have the cognitive processing power nor the language sophistication to form such concepts, ergo they cannot love or hate as humans do. We impute these qualities on them because we have them. Chimps have no concept of linear time or delayed gratification so for example they cannot plot revenge. They also have no concept of cause and effect they simply learn and remember form observation . Other wise they would be skilled tool constructors, something made capable only by being able to put together cause and effect and then devise and make a cause (tool) to create an effect. One or two primates, after long contact with humans come close to this skill, but most probably by mimicing human behaviour not through understanding cause and effect.

And it this sort of assumption about other species that people use to justify not thinking of other races as having the same cognitive abilities as other humans. You claim all of the above (you even have the presumption to claim no one really disagrees with you). Yet all primatologists know Frank de Waal's works, where he notes behavior among chimps including romance, cause and effect, and revenge. In particular, he notice how, when given a choice between a reward for himself and a reward for himself and his mate, he would inevitably choose the latter. Best of all, however, was the downright Machiavellian plot by one chimp to usurp the power of the tribe. The chimp was bested by the current leader, so over the course of several months, this sneaky chimp courted another younger, stronger chimp, grooming him to challenging the leader more and more often, until the younger chimp beat the leader and became the new leader of the tribe...while still following the direction of the behind-the-scenes chimp. And yes, Frank de Waals is considered a highly credible primatologist, and many primatologists do agree with his assessments, particularly those who work with chimps.

You made assumptions about a different species, and it turns out that you are likely wrong about those assumptions, meaning that a species you did not credit with certain cognitive abilities do indeed have them and use them in pretty much the same manner as humans. It is simply a difference in scale. Like I said, there are humans who feel the same way about other humans.

You were making a claim that some how it was the same to say chimps do not have human level cognition as to say that blacks (or women) do not have the same cognitive ability as white men. That is a silly comparison. One compares people of the same species the other compares two different species. There can be no danger in pointing out a trut hbut considerable danger in maintaining a lie.

No, I was not making that claim. I was saying that there are people who do make that claim, whether you like it or not. And, whether you like it or not, they do not acknowledge any difference between the people they discriminate against and a different species. They literally believe that other races are not human and do not feel emotion the same way humans do. Like it or not, that sort of racism does indeed exist, no matter how silly you feel they are being. Treating people like this is destructive, to say the least. However, a racist who treats people like this, even though they know the consequences but simply don't agree that they are dealing with humans and therefore don't really have any intent, don't fall under your classification of evil. After all, if it turns out that you are wrong about chimps, but decide that you don't agree with de Waals, you will be in pretty much the same place (although it wouldn't be racism so much as...specieism? Speciest? Something like that.)

I'm not saying you are completely wrong. I'm saying your definition isn't really all-encompassing. There is little practical difference between it and selfishness, and no functional way to determine whether or not a person is actually evil by anyone out side that person's head. As a definition, it really doesn't help define anything.

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danielost

Good and evil is not subjective. True good and evil would be the same everywhere in the universe. Assuming, there is one god, or a family of gods.

I don't know the verse, but the bible says all the stars were placed before there was an universe.

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spacecowboy342

Good and evil is not subjective. True good and evil would be the same everywhere in the universe. Assuming, there is one god, or a family of gods.

I don't know the verse, but the bible says all the stars were placed before there was an universe.

Pretty big assumption and not one I am ready to make. And this is just another example of why the bible can't be taken literally.

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Mr Walker

We can change our environment on earth but we have no influence beyond that. When you consider that all the stars and galaxies we observe make up about 1% of all the matter and energy in the observable universe I would say a group of hairless primates on one little dustspect of a planet are pretty irrelevant except to themselves. In any case what we consider good or evil is relevant only to us

The fact that we can change our environment on earth proves we can change it anywhere. Eventually, if we develop wisdom and survive long enough, we will expand into and take over many planets and systems in our local area. If we live even longer we will eventually occupy the galaxy and perhaps the universe Nothing is impossible when it comes to humanity.

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Mr Walker

A definition which cannot be applied to a real-world situation is little more than philosophy. I have little to no interest in such things, so I won't be following up on it should this be the case.

Again, no one is arguing that. What is being argued is whether what you are measuring actually represents a measure of evil (objective or otherwise).

And it this sort of assumption about other species that people use to justify not thinking of other races as having the same cognitive abilities as other humans. You claim all of the above (you even have the presumption to claim no one really disagrees with you). Yet all primatologists know Frank de Waal's works, where he notes behavior among chimps including romance, cause and effect, and revenge. In particular, he notice how, when given a choice between a reward for himself and a reward for himself and his mate, he would inevitably choose the latter. Best of all, however, was the downright Machiavellian plot by one chimp to usurp the power of the tribe. The chimp was bested by the current leader, so over the course of several months, this sneaky chimp courted another younger, stronger chimp, grooming him to challenging the leader more and more often, until the younger chimp beat the leader and became the new leader of the tribe...while still following the direction of the behind-the-scenes chimp. And yes, Frank de Waals is considered a highly credible primatologist, and many primatologists do agree with his assessments, particularly those who work with chimps.

You made assumptions about a different species, and it turns out that you are likely wrong about those assumptions, meaning that a species you did not credit with certain cognitive abilities do indeed have them and use them in pretty much the same manner as humans. It is simply a difference in scale. Like I said, there are humans who feel the same way about other humans.

No, I was not making that claim. I was saying that there are people who do make that claim, whether you like it or not. And, whether you like it or not, they do not acknowledge any difference between the people they discriminate against and a different species. They literally believe that other races are not human and do not feel emotion the same way humans do. Like it or not, that sort of racism does indeed exist, no matter how silly you feel they are being. Treating people like this is destructive, to say the least. However, a racist who treats people like this, even though they know the consequences but simply don't agree that they are dealing with humans and therefore don't really have any intent, don't fall under your classification of evil. After all, if it turns out that you are wrong about chimps, but decide that you don't agree with de Waals, you will be in pretty much the same place (although it wouldn't be racism so much as...specieism? Speciest? Something like that.)

I'm not saying you are completely wrong. I'm saying your definition isn't really all-encompassing. There is little practical difference between it and selfishness, and no functional way to determine whether or not a person is actually evil by anyone out side that person's head. As a definition, it really doesn't help define anything.

But this can be applied to a real word situation. Like you I do not have much use for theoretical philosophy but the identification of good/evel helps humaniy make wiser decisions and not commit destructive deeds. Once an individual identifies the harmful effects of his actions he is less likely to commit them.

Destructive outcome from deliberate intent to be destructive, is always evil whatever the social context of the act. it is not the actual deed but its intent and its effects which make it evil. So slavery is sometimes evil and sometimes good abortion is sometimes evil and sometimes good. Murder is sometimes evil and sometimes good. But ALWAYS if the act is deliberately and consciously designed and chosen to create a hurtful harmful and destructive effect, without other mitigating effects, it is evil.

I am not wrong about the difference between humans and other animals nor am I wrong to say that science recognises this difference. It is a matter of science not belief it is physically impossible for an other animal to have human equivalent cognition without human equivalent speech for example because our internal thoughts are the same as our external words and use sophisticated conceptual and symbolic forms which other animals cannot create or use. Like love or hate or empathy or spirit. And because they cannot create them in external speech it is physically impossible for them to form or create them in their minds and thoughts. We learn and evolve human level cognition via language skills. This has been known to science for at least 40 years.

Iit doesn't matter what fools think about race, sex, or religion. It is not justifiable to base your beliefs or opinions on those of uneducated or stupid people. So I don't have to take into consideration the thoughts of someone who thinks a black person is innately less intelligent than a white one, or that a woman has a different and lesser mental capabilty to a man, just as I don't really have to consider the opinions of someone who thinks the earth is flat.

Species are different in brain capacity, evolved intelligence, language utility, self awareness and cognition, unlike men and women, or blacks and whites. It is politically correct and scientifically accurate therefore to be speciest.

And dangerous, because it is flawed thinking and will lead to false actions, to equate other animals with human level self awareness

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spacecowboy342

The fact that we can change our environment on earth proves we can change it anywhere. Eventually, if we develop wisdom and survive long enough, we will expand into and take over many planets and systems in our local area. If we live even longer we will eventually occupy the galaxy and perhaps the universe Nothing is impossible when it comes to humanity.

No it just proves we can change it where we can get to. Many things are impossible. We may take over other planets given time though I would say it's even money that we'll destroy ourselves first, but there are places that are just too far away to ever get to. Edited by spacecowboy342

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Mr Walker

No it just proves we can change it where we can get to. Many things are impossible. We may take over other planets given time though I would say it's even money that we'll destroy ourselves first, but there are places that are just too far away to ever get to.

They used to think there were places on the earth too far away to ever get to. (and they were because you would die before the transport of the time could ever get you there. But generations of people gradually walked across the earth given enough time.)

People certainly once thought the moon was too far to ever get to, and two hundred years ago no one ever believed humans would build a space ship capable of leaving our solar system, which voyager 1 (most aptly named) has now done.

Self destruction is certainly an option. That would be such a shame, and a waste of potential, that we must ensure it doesn't happen.

Humans are already designing and working on the theoretical solutions to ways of travelling faster than light, and instantaneous travel over any distance is certainly a theoretical reality, even today. It requires only sufiicient energy (which exists in abundance in the universe for us to utilize) and specific technologies, which humans are quite capable of eventually engineering. Don't let the actual distances involved put you off. They are certainly not insurmountable, any more than the atlantic ocean, or the distance to the moon/edge of our solar system, proved insurmountable.

Even the other "'universes" which lie next to ours can be reached via wormholes and discontinuities in space.

Edited by Mr Walker

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spacecowboy342

They used to think there were places on the earth too far away to ever get to. (and they were because you would die before the transport of the time could ever get you there. But generations of people gradually walked across the earth given enough time.)

People certainly once thought the moon was too far to ever get to, and two hundred years ago no one ever believed humans would build a space ship capable of leaving our solar system, which voyager 1 (most aptly named) has now done.

Self destruction is certainly an option. That would be such a shame, and a waste of potential, that we must ensure it doesn't happen.

Humans are already designing and working on the theoretical solutions to ways of travelling faster than light, and instantaneous travel over any distance is certainly a theoretical reality, even today. It requires only sufiicient energy (which exists in abundance in the universe for us to utilize) and specific technologies, which humans are quite capable of eventually engineering. Don't let the actual distances involved put you off. They are certainly not insurmountable, any more than the atlantic ocean, or the distance to the moon/edge of our solar system, proved insurmountable.

Even the other "'universes" which lie next to ours can be reached via wormholes and discontinuities in space.

What they used to think is irrelevant. Wake me when we actually prove a wormhole can be created and used for transport Edited by spacecowboy342

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Mr Walker

What they used to think is irrelevant. Wake me when we actually prove a wormhole can be created and used for transport

How can it be irrelevant ? it proves that humans always under estimate that which they are capable of and that increasing technology reduces the tyranny of distance. As an Australian I am especially aware of this It took my ancestors many months to sail from Europe to Australia I can fly there in less than a day New scram jet technology will mean that I can have breakfast in Sydney and tea in London on the same day.

Humans have already transported photons faster than light over increasingly long distances (instantaneously) and will have the ability to be able to transmit solid matter within a decade or two according to the scientists working on these subject.s The only problem with traversing a wormhole is the energy involved Once we develop energy shielding it will only be a relatively short time before we can have shields capable of withstanding the force of a worm hole OR we can transmit through a worm hole and reformat on the other side. Again this technology (Matter transmission and energy shielding) is being developed right now, and will be up and running before the end of this century not some far distant time in the future.

You know, for a space cowboy you don't have much confidence in space travel. :devil:

NASA is already developing a plasma shield for future space flights to Mars. When traveling beyond the confines of Earth’s magnetic fields, astronauts would become vulnerable to solar radiation and charged particles ejected from the sun. We have experienced cases in which circuits on deep space satellites were fried and rendered inoperable because solar flares destroyed them.

In the eventuality that Man takes another “small step” to the next planet in our solar system, we will have to protect our astronauts from solar flares. NASA’s plasma bubble is established by a wire frame network of charged plasma to induce a magnetic field around the ship. This design is similar to the one proposed here, except that my concept uses magnetic fields to conform a bubble of plasma in order to block phasers and torpedoes. While plasma shields are theoretically possible, we may not see brilliant space battles anytime soon. Nevertheless, NASA’s own inventions and efforts in the development of shield technology is very electrifying (excuse the pun), and this brings us one step closer to landing humans on another world for the very first time.

This whole article is worth a read. It is by an expert in the field (excuse the pun) and is already nearly 3 years behind present developments

http://www.treknews....act-shields-up/

As for recent deevloments in matter transmission

In quantum teleportation, quantum information can be transmitted from one node to another in a quantum network without physically traversing the space in between. The technique could be used to transmit information in a secure way over very large distances, and can ultimately lead to worldwide quantum internet.

Teleportation can be realized with either photonic qubits or matter qubits. In 2012, physicists teleported photonic qubits a record distance of 143 km. Teleporting matter qubits over long distances is more difficult than teleporting photonic qubits because it requires quantum memories and a strong interaction between light and matter. In a previous experiment, scientists have performed material teleportation without a strong light-matter interaction, and achieved a distance of 1 m. However, the low photon-collection efficiency in free space prevents scaling of that approach to larger distances.

In the new study, the physicists have eliminated this obstacle by trapping two remote single atoms in their own optical cavity. The optical cavity increases the photon collection efficiency and the interaction strength between atom and photon. Both effects lead to an increase in the number of "usable" photons. In the absence of a cavity, atom-photon entanglement can also be generated with high efficiency; however, the emission direction of the photons is random, so most of the photons will be lost.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news...qubits.html#jCp

and even this news is now a year out of date. We are actually on the verge of transmitting inert solid matter/particles and this should be commonplace by 2050. in a sense a 3d printer does this already. For a variety of reasons transmitting humans is more problematic, but scientists in the field believe this will be possible before 2100

Edited by Mr Walker

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