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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?      Home login  
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 LogicalDreams
Joined: 5/28/2009
Msg: 33
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Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?Page 3 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
,

Heh. I love the sarcasm. What do you think gives us "talking monkeys" the desire to excuse our behavior? Especially if the behavior is interpreted as "positive?"

In terms of imprisonment, murder and war... My belief is this.. They are all justified if, indeed they are occurring over truly uncompromisable differences in belief. I believe this, you believe that = conflict. How do you resolve conflict? Compromising; Proving one or the other right; or Eliminating one or the other.

Do you believe behavior has no moral? Is giving behavior moral or defining it as "good" or "bad" a way of putting a mask over something that is truly neutral? -1, 0, 1?
 LogicalDreams
Joined: 5/28/2009
Msg: 34
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Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/19/2010 11:41:30 PM
davdo,

Do you believe this is the case for all things that can be considered right or wrong? Your example of the morale of incest is biologically based/originated. Does every instance of morale have some biological backing? I'm wondering if all morals do. I've never thought of this.

Let me give you an example of moral conflict that I feel has nothing to do with the


continued survival of our species.


Example: It is wrong to eat your food with your hands. It is right to eat your food with a fork.

Does this actually relate to the continued survival of our species? Or does it relate more towards the continued survival of one culture (out of many) that is believed to provide the right way for our specie to survive?
 KapnKregg
Joined: 1/9/2010
Msg: 35
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/20/2010 7:57:29 AM

There are no such things as good or evil, right or wrong.......just human opinions.


Well there you go folks - the Holocaust was just another opinion. Nothing wrong there I guess.


Such odd concepts didn't exist in nature until humans came along


What we would refer to as "moral" behavior has been exhibited withing the animal kingdom too - especially among chimps, baboons, and lab rats (because they are the most studied).
 bluezoot_riot
Joined: 5/21/2007
Msg: 36
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/20/2010 11:17:02 AM
People "sin" in order to reach happiness.


People act in order to reach happiness.
Sin actually means "to miss the mark," in ones actions or even sometimes ones thoughts.
In a way then, if people can only rationally choose the "good," then choosing the "bad" while supposing it is "good" is a mistake of ones reason. A sin.
Sin bonds us to these bad actions, and dissolves our ability to see the good action.

While it is true that sin often "feels" good in the moment--lust, vengeance; they lead to the death of our inward selves, and sometimes even our bodies.


Further, before the resurrection and before belief man can only live in sin, that is, it is his nature to be selfish and sin; post-resurrection/belief allows one to please God, to live "in the good" and move beyond selfishness into selflessness, through faith.


But how can someone acting to achieve hapiness be called a sinner. They are doing a GOOD thing. They are making themselves happy.


If I have to cheat at cards to win the game and the money, ergo making myself happy, does the end justify the means?
 JoshGuy
Joined: 2/19/2010
Msg: 37
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/20/2010 11:44:24 AM
Ok. Here is my simplistic view of good and evil.

There is no good and evil. There are only choices to be made. These choices can affect people in many different ways and the question we have to ask is will those affects be constructive or destructive?

This way, you do not have the dogmatic perspective of good and evil, of fighting for one or the other. You have a more forgiving attitude because when someone says, "Oh the nazis were evil" I would just say they were empowered by a misled populace who didn't have the presence of mind to make the right choice. So I am much more forgiving than most. I will forgive my enemies and see everyone as a potential friend. The most important skill for any situation then becomes critical thinking.
 mickeymowss
Joined: 9/18/2009
Msg: 38
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/20/2010 12:52:08 PM
I like your take on happiness, and how people try to regulate it to keep peace.

Another point of view is the "pleasure-pain" principle,

It basically just rewords one of your sentences and puts it this way:

Increase pleasure (i.e. happiness)
Reduce pain (avoid it if you can)

But how is this practical, how can thinking this way have any success?

Consider this...Sometimes we make decisions, and it looks like the perfect decision TODAY, and then 3 years down the road you look back and you say, "WHY did I do that?".
Don't some of you feel guilty after eating that cheesecake after dinner?
Well it made you happy when you were doing it right?
But what's the result? a Fat, tender, juicy belly. right in front of you.

Main topic though is what caught me "do right and wrong exist?"
Yes, if you give some food to a hungry guy, dying on the street, better yet take the poor bastrd to a shelter, ask him "are you okay!?" That sounds like the right thing to do, but what if the guy turned out to be a convict, or a racist, and you didn't find out until after you took him to the vet, I mean the shelter? Was that decision better than just leaving him on the ground dying and thinking to yourself "He probably had it coming to him"?
Do we need hero's or do we need self-centered people to create happiness?
 JP1111
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 39
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/20/2010 2:19:08 PM
Bible Thumper, don't forget that good/evil comes down to what you as person thinks of an occuring event. It does not mean that the event was good or evil since it just means that it is what it is and YOU have reacted to it in the way that you did.

Why would that lead to confusion, chaos, and violence between folks? Because I see as winning the lottery as good thing but since you didn't, you would create havoc?
 JP1111
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 40
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/20/2010 9:09:33 PM
MetDBlck, you sure know how to take something simple and make it overly complex.

Right off the get-go, you see two major forms: MORALITY and POWER

I would agree that if you believe in God, you will be thinking about all that you said and then, draw your own conclusions. Regarding power,


God is the POWER of the universe


But what if you don't believe in God? Personally, I see that we ALL have the power of our own lives. God can be whomever and whatever you want and can have whatever influences in your life but ultimately, you are still the God of your life.

Who decides the morality? Each one of us will. There is no 1 way of pre-determined “rule” to follow, if you don't believe in God. Of course if you do, then you may very well be spending many sleepless nights thinking about your complex questions... that don't have answer to except for, YOUR own answer.

The morality problem in this case is also incredibly simple. It comes down to what we all choose to view as the problem and how we choose to or not to react to it. This will be based on your morals and ways of thinking.


Good and evil can't apply in an objective sense because the power foundation is non-transcendent. You get agreement only upon a a number of behaviours as to "what is good and what is evil" (see Holocaust) but even then exceptions exist. The terms good and evil pale here and become useless and should be replaced with, as a poster above said "Constructive and Destructive" behaviours.
Good and Evil and words imply succintly a moral objectivism which would be a bizzare thing to believe in if you didn't believe in God.


That again is taking something very simple and over complicating it. I simply remove good/evil out of the equation and look at it from a realistic perspective. So I give them $1 and if not, how do I help or, do I even bother? You see, it all comes down to you.
 KapnKregg
Joined: 1/9/2010
Msg: 41
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/20/2010 10:01:16 PM

I would just say they were empowered by a misled populace who didn't have the presence of mind to make the right choice.


Josh, I understand where you are coming from with this.

People can be manipulated to do crazy things through organizational power structures. Like the Milgram experiment in the 60's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

It seems like you are saying "good" and "evil" are just a dogmatic way of saying "right" and "wrong". If people influenced by power can be coerced to do things that they would never do as individuals, than who is actually making the choice between what is right or what is wrong? Is it the individual or the group as a whole? Where does responsibility lie?

These answers aren't as easy as they may seem when you start looking at the social research.
 bluezoot_riot
Joined: 5/21/2007
Msg: 42
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/21/2010 1:31:37 AM

Bible Thumper, don't forget that good/evil comes down to what you as person thinks of an occuring event. It does not mean that the event was good or evil since it just means that it is what it is and YOU have reacted to it in the way that you did.


I'm not sure if this is directed at me but I will confront it.

Ever since the trend of nihilism destroyed our ways of viewing good/evil, the modern person says "good/evil is relative---we create our own values."

while this may be true on the surface, one must look harder.

If I picture an object, or event, or moral action, and judge it as good/evil, where is that judgement come from? If it comes from me, as what the pof populace seems to say, I ask again, where does that judgement come from? My values? My values based on what? In relation to what? In relation to myself? How can a judgement of another thing be based on its relation to myself without the other thing in question? Certainly there are criteria intrinsic to a thing which prompts me to judge something, or else my judgement would hold no water. Qualities of a thing/event/action. While it is true we judge these qualities as good or bad, that doesn't mean we create our own values out of thin air.

To go further down the rabbit hole, what prompts us as to how we judge a thing? "It's what we've been conditioned by society/religion/evil empire of dull critical thinking" Forget how we judge even, but why we judge. Can it be so simple as knowing there is good and evil however fuzzy those terms may be? Many here have proved they have a conception of it even if they say its relative....it comes from a feeling. Logic may guide us, but its the feeling which justifies it and makes it real. It's true that it effects oneself, but thats not all it is.

All who seek to know, read the Bible with an open heart you will see the spiritual side of things, it is guaranteed.

But I suppose I will be dismissed as a Bible thumper.

All is well in the cosmos.
 JP1111
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 43
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 3/21/2010 10:47:31 AM
nowheretogobuteverywhere, it was directed to Bible Thumper.

I read you comment and I must admit, I understand none of it. The judgment you will feel regarding an event occurring will entirely be based on what YOU as individual will think of it and make it out to be; it's as simple as that. Granted for some people, that can very well be too simple of an explanation and they may very well choose to set it asside and keep searching for something much more complex with no actual real answer, just to find themselves back to square one and think “it all comes down to what YOU think”.

Again, your values are based solely and entirely on you and what you feel is right to you DESPITE what others may think or feel. EVERYTHING that touches or concerns you in any way will be up to YOU to evaluate and ascertain for yourself based on what you think.


All who seek to know, read the Bible with an open heart you will see the spiritual side of things, it is guaranteed


Your comment will be dismissed by some people (like myself) and agreed with by others. But I greatly value your insight and wanting to enlighten us so, thank you!

ChaseThatCrumpet!, I'm glad to see that we agree :) I of course will NEVER say that “I'm right and you're wrong” regarding anything since we cam all have our own way of thinking and acting.

If you do to add more words then, what you are saying is that even you see that you like to over-complicate things too when you try to explain/define things. You can try this, think about somethinf you over-complicate by adding more words and take a step back and ask yourself “What are the facts and what is just fluff-fluff?”. As you figure out your own answer, base it on the facts and don't let yourself be swayed by the fluff-fluff.

Since you admit that it's a thin line when it possibly touches the subject of Theodicy, yu may very well be putting yourself in the position where many others who have a strong view on the matter will try to make you see and believe there way of thinking. Many have tried with me but have ALWAYS found themselves barking up the wrong tree since I will not sway away from MY belief system. So if you can't prove something to me and want me to make a leap of faith, you loose me.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 44
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 8/18/2010 1:48:53 PM
@ PennyForThisGuy:

1. From what I can see, your theistic scenario is off the mark.

1a) Most of the serious theist thinkers that I have read (not all), state unequivocally that G-d does not choose, declare, or cause certain actions to be good, or evil. G-d *informs* us that certain actions *are* good, or evil, *because* those actions inherently *are* good or evil, in an immanent sense. Another way of putting it is that the qualification of the actions as good or evil is an element of G-d's omniscience, not G-d's omnipotence. To the skeptic who asks, well, *how* does he know, the answer is, (roughly) G-d's smarter than us.

1b) The problem of evil is a completely separate issue. From the assumption of a Summum Bonum (omni-benevolent) G-d, it becomes difficult to square the existence of evil in the world with the assumption of an omnipotent G-d. If G-d was/is/always will be all powerful, why does G-d (apparently?) allow evil to persist in the world?

One answer is the "G-d works in mysterious ways" hand-waving, which is basically stating that we're too dumb to figure it out, but G-d knows why the evil is there. Somehow, the world had to be created with the capacity for evil (and lots of it) because there was something incompatible with the maximum good, to have created the world as incompatible with any evil at all. Again, it's a bit like math-- you accept the notion that there are numbers larger than you can imagine.

The Christians, Muslims and Jews each give you some variant on "It's All Our Fault" that the world is like this, and when the skeptic asks, well, why did G-d design us like this, to be capable of that, we wind up back at the incompatible-with-maximum good hand waving.

And from one point of view, the whole problem of evil only makes sense if you assume something is good or evil independently of whether G-d declares it to be so. On the other assumption, the problem becomes why G-d declares certain things in the world to be evil, or good, when he has the capacity to declare them to be otherwise. Why would G-d declare good or evil to exist at all, when G-d had the option to declare neither?

2. The atheism scenario is off the mark too.

Once you accept the notion that transcendent good and evil even possibly exist, G-d becomes a completely unnecessary postulate. Actions are good, or evil, independently of whether any particular humans, or even most of them, think they are good or evil or even understand the concepts.

No 'power foundation' is necessary because no one, not even the G-d who does not exist, is "deciding" if this or that action is good or evil. They are *saying* whether it is good or evil, and either getting it right, or getting it wrong, but their saying so, does not make it so, any more than G-d's saying so, would have made it so, if G-d existed, which G-d does not (thank G-d).

In fact, it is simultaneously believing in moral objectivism and three-omni's theism and trying to seriously reconcile them that causes this whole "problem" in the first place-- along with the "mysterious ways" hand-waving. And that hand waving, viewed from one angle, comes perilously close to saying we are incapable of determining whether something really is good or evil because we cannot really see the long term consequences or all the causal ramifications of any given action.

Personally?

If you think about the problem seriously, there is at least one line of reasoning following which, the whole distinction between theism and atheism actually collapses.

It has to do with the question of omniscience.

This would require G-d to have knowledge of literally everything, including knowledge of G-d's knowledge. For anything to 'have knowledge' in any way that would make such an expression intelligible, it would have to express, store or retain information.

But to express, store or retain literally ALL the information, no matter how that is accomplished, how can G-d be anything BUT co-extensive with All that exists?

Atheism and theism wind up expressing nothing intelligibly different: The World (as in, Everything) Is. And if you are talking about something distinct from The World, what can you possibly be talking about? How can you possibly say anything meaningful about [that] [whatever] which is not the World?

Anything you could possibly say about [that] would have to be expressed in some sort of language or means of communication and thus would be inherently inadequate to the task.

And as for All of Existence being "good", "evil", "all good", "good and evil" it is just an incoherent question. It's like asking what a rock thinks about Shakespeare-- the question is senseless.
 ispeakthetruth
Joined: 6/13/2009
Msg: 45
Is good and evil real? Do right and wrong exist?
Posted: 9/2/2010 2:01:28 PM
Doing something good for your own self-interest = self satisfaction
eg. eating a whole container of ice cream yourself, buying that expensive car that you can't afford, having that mind-blowing one night stand, punching the guy who stole your lunch, vandalizing public property for fun and not get caught...

Well this is also true:
Doing good and giving to others = self satisfaction
eg. donating to the Red Cross, volunteering at your local men's shelter, showing random acts of kindness, bringing flowers to your gf for no reason, opening the doors for others, giving change to panhandlers...

All of the above can provide happiness and self-satisfaction to oneself, but in the first category some of the examples I listed without a doubt infringe on other people's rights. When others are involved, be it people or property....your sense of happiness and self-satisfaction does not hinge on you alone - unless you are without an ounce of conscience. With this said, the people with a conscience would fall into the second category - of giving.
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