What is the source of what mortals call "Evil"?

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Yu-huang

Yu-huang

The Jade Emperor

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In your own words, what do you think is the source of all "evil" and how can it be remedy.

When Darkness Falls, All is quiet in the Mist of the Night.

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Evil is something that opposes our ideals and our morals. For example, those who kill are considered "evil", since they oppose our morals and take out human lives.

However, I believe everyone can be considered in some way; as minor as it is, if we do something that opposes a certain country's moral, or hell, a certain person's moral, then we are "evil".

However, had it not been for the presence of "evil", we would have not based our morals and ideals on anything, since there would be nothing to base it on, nothing to oppose it. This is why, evil is required in order for us to become better and better, or at least, what we think is better, as everything is but a matter of point of view.

  • Jul 11, 2006

xandman

xandman

The King of Hearts

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simple answer, me.

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Quote by xandmansimple answer, me.

XD Feels like all that I said sounds insignificant next to this comment!

  • Jul 11, 2006
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A rather wise friend of mine recent proclaimed that "good" and "evil" don't really exist universally, but are defined by the standards of what is and isn't considered wrong in society at any given time. For example, a few hundreds years ago, homosexuality was considered wrong, but we're getting more accepting of it today.

Logically certain things are always wrong, like murder, but as to whether or not that's always "evil", I've no idea. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what defines a person as "evil". It's not so hard to define an act, but when you look at why people do things, it suddenly becomes much more difficult.

  • Jul 11, 2006
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religiously, the source of evil comes from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil... (or basically from men since its part of us now...)

evil is an abstract idea ... psychologically, we have the sense of evil because we need some sort of standard in our society to balance it out... without this standard (aka law or moral or belief/religion), human actually feel ....~don't know how to put it in words...~.. so yea, basically...(sry :sweat: bout my bad wording...)

like Kalinda said...

Quote: are defined by the standards of what is and isn't considered wrong in society at any given time.


we actually had a similar disscussions in class (erh about Shakespeare's plays).. we saw wut was evil in the Elizabethan Era may not b evil today, so as to what is evil - it changes...because our standards changes

in my personal opinion, Evil exists because without evil, there is no good (ppl throughout the ages actually tried to prove themselves as "good" and "pure").... just like without law, there is no crime..
so i think that evil is here becuz "some" ppl need to be good...

  • Jul 11, 2006

Yu-huang

Yu-huang

The Jade Emperor

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Quote by twilightofrose Evil is something that opposes our ideals and our morals. For example, those who kill are considered "evil", since they oppose our morals and take out human lives.

I think most humans would define it as such.

Quote by xandman simple answer, me.

Please be serious.

Quote by KalindaA rather wise friend of mine recent proclaimed that "good" and "evil" don't really exist universally, but are defined by the standards of what is and isn't considered wrong in society at any given time.

True, "good" and "evil" do not exist universally.
Something by itself, is just itself and nothing more.
That is, until humans comes in and judges as "good" or "evil".

At least, that what I think.

When Darkness Falls, All is quiet in the Mist of the Night.

Persocom01

Persocom01

Seeker of the Truth

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I think it's knowledge and free will.

Neither can be remedied. Knowledge is what keeps us different from animals. It gives us the ability to deny our instincts. No other animal makes clothes for itself, nor do they have laws and police like humans do. I believe that all humans have the knowledge of what evil is. It is sometimes called your conscience. The only difference is what evil they see as excusable. If there is no such thing as evil, the concept of justice will not exist, and no law will ever be erected.

Free will is what gives us the ability to be different. Why do children from a Christian home sometimes grow up non-Christians? It is a choice. The ability to choose. That is what free will is. If there exists the two choices, good and evil, some will inevitably choose good, and others evil, regardless of upbringing. It is what gives us the trait of rebelliousness.

  • Jul 12, 2006
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EVIL can be described as anything that gets in the way of someones paticular cause, such as extremist muslims think western culture is evil because it interferes with their religion, or Darwinism is evil to Christians because it contradicts what is said in the bible. Another great example of a supposed evil would be a social evil like being a drug addict, this is called evil because it gets in the way of work and success in daily life. Well anyways evil is in the eye of the beholder, and that will never change.:(

  • Jul 12, 2006

Yu-huang

Yu-huang

The Jade Emperor

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Quote by HilariousityWell anyways evil is in the eye of the beholder, and that will never change.

I was hoping to hear a solution or a way to remedy to some degree this nagging problem mortals have.

When Darkness Falls, All is quiet in the Mist of the Night.

Shinsengumi89

Shinsengumi89

The Watcher of Movies

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You want to here a solution.

1. Nuke the World Ten times over, no more evil, no more humans. Only true way to solve the problem that is evil for sure.

A non sure way would be to teach everyone to think in logical, and scientific terms only, but that would take years of human development. Also, humans are emotinal and therefor do not always think rationaly, so, you would have to eliminate emotions. Somewhat like a Vulcan From Star Trek.

But the only true way to elimnate evil would be to elimnate the source. human beings.

( i do not advocate for all of the ideas above)

Dhinsengumi89

http://mt-environmentalists.minitokyo.net/ -Protect the Environment
http://mt-atheists.minitokyo.net/ - Philosophy is disscused here.
http://true-colors.minitokyo.net/ - Human Rights Group
http://mt-gay-straight-club.minitokyo.net/ - We help bridge the gaps between the different sexual orientations.

  • Jul 12, 2006

joemighty16

joemighty16

Hope is an optimist

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Quote by KalindaA rather wise friend of mine recent proclaimed that "good" and "evil" don't really exist universally, but are defined by the standards of what is and isn't considered wrong in society at any given time. For example, a few hundreds years ago, homosexuality was considered wrong, but we're getting more accepting of it today.

Logically certain things are always wrong, like murder, but as to whether or not that's always "evil", I've no idea.

I myself agree with your friend's view. Anyone that studies history will agree that certain acts become acceptable and unacceptable during certain stages of time. But even in the same point of time different cultures and social groups have different views on what is evil and what is not.

For example, the creative geniusses behind the Spanish Inquisition: were they evil? They tried to purify damaged souls and condemn lost ones. In the context of the time and culture I don't believe we, here and know, should judge them. We should just be certain that what they did we should never allow to happen now.

The Pope that sanctioned the Crusades, even the 4th one that ended up in sacking Constantinople, a Greek Christian city - was he evil, the man which was then considered to be the holiest and closest to God?

50 years ago Communist Russia was considered evil because of its political setup. When Communism fell were all those people suddenly un-eviled?

I believe that we, here and know, should never ever judge the people of different cultures or times. We weren't there so we don't know. We should instead look after our own and make sure that today we live according to our own current standards.

Therefore evil (in its most relative form), I would say, originates in the cognitavie desicion to hurt or harm others on purpose. In other words, to purposefully do what, in that particular social group, is considered unacceptable. I don't believe in the lame excuse "the devil made me do it" - if the devil does exist you created him yourself so your just blaming yourself.

Concerning a remedy...... The moment you can cure insanity or any mental illness, then you can START to consider a cure for evil. Evil is a man made concept and it is perfectly sane people that commit the most autrocious acts of evil. Better to brainwash (instead of nuking) everyone and have them walk around like mindless zombies. But then, the person that throws the brainwashing switch....will he be evil?

Life is a game played by gods who are bored and who fight over the rules.

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Arrowny

Arrowny

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i think evil is something humans do when they are driven by sin. it can be any sin, greed, lust, envy, etc.

my view on life is that when you commit evil, youre life becomes worse and sadder for you. and the way to make your life better is to do good things and respect everything.

i wish i could say more than this little meezly comment but the mind is not working today hehe XD

  • Jul 16, 2006
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i think human think evil is animal instinct. stuff like selfishness and murder and so on. for some reason.... if there was no evil or something then we would make an evil (somehow). perfection scares me

"I must destroy the despair-night
To shine in Eternity's sunshine."

  • Jul 18, 2006

Archer79

Nerdly Ghost

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Perhaps.... ..."Free will"....

...One among God's greatest, and most abused gifts.

As God is perfect, I'm certain it will be something very precious in the end. What is love, except a perseverence through evil? Who are we to question?

  • Jul 19, 2006

Yu-huang

Yu-huang

The Jade Emperor

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Quote by Archer79Who are we to question?

I'm not questioning, I'm asking what you think is the source of what mortals call evil.

When Darkness Falls, All is quiet in the Mist of the Night.

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You could say that evil was the absence of what is defined as good. But then that would also put into question other actions humans produce. Instead of evil, one could have neutral as the absence of good. The absence of good doesn't necessarily make a person evil.
I believe that maybe since free will can give us the decision to choose between what we believe is good and evil, it depends on the person. 2 different people can be born into the same family but grow completely different. One could grow in faith, one in darkness. No one could tell.
To put bluntly, the source of what I believe to be "Evil" lies within each unique person.

forte712

forte712

I see the monkey mind...

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The source of what people call 'evil' is desire. Which comes from our own minds..

Ii shoubu ni shioze! ~ Maeda Keiji

  • Jul 26, 2006
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All evil is rooted in selfishness. When you decide you want X more than you care who you hurt to get X, that's evil.
X can be anything: a pair of sneakers, a woman, the leadership of a country, the recognition of your peers, sexual gratification, or an apple cobbler recipe.

  • Jul 26, 2006
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Evil is a human construct.

Omikami

Omikami

Ruler of the Plane of Heaven

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Quote by antiheroine Evil is a human construct.

Evil may be a human construct but as long as people live in duality evil will remain.

As Austin O'Malley once said: "The hardest fact in the world to accept is the inevitable mixture of evil with good in all things."

Quote by forte712 The source of what people call 'evil' is desire. Which comes from our own minds..

I disagree.
My Master once said: "It is by following your desire that you are where you are now.
All desires come from a past desire. The chain of desire is infinite. It is life itself."

Quote by Persocom01 I think it's knowledge and free will

It is an interesting thought and true if we had no knowledge we would not have evil because we would be to ignorant to know what it is. But there would be nothing. No technology and wonders that humans have created.

If think the source of this thing called 'evil' is the lack of knowledge.
If humans had all knowledge they would no longer be puzzled by life and its hectic ways they could live their lives focusing on living instead of worrying about useless things.

  • Jul 30, 2006
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Evil is something what God defines it to be bad/wrong/against God's will etc. and Good is the opposite. But to us, theres not really a 'good' or an 'evil', unless you are a follower of God, whatever your God maybe. In our own context it is more like right or wrong.

It is as twilightofrose and Kalinda said:

Quote by twilightofroseEvil is something that opposes our ideals and our morals


Quote by KalindaA rather wise friend of mine recent proclaimed that "good" and "evil" don't really exist universally, but are defined by the standards of what is and isn't considered wrong in society at any given time

To us, what goes against our beliefs/ideals/morals are wrong and what goes with are right. But even sometimes the lines gets blurry. What may seem right to you may seem wrong to others in certain situations, even if they have the same beliefs and morals. An example would be stealing food. Normally you would think it to be a wrong act, but to the thief it maybe like 'Is it so wrong to steal a little food to survive?'

In the end its all about perspective and your situation. The only thing that can define evil is an almighty being which some of us calls God. By the way, I'm not a believer in any religion, although i do believe that there is an almighty being out there somewhere. So don't go agreeing or arguing with me with the post based on any religion at all.

  • Jul 30, 2006

foreverforgotten

foreverforgotten

Sentimental Daydreamer...

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Well, it's impossible to define what is evil and what isn't and have everyone agree. Some people may think certain things are evil, and some others may think differently.

Personally, I would define evil as 'harmful'. For example... if you steal something from a store, it hurts the store. But it also hurts yourself, for doing something like that isn't right. Or hurting an animal. That's harmful >.> But ah.. the world isn't black and white. And the animal case can just be to put the animal to death so it won't suffer. So... in the end.. I just end up contradicting myself so.. yea >_<

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Well, in some theological terms, evil is simply a degree of lacking of good. Its kinda like hot and cold. Cold isn't really its own quality so much as a degree of lacking heat. Although hot and cold seem very different and have different effects on us, its all a matter of degree of energy in the form of heat. Similarly, it is thought that all is because of a degree of the good that is in it, and this good comes from the Creator who infuses the good and makes good. And so, evil is also a degree of lacking of connection and lacking of being filled with the good of the Creator i.e. grace of God. Anyway, because of this nature, it also follows with the Hot and Cold analogy since as it is said that nothing that is is completely without heat, nothing is actually absolute zero as it were, there is also nothing that is completely evil, or without a trace of good, since as matter itself has energy and heat, existence itself is from having good and thus, although something may be severly lacking of good, its very existence maintains some level of good. Of course, we could go into the wording on what i just said since nothingness itself may actually be completely without heat, if there trully is not matter or energy running through it, and so too may it be completely without good since it is not and therefore does not even have the element of existence, and if you want to go into contemplating if nothingness in itself has existence and the differences of existence and nonexistence, you go do that on your own, thats really not the point here.

So yea, its kinda a matter of degree. But as for the source. Well, as it would seem, evil is the starting state, sorta, except that it is before the start actually since the start is genereally throught to begin at the start of existence. And then, as good is put into it, wheither by existence, or grace, or whatever, it becomes more good and less evil by having more good. And you can treat that as there being the ability to put good into something, but you can't put evil in, you can only take away good, which would revert it back upon its lesser state.

merged: 08-09-2006 ~ 07:21am

Quote by joemighty16

Quote by KalindaA rather wise friend of mine recent proclaimed that "good" and "evil" don't really exist universally, but are defined by the standards of what is and isn't considered wrong in society at any given time. For example, a few hundreds years ago, homosexuality was considered wrong, but we're getting more accepting of it today.

Logically certain things are always wrong, like murder, but as to whether or not that's always "evil", I've no idea.

I myself agree with your friend's view. Anyone that studies history will agree that certain acts become acceptable and unacceptable during certain stages of time. But even in the same point of time different cultures and social groups have different views on what is evil and what is not.

For example, the creative geniusses behind the Spanish Inquisition: were they evil? They tried to purify damaged souls and condemn lost ones. In the context of the time and culture I don't believe we, here and know, should judge them. We should just be certain that what they did we should never allow to happen now.

The Pope that sanctioned the Crusades, even the 4th one that ended up in sacking Constantinople, a Greek Christian city - was he evil, the man which was then considered to be the holiest and closest to God?

50 years ago Communist Russia was considered evil because of its political setup. When Communism fell were all those people suddenly un-eviled?

I believe that we, here and know, should never ever judge the people of different cultures or times. We weren't there so we don't know. We should instead look after our own and make sure that today we live according to our own current standards.

Therefore evil (in its most relative form), I would say, originates in the cognitavie desicion to hurt or harm others on purpose. In other words, to purposefully do what, in that particular social group, is considered unacceptable. I don't believe in the lame excuse "the devil made me do it" - if the devil does exist you created him yourself so your just blaming yourself.

Concerning a remedy...... The moment you can cure insanity or any mental illness, then you can START to consider a cure for evil. Evil is a man made concept and it is perfectly sane people that commit the most autrocious acts of evil. Better to brainwash (instead of nuking) everyone and have them walk around like mindless zombies. But then, the person that throws the brainwashing switch....will he be evil?

First, I would like to say that you are right that we shouldn't judge people of other times and cultures. I'll expand to say we should try to refrain from judging anyone , of any time or culture, including our own.

That said, there are a few issues I have with this. The fact that some things become more socially acceptable or unacceptable doesn't actually have anything to do with their morality, other than as a circumstance that has either dulled or hightened the minds awareness to the morality of a situation, but it does not change wheithe an act itself is moral or immoral.

You bring up the spanish inquisition. were those who did it evil? i will not say, as I said its not my place to judge. However I would say that even then their acts were evil. Their intentions MAY or may not have been good. Although your reasoning of it was just kinda the propaganda, the reasoning behind it was more toward oppressing converted jews and other religions sects, even after they converted due to oppression for not being christian.

The Crusades were indeed an evil. The pope himself? again I can't say, he may have had good intentions but that doesn't justify the crusades. As for him being the holiest and closest to God? Maybe you havn't studied Catholic Theology too closely, but the Pope isn not neccessarily that. He, ideally, is a holy man, but thats ideally. A Pope is the chosen leader, he does not neccessarily have to be good or holy, as the main aspect of the Pope is filling a role, the leader, however, although he may fill that role, he himself MAY be evil, but his role is to act as the successor of Peter, and, as all priests, as an instrument through whom God works, and he himself is in fact NOT doing work, therefore he need not be holy himself. Anyway, there have also been many Popes thought to be much less then saintly, and that is also reflected by the fact that many are just that, Not saints. In fact, Dante's Inferno had the idea of many popes being wicked and in hell, and recieving their own special punishments in an inner circle of hell.

Alright, now maybe I should adress the ability of change in society and perceptions of good and evil. There is a difference between morals and values, although they are often used interchangably by many. Morals are set and reflect an Absolute, something above and outside and infused in the Universe is a way easily understanding. Values however are changable and personal. Values are simply what a group or an individual hold to be desirable or undesirable, hateful or pleasent. Often values are confused for morals, and when they change it also generally confuses people as they now see a moral changing which should have been unchanging. Part of this confusion may also be due to the lack of understanding on our part of what really is moral or immoral on some level and what is a value and yada yada yada, but alot is more likely lost in the transition after people are raised from birth to believe a set of values and don't quite get that it is not absolute, but the values of society or whatnot.

Now, you did seem to focus on an aspect of morallity that is correct. The aspect of intention, which can determin if something is good or evil, although not solely. The three aspects lined out for good and evil in several traditions, particularly christian and further Roman Catholic (and likely closely various Eastern Rites) are these: Action, Intention, and circumstance. Actions are easier to say good or evil, and they follow an moral absolute to determine which they are, although again values may confuse people into thinking one or another. Intention of the action is also measured against and absolute, although its rather more personal, still if you intend to maliciously harm someone by whatever you do, it would make it evil, whereas if you are trying to help, although it does not neccessarily make it good, it does provide a good intention and thus isn't making it evil so to speak. Circumstances of an action are whats going on around it, this measured agaisnt a more complex absolute, possibly, could make an action more evil, more good, or lessen or nullify an evil act. Ignorance, when it is honest ignorance that couldn't be helped by the person themself, is a common nullifier of an evil act, for example.

Now, I just summed up alot of stuff there, but that was still going on for a while, so I think i'll leave that be.

As for the "devil made me do it" point, I agree with that as well. There is a saying that the devil only goes after the holy, since most others can manage to fall into evil on their own (something like that). Really, although I do believe in the concept of devils and demons trying to guide and tempt people into sin and evil, I don't think they are always trying as hard as people make it out to be, and they don't MAKE anyone do anything, people still choose to do things. In either case, C.S. Lewis put in nicely in Screwtape Letters when he said that hell is equally pleased by the magician (those who are obsessed with devils) and those who deny the existance of devils.

Alright, I don't even know what else I was going to say anymore, and if you read all that down to here, good job. Feel free to argue these points.

  • Aug 08, 2006

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