Does evil know it is evil?

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Scottydamion
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 02:30 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;128879 wrote:
....My conscience.


Well that clears it up.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 02:58 am
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;128894 wrote:
Well that clears it up.


There are many reasons why factory farming is bad. Some of them are health related and some of them are aesthetic but it is my conscience that tells me that it is evil. My conscience tells me that life ought to be treated with more respect. My conscience tells me that the degree of suffering that goes on in factory farms is unconscionable.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 03:04 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;128843 wrote:
What the hell is the matter with me? Why am I so God damned evil?


I was a little surprised that my simple comment got you so worked up. I wouldn't really worry about it. If you think about it, you can't be all that bad since you are concerned about it. I mean a really "bad" person probably never would even have considered it at all. But if it makes you feel any better how about this?

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b312/Lyciss/deercrossing.png
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 03:11 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;128904 wrote:
There are many reasons why factory farming is bad. Some of them are health related and some of them are aesthetic but it is my conscience that tells me that it is evil. My conscience tells me that life ought to be treated with more respect. My conscience tells me that the degree of suffering that goes on in factory farms is unconscionable.


Isn't that the irony of a conscience? We are allowed to use it to justify our position, but most of the time we do not ask what forms our conscience.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 03:18 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;128907 wrote:
I was a little surprised that my simple comment got you so worked up. I wouldn't really worry about it. If you think about it, you can't be all that bad since you are concerned about it. I mean a really "bad" person probably never would even have considered it at all. But if it makes you feel any better how about this?


I'm not all that worked up; that's the problem. I don't seem to be repulsed enough when I buy some factory farmed chicken breasts from the supermarket. Deer-hunting is more admirable especially if it's with a bow.

What worries me is that I don't seem to care enough. I want to convince myself that factory farming is evil because I know that this is what my conscience would say if I could still hear it. I want to believe that my conscience is more than just a super-ego or some social construction. I am afraid I have already sold my soul for surely if my soul was still with me its voice would be louder. I know I'm going back and forth here between saying that I can hear the voice of conscience and saying that I cannot hear it at all but that is the how I feel. I am no longer sure that there is a voice of conscience to be heard or even if there ever was. Perhaps I imagined it all along. Does evil know that it is evil? Perhaps I muffle and silence the voice of my conscience to protect myself, to convince myself that I am not evil. But perhaps I have gone to far and can no longer hear it because that voice is gone, dead forever, never to return and all I can hear are imagined echoes. What do you do when you listen for that "still quiet voice" and hear nothing? Is trying to hear it enough?
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 03:31 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;128912 wrote:
I'm not all that worked up; that's the problem. I don't seem to be repulsed enough when I buy some factory farmed chicken breasts from the supermarket. Deer-hunting is more admirable especially if it's with a bow.

What worries me is that I don't seem to care enough. I want to convince myself that factory farming is evil because I know that this is what my conscience would say if I could still hear it. I want to believe that my conscience is more than just a super-ego or some social construction. I am afraid I have already sold my soul for surely if my soul was still with me its voice would be louder. I know I'm going back and forth here between saying that I can hear the voice of conscience and saying that I cannot hear it at all but that is the how I feel. I am no longer sure that there is a voice of conscience to be heard or even if there ever was. Perhaps I imagined it all along. Does evil know that it is evil? Perhaps I muffle and silence the voice of my conscience to protect myself, to convince myself that I am not evil. But perhaps I have gone to far and can no longer hear it because that voice is gone, dead forever, never to return and all I can hear are imagined echoes. What do you do when you listen for that "still quiet voice" and hear nothing? Is trying to hear it enough?


Not worked up? Alright, but what you are talking about here seems a little pointless to me. You are just on the fence is all. You feel one aspect of the problem is bad, while you can't seem to justify your actions. What would be the most reasonable solution? Stop buying it? It doesn't actually solve the problem though. It might ease your input into the problem but the problem will still be there. You could try to cut back, because you shouldn't try to quit eating that chicken, cold turkey. Heh. I say you don't need your conscious and never did need it. Life is never black and white, and most choices have good and bad on both sides. You shouldn't beat yourself up over it.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 07:35 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;128879 wrote:
....My conscience.


I am not all that sure what "subjective" means, but this is a case when if I see it, I know it. And I see it.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 02:24 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;124789 wrote:
Assuming that there is such a thing as evil, do evil people necessarily know that they are evil? Can a person that does not know that s/he is evil still be called evil? Can a person be evil if s/he doesn't believe there is such a thing as evil? Well you get the point.

For this discussion please assume provisionally that there is such a thing as evil.
Some psycotic people does not know they'r evil, but sees their misdeeds as being good, and helpful.

Some know they'r bad, but can't help themselfs, killing, raping, molesting ..etc, it's like a drinking or smoking habit , immensly difficult to stop by themselfs.

Many americans thoguht it was a good deed to start the Iraq and Afghan wars, that was a very evil act, yet they thought of themselfs as being good for saying yes.
 
Rwa001
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 02:36 am
@HexHammer,
Quote:
It might ease your input into the problem but the problem will still be there. You could try to cut back, because you shouldn't try to quit eating that chicken, cold turkey.


This made me lawl. Good stuff.

Evil doesn't exist, at least not in the cold, hard sense of the word. Since there really is no objectivity in our world, evil would have to be relative. And people might understand that they're doing something wrong, but they're doing it for a reason that usually involved their own pleasure. Much in the same way that you buy the bad chicken. You know it's wrong, but who cares? You rationalize so you can continue to enjoy yourself. That's the same as everyone else.

Quote:
Many americans thoguht it was a good deed to start the Iraq and Afghan wars, that was a very evil act, yet they thought of themselfs as being good for saying yes.


"Many Americans" thought that we were in imminent danger from Afghanistan and Iraq. A lot of people believed what the UK and US governments were telling them. The intention was to preserve our own lives. You can call our governments evil, but do not bestow that blessing on the rest of us.

Also we didn't think we were being 'good', there weren't parades in our streets celebrating another war. You're misinformed.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 02:48 am
@Rwa001,
Rwa001;140486 wrote:
"Many Americans" thought that we were in imminent danger from Afghanistan and Iraq. A lot of people believed what the UK and US governments were telling them. The intention was to preserve our own lives. You can call our governments evil, but do not bestow that blessing on the rest of us.

Also we didn't think we were being 'good', there weren't parades in our streets celebrating another war. You're misinformed.
1 of the arguments for the Iraq war was to "liberate them" since, the war itself was a direct violation of a soveren state. Because all other arguments was blatantly flawed, there was no "smoking gun".
 
Dosed
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 09:24 am
@Deckard,
I haven't been keeping up with this thread at all since the first page, honestly. So I don't know what is being discussed at the moment or if what I'm about to say has been mentioned, so if it is unfitting to what's going on, just disregard me. nevertheless, I was reminded of this thread when discussing Meditation IV from Descartes in my epistemology class.

according to the true source of error, which states that evil occurs because the will (being free) acts before understanding takes place. This happens because we are finite beings. In other words, error happens when we rush judgment. Therefore, evil is a mere misunderstanding...evil doesn't know that it is evil. Truth cannot be wishy-washy. You can't say...mmmm...welll... I think this is it....I think I know...I think this is right. You must know clearly and distinctly. This is why descartes discourages us from rushing into judgment.

Though me and old rene have some serious problems, I buy this idea of the true source of error. that evil is mere misunderstanding. it makes sense.

discuss?

(like I said, haven't been keeping up with the thread. if this is irrelevant, just ignore me :p)
 
Krumple
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 10:22 am
@Dosed,
Dosed.;140572 wrote:
I haven't been keeping up with this thread at all since the first page, honestly. So I don't know what is being discussed at the moment or if what I'm about to say has been mentioned, so if it is unfitting to what's going on, just disregard me. nevertheless, I was reminded of this thread when discussing Meditation IV from Descartes in my epistemology class.

according to the true source of error, which states that evil occurs because the will (being free) acts before understanding takes place. This happens because we are finite beings. In other words, error happens when we rush judgment. Therefore, evil is a mere misunderstanding...evil doesn't know that it is evil. Truth cannot be wishy-washy. You can't say...mmmm...welll... I think this is it....I think I know...I think this is right. You must know clearly and distinctly. This is why descartes discourages us from rushing into judgment.

Though me and old rene have some serious problems, I buy this idea of the true source of error. that evil is mere misunderstanding. it makes sense.

discuss?

(like I said, haven't been keeping up with the thread. if this is irrelevant, just ignore me :p)


I think this ignores another facet of the human condition. One where even knowingly one can commit evil simply because they have justified it for themselves. They know what they do is evil, yet they do not care. This would not fall into doing evil without knowledge of it. Or a mistaken view. There are some who know what they do is wrong, yet they want to do it because, they can.
 
Doubt doubt
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 10:58 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;124789 wrote:
Assuming that there is such a thing as evil, do evil people necessarily know that they are evil? Can a person that does not know that s/he is evil still be called evil? Can a person be evil if s/he doesn't believe there is such a thing as evil? Well you get the point.

For this discussion please assume provisionally that there is such a thing as evil.


evil to me seems to be a concept. an argument could be made towards the evilness of any person in general and particular.
 
Dosed
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 12:28 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;140587 wrote:
I think this ignores another facet of the human condition. One where even knowingly one can commit evil simply because they have justified it for themselves. They know what they do is evil, yet they do not care. This would not fall into doing evil without knowledge of it. Or a mistaken view. There are some who know what they do is wrong, yet they want to do it because, they can.



This person is then irrational. If they know that their actions are in fact evil, and they thrive on that perhaps, or simply have evil intentions in general, then they are irrational--psychotic, anti-social, etc.

yes?

also, descartes assumes moral fact. so there are obvious flaws in his argument.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 12:33 am
@Dosed,
Dosed.;140627 wrote:
This person is then irrational. If they know that their actions are in fact evil, and they thrive on that perhaps, or simply have evil intentions in general, then they are irrational--psychotic, anti-social, etc.

yes?

also, descartes assumes moral fact. so there are obvious flaws in his argument.


Not all actions are rational but nor are all moralities rational. There are actions that stem from a state of mind that has abandoned all rationality and morality as illusions. Someone who no longer seeks to justify their actions but only to act. Will before Idea. I ate the apple then gagged myself until I regurgitated it or I ate the apple but found an antidote.

Does the actor know it to be evil if s/he has abandoned the concept of good and evil as illusion? Nietzsche referred to this state of mind as being beyond good and evil. I'm throwing existentialism into the mix.

...feeling the need to quote Grandmaster Flash today
Quote:
Don't push me 'cuz I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to lose my head
Uh huh ha ha ha
It's like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under
 
Dosed
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 04:18 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;140823 wrote:
Not all actions are rational but nor are all moralities rational. There are actions that stem from a state of mind that has abandoned all rationality and morality as illusions. Someone who no longer seeks to justify their actions but only to act. Will before Idea. I ate the apple then gagged myself until I regurgitated it or I ate the apple but found an antidote.

Does the actor know it to be evil if s/he has abandoned the concept of good and evil as illusion? Nietzsche referred to this state of mind as being beyond good and evil. I'm throwing existentialism into the mix.

...feeling the need to quote Grandmaster Flash today



going back to my first post concerning descartes, this is the true source of error manifested in your own example. will acting before understanding understands. therefore, evil is a mere misunderstanding.
 
Rwa001
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 04:48 pm
@Dosed,
Quote:
1 of the arguments for the Iraq war was to "liberate them" since, the war itself was a direct violation of a soveren state. Because all other arguments was blatantly flawed, there was no "smoking gun".


That doesn't entail that American citizens were evil. American citizens weren't even involved in the decision making. I don't buy your conclusion at all.
 
TamingEternity
 
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 01:21 am
@Dosed,
I struggle with this thought all the time.

When the beginning, however you imagine it, of the earth came about, there was no perception of evil. You killed to survive, you killed to eat, and you killed for clothing, shelter, all of that business. There was no murder, there was simply necessary killing of animals. We understood how to cook and kill animals over time, and we thought nothing of it.

Now this is where creationism versus evolution comes into play. The creationist thought is generally that some holy figure from heaven came down and brought with him laws and guidelines dictating evil acts and righteous acts. A solid line between good and evil came about, but I think that the actual reason we have good and evil all developed from necessity, the mother of all invention.

Think about it: A small tribe of Neanderthals, basic hominids still running on primal instincts, stick together and form a small community. They understand that needless killing of any member of the tribe, any loss, is just a loss to the tribes effectiveness. I do not believe at all that any emotional bonds were developed at this time. If someone in the tribe was lost, or killed, all it meant was that there was one less person to help hunt, one less person to build shelters, one less person to defend against anything that might occur, and so on.

That is precisely where good and evil came about. It isn't necessary to kill a member of the tribe, so we don't. If we do kill a member of the tribe, it weakens the tribe, and therefore the killer has inconvenienced the tribe. Good and evil are not based on morality; morality wasn't quite around at that point. Good and evil are based on necessity. It's not necessary to kill a tribe member, so don't. Is it ok to kill a tribe member? Is it bad? No. There is no bad, and no good, there is only what benefits, and what debilitates.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 02:22 am
@TamingEternity,
TamingEternity;142866 wrote:
I struggle with this thought all the time.

When the beginning, however you imagine it, of the earth came about, there was no perception of evil. You killed to survive, you killed to eat, and you killed for clothing, shelter, all of that business. There was no murder, there was simply necessary killing of animals. We understood how to cook and kill animals over time, and we thought nothing of it.

Now this is where creationism versus evolution comes into play. The creationist thought is generally that some holy figure from heaven came down and brought with him laws and guidelines dictating evil acts and righteous acts. A solid line between good and evil came about, but I think that the actual reason we have good and evil all developed from necessity, the mother of all invention.

Think about it: A small tribe of Neanderthals, basic hominids still running on primal instincts, stick together and form a small community. They understand that needless killing of any member of the tribe, any loss, is just a loss to the tribes effectiveness. I do not believe at all that any emotional bonds were developed at this time. If someone in the tribe was lost, or killed, all it meant was that there was one less person to help hunt, one less person to build shelters, one less person to defend against anything that might occur, and so on.

That is precisely where good and evil came about. It isn't necessary to kill a member of the tribe, so we don't. If we do kill a member of the tribe, it weakens the tribe, and therefore the killer has inconvenienced the tribe. Good and evil are not based on morality; morality wasn't quite around at that point. Good and evil are based on necessity. It's not necessary to kill a tribe member, so don't. Is it ok to kill a tribe member? Is it bad? No. There is no bad, and no good, there is only what benefits, and what debilitates.

But is it still unnecessary to kill a tribe member or let one die? I suppose the Eskimos left their elderly on an iceberg at times but the young and able were preserved but today even the young and able are too many. Malthus as the turning point and the end of the optimism of The Enlightenment. Even a return to tribal consciousness cannot guard us against this question. But then before we bow to a Malthusian necessity we should first look at the unconscionable gap between the rich and the poor.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 06:26 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;142901 wrote:
But is it still unnecessary to kill a tribe member or let one die? I suppose the Eskimos left their elderly on an iceberg at times but the young and able were preserved but today even the young and able are too many. Malthus as the turning point and the end of the optimism of The Enlightenment. Even a return to tribal consciousness cannot guard us against this question. But then before we bow to a Malthusian necessity we should first look at the unconscionable gap between the rich and the poor.
Empathy is observable in humans at about age 2 or 3. The idea of injustice may accompany the development of a sense of self, but love, understood as a bond, requires no intellect.

How could Malthus have guessed that Western European countries would eventually have a population growth rate close to 0? It turns out starvation, disease, and war aren't the only factors that limit population.

Education and opportunity also limit population growth. The Italian woman doesn't want to have children because she wants to pursue her career.

I'm guessing that Malthus wouldn't have guessed that because he didn't realize the extent to which the labor force would one day be mechanized.
 
 

 
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