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What is EVIL?

EyeSeeCold

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#4
There is no objective "evil". However, it seems the way people determine what is "evil" and what is "good" is by what is detrimental to their psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. So, you might say, evil is a threat.
 

Cognisant

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#5
Gone and sorely missed.
 
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#7
There is no objective "evil". However, it seems the way people determine what is "evil" and what is "good" is by what is detrimental to their psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. So, you might say, evil is a threat.
QFT

However this needs a little more definition. A car coming at you at 120 mph is a threat but it is not evil. This is something that would be perceived as a threat by the thinking preference, but not feeling. An evil is something perceived as a threat by the feeling preference in right or wrong. Supernatural beings perceived as evil are the physical embodiment (and imaginary) form of what is perceived as evil or wrong or bad by the feeling preference like death. Death could be considered evil depending on who you ask. So to add, evil is subjective just as emotions are.
 

SkyWalker

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#8
Evil = An entity/being/human that opposes/hates all other entities/beings/humans and helps/loves no other entities/beings/humans
 

Thoughtful

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#9
If the society I live in is to be believed, To be evil is to stand in opposition to whatever the view-holder values, regardless to the fact that the reverse is also true.

Therefore, all points of view are evil. Perhaps thinking itself is evil.
 

Melkor

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#10
Hi there.
Nice to meet you, well not really actually...
Pretty sure I'm male, human and at least two parts butterfly and blue slug.
Though I prefer to be called Melkor mind you!
 

Anthile

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#11
The very act of defining evil is evil in itself.
 

SkyWalker

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#12
If the society I live in is to be believed, To be evil is to stand in opposition to whatever the view-holder values, regardless to the fact that the reverse is also true.

Therefore, all points of view are evil. Perhaps thinking itself is evil.

No, not all points of view are evil, but our culture (the state) and our "opponent's" culture (another state) are simply BOTH evil, duh! So both cultures are right for calling the other evil. (There is actually no contradiction, they just forget to tell you that they are evil themselves as well)

according to my definition above: if a culture hates/opposes all other cultures and loves/helps no other cultures then the culture is evil.

===
to clear up some misunderstanding in advance:

a non-evil culture may still hate/oppose a few cultures (for example the evil ones), but would also love/help a few cultures (cherishing them as they are, without wanting to change them).

so hate is not evil as long as love for something else still operates. only when love shuts down and hate for all is the only thing left over > then a being or a culture becomes evil.
 
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#14
Destructiveness. But we don't have to be satisfied with an abstract, unconnected term.

X is evil = X is destructive. We don't have to take occurrences of nature as evil. Or amoral animals. We can confine the term to humans:

A person is evil if a person is destructive. But what kind of destruction? Tearing down a building is destructive? If it's done to build a better building that is doesn't count. It has to be some agreed upon destruction. But what if I destroy you in playing tennis? That is not evil if we agree playing tennis is a healthy constructive game.

Is cocaine evil? Yes in so far as it destroys. The dealer may not think it evil if it earns him a living. But if it's such a risky thing that it involves him in drug wars, then it should be labeled as evil.
 

Agent Intellect

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#15
What is evil as a universal?

First we would have to isolate what common factor(s) all particular instances of evil have. I might make a list off the top of my head:

1. Subjective: it involves subjects (people) both doing evil and suffering evil.
2. Pain: it causes pain (psychological, physical etc) to an individual or a group of people.
3. A will: whoever is doing evil is willingly committing evil in the present. If I do something now that will satisfy 1 and 2 in the future, it wouldn't be evil if I had no intention to do evil or knowledge that it could become evil.

I don't think evil itself can be defined without particular instances of evil being used as an example, since what is evil is purely based on perspective.
 
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#16
What is evil as a universal?

First we would have to isolate what common factor(s) all particular instances of evil have. I might make a list off the top of my head:

1. Subjective: it involves subjects (people) both doing evil and suffering evil.
2. Pain: it causes pain (psychological, physical etc) to an individual or a group of people.
3. A will: whoever is doing evil is willingly committing evil in the present. If I do something now that will satisfy 1 and 2 in the future, it wouldn't be evil if I had no intention to do evil or knowledge that it could become evil.

I don't think evil itself can be defined without particular instances of evil being used as an example, since what is evil is purely based on perspective.
I wonder if we can name particular occurrences where we are uncertain they are evil or not?
 
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#17
Evil is the act of doing nothing
in the name of goodness.

Say humans evolve in 30 years. If tomorrow human is defined as a genetic species. Would it be evil to genocide non humans in 35 years?
 
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#18
Still, Vega.


As well as thousands of others.
 

Agent Intellect

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#21
I'm not sure who Lyra is.
Lyra is a person on this forum (the one I linked to) who has been banned several times before on other forum accounts. Their recent thread is condoning Nazism as some sort of "numinous" greatness. The fact that you say Vega is evil led me to think you were referencing Lyra because Vega is a star in the Lyra constellation. I guess this was a false connection that I made.
 

Trebuchet

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#23
I quite like Dr. Zimbardo's definition, and there aren't many people more expert on the psychology of evil (and good) than he is.

The exercise of power to intentionally harm (psychologically), hurt (physically) and/or, destroy (mortally) and commit crimes against humanity.​

I first read his book The Lucifer Effect a few years back, and I still haven't found anything in this definition I would remove, nor thought of anything to add.
 

Zensunni

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#24
I think asking what is evil is like asking what is hot. Evil is at one end of a spectrum.
 

EyeSeeCold

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#25
Still, Vega.


As well as thousands of others.
Vega?


Lyra is a person on this forum (the one I linked to) who has been banned several times before on other forum accounts. Their recent thread is condoning Nazism as some sort of "numinous" greatness. The fact that you say Vega is evil led me to think you were referencing Lyra because Vega is a star in the Lyra constellation. I guess this was a false connection that I made.
Vega is also dichotomized along with Lya in a galactic race of peoples. Vega are the darker skinned peoples and Lyra are the lighter-skinned peoples.
 
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#26
Vegard Pompey = Vega.

His name is a play off of evil.



Hahahahaha, though I find it
amusing to know that I'm
inadvertently being racist.
 
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#27
The person attacking first is always the evil one.

Let's say, Greedo. He was just a bounty hunter, which probably had a rough childhood and earned his respect by hunting people who didn't honoured their debts with mafia lords. But just because he shoots Han Solo, we assume Greedo is the Villain.

I mean, look at Han. He's being Harrison Ford there, and stolen lots of cargo from ships, smuggled things from place to place. He was the space pirate. And since he was shot at first, he's the anti-hero.

(And even then, I can't loathe Han Solo for being Han Solo)
 

SkyWalker

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#28
I quite like Dr. Zimbardo's definition, and there aren't many people more expert on the psychology of evil (and good) than he is.
The exercise of power to intentionally harm (psychologically), hurt (physically) and/or, destroy (mortally) and commit crimes against humanity.
I first read his book The Lucifer Effect a few years back, and I still haven't found anything in this definition I would remove, nor thought of anything to add.

isnt this exactly what i said, but in other words: if you hate/oppose, then you intentionally harm/destroy/hurt others in their tasks.

the exercise of power is simply the exercise of decisions from your mind (with the intent to hurt)


evil is not per se destructive, although it includes it.

if hate>self-interest: then the evil person is destructive
if hate<self-interest: then the evil person is not destructive, but sadistic/narcissistic (e.g. secretly destructive)

destructive evil usually self-destructs (kamikaze)
sadistic evil does not take itself down in battle (self-interest)

they are just sides of our full spectrum of our personality. they are only to be classified as evil if you ONLY use that side.
If you use that side (hate) in combination with the other side (love), you are not evil.
only when you close half of the spectrum (helping/loving) for ever, then you become evil.

again, to avoid confusion about what i say: hating/opposing one other is not evil as long as you love at least one other too, only hating ALL and loving NONE is evil.
 
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#29
if hate<self-interest: then the evil person is not destructive, but sadistic/narcissistic (e.g. secretly destructive)
I like Dr. Zimbardo's definition. It breaks down the single word, "destructive" into sections.

I would venture sadistic/narcissistic is non-constructive. They may presently be just personality characteristics, but in the end weaken the self. Weakening is destructive. Nice analysis SkyWalker.
 

SkyWalker

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#30
thanks

It came to me in a rush and I didn't explain in it in the clearest way (didnt define it in the best words), so am happy you understand.

Would this kind of evil (according to that definition) be universally wrong? I think so: Simply because it is bad for all participants (except for the evil person itself on short term).

===
why you should not be evil:

although it gives benefits on short term for the evil person, on long term it is weakening to self and thus eventually destructive

===
why you should be evil
(internal rational defensive argument of the evil person, especially the narcissistic/sadistic type of evil):

the "bad karma / eventual destructiveness" can be dodged for a long time by a very intelligent evil person (not long enough for everlasting eternity, but long enough for his entire lifetime which is not eternal anyway).

====

conclusion: given certain beliefs/contraints (such as a finite lifetime) it can be "right" for the evil person itself. it is however NEVER right for all other participants.
therefore we could say it is universally wrong (e.g. for all human cultures). what is your opinion on this?
 
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#31
conclusion: given certain beliefs/contraints (such as a finite lifetime) it can be "right" for the evil person itself. it is however NEVER right for all other participants.
therefore we could say it is universally wrong (e.g. for all human cultures). what is your opinion on this?
I suppose a lifetime of evil would be okay for the evil party ... if they could get away with it. The problem is, lifetime is still long. The more evil they are the more others will catch on and try to do something about it. (This extends to warrior cultures as well. Do too much warring and others will rise up against you.)

Reminds me of Shakespeare's Macbeth. He killed people and got away for it a long time. His wife was a willing accomplice. In the end things caught up with him.
 

SkyWalker

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#32
ok true... it's not easy to dodge karma, and if you could do so successfully, it would still tax you an awful lot


but did we get to the core of what is evil with the definition? i think so
 
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#33
ok true... it's not easy to dodge karma, and if you could do so successfully, it would still tax you an awful lot

but did we get to the core of what is evil with the definition? i think so
The next thing we could ask is, if evil is so bad, why is it there?
 

crippli

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#34
Evil is human. It's an idea humans have invented, and does not exit the human sphere of thought. It's up to the human to believe in this. If one do so, it exists. If not, it doesn't.
 

SkyWalker

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#35
The next thing we could ask is, if evil is so bad, why is it there?
ah.. i know the answer to "why evil is there" pretty well:
evil is there because of the human desire to free ride

the quest for the free meal leads to riding other people's back. and to ride other people's back you must hate them all (if you would have compassion for any of them it will block you in riding them).

and then... instead of actually producing something, the only work for you will be to dodge karma as intelligently and rationally as possible, which is usually a lot less work than actually producing something of value.
 

EyeSeeCold

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#36
Every
Villain
Is
Lemons
 
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#37
Every
Villain
Is
Lemons
Icy, I've looked at your statement, turned it over in my mind and find I cannot disagree. If I change my mind, where do you want to meet?
 

SkyWalker

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#38
and this is supposed to be a formal debate ;)
 

EyeSeeCold

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#39

Lyra

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#40
Lyra is a person on this forum (the one I linked to) who has been banned several times before on other forum accounts. Their recent thread is condoning Nazism as some sort of "numinous" greatness. The fact that you say Vega is evil led me to think you were referencing Lyra because Vega is a star in the Lyra constellation. I guess this was a false connection that I made.
Not a false connection. Go here, look at the picture on the right, and then the heading just below it:

http://rabbitsandrazors.wordpress.com/
 

5k17

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#41
Acting evil means acting deliberately against one's views as to what should be done. As far as I know, that's impossible.
 

Lyra

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#42
With regards to the OT:

I think the word 'evil' stems from our recognition that something is terribly wrong with life. This is one point upon which most people, religious, a-religious, and otherwise, do not differ.

We know that there is something wrong. We have generated answer after answer-- way of life after way of life-- in an attempt to fix either aspects or the totality of that wrongness, and in doing so we attribute blame. When an entity or event comes bearing that which we feel to be bad (death, the corruption or destruction of what redeemed us and made our lives worth living, or some other horror) we often attribute evil to it. Particularly if it acts intentionally or knowingly.

Why? Because it embodies, heralds, or enacts what is so wrong with this existence of ours.

To me, though, a person is truly evil-- as I am truly evil-- when they willingly partake in and increase that weight of suffering and intolerable circumstance in the life of others, without doing so in the perceived service of the mitigation or eradication of evil. I do so because I have taken a decision to not reflexively react to the pain which has, via reflexive reaction, generated so many strictures upon the being of humanity. I do so because I feel that only once we overcome such a bifurcation-- which most who speak of evil's metaphysical subjectivity have not even come close to overcoming-- can we see with the eyes of Gods. And, differently, because learning to manipulate the content and influence of that duality upon individuals and groups is vital to really understanding and changing them.

But, mostly and primarily, not because.

So: a person is evil when they are of evil. The rest... they tend just to be humans living their lives and enacting their desires in a way which causes discomfort or pain to others, without necessarily intending to. They may partake in evil, or presence it, but I would not say that they themselves are evil.

True evil... cannot be constrained by your reasoning, the concepts you have established to protect you from the brutality and dynamic viciousness of life, nor by your pleas to good. True evil machinates from beyond cause and expectation, and from beyond the reflexive slavery to the good which is so many people's definition of 'humanity'. When one enters into true evil-- seeks it, and seeks to know it via embodiment-- one enters into a realm beyond former reason, beyond former conceptual protections and arrogant 'knowledge', and thus beyond one's former limits. By entering into true evil, we overcome the bifurcation that we have been.

True evil is a gateway to the cosmos, unknown and unconstrained: the cosmos humans have sought to protect and separate themselves from for so long. It is a gateway from what has been the 'human' to what is beyond the psychic constructions which maintained and constituted it. It is, to finish, what human hubris sets itself against, and what it is inevitably destroyed by.
 

Moocow

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#43
Lyra, would you say that the search for a truly honest confrontation of reality as a whole amounts to evil? By as a whole, I mean accepting and even embracing suffering as a vital cause of life, inseparable from joy.

Because a lot of people seem to take it that way. I used to openly advocate practices that let us heal ourselves emotionally and promote compassion, but I've found that my idea of compassion is often interpreted by others as some kind of attack on their lifestyles comparable to "evil." Self-compassion equates to death if life as you know it only consists of pride. Is it evil to forgive yourself for hurting others, without needing their acknowledgement?

If I had to define it myself, I would regard complacent ignorance as evil because ignorance is used as justification for irresponsibility with others... you know, business as usual.
 

EyeSeeCold

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#44
Acting evil means acting deliberately against one's views as to what should be done. As far as I know, that's impossible.
Nice existentialism there.
 

Lyra

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#45
Lyra, would you say that the search for a truly honest confrontation of reality as a whole amounts to evil? By as a whole, I mean accepting and even embracing suffering as a vital cause of life, inseparable from joy.
Yes.

Because a lot of people seem to take it that way. I used to openly advocate practices that let us heal ourselves emotionally and promote compassion, but I've found that my idea of compassion is often interpreted by others as some kind of attack on their lifestyles comparable to "evil."
Ditto.
 

bluesquid

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#46
Lyra, i stopped by simply to see what you are up to.

EVIL is one of three choices.


You tell them, they freak out.

You dont tell them, they freak out later.

or you choose not to care, and enjoy chatting up the gent your friend is about to hit with a pole.
 

Agapooka

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#47
Objectively speaking, I cannot define evil, but my intuition tells me the following:

Evil is a polarity reversal of Love, where both are dualistic forces, each with an outward force and an inward force. The polarity reversal is in the active vs. passive. For example:

Love has an active outward force (giving) and a passive inward force (receiving).
Evil has a passive outward force (guilt-giving*) and an active inward force (taking).

*I define guilt-giving as allowing others to take from Self, which implies that this may be done in order to justify Self's taking from others.

Agapooka
 

EyeSeeCold

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#48
Objectively speaking, I cannot define evil, but my intuition tells me the following:

Evil is a polarity reversal of Love, where both are dualistic forces, each with an outward force and an inward force. The polarity reversal is in the active vs. passive. For example:

Love has an active outward force (giving) and a passive inward force (receiving).
Evil has a passive outward force (guilt-giving*) and an active inward force (taking).

*I define guilt-giving as allowing others to take from Self, which implies that this may be done in order to justify Self's taking from others.

Agapooka
Interesting, makes sense to me.
 

Abraxas

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#49
So if evil is something subjective and can only be experienced and exercised by humans (or by any other life form that has grown into a similar classical conditioning), it could also be described as a harmful act in a world where actions are categorized into useful, neutral(useless) and harmful actions.
 
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#50
Um, most people give evil a bad name ... as if it had no rights. Is there anything good about evil so people could give it passage into polite society?
 
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