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FlaGator
06-02-2009, 08:18 PM
I've been thinking about evil and the nature of evil. Is it real? If it is real then what is it? Where does it come from? What is it's purpose? I know that there are no single answers to these questions, but I would like for anyone who is interested let the rest of us know what you think. I don't want people used as examples like "Hitler was evil" or "Stalin was the worse". Just let me know if you think it exists, what is it... that type of stuff. A kind of what is your philosophy of the nature of evil. Let's not try to argue but debate might be interesting. I may catalog peoples answer's and add it to some research I'm accumulating if that is ok.

Peace,
FG

Rockntractor
06-02-2009, 08:43 PM
I live in a black and white world. Evil is the opposite of good and good is what God says is good.

Bubba Dawg
06-02-2009, 08:45 PM
Good topic.

My first question would be, is evil the mere absence of something (God, the Good, Light, etc) or the actual presence of something malevolent, i.e., a darkness that exists independently from humanity?

I guess it depends on one's notion of the existence of a spiritual world within or alongside the physical world.

What I mean is, one's view of evil will be related to one's view of good. One's view of Satan would depend on one's view of God.

Shannon
06-02-2009, 08:53 PM
I have nothing significant to add. This thread just made me think of one of my favorite movie moments. In True Romance, Christopher Walken's character says " I'm the Anti- Christ. you got me in a vendetta kind of mood. You'll tell the angels in heaven that you had never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you". Or something like that.:p

megimoo
06-02-2009, 09:12 PM
I've been thinking about evil and the nature of evil. Is it real? If it is real then what is it? Where does it come from? What is it's purpose? I know that there are no single answers to these questions, but I would like for anyone who is interested let the rest of us know what you think. I don't want people used as examples like "Hitler was evil" or "Stalin was the worse". Just let me know if you think it exists, what is it... that type of stuff. A kind of what is your philosophy of the nature of evil. Let's not try to argue but debate might be interesting. I may catalog peoples answer's and add it to some research I'm accumulating if that is ok.

Peace,
FG
Is this going to be and examination of Calvinistic theology against the mainstream Christian kind ?To me evil is that which is against the will of GOD.The lord GOD being perfect and it follows that his will is also perfect so those things that are against his will are evil.

I further believe that the 'Great debate between GOD and some of his Angels' was concerning his creation of mankind a 'Little less than the Angels' and endowing us with free will .That was the original evil that led to the great expulsion from heaven of the demon and its followers.

Scripture tells us that Sarah told Abraham to take Hagar as his concubine to beget a son.That was evil on Sarah's part .And we are and will be suffering it to this day and beyond.

Moses also went beyond Gods instructions on a few occasions first casting the stone tablets to the ground after his decent with the law and as a result was forbidden from entering the promised land.

King David's obedience and enthusiasm of GOD'S will was impressive in his youth but as he grew older he sinned against his GOD and was punished and forgiven his young sons life was forfeit .

King Solomon was granted great wisdom by GOD only in later life to sin against GOD by allowing his foreign wives to corrupt Gods temple with false heathen Deity's .His Kingdom was cut short and his genes,the fruits of his loins, scattered, his rebellious sons life forfeit ..

Bubba Dawg
06-02-2009, 09:23 PM
Calvin? Meh.....

I'll quote from the sacred texts of the Church of Rock 'n' Roll.....

All lies and jest, still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

Simon and Garfunkel, The Boxer

megimoo
06-02-2009, 09:40 PM
Calvin? Meh.....

I'll quote from the sacred texts of the Church of Rock 'n' Roll.....

All lies and jest, still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

Simon and Garfunkel, The BoxerShallow sir,very shallow !Do you believe in Rock and Roll and Would you stake your immortal soul on music if the bible told you so ?

Bubba Dawg
06-02-2009, 09:47 PM
Shallow sir,very shallow !Do you believe in Rock and Roll and Would you stake your immortal soul on music if the bible told you so ?

If the Bible told me so......???

Well...yes.....wouldn't you? :D

FlaGator
06-02-2009, 10:07 PM
Is this going to be and examination of Calvinistic theology against the mainstream Christian kind ?To me evil is that which is against the will of GOD.The lord GOD being perfect and it follows that his will is also perfect so those things that are against his will are evil.

I further believe that the 'Great debate between GOD and some of his Angels' was concerning his creation of mankind a 'Little less than the Angels' and endowing us with free will .That was the original evil that led to the great expulsion from heaven of the demon and its followers.

Scripture tells us that Sarah told Abraham to take Hagar as his concubine to beget a son.That was evil on Sarah's part .And we are and will be suffering it to this day and beyond.

Moses also went beyond Gods instructions on a few occasions first casting the stone tablets to the ground after his decent with the law and as a result was forbidden from entering the promised land.

King David's obedience and enthusiasm of GOD'S will was impressive in his youth but as he grew older he sinned against his GOD and was punished and forgiven his young sons life was forfeit .

King Solomon was granted great wisdom by GOD only in later life to sin against GOD by allowing his foreign wives to corrupt Gods temple with false heathen Deity's .His Kingdom was cut short and his genes,the fruits of his loins, scattered, his rebellious sons life forfeit ..

I want to know what you think it is, not what others tell you it is. There will be no test and there is no right or wrong answer. I just want to know what you think the nature of evil is. If you think it serves a purpose then what is it?. What causes it? Are people basically evil or good? Stuff like that.

Bubba Dawg
06-02-2009, 10:20 PM
It is legitimate to ask us what we think about evil so.....

I think that there is a dangerous human tendency to define as evil that with which we already disagree, and to accept a definition of evil which confirms our own preconcieved prejudices.

a man he hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....

Any manifestation of evil beyond that needs nothing supernatural to cause horrendous damage, merely human ingenuity.

megimoo
06-02-2009, 11:10 PM
I want to know what you think it is, not what others tell you it is. There will be no test and there is no right or wrong answer. I just want to know what you think the nature of evil is. If you think it serves a purpose then what is it?. What causes it? Are people basically evil or good? Stuff like that.I answered your question in detail in the rest of the string .Is that what you wanted or do you have a more complete answer in mind ?Perhaps a more formal description ?

wilbur
06-02-2009, 11:27 PM
My theory of evil (or morality in general):

There is no such thing, in the transcendent sort of way that the term usually gets tossed about... i.e. that you can violate the purity of or "intentions" of the universe by acting a certain way. At the bottom of it all, there is only what is, there is no ought to be.

Evil simply is the label that gets attached to actions that are severely detrimental our well-being, or cause significant harm (for no sufficient reason)... though we most certainly have lived (and do live) with many wrong beliefs about what is actually detrimental for our well-being; hence, we live with many wrong ideas about evil.

Even though we can say some things are objectively evil, moral judgements of evil (and good) really are nothing more than aesthetic preferences. Aesthetic preferences are subjective judgements about the quality of something... such as your opinion of a song, or a favorite color, or a strong desire for something. There is no transcendent evil, just like there is no transcendent favorite color. But unlike one's choice of favorite color, some particular aesthetic preferences do come with real consequences in the real world, that may hinder or encourage one's well-being. Some might have such universally drastic consequences that they could even be selected for or against through natural selection.... aversion to incest may be a good evidence for this idea. Incest being something most would call "evil".

Evil really is relative to the type of universe we find ourselves in, and our nature... even though both are in a constant state of evolution, they are sufficiently consistent enough to ground concepts of good and evil (aka morality). So even though all our judgements of evil spring from entirely subjective sources (as does all our knowledge), we can say there are objectively evil actions. What hurts us most, is what we call evil (but as I mentioned, sometimes we are wrong about what hurts us).

Rockntractor
06-02-2009, 11:42 PM
My theory of evil (or morality in general):

There is no such thing, in the transcendent sort of way that the term usually gets tossed about... i.e. that you can violate the purity of or "intentions" of the universe by acting a certain way. At the bottom of it all, there is only what is, there is no ought to be.

Evil simply is the label that gets attached to actions that are severely detrimental our well-being, or cause significant harm (for no sufficient reason)... though we most certainly have lived (and do live) with many wrong beliefs about what is actually detrimental for our well-being; hence, we live with many wrong ideas about evil.

Even though we can say some things are objectively evil, moral judgements of evil (and good) really are nothing more than aesthetic preferences. Aesthetic preferences are subjective judgements about the quality of something... such as your opinion of a song, or a favorite color, or a strong desire for something. There is no transcendent evil, just like there is no transcendent favorite color. But unlike one's choice of favorite color, some particular aesthetic preferences do come with real consequences in the real world, that may hinder or encourage one's well-being. Some might have such universally drastic consequences that they could even be selected for or against through natural selection.... aversion to incest may be a good evidence for this idea. Incest being something most would call "evil".

Evil really is relative to the type of universe we find ourselves in, and our nature... even though both are in a constant state of evolution, they are sufficiently consistent enough to ground concepts of good and evil (aka morality). So even though all our judgements of evil spring from entirely subjective sources (as does all our knowledge), we can say there are objectively evil actions. What hurts us most, is what we call evil (but as I mentioned, sometimes we are wrong about what hurts us).
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/piggy.gif?t=1244000505

wilbur
06-02-2009, 11:52 PM
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/piggy.gif?t=1244000505

Animated gifs: Helping attention starved, illiterate imbeciles post "witty" comebacks on the internet, since 1987!

AlmostThere
06-03-2009, 01:44 AM
My theory of evil (or morality in general):

There is no such thing, in the transcendent sort of way that the term usually gets tossed about... i.e. that you can violate the purity of or "intentions" of the universe by acting a certain way. At the bottom of it all, there is only what is, there is no ought to be.

Evil simply is the label that gets attached to actions that are severely detrimental our well-being, or cause significant harm (for no sufficient reason)... though we most certainly have lived (and do live) with many wrong beliefs about what is actually detrimental for our well-being; hence, we live with many wrong ideas about evil.

Even though we can say some things are objectively evil, moral judgements of evil (and good) really are nothing more than aesthetic preferences. Aesthetic preferences are subjective judgements about the quality of something... such as your opinion of a song, or a favorite color, or a strong desire for something. There is no transcendent evil, just like there is no transcendent favorite color. But unlike one's choice of favorite color, some particular aesthetic preferences do come with real consequences in the real world, that may hinder or encourage one's well-being. Some might have such universally drastic consequences that they could even be selected for or against through natural selection.... aversion to incest may be a good evidence for this idea. Incest being something most would call "evil".

Evil really is relative to the type of universe we find ourselves in, and our nature... even though both are in a constant state of evolution, they are sufficiently consistent enough to ground concepts of good and evil (aka morality). So even though all our judgements of evil spring from entirely subjective sources (as does all our knowledge), we can say there are objectively evil actions. What hurts us most, is what we call evil (but as I mentioned, sometimes we are wrong about what hurts us).

No black or white, every thing is just gray?
A question for you. If there is no true North or any other point, what do you set your moral compass on? How do you navigate through life without a certain truth North?

At the bottom of it all, there is only what is, there is no ought to be.
I would agree with this if I were an animal in the wild. An animal fighting every minute of every day just to stay alive. But we are human beings and we are above that. Part of the price we pay for the privilege of being a higher species is that we do have to acknowledge and hopefully abide by what ought to be.

thinker
06-03-2009, 02:02 AM
I would say that I believe in an ultimate Good, in that I believe in God. Therefore, (and this is the shock-therapied Roman Catholic in me) I believe in an Evil.

Do I believe in evil in the sense that it walks amongst us? Very rarely. Man is a creature of sin, of that there is no doubt, but while sin is evil, the evil I believe in carries intent. Most sin, especially in todays ignorant, lazy, and generally me-centered society, is without intent. I believe that the act of murder, or the causation of suffering, is evil.

Is a political belief evil, even if wrong, and sometimes even if corrupt? No.

Is capital E evil in the world? Outside of the Middle East...not really. If you want a better clarification of <--- that statement, that's a whole 'nother thread.

FlaGator
06-03-2009, 07:09 AM
snipped

I believe I asked for debate not argumentative responses. If you disagree with wilbur then tell us why you feel your view is superior to his. I was hoping to frame this as a friendly intellectual exercise and not fuel for the dome.

noonwitch
06-03-2009, 08:52 AM
There are definitely evil acts. Cigarette burns on babies, 3 year olds with venereal diseases, people dying of starvation in places where others are healthy, these are all the results of evil acts on someone's part.


Are the people who commit evil acts evil themselves? I believe that we are all created as children of God. Not all of us recognize that and all of us have moments where we lose touch with that status. When some of the more damaged among us totally lose touch with the idea that they are children of God, they commit evil acts that harm others. When some of the less damaged or immature personalities among us forget what they are doing and make irresponsible decisions that harm others, they are also committing evil acts, even if the intent is not there.


I have never personally experienced any type of evil situation that appeared to be supernatural in any way. Any type of evil I've seen in myself or others all is of the human variety. We are capable of some terrible things. I've had people tell me they've been in a house where they felt an overwhelming feeling of evil. I don't know, I've never had that feeling.

I have had overwhelming feelings of good, though, some of which felt almost supernatural. It's more real, and more strong than evil.

wilbur
06-03-2009, 09:11 AM
No black or white, every thing is just gray?
A question for you. If there is no true North or any other point, what do you set your moral compass on? How do you navigate through life without a certain truth North?


Simply put, what is good for us is good... what is bad for us is evil. What can actually be good or bad for us is constrained by the nature of reality, and our own nature.

There is no possible way, for example, to construct a successful society of happy and well-to-do people where cold blooded murder is valued and encouraged.

Another example... a society that treats women like they do in the middle east is generally also bad for the happiness, and well-being of its inhabitants... and our natures, and the natures of reality prevent it from ever being otherwise.

Those two examples are pretty black and white to me. Unfortunately, the answers to many other moral conundrums arent so obvious.



I would agree with this if I were an animal in the wild. An animal fighting every minute of every day just to stay alive. But we are human beings and we are above that. Part of the price we pay for the privilege of being a higher species is that we do have to acknowledge and hopefully abide by what ought to be.

The ought is brought into being by our nature. What we believe ought to be, is nothing more the expression of our aesthetic preferences, defined by our natures. Our nature simply is. But there is no ought that needs our nature to be a certain way... there is no certain way our nature ought to be.. At some point, something just has to be.

Theistic based moral belief systems don't escape the is/ought problem... they merely put the ought terminal point on whatever god they believe in.... but they have explaining to do as well (see Euthyphro dilemma): "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?"

AlmostThere
06-03-2009, 09:20 AM
There are definitely evil acts. Cigarette burns on babies, 3 year olds with venereal diseases....

I have never personally experienced any type of evil situation that appeared to be supernatural in any way. Any type of evil I've seen in myself or others all is of the human variety. We are capable of some terrible things. I've had people tell me they've been in a house where they felt an overwhelming feeling of evil. I don't know, I've never had that feeling.

I have had overwhelming feelings of good, though, some of which felt almost supernatural. It's more real, and more strong than evil.

I doubt there are many among us who have seen someone's head spin around like Linda Blair's. Whether it be supernatural or a man-made-disaster, evil is still evil.

What is really all that different about Linda Blair's character then from someone burning babies with cigarettes or doing what would be necessary to infect a child with a venereal disease? Any one of these three events is inhuman.

Rockntractor
06-03-2009, 10:15 AM
I believe I asked for debate not argumentative responses. If you disagree with wilbur then tell us why you feel your view is superior to his. I was hoping to frame this as a friendly intellectual exercise and not fuel for the dome.
In the future I will stay away from your conversations so they can go just as you have planned them.

Lager
06-03-2009, 10:18 AM
I disagree severely with you Mr. Wilbur. I truly think you take your moral relevance so far, that it constrains your thinking. I believe that good and evil can exist, even in a non religious framework. We're all born with the capacity for good or evil. Our lives play out in how we choose between the two. I also tend to believe there is an inherent trait in most of us that tends toward the good. Almost like an instinct, I'm talking above and beyond what is modeled and taught by one's parents. That is why I think you are way off base labeling moral judgements as purely aesthetic preferences. I think you tie moral judgements too close to religion. Since your thoughts on that subject are well known, you shy away from giving any secular credence to a moral absolute.

thinker
06-03-2009, 10:27 AM
Man is neither inherently good nor inherently evil. He is born neutral, and influenced in one direction or the other by his environment. ~ paraphrasing John Stuart Mills (who I happen to agree with)

noonwitch
06-03-2009, 11:14 AM
I doubt there are many among us who have seen someone's head spin around like Linda Blair's. Whether it be supernatural or a man-made-disaster, evil is still evil.

What is really all that different about Linda Blair's character then from someone burning babies with cigarettes or doing what would be necessary to infect a child with a venereal disease? Any one of these three events is inhuman.



I was going to say something similar, like what's the difference between a guy like Charles Manson, who has been considered the face of evil, and someone who gets drunk and plows into a car full of innocent people and kills them? The intent may be different, but the results are the same.

I couldn't really fit that in with my overall belief that we are all children of God, even Charlie and the drunk drivers. At least not in a coherent way.

But I do have a coworker, who is a charismatic christian. She came back from a home call, and told me that she felt the presence of pure evil in a family's home, and felt that it was oppressive to her. I don't know, I've never had an experience like that. When I was a delinquency worker, I met a teenaged murderer and numerous sex offenders, drug users and car thieves. I never felt some kind of sense that they were pure evil (in the sense that my coworker described her experience), I felt they were damaged people who had no impulse control, and thus committed evil acts.

wilbur
06-03-2009, 01:28 PM
I disagree severely with you Mr. Wilbur. I truly think you take your moral relevance so far, that it constrains your thinking. I believe that good and evil can exist, even in a non religious framework.

I need to be clearer, perhaps... good and evil are useful vocabulary in my moral framework, as I tried to explain... But good and evil have no meaning apart from actions and their consequences for living beings.

A thing that just exists cannot be evil or good in its own right... it has to have some sort of ability to experience and affect the experience of other things. Noonwitch explained in her post, that she knew a person that claimed to have felt the presence of 'pure evil'... thats the kind of 'evil' I am denying exists.



We're all born with the capacity for good or evil. Our lives play out in how we choose between the two. I also tend to believe there is an inherent trait in most of us that tends toward the good. Almost like an instinct, I'm talking above and beyond what is modeled and taught by one's parents. That is why I think you are way off base labeling moral judgements as purely aesthetic preferences.

Many aesthetic preferences are probably not really distinguishable from instinct. I would include things like the desire to avoid death as an aesthetic preference. That would also assuredly be included in the category of 'instinct'. There is no reason why we ought to try and avoid death in all the grand schemes of the universe... but we do.

Should we wake up one day to find that the vast majority of society does not care to avoid death anymore... they won't. Anyone who may be left standing will be among those who did care to avoid death.. and they will be the ones to pass on their qualities to a new generation. So the avoidance of death is an aesthetic preference that is selected for by the very structure of our world.



I think you tie moral judgements too close to religion. Since your thoughts on that subject are well known, you shy away from giving any secular credence to a moral absolute.

My position is really not quite absolutism, and not quite relativism. We don't need to go full bore into the realm of moral absolutism, in order to claim some moral beliefs are better than others... and thats the only point we need to get to, in my opinion.

AlmostThere
06-03-2009, 02:00 PM
I was going to say something similar, like what's the difference between a guy like Charles Manson, who has been considered the face of evil, and someone who gets drunk and plows into a car full of innocent people and kills them? The intent may be different, but the results are the same.

IMHO, there is criminal and there is evil. I think a demarcation line can exist between the two. Murders are committed everyday, but I don't know if all the perpetrators are truly evil. Then there is Couey, Dahmer, Bundy, Gein and Gacy to mention a few. If they aren't the faces of pure evil I don't know who is.

FlaGator
06-03-2009, 03:12 PM
In the future I will stay away from your conversations so they can go just as you have planned them.

It's a free country, but I don't understand you need to make a public statement unless you wanted to embarrass me which would be pretty evil behavior on your part. ;)

megimoo
06-03-2009, 03:48 PM
IMHO, there is criminal and there is evil. I think a demarcation line can exist between the two. Murders are committed everyday, but I don't know if all the perpetrators are truly evil. Then there is Couey, Dahmer, Bundy, Gein and Gacy to mention a few. If they aren't the faces of pure evil I don't know who is.

Are you saying that those with these mental conditions are really evil and not mentally deficient and a product of a deranged mind .

We have evidence that some of these apparently evil men are actually the product of a stay in their emotional development and have evolved into a sort of sub human status.The study of the mentality of serial killers and human cannibals is in its infancy but some progress has been made.

The comonality of behavior of Gacy and Darmer isn't conclusive however.The human mind especially in the early stages of development is very vaulnerable to external influences and experiences.Any sexual experiences such as a molestation or rape can lead to sever aborations in development and the formation of unresolved guilt .

We have as of yet no clear track to the formation of these diseased minds but the search goes on.


Jeffrey Dahmer was born in Milwaukee in 1960. When he was a child he took an interest in chemistry and mutilating animals, he was also reportedly molested by a boy at the age of eight.
.........................
He was in jail for fifteen life sentences delivered for the seventeen lives he had taken,being convicted of only fifteen of them .

...........................
John Wayne Gacy:
seemed to have a regular childhood with the exception of his turbulent relationship with his father, John Wayne Gacy Sr. The authors describe the father as an unpleasant, abusive alcoholic prone to physically and verbally assaulting his children. The authors describe Gacy as deeply loving his father and wanting desperately to gain his approval and attention, but failing to win him over.He was responsible for a total of 33
murders .
.................................................. ....
Ted Bundy:The 'Bad Seed"!
No one is really sure who his biological father was.
His mother gives two different stories for this. The name on his birth certificate was Lloyd Marshall. However, she later spoke of being seduced by a war veteran named Jack Worthington. There is one other option, however. Some members of Bundy's family think that his grandfather may also be his biological father. He was mentally unstable, violent and abusive. He would also fly into a rage if anyone spoke of Ted's biological father.
...........................
He showed violent tendencies as young as three years old.
His Aunt Julia, Louise's younger sister, recalls incidents of laying down for a nap in her home and waking up to find knives surrounding her and a smiling three year old Bundy at her side. This paints an eerie, strange picture of a toddler arranging knives around his sleeping aunt.
..............................
Bundy's grandfather (who he thought was his father and indeed may have been) tortured animals.
Bundy describes incidents of his grandfather Samuel abusing the family dog. He also claimed that Samuel would swing neighbourhood cats around by their tails. Ted himself has been said to torment animals with knives. He would mutilate animals with the knives which seemed to fascinate him so much.
............................

........................
Gary Leon Ridgway
His mother was a violent and domineering woman, and was especially controlling towards Ridgway. She dominated the household, and discouraged her sons from forming relationships with others. Relatives remember that she was never content with him and was constantly yelling at her husband. At the age of 13, Gary Ridgway was still a bed-wetter. This unsavory relationship would also have an impact on Ridgway's development.
..........................
On November 30, 2001, as he was leaving a Renton, Washington factory where he worked, he was arrested for the murders of four women whose cases were linked to him through DNA evidence. In November of 2003 he pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated murder, although he says he actually killed 90 women or more, almost all prostitutes. The murders occurred in the early 1980s. As part of a plea bargain, he was spared the death penalty and received a sentence of life imprisonment without parole
.....................................

Gingersnap
06-03-2009, 03:57 PM
I have no doubt that evil exists and that evil can exist in forms and for functions that have nothing at all to do with human beings. Human evil is a product of the Fall and it affects every single one of us - some very much more and some very much less. It's up to each of us to resist evil in our daily lives.

megimoo
06-03-2009, 04:42 PM
I have no doubt that evil exists and that evil can exist in forms and for functions that have nothing at all to do with human beings. Human evil is a product of the Fall and it affects every single one of us - some very much more and some very much less. It's up to each of us to resist evil in our daily lives.True evil will always disguise itself as some other condition but it still exists .The saying goes, "The greatest feat the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."
I always wonder about atheists in the funeral home. All dressed up with no place to go .

First person: 'I have witnessed 20 exorcisms'
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/first-person-i-have-witnessed-20-exorcisms-1684373.html

Rockntractor
06-03-2009, 05:52 PM
It's a free country, but I don't understand you need to make a public statement unless you wanted to embarrass me which would be pretty evil behavior on your part. ;)
You basisally called me a disrupter I told you I would stay away. Now for that I am evil? Think what you will.

Milly
06-03-2009, 05:52 PM
Man is neither inherently good nor inherently evil. He is born neutral, and influenced in one direction or the other by his environment. ~ paraphrasing John Stuart Mills (who I happen to agree with)

Tabula rasa, huh?

I want to expand on this, since a varient of it also informs my understanding of evil. I disagree, however, that we are born neutral. We are not. We are social creatures and, as such, come into this world with a tremendous capacity for empathy. Recent studies have shown that the babies in a new-born nursery cry at the same time because one starts crying and the others then start crying because it's the only way they have available to show fellow feeling and to call for help. They're actually distressed FOR the crying kid, not ticked off because he woke them up.

We are also born with a strong instinct for self-preservation which shows itself in small children as self-centeredness. It's at this point that environment comes into play. If a child is raised by decent parents who want their kid to have a happy adult life, he starts learning those lessons really early. Hitting, name-calling and bullying are out of bounds from the start (unless you want to raise a DUer). They also see to it that his basic needs for food, shelter and security are met so he doesn't have to focus on self-preservation to the exclusion of other lessons.

Rotten parents raise rotten kids who lose all of their original capacity for empathy because it's extinquished by the environment in which they were raised. The desire for self-preservation becomes the end all and be all for these kids, since they're the only ones who care if they survive or not.

Evil, then, is like the vibrations of a tuning fork that that is passed from one generation to the next. It cannot exist without a human host and those hosts then infect others. I believe this is what the Bible means by "the sins of the fathers. . .'. God was just stating facts, not passing judgement. An evil father will most likely raise an evil child. Period.

I won't speculate on the origin of evil, since it's well beyond my limited understanding. What I think about its origins doesn't matter anyway. What matters is that it's real.

megimoo
06-03-2009, 06:16 PM
Tabula rasa, huh?

I want to expand on this, since a varient of it also informs my understanding of evil. I disagree, however, that we are born neutral. We are not. We are social creatures and, as such, come into this world with a tremendous capacity for empathy. Recent studies have shown that the babies in a new-born nursery cry at the same time because one starts crying and the others then start crying because it's the only way they have available to show fellow feeling and to call for help. They're actually distressed FOR the crying kid, not ticked off because he woke them up.

We are also born with a strong instinct for self-preservation which shows itself in small children as self-centeredness. It's at this point that environment comes into play. If a child is raised by decent parents who want their kid to have a happy adult life, he starts learning those lessons really early. Hitting, name-calling and bullying are out of bounds from the start (unless you want to raise a DUer). They also see to it that his basic needs for food, shelter and security are met so he doesn't have to focus on self-preservation to the exclusion of other lessons.

Rotten parents raise rotten kids who lose all of their original capacity for empathy because it's extinquished by the environment in which they were raised. The desire for self-preservation becomes the end all and be all for these kids, since they're the only ones who care if they survive or not.

Evil, then, is like the vibrations of a tuning fork that that is passed from one generation to the next. It cannot exist without a human host and those hosts then infect others. I believe this is what the Bible means by "the sins of the fathers. . .'. God was just stating facts, not passing judgement. An evil father will most likely raise an evil child. Period.

I won't speculate on the origin of evil, since it's well beyond my limited understanding. What I think about its origins doesn't matter anyway. What matters is that it's real.Well said and I agree for the most part but it's not just evil fathers, the mothers in some cases are just as guilty .It all comes back to love !

MrsSmith
06-03-2009, 06:20 PM
Evil is that force that silences mankind's conscience. Whether it is in huge and horrifying deeds, or in small missteps, evil is the "thing" that whispers in your ear and tells you that YOU had reason. Even when you've committed an act that you know is evil, you can always rationalize the reasons to make your act less evil than other's actions.

Evil is the ability to rationalize away your guilty conscience. Whether that ability is learned, born in us, or a "gift" from Satan, rationalization is the basis for human evil.

Evil is not expressed in accidents. Evil is chosen intentionally. This is why animals are so seldom truly evil, they seldom have the ability to understand evil. Because humans have that ability, we choose evil over good.

Evil is not as simple as "what is good for us," or "what is bad for us." For example, the mothers of aborted children have committed horrible evil, yet many absolutely believe that the good results of that act can mitigate the evil. If the mother went on to finish college, build a successful career, and have children she wanted, it can appear that the evil done to her first-born was good for her. But you cannot construct a successful society of happy and well-to-do people where cold blooded murder is valued and encouraged. By supporting and encouraging the rationalization of evil, we are destroying our society.

God, by nature, can not sin. He hates sin. He has carefully explained to us what sin is (therefore, what evil is), and how we can be freed from the chains of evil.

Bubba Dawg
06-03-2009, 07:55 PM
The interesting thing about a conceptions of evil is the seeming ease with which one group applies the term evil to another group.

To Muslims we (the USA) are the Great Satan. President Bush labeled, and rightly so I think, Muslim extremists, or at least their actions, as evil. In fact, he evoked the term crusade to describe the war against terrorism.

I believe that evil exists, but I am not able to conceive of it in terms of some supernatural source or origin.

Human depravity and ingenuity are, for me, sufficient to explain the evil in the world.

Gingersnap
06-03-2009, 08:23 PM
You basisally called me a disrupter I told you I would stay away. Now for that I am evil? Think what you will.

Nobody is calling anybody evil here. You guys just had a misinterpretation of info. FlaGator wanted a peaceable exchange of views and so do you.

Now, back to our feature: Evil Rears Its Ugly Head In Thread-Format. :p

wilbur
06-03-2009, 09:59 PM
Evil is not as simple as "what is good for us," or "what is bad for us."


Those simple statements do hide surprisingly elegant and versatile principles that describe what we call evil (morality in general as well)... explanations that survive even amidst a great amount of complexity that real world moral problems pose for us.

To argue against my theory of evil (and morality), as you have tried to do, you really do have to argue that there are evil actions that have nothing but good consequences.... or that there are good actions that result in nothing but evil consequences... Good luck ;)



For example, the mothers of aborted children have committed horrible evil, yet many absolutely believe that the good results of that act can mitigate the evil. If the mother went on to finish college, build a successful career, and have children she wanted, it can appear that the evil done to her first-born was good for her. But you cannot construct a successful society of happy and well-to-do people where cold blooded murder is valued and encouraged. By supporting and encouraging the rationalization of evil, we are destroying our society.


But do you consider abortion "good for us"? If not, then you have really missed the mark with your allusions. You have not attacked the principles behind my moral theory, as I suspect you think you have (ie stuff thats good for us is good, and stuff thats bad for us is generally evil), but merely asserted that many people are ignorant of the evil that you believe abortion causes. If abortion really causes more harm than good, than it would be an evil act under my theory.

This part of your post here:
" But you cannot construct a successful society of happy and well-to-do people where cold blooded murder is valued and encouraged. By supporting and encouraging the rationalization of evil, we are destroying our society. "

...reduces to this:
"Abortion is bad for society"

Again... if it truly is more harmful that good, it would be evil under my moral theory.

You even frame evil in terms of its consequences to society... you're subtly agreeing with me and I don't think you realize it.

MrsSmith
06-03-2009, 10:52 PM
Those simple statements do hide surprisingly elegant and versatile principles that describe what we call evil (morality in general as well)... explanations that survive even amidst a great amount of complexity that real world moral problems pose for us.

To argue against my theory of evil (and morality), as you have tried to do, you really do have to argue that there are evil actions that have nothing but good consequences.... or that there are good actions that result in nothing but evil consequences... Good luck ;)



But do you consider abortion "good for us"? If not, then you have really missed the mark with your allusions. You have not attacked the principles behind my moral theory, as I suspect you think you have (ie stuff thats good for us is good, and stuff thats bad for us is generally evil), but merely asserted that many people are ignorant of the evil that you believe abortion causes. If abortion really causes more harm than good, than it would be an evil act under my theory.

This part of your post here:
" But you cannot construct a successful society of happy and well-to-do people where cold blooded murder is valued and encouraged. By supporting and encouraging the rationalization of evil, we are destroying our society. "

...reduces to this:
"Abortion is bad for society"

Again... if it truly is more harmful that good, it would be evil under my moral theory.

You even frame evil in terms of its consequences to society... you're subtly agreeing with me and I don't think you realize it.
Other than the minor fact that I wasn't replying to your post, it does look as though you are agreeing with me...abortion is perceived as good by many, but is truly evil and destructive to society.

As humans are very good at rationalization and not very good at determining what is good for us, it would follow that the way to construct a successful and happy society is to follow God's always-perfect rules.

And, of course, there are evil actions that have good consequences. God can and does bring good out of evil acts.

FlaGator
06-03-2009, 10:56 PM
You basisally called me a disrupter I told you I would stay away. Now for that I am evil? Think what you will.

Actually I was hoping you would join in the conversation.:)

Rockntractor
06-03-2009, 11:13 PM
Actually I was hoping you would join in the conversation.:)
This pretty much somes up my view not much more I can say.

I live in a black and white world. Evil is the opposite of good and good is what God says is good.

thinker
06-03-2009, 11:40 PM
Tabula rasa, huh?

Mostly ~_^


I want to expand on this, since a variant of it also informs my understanding of evil. I disagree, however, that we are born neutral. We are not. We are social creatures and, as such, come into this world with a tremendous capacity for empathy.

Capacity does not equal the attainment of such. I wouldn't disagree with the above statement, but the first point you have to realize is that this is where that environment factor comes in - a child that is not loved has no understanding of what love is, and thus has a greatly diminished capacity for it. A child that is isolated has difficulty empathizing. Et cetera.


Recent studies have shown that the babies in a new-born nursery cry at the same time because one starts crying and the others then start crying because it's the only way they have available to show fellow feeling and to call for help. They're actually distressed FOR the crying kid, not ticked off because he woke them up.

I won't go for the threadjack, but if I were to do so I'd ask which studies, and then ask what process they followed, because it would seem rather difficult to me to ascertain the intent of infants. Trust me, I've had one in my home for a while now, quite recently - until the last 3 months or so, it was really hard to tell what he wanted unless it had something to do with excrement, a toy, or feeding :p


We are also born with a strong instinct for self-preservation which shows itself in small children as self-centeredness. It's at this point that environment comes into play. If a child is raised by decent parents who want their kid to have a happy adult life, he starts learning those lessons really early. Hitting, name-calling and bullying are out of bounds from the start (unless you want to raise a DUer). They also see to it that his basic needs for food, shelter and security are met so he doesn't have to focus on self-preservation to the exclusion of other lessons.

The actual philosophical term you're looking for is self-interest, but self-preservation works just as well, I suppose. And all this plays to my prior points.


Rotten parents raise rotten kids who lose all of their original capacity for empathy because it's extinquished by the environment in which they were raised. The desire for self-preservation becomes the end all and be all for these kids, since they're the only ones who care if they survive or not.

Here's the limitation of Mills' theory, though. He (and apparently you) are willing to extend that original environmental influence into an unbreakable and unmutable chain of events - which doesn't explain good kids with bad parents, or good parents with rotten kids - both of which happen. Of course, it's not that simple. I was just using Mills as a jumping off point to convey that man is neither a force for evil or a force for good - that circumstances and personality can play a role in shifting the individual in either direction. Suffice to say that it was mainly to illustrate that there are few truly evil things in the world as we know it.


Evil, then, is like the vibrations of a tuning fork that that is passed from one generation to the next. It cannot exist without a human host and those hosts then infect others. I believe this is what the Bible means by "the sins of the fathers. . .'. God was just stating facts, not passing judgement. An evil father will most likely raise an evil child. Period.

See above, and one other thing - all evil is inherently rooted in mankind, according to this statement? Hmm. Interesting.


I won't speculate on the origin of evil, since it's well beyond my limited understanding. What I think about its origins doesn't matter anyway. What matters is that it's real.

Agreed on that one, unfortunately. (That evil is real, not that we're agreed). And just a heads up, if I'm coming on a little strong I apologize - I don't do this to people that don't look like they can handle it, and it's been a while since I've had to use the subtler version of the argument post, so I'm a tad rusty.

Teetop
06-03-2009, 11:41 PM
I've been thinking about evil and the nature of evil. Is it real? If it is real then what is it? Where does it come from? What is it's purpose? I know that there are no single answers to these questions, but I would like for anyone who is interested let the rest of us know what you think. I don't want people used as examples like "Hitler was evil" or "Stalin was the worse". Just let me know if you think it exists, what is it... that type of stuff. A kind of what is your philosophy of the nature of evil. Let's not try to argue but debate might be interesting. I may catalog peoples answer's and add it to some research I'm accumulating if that is ok.

Peace,
FG

Disclaimer; I have avoided this thread until now...:eek:

Evil is in one's heart and actions. Some people just find joy in "causing" evil to other's lives.

My evil is killing animals, such as prairie dogs or coyotes.

I really don't think it's evil. It's more about power over others.

And the more power you have, the more evil one becomes...

thinker
06-03-2009, 11:43 PM
The interesting thing about a conceptions of evil is the seeming ease with which one group applies the term evil to another group.

To Muslims we (the USA) are the Great Satan. President Bush labeled, and rightly so I think, Muslim extremists, or at least their actions, as evil. In fact, he evoked the term crusade to describe the war against terrorism.

Agreed with the first statement, and in regards to the bolded section, also one of the biggest mistakes of his entire presidency, in my opinion. (no, I'm not a kneejerk Buckfush)

Teetop
06-03-2009, 11:45 PM
My theory of evil (or morality in general):

There is no such thing, in the transcendent sort of way that the term usually gets tossed about... i.e. that you can violate the purity of or "intentions" of the universe by acting a certain way. At the bottom of it all, there is only what is, there is no ought to be.

Evil simply is the label that gets attached to actions that are severely detrimental our well-being, or cause significant harm (for no sufficient reason)... though we most certainly have lived (and do live) with many wrong beliefs about what is actually detrimental for our well-being; hence, we live with many wrong ideas about evil.

Even though we can say some things are objectively evil, moral judgements of evil (and good) really are nothing more than aesthetic preferences. Aesthetic preferences are subjective judgements about the quality of something... such as your opinion of a song, or a favorite color, or a strong desire for something. There is no transcendent evil, just like there is no transcendent favorite color. But unlike one's choice of favorite color, some particular aesthetic preferences do come with real consequences in the real world, that may hinder or encourage one's well-being. Some might have such universally drastic consequences that they could even be selected for or against through natural selection.... aversion to incest may be a good evidence for this idea. Incest being something most would call "evil".

Evil really is relative to the type of universe we find ourselves in, and our nature... even though both are in a constant state of evolution, they are sufficiently consistent enough to ground concepts of good and evil (aka morality). So even though all our judgements of evil spring from entirely subjective sources (as does all our knowledge), we can say there are objectively evil actions. What hurts us most, is what we call evil (but as I mentioned, sometimes we are wrong about what hurts us).

<snip>

Teetop
06-03-2009, 11:48 PM
Man is neither inherently good nor inherently evil. He is born neutral, and influenced in one direction or the other by his environment. ~ paraphrasing John Stuart Mills (who I happen to agree with)

True, to a point...

Teetop
06-03-2009, 11:52 PM
The interesting thing about a conceptions of evil is the seeming ease with which one group applies the term evil to another group.

To Muslims we (the USA) are the Great Satan. President Bush labeled, and rightly so I think, Muslim extremists, or at least their actions, as evil. In fact, he evoked the term crusade to describe the war against terrorism.

I believe that evil exists, but I am not able to conceive of it in terms of some supernatural source or origin.

Human depravity and ingenuity are, for me, sufficient to explain the evil in the world.

Nail, meet hammer....

Nice one Dawg.

CueSi
06-04-2009, 12:01 AM
Good topic.

My first question would be, is evil the mere absence of something (God, the Good, Light, etc) or the actual presence of something malevolent, i.e., a darkness that exists independently from humanity?


A little bit of both. I think evil can be passive and active.

Like in the movie Taken, (SPOILER!!!) where that French bureaucrat that was the protagonists friend told him to forget about his daughter when it turned out he was in bed with the assholes that took his child. That's passive evil. He merely didn't act in the forces of good to save his own ass and didn't care that his friend was in danger of losing his only child.

Active Evil? That's everywhere. Middle School girls psychologically torturing their classmates. It may not result in shed blood, but you get someone who was a victim of bullying to talk about their experience. . .even decades on, they are wounded. . .there's something that was taken from them by a malevolent force.

~QC

thinker
06-04-2009, 12:04 AM
True, to a point...

Read the follow ups to see where that point is :)

wilbur
06-04-2009, 12:08 AM
<snip>

<sigh>

<snip>

Teetop
06-04-2009, 12:34 AM
Read the follow ups to see where that point is :)

I did, later....:)

Teetop
06-04-2009, 12:35 AM
<sigh>

<snip>

I raise...

<snip>

FlaGator
06-04-2009, 07:57 AM
This pretty much somes up my view not much more I can say.

What if God has not comment on something? I do you determine with it is good or evil?

FlaGator
06-04-2009, 07:59 AM
<snip>

This kind of response isn't necessary. Please just address the issues.

Rockntractor
06-04-2009, 09:16 AM
What if God has not comment on something? I do you determine with it is good or evil? The bible is the most comprehensive book known to man if you search it you will find it.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

FlaGator
06-04-2009, 10:41 AM
The bible is the most comprehensive book known to man if you search it you will find it.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

Do you feel it is wrong for a 35 year old man to marry a 13 or 14 year old girl?

Rockntractor
06-04-2009, 10:56 AM
Do you feel it is wrong for a 35 year old man to marry a 13 or 14 year old girl?
Accourding to the bible we are to obey the laws of the country we live in. I believe 16 is the age of consent in most states.

Rockntractor
06-04-2009, 11:05 AM
Marrying At 14 was not unusual during different periods of our history when life expectancy was 40-45. Also with the high mortality rates from constant wars a 35 year old man marrying a 14 year old girl insured her survival and reproduced new generations.

FlaGator
06-04-2009, 01:13 PM
Marrying At 14 was not unusual during different periods of our history when life expectancy was 40-45. Also with the high mortality rates from constant wars a 35 year old man marrying a 14 year old girl insured her survival and reproduced new generations.

That skirts the issue of if you think that it is right or wrong. If you lived in a country where it was considered immoral and you moved to a country that said it was moral, would your opinion on the morality of the situation be altered by your geographic location? I think that you have stated that you are against abortion, but it is the law of the land. Does that make it right?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just trying to understand your view in evil and I think that evil has connections to morality and the right and wrongness of a situation.

Rockntractor
06-04-2009, 01:15 PM
Abortion conflicts with Gods law.

FlaGator
06-04-2009, 01:27 PM
Abortion conflicts with Gods law.

But you stated earlier that the Bible states that we are to follow the law of the land (Romans 13:1-6). Is it possible to do both with out defying God?

Also I am interesting in your thoughts on morality and a change in geographic locations where interpretation of God's law may very.

Rockntractor
06-04-2009, 02:06 PM
But you stated earlier that the Bible states that we are to follow the law of the land (Romans 13:1-6). Is it possible to do both with out defying God?

Also I am interesting in your thoughts on morality and a change in geographic locations where interpretation of God's law may very.
You obey any law of the state that does not conflict with Gods law.

noonwitch
06-04-2009, 02:24 PM
But you stated earlier that the Bible states that we are to follow the law of the land (Romans 13:1-6). Is it possible to do both with out defying God?

Also I am interesting in your thoughts on morality and a change in geographic locations where interpretation of God's law may very.


I know that you weren't addressing the question to me, but that is what the Nazis asked the ten Boom family about when they raided their house, looking for jews. The nazis asked them what the Bible said about the government, and the father quoted that verse from Romans.

The movie or the book of their story, The Hiding Place, is a great example of how to live the way God intends us to live, under conditions that will definitely punish one for doing so. The author, Corrie ten Boom, was the only member of her immediate family to live to tell their story-her sister and father both died in custody-her father in the local jail after his arrest, and her sister in Ravensbruck. Her brother contracted tb in a camp and died of it after the war, her nephew worked for the underground, also, and was killed by the nazis.

Prior to the family's arrest, the mayor of Harleem called Corrie to his office and identified a snitch to her, asking her to give his name to the underground, and implying that they would kill him to keep everyone else safe. She refused to help, because that was not God's way. The man who was the snitch is the one who ultimately turned her family in to the nazis.

The nazis never did find the jews the family was hiding. They had an architect design their secret room, and a few days after the raid, someone from the underground came and got all of them out and to other places.

Rockntractor
06-04-2009, 03:05 PM
I know that you weren't addressing the question to me, but that is what the Nazis asked the ten Boom family about when they raided their house, looking for jews. The nazis asked them what the Bible said about the government, and the father quoted that verse from Romans.

The movie or the book of their story, The Hiding Place, is a great example of how to live the way God intends us to live, under conditions that will definitely punish one for doing so. The author, Corrie ten Boom, was the only member of her immediate family to live to tell their story-her sister and father both died in custody-her father in the local jail after his arrest, and her sister in Ravensbruck. Her brother contracted tb in a camp and died of it after the war, her nephew worked for the underground, also, and was killed by the nazis.

Prior to the family's arrest, the mayor of Harleem called Corrie to his office and identified a snitch to her, asking her to give his name to the underground, and implying that they would kill him to keep everyone else safe. She refused to help, because that was not God's way. The man who was the snitch is the one who ultimately turned her family in to the nazis.

The nazis never did find the jews the family was hiding. They had an architect design their secret room, and a few days after the raid, someone from the underground came and got all of them out and to other places.
Gods law always trumps mans law when they conflict. The nazis desired to destroy Gods chosen people the Jews. The choice was clear. The choice is not always so clear. We need to read the bible daily and keep it fresh in our minds. Even then we will make mistakes and stumble. That is why we have a savior. We are convicted by Gods law and saved by his grace.

Milly
06-04-2009, 03:18 PM
This one is in reply to Thinker.

We're actually on the same page in a lot of ways. I don't buy into 'tabula rasa' in its purest form since genetics plays such a large role in our personalities and capacities, but what we're born with certainly is extinquished or developed by our environment. The old 'Nature-Nurture' discussion would require its own thread.:)

That said, there appear to be many traits common to all humans that are inate. The capacity for empathy is one of them, just as the capacity for language is there. What language one learns depends on what's spoken in the home, just as one's ability to be kind is developed there. I guess what I'm driving at is my belief that we are born to be kind to each other, but we can be warped into being evil by an evil environment.

I also know of good kids raised by bad parents and vice versa. But the good kids usually had some early benign influence or an encounter with a decent adult they could model later on, I think. Bad kids raised by good parents may just be sociopaths from the start. If people can be born with physical defects, such as absent limbs, I see no reason why the brain couldn't be missing something, too.

And, yeah, I consider only human beings capable of evil. Evil requires intent and only man can have intention.

FYI, the closest I can come to an article on the study I was mentioning is this:

http://www.journal.naeyc.org/btj/200607/Quann709BJT.asp

And thanks for the lively discussion. I love having my ideas challenged, since it requires me to clarify my thoughts to myself.

FlaGator
06-04-2009, 03:28 PM
I know that you weren't addressing the question to me, but that is what the Nazis asked the ten Boom family about when they raided their house, looking for jews. The nazis asked them what the Bible said about the government, and the father quoted that verse from Romans.

The movie or the book of their story, The Hiding Place, is a great example of how to live the way God intends us to live, under conditions that will definitely punish one for doing so. The author, Corrie ten Boom, was the only member of her immediate family to live to tell their story-her sister and father both died in custody-her father in the local jail after his arrest, and her sister in Ravensbruck. Her brother contracted tb in a camp and died of it after the war, her nephew worked for the underground, also, and was killed by the nazis.

Prior to the family's arrest, the mayor of Harleem called Corrie to his office and identified a snitch to her, asking her to give his name to the underground, and implying that they would kill him to keep everyone else safe. She refused to help, because that was not God's way. The man who was the snitch is the one who ultimately turned her family in to the nazis.

The nazis never did find the jews the family was hiding. They had an architect design their secret room, and a few days after the raid, someone from the underground came and got all of them out and to other places.

I have read 4 of her biographical books and have in enjoyed each one.She was truly a powerful servant of Christ and what she endured at the hands of the Nazi's for having the courage to do what is right is inspiring. I would hope that I could be have as she did, but I fear that I wouldn't be that strong.

Gingersnap
06-04-2009, 03:33 PM
That skirts the issue of if you think that it is right or wrong. If you lived in a country where it was considered immoral and you moved to a country that said it was moral, would your opinion on the morality of the situation be altered by your geographic location? I think that you have stated that you are against abortion, but it is the law of the land. Does that make it right?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just trying to understand your view in evil and I think that evil has connections to morality and the right and wrongness of a situation.

Wait, I'm lost here. Are you trying to say that marrying a 14 year old is evil as opposed to stupid (in the absence of necessity)?

FlaGator
06-04-2009, 03:50 PM
Gods law always trumps mans law when they conflict. The nazis desired to destroy Gods chosen people the Jews. The choice was clear. The choice is not always so clear. We need to read the bible daily and keep it fresh in our minds. Even then we will make mistakes and stumble. That is why we have a savior. We are convicted by Gods law and saved by his grace.

Exactly! God's will must be served at any personal cost to a believer. It is what we've been put here to do.

I guess I should explain a bit about why I started this thread, especially to you since it seems to have created some animosity. I wanted to know people's opinion on what they think about evil. I wasn't looking for a particular answer but as many diverse answers as possible. I have been doing a lot of research on the philosophy of the nature of evil and the problem of evil in a world created by a good and just God. I've also been collecting information on different views of morality and how morality defines and combats evil. I think I'm going to write a book when I think I have a handle on my thoughts. I also want to tie free will or the illusion of free will in to this since that seems to be one of the driving forces behind the nature of evil acts.

I'm trying to formulate some theories of how the fall broke creation and in something reminiscent of the chicken and the egg question, did free will lead to evil or did evil use free will against us. In fact I question if there is such a thing as free will. All of this ties together and learning concepts various concepts about the nature of evil seems to be the place to start.

I hope this clears up some things. I plan to make my views known but I want to read more of what people like you and Mrs Smith, who have a love of the Lord, have to say. I am also interested in what wilbur and the atheist point of view has to say concerning this. Everybody's view is important when thinking about this stuff. If I seemed a bit heavy handed with the moderation of this thread, I just want everyone to know that it was and still is important to me to hear what everyone has to say. I was just trying to keep everyone on topic because the arguments that break out due to philosophical differences and animosities will get things off topic quicker than anything else I can think of. Iím going to archive this entire thread and put it in my research collection. I didnít want to have to put a lot of time in to editing a bunch of unrelated stuff out of it

FlaGator
06-04-2009, 03:55 PM
Wait, I'm lost here. Are you trying to say that marrying a 14 year old is evil as opposed to stupid (in the absence of necessity)?

I was using it as an example of something God doesn't specifically oppose yet most modern people find it to be of an evil nature. Most people don't realize but Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably around 14 or so when she gave birth to Christ. 13 and 14 was the average marrying age of women in first century Judea. Also from scripture Joseph was a much older man. In fact it seems he had children from a previous marriage.

megimoo
06-04-2009, 04:18 PM
I was using it as an example of something God doesn't specifically oppose yet most modern people find it to be of an evil nature. Most people don't realize but Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably around 14 or so when she gave birth to Christ. 13 and 14 was the average marrying age of women in first century Judea. Also from scripture Joseph was a much older man. In fact it seems he had children from a previous marriage.Where did you find that one ?

FlaGator
06-04-2009, 04:20 PM
Where did you find that one ?

Find what?

Gingersnap
06-04-2009, 04:33 PM
I was using it as an example of something God doesn't specifically oppose yet most modern people find it to be of an evil nature. Most people don't realize but Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably around 14 or so when she gave birth to Christ. 13 and 14 was the average marrying age of women in first century Judea. Also from scripture Joseph was a much older man. In fact it seems he had children from a previous marriage.

I guess I wouldn't class early marriage as an evil. It was a necessity for an awfully long time and now it isn't needed while a certain amount of education really is needed.

MrsSmith
06-04-2009, 07:20 PM
I was using it as an example of something God doesn't specifically oppose yet most modern people find it to be of an evil nature. Most people don't realize but Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably around 14 or so when she gave birth to Christ. 13 and 14 was the average marrying age of women in first century Judea. Also from scripture Joseph was a much older man. In fact it seems he had children from a previous marriage.
I haven't seen this anywhere in Scripture. :confused:

Rockntractor
06-04-2009, 07:25 PM
I haven't seen this anywhere in Scripture. :confused:

Apologetics Press :: Scripturally Speaking

Did Jesus Have Fleshly Half-Brothers?
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.
[EspaŮol]
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The usual word in the Greek language for “brother” is adelphos. It possesses the same latitude of application that the English word possesses. Hence, it can refer to a person who shares the same religion (a spiritual brother). It can refer to a person who shares the same citizenship—a fellow countryman. It can refer to an intimate friend or neighbor. All of these uses are self-evident, and do not encroach upon the literal use of the term.

By far the most prominent use of the term is the literal sense—a blood brother or half-brother, the physical son of one’s mother or father. With reference to the physical brothers of Jesus (i.e., the sons of Joseph and Mary conceived after the birth of Christ), the literal sense is clearly in view in the following passages: Matthew 12:46-48 (the parallel in Mark 3:31-32); Matthew 13:55-56 (the parallel in Mark 6:3; in both passages, “sister” also is used in the literal sense); John 2:12; John 7:3,5,10; Acts 1:14; and Galatians 1:19. Even a casual reading of these verses demonstrates that Jesus had literal, physical brothers. The only reason the face-value import of these verses would be questioned is to lend credence to the post facto Catholic Church doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary.
http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2318

Rockntractor
06-04-2009, 07:27 PM
You need to go to the web page and read entire article.