Is there evil in this world?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby manolo » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:01 am

Simple Minded wrote:.... a very Buddhist/Randian approach.


SM,

I hadn't thought of that fusion, but it is there.

Alex.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Simple Minded » Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:51 am

manolo wrote:
Simple Minded wrote:.... a very Buddhist/Randian approach.


SM,

I hadn't thought of that fusion, but it is there.

Alex.


Alex,

That is the coolest part of being human, reality does not exist until it crosses the threshold of our awareness. But..... then the filters kick in..... :(

and we all know who has the best filters! right? :)
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Parodite » Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:55 pm

Are Rand-ian Selfists only one step away of giving up their massive ego and become Buddhists?

Seems to me a good thing that people want to give up something.. better make sure it is huuuuuge. Makes the deed more dramatic and heroic!

Analogy in Christianity: better be the Son of God if your sacrifice wants to mean something, i.e. impress orthers.

The ultimate sacrifice would be if God committed suicide just for our own sake. We want a general who himself dies in the front lines to save us. (It could be though, that God is not that powerful to even be able to kill himself. To have your son killed instead as a meaningful sacrifice would then indeed be the second best option left.)

Rand-ians might better opt for finding a stand-in sacrificial lamb instead of handing themselves over to Buddhism and get annihilated. Did Ayn Rand have kids, a daughter maybe? If no Daughter of God available... maybe some Randian acolyte volunteers are willing to offer themselves to Buddha? Given the huge belly of Buddha he seems to have a good general apetite. I suspect he loves Randians as a regular snack.

Christianty has the Jonah and the Whale story... and now we also have the Ayn Rand and the Buddha Belly story. The similarities become spooky... something is going on. :shock:
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Simple Minded » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:08 am

Parodite wrote:Are Rand-ian Selfists only one step away of giving up their massive ego and become Buddhists?

Seems to me a good thing that people want to give up something.. better make sure it is huuuuuge. Makes the deed more dramatic and heroic!

Analogy in Christianity: better be the Son of God if your sacrifice wants to mean something, i.e. impress orthers.

The ultimate sacrifice would be if God committed suicide just for our own sake. We want a general who himself dies in the front lines to save us. (It could be though, that God is not that powerful to even be able to kill himself. To have your son killed instead as a meaningful sacrifice would then indeed be the second best option left.)

Rand-ians might better opt for finding a stand-in sacrificial lamb instead of handing themselves over to Buddhism and get annihilated. Did Ayn Rand have kids, a daughter maybe? If no Daughter of God available... maybe some Randian acolyte volunteers are willing to offer themselves to Buddha? Given the huge belly of Buddha he seems to have a good general apetite. I suspect he loves Randians as a regular snack.

Christianty has the Jonah and the Whale story... and now we also have the Ayn Rand and the Buddha Belly story. The similarities become spooky... something is going on. :shock:


:lol: :lol:

Parodite,

That is why you are one of my heroes!!!! The Enlightened and The Heathens coming together (assuming an observer can tell the difference)......
this must be a sign of the end times....
but should the end times be feared or eagerly anticipated? :?

Children should fear parents who believe in heaven, cause all parents want only the best for their kids! :shock:
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby manolo » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:32 am

Parodite wrote:Are Rand-ian Selfists only one step away of giving up their massive ego and become Buddhists?


Parodite,

IMHO this is as much about Buddhism as it is about Randians. Having been around many Buddhists over the years I have noticed that the huge personal efforts to overcome ego made by these stalwarts has an egotistical flavour to it. Of course there are some who will claim that everything has an egotistical flavour to it, and they are welcome to do that.

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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:31 pm

Parodite wrote:Are Rand-ian Selfists only one step away of giving up their massive ego and become Buddhists?

Seems to me a good thing that people want to give up something.. better make sure it is huuuuuge. Makes the deed more dramatic and heroic!

Analogy in Christianity: better be the Son of God if your sacrifice wants to mean something, i.e. impress orthers.

The ultimate sacrifice would be if God committed suicide just for our own sake. We want a general who himself dies in the front lines to save us. (It could be though, that God is not that powerful to even be able to kill himself. To have your son killed instead as a meaningful sacrifice would then indeed be the second best option left.)

Rand-ians might better opt for finding a stand-in sacrificial lamb instead of handing themselves over to Buddhism and get annihilated. Did Ayn Rand have kids, a daughter maybe? If no Daughter of God available... maybe some Randian acolyte volunteers are willing to offer themselves to Buddha? Given the huge belly of Buddha he seems to have a good general apetite. I suspect he loves Randians as a regular snack.

Christianty has the Jonah and the Whale story... and now we also have the Ayn Rand and the Buddha Belly story. The similarities become spooky... something is going on. :shock:

Your Christian analogy is based on childish and superstitious interpretations. It's understandable since so much of what is promoted as Christianity is childish and superstitious, so allow me put this on track.

In discussing the presence of evil in the crucifixion of Jesus the big take-away is that good people used the law to persecute and execute a completely innocent person. Evil corrupted the good by means of government (also see the book of Daniel, the crusades and contemporary Israel) and by concrete, literal interpretation of Scripture. It is quite easy for good people to do evil things with the best of intentions, and even while trying their best to serve God.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Parodite » Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:58 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:Your Christian analogy is based on childish and superstitious interpretations.


Quite right. But they are still alive massively and kicking around in thousands of churches. Not something of the past at all. But maybe I consider more to be childish and superstitious than you do. For instance do you personally believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus after he died? Born from a biological virgin? For starters...

It's understandable since so much of what is promoted as Christianity is childish and superstitious, so allow me put this on track.

In discussing the presence of evil in the crucifixion of Jesus the big take-away is that good people used the law to persecute and execute a completely innocent person. Evil corrupted the good by means of government (also see the book of Daniel, the crusades and contemporary Israel) and by concrete, literal interpretation of Scripture. It is quite easy for good people to do evil things with the best of intentions, and even while trying their best to serve God.


I don't believe there is an evil that corrupts the good by means of government. It is just another superstitious thought that there is some invisible evil thingie or persona-like evil identity hungrily roaming around the planet trying to find cracks like governments (or weak hearts, desires of the flesh et-al) and corrupt what is good. At least, that is what your way of saying it suggests. I even think it is "evil" to scare people with such imagery. ;)
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:36 pm

Parodite wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:Your Christian analogy is based on childish and superstitious interpretations.


Quite right. But they are still alive massively and kicking around in thousands of churches. Not something of the past at all. But maybe I consider more to be childish and superstitious than you do. For instance do you personally believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus after he died? Born from a biological virgin? For starters...

It's understandable since so much of what is promoted as Christianity is childish and superstitious, so allow me put this on track.

In discussing the presence of evil in the crucifixion of Jesus the big take-away is that good people used the law to persecute and execute a completely innocent person. Evil corrupted the good by means of government (also see the book of Daniel, the crusades and contemporary Israel) and by concrete, literal interpretation of Scripture. It is quite easy for good people to do evil things with the best of intentions, and even while trying their best to serve God.


I don't believe there is an evil that corrupts the good by means of government. It is just another superstitious thought that there is some invisible evil thingie or persona-like evil identity hungrily roaming around the planet trying to find cracks like governments (or weak hearts, desires of the flesh et-al) and corrupt what is good. At least, that is what your way of saying it suggests. I even think it is "evil" to scare people with such imagery. ;)

The Christian definition of evil is the absence of good, and anything not 100% good is partially evil. If you know of a government which is perfectly and wholly good, I am interested in hearing about it.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby kmich » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:44 am

manolo wrote:
kmich wrote:As Ivan observed in the Brothers Karamozov, “I think if the devil exists, man has created him in his own image and likeness…” Evil is nothing but our own construct, and, depending on your particular frame, what one considers good another can consider evil and vice verse.

Yes, Alex, there is evil in the world, evil arises from all our efforts to rid the world of it – and ultimately to rid ourselves of our own inner demons that we project onto others.


kmich,

I'll agree with you on the projection and the ridding. However, an attempt to overcome 'inner demons' is not wasted, even if it does result in long periods of zen meditation or even some praying. Immanuel Kant thought, wisely, that morality lies in our effort to overcome damaging inclinations.

Alex.


Perhaps. It depends what your intentions are and how seriously you address the questions the demons present. Traditions arise from specific conditions. In highly embedded, contextual societies, getting away to sit for a time in zazen or whatever may give a deeper perspective on their own failings and limitations away for their collective given in these matters, but in the West, where most people are already isolated in their own heads, I am not sure it really promotes real insight for many other than some temporary calm, but it may have more enduring help for some. I just haven’t seen it. While Kant is right, you can’t overcome something you have not made the hard and chastening journey to intimately know.

True insight is tough and humbling work, and requires our own, compassionate engagement with the uncomfortable worlds of suffering in us and around us. The test of faith is whether on can keep an open mind and heart in the face of death, meaninglessness, or a life unfulfilled. What you “believe” or don’t, whether you sneer at religious people to support your own high opinion of yourself or you passionately identify with your particular religious or secular assumptions, such convictions and operations will be completely futile in the face of such challenges.

The terrors of life have much in store for us that we now can only dimly imagine. Life will dispense of our beloved convictions and pretensions quite easily. If you don’t believe me, just wait and see. Being in a protected society gives us the space to not take the challenge seriously. That is quite nice until your season in hell arrives, and it will in time.

Evil is neglect of our existential challenges or projecting them onto others. It is not primarily about our government or institutions, although those may mirror our own neglect and poverty in addressing these issues. As Solzhenitsyn wrote, the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man. We each have responsibility in that struggle and little time until death will call us to final account.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Parodite » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:28 am

Nonc Hilaire wrote:The Christian definition of evil is the absence of good, and anything not 100% good is partially evil. If you know of a government which is perfectly and wholly good, I am interested in hearing about it.


I don't think your definition is "the" Christian definition, since there are many different Christian definitions of what "evil" is or means, in the past and also today.

That aside, my point was not that gvts can be "wholly good", just that suggesting there exists some independent source or form of "evil" itself I find "evil", or lets say: counter productive. And if I take your word for it that the Christian definition of evil is the absence is good... then it is a redundant one. Like saying that the definition of red is the absence of other colors.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Parodite » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:40 am

kmich wrote:The terrors of life have much in store for us that we now can only dimly imagine. Life will dispense of our beloved convictions and pretensions quite easily. If you don’t believe me, just wait and see. Being in a protected society gives us the space to not take the challenge seriously. That is quite nice until your season in hell arrives, and it will in time.


But why bother before a hellish reality presents itself? Maybe it won't come? Maybe it will be totally different from what I imagine it to be? I don't see much use in preparing myself for situations where I can only speculate if they come and what they might be about/do to me.

Surely enough, death will wipe all of these free of charge considerations from a lazy arm chair, as it will end the struggle and pains of death of our final hour. Everything neatly solved.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby manolo » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:21 am

kmich wrote: The test of faith is whether on can keep an open mind and heart in the face of death, meaninglessness, or a life unfulfilled.


kmich,

This is an excellent point, maybe the most interesting for us all. I could reply in many ways, but just now recall a dream that I once had.

I am in a waiting room alone; I know it is limbo after death. A door opens and a Christian that I have known comes in. "What are you doing here!! - he cries in shock and some irritation." The same happens with a Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu. These people are surprised to see me and each other. The room then fills with people that I don't know, until we are all called to move on through the other door.

What does this dream mean to me? Whilst I am an agnostic over matters religious, I do have one unshakeable belief. This belief is that we are all going (or not going) to the same place. No amount of prayer, devotion, meditating, good works, meanness, laziness, fulfilment or not, will make one jot of difference to anyone. :)

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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby manolo » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:28 am

Parodite wrote:Surely enough, death will wipe all of these free of charge considerations from a lazy arm chair, as it will end the struggle and pains of death of our final hour. Everything neatly solved.


Parodite,

In a serious motorcycle accident 2 years ago I suffered much injury and a concussion. No memory of the event. This has gradually changed my view of death.

The gap in memory is complete, from before the accident to being in hospital. It is different from sleep, as there was no dreaming, shallowness, half consciousness. For me, it just didn't happen. I can easily accept that a fatal stroke or heart attack could be as simple and easy, once consciousness is lost.

As you say, "Everything neatly solved."

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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Mon Oct 26, 2015 3:17 pm

Parodite wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:The Christian definition of evil is the absence of good, and anything not 100% good is partially evil. If you know of a government which is perfectly and wholly good, I am interested in hearing about it.


I don't think your definition is "the" Christian definition, since there are many different Christian definitions of what "evil" is or means, in the past and also today.

That aside, my point was not that gvts can be "wholly good", just that suggesting there exists some independent source or form of "evil" itself I find "evil", or lets say: counter productive. And if I take your word for it that the Christian definition of evil is the absence is good... then it is a redundant one. Like saying that the definition of red is the absence of other colors.

Yes, Augustine's definition of evil is orthodox Christianity. It is a sharp contrast with the Manichean/Zoroastrian definition of good and evil as similar but oppositional forces. It is like saying the definition of dark is the absence of light.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Parodite » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:02 am

Nonc Hilaire wrote:
Parodite wrote:That aside, my point was not that gvts can be "wholly good", just that suggesting there exists some independent source or form of "evil" itself I find "evil", or lets say: counter productive. And if I take your word for it that the Christian definition of evil is the absence is good... then it is a redundant one. Like saying that the definition of red is the absence of other colors.

Yes, Augustine's definition of evil is orthodox Christianity. It is a sharp contrast with the Manichean/Zoroastrian definition of good and evil as similar but oppositional forces. It is like saying the definition of dark is the absence of light.


Warmth is the absence of cold. Joy is the absence of sadness. Etc. There is no information there. Just an abstract redundancy.

I prefer the more down to earth approach. My leg is broken and in pain and I'd like see a doctor to help me get back my painless leg. Thousands of ways we can be in pain. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Hundreds of different sorts of pain can be reduced or even removed, or go away by themselves in time. Hundreds that won't and only after death. Without the aid of any metaphysical tool box or magical carpet. Even without any theology.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:15 am

The topic is evil, not pain. Everybody is sure pain exists, although I did know one person who had no sense of pain at all. Wheelchair bound, he would not have known his leg was broken and that could have been fatal. Pain may not be pleasant but it can serve a good purpose in alerting us when something is wrong.

Image
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Parodite » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:15 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:The topic is evil, not pain.


No, the topic is if evil exists. Which first demands a definition. You subscribe to evil being the absence of good. That there is evil as there is darkness in as much as there is light not present. If without much else, I would call this poor poetry. But of course if used intentionally poetical.... words like evil, bad, good, dark, light, hell, heaven.. can be nice words to use. They are in fact used that way in most cases. They are descriptive of pain, happiness, joy, hope, just a way to express yourself.

Primitive superstitious religious ideas, in my opinion, take poetic descriptions erroneously literal. Beyond the poetic descriptive, there is no "evil" in this world.

Btw... reading theology makes me think now that we speakov evill, of darkness. There is of course this riddle that if God is 100% good.. how can there be evil in this world. The conundrum cascades on and on where various theologians try to solve or mend the loose ends in the theological construct. In sum total it easily takes 1000s pages of written text. It reminds me of what happens when people are looking in the dark for a flash light or something. "Has anyone a lighter, some matches at least?" It is assumed here that darkness is the default situation... then of course it would make sense to try find or create some light in that darkness. But did anyone consider the option there there was actually light... enough of it.. but that theology switched it off? That theology creates darkness... OMG. Evil!
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby NapLajoieonSteroids » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:36 pm

Parodite wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:The topic is evil, not pain.


No, the topic is if evil exists. Which first demands a definition. You subscribe to evil being the absence of good. That there is evil as there is darkness in as much as there is light not present. If without much else, I would call this poor poetry. But of course if used intentionally poetical.... words like evil, bad, good, dark, light, hell, heaven.. can be nice words to use. They are in fact used that way in most cases. They are descriptive of pain, happiness, joy, hope, just a way to express yourself.

Primitive superstitious religious ideas, in my opinion, take poetic descriptions erroneously literal. Beyond the poetic descriptive, there is no "evil" in this world.

Btw... reading theology makes me think now that we speakov evill, of darkness. There is of course this riddle that if God is 100% good.. how can there be evil in this world. The conundrum cascades on and on where various theologians try to solve or mend the loose ends in the theological construct. In sum total it easily takes 1000s pages of written text. It reminds me of what happens when people are looking in the dark for a flash light or something. "Has anyone a lighter, some matches at least?" It is assumed here that darkness is the default situation... then of course it would make sense to try find or create some light in that darkness. But did anyone consider the option there there was actually light... enough of it.. but that theology switched it off? That theology creates darkness... OMG. Evil!


We wouldn't confuse apprehension and misapprehension as equivalents, and it is the same with good and bad choices.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Parodite » Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:18 am

NapLajoieonSteroids wrote:
Parodite wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:The topic is evil, not pain.


No, the topic is if evil exists. Which first demands a definition. You subscribe to evil being the absence of good. That there is evil as there is darkness in as much as there is light not present. If without much else, I would call this poor poetry. But of course if used intentionally poetical.... words like evil, bad, good, dark, light, hell, heaven.. can be nice words to use. They are in fact used that way in most cases. They are descriptive of pain, happiness, joy, hope, just a way to express yourself.

Primitive superstitious religious ideas, in my opinion, take poetic descriptions erroneously literal. Beyond the poetic descriptive, there is no "evil" in this world.

Btw... reading theology makes me think now that we speakov evill, of darkness. There is of course this riddle that if God is 100% good.. how can there be evil in this world. The conundrum cascades on and on where various theologians try to solve or mend the loose ends in the theological construct. In sum total it easily takes 1000s pages of written text. It reminds me of what happens when people are looking in the dark for a flash light or something. "Has anyone a lighter, some matches at least?" It is assumed here that darkness is the default situation... then of course it would make sense to try find or create some light in that darkness. But did anyone consider the option there there was actually light... enough of it.. but that theology switched it off? That theology creates darkness... OMG. Evil!


We wouldn't confuse apprehension and misapprehension as equivalents, and it is the same with good and bad choices.


Don't know what we you refer to but it sounds good.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Parodite » Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:23 am

manolo wrote:

Parodite,

In a serious motorcycle accident 2 years ago I suffered much injury and a concussion. No memory of the event. This has gradually changed my view of death.

The gap in memory is complete, from before the accident to being in hospital. It is different from sleep, as there was no dreaming, shallowness, half consciousness. For me, it just didn't happen. I can easily accept that a fatal stroke or heart attack could be as simple and easy, once consciousness is lost.

As you say, "Everything neatly solved."

Alex.


indeed. So many ways to die.. in an unnounced instance or years long struggle of sorts..at least it is never boring.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:55 pm

“Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not.” - Epicurus
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby Simple Minded » Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:24 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:
“Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not.” - Epicurus


therefore, death is not evil, since we never experience it? :shock:

I project that my own death will be bad, but the "death of disco" has actually been a good thing, rite?

"We" really do need to get "our" imaginations under control...... any suggestions?
"the greatest artist is the simplifier."

"everything should be as simple as possible but no simpler."
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby NapLajoieonSteroids » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:07 am

Parodite wrote:
NapLajoieonSteroids wrote:
Parodite wrote:
Nonc Hilaire wrote:The topic is evil, not pain.


No, the topic is if evil exists. Which first demands a definition. You subscribe to evil being the absence of good. That there is evil as there is darkness in as much as there is light not present. If without much else, I would call this poor poetry. But of course if used intentionally poetical.... words like evil, bad, good, dark, light, hell, heaven.. can be nice words to use. They are in fact used that way in most cases. They are descriptive of pain, happiness, joy, hope, just a way to express yourself.

Primitive superstitious religious ideas, in my opinion, take poetic descriptions erroneously literal. Beyond the poetic descriptive, there is no "evil" in this world.

Btw... reading theology makes me think now that we speakov evill, of darkness. There is of course this riddle that if God is 100% good.. how can there be evil in this world. The conundrum cascades on and on where various theologians try to solve or mend the loose ends in the theological construct. In sum total it easily takes 1000s pages of written text. It reminds me of what happens when people are looking in the dark for a flash light or something. "Has anyone a lighter, some matches at least?" It is assumed here that darkness is the default situation... then of course it would make sense to try find or create some light in that darkness. But did anyone consider the option there there was actually light... enough of it.. but that theology switched it off? That theology creates darkness... OMG. Evil!


We wouldn't confuse apprehension and misapprehension as equivalents, and it is the same with good and bad choices.


Don't know what we you refer to but it sounds good.


'We' as in humans on this terraferma.
Last edited by NapLajoieonSteroids on Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby noddy » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:39 am

evil as the absence of good is an intellectual dodge.

the hard part of the word evil is reconciling it outwards from humanity to the world and nature, plenty of things i would offhand declare evil are survival strategies for others so my main thought would be that you really can only have evil within the framework of humans being a god created, separate class of critter, to the rest of em.

otherwise its all just squabbling over resources, we all know anything goes in do or die warfare.

---

this might read as some nihilist psycho thing, its not, its just saying that when i use the word evil and im throwing my energy to fight evil, im actually just sticking up for my bit of the world and defending that resource.
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Re: Is there evil in this world?

Postby NapLajoieonSteroids » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:51 am

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Last edited by NapLajoieonSteroids on Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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