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Where do ideas of good and evil come from?

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Sepsis, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Sepsis

    Sepsis Brutal

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    But societies everywhere, who have never interacted, have essentially the same moral ideals.
     
  2. Demiurge

    Demiurge This user has no title

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    Societies everywhere are comprised of human beings. Be it in Africa or Eastern Europe, permission of robbery and murder will lead to dysfunction and eventually, the crumbling of the society.

    A pack of wolves in Minnesota will behave basically the same as one somewhere in Canada, though they've never interacted. Both packs will organize themselves in an immensely similar manner. Obviously, it's not because wolves act based upon moral codes given to them by God(s).
     
  3. Sepsis

    Sepsis Brutal

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    Taken.
     
  4. milkman

    milkman sleepy

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    I stated above that there will always be grey areas. Well here they are. Many societies have cultural beliefs that are taboo in other societies.
     
  5. no country for old wainds

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    You can't say "it's always been wrong to steal/murder/etc" and then suggest that in different societies it's right in certain instances. ;)
     
  6. Sepsis

    Sepsis Brutal

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    That's the way it works though. Every society, even today, turns its back on crimes as long as they're committed against the right (or wrong, as it were) people.
     
  7. no country for old wainds

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    You implied that something intrinsically "wrong" could simultaneously be considered right in certain circumstances, which isn't only self-contradictory as a statement, but it contradicts your suggestion in the first place that such absolutes are inherent in the world.
     
  8. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    i'd agree with that...

    if something is fundamentally "wrong" it is always so.
     
  9. Sepsis

    Sepsis Brutal

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    I'm not suggesting that they're right in saying it's okay. I'm saying that thievery is wrong, and societies have realized that to some extent.
     
  10. no country for old wainds

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    Still, this seems to be the crux of your points, and it remains a blank, unfounded assertion which I will no longer bother to debate.
     
  11. speed

    speed Member

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    The ideas of Good and Evil are middle eastern, as are the corresponding ideas of heaven and hell. They are for the most part not found in any other culture or society, but were accepted by many of these societies and cultures with their unfortunate acceptance of islam or christianity. Most other cultures believed sin or evil was not caused by the individual, but by a evil spirit etc, thus one never sinned per se.
     
  12. Rekkr

    Rekkr Member

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    It is my opinion that our general values (right & wrong) come from our intelligence/sentience. Because we have the genetic capacity to empathize, we can put ourselves in the shoes of others. From this all social and religious values are derived; they build upon each other to form what we have today.
     
  13. LDGuy

    LDGuy The other guy

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    Am I missing something here, or do the ideas of "good" and "evil" not appear in the hindu religion, something that predates pretty much every other religion today? I'd be surprised if they didn't, since good and evil are such intrinsic parts of all religion. Personally, I would say ideas about good and evil have been around more MUCH longer than the three middle eastern religions have. They have evolved through many thousands of years of human existance. Even early homo sapiens would have been as cognative as we are, yet that excludes them from having strong moral views/opinions? These ideas are so old, I personally think it's impossible to say.
     
  14. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    this is 100% false.
     
  15. Goreripper

    Goreripper Metal as fuck

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    You're confusing the concept of sin with the definition of good and evil. Good and evil are abstract concepts that are given meaning both objectively and subjectively and are dictated by social morals. The idea of "sin" is based in Judeo-Christian belief, but ideas of good and evil have existed since the beginning of history. The Australian Aboriginals are the most ancient culture on Earth, but before any contact with more advanced cultures they still believed that murder and rape were wrong. They didn't need Christianity to tell them that.

    "Evil" is both a subjective and objective concept and it depends on your perspective as to what constitutes "evil". Did Hitler consider himself to be evil? Does bin Laden? He and his followers justify what they do on the basis that their enemies are evil. The guys who blew up two nightclubs in Bali didn't think they were evil. They thought they'd go to heaven for it.

    People rarely do "evil" simply for the sake of it, and many who do don't necessarily believe they are committing an evil; there are a small amount of people who commit evil deeds knowing they are evil but don't care, but these individuals are insane and exist outside of general social moral standards anyway.
     
  16. speed

    speed Member

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    Yes I suppose you may be right goreripper, I may have oversimplified.

    However I dont know of any non-middle eastern belief systems that put such a emphasis on good and evil for the basic structure of their religions etc? And i dont see a huge difference between sin and just behavior and good and evil; as sin is evil, just behavior good and thus one has to exhibit these traits to be considered good or evil. Its basically in spirit the same thing is all i am saying.
     
  17. Goreripper

    Goreripper Metal as fuck

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    Ah, ok Speed I see your argument. To some extent I agree, in so far as the Christian/Islam belief system introduced the idea of sin and salvation to religious dogma. Earlier religions still had a system of punishment or reward though. The Egyptians believed that the reward was a continuation of one's life in the spirit world, while punishment was annihilation (there was no Hell), but the priests worked in a failsafe: no matter how bad you were in life, if you remembered the rituals on the way to the judgement halls, you still got your reward. The Greeks and Romans had a heaven and hell, but only the gods were allowed in heaven. All mortals went to the Underworld after death but according to their deeds in life they were sent to different parts of it. Christianity introduced the idea of salvation from evil with the symbol of Christ, allowing those into Heaven who repented their sins and sought forgiveness from God. It's a convenient out for the wicked, really. That's one of the main problems I have with Judeo-Christian belief. You can be a basically wholesome person of good character, altruistic, charitable, philanthropic, but simply because you don't want to lay down in servitude to God, you can't attain eternal reward. Whereas someone can be a complete bastard all their life, turn to the Lord just before they die and BOOM!, they're whisked up to Heaven with all the good people. If I were to believe in an all-powerful, forgiving god-being, I would believe that It would forgive those who were good and kind even if they didn't ask for it, but the Church doesn't seem to think that.
     
  18. Intoxicator

    Intoxicator Hell On Earth

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    Exactly. I take issue with this as well.
     
  19. MasterOLightning

    MasterOLightning Optimator

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    ^Speaking as someone raised Catholic, I hope you know that very few Catholics think this way. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find two who had the same thoughts about the afterlife. Most reject the idea you stated above, and feel that nearly everyone gets into heaven, whatever that is. That's for another thread.

    Oh, and Rekkr, way to completely regurgitate my post from the beginning of the thread.
     
  20. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    actually thats not quite right at all.

    in true Christianity (not the crap most people think it is), you try to live your life according to the teachings of Jesus as best you can. anyone who thinks they can sin sin sin and then repent at the end to go to heaven is wrong. it doesn't work that way.

    and the problem with living a "good" life but not bowing before God is, then you sin in pride, its like not acknowledging that God is ruler over all things. you could be the greatest king ever lived, but if you take that greatness and put it equal or above the greatness of God, that doesn't fly with Christianity
     

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