Evil, it's real.

I have an opinion on Evil

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.

Moderators: kiore, The_Metatron, Blip

Evil, it's real.

#1  Postby Chief Engineer » May 31, 2022 12:11 pm

As a long term Atheist I have decided that for me real evil exists in this world, Not the pure evil mythologies use for teaching fear to children. Real behavior by my fellow humans.

My Traditional favorite true Evil;

Cigarette Executives: These SOB's watched the evidence mount that lighting fire to a stick, then sucking the products of combustion into your lungs killed people. They made this product of combustion as addictive as they could, and then moved their profit machine to less educated markets as their traditional market areas came to know they were being killed. It was my hope that these evil people died as slowly as possible from the poison from which they made profits. ( mean I know )

My Up & coming Evil:

People who feign sorrow about mass killing events, but change laws for more guns.* The glee which these evil humans display while removing gun restrictions proves the falsehood of their sorrow at the death this proliferation of deadly weapons has caused. I don't know what my mean wish is on these people, death by assault rifle is too quick, so i have to think harder....

I could name other evil in this world, but these two "intrigue" my distinction between wrong, a simple mistake, or just our connection to chimp like behaviors, These two rise out of that fog to show themselves as simple Evil, something a thinking human should see & correct.

This solidified in my primate brain as I watched Abbot's face when signing gun legislation, then his response to 19 children's lives ended. Evil exists, and it is on display in this man.

*Edited for clarity.
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.”
― Isaac Asimov
User avatar
Chief Engineer
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: Mark
Posts: 21
Age: 69
Male

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#2  Postby Greg the Grouper » May 31, 2022 1:37 pm

I can understand to an extent with the tobacco industry, and its desire to cover up the harm its products do; however, when it comes to them selling something widely known to be harmful, I wouldn't call it an incorrigible thing to do myself, mostly because I feel uncomfortable legislating a person's ability to make bad decisions for themselves.

I'd imagine that such ire is better suited for fossil fuel companies, and their attempts to push an anti-climate change narrative for the sake of profit.

Still, to be honest, it seems to me that all of these examples revolve around profit at the expense of a consumer base, and I wouldn't expect any company regardless of its nature to simply give up on profit.
The evolution of intelligence has gone beyond the restrains of biological individual generations.
Greg the Grouper
 
Name: Patrick
Posts: 373

Country: US
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#3  Postby Spearthrower » May 31, 2022 3:02 pm

Evil is real in exactly the same way that all other values are real.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 31329
Age: 46
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#4  Postby Fenrir » May 31, 2022 3:10 pm

Define "evil"

You may find it harder than you think.
Religion: it only fails when you test it.-Thunderf00t.
User avatar
Fenrir
 
Posts: 3765
Male

Country: Australia
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (gs)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#5  Postby Spearthrower » May 31, 2022 4:23 pm

Fenrir wrote:Define "evil"

You may find it harder than you think.



A value held by humans.

:cheers:
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 31329
Age: 46
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#6  Postby Chief Engineer » May 31, 2022 4:33 pm

Evil:

The meaning I apply is: results arising from bad behavior or conduct.

But you all have your own personal definition. Asking for my definition is not informative as to what your thoughts are.

Do the examples fit your definition of evil?

Do the examples lead your thoughts to other real demonstrable examples?
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.”
― Isaac Asimov
User avatar
Chief Engineer
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: Mark
Posts: 21
Age: 69
Male

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#7  Postby Greg the Grouper » May 31, 2022 4:45 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
Fenrir wrote:Define "evil"

You may find it harder than you think.



A value held by humans.

:cheers:


Evil is when you don't uphold the sacred laws of riddle contest.
The evolution of intelligence has gone beyond the restrains of biological individual generations.
Greg the Grouper
 
Name: Patrick
Posts: 373

Country: US
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#8  Postby Spearthrower » May 31, 2022 5:09 pm

Ok, I will expand dramatically rather than in pithy fun form :)

For me, values are a class of fundamental positions about the world...

- fundamental in the sense that they're not specifically defined statements on particular topics but work more like a general motivating stance preceding the consideration of arising topics; a heuristic resulting from biology, culture, personal experience etc.
- position meaning a perspective of the world, a sense of one's place both perceived and aspirational, specifically with reference to one's family, friends, nation, religion, society, culture or any other perceived community.

... that are quintessentially human.

(This doesn't mean that other animals - particularly social ones - don't have something similar operating that was honed over evolutionary time, and we too are also subject to similar deeply biological values - disgust and reactions to disgust makes for an interesting example seen throughout all human cultures but mammalians generally exhibit strikingly similar response patterns when witnessing a fellow expressing disgust.)

But rather, that humans are, insofar as we know, the only animal which holds a verbally defined mental map of the world which, with consequent imagination, intellectual consideration, moral reasoning etc., allows us to ratchet up consideration of values, such as through the pursuit of ethical philosophy, and in the traditions of many religions.

There are many actions that nearly all humans for nearly all of history have shared opinions of, for the most part. Cannibalism, for example, is nearly universally frowned upon, expect when it's not, but when it's not, it's generally for very specific cultural reasons which make it not an evil act in that specific moment under those specific conditions. Incest more likely has a biological basis (Westermarck effect) but still it became codified as bad nearly universally across all human cultures both in practice and eventually in law.

So values have many layers; they can be instinctive, they can be uncritically recapitulated expressions of one's family/society etc., they can be reasoned, developed and evolved over generations.

All they share is that it basically boils down to someone's feelies. Everyone has feelies. By and large people's feelies are important to them, and they really mean it when they say X is <value> - evil, for example.

A good example of this is looking at the American evangelical right's repeated accusations that 'abortion is evil' - they're not pretending to believe this, they're not doing this to milk lib tears (which has become a rather frequent motivation of the loony new far right), they genuinely consider it an unspeakable act of desecration they cannot bear to permit, the same way most people perhaps might feel about child abuse.

So values really don't have to make much sense, but they're... well... valued by people.

What then is evil? It's something intrinsically anti-social, something that offends the foundations of one's beliefs, something that cannot be witnessed and ignored, but must be publicly rejected in order to stake a position in the world, to say what should be and what shouldn't. A line in the sand.

But because we're a social species, at least partly the motivation is to signal to one's fellows that one is not like that! whether true or not. A web of social expectations, alliances and rivalries - human primates verbal grooming and seeking comfortingly similar grunts in return.

Evil is whatever you define evil is - that's what evil always has been, and what it always will be.

The universe doesn't possess the characteristic 'evil' independent of the human mind (expect possibly in the evolutionary stable strategies of social species) - when humanity dies, evil dies with us! :cheers:
Last edited by Spearthrower on May 31, 2022 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 31329
Age: 46
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#9  Postby Spearthrower » May 31, 2022 5:10 pm

Greg the Grouper wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
Fenrir wrote:Define "evil"

You may find it harder than you think.



A value held by humans.

:cheers:


Evil is when you don't uphold the sacred laws of riddle contest.



Even to speak of such is evil beyond words!

Electronically stone him!
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 31329
Age: 46
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#10  Postby Chief Engineer » May 31, 2022 5:23 pm

Greg the Grouper wrote:
Still, to be honest, it seems to me that all of these examples revolve around profit at the expense of a consumer base, and I wouldn't expect any company regardless of its nature to simply give up on profit.


This is why I chose to think the executives bare this label in the first example. They are the "smartest" in the company, probably educated to understand research papers. That they took action to enrich the group would not be a mitigating factor in my thoughts about Evil. They did so because they were unwilling to save the company profits by selling something else. Good Executives think of new paths to profit.

I feel the same way about those who understand the tragedy of Texas maybe even feel sorry for those innocents, but show glee at doing something that cannot help and probably makes the situation worse. Profits that move into Political Campaigns for sure are in this situation but more indirectly then a cigarette company. The mindset that displayed glee in putting more guns wandering the streets, it's an unmasking of evil.
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.”
― Isaac Asimov
User avatar
Chief Engineer
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: Mark
Posts: 21
Age: 69
Male

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#11  Postby mindhack » May 31, 2022 5:23 pm

Some time ago I dived into the case of family murderer Chris Watts. Truly horrific details. What he did, and more importantly why he did what he did, for me defines evil. Dark triad personality stuff. Scary stuff.
(Ignorance --> Mystery) < (Knowledge --> Awe)
mindhack
 
Name: Van Amerongen
Posts: 2781
Male

Country: Zuid-Holland
Netherlands (nl)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#12  Postby Chief Engineer » May 31, 2022 5:43 pm

The fact that Evil only exists in the minds of men in a given; the fact that some bring different mental pictures and words to their thinking of evil is also.

I also did not want to talk about all the other inhumanities humans do, it is a long and varied list. So I brought up two examples which deserve some kind of "judgment" at least.

Kind of an stealth "what pisses you off"thread.
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.”
― Isaac Asimov
User avatar
Chief Engineer
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: Mark
Posts: 21
Age: 69
Male

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#13  Postby Greg the Grouper » May 31, 2022 6:16 pm

Chief Engineer wrote:This is why I chose to think the executives bare this label in the first example. They are the "smartest" in the company, probably educated to understand research papers. That they took action to enrich the group would not be a mitigating factor in my thoughts about Evil. They did so because they were unwilling to save the company profits by selling something else. Good Executives think of new paths to profit.


I don't know that I would assume that executives are necessarily educated to understand research papers; I would assume it more likely that they would hire others to perform research and explain said research to them.

I think there's still room to argue this particular point. Let's take fossil fuel industries for example. They could, hypothetically, transition to greener methods of energy production; however, such transitions are naturally costly, and seeing as these alternative methods of energy production haven't been as heavily invested in as fossil fuels have, such companies would bare the brunt of infrastructure costs as well as innovating better methods of generating and utilizing such energy. That's a real hard sell to make, y'know?

I feel the same way about those who understand the tragedy of Texas maybe even feel sorry for those innocents, but show glee at doing something that cannot help and probably makes the situation worse. Profits that move into Political Campaigns for sure are in this situation but more indirectly then a cigarette company. The mindset that displayed glee in putting more guns wandering the streets, it's an unmasking of evil.


Well, I certainly don't care to argue against gun regulation. Still, I certainly don't expect gun manufacturers to decide that their bottom line is worth the well being of the US populace. Their bottom line is their lifeblood, after all. Built into the for profit model, that.
The evolution of intelligence has gone beyond the restrains of biological individual generations.
Greg the Grouper
 
Name: Patrick
Posts: 373

Country: US
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#14  Postby Macdoc » May 31, 2022 11:18 pm

I think there's still room to argue this particular point. Let's take fossil fuel industries for example. They could, hypothetically, transition to greener methods of energy production; however, such transitions are naturally costly, and seeing as these alternative methods of energy production haven't been as heavily invested in as fossil fuels have, such companies would bare the brunt of infrastructure costs as well as innovating better methods of generating and utilizing such energy. That's a real hard sell to make, y'know?


You legislate it ....just as with polluting drinking water has governing legislation. It worked with CFCs ( mostly ) and with NO2 ( acid rain ).

when they knew harm was being done by emmissions( nearly 50 years ago ) and chose to conceal it that is actionable ...same as Big Tobacco and even Dupont and Teflon. https://slate.com/culture/2019/11/dark- ... upont.html ( good movie to watch ).

That govs fail to take action when harmful practice is uncovered is another topic entirely.
OP portrays "evil" in biblical terms like "Truth"....it's human behaving badly and various levels of human institutions and even individuals wage war against those humans "acting out" with greater or lesser success......see Russia/Ukraine.

Are despicable acts committed every day at all levels?? you betcha ...is evil an "entity"??? nah. :coffee:
Travel photos > https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries
EO Wilson in On Human Nature wrote:
We are not compelled to believe in biological uniformity in order to affirm human freedom and dignity.
User avatar
Macdoc
 
Posts: 17710
Age: 74
Male

Country: Canada/Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#15  Postby tuco » May 31, 2022 11:25 pm

This thread reminds of this one:

Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions - http://www.rationalskepticism.org/philo ... t3417.html
tuco
 
Posts: 15891

Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#16  Postby Greg the Grouper » May 31, 2022 11:55 pm

Macdoc wrote:
You legislate it ....just as with polluting drinking water has governing legislation. It worked with CFCs ( mostly ) and with NO2 ( acid rain ).


I agree. My only contentions there were that such changes aren't in the interests of corporations, and that corporations cannot be moved by the whims of any one man, regardless of his perceived authority in said corporation.

EDIT: Oh, and that it seems OP is judging someone as evil for not accomplishing something they wouldn't be able to accomplish even with a good faith effort.

Sorry; I'm not able to comment on the rest of it.
The evolution of intelligence has gone beyond the restrains of biological individual generations.
Greg the Grouper
 
Name: Patrick
Posts: 373

Country: US
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#17  Postby Macdoc » Jun 01, 2022 1:10 am

You focus on corporations - how about the catholic church, corrupt unions, corrupt politicians....human nature informs all persons and organizations - stop picking on a specific form of human enterprise as necessarily "evil" ....it's a choice.

Exxon stopped the disinformation campaign ....chose to stop or be decapitated by the board. Other organizations pledge to "do no harm " yet still do. I'm sure the xtian bros were mostly well intentioned yet despicable acts went on and the governing bodies of the kirk leadership chose to turn a blind eye.

Pinochet "did for his country" .....and committed unspeakable acts by choice and the each person that chose to go along has culpability.
Travel photos > https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries
EO Wilson in On Human Nature wrote:
We are not compelled to believe in biological uniformity in order to affirm human freedom and dignity.
User avatar
Macdoc
 
Posts: 17710
Age: 74
Male

Country: Canada/Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#18  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 01, 2022 8:23 am

There's a very good reason to focus on corporations when it comes to environmental damage which is something that is going to impact all humans and much of the biodiversity of the planet. If there is such a thing is evil, then I am fairly confident that irreversibly damaging the world we live on in the name of personal profit is justified to be included.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 31329
Age: 46
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#19  Postby Chief Engineer » Jun 01, 2022 9:24 am

Greg the Grouper wrote:
I don't know that I would assume that executives are necessarily educated to understand research papers; I would assume it more likely that they would hire others to perform research and explain said research to them.

I think there's still room to argue this particular point. Let's take fossil fuel industries for example. They could, hypothetically, transition to greener methods of energy production; however, such transitions are naturally costly, and seeing as these alternative methods of energy production haven't been as heavily invested in as fossil fuels have, such companies would bare the brunt of infrastructure costs as well as innovating better methods of generating and utilizing such energy. That's a real hard sell to make, y'know?


Well, I certainly don't care to argue against gun regulation. Still, I certainly don't expect gun manufacturers to decide that their bottom line is worth the well being of the US populace. Their bottom line is their lifeblood, after all. Built into the for profit model, that.


Doesn't my statement "probably Educated" suggest that I assumed no such thing?

Does stating the obvious thing, that transitions can be costly, subtract anything from my belief that the executives, who as a group continued to sell their death sticks, meet my definition of real evil?

Thanks for reading. Do you have an example of real evil that gets under your skin?
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.”
― Isaac Asimov
User avatar
Chief Engineer
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: Mark
Posts: 21
Age: 69
Male

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Evil, it's real.

#20  Postby Chief Engineer » Jun 01, 2022 9:30 am

tuco wrote:This thread reminds of this one:

Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions - http://www.rationalskepticism.org/philo ... t3417.html



Yes, Harris has a good take on real evil. I've read two of his books, and found them useful. His talks available on the internet are entertaining and informative. His favorite "real evil" seems to be people who use faith to give tacit approval to the fundamentalists in their midst.
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.”
― Isaac Asimov
User avatar
Chief Engineer
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: Mark
Posts: 21
Age: 69
Male

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Next

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest