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Have you ever dealt with Evil

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Evil, hatred, fear...... good, love, comfort..... these are all constructs of the human mind and have no analog in nature. We are a curious creature with an intellect that gives us the ability to design and build great structures, cure disease and ease suffering. This same intellect leads us to hate, create weapons of mass destruction and dispassionately watch those that could be saved die of curable illness because we would rather buy, oh let's say another flashy guitar rather than donate those dollars to the needy. Evil only exists as an intellectual concept in the mind of man. If you have dealt with it, you need only look inside yourself. B)

 

 

 

The Gates to the ‘Soul’ are Imagination, Conscience, Memory, Reason and the Affections.

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As a moral relativist...

 

I cannot attest to or trust the notion that there exist any actions, behaviors, positions, etc., that are intrinsically good or evil. I do, however, recognize that there are certain predilections towards assigning moral qualities to concepts and actions, i.e. steak is a good, slaughtering cattle is a necessary evil, one who poisons a steak is evil, and so on. One may argue that these predispositions are more cultural/hierarchical than they are individual, and that they are generally a super-additive quality to the "tribal" system (and if we are to do that, we could reconcile the system to include other species of animals, who have been studied to respond in different ways to different behaviors by those around them, leading me to believe that "good" and "bad" are not merely human concepts, even if the particular ways in which we handle them are.) There are definitely certain qualities to humanity--arising from human social dynamics, which necessarily arise from several other causes, such as human foraging behaviors and human communication--which lend themselves to these types of judgments. I still maintain that good and evil are, in general, not inherent or intrinsic qualities to anything, that one's notions of good or evil can change in his or her lifetime, and that there is no objective moral standard from which all deviations are immoral. In the context of our society (speaking globally as citizens of the world, and, for myself, regionally as a citizen of the United States,) however, there are definitely certain well-established tropes regarding good and evil. I will not go into any in depth--suffice it to say that they can arise from a number of different origins, whether they be personal, philosophical, religious, legal, or otherwise. If I were to discuss this further, I would probably say a little too much about the similarity between religion and government, the relationship between religion and control, and the relationship between control and morality, and I'm sure I'd offend a few people and possibly break some rules. However, I think I have essentially made my thoughts on this clear? If you believe you have dealt with evil, then you have, but that which one person considers evil may not be to another.

 

But since we all like music, and since this thread reminded me of my favorite song...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pOl8MlVveA

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I can say with out hesitation that I have been in the presence of an evil person (many times) and no I wasn't married to them.

In one case I just had a brief run in with someone who later became a well known murderer.

In another case there was someone in the San Diego area killing elderly women, it turned out his sister was our neighbor and we had been introduced to him, we knew him well enough to say "hi" when he dropped by to see his sister.

But then I also worked for the state in a job that required me to be in contact with nasty people everyday...as a vocational instructor at a state training center, many men and women preparing for life out of prison came through my classroom. I heard some interesting stories..out of that group there were a few I would not turn my back on, but for the most part they were ok.

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I have had interaction with murderers and other perpetrators of rather nasty sorts of crime and no, I don't think they're all "evil" per se. A few are.

 

I will not use a "religious" context.

 

I truly believe there are variations of sociopath that I consider "evil" because their only internal "rule" is their own internal measure and what they believe they can get away with.

 

That being said, one of the nastiest murders I've had a connection to - and talked to the murderer - was done by a low IQ guy with a major drinking problem and very low self esteem. He told the investigating officers he didn't remember a thing. Given the circumstances, the officers believed him. Me too. Evil? No, weak and "bad" when drinking, yes.

 

Technically "lesser" crimes have destroyed the victims, and were done by folks I consider "evil" simply because in no place in their character is the slightest bit of empathy.

 

Edit: I'll add that there are a number of mammal species that don't get along well with the occasional animal version of sociopath. So I'd say that in a sense, yeah, it's not just a human feeling that there are some of "us" that might be evil. It does take a bit of animal intelligence, though.

 

m

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As a moral relativist...

 

I cannot attest to or trust the notion that there exist any actions, behaviors, positions, etc., that are intrinsically good or evil. I do, however, recognize that there are certain predilections towards assigning moral qualities to concepts and actions, i.e. steak is a good, slaughtering cattle is a necessary evil, one who poisons a steak is evil, and so on. One may argue that these predispositions are more cultural/hierarchical than they are individual, and that they are generally a super-additive quality to the "tribal" system (and if we are to do that, we could reconcile the system to include other species of animals, who have been studied to respond in different ways to different behaviors by those around them, leading me to believe that "good" and "bad" are not merely human concepts, even if the particular ways in which we handle them are.) There are definitely certain qualities to humanity--arising from human social dynamics, which necessarily arise from several other causes, such as human foraging behaviors and human communication--which lend themselves to these types of judgments. I still maintain that good and evil are, in general, not inherent or intrinsic qualities to anything, that one's notions of good or evil can change in his or her lifetime, and that there is no objective moral standard from which all deviations are immoral. In the context of our society (speaking globally as citizens of the world, and, for myself, regionally as a citizen of the United States,) however, there are definitely certain well-established tropes regarding good and evil. I will not go into any in depth--suffice it to say that they can arise from a number of different origins, whether they be personal, philosophical, religious, legal, or otherwise. If I were to discuss this further, I would probably say a little too much about the similarity between religion and government, the relationship between religion and control, and the relationship between control and morality, and I'm sure I'd offend a few people and possibly break some rules. However, I think I have essentially made my thoughts on this clear? If you believe you have dealt with evil, then you have, but that which one person considers evil may not be to another.

 

I would like to have seen Darth Vadar scour Endor, force choking every damn Ewok he encountered.

 

Does that make me evil?

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milod

I agree. There is a difference between someone of low IQ who drinks a few too many and does harm to someone and someone who plans out their attacks and carries them out while sober..fully aware of what they are doing...

Charles Manson is pure evil. Mark David Chapman was nuts...neither should ever be allowed freedom, Manson should have been fried a long time ago.

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Jax...

 

Worse'n that, I think.

 

I know of a cupla older teen girls, for example, whose clothing was soaked in the blood of their robbery/murder victim and it had no more effect on their heads than if it were paint splatters from brushing lawn furniture.

 

m

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I understand the political joking but guys...

 

If you've never come across people who literally would nail you to a wall and skin you alive if they got attaboys from their buddies, and think no more about it than you'd think about trying out a couple of guitars or amps in a guitar store, you're either lucky or naive.

 

That's not at all a religious sort of comment, btw, but one of experience.

 

m

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"Evil" is the name that folks give to that which threatens them (that they don't understand.)

Ignorance and fear make it real."

 

Ignorance and fear is what made Charley Manson real? Is that what made the Boston Strangler or the Hillside Strangler "real"? [sneaky]

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Jax...

 

If they ain't seen it to know what it is, perhaps we should envy them. But... I guess I'm glad I have an idea of what it is.

 

m

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