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What is evil?
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Tokuro

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: What is evil? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So I have to make a work for my college. It is philosophy and the question seemed at first quite simple: What is evil?
And I researched. Yeah I found on wikipedia thousands of way to see evil, but I need more than that. Truth being told when the teacher asked the class for the first time I was so shocked because I could not explain the answer. We can all mention examples of evil but who really can define it? And few can for what I've seen. So as a good long conversation AND to help get my job done, I want you guys to answer this. Perhaps this topic should be on the comunity but I really think tat a view of evil is something quite personal, so this is why it is here.
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Firefly

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hurting others with no remorse or reason.
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Hawk Thanatos

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Evil is a point of view. It's an action or a person that grossly violates an individual's or a society's moral codes. It's a purely human concept invented to make one group look favourable and another not. Much like how there's no moral facts (ie. there's nothing hardwired into the universe saying lying is wrong, it'd just make people's lives difficult if they did it constantly, the same with killing, abortion etc), there's merely differentiating views on what constitutes good and evil.

Like beauty, evil is in the eye of the beholder.
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Takemura

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Evil is School, Work, No more pizza when your friends eat it all, Your favorite show getting canceled, when your cut off from drinking. and many others.

But theres a good evil too, like almost Everyone bad guy in video games. They look cool!, good guys suck!

also. evil is sometimes A werid thing, like do you think bad guys in games really think they are evil? they are just trying to do what they think is best. And they think the good guys are the evil ones, vis versa for the good guys. They think the other is the evil ones.
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Angelus

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Everyone has a different definition of evil. As you will see when more people post in this thread, there might be some, but not much similarities for everyone. It all depends on a person's culture, religion, childhood, and things like that.

It's just like terrorist bombing. It might seem evil to us, but to them it's something a great thing to do and a duty to their religion.

hawkthanatos wrote:
Like beauty, evil is in the eye of the beholder.

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Flamo Bringer

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Evil is Nyarlathotep avatar.... *whispering* which is full of violence and stuff
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Eden

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

An interesting question one could think about for a long time. Are we talking about what evil is, whether there exists some kind of ultimate evil like Satan or whether a human being can act evilish without being evil? Can a human being be the physical existant evil?

I don't believe in a devilish personification of evil. This was the easy part, because I also don't believe that any human being can be pure evil since mankind is ambivalent for every minute it exists. A reckless murder can be a loving and caring father with a joyful, little, healthy daughter. Therefore I can say that an action is evil, but not the person, because no living being is either completely good or bad, holy or evil. I differ for myself also between madness which can lead to evil acts and evilish behaviour. I do this, because I believe that people who hurt another person have an ilusional view, either because they kill for money or to get
an advantage have a wrong sight on things. With this I don't mean they are mad as if they aren't able to see what they have done. They are still able to get in jail.

Does all this mean that evil can't be an emotion, but just anaction? Yes and No. I personally think that evil is not to care anymore. This is the short answer. I don't think about killing someone for whatever reason, but the lack of emotional reactions...
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Scarlet Assassin

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Evil is a very complicated concept. It can be seen in many ways. Evil can be described as a point of view, as two opposing sides would each see each other as in the wrong; but evil is really more about popular opinion. What can be described as evil changes according to who is describing. The only way it can be defined is through the collective agreement of common morality.

Most people in the world could call murder evil, but take into account the fact that thousands of murderers have been deemed moral due to the circumstances under which they committed the act. If defending yourself means murder and there are no two ways about it, most would consider murder right in that circumstance, thus we can not say that murder is absolutely evil.

Another easy example of an evil act (according to westernized morality) would be rape; but take into consideration the fact that many societies permit and even encourage rape in certain circumstances. Thus, not everyone in the world finds rape as replorable as those raised in a westernized culture.

While it is true that evil cannot be defined with actions or opinions, it is also true that evil is a reality and as such, must have a basis in the real world. While ideaologies will present individuals with their own, personal, definitions of evil, the only reality of evil can be found within each person. We each have our own definition of evil. One man may react different than another to certain circumstances, that is what judgement and perception are all about, but to an extent that is how a man defines correct and incorrect, and more specifically (in certain circumstances) good and evil. It is what you do that matters. You deem certain actions acceptable and others unacceptable, thus you judge reactions as right and wrong, the basis of which are good and evil (respectively.)

In short, the only answer that can be given to the question "What is evil?" is that evil depends on the person commiting the act. If a man knows what he's doing (or thinks what he's doing) is incorrect and/or unacceptable in the eyes of the moral populous and he does it anyway, he is evil, no matter what the act is.


P.S. Sorry for rambling, I'm sure at least some of that is usable material.
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Trevoke

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Now that you got all these answers, let me summarize it all in one simple sentence which, I hope, will make you think...

"Evil is other people".
Because, of course, one never thinks that one is evil, but where do you go from here? Lots of things to think about, from this sentence.
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Tokuro

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You mean that evil is nothing but something that is bad for you, and as long as there are people with different thinking and free will so there will be evil, since there will always exist a conflict between us. Did I got it right Trevoke?
Also Scarlet all here is usefull material (except that Nyarlathotep stuff...the hell is that? :? )
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Yohn

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Evil is brought about when the word "faith" becomes synonamous with the word "religion."

Honesty... I can name things which I believe to be evil i.e. unpaid overtime, bubblegum on the hot sidewalk, and the marks that hangers leave whenever you make the mistake of hanging a sweater on one. That's about the extent of it.

I guess if I were to say something was truely evil, it would have to be something that upsets every aspect of my being. That thing which fills a person with an overwhelming feeling of terror combined with inexplicable sadness and the feeling of unparalleled general unrest. It's like trying to explain colors to a blind man.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I hope I can explain this right with regards to Thomas Aquinas, but it is to give you another perspective on evil. If I don't recall it right, I am sure Iscalio will correct me ^^

Well, according to a theological point of view, evil is a form of deficiency--deficient in goodness and perfection. What ever the ultimate Being creates, it has to be 'deficient' to the Being otherwise that Being can't be the ultimate goodness and perfection. In other words, all creation from the Being has to lesser than the ultimate Being. So 'evil' allows creation to occur. There is also moral evil which is basically an imperfection from God's will according to Aquinas due to our human ablility of free discernment.
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Delsaber

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Evil is what Civilization III's A.I. keeps doing to my poor defenses whenever I dare to crank up the difficulty past the default. Take it from me, folks: never ever go to war with Persia if they have an iron supply.

Seriously though, hawkthanatos already nailed my response.
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Flamo Bringer

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Evil is when other people backstabbed you from behind, for example, your best friend stole your girlfriend secretly.... :evil:
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Ujitsuna

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Evil is what men use to make stupider men do what they want.
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