God & The Problem of Evil

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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby James S Saint » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:12 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:Nietzsche: "there is no truth, only perspectives"

Shows you how little Nietzsche actually knew, huh.
Prismatic567 wrote:An absolutely one "Reality" is an impossibility.

Yet another horribly naive presumption and preaching from the Prismatic pulpit.
:icon-rolleyes:


I would ask you to prove that, but ... geeezzz... =;
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:51 pm

Arminius wrote:

The perspective of those who wrote the Old Testament obviously required an evil God.


What do YOU mean by *required*?
What would make them *require* an evil God?
Wouldn't it have been simpler to just explain that life at times just has no satisfactory, answerable questions as to why things happen though showing cause and effect in many cases may have just explained those things away?
Anyway, I wonder if any explanation would have sufficed?
We humans always need a scapegoat.
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Arminius » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:25 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:Arminius wrote:

The perspective of those who wrote the Old Testament obviously required an evil God.


What do YOU mean by *required*?

Those who wrote the OLd Testament - many during many centuries - had to find a "consensus", and the consensus seemed to not allow another option than an evil god, a furious god.

Arcturus Descending wrote:What would make them *require* an evil God?

Fear, angst, anxiety, awe, deep respect ....

Arcturus Descending wrote:Wouldn't it have been simpler to just explain that life at times just has no satisfactory, answerable questions as to why things happen though showing cause and effect in many cases may have just explained those things away?

Yes, but not to them (at that time).

Arcturus Descending wrote:Anyway, I wonder if any explanation would have sufficed?

Yes, but not at that time (to them).

Arcturus Descending wrote:We humans always need a scapegoat.

Instead of "we humans" I would say "a majority of the humans".
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:38 pm

Arminius,

What do YOU mean by *required*?

Those who wrote the OLd Testament - many during many centuries - had to find a "consensus", and the consensus seemed to not allow another option than an evil god, a furious god.


Hmmm...I wonder why that would be? Instilling fear instead of love as a way to insure proper behavior?
Things still have not changed. Many *Parents* are still doing that to their children.

The OT God is also shown to be a loving, compassionate and forgiving God at the same time.
Perhaps the different writers of the OT perceived their God in different ways.
Perhaps those who were of a furious, unforgiving and judgmental nature, saw God in that way and those who were the opposite saw God in loving compassionate ways.
Who knows?
I think that for the most part, God is all about projection.

Arcturus Descending What would make them *require* an evil God?

Fear, angst, anxiety, awe, deep respect ....


How can awe and deep respect conjure up an evil God?
Those emotions may cause one to desire to worship and to be faithful to their God but to instill a feeling of dread and fear?


Arcturus Descending"]Wouldn't it have been simpler to just explain that life at times just has no satisfactory, answerable questions as to why things happen though showing cause and effect in many cases may have just explained those things away?

Yes, but not to them (at that time).


I do not understand why. Although I do not believe anymore, subjectively speaking, I still see that there is much wisdom in the OT.
I suppose that a great deal of it WAS written as it was to inflict fear and to bring the people to their knees.
BUT I suppose that back then painting God as an evil one may have seemed to be the only way to get the people (not all of them) to live a moral purposeful life and to obey the Ten Commandments.


Arcturus Descending"]Anyway, I wonder if any explanation would have sufficed?

Yes, but not at that time (to them).


Well, perhaps I was wrong above. I think that for many of them a better more "realistic" explanation might have sufficed.
But then again, with the negative outlook, many may have simply said "What the hell! I'm going to be forever damned by God anyway."

Arcturus Descending" We humans always need a scapegoat.

Instead of "we humans" I would say "a majority of the humans".


You have a point there. There are some who would probably never use others as scapegoats.
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Arminius » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:24 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:Arminius,

What do YOU mean by *required*?

Those who wrote the OLd Testament - many during many centuries - had to find a "consensus", and the consensus seemed to not allow another option than an evil god, a furious god.


Hmmm...I wonder why that would be? Instilling fear instead of love as a way to insure proper behavior?
Things still have not changed. Many *Parents* are still doing that to their children.

The OT God is also shown to be a loving, compassionate and forgiving God at the same time.
Perhaps the different writers of the OT perceived their God in different ways.
Perhaps those who were of a furious, unforgiving and judgmental nature, saw God in that way and those who were the opposite saw God in loving compassionate ways.
Who knows?
I think that for the most part, God is all about projection.

Arcturus Descending What would make them *require* an evil God?

Fear, angst, anxiety, awe, deep respect ....


How can awe and deep respect conjure up an evil God?
Those emotions may cause one to desire to worship and to be faithful to their God but to instill a feeling of dread and fear?


Arcturus Descending"]Wouldn't it have been simpler to just explain that life at times just has no satisfactory, answerable questions as to why things happen though showing cause and effect in many cases may have just explained those things away?

Yes, but not to them (at that time).


I do not understand why. Although I do not believe anymore, subjectively speaking, I still see that there is much wisdom in the OT.
I suppose that a great deal of it WAS written as it was to inflict fear and to bring the people to their knees.
BUT I suppose that back then painting God as an evil one may have seemed to be the only way to get the people (not all of them) to live a moral purposeful life and to obey the Ten Commandments.


Arcturus Descending"]Anyway, I wonder if any explanation would have sufficed?

Yes, but not at that time (to them).


Well, perhaps I was wrong above. I think that for many of them a better more "realistic" explanation might have sufficed.
But then again, with the negative outlook, many may have simply said "What the hell! I'm going to be forever damned by God anyway."

Arcturus Descending" We humans always need a scapegoat.

Instead of "we humans" I would say "a majority of the humans".


You have a point there. There are some who would probably never use others as scapegoats.

The use of others as "scapegoats" is part of an old strategy. In a more primitive way, "higher" animals also use others as "scapegoats".
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Snark » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:31 pm

Does the author of the OP realize that "evil" is a metaphysical assumption that presumes a "good" against which it can be measured?
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:42 am

Snark wrote:Does the author of the OP realize that "evil" is a metaphysical assumption that presumes a "good" against which it can be measured?
I understand there are two categories of "evil" i.e.

    1. Empirical evil, i.e. evil acts related to evilness.

    2. Ontological/Metaphysical Evil - related mostly to the theological, e.g. represented by Satan and the likes.

The OP is not related to ontological or metaphysical evil rather it refers to empirical evil as evidenced by empirical acts of evil.

My definition of "evil" is;
Evil is the nature of human acts that are a net-negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom humanity.
What is 'net-negative' and "well-being" will be explained in detail.
There is a degree to evil acts, i.e. from low [petty crimes, lying, etc.] to very high [serial killing with torture, mass rapes, genocides, etc.]
To avoid confusion with theological-based ontological evil, this definition of empirical evil must be supported by a "taxonomy" of empirical evil acts by humans.

Do you have any counters against my argument based on the above terms of reference?
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Snark » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:35 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
Snark wrote:Does the author of the OP realize that "evil" is a metaphysical assumption that presumes a "good" against which it can be measured?
I understand there are two categories of "evil" i.e.

    1. Empirical evil, i.e. evil acts related to evilness.

    2. Ontological/Metaphysical Evil - related mostly to the theological, e.g. represented by Satan and the likes.

The OP is not related to ontological or metaphysical evil rather it refers to empirical evil as evidenced by empirical acts of evil.

My definition of "evil" is;
Evil is the nature of human acts that are a net-negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom humanity.
What is 'net-negative' and "well-being" will be explained in detail.
There is a degree to evil acts, i.e. from low [petty crimes, lying, etc.] to very high [serial killing with torture, mass rapes, genocides, etc.]
To avoid confusion with theological-based ontological evil, this definition of empirical evil must be supported by a "taxonomy" of empirical evil acts by humans.

Do you have any counters against my argument based on the above terms of reference?

It's not necessary to have a counterargument. Evil defined as a "net-negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom (sic.) humanity" is meaningless without a supreme good against which it can be measured.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:14 am

Snark wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
Snark wrote:Does the author of the OP realize that "evil" is a metaphysical assumption that presumes a "good" against which it can be measured?
I understand there are two categories of "evil" i.e.

    1. Empirical evil, i.e. evil acts related to evilness.

    2. Ontological/Metaphysical Evil - related mostly to the theological, e.g. represented by Satan and the likes.

The OP is not related to ontological or metaphysical evil rather it refers to empirical evil as evidenced by empirical acts of evil.

My definition of "evil" is;
Evil is the nature of human acts that are a net-negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom humanity.
What is 'net-negative' and "well-being" will be explained in detail.
There is a degree to evil acts, i.e. from low [petty crimes, lying, etc.] to very high [serial killing with torture, mass rapes, genocides, etc.]
To avoid confusion with theological-based ontological evil, this definition of empirical evil must be supported by a "taxonomy" of empirical evil acts by humans.

Do you have any counters against my argument based on the above terms of reference?

It's not necessary to have a counterargument. Evil defined as a "net-negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom (sic.) humanity" is meaningless without a supreme good against which it can be measured.
As defined, Evil is the nature of human acts that are a net-negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom humanity.
I have given examples of the range of evil acts.
Are you saying the genocides by Hitler, of the Yazidis by extreme Islamists, the mass rapes, and the various evils are meaningless?? so we do not bother these evil acts?
The wisdom is there is no need for a definition of 'supreme good' in this case to understand the above listed acts are evil and thus the need for actions.

I am not sure of your 'supreme good.' If you are referring to God as the 'supreme Good' then that is baseless and illusory.
Nevertheless I do agree an idea of 'supreme Good' can be relevant depending on how one use the term.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Snark » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:47 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:As defined, Evil is the nature of human acts that are a net-negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom humanity.
I have given examples of the range of evil acts.
Are you saying the genocides by Hitler, of the Yazidis by extreme Islamists, the mass rapes, and the various evils are meaningless?? so we do not bother these evil acts?
The wisdom is there is no need for a definition of 'supreme good' in this case to understand the above listed acts are evil and thus the need for actions.

I am not sure of your 'supreme good.' If you are referring to God as the 'supreme Good' then that is baseless and illusory.
Nevertheless I do agree an idea of 'supreme Good' can be relevant depending on how one use the term.


The concept of evil is a two-edged sword. As defined, "evil" is an arbitrary metaphysical concept. True, it does pose a problem for theism, but it also poses a problem for secularists or "world citizens." Who in your world determines what constitutes a "net-negative"? You? What makes you qualified to to meet the highest interests and welfare of the universe and the children of time? How do you propose to coordinate and harmonize the world's rivalrous interests, races, and nationalisms without a universally accepted ideal? Are the "progressives" on college campuses doing you any favors by shutting down free speech?

The examples of evil you give reflect a much deeper problem than you are willing to admit. The world is filled with lost souls, not lost in the theologic sense but lost in the directional meaning, wandering about in confusion among the isms and cults of a frustrated philosophic era. Too few have learned how to install a philosophy of living in the place of empirical authority.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:08 am

Snark wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:As defined, Evil is the nature of human acts that are a net-negative to the well being of the individual and therefrom humanity.
I have given examples of the range of evil acts.
Are you saying the genocides by Hitler, of the Yazidis by extreme Islamists, the mass rapes, and the various evils are meaningless?? so we do not bother these evil acts?
The wisdom is there is no need for a definition of 'supreme good' in this case to understand the above listed acts are evil and thus the need for actions.

I am not sure of your 'supreme good.' If you are referring to God as the 'supreme Good' then that is baseless and illusory.
Nevertheless I do agree an idea of 'supreme Good' can be relevant depending on how one use the term.


The concept of evil is a two-edged sword. As defined, "evil" is an arbitrary metaphysical concept.
Note I have already stated there are two concepts of 'evil' i.e.
    1. empirical based evil acts and
    2. the Metaphysical/ontological evil

I have already the OP is not about the Metaphysical/ontological evil which is proposed by theology-God and such evil do not exists.

Empirical based acts of evil are those acts that can be observed and identified as 'evil'.

During the past thirty years, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil. This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors of the past eighty years, e.g., the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and killing sprees by serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer. It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’ We need the concept of evil.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/


If you want to insist on evil in the Metaphysical and Ontological sense, you will have to open up a separate thread. Btw, ensure you prove such evil exists before anything else.

True, it does pose a problem for theism, but it also poses a problem for secularists or "world citizens." Who in your world determines what constitutes a "net-negative"? You? What makes you qualified to to meet the highest interests and welfare of the universe and the children of time? How do you propose to coordinate and harmonize the world's rivalrous interests, races, and nationalisms without a universally accepted ideal? Are the "progressives" on college campuses doing you any favors by shutting down free speech?
It is not "me" to determine what is net-negative. This project will be done by the collective of all humans as far as possible.
We can start this exercise by assigning rating to a list all known evil acts.
Then we produce a list of agreed evil acts starting with the acts with the highest degree of evilness.
Now if I proposed 'genocide' mass rapes, serial murders are net-negative to the well being of the individual[s] and to humanity, I am confident all normal human beings will agree to that. Do you disagree?
We then work down the list to obtain 100% consensus for as man as possible and somewhere down the list there will be contentions and disagreements.

The point is we will be able to have a reasonable list of acts that are agreed by all normal [not psychopaths and the mentally ill] human beings as net-negative evil.
Where are are disputes of various degrees we can work at it to establish greater consensus, where we cannot then we will leave it as "agree to disagree" in the meantime.

Another critical point is you cannot assess what I am proposing based on our existing [2017] collective state of morality which on average is very low and bad.
What I am proposing is for the future, say 75-100-200 years' time when we have an established Framework and System of Morality & Ethics with a very high average Moral Intelligence within humanity. What is critical is we must start now to establish the foundation.

The examples of evil you give reflect a much deeper problem than you are willing to admit. The world is filled with lost souls, not lost in the theologic sense but lost in the directional meaning, wandering about in confusion among the isms and cults of a frustrated philosophic era. Too few have learned how to install a philosophy of living in the place of empirical authority.
Yes, at the present we are in a bad state relative to normal expectations and ideals. What is critical is you cannot give up hope that there is a possibility of continual improvement and progress.
I have given evidence [babies, mirror neurons], all humans has the potential drive for higher morality.
This is proven by the obvious trend of improving moral standards and practices over the last 100, 200 and > 1000 years, e.g. emergence of the Golden Rule, banning of slavery, etc.

While I am optimistic with potential positive systems, Why are you so pessimistic and defensive on there is a potential for all humans to improve and progress in Morality and all other fields of knowledge and technology?
With your defensiveness, you are not a net-positive citizen of humanity.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Zero_Sum » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:56 am

Human beings like scapegoating their own actions on ridiculous extrapolations of gods and devils concerning so called evil because it helps themselves not looking at themselves in a mirror. It helps saying something else is the cause of all of our problems rather then ourselves and the success of religion throughout the ages reaffirms this.

The concept of evil is an elaborate conception or ruse of historical collective irresponsibility. It is an irrational reaction.
The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.

I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.

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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:18 am

Zero_Sum wrote:Human beings like scapegoating their own actions on ridiculous extrapolations of gods and devils concerning so called evil because it helps themselves not looking at themselves in a mirror. It helps saying something else is the cause of all of our problems rather then ourselves and the success of religion throughout the ages reaffirms this.

The concept of evil is an elaborate conception or ruse of historical collective irresponsibility. It is an irrational reaction.
You did not read my link?
The concept of evil [empirical based, not ontological] is getting very popular within the philosophical community. Note this from SEP;

During the past thirty years, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil. This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors of the past eighty years, e.g., the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and killing sprees by serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer. It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’ We need the concept of evil.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/


As I stated the OP has nothing to do with metaphysical or ontological "evil" as represented by the existence of Satan the Devil in the Abrahamic religions.

What I am referring as 'evil' is related to evil acts, e.g.
various atrocities and horrors of the past eighty years, e.g., the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and killing sprees by serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Zero_Sum » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:47 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
Zero_Sum wrote:Human beings like scapegoating their own actions on ridiculous extrapolations of gods and devils concerning so called evil because it helps themselves not looking at themselves in a mirror. It helps saying something else is the cause of all of our problems rather then ourselves and the success of religion throughout the ages reaffirms this.

The concept of evil is an elaborate conception or ruse of historical collective irresponsibility. It is an irrational reaction.
You did not read my link?
The concept of evil [empirical based, not ontological] is getting very popular within the philosophical community. Note this from SEP;

During the past thirty years, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil. This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors of the past eighty years, e.g., the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and killing sprees by serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer. It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’ We need the concept of evil.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/


As I stated the OP has nothing to do with metaphysical or ontological "evil" as represented by the existence of Satan the Devil in the Abrahamic religions.

What I am referring as 'evil' is related to evil acts, e.g.
various atrocities and horrors of the past eighty years, e.g., the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and killing sprees by serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer.


Yeah, I view it all as the same thing. It's all purely manufactured useless conjecture as a way of keeping human beings from looking inward into themselves.

The moment you describe anybody as being evil all debate, criticism, questioning, or analyzing becomes silenced.
The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.

I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.

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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Snark » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:22 am

Prismatic567 wrote:Note I have already stated there are two concepts of 'evil' i.e.
    1. empirical based evil acts and
    2. the Metaphysical/ontological evil

I have already the OP is not about the Metaphysical/ontological evil which is proposed by theology-God and such evil do not exists.

Empirical based acts of evil are those acts that can be observed and identified as 'evil'.


Sez who? Hitler and Pol Pot thought they were doing the world a favor. Aside from human perceptions and experiences, good and evil do not have objective existence.

During the past thirty years, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil. This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors of the past eighty years, e.g., the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and killing sprees by serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer. It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’ We need the concept of evil.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/


If we need the concept of evil, then we need the concept of good -- and that's where you run into trouble. Who or what is the final arbiter of the good? (Genuine goodness is a positive act, not merely refraining from doing harm.)

If you want to insist on evil in the Metaphysical and Ontological sense, you will have to open up a separate thread. Btw, ensure you prove such evil exists before anything else.


You have yet to prove there is such a thing as "empirical evil."

It is not "me" to determine what is net-negative. This project will be done by the collective of all humans as far as possible.
We can start this exercise by assigning rating to a list all known evil acts.
Then we produce a list of agreed evil acts starting with the acts with the highest degree of evilness.
Now if I proposed 'genocide' mass rapes, serial murders are net-negative to the well being of the individual[s] and to humanity, I am confident all normal human beings will agree to that. Do you disagree?


What's "normal"? If history is any indication, normal is people killing people and their host planet.

We then work down the list to obtain 100% consensus for as man as possible and somewhere down the list there will be contentions and disagreements.

The point is we will be able to have a reasonable list of acts that are agreed by all normal [not psychopaths and the mentally ill] human beings as net-negative evil.
Where are are disputes of various degrees we can work at it to establish greater consensus, where we cannot then we will leave it as "agree to disagree" in the meantime.

Another critical point is you cannot assess what I am proposing based on our existing [2017] collective state of morality which on average is very low and bad.
What I am proposing is for the future, say 75-100-200 years' time when we have an established Framework and System of Morality & Ethics with a very high average Moral Intelligence within humanity. What is critical is we must start now to establish the foundation.


I think I see my problem, now. I lack the blind faith you have in human beings.

Yes, at the present we are in a bad state relative to normal expectations and ideals. What is critical is you cannot give up hope that there is a possibility of continual improvement and progress.

I have given evidence [babies, mirror neurons], all humans has the potential drive for higher morality.
This is proven by the obvious trend of improving moral standards and practices over the last 100, 200 and > 1000 years, e.g. emergence of the Golden Rule, banning of slavery, etc.

While I am optimistic with potential positive systems, Why are you so pessimistic and defensive on there is a potential for all humans to improve and progress in Morality and all other fields of knowledge and technology?
With your defensiveness, you are not a net-positive citizen of humanity.


I certainly hope not! Why would I want to be citizen of a collectively insane species?
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:29 am

Snark wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:Note I have already stated there are two concepts of 'evil' i.e.
    1. empirical based evil acts and
    2. the Metaphysical/ontological evil

I have already the OP is not about the Metaphysical/ontological evil which is proposed by theology-God and such evil do not exists.

Empirical based acts of evil are those acts that can be observed and identified as 'evil'.

Sez who? Hitler and Pol Pot thought they were doing the world a favor. Aside from human perceptions and experiences, good and evil do not have objective existence.
I have posted somewhere in detail [see earlier post and below] on how we can establish what is objective evil based on consensus as a guide to manage and control evil.
'Rape' is recognized as an act of evil [as defined] which can be supported by empirical evidences.

During the past thirty years, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil. This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors of the past eighty years, e.g., the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and killing sprees by serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer. It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’ We need the concept of evil.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/


If we need the concept of evil, then we need the concept of good -- and that's where you run into trouble. Who or what is the final arbiter of the good? (Genuine goodness is a positive act, not merely refraining from doing harm.)
For this purpose the concept of good can be sufficiently be represented the concept of 'absence of evil acts'. If one do not commit any evil acts, one is doing good.

AS for goodness in terms of positive human values, e.g. compassion, empathy, love, co-operation, etc. I have done extensive research on this to establish how to ground what is 'good'. I won't go into the details on this.
I am with Thinkdr who is into quantifying good human values so that we can manage it more effectively and as a basis to promote continual improvements.

If you want to insist on evil in the Metaphysical and Ontological sense, you will have to open up a separate thread. Btw, ensure you prove such evil exists before anything else.

You have yet to prove there is such a thing as "empirical evil."

It is so obvious that genocide, mass rapes, murder, etc. [empirical evil acts] can be proven empirically with evidence where corrective actions can be take to prevent, deter or if possible eliminate such evil acts.

It is not "me" to determine what is net-negative. This project will be done by the collective of all humans as far as possible.
We can start this exercise by assigning rating to a list all known evil acts.
Then we produce a list of agreed evil acts starting with the acts with the highest degree of evilness.
Now if I proposed 'genocide' mass rapes, serial murders are net-negative to the well being of the individual[s] and to humanity, I am confident all normal human beings will agree to that. Do you disagree?


What's "normal"? If history is any indication, normal is people killing people and their host planet.
What is 'normal' is those who people who are not officially recognized [as in psychiatry] as mentally sick in relation to this issue of evil, e.g. psychopaths, etc.

We then work down the list to obtain 100% consensus for as man as possible and somewhere down the list there will be contentions and disagreements.

The point is we will be able to have a reasonable list of acts that are agreed by all normal [not psychopaths and the mentally ill] human beings as net-negative evil.
Where are are disputes of various degrees we can work at it to establish greater consensus, where we cannot then we will leave it as "agree to disagree" in the meantime.

Another critical point is you cannot assess what I am proposing based on our existing [2017] collective state of morality which on average is very low and bad.
What I am proposing is for the future, say 75-100-200 years' time when we have an established Framework and System of Morality & Ethics with a very high average Moral Intelligence within humanity. What is critical is we must start now to establish the foundation.


I think I see my problem, now. I lack the blind faith you have in human beings.
What blind faith?
What I have presented is based on evidence and rational projections.

Yes, at the present we are in a bad state relative to normal expectations and ideals. What is critical is you cannot give up hope that there is a possibility of continual improvement and progress.

I have given evidence [babies, mirror neurons], all humans has the potential drive for higher morality.
This is proven by the obvious trend of improving moral standards and practices over the last 100, 200 and > 1000 years, e.g. emergence of the Golden Rule, banning of slavery, etc.

While I am optimistic with potential positive systems, Why are you so pessimistic and defensive on there is a potential for all humans to improve and progress in Morality and all other fields of knowledge and technology?
With your defensiveness, you are not a net-positive citizen of humanity.


I certainly hope not! Why would I want to be citizen of a collectively insane species?
You do not consider yourself an human being?
No wonder you are so anti-human and anti-progress for humanity.
It is your discretion to be indifferent, I prefer to contribute something positive [hopefully] to humanity.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:18 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:
I have posted somewhere in detail on how we can establish what is objective evil based on consensus as a guide to manage and control evil

Consensus is not a reliable metric for determining the objectivity of any thing because that particular methodology is flawed
Objective existence of something has to be demonstrated for it to be shown to be true regardless of how popular it might be
But because evil pertains to morality and morality is itself not objective then evil cannot be objectively demonstrated either
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:32 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:
An absolutely one Reality is an impossibility

As reality is the totality of all that exists it cannot be an impossibility
Unless you think that everything that actually exists is just an illusion
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Zero_Sum » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:39 pm

Snark wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:Note I have already stated there are two concepts of 'evil' i.e.
    1. empirical based evil acts and
    2. the Metaphysical/ontological evil

I have already the OP is not about the Metaphysical/ontological evil which is proposed by theology-God and such evil do not exists.

Empirical based acts of evil are those acts that can be observed and identified as 'evil'.


Sez who? Hitler and Pol Pot thought they were doing the world a favor. Aside from human perceptions and experiences, good and evil do not have objective existence.

During the past thirty years, moral, political, and legal philosophers have become increasingly interested in the concept of evil. This interest has been partly motivated by ascriptions of ‘evil’ by laymen, social scientists, journalists, and politicians as they try to understand and respond to various atrocities and horrors of the past eighty years, e.g., the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and killing sprees by serial killers such as Jeffery Dahmer. It seems that we cannot capture the moral significance of these actions and their perpetrators by calling them ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or even ‘very very wrong’ or ‘very very bad.’ We need the concept of evil.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/


If we need the concept of evil, then we need the concept of good -- and that's where you run into trouble. Who or what is the final arbiter of the good? (Genuine goodness is a positive act, not merely refraining from doing harm.)

If you want to insist on evil in the Metaphysical and Ontological sense, you will have to open up a separate thread. Btw, ensure you prove such evil exists before anything else.


You have yet to prove there is such a thing as "empirical evil."

It is not "me" to determine what is net-negative. This project will be done by the collective of all humans as far as possible.
We can start this exercise by assigning rating to a list all known evil acts.
Then we produce a list of agreed evil acts starting with the acts with the highest degree of evilness.
Now if I proposed 'genocide' mass rapes, serial murders are net-negative to the well being of the individual[s] and to humanity, I am confident all normal human beings will agree to that. Do you disagree?


What's "normal"? If history is any indication, normal is people killing people and their host planet.

We then work down the list to obtain 100% consensus for as man as possible and somewhere down the list there will be contentions and disagreements.

The point is we will be able to have a reasonable list of acts that are agreed by all normal [not psychopaths and the mentally ill] human beings as net-negative evil.
Where are are disputes of various degrees we can work at it to establish greater consensus, where we cannot then we will leave it as "agree to disagree" in the meantime.

Another critical point is you cannot assess what I am proposing based on our existing [2017] collective state of morality which on average is very low and bad.
What I am proposing is for the future, say 75-100-200 years' time when we have an established Framework and System of Morality & Ethics with a very high average Moral Intelligence within humanity. What is critical is we must start now to establish the foundation.


I think I see my problem, now. I lack the blind faith you have in human beings.

Yes, at the present we are in a bad state relative to normal expectations and ideals. What is critical is you cannot give up hope that there is a possibility of continual improvement and progress.

I have given evidence [babies, mirror neurons], all humans has the potential drive for higher morality.
This is proven by the obvious trend of improving moral standards and practices over the last 100, 200 and > 1000 years, e.g. emergence of the Golden Rule, banning of slavery, etc.

While I am optimistic with potential positive systems, Why are you so pessimistic and defensive on there is a potential for all humans to improve and progress in Morality and all other fields of knowledge and technology?
With your defensiveness, you are not a net-positive citizen of humanity.


I certainly hope not! Why would I want to be citizen of a collectively insane species?


Yes, you make some important questions and statements here.

Evil is a serial killer and rapist going on a spree.

Good is cluster bombing a bunch of Iraqi villages killing women, men, and children later calling it collateral damage of the greater good. One form of violence is outlawed while the other is deemed permissible. Why? One is authorized and the other is not. Nobody ever likes talking about the inconsistencies of morality and ethics for which there are many.

Nobody wants to really understand where human malice comes from because it brings up too many uncomfortable questions where instead it is just easier putting it under the category of evil.
The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.

I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.

-Thomas Hobbes-
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Snark » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:50 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:

If something cannot be empirically-RATIONALLY proven, it is impossible to exist WITHIN AN EMPIRICAL-RATIONAL REALITY.

According to this statement, "evil" cannot exist within an empirical-rational reality.

Zero_Sum wrote:

Nobody wants to really understand where human malice comes from because it brings up too many uncomfortable questions where instead it is just easier putting it under the category of evil.

Very true. Scapegoating is a lot easier than knowing one's self.

surreptitious75 wrote:

Prismatic567 wrote:

I have posted somewhere in detail on how we can establish what is objective evil based on consensus as a guide to manage and control evil

Consensus is not a reliable metric for determining the objectivity of any thing because that particular methodology is flawed
Objective existence of something has to be demonstrated for it to be shown to be true regardless of how popular it might be
But because evil pertains to morality and morality is itself not objective then evil cannot be objectively demonstrated either

Rats! :( You beat me to pointing out the obvious.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Zero_Sum » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:27 pm

Snark wrote:Prismatic567 wrote:

If something cannot be empirically-RATIONALLY proven, it is impossible to exist WITHIN AN EMPIRICAL-RATIONAL REALITY.

According to this statement, "evil" cannot exist within an empirical-rational reality.

Zero_Sum wrote:

Nobody wants to really understand where human malice comes from because it brings up too many uncomfortable questions where instead it is just easier putting it under the category of evil.

Very true. Scapegoating is a lot easier than knowing one's self.

surreptitious75 wrote:

Prismatic567 wrote:

I have posted somewhere in detail on how we can establish what is objective evil based on consensus as a guide to manage and control evil

Consensus is not a reliable metric for determining the objectivity of any thing because that particular methodology is flawed
Objective existence of something has to be demonstrated for it to be shown to be true regardless of how popular it might be
But because evil pertains to morality and morality is itself not objective then evil cannot be objectively demonstrated either

Rats! :( You beat me to pointing out the obvious.


Whenever we speak of morality or ethics we cannot escape from talking about their inconsistencies and scapegoating. Both systems are elaborate organized forms of thinking in terms of social interaction or living that revolves around both. It's all about organized plausible deniability and irresponsibility. Notice if you decreased social inequality a lot of human malice for the most part would lessen everywhere but because society thrives on social inequality is why human malice persists from generation to generation. Moreover as social inequality increases and expands over every generation it is inevitable that human malice will increase with it.

More interesting than that is how morality and ethics are used to justify the most horrendous or corrupt forms of human practices. This is why I cannot take any moral or ethical system with any kind of seriousness. Nobody tries to go into any serious introspection or analyzing of why various forms of human malice exists because it is too uncomfortable to speak of and more importantly challenges the social status quo of which all authoritarians silence discussion on. No, it's more easier to call individuals evil and sweep them under the rug where it is business as usual under the status quo which is why human malice continues unabated because nobody tries to seek any deeper understanding of the issue that plagues human society across the planet. In the end all of this is about power and control by complicity in maintaining it.
The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.

I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.

-Thomas Hobbes-
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Snark » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:47 pm

Zero_Sum wrote:Whenever we speak of morality or ethics we cannot escape from talking about their inconsistencies and scapegoating. Both systems are elaborate organized forms of thinking in terms of social interaction or living that revolves around both. It's all about organized plausible deniability and irresponsibility. Notice if you decreased social inequality a lot of human malice for the most part would lessen everywhere but because society thrives on social inequality is why human malice persists from generation to generation. Moreover as social inequality increases and expands over every generation it is inevitable that human malice will increase with it.

More interesting than that is how morality and ethics are used to justify the most horrendous or corrupt forms of human practices. This is why I cannot take any moral or ethical system with any kind of seriousness. Nobody tries to go into any serious introspection or analyzing of why various forms of human malice exists because it is too uncomfortable to speak of and more importantly challenges the social status quo of which all authoritarians silence discussion on. No, it's more easier to call individuals evil and sweep them under the rug where it is business as usual under the status quo which is why human malice continues unabated because nobody tries to seek any deeper understanding of the issue that plagues human society across the planet. In the end all of this is about power and control by complicity in maintaining it.

Are you talking about egalitarianism when talking about decreasing social inequality? Because I don't see how that can work, either.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Zero_Sum » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:00 am

Snark wrote:Are you talking about egalitarianism when talking about decreasing social inequality? Because I don't see how that can work, either.


No, I am not talking about egalitarianism. I agree that isn't workable either.

I am talking about lessening social inequality in the best possible way (best possible world) where at this point isn't happening because it isn't profitable for those in power to do so. On the flip side if social inequality is carried out in the extreme society steadily becomes unable to exist or function at all. That's where we're at currently.
The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.

I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death.

-Thomas Hobbes-
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:51 am

surreptitious75 wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
I have posted somewhere in detail on how we can establish what is objective evil based on consensus as a guide to manage and control evil

Consensus is not a reliable metric for determining the objectivity of any thing because that particular methodology is flawed

I agree 'consensus' alone cannot be the sole determinant of objectivity, I have made this point in detail elsewhere.
I have argued objectivity is fundamentally intersubjective consensus.
Objectivity comes in degrees, the higher degrees [scientific knowledge] must be based on a framework and system that provide justifications based on verification, testability, repeatability, falsification.
I will call this the "Objectification Process".

Objective existence of something has to be demonstrated for it to be shown to be true regardless of how popular it might be
Note my justification above on what is 'objective' and its degree of objectivity.

But because evil pertains to morality and morality is itself not objective then evil cannot be objectively demonstrated either
Anything can be presented as 'objective' as long as it fulfill the requirements [see above] to be objective subject to degrees of objectivity.
The results of Miss Universe 2017 is objective even it is based on a rating of 'beauty' because it fulfil the requirements of what it takes to be objective. In this case, the degree of objectivity is low because it is relative to a specific condition and not likely to be repeatable.

I have listed examples of evil acts, e.g. genocide, murder, rapes, theft, serial killing, torture, etc. All these acts can be objectively demonstrated based on the related empirical evidences.

There are no Absolute moral laws, i.e. absolute morality like those claimed to be handed down from a God [illusory and impossible].
However morality and moral laws can be made 'objective' through the 'Objectification Process' as above which must be grounded with relevant justifications.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: God & The Problem of Evil

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:12 am

Zero_Sum wrote:I certainly hope not! Why would I want to be citizen of a collectively insane species?


Yes, you make some important questions and statements here.

Evil is a serial killer and rapist going on a spree.

Good is cluster bombing a bunch of Iraqi villages killing women, men, and children later calling it collateral damage of the greater good. One form of violence is outlawed while the other is deemed permissible. Why? One is authorized and the other is not. Nobody ever likes talking about the inconsistencies of morality and ethics for which there are many.
I have always declared the following;
ALL evils must be recognized and addressed to seek its resolution and elimination.

I have NEVER agreed 'cluster bombing' and the likes are 'good'.
War per se is evil regardless of what claims of 'good' therefrom.

Given the current circumstances, war [fundamentally evil] is tolerated but the potential trend of morality will prevail to reduce and eliminate war in time. This is why I made the provision 'evil is 'net-negative' acts.'
Therefore humanity must prevent and get rid of all forms of war. It is a matter of highlighting the inherent progressive trend of morality within and expediting the activation of the moral drive in the majority of humans.

Nobody wants to really understand where human malice comes from because it brings up too many uncomfortable questions where instead it is just easier putting it under the category of evil.
The concept of evil [empirical] must be ultimately grounded objectively otherwise it will be too subjective. This is a long story, but empirical evil like genocides, murder, rapes can be easily objectified as 'evil' which warrant preventive and correction actions.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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