The "Problem" of Evil

A spiritual perspective on phenomenon

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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby DerekFlint » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:04 am

"All positive human traits come about directly as a result of negative events."

Perhaps not.

It would be difficult to show this: "All negative human traits come about directly as a result of positive events." ... although, greed/avarice could hypothetically arise from regular pleasure/positive reinforcement, development of a tolerance (in the drug sense) and requirement for more and more such pleasure/positive reinforcement. Besides, it has been said (and will probably be said again by Hollywood in the very near future, "Greed is good".

It could be more simply argued that all positive traits come about directly as a result of positive events, and all negative human traits come about directly as a result of negative events.

But - if a trait is something in so-called "human nature" that will come out because it is innate, independent of events, as many apologists for our stupid species will argue - then your philosophical musings will depend on your own views of what is innate human nature.

My view is that "evil" is not innate or due to chemical/hormonal imbalance or otherwise. People learn socipoathic or psychopathic behavior. They are not born with evil traits. "Evil" will come from modelling on others who have little regard for consequences, and who get away with it.

But "good" will come from a natural fulfilment of one's potential, learning what is right and what is wrong (including why suffering is wrong, if it is wrong - I believe it is innate in human beings to know that suffering is wrong). No "good" can come from advertising bombardments requiring people to want more more more useless goods as the key to happiness, nor from desensitization to violence and suffering, nor from many of the controlled and regulated "events" that people wander through in their lives, their attention attracted to this and that, and never directed at the truth in themselves.

This has 82 different functions - 83 if you want to light a cigar.
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Access Denied » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:17 am

Kind of surprised Ryan (our resident S&P expert) hasn’t shared his thoughts on any of this…

Nemo wrote:One thing about NDE's, they are real experiences that real people have had which they do not lie about. If they are naturally occurring illusions they are so similar and consistent and laden with meaning that I would think that they would have to provide a survival advantage to have been created by evolution. I don't see that though. I also don't see how random hallucinations caused by oxygen starvation or any other physical cause could be so consistent or meaningful. I don't think they have been explained or duplicated.

Agreed on the “real” part but confused by the rest… none of this seems “random” to me. If oxygen starvation or whatever is causing it, why wouldn’t it produce a similar experience among people who share a common cultural base?

Nemo wrote:Maybe this is where these kinds of being can exist and they don't usually appear in the 3d world which we experience day to day.

Hmmm… not sure where “this” where would be if it wasn’t “here” all the time?

Nemo wrote:If he exists he might be defined quite simply as the nexus of all existence or of all consciousness.

Add the word “human” before consciousness and I might agree with that…

DerekFlint wrote:A-museing.

Interesting post DF, thanks… thought provoking.


DerekFlint wrote:"Evil" will come from modelling on others who have little regard for consequences, and who get away with it.

There’s definitely that… but I can’t see eliminating congenital factors entirely?

Nemo mentioned evolution, could that not be another (the same?) source of what some would call “evil”… you know, as in “survival of the fittest” borne out of competition for limited resources?

“You can take the Man out of the Jungle but you can’t take the Jungle out of the Man”

Too “apologetic”? :)
Men go and come but Earth abides.
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby longhaircowboy » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:09 pm

It all comes down to how you define evil. Benedict de Spinoza said that the difference between good and evil is merely one of personal inclinations. I'm inclined to agree via personal experience. But which theology has the better grip on the concept of evil Christian,Jewish, Non-Trinitarian,Zoraostrian,or Guanche?
Or if you're an Atheist is there no evil just bad deeds?
Save a horse, ride a cowboy. an internal rumor.
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