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Post Reply Is it possible to wear off evil from Humanity?
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Posted 8/4/13

AshRandom wrote:


dyingsoon wrote:
and if there is a designer why did he design rape to be evil instead of eating your own crap.


This is an actual research topic called: THEODICY.

It's the attempt to resolve the evidential problem of evil by reconciling the traditional divine characteristics of omnibenevolence, omnipotence, and omniscience with the occurrence of evil or suffering in the world.

Essentially a human mind, regardless of which millennium it was born to, is capable of recognizing the obvious flaws in whatever religious system they're born into. This is done simply by paying heed to the vast amount of injustice, pain and suffering in the world around them. The conclusion was most famously reached by Epicurious, an Athenian living around 300 B.C. but has been restated repeatedly by thinkers and philosophers and laymen again and again throughout history.

If God is unwilling to prevent suffering -- God is either impotent, or evil.



.......If I had a dollar for every time someone..... Look, evil is a choice that people make, not something that can be blamed on something or someone else. That's all a cop-out people make to escape blame or responsibility for their own choices and actions. Evil is choosing to do harm to yourself, others, or society. It is intentional, and not blindly done. People sometimes wrongly label things or people as "evil", but they are actually "tragic" instead, like unfortunate things that happen unintentionally, by either the sane (short-sighted/ignorant) or the insane (have no control of themselves).

Expecting a higher power or anyone else to save humanity from itself is like expecting our moms to wipe our asses after taking a dump even though we're adults and physically able to wipe our own sh*t off.
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cpblair83 wrote:

Would you like to get rid of evil?

Study psychology. Try to realize human beings are animals. Animals who become hand shy, lash out and other negative acts depending on the circumstances of their life. Try to realize every single human is a person, even the ones who harm you personally. Try to realize most acts you perceive as harmful are more inspired by the perpetrator than the victim.

We lash out when we feel pain. We lash out when we don't know what else to do. We are still animals. Animals that defend territory, separate ourselves into categories/packs, express anger, possessive traits, and many other emotions. And then take a step back, and realize that you have expressed every evil emotion you've observed in others. The severity and complexity in which you expressed these emotions may have varied, but that doesn't make it any less of the same emotion.

We are complex animals that have learned to express ourselves in complex ways and some of those ways seem infinitely more harmful than the pure emotion that inspired it.

Welcome to life. The only evil is the imagined concept that exists within your head and the only demons are the ones you create.


Humans are not like animals, unlike animals, we have the ability to overcome instinct with willpower, and this:

..........." human beings have a fifth faculty: the intelligence to inquire into the truth of our existence:

Who am I?
Why am I here? What is the purpose of my existence?
Why am I suffering?
How can I liberate myself from this suffering condition?
It is this extraordinarily valuable ability to be introspective—to question the meaning and purpose of our existence and endeavor to find a solution to human suffering—that sets humans apart from animals."

and this:

" there are four distinguishing ingredients of human cognition, and these capacities make human thought unique. These four novel components of human thought are the ability to combine and recombine different types of information and knowledge in order to gain new understanding; to apply the same "rule" or solution to one problem to a different and new situation; to create and easily understand symbolic representations of computation and sensory input; and to detach modes of thought from raw sensory and perceptual input."
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Posted 8/4/13 , edited 8/4/13

GayAsianBoy wrote:



I'll give you more examples. During The Great Depression, people were willing to rob and steal.
During World Wars, people were willing to bomb an entire city of civilians.

Do you want me to go on?

Morality cannot suppress the animalistic instinct to survive.


Yes it can (^). Where have you been? Living in a cave?


https://www.google.com/search?q=people+who+give+their+lives+to+save+others&rlz=1C1CHKZ_enUS430US430&oq=people+who+give+their+lives+to+save+others&aqs=chrome.0.69i57.18687j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
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Posted 8/4/13 , edited 8/4/13
Evil it self is part of everything that happens in this world and its not possible to wear off evil completely but it can be prevented and can be reduced, as humans evolved evil evolved too but it depends how you describe evil, think of it this way our mind can do a lot of thing some might be productive things and we make use of that but other might be useless fantasies and urges that you have locked up coz it may harm your image.

People follow different path coz we can decide what to do with our lives but unconsciously we are limited by the laws and rules of society, some might be prosperous, other might not be coz everyone is influenced by other and the surroundings near them and because of that we greatly differ with each other even our ideology and thinking.

Evil itself is not evil, its the human nature thats evil. We feel pathetic, we feel betrayed, we feel jealousy, we feel anger, we feel superior/inferior, we curse, we lie, its those emotions that drives us towards doing evil, nobody is satisfied by their current self so they aim towards better tomorrow and its those emotion that drives them and not everything is bad , if theres good theres always bad.

Everyone needs to stand up for themselves and stop relying on other, do everything on your power, think about every possible solution, keep pushing yourself until you break free of your past self but nothing is perfect so accept everything that you can see, even if god himself comes to make this world a better place there will be evil and those who oppose coz people thinking and ideology differs and its because of that ideology we are humans and evil is human nature.

As long as we humans exist in this world, we cannot be freed from evil as evil it self is in human nature.
sorry if I went away from the main topic .
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Humans are in fact animals. This is not an opinion, this is a scientific fact. "Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa." We are another species within the kingdom of Animalia, albeit a highly evolved animal within our scope of observation. I don't know why this FACT is so disputed or shunned. It doesn't belittle our existence. Our will is influenced by many conditions, and instinct is one of them. This is no different from any other animal. An animal who has been beaten will not be as social, despite the instinctual need for social interaction.

Many scientists believe "lesser" animals have a conscious. Although, frankly, it will shouldn't take a scientist to see that animals are aware.
http://news.discovery.com/human/genetics/animals-consciousness-mammals-birds-octopus-120824.htm

Some animals are so self-aware, they can recognize themselves in a mirror. But hey, let me see if I can answer some of those questions for you.

Who am I? - You're a homo sapien that identifies yourself within the context of the culture (pack) you exist in.
Why am I here? What is the purpose of my existence? - To procreate.
Why am I suffering? - To perceive dangerous situations and detrimental circumstances.
How can I liberate myself from this suffering condition? - Change the circumstances of your suffering.

All the questions you ask, any animal can ask themselves and once they evolve to the point of being able to, they will. And who knows, perhaps some of them do but since they don't share our form of communication we don't know. We know they grieve. We know they make tools. We know the difference in our DNA is not extraordinary. I don't know why people think humans are at the pinnacle of evolution. So much so they remove themselves from the animal kingdom as if we've achieved the height of human evolution. Other animals are following the same path we followed as a species. Evolution; it's pretty neat, right?

I'm sitting here reading comments and responses that are superstitious, primitive and hardly utilizing any actual brainpower. And you want me to take YOUR word that humans are "special". I see a pack of apes arguing over how a tree got knocked down and whether or not the lightning was out to get them. I don't see a difference from 50,000 years ago, when we worshiped sun gods and prayed to the sky. I see better gadgets and a better form of communication.




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Posted 8/5/13

Rowan93 wrote:
We're not arguing over whether environmental factors have some effect on how much empathy affects a person, we're arguing over whether it's entirely due to environmental factors. Genetics have some effect (43% of the variance is quite a large effect, in fact) so claiming that empathy is only due to environmental factors is clearly contrary to the evidence.

And how can someone be benevolent without feeling empathy?


This is the exact reason why I've made the 2nd objection earlier that you asked me about. How can this study support your point that empathy is related to genetics when this study is done ON people who have already been socially conditioned?

Furthermore, all three of my objections relate to the validity of the whole experiment in regards to its own aims, the result is not even reliable because the methods for the experiment are based on subjective questionnaires, people who have already been socially conditioned, and people's subjective answers.

See, the problem is you think the study is about empathy, when it's not about empathy, it is about the benevolent/malevolent behaviour of human relating to genes/environmental factors, the terms they used in this article being "pro-social" as the equivalent of benevolent.


Whether you think benevolence require empathy is another story.

Rabbits are benevolent in nature, but they don't need to have empathy. And don't try to bring up rabbits bite my fingers, or showing me a video of rabbits eating ants as a way of saying that they're not benevolent, those are silly arguments, it's a universal fact that rabbits are benevolent creatures.


When did you even suggest benevolent people were a thing?


I've made a lot of references to benevolent people (e.g. people who are gentle in nature <<--- I've said this phrase several times throughout our discussion, in my first post I even implied the female humans are much more gentle than males in nature).


And like I said before, even benevolent people need to be taught empathy in order to feel it, it's not something that comes naturally to them. They need to be taught that this situation is wrong, or that situation upsets another person.






Well, "pro-social" is the trait this particular study was after, I think the main reason I picked this one out is because it mentions other previous studies of related traits. Check those studies out too - obviously, they'll have used more or less the same techniques, we don't have some magical goodness scale to read people on, but you clearly need to learn the value of large sample sizes.


Having a large sample size doesn't make an experiment more valid, if the methods are not objective. Observing a twin living in the wild vs. a twin living in society would give a more accurate description of how much genetics/environmental factors play into "pro-social" behaviours of a human being.




This seems like some unrelated drabble, with the parts that actually support your point just being assertions in your favour.


Feel free to write assertions in your favour.
How can you not see that empathy is based on upbringing, society, culture, moral values and religious values? It's not something that is uniformed. It differs depending on the geographical area a person is living in. Because it is a learned trait. Humans have the ability to empathise, but they're not born with it.




Uh, yeah, I'm pretty sure the ability to feel empathy, guilt, etc. makes up part of a personality, and it's someone people are born with from genetics, so the "confusion" is still there.


See above.



Your assertion is contrary to the evidence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9vxHN8_jSE


You call this evidence?
A video filmed unprofessionally and unscientifically, and the animals are domesticated and living in the most unnatural and artificially pressured environment, being affected by unrelated subjects (children) as evidence?

Please use something from discovery channel or the animal planet where they film animals without artificial interference.

Validity of video aside, even if there are really cows in nature that eat chickens, it doesn't prove anything other the fact that the cow could have been infected by a virus in the brain.




We don't have any instinct driving us to build traps. Humans, with our abundant ability for abstract reasoning, can just be acting on the emotion of hunger when we set traps. Or our knowledge that we will be hungry at a later date. Our actions aren't completely tied to whatever emotions we're feeling at the time, so blaming our actions as evidence of the existence of some made-up anti-occamian emotion that isn't needed to explain the evidence is even less sensible than with lions/tigers/bears/oh my.


Humans were building traps and weapons long before we evolved the ability to do abstract thoughts and long before civilisation even come into existence.

The rest of the paragraph doesn't relate to anything.




No you didn't. You posited an environment wherein people would empathize with animals a lot if they felt empathy for animals in the first place, assumed that they start feeling empathy for animals "over time" just because, and then suggested how the trend became more prevalent in society. The jump from sociopathy to non-sociopathy is still inexplicable/magical.


I didn't say the first humans to love animals empathise with them. I said it was an ideal, which were taught to the family, community... and then passed down through generation and generations of people in that tribe or whatever.

That's why I brought up that Hindu's worship cows, while nobody else does that.




Those are things that were actually planned and organised, there's no such emotion as "liking democracy" or "liking maths", nor is there something analogous to what you're claiming empathy is. These ideas are things that live entirely within our ability for abstract reasoning, and the comparison to a process whereby people magically gain an extra emotion is ridiculous.


I didn't say anything about gaining an extra emotion. I've always been saying this in the thread, humans' high intelligence give humans the ability to empathise IF they are taught about it.

And then you ask me how the first group of people learned to empathise, I explained it by saying that it started off as an ideal, much like how Maths started off as an ideal.




That's not really related to what I said, except in that it sounds like an admission that asexuals are nothing to do with the discussion.


I'm not really sure what you're trying to say, to be honest.



I don't know how to deal with changes in interest rates, the economics involved is more complicated. A competent government would presumably fix it somehow, but this discussion of interest rates continues to be irrelevant. Interest rates will occasionally rise and decline, and maybe those tend to correlate with crime rates? So what?

I'm pretty sure people don't have to be willing to give their money away in order to get taxed.



So it relates to this statement you've made...:

"then surely all you have to do is make it so that humans don't have to kill each other to survive? All that'll take is 100 years' worth of economic growth and demographic shift."


You just admitted you have no idea how to deal with changes in the interest rates, so how can you make this sweeping generalisation that "100 years of economic growth" can somehow prevent crimes?

I'm only replying to the original point.
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Posted 8/5/13 , edited 8/5/13
The definition of evil changes from person to person and so does the definition of humanity. You cannot "get rid of" something which is just a philosophical term made up to describe actions or behaviors some see as unfavorable.

Ex. We see terrorism as evil but that's also a matter of perspective. To some in the middle east, the U.S. constantly bombing them makes us look like the "evil terrorists".
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Posted 8/5/13 , edited 8/5/13

PhyongHwa wrote:


GayAsianBoy wrote:

I'll give you more examples. During The Great Depression, people were willing to rob and steal.
During World Wars, people were willing to bomb an entire city of civilians.

Do you want me to go on?

Morality cannot suppress the animalistic instinct to survive.


Yes it can (^). Where have you been? Living in a cave?


https://www.google.com/search?q=people+who+give+their+lives+to+save+others&rlz=1C1CHKZ_enUS430US430&oq=people+who+give+their+lives+to+save+others&aqs=chrome.0.69i57.18687j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8



A father taking a bullet for his family is not an action based on morality; it's based on the animalistic instinct to protect one's offspring. This is also seen in the animal kingdom, a snake will give its life to protect its eggs, so will a pigeon, it doesn't mean those animals have "morals".

Protective instincts are instilled by nature into all animals including humans.



As for other cases, like firefighters giving their life to save people, I don't want to talk about why they do what they do, because I respect their profession too much to second-guess their motives and bring it into a public forum discussion about philosophy of human behaviour.
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Posted 8/5/13

GayAsianBoy wrote:


Rowan93 wrote:
We're not arguing over whether environmental factors have some effect on how much empathy affects a person, we're arguing over whether it's entirely due to environmental factors. Genetics have some effect (43% of the variance is quite a large effect, in fact) so claiming that empathy is only due to environmental factors is clearly contrary to the evidence.

And how can someone be benevolent without feeling empathy?


This is the exact reason why I've made the 2nd objection earlier that you asked me about. How can this study support your point that empathy is related to genetics when this study is done ON people who have already been socially conditioned?


I still don't get what your point is with this.


Furthermore, all three of my objections relate to the validity of the whole experiment in regards to its own aims, the result is not even reliable because the methods for the experiment are based on subjective questionnaires, people who have already been socially conditioned, and people's subjective answers.

See, the problem is you think the study is about empathy, when it's not about empathy, it is about the benevolent/malevolent behaviour of human relating to genes/environmental factors, the terms they used in this article being "pro-social" as the equivalent of benevolent.


Whether you think benevolence require empathy is another story.

Rabbits are benevolent in nature, but they don't need to have empathy. And don't try to bring up rabbits bite my fingers, or showing me a video of rabbits eating ants as a way of saying that they're not benevolent, those are silly arguments, it's a universal fact that rabbits are benevolent creatures.


The fact that empathy is one of the main factors behind humans being moral is he only reason we're discussing empathy in the first place. It's a study of how pro-social people tend to be, which is roughly the same as how benevolent they are, which is roughly the same as how much empathy they feel

"Don't give me examples of rabbits not being benevolent, they're benevolent creatures and it's a universal fact that I'm right"

Just not being violent and aggressive isn't quite quite the same as being benevolent. Most people would agree that rabbits are peaceful, but benevolent? Kind? Altruistic? I don't think that's true at all. And I think one of the reasons it's not true is a lack of an advanced capacity for empathy.



When did you even suggest benevolent people were a thing?


I've made a lot of references to benevolent people (e.g. people who are gentle in nature <<--- I've said this phrase several times throughout our discussion, in my first post I even implied the female humans are much more gentle than males in nature).


And like I said before, even benevolent people need to be taught empathy in order to feel it, it's not something that comes naturally to them. They need to be taught that this situation is wrong, or that situation upsets another person.


Well, this just gets sillier and sillier. People can be born benevolent, but benevolent people also have to be taught how to be benevolent, and given the emotions intrinsic to human morality by society.




Well, "pro-social" is the trait this particular study was after, I think the main reason I picked this one out is because it mentions other previous studies of related traits. Check those studies out too - obviously, they'll have used more or less the same techniques, we don't have some magical goodness scale to read people on, but you clearly need to learn the value of large sample sizes.


Having a large sample size doesn't make an experiment more valid, if the methods are not objective. Observing a twin living in the wild vs. a twin living in society would give a more accurate description of how much genetics/environmental factors play into "pro-social" behaviours of a human being.


Actually it kind of does. Your objections (and your suggestion of a one-subject experiment as an example of a "good" one) give me the impression that you don't really get how statistics works. Or science more generally.




This seems like some unrelated drabble, with the parts that actually support your point just being assertions in your favour.


Feel free to write assertions in your favour.
How can you not see that empathy is based on upbringing, society, culture, moral values and religious values? It's not something that is uniformed. It differs depending on the geographical area a person is living in. Because it is a learned trait. Humans have the ability to empathise, but they're not born with it.


It's not uniform because it's genetic, if it were socially instilled I would find variation within a society to be extremely suspicious.

What examples are there of a geographical area featuring a higher tendency for sociopathy? Or, you know, whatever other examples of variation by geographical area that are big enough or have specific enough traits that you could distinguish them as varying abilities to feel empathy?




Your assertion is contrary to the evidence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9vxHN8_jSE


You call this evidence?
A video filmed unprofessionally and unscientifically, and the animals are domesticated and living in the most unnatural and artificially pressured environment, being affected by unrelated subjects (children) as evidence?

Please use something from discovery channel or the animal planet where they film animals without artificial interference.

Validity of video aside, even if there are really cows in nature that eat chickens, it doesn't prove anything other the fact that the cow could have been infected by a virus in the brain.


While there are plenty of off-hand mentions that herbivores sometimes eat meat when the opportunity arises, I can't seem to find any more in-depth studies. I did find more examples of your assertion being wrong though, and this one doesn't have any kids involved which rules out one of your objections:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQOQdBLHrLk

This is really weird, you'd think someone would have been interested enough to do some studies of herbivores eating meat.

Sure, it wouldn't prove anything, but what's the simpler hypothesis? "Herbivores never see other animals as food, except for the ones that do, but they have a virus in their brain or something so they don't count" or "herbivores sometimes see other animals as food"? (or possibly "herbivores always see other animals as food, but are much better adapted for eating plants so that's what they eat most of the time"?)




We don't have any instinct driving us to build traps. Humans, with our abundant ability for abstract reasoning, can just be acting on the emotion of hunger when we set traps. Or our knowledge that we will be hungry at a later date. Our actions aren't completely tied to whatever emotions we're feeling at the time, so blaming our actions as evidence of the existence of some made-up anti-occamian emotion that isn't needed to explain the evidence is even less sensible than with lions/tigers/bears/oh my.


Humans were building traps and weapons long before we evolved the ability to do abstract thoughts and long before civilisation even come into existence.

The rest of the paragraph doesn't relate to anything.


If we were able to set traps and build weapons without thinking about it, why did we ever evolve the ability to think?




No you didn't. You posited an environment wherein people would empathize with animals a lot if they felt empathy for animals in the first place, assumed that they start feeling empathy for animals "over time" just because, and then suggested how the trend became more prevalent in society. The jump from sociopathy to non-sociopathy is still inexplicable/magical.


I didn't say the first humans to love animals empathise with them. I said it was an ideal, which were taught to the family, community... and then passed down through generation and generations of people in that tribe or whatever.

That's why I brought up that Hindu's worship cows, while nobody else does that.


So... they managed to love animals without empathizing with them? Okay, now you've actually got an answer to the question. It's a ridiculous and absurd explanation, but that's par for the course.




Those are things that were actually planned and organised, there's no such emotion as "liking democracy" or "liking maths", nor is there something analogous to what you're claiming empathy is. These ideas are things that live entirely within our ability for abstract reasoning, and the comparison to a process whereby people magically gain an extra emotion is ridiculous.


I didn't say anything about gaining an extra emotion. I've always been saying this in the thread, humans' high intelligence give humans the ability to empathise IF they are taught about it.

And then you ask me how the first group of people learned to empathise, I explained it by saying that it started off as an ideal, much like how Maths started off as an ideal.


Empathy is, if not an actual emotion, at least the illusion of one. It's impossible to invent an illusory emotion by thinking "hey, let's start tricking ourselves and our children into feeling empathy", so analogies to the invention of things that you can actually invent by reasoning explicitly about them are always going to be false analogies because you're avoiding the reason I'm objecting to the idea in the first place.

Maths started off as figuring out the answers to specific or general questions, and that's what it is today. "maths" is not an ideal, nor is "mathiness", although one might be able to find ideals within math like "finding a proof for (whatever assertion)".




That's not really related to what I said, except in that it sounds like an admission that asexuals are nothing to do with the discussion.


I'm not really sure what you're trying to say, to be honest.


When I linked to an article about a gay Mormon happily married to a woman, your responses seemed to relate to asexuals (your definition of "people able to feel platonic love" seems synonymous with "asexual) and so were basically irrelevant.




I don't know how to deal with changes in interest rates, the economics involved is more complicated. A competent government would presumably fix it somehow, but this discussion of interest rates continues to be irrelevant. Interest rates will occasionally rise and decline, and maybe those tend to correlate with crime rates? So what?

I'm pretty sure people don't have to be willing to give their money away in order to get taxed.



So it relates to this statement you've made...:

"then surely all you have to do is make it so that humans don't have to kill each other to survive? All that'll take is 100 years' worth of economic growth and demographic shift."


You just admitted you have no idea how to deal with changes in the interest rates, so how can you make this sweeping generalisation that "100 years of economic growth" can somehow prevent crimes?

I'm only replying to the original point.


Over the past few hundred years, the economy has been growing exponentially, and considering the causes of that growth, projecting that growth into the future is much more reasonable than not, failing some apocalypse. Thanks to demographic shift as third-world countries become first-world, we won't even have population problems - the world population will probably be decreasing, at worst it'll have levelled out - so per capita wealth will have actually increased, and be increasing, a lot more than today.

That abundant wealth, and some reasonable programs by half-way competent governments, will be enough to make it so that most people, perhaps even all people, will be living not just in safety without fear of starvation, but actually in some degree of comfort.

A change in interest rates that makes the gap between the least-rich and most-rich a little bit bigger won't matter, even if the government doesn't have the knowledge and skill to make the problem go away, but they probably will. Why should it matter whether I know exactly what methods a competent government well-advised on economic policy would use to try to fix a problem in interest rates? They would probably work, but it wouldn't matter if they didn't.
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PhyongHwa wrote:


AshRandom wrote:


dyingsoon wrote:
and if there is a designer why did he design rape to be evil instead of eating your own crap.


This is an actual research topic called: THEODICY.

It's the attempt to resolve the evidential problem of evil by reconciling the traditional divine characteristics of omnibenevolence, omnipotence, and omniscience with the occurrence of evil or suffering in the world.

Essentially a human mind, regardless of which millennium it was born to, is capable of recognizing the obvious flaws in whatever religious system they're born into. This is done simply by paying heed to the vast amount of injustice, pain and suffering in the world around them. The conclusion was most famously reached by Epicurious, an Athenian living around 300 B.C. but has been restated repeatedly by thinkers and philosophers and laymen again and again throughout history.

If God is unwilling to prevent suffering -- God is either impotent, or evil.



.......If I had a dollar for every time someone..... Look, evil is a choice that people make, not something that can be blamed on something or someone else. That's all a cop-out people make to escape blame or responsibility for their own choices and actions. Evil is choosing to do harm to yourself, others, or society. It is intentional, and not blindly done. People sometimes wrongly label things or people as "evil", but they are actually "tragic" instead, like unfortunate things that happen unintentionally, by either the sane (short-sighted/ignorant) or the insane (have no control of themselves).

Expecting a higher power or anyone else to save humanity from itself is like expecting our moms to wipe our asses after taking a dump even though we're adults and physically able to wipe our own sh*t off.


I see it as more like expecting Dad to to something when Uncle Bad-Touch started unzipping his pants when you were a kid.

This isn't about escaping blame or responsibility for my choices; it's about asking for help when someone stronger than me decides to inflict his evil choices on me.

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We are all evil. We are a predatory pack animal (like wolves). We have the forward facing eyes, sharp front teeth, and familial structure of predators. Just like the story of the scorpion and the frog, violence and selfishness are "in our nature." To deny this is to deny ourselves.

Attempting to "overcome" or "outgrow" evil is foolish. Humans cannot eliminate these drives and desires and still be human. Rape and exploitation are disgusting and we should do our best to minimize such things, but it is idiotic to think they could be eliminated and a fallacy to think that they should be. We have already started once again down this dangerous path. Political correctness, arbitrary rewards for the sake of "self esteem" and scrutiny for the sake of "security" are all efforts to control thoughts and "outgrow" evil. But a world where evil is completely contained is a world of scrutiny and slavery.

This cannot last since man has pride and takes joy in accomplishment. There can be no free men in a society that prevents all bad things.

No, the answer is not to remove evil or outgrow it. The answer is to accept evil as a part of ourselves, to court it and understand it and then regulate it within ourselves for constructive ends. That balance is necessary for a happy life and a stable society.

Unfortunately our western cultures teaches to abhor violence and as a result we get a society of subjugated sheeple who are unable to defend themselves seasoned with a spattering of maniacs (And those unwilling to protect themselves don't even count as human in my eyes. Self preservation is one of life's strongest instincts and those who cower in fear during a shooting without even attempting to flee are not worthy of being called "human." They are basically plants. Lemmings value life more than that.). But the truth is that in order to secure peace one must prepare for war. Everyone should be educated so that they can forge their own futures in the professional worlds and everyone should be equipped to fight for their own lives. Peace can only really exist when balance exists and all sides are equally dangerous.

In short, we cannot outgrow or overcome evil and violence. We must make use of it, understand it, and balance it in our lives. Removing evil from our world is impossible and attempting to do so removes pride, freedom, and privacy from the lives of all while setting the masses up to become victims.

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Rowan93 wrote:


GayAsianBoy wrote:

This is the exact reason why I've made the 2nd objection earlier that you asked me about. How can this study support your point that empathy is related to genetics when this study is done ON people who have already been socially conditioned?


I still don't get what your point is with this.


My point is, the study doesn't support your statement, "Empathy wasn't decided by a rational process, that's an evolved trait..." because the study was done on participants who have already been socially conditioned to feel a certain level of empathy.


Analogy:
Pretend we're arguing about whether the ability to do Maths was an evolved trait or a learned trait. In order to prove that people evolved the ability to do maths (without any environment influences), you would have to test mathematical questions on people who have never learned maths before... if they're able to do those questions, then that would prove that maths was indeed an evolved trait on the DNA.

If the study was testing maths questions on people who already learned maths, then that method would not support the question of whether maths was an evolved trait or a learned trait.
However, the same method can be used to assess whether genetics vs. environmental factors can impact on a person's ability to do maths; which is what the twin study you showed me was trying to do.

Now replace the word maths with the word empathy... and you'll understand what I mean.







The fact that empathy is one of the main factors behind humans being moral is he only reason we're discussing empathy in the first place. It's a study of how pro-social people tend to be, which is roughly the same as how benevolent they are, which is roughly the same as how much empathy they feel

"Don't give me examples of rabbits not being benevolent, they're benevolent creatures and it's a universal fact that I'm right"

Just not being violent and aggressive isn't quite quite the same as being benevolent. Most people would agree that rabbits are peaceful, but benevolent? Kind? Altruistic? I don't think that's true at all. And I think one of the reasons it's not true is a lack of an advanced capacity for empathy.


I don't understand this statement, so when a mother snake is protective of her eggs, is she being empathetic or relying on natural instinct? When a mother tiger is taking care of her cubs... and so forth?

So if humans instinctively felt empathy for animals, why is it most people only empathise with domesticated animals such as dogs or cats, but not with cockroaches or ants?

Like I said, empathy is a relative thing, it's not uniformed like anger for example. It doesn't matter if you get bitten by a dog or bitten by a spider, you will feel anger towards the same stimulus but different animal.

Whereas empathy, you feel empathy towards an animal because society planted that ideal in you, but you might not feel empathetic about cockroaches because society didn't implant that ideal in you.



Well, this just gets sillier and sillier. People can be born benevolent, but benevolent people also have to be taught how to be benevolent, and given the emotions intrinsic to human morality by society.


See above.




Actually it kind of does. Your objections (and your suggestion of a one-subject experiment as an example of a "good" one) give me the impression that you don't really get how statistics works. Or science more generally.


See above.


The one-subject experiment was a thought experiment, so it doesn't even count as a scientific experiment, it's more like a logic reasoning to support my statements.
And even though it's one-man, it's supposed to apply to everyone; if the result was even ONE person (who grew up in the wild) feeling guilty for killing another person, that means that empathy existed on the DNA for that particular person, therefore proving YOUR point right, and my point wrong.




It's not uniform because it's genetic, if it were socially instilled I would find variation within a society to be extremely suspicious.

What examples are there of a geographical area featuring a higher tendency for sociopathy? Or, you know, whatever other examples of variation by geographical area that are big enough or have specific enough traits that you could distinguish them as varying abilities to feel empathy?


I don't know if they exist now, but in the past (maybe 50 to 100 years ago), there existed many tribes in Africa that were cannibalistic.







While there are plenty of off-hand mentions that herbivores sometimes eat meat when the opportunity arises, I can't seem to find any more in-depth studies. I did find more examples of your assertion being wrong though, and this one doesn't have any kids involved which rules out one of your objections:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQOQdBLHrLk

This is really weird, you'd think someone would have been interested enough to do some studies of herbivores eating meat.

Sure, it wouldn't prove anything, but what's the simpler hypothesis? "Herbivores never see other animals as food, except for the ones that do, but they have a virus in their brain or something so they don't count" or "herbivores sometimes see other animals as food"? (or possibly "herbivores always see other animals as food, but are much better adapted for eating plants so that's what they eat most of the time"?)


Well, this second youtube video of yours made me really curious (because this video is much more natural and the deer is living in an area with enough lush grass).
One question that immediately came to mind though was, "Why didn't that deer spit the bird out after it tasted meat?" Because uncooked meat should taste really really bitter to a herbivore.

I would have accepted this youtube video as sufficient evidence, HOWEVER, I researched further, and found this interesting article.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/2003/08/0825_030825_carnivorousdeer.html

The need to adapt to the environment caused the deers to become omnivorous; which doesn't contradict my previous statement at all.
After all, even human ancestors were herbivores at one point, then turned into omnivores later on along the timeline (most likely due to scarce food resources or the need for new nutrients to be incorporated into their diet).

So no, they don't eat meat because "opportunity arises", they eat meat because their diet/environment calls for it.




If we were able to set traps and build weapons without thinking about it, why did we ever evolve the ability to think?


I don't know the answer to that question, nobody does. This is like asking, "how the universe came into existence"... it's one of those "biggest mysteries of life questions".





Empathy is, if not an actual emotion, at least the illusion of one. It's impossible to invent an illusory emotion by thinking "hey, let's start tricking ourselves and our children into feeling empathy", so analogies to the invention of things that you can actually invent by reasoning explicitly about them are always going to be false analogies because you're avoiding the reason I'm objecting to the idea in the first place.

Maths started off as figuring out the answers to specific or general questions, and that's what it is today. "maths" is not an ideal, nor is "mathiness", although one might be able to find ideals within math like "finding a proof for (whatever assertion)".



You're the one who thinks what I'm referring to are "illusory". I've already accepted that humans intellect has the ability to empathise, which is why my analogy makes sense because the same human intellects also have the ability to do maths. Those are real abilities, there is nothing illusory about being able to empathise and being able to do maths, it's just that both require INSTRUCTIONS from society.

You're trying to say empathy is a real emotion that evolved directly on the DNA strand. I'm trying to say it's not.
I've said this before, real emotions are things like anger and fear that evolved directly on the DNA and what we classify as natural instincts.



When I linked to an article about a gay Mormon happily married to a woman, your responses seemed to relate to asexuals (your definition of "people able to feel platonic love" seems synonymous with "asexual) and so were basically irrelevant.


Your point is irrelevant.
If that gay Mormon is sexually interested in the woman, then he is not gay, if he is not sexually interested in her but is doing it for love... then he is in it for platonic love.





Over the past few hundred years, the economy has been growing exponentially, and considering the causes of that growth, projecting that growth into the future is much more reasonable than not, failing some apocalypse. Thanks to demographic shift as third-world countries become first-world, we won't even have population problems - the world population will probably be decreasing, at worst it'll have levelled out - so per capita wealth will have actually increased, and be increasing, a lot more than today.

That abundant wealth, and some reasonable programs by half-way competent governments, will be enough to make it so that most people, perhaps even all people, will be living not just in safety without fear of starvation, but actually in some degree of comfort.

A change in interest rates that makes the gap between the least-rich and most-rich a little bit bigger won't matter, even if the government doesn't have the knowledge and skill to make the problem go away, but they probably will. Why should it matter whether I know exactly what methods a competent government well-advised on economic policy would use to try to fix a problem in interest rates? They would probably work, but it wouldn't matter if they didn't.


Well, if you believe that economic growth and closing gaps between rich and poor people will decrease crimes in society, then I'm not going to stop you from believing in that notion.

All I'm saying is there are other aspects to consider, like the effects of economic strains such as interest rates on low income people in relation to crime. (And I haven't even gotten to the problems of society itself... such as people's psychology, social classes, discrimination, prejudices and racism).



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People who are fearful tend to want more information. If a news program is feeding them info about terrible things they watch more. If they watch more the advertising is worth more so the station makes more money. Any questions?

There seems to be an uptick in "evil" since "evil" makes them money. Therefore they report it more. Also, most people in western culture (and many others) would consider it evil to leave a physically handicapped newborn outside overnight to see if he lives. In some older cultures this was done since the infant would likely suffer terribly and die anyway a bit down the road due to the limitations of their culture and technology. If the kid could survive the night he was likely tough enough to survive his handicap and maybe even thrive. Morality does not exist in a vacuum. What is considered right and wrong is culturally dependent. Murder is seen as wrong in almost every culture, but there are many kinds of killing that are not classified as murder, so they are seen as either ok or necessary.

We also have largely the same biology we had when we lived in caves. Modern society is not what we were evolved to deal with. If we learn how to properly adjust our lifestyles we can come to grips with the parts of human nature that are not well served by modern society and channel them through entertainment and activities. With proper outlets and incentives people will behave fine according to our cultural mores so long as needs are also met. The only exceptions will be true sociopaths, but as best as we can determine so far those are due to brain malformations from either genetics or injury.
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Em0SceneStabr wrote:

If I was Thane had my position on my throne in Whiterun Then I would rain punishment on the wicked. BUT If you committed a crime that was worthy of death then I wouldn't kill you I'd lock you in a dungeon to prevent another crime. what do I mean? Well The next time someone wanted to commit a crime like rape they would go to a church and have there name and things put into our system and allowed the ability to "have there way" with a Criminal. but then they would have to attend some sort of mental meeting to help them out psychologically. If this man was apprehended at a later date for rapping someone then he would be locked away and the same punishment would be givin to him

^~^ I feel like there is a possibility for me letting them do it once and they want to do it again. but I think it would atleast cut it down 50% since it's better than letting these people build up these urges and going wild on the streets.


You really don't understand things like rape psychology. Almost all vile acts come down to ego and empowerment. Rapists don't rape for sexual gratification, they do it for a sense of danger, exhilaration and control. Most often rapists have been abused or bullied and feel a lack of control in their lives, so they attack others in order to feel a sense of superiority. No rapist would ask to rape a prisoner; that wouldn't satisfy the urge to control another person or provide an adrenaline rush for getting away with something. That rush is addictive and child molesters and rapists are often counseled by addiction counselors (as opposed to say, relationship counselors).

Your proposal would have zero impact on violent crime in society and would be considered extremely cruel to the imprisoned. The fact that you would think it permissible to allow prisoners to be raped as punishment shows an evil side to yourself as well.
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The_Protector wrote:


goldslash wrote:

Why everything needs to have an opposite?
I don't buy that.

There's no such thing as cold. The cold is the lack of heat.


LOL, you just contradicted your comment. You just said "cold is a lack of heat", without the coldness there would be no heat, without the heat there would be no coldness.


That isn't a contradiction. Opposites oppose each other (hence the term). Thermal energy is one trait which is scaled, not two opposing traits (hence, not opposites).

Saying that hot and cold are opposites is like saying dark chocolate candy and milk chocolate candy are opposites because one is sweeter than the other. No, they are both candy, just with different sugar contents. Hot things and cold things both contain thermal energy, just in different quantities.
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