Humanity and the Nature of Good vs Evil | INFJ Forum

Humanity and the Nature of Good vs Evil

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Truth Eternity, Jan 12, 2020.

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  1. Truth Eternity

    Truth Eternity Community Member

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    Ever since I was old enough to wonder philosophical questions, I've always believed that humanity is naturally good. We have science and evolution that shows the cooperative nature of humanity in order to survive. We have the positive feeling we get when we do good for others. And for many like myself who were raised within a religous belief that we have one, benevolent god, we have the thought instilled that we are intentionally created to be good by some all-good being. However, I've never truly believed in the religion I was brought up in, as I've never believed in one king ruling all, the restrictions and rules set on us by said king, or that some all-good being would allow such evil to run rampant.

    And as of late, I've decided to dive fave-first into the thick of things, not letting my fear hold back my curiosity into the true nature of mankind.

    And what I've seen is just abhorrent. I've heard, seen, experienced, and learned experiences that brought me to the conclusion that humanity is neither all good nor all evil, rather a mixture of good humans and evil humans. People who want to live in a happy world and love spreading that dream to others to make real together, and people who are angry, self-centered, and want nothing but to get off on causing pain, evil, and chaos.

    This has lead me even further from our so called "god," who I believe is just a manifestation of the energy the world we live on provides and shares.

    However, it also added to another long-standing question I've been having for around a decade, "Is good really good, and is evil really evil?" I remember having a dream about 4-7 years ago, in which I played a character who was evil. In my dream, I had a team, and the good side had a team. Those teams, of course, represented all that we consider good and all that we consider evil.

    In that dream, my side, the evil side, saw the goodside as people who disliked us and who kept trying to take from us -- basically oppressors and colonialists. The good side saw us as the enemy, who wanted to take away their way of life and replace it with something they believed causes them suffering.

    Both sides had a clash of ideals, and saw the other side as oppressors, and believed that the other side's ideals caused them suffering. Both sides thought the other side was wrong.

    That dream has been on my mind ever since, since as we are all good (I'd imagine at least most of the people on these boards would be), how can we think we understand what we consider the opposite of us to be? How can we truly say, objectively, evil is wrong. We have to truly understand the beliefs and ideals of another to truly get them.

    As I say, "understanding is the glue that will bring everyone together."

    What are you thoughts?
     
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  2. MoonFlier

    MoonFlier Permanent Fixture

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    Evil can run the array of colors when defining if a person or act falls under it.

    I never believed children could be evil until I met one specific individual who was literally out to burn the world.
    That child modified my way of thinking. (I later learned this child had a rough upbringing and so probably wasn't born that way.)

    For your point of discussion, please define the terms of good and evil.
    Give examples.
     
    #2 MoonFlier, Jan 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  3. OP
    Truth Eternity

    Truth Eternity Community Member

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    What I meant as good and evil is our current understanding of it. Or from the understanding from us who consider ourselves good. I don't give a specific definition as the enitre point of this post is to question whether we truly know what good and evil are.
     
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  4. Rit4lin

    Rit4lin Community Member

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    To refer to your part of moral conflict amidst religion, one philosopher I know on the matter is St Augustine, I'm not sure if you've heard on him - if not I'd read up on him after this for a more detailed account of his belief. But essentially he posited that God did not create evil because evil doesn't 'exist', it is simply the term used to describe that which has a lack of good where good should be. However that's as much as I will say on the matter being an atheist, I'm a bit biased when it comes to matters of religion.

    However I think as much are there are blurred lines between the definitions of good and evil as you've said - that to one side they may be the good and righteous, and their opponent the enemy - there are things that are evil for evils sake. Things such as torture, human trafficking, slavery.. Some would say killing another is evil, but then it comes down to context and subject viewing. Is killing someone that threatens another's life evil? If someone were to go back in time and kill baby Hitler/Stalin, does the future justify the act? I like a quote from the Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski: 'Evil is Evil. Lesser, greater, middling… Makes no difference. The degree is arbitary. The definition’s blurred. If I’m to choose between one evil and another… I’d rather not choose at all.' (Blasted phone cut out parts thank fuck for edit)
     
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  5. OP
    Truth Eternity

    Truth Eternity Community Member

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    I think you got cut off at the end of your first and second paragraphs.

    On topic, You said, "Things such as torture, human trafficking, slavery.. Some would say killing another is evil, but then it comes down to context and subject viewing. Is killing someone that threatens another's life evil?" We believe those to be evil, but what does evil believe? My point is that I don't think we can say what's good and what's evil unless we are, ourselves, both. But we are good, and others are evil. I think we need someone who is both to stand as a middle ground, as a glue to bind the two opposing sides together. That's just my current belief on the matter.
     
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  6. Rit4lin

    Rit4lin Community Member

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    Funnily enough, according to Jungian theory we are both so we are all as equally qualified so to speak on the matter. According to Jung, we all have a 'shadow' self, which is the aspect of ourselves we keep repressed along with all of its negative traits; yet are aspects we are able to recognise in others. No one is wholly good, nor wholly evil because we all contain this. Going by Jungian theory, your 'persona' - the mask you have on when interacting with others such as on this site - are the aspects of yourself that are socially acceptable and which you present to others. So for your wants, right now everyone stands in the middle ground as the glue - if you want a being that is only wholly one or the other you may have to find an angel or demon
     
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  7. Rit4lin

    Rit4lin Community Member

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    Of course I'm sure there's people on here who actually have an academic background in psychology and can speak better on the matter of Jung, I still have a lot of reading to do regarding him
     
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  8. OP
    Truth Eternity

    Truth Eternity Community Member

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    Personally, I believe, as there are multiple colors to the light spectrum, there are multiple levels of good and evil humans. I believe that we have an almost wholly good side, and an almost wholly evil side, and then we have what's inbetween. The majority of individuals, probably about 30%, would around the middle of the inbetween, while the rest of the inbetween are about 60% of the population who varies in the leves there. And on the extremeties, we have 10% of the population who either wishes and actively enacts things that are wholly good or wholly evil. I also believe that it is not good or evil that is bad, but it is the lack of understanding that causes conflict, which leads to suffering for both sides.
    Again, Carl Jung is one person and is good so I don't believe he can tell what is good and what is evil. That's why we need a bridge, at least that's my personal beliefs.
     
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  9. Rit4lin

    Rit4lin Community Member

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    So to go by your theory, how would you apply that to terrorism acts? Like 9/11, the Manchester Arena attack, or the French '15 attacks
     
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  10. The_Mysterious_Stranger

    The_Mysterious_Stranger Community Member

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    This is the Jean-Jaques Rousseau vs. Thomas Hobbes debate. I don't think there's a clear answer to this question. A lot of behavior depends on IQ, which is 80% genetic. The personality of criminals tend to be extroverted, low contentiousness, high testosterone. Criminals tend to have IQs in the 80-125 range, but mostly low-average range (80-100). For example, the Parkland school shooter had a low IQ (fetal alcohol syndrome). The Sandy Hook shooter was on the autism spectrum and probably had a lower IQ. It also depends on the environment / family environment. As Hobbes and Rousseau have written, conflicts have revolved around envy, boredom, resentment, and other negative emotions. If nations like the US invest in organizations like Planned Parenthood, people are more likely to be raised to be good people / citizens.
     
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    #10 The_Mysterious_Stranger, Jan 13, 2020
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  11. Cornerstone

    Cornerstone Well-known member

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    I like that someone mentioned Jung. We don't do that nearly enough here. Answer to Job is the essay to read by him on this topic.

    Personally, I see it as an evolutionary thing. Are cats evil? Okay, bad example because...yes...but, then, take any carnivorous predator and ask the same thing. A lion will play with his cub and even risk his life to save him from stampeding buffalo but lions will also kill the last guy's cubs (sometimes preemptively with stampeding buffalo).

    So, then, there are plenty of stories of step parents treating their non biological kids worse. Maybe they don't kill them but it's in the same ballpark. Then there are those who raise them as their own and that's probably a move away from the animal mentality.

    I suppose what I'm getting at is that being an animal is reality, and animals can be humane. However, denying one's roots in the animal world, and acting as though only humans are capable of 'goodness', means that 'badness' will erupt spontaneously and uncontrollably or be kept on the DL and be more pathological and compulsive for it.

    So, yeah, basically the IQ thing...I think, maybe. Only I daresay there are more factors than just IQ at work (or play). I suppose...consciousness generally. It requires a certain amount of intelligence to realise the extent of your own unconsciousness I suppose. Is consciousness the space between emotion and action? What separates a person acting on emotion e.g. a crime of passion and an animal acting on instinct?
     
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  12. The_Mysterious_Stranger

    The_Mysterious_Stranger Community Member

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    Psychopaths / sociopaths often have brain damage, under the influence of drugs, high testosterone levels.
     
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  13. The_Mysterious_Stranger

    The_Mysterious_Stranger Community Member

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    It amazes me we had debates on this topic early on in this forum's existence, and after it, there were mass shootings in the news. Crazy.
     
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  14. Vendrah

    Vendrah Regular Poster

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    This good vs evil thing is something I have even been looking for, and I am a "data rat" and I looked for it even on data, on whenever possible I could find it. In no way I´ve came to conclusions yet, but I get knew for a few things. Since I dont really got much "evidence" and some of my affirmations can be "unethical" to be shared (aka using instruments that arent supposed to look for good and evil), I will barely mention any numbers of data but I will share my opinion based on what I could recognize so far. And I already put some philosophical thought about it on the mix either, which I will share with you. I am going to share it on more or less chronological.

    I started defining good and evil. That partially camed from my anger caming from people which are supposed to make me suffer. Are these people evil? Yes! What if my judgement is wrong? Then I ended up with a cloudy definition of "the island hypothesis", which is a somewhat simplistic version of heaven and hell (applies good to hell and not that good to heaven, I found out later). If my hypothesis of evil is correct, then if we put all these people I said to be bad on an island, there would be only disgrace. And, if the people I considered to be good were put on the island, that island would be as good as heaven is supposed to be. I found later that basically the premise of heaven was wrong for a cause I will point out later, where the hell one wasnt that bad defined. It literraly made me wish no revenge, my best revenge would be a day-dream that likely will never happen (or, hopefully, will happen) of having these bad people put all on the same spot and getting isolated. The big thing is that my life would be better without them. Thats still on the pure philosophy realm, more or less data related comes next.

    I already put some thought about "What if good and evil doesnt exist?". Then proceded to "What would happen and what things would look like if there is no good and evil". Ive found out some few things that seemed to be against the idea that good and evil doesnt exist, although Im not quite sure if I found strong enough reasons. One of these reasons are on corruption perception index, if there would be no good and evil then the corruption would be more or less equal in countries. If there were no good and evil, I realized there would be no difference between an act of slave or torture or an act of altruism. Without the lens of good and evil, what these act are, just things of nature? Being natural doesnt stop something from being good and evil. A second thing I realized later came from my island philosophy thing. Things like being empathetic, altruistic, are really non-sense if there were no good and evil. However, creating strong definitions on that is still difficult. I still stick with the island philosophy, where if people are too "toxic", the enviroment filled with them will be too toxic and will disrupt, and that would be the evil thing.

    But then I got some continuations. I realized that there were some connections between the corruption index and some other countries indicators, including crimes. The corruption perception index, although is more or less a mere perception (its more than that), predicted "prosperity" better than indicators of low or high presence of the state/taxes levels. So I realized through this that there is some sort of karma running on a larger scale - milions - and I gather the perception that the law of karma is terrible and not at law at all on an individual level, with the world being full of people in an unfair situation, but it was somewhat true in terms of millions of people, since no country full of corruption (at least in terms of perception of it) ends up developed. The cheating thing ended up not paying off in general for countries. However, even this have some exceptions, one of them is petrol/oil, some places full with this black gold can get some prosperity without needing to have a low corruption (at least in terms of perception).

    So I started to connecting more things to it. Realized later that good and bad is not a "one-dichotomy" like N/S, it has some inside relations that were disconnected with each other - one virtuous didnt called or imply in another. Realized that there were multiple aspects of it, or as @Truth Eternity mentioned, multiple colors to the light spectrum. In the end, even with a lot of limited information, I ended up realizing that the odds of someone having all the good aspects I could gather all near maximum is extremely low, and someone having all the bad aspects I could gather all near minimum is very low (still more likely than having all the good aspects). I became aware that it is possible to fruitpick bad or good things about person and then create a whole manipulation. A perception that I already had is that evil is very good into looking good, and that is partially thankful for this fruitpick. I even realized some aspects of myself - and some of them are very hard to change - are a little bad, even though I consider myself mostly good. But I realized, into my own case, that being completely good would ultimately diminish my life expectancy and if I fixed my "minority evilness" (some aspects of it are more like, as Im going to point out later in this 'evolutive' reasoning, absence of good rather than evilness) I would get killed or even would get completely crazy to the point of being driven to psychyatrist, so, yup, sometimes the path to excessive goodness can end up in drugs, and perhaps there are reasons - particular for each case perhaps - that its so hard to achieve full goodness.

    But then, not only these mixes had, but I even realize that there are traits, including evil and good ones, that can be "activated" or "disabled" depending on external conditions. I always think about greed on poor people as an example. In my country, I heard some stories of few people who, when poor, looked quite virtuous... However, when they had the lucky to suddenly got rich, a series of bad characteristics showed up - greed, acts of humiliating others, etc.. In these cases, most of this evilness was already there, it only needed the power given by money to get activated. It happens that the same happens for virtues as well, they can be activated and sometimes needs requirements. This is where IQ joins this whole thing, as @The_Mysterious_Stranger points (although its not a central thing!). I found out, for example, that empathy, for getting a real impact on reducing corruption (and some other stuff), needed a minimum IQ. Empathy with low IQ leads to no good results as far as I could measure (but not everything leads to this). There are other things following this same pattern. Also, there is some connection between corruption perception index and IQ, meaning that, perhaps, either more IQ leads to people being more good and leading to less evil as @The_Mysterious_Stranger pointed, or a place with less corruption leads to people with more IQ. From what I have, it really seemed to me that the latter was more correct, but it could be a two-way line, a loop, where intelligence leads to less corruption and less corruption leads to more intelligence.

    And later and more recently, I managed to find that being "high" on a virtue or "extra high" on a virtue didnt make much difference, and that includes the corruption perception index. It seems that being fully honest or being almost fully honest are more or less the same. This is one thing that sometimes can make people undervalue some virtues. Some virtues can only be recognized when they disappear (that specially true in developed countries), as their effect is not that much visible because they reach to a point that, an increase of that virtue, dont cause good effects, leading the society as a whole thinking that that virtue is useless.

    And there were some interesting cases of pure balance - things that, depending on the balance of the enviroment, they could be either good or bad, depending only on the context. MBTI J/P seems to be the case and I dont hide it. Too much of Ps in a society can, at least on my estimations, give rise or be a sympton of something really terrible. At the same time, excessive Js can bring the many things down or it is related to many things down in society. The excessive J is a real case in many countries, and I wont really point out what are the bad and how some J traits can get toxic in a society with excessive Js, because it can get pretty ugly; However, I need to point out that there are other dependencies and some Js will be more toxic on an excessive J society than other J and, some Js tends to flocks with P leading more balance then disbalance, and, since ENFJ/INFJ are way too rare, they dont join the count (although I have nothing to believe that they are exceptions to this balance). The J is one thing, there are surely others that need balance, and Im sure that there are some I dont know, at least not yet.

    And thats it so far, perhaps I forgot a thing or two, but thats it. And yep, I hide a few very heavy stuff, such as associations with slavery and lack of freedom I already made and etc.. Oh, and I forgot, that I even got some data telling that the people being arrested are at risk of being quite different from people that should be arrested... However its not strong enough to "build a real case".
     
  15. StanleyBarBaDoS

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    You can sit and philosophize for ages, but the bottom line is that in this world, things like rape and torture are evil. Or at least represent negativity and chaos and pain and suffering for basically all of humanity, even if you don’t believe in pure evil. I think you need to get up off the armchair if this is something that you truly can no longer see truth in.
     
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  16. ruji

    ruji Well-known member

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    There still might be just as many school shootings, and perhaps people are more interested in other bad shit to focus on, so the news reports accordingly.
     
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