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Old 11-20-2012, 03:41 PM #43
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It was a process. There is a reason Jesus is depicted as an Aryan. Remember, Christianity began as different sects. From this point I'd have to deffer you to theologians on the matter, if you want a concise answer. I don't believe that the teachings of the New Testament were wholly compatible with the Europeans. Hence the "interpretations" and "hypocrisies" that are levied against the Christian faith.

By individual instance I mean that individual is fundamentally the same thing as the totality. Please re read that paragraph again. I'll be happy to clarify.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:26 PM #44
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It was a process. There is a reason Jesus is depicted as an Aryan. Remember, Christianity began as different sects. From this point I'd have to deffer you to theologians on the matter, if you want a concise answer. I don't believe that the teachings of the New Testament were wholly compatible with the Europeans. Hence the "interpretations" and "hypocrisies" that are levied against the Christian faith.

By individual instance I mean that individual is fundamentally the same thing as the totality. Please re read that paragraph again. I'll be happy to clarify.
Jesus is depicted as Aryan so he is identifiable and relevant to those races. Jesus is depicted as African American for those races to identify with as well... Fact is that he was a Jew. I'm sure he looked like most other Jews in His region. Fact is that sects were formed because people couldn't agree on the merits of Jesus and/or the interpretations of His teachings.

If we say, "The highest order of A HUMAN'S existence is war," then it is still just as absurd. If the idea is that your thoughts define you, then I disagree. In that scenario the duality only exists because objection is the fulcrum between totality and individualism. Purity and group ignorance are likened and the connection between war and individual knowledge is left to interpret. Maybe I'm not understanding your interpretation.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:49 PM #45
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Jesus is depicted as Aryan so he is identifiable and relevant to those races. Jesus is depicted as African American for those races to identify with as well... Fact is that he was a Jew. I'm sure he looked like most other Jews in His region. Fact is that sects were formed because people couldn't agree on the merits of Jesus and/or the interpretations of His teachings.
Yes that is what I was alluding to. There is a clear difference between what Jesus actually looked like and taught vs. what Christiandom actually was.


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J
If we say, "The highest order of A HUMAN'S existence is war," then it is still just as absurd. If the idea is that your thoughts define you, then I disagree. In that scenario the duality only exists because objection is the fulcrum between totality and individualism. Purity and group ignorance are likened and the connection between war and individual knowledge is left to interpret. Maybe I'm not understanding your interpretation.
The idea is that ignorance (veil of Maya) is what causes us to believe we are individuals. The true self isn't an individual self at all. It is like a drop of water in the ocean. indistinguishable, until a drop is made out of that ocean.

If, fundamentally, consciousness is impersonal and existence is a totality of metaphysical emanation, then what is evil?

I say that the highest order of human existence is war because, if the above is held true, then ideas precede action and must be resolved physically in accordance with the law of causality ( Karma)

Disclaimer: I'm doing my best to summarize Platonic and Vedic philosophy, please bare with me. I was hoping to avoid lengthy explanation in favor of the acceptance of this view point. This is all merely an inquiry into the existence of evil.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:49 PM #46
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I think the water example works in reverse as well. All the individual parts are melded together to form a bigger whole, however, in this scenario the binder is that ALL men are inherently evil. There is a thread of commonality in all people and it takes something extraordinary to make us look outside of out own interests. That extraordinary motivation is what intrigues me. Why do some people care, while most don't?
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:04 AM #47
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I think the water example works in reverse as well. All the individual parts are melded together to form a bigger whole, however, in this scenario the binder is that ALL men are inherently evil. There is a thread of commonality in all people and it takes something extraordinary to make us look outside of out own interests. That extraordinary motivation is what intrigues me. Why do some people care, while most don't?
It is just an analogy to describe something, of course it can be reversed but then we'd be talking about something different. So in the context of my last post, can evil exist? I'll answer your question after you answer mine.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:02 PM #48
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The reason I reversed the scenario is that the fundamental basis that the question is built on is that conscientiousness is impersonal, which again, is completely debatable. Can evil exist? Yes, even in the scenario you described because the ocean itself (collective conscience) represents evil. The ocean has boundaries and some drops separate from that ecosystem. So, back to my question... why the outliers? Are they just coincidental anomalies or is it possible that they are chosen for a higher purpose?
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:04 PM #49
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The ocean doesn't necessarily represent evil. Many religions/theology would view the ocean as good and the drop as evil. For example communism and Buddhism. (disclaimer: I'm not saying Buddhists are communists)
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:09 PM #50
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The ocean doesn't necessarily represent evil. Many religions/theology would view the ocean as good and the drop as evil. For example communism and Buddhism. (disclaimer: I'm not saying Buddhists are communists)
Fair enough, but I already mentioned that I believe that left alone human nature is inherently evil. So I was not trying to justify the scenario from any perspective other than my own.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:13 PM #51
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Fair enough, but I already mentioned that I believe that left alone human nature is inherently evil. So I was not trying to justify the scenario from any perspective other than my own.
Yes I understand that. I was trying to get you to participate in a little thought experiment.

Moving on then.

In your words, what is evil, and why?
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:21 PM #52
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You did say you'd answer my question...

Wikipedia does a pretty good job of defining evil, so it's not really all that philosophical. This is close enough:

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conscious and deliberate wrongdoing, discrimination designed to harm others, humiliation of people designed to diminish their psychological well-being and dignity, destructiveness, motives of causing pain or suffering for selfish or malicious intentions, and acts of unnecessary or indiscriminate violence
I'll take it a step further and also say that everything evil doesn't necessarily just affect others... sometimes we are a detriment to ourselves.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:12 PM #53
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You did say you'd answer my question...

Wikipedia does a pretty good job of defining evil, so it's not really all that philosophical. This is close enough:



I'll take it a step further and also say that everything evil doesn't necessarily just affect others... sometimes we are a detriment to ourselves.
I couldn't answer your question without knowing what evil is to you.

I'm going to go ahead and say I reject that definition of evil. Here's why:

Causing harm/death to another is absolutely required by existence, therefore neither can truly be evil.

maliciousness is acceptable as a definition, only if malicious is the cause itself. Example: taking a life ONLY for the sake pleasure. However, maliciousness is not quite enough. Best intentions have bad results.

I'm not willing to equate things we consider negative to also be evil.

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Old 11-21-2012, 04:25 PM #54
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Fair enough, but I already mentioned that I believe that left alone human nature is inherently evil. So I was not trying to justify the scenario from any perspective other than my own.
How can you define human nature? Theres a million ways one can react to a situation.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:29 PM #55
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Religion is a single word that describes certain life traits one has adapted, either by choice or force. I would put it into a comparison such as right or wrong, good or bad, light or dark, etc. Either you believe or you dont, and from there you take your 'religion' or comparisons even further. It can be broken down into the simplest of things, such as do i step on the ant or leave him be- it is a basis on what you personally perceive as right or wrong. People of similar beliefs tend to stick together and protect each other- thus the creation of reigion/beliefs/actions/philosophies what ever you want to call them. Ones actions may be seen as good by some and bad by others. therefore all actions will have a reaction and in turn there is no right or wrong. It is simply what you take from each situation.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:37 PM #56
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Causing harm/death to another is absolutely required by existence, therefore neither can truly be evil.
Please explain. Murder is killing in vain. I would venture to say that anything we KNOW is wrong and we do otherwise is evil. Evil doesn't have strict bounds.

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How can you define human nature? Theres a million ways one can react to a situation.
Then all statistics are invalid? There are a finite amount of ways people can respond and of that number of possibility people will start to form clusters. Even children show signs of a depraved nature. Left alone children are selfish and destructive... they are born with that tendency. In that case usually parenting is the intervention, but sometimes good kids come from bad situations (with some other form of help).
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:53 PM #57
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There are situations were you absolutely must take a life. There are situations where taking a life might not be necessary but it would be for the good of your society. What we "know" to be wrong has a lot to do with the culture you live in. That was the point of me bringing up Vedic/Platonic philosophy, to show you that wrong and evil can take on a fundamentally different meaning.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:31 PM #58
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There are situations were you absolutely must take a life. There are situations where taking a life might not be necessary but it would be for the good of your society. What we "know" to be wrong has a lot to do with the culture you live in. That was the point of me bringing up Vedic/Platonic philosophy, to show you that wrong and evil can take on a fundamentally different meaning.
Again, murder and capital punishment are not the same thing. Murder and taking a life in self-defense aren't the same. What we "know" to be wrong has very little to do with the culture and more to do with what we use to define our morality. For instance, I see $100 fall to the ground. I look up and see Bill Gates standing there, but faced away. I pick up the money and I have a choice. Culture says he has excess and I should keep it. I know that I didn't earn that money and I have no entitlement to it, so I'd be stealing.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:46 PM #59
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Murder is killing in vain.
Uhhh what? Murder can easily be beneficial to the surviving party.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:04 AM #60
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Uhhh what? Murder can easily be beneficial to the surviving party.
No. Murder even from a legal standpoint speaks to motive. Self defense or manslaughter are segregated. Murder isn't the same as all forms of killing.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:48 AM #61
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Again, murder and capital punishment are not the same thing. Murder and taking a life in self-defense aren't the same. What we "know" to be wrong has very little to do with the culture and more to do with what we use to define our morality. For instance, I see $100 fall to the ground. I look up and see Bill Gates standing there, but faced away. I pick up the money and I have a choice. Culture says he has excess and I should keep it. I know that I didn't earn that money and I have no entitlement to it, so I'd be stealing.
We are discussing whether or not man is inherently evil, the topic transcends all legal systems and morality. It is obvious that our culture/legal system believes that taking a life is always wrong, but it makes concessions for instances where one is obligated. If you are going to stay rooted in law/culture, fine, but I'm going to go back to a law/culture that completely disagrees with your perspective and this conversation is going to hit a dead stop.

I'd prefer it if we can start by deciding whether or not certain actions are inherently evil. I'd be even more satisfied if we could establish a real definition for evil, because that wikipedia article is nothing more than a collection of actions. It doesn't tell me what evil is, such that it would explain why those things are bad at all.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:25 PM #62
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That is being taken out of context. It is generally understood that the term "murder" carries more significance than simply "killing." Murder (taken a life for unjust means) is never obligated. Killing in self-defense or similar is a different discussion entirely.

I’ll simplify my statement because I am not conveying my idea very well. Man's nature is one that is destined to self destruct if there is no intervention. Children are born with the evidences of this fallible nature before they are even tainted by circumstance. Holistically people (mankind) do things that are counter-productive to the welfare of our species. It is natural to revel in excess. It is natural to feel apathetic. It is natural to covet. It is natural to lie. Though those are individual actions and can be judged in context, I believe they are indicative of a deeply rooted imperfection in our "collective" mind.

Many missionaries starve to death feeding others in poverty. There are other people that devote a majority of their personal resources (including time) to serve others. For every one of those people, there are hundreds more that are completely apathetic to others' hardships. Why do some people feel this obligation to mankind when the majority are obligated only to themselves?
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:35 PM #63
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That is being taken out of context. It is generally understood that the term "murder" carries more significance than simply "killing." Murder (taken a life for unjust means) is never obligated. Killing in self-defense or similar is a different discussion entirely.

I’ll simplify my statement because I am not conveying my idea very well. Man's nature is one that is destined to self destruct if there is no intervention. Children are born with the evidences of this fallible nature before they are even tainted by circumstance. Holistically people (mankind) do things that are counter-productive to the welfare of our species. It is natural to revel in excess. It is natural to feel apathetic. It is natural to covet. It is natural to lie. Though those are individual actions and can be judged in context, I believe they are indicative of a deeply rooted imperfection in our "collective" mind.

Many missionaries starve to death feeding others in poverty. There are other people that devote a majority of their personal resources (including time) to serve others. For every one of those people, there are hundreds more that are completely apathetic to others' hardships. Why do some people feel this obligation to mankind when the majority are obligated only to themselves?
Killing for unjust cause or just cause carries the implication that killing is bad altogether. Which calls for the distinction between murder and self defense. We still see that taking a life is bad, but we see that defending oneself is good. See where I'm trying to go with this?

If a man lies cheats kills and steals his way to prominence and breeds, what does that speak towards the self destructive nature of the human? How can you say these behaviors are self destructive to the human race if they allow members of it to thrive?
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