Ken Jennings

Message Boards

Religious Question

The place to talk. "On topic"? "Off topic"? We make no such petty distinctions here.

Postby Queen Eve » Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:44 am

Ahh, but if you notice, I wasnt offering the argument of what is good or evil. I was specifically stating that the drive to be good to avoid punishment was part of moral development, as defined by Kholberg... and human. Try searching for moral development and you find Kholberg. Look at the number of addresses which come from schools, specifically from online curriculum and teacher pages. The fact that I, and even CH have both said its part of Intro to Psychology pretty much confirms that this theory is a standard. It is universal, in that its taught to psychology students all around the world.

Talk about philosophers and there are certain names that pop up again and again. Thats what I mean by universally accepted philosopher.

Now, since I happen to believe that Kholberg's hierarchy is a true explanation of how most minds work in regards to moral decisions, and I stated it was human, that must mean that I dont believe humans are inherently evil. Egotistical, yes. Self-centered, yes. Unable to grasp the bigger picture, yes. But not evil. First of all, I dont believe that pure black exists. Nor do I believe that pure white exists. Humanity is full of grey to me. God is representative of pure white, but even so, I dont believe in god as some people do. I dont claim god(s)/goddess(es) as being all-powerful, omnipotent, ect., ect beings. I simply believe they are a higher power. He/She/They exist above us, be it in time and space or another dimension which parallels our own. He/She/They are without corporeal existence in this place, and have mastered using mind and energy to manipulate our environment. They know what will come, because they exist in all timelines where all our decisions play out. And I believe that what we call gods/goddesses are not the last line of the soul's evolution. It is merely the furthest outward that our measly human brains can envision. I am a firm believe that the soul can not be destroyed, much like matter can not be. It only changes shape over time.

Imagine, if you will, that the human experience can be drawn like concentric circles inside each other. The inner ring is the general population. The next ring out is religious teachers and leaders. After that comes spiritual beings like guides, angels, and demons. The next ring is gods and goddesses. The next ring is there, although we dont know what it is. We are living a human experience, but there was a time when we werent. The deities of our time were once where we are now. And we existed somewhere inside their circle of general population before evolving to the human experience. One day, I believe that we will be the gods of another inner circle. This process repeats itself again and again, and I dont know where it began or where it will end. But that is where my faith comes in.
"Sanity is a gift; given to us at birth, lessened by maturity, and gone from us by the age of reason"-- Queen Eve
Owner of the official Mallet of Doom!
Queen Eve
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:31 pm

Postby Homo Duplex » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:15 am

Disregard
Last edited by Homo Duplex on Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Homo Duplex
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:42 am

Postby Homo Duplex » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:47 am

Queen Eve wrote:Ahh, but if you notice, I wasnt offering the argument of what is good or evil. I was specifically stating that the drive to be good to avoid punishment was part of moral development, as defined by Kholberg... and human. Try searching for moral development and you find Kholberg. Look at the number of addresses which come from schools, specifically from online curriculum and teacher pages. The fact that I, and even CH have both said its part of Intro to Psychology pretty much confirms that this theory is a standard. It is universal, in that its taught to psychology students all around the world.

Talk about philosophers and there are certain names that pop up again and again. Thats what I mean by universally accepted philosopher.

Now, since I happen to believe that Kholberg's hierarchy is a true explanation of how most minds work in regards to moral decisions, and I stated it was human, that must mean that I dont believe humans are inherently evil. Egotistical, yes. Self-centered, yes. Unable to grasp the bigger picture, yes. But not evil


Yes, but to understand the 'drive to be good' you must have a sense of what is 'good', and therefore also what is 'evil'. At any rate, I finally took a look at kohlberg's theory (I'd been following your misspelling of his name until now) and see I think what you mean. Your language often obscures your meaning, but I think you mean both that he is frequently taught in psychology departments, and that what he says is generally acceptedas a good explanation of moral development. The first may be true, but the second is not at all so. Not only does there appear to be as many critics as adherents of his position, but I personally found his argument to be altogether unconvincing (something I won't get into, nor I guess should I have gotten into it this far, given the subject of the thread). But I do wonder how many other theories from how many other disciplinary backgrounds you considered before you chose Kohlberg as your favourite?

So a 'generally accepted philosopher' is one who is recognized as a philosopher by the academic community, and not one whose theory is generally accepted? What's the point then?

It doesn't matter what you believe is evil, don't you see? It's as relevant as one person's beliefs are to the beliefs of every other human being who has ever existed or will ever exist. What matters are questions like: is there an essence to evil? Is there some characteristic common to different religious, cultural, societal etc. conceptions of evil? And egoism is a good place to start.
Last edited by Homo Duplex on Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Homo Duplex
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:42 am

Postby Isaac Cashman » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:13 am

To Homo Duplex:

The term AGNOSTIC was coined by a person who felt that ATHEISTS are as certain as Muslims, Mormons, and CHABADnicks.

I say that depending on who is asking I will say that I am a class B Agnostic, a Capital T Theist, or a lapsed Orthodox Jew.

I know that I do not:
Believe IN PERFECT FAITH, in G-D, who exsists, has exsisted forever, will exsist forever.*

And That

It is NOT possible to prove that God exsists.
It is not possible to prove that either of the following two statements** Is TRUE:
There is NO GOD.
There exsists or has ever esisted ZERO GODS.

* The statment that G-d is the creator of all thing must be a separate Article of Faith.
** I put both statemets in despite the fact that they mean the same thing
Isaac Cashman
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Boston, MA

Postby Queen Eve » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:37 am

Firstly, you dont have to quote everything I say when replying to me. Im more than capable of realizing when you are talking to me. But if you must offer a counter to something specific, please feel free to cut the rest of the post out and just have the sentence or paragraph that you are replying to. Or simply put 'QU:' before your response.

Pardon my misspelling of his name. I tend to forget how its spelled rather often. I do wish I had been told earlier, but oh well. The point came across I suppose. He isnt my favorite. He is simply one that I find easy to convey in general conversation. If everyone had the academic background, we could discuss the dissenting theories. But to me, to really grasp some dissenting arguments, you have to be knowledgeable of the basics and some more advanced theories. This is true in any field. By the way, to even determine what stage of development one is one requires you to answer a scenario question. And the importance isnt the yes or no answer, but the justification you give for that answer. I dissent from Kohlberg in that I dont feel it is possible to judge heirarchy by asking a hypothetical question. Asking someone what they would do IF something happens can drastically differ when they are actually IN the situation.

To clarify the issue of philosophy, a 'universally accepted philosopher' is someone who is recognized by academia. Their theories may be accepted for the structure of the argument, but not the view. Since there is no right or wrong in philosophy, academia cant say that one is better than the other except in the way they present their arguments. To be a philosopher, your arguments have to avoid circular arguments and logical fallacies. In academia, there are names that pop up again and again as having done this. I myself prefer Plato, both in form and views. Someone else may disagree with his views, but prefer his form. I personally dislike Habermas's form and Im unsure of his view because of it.

But enough about all that.

Seeing as how I dont believe in pure evil, I cant define it. I can recognize darkness, as based on the negative impact it has on other people. I can quantify evil based on legal standards and motivations. This is why I much prefer ethics and law over religion. You develop a standard of right and wrong based on its impact on society.
"Sanity is a gift; given to us at birth, lessened by maturity, and gone from us by the age of reason"-- Queen Eve
Owner of the official Mallet of Doom!
Queen Eve
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:31 pm

Postby Homo Duplex » Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:06 pm

To Queen Eve: Yes I read that criticism of Kohlberg repeatedly. To my mind it's not fundamental enough (his entire framework, from assumptions to conclusions, is largely ridiculous I think).

I find almost completely unintelligible your paragraph on philosophy, so I won't comment.

It doesn't matter (again) what you believe. Do I believe in God? No. Can I try to define God? Sure. The two have nothing at all to do with one another. It's not 'pure' evil, but the essence of evil, that is, what is common (if anything) to different conceptions of evil, not what is 'most' evil.

Anyways, I knew I shouldn't have bothered with all of this. I appear to have no impact of any kind on what people are thinking, so I'll stop bombarding the thread with messages. Sorry. :wink:
Homo Duplex
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:42 am

Postby Queen Eve » Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:07 pm

Sometimes, Im really bad with words. I apologize.

But no reason to stop trying to communicate, if only with each other. See, you are talking about an essence of evil. Doesnt an essence require the existence of something whole and complete? How can you have an essence of evil, and not have pure evil? And if I dont believe in pure evil, then how can I argue what is evil? You dont expect an atheist to argue the existence of God. You expect an atheist to argue the non-existence. Well here is my arguement against the existence of evil.

Well Im not wholly certain I believe in the same evil as some people. Legal and illegal, those are easier concepts because they are based on ethics and law. Perhaps evil is best defined as being solely interested in one's own self-interest. But I question beyond that.

Ever play the 'Thats good'/'Thats bad' game as a child? Or perhaps with your own kids, assuming you have some? Someone tells a story of incidences and after every incident, the child determines if something that happened in the story is good or bad. Most people would say murder is wrong. Its evil.
Lets pretend that Man A murders Man B in the commission of a hate crime. (thats bad)
Well that meant Man B wasnt alive to walk into a building a couple days later and blow it up. (thats good)
But Woman A is inside that building and she holds the key to creating the world's most deadly bio-weapon and it one day wipes out half of humanity. (thats bad)
These are just suppositions. But the element of not knowing the bigger picture is precisely why I cant say murder is an evil thing. I can say its illegal. But I cant determine if its wrong. Thats part of an overall picture that I cant see and wont see as long as Im in a physical body.

These same sorts of questions are applied across a spectrum of situations. Positive and negative actions... you never know how it will affect things that havent happened yet. You only know about the now. You only know how it affects you. You may think you know how it affects someone else, but you arent them. Their experience is not yours. So you cant know for certain. Self-interest is certainly a big factor in actions and decisions that negatively impact the present. But without knowing the future, how can egoism be considered wrong or evil?
"Sanity is a gift; given to us at birth, lessened by maturity, and gone from us by the age of reason"-- Queen Eve
Owner of the official Mallet of Doom!
Queen Eve
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:31 pm

Postby Homo Duplex » Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:20 pm

Against my better judgement I'll continue...

To Queen Eve: By 'essence' I am referring to that which is essential to evil (perhaps, I am arguing, all actions called 'evil' contain a common element). 'Pure evil' is more like the most absolutely evil act one could think of. What you believe never has to curtail your ability to engage in a discussion (even if it often does); the two are mutually exclusive.

The piont about egoism is that the nature of an evil action is most often defined by the nature of the intention of the agent. It's not about consequences, so you needn't look at the 'big picture'. It is about why the person acted as they did. This should be readily understandable to someone who associates strongly with religion. If--to take a ridiculous example--you intend to shoot someone because you want their wallet, and your bullet ricochet's off a wall instead, hitting someone else who was about to do the same, and the intended victim calls you a hero, well 'God' was watching, and knows what you intended.
Homo Duplex
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:42 am

Postby Queen Eve » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:47 pm

True. Actions are not nearly as important as intentions. But to say that one person's intentions are evil, you have to know the bigger picture. In law, intentions are taken into account. You kill someone during a fight, but it wasnt your intention. So you get charged with manslaughter and not murder. You kill someone during the commission of a felony, it may not have been your intention, but you did intend to commit a felony and had reasonable foresight to think that someone might get injured or die... felony murder.

The world is full of grey. Issues arent black and white and never have been. I never said that you cant quantify an action or intention as wrong. You can certainly say that some actions/intentions have little to no positive value as it applies to the present based on what we know. But pure evil doesnt exist. Pure evil, as a being, or a deity, or a thing isnt real.
"Sanity is a gift; given to us at birth, lessened by maturity, and gone from us by the age of reason"-- Queen Eve
Owner of the official Mallet of Doom!
Queen Eve
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:31 pm

Postby frankieray » Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:21 pm

Queen Eve wrote:Sometimes, Im really bad with words. I apologize.

But no reason to stop trying to communicate, if only with each other. See, you are talking about an essence of evil. Doesnt an essence require the existence of something whole and complete? How can you have an essence of evil, and not have pure evil? And if I dont believe in pure evil, then how can I argue what is evil? You dont expect an atheist to argue the existence of God. You expect an atheist to argue the non-existence. Well here is my arguement against the existence of evil.

Well Im not wholly certain I believe in the same evil as some people. Legal and illegal, those are easier concepts because they are based on ethics and law. Perhaps evil is best defined as being solely interested in one's own self-interest. But I question beyond that.

Ever play the 'Thats good'/'Thats bad' game as a child? Or perhaps with your own kids, assuming you have some? Someone tells a story of incidences and after every incident, the child determines if something that happened in the story is good or bad. Most people would say murder is wrong. Its evil.
Lets pretend that Man A murders Man B in the commission of a hate crime. (thats bad)
Well that meant Man B wasnt alive to walk into a building a couple days later and blow it up. (thats good)
But Woman A is inside that building and she holds the key to creating the world's most deadly bio-weapon and it one day wipes out half of humanity. (thats bad)
These are just suppositions. But the element of not knowing the bigger picture is precisely why I cant say murder is an evil thing. I can say its illegal. But I cant determine if its wrong. Thats part of an overall picture that I cant see and wont see as long as Im in a physical body.

These same sorts of questions are applied across a spectrum of situations. Positive and negative actions... you never know how it will affect things that havent happened yet. You only know about the now. You only know how it affects you. You may think you know how it affects someone else, but you arent them. Their experience is not yours. So you cant know for certain. Self-interest is certainly a big factor in actions and decisions that negatively impact the present. But without knowing the future, how can egoism be considered wrong or evil?
And if woman A wipes out the half of humanity you mention, wouldn't it be good if this half were the murderers, rapests, pediophiles, etc., etc.
frankieray
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:21 pm

Postby Queen Eve » Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:31 am

Thing about bio-weapons... you cant control who it kills. Nor do I believe that out of 6 billion people, there are 3 billion of this sort.
"Sanity is a gift; given to us at birth, lessened by maturity, and gone from us by the age of reason"-- Queen Eve
Owner of the official Mallet of Doom!
Queen Eve
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:31 pm

Postby frankieray » Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:50 pm

Queen Eve wrote:Thing about bio-weapons... you cant control who it kills. Nor do I believe that out of 6 billion people, there are 3 billion of this sort.
I know, I know. I'm just playing your 'Thats good/ Thats bad' game. But you could have a controlled massacre with 3 billion people. Just build some sort of bio-dome that would contain 3B humans, and voila.
frankieray
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:21 pm

Previous

Return to Main Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests