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Questions tagged [good-and-evil]

The tag has no usage guidance.

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1answer
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Ethics vs manipulation: Is it ethical to manipulate and is ethics a form of manipulation?

Are there ethical frameworks in which manipulation is acceptable? Knowing that we are being raised and conditioned to accept an ethical framework since early childhood is it fair to say that all ...
2
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1answer
92 views

Trying to Understand Quote by Nietzsche

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a ...
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2answers
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Definition of Evil

I am looking for literature on the definition of “evil”. I have scanned through as many papers as I can, the ones I have read fall in three categories: No definition at all. The author assumes that ...
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7answers
344 views

Why is it said that God is benevolent?

I'm not sure if this is the right SE but I'll try to ask this here. If it isn't the right SE please tell me in the comments and I'll delete my question. Usually it's said that God is benevolent ...
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1answer
60 views

History of Noble Savage idea

I used to believe that the idea of noble savage, that humans are innately well natured and corrupted into bad bahavior by socialization was originated by Rousseau. However, I just accidentally came ...
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2answers
581 views

What happens when evil realizes it is evil?

Evil exists. Evil believes that what it does is right. And Good believes what it does is right. Both are right in their frame of reference. However if Good makes the Evil realize that it is Evil then ...
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1answer
100 views

What is the exact relationship between empathy and evil?

In common parlance, we label people who lack empathy as "evil". That is, people who commit acts of evil because they cannot put themselves in the shoes of their victims are seen as evil. Why is this? ...
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7answers
6k views

Is immorality just irrationality?

If someone acts immorally - assuming some sort of free will - then they are doing so despite it being demonstrably wrong, i.e. it is a mistake as surely as 1+1=3 is a mistake. Doesn't this then give ...
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4answers
148 views

Has any philosopher ever claimed that doing “good” things is not good?

Has any philosopher ever claimed that doing "good" things is not good? That may sound amusingly facile. And due to disagreement between what is "good" there's definitely something to say for its ...
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0answers
126 views

Does pain tend to be more differentiated than pleasure?

Does pain tend to be more differentiated than pleasure? Which is said to be open to more interpretations and variations, pleasure or pain? See what Sade had to say about this sort of question, quoted ...
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3answers
234 views

Are there actually any good arguments for neoplatonist privation?

When it comes to dualism versus neoplatonist privation, are there actually any good arguments at all in favor of neoplatonist privation? The argument for dualism seems obvious. It is known that some ...
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2answers
754 views

Are there any philosophies that view the whole of everything as evil?

I have noticed a pattern in philosophies where the successful ones I find all believe that everything, when viewed as one whole, is "good." This may be reached by assuming everything in the universe ...
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2answers
378 views

Is good the absence of evil or is it the other way round?

Is good the absence of evil or is evil the absence of good?What do religions tell us?
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3answers
70 views

What view thinks that good and bad mean satisfy and dissatisfy?

I believed that there is no way to explain some actions as "Good" or "Bad" and there are just our perception of an action, in fact if an action is for us we call it "Good" and if it dissatisfies us we ...
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12answers
728 views

Why do we assume good and evil exist?

I've noticed that a lot of arguments for or against a God (especially the Christian God) assume that good and evil exist. Why is this? I had always assumed there was a good and evil while I was a ...
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4answers
593 views

What would Nietzsche have said about moral relativism in leftwing politics?

The concept of superman or übermensch is someone that overcomes nihilism and learns to see above what's considered right or wrong. The latter is a leftist's trait, because right-wing mentality has ...
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2answers
218 views

Is it possible to determine good and evil in a vacuum?

Without any context of time, situation, or people involved, or any other situational variable is it possible to tell right or wrong, good or evil? Why/ why not?
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1answer
320 views

Death and Epictetus

In the Enchiridion, Epictetus seems suggest that goodness and badness are not “in” the world. They are “in” our reactions. For example he says that, “Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it ...
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1answer
204 views

Is it possible for it to be good to do evil? Evil to do good?

Take for instance you are able to go back in time and have one of the worst leaders in history killed him/ her before they came into power, thus eliminating the atrocities they committed. Or see ...
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1answer
103 views

According to Kant, If we're all evil is change for the better possible without religion (God)?

Or is the only change possible one of ever-increasing depravity? If so, why can't we "get better?" According to the IEP's article on radical evil Kant says: The failure of human moral agents to ...
4
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1answer
203 views

Levinas' good/evil compared to Kantian good/evil

In "transcendence and evil", Levinas gives an account of how good and evil are not merely opposites, and would be better fit for description in a venn diagram (as a synopsis for those that haven't ...
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0answers
40 views

Can there be a unidirectional value system?

I tried to make a point about language on another SE site and it flopped. So I realized that I was focusing on an idea of having two-valued assessment: good and bad. What if we did away with this ...
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5answers
1k views

is God good, or God is the good?

When I was a Muslim I believed God is the source of goodness. When I quit, one of the most frequent questions that I think about and I couldn't find an answer for is If we say God is good, that ...
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2answers
240 views

How can we respond to evil with love? [closed]

Any ideas on how we can (or can't) respond to evil with love? It's clear how a Christian or Buddhist (or any person of religion) may respond to such a question but I cannot seem to grasp how others ...
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2answers
139 views

Are there philosophical arguments for moral risk avoidance?

It is observed that often, people tend to dislike risk (economists say that people tend to be "risk-averse"). For example, consider two Gambles X and Y. Gamble X involves a prize of $1 with ...
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1answer
549 views

Is Work the Root of All Evil? [closed]

Assume that money cannot be printed arbitrarily and is anchored to gold, like it once was, and such gold currency was not debased by cheaper metals, like it frequently was throughout history, then ...
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1answer
192 views

Laws are made for humans, but does everyone classify as a human? [closed]

By law, even the worst criminals may be pardoned on grounds of mercy etc. But if an animal attacks or even kills a human, it can be put down. My question is: Shouldn't there be 'rules' to determine ...
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3answers
125 views

Does evil cause evolution and a revolution reverses it? [closed]

The definition of evil from thefreedictionary.com: Causing ruin, injury, or pain According to this: Every activity which causes pain to you or anyone else is an evil. Let me explain this concept ...
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2answers
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Is there a useful, nominally calculable, secular description of good?

I'm looking for something like a generally applicable algorithm for determining which of several possible choices is 'most good'. Some qualifications for that algorithm should be that: (a) it is ...
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3answers
194 views

Is it ethical to clear and clean the home of an extreme hoarder against his will?

Is it ethical to clear and clean the home of an extreme hoarder against his will? He's an old man, ill in hospital, and badly injured by the part-collapse of his home. He has also been neglecting ...
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3answers
208 views

How can the concept good and evil be defined in the context of decision awareness?

If we are unaware of the vast majority of decisions that we're making (because they are made at a quantum level), how can we define the concept of good and evil? (saying that we made a good / bad ...
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6answers
3k views

Is God either immoral or not omnipotent?

The usual (Christian) justification for suffering/evil in the world created by a benevolent God is freedom of the will. However, the more interesting question is not about the source of evil (which ...
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4answers
395 views

Does a covert reward destroy the moral value of a moral action?

Should a moral action be evaluated directly as it is with rewards - real or possible - being put aside? In other words - is a consideration of covert rewards that the actor is gaining or those selfish ...
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8answers
2k views

Would it be good if everyone was good?

When people meet somebody who hurts us or just behaves in an inappropriate way, we usually think that the world would be so wonderful if all people were good. I know that one can have his own ...
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2answers
147 views

Using embryos in stem cell medicine

To what age of embryo (if at all) it would be considered socially/morally acceptable to use embryo as stem cell source to potentially save someone's live? EDIT: I would like an answer to give ...
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3answers
1k views

Theories on the origin(s) of evil [closed]

People sometimes do bad things. It seems natural to ask what are the fundamental reasons for this. Here are some possible "sources of evil": Human nature - humans innately contain qualities that ...
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2answers
789 views

Aristotle's Wording Is Either Wrong Or Confusing

In Rhetoric, Book I, Part 6, Aristotle states: We may define a good thing as that which ought to be chosen for its own sake; or as that for the sake of which we choose something else; or as ...
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4answers
2k views

How might one counter Bertrand Russell's criticism of Stoicism as “not true” and “insincere”?

Reading about Stoicism, I have encountered a criticism to which I cannot form a strong counter-argument. Did anyone or can anyone provide a rebuttal to the following argument against Stoicism? ...
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1answer
158 views

War against evil [closed]

in a German television program about the NSA there was a quote saying that if people justify all means in the war against evil then their good intentions won't be distinguishable from the evil they ...
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1answer
140 views

Is knowing which virtues to embody a virtue in itself?

Doesn't the basing of ethics on virtues just move the goalposts? Unless I'm reading it wrong, we still have the problem of selecting Virtues. If so, is knowing which Virtues to embody a virtue in ...
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6answers
455 views

Does the presence of free-will allow for the possibility of evil in a world with a benevolent God?

The Problem of Evil is to understand how God can allow evil in the world if He is omni-benevolent (all-good), as someone who is all-good would not knowingly allow evil to occur where they could ...
3
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4answers
499 views

Is Morality an end in itself or a means to a higher end, and if the latter, what is the higher end?

If morality is nothing more than an evolutionary by-product, i.e. a tool developed for the purpose of prolonging one's existence and/or facilitating reproduction, it seems to make little sense to ...
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2answers
629 views

What are the reasons for human conflict? [closed]

In his "The French Revolution, a History", 3.3.II, Thomas Carlyle writes the following: "for all battle is well said to be misunderstanding" He is speaking in reference to the terrible conflict ...
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1answer
5k views

What did Acton mean by saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton said that "[p]ower tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." What did he mean by this? How might power compel evil or restrict free will?
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2answers
886 views

On non-duality: Is there really such a thing as evil? [closed]

The non-duality philosophy idea seems to be that polarity is an illusion, because in reality everything is connected and whole. Even when things seem separated they are still connected and depend on ...
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6answers
1k views

Can a “blood diamond” ever be redeemed for morally good purposes?

I'm looking at the concept of how bad money (blood diamonds for example) relates to good money, and how a transfer from one to the other would occur. Premise & Example I don't want to ...
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5answers
915 views

Does a moral act have to be necessarily beautiful?

Kant argues in his Third Critique (sec. 59) that moral uprightness and decency brings us pleasure as in a reflective, judgment of taste: Now I say that the beautiful is the symbol of the morally ...
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6answers
731 views

Has anyone formulated a philosophy of moral balance?

That is, if good is done, then evil will be done in proportion to rebalance the moral universe; like wise for evil. I should be clear, that I'm not advocating this as a moral philosophy, or the seed ...
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6answers
3k views

Does philosophy have a dark side?

Can the "love of wisdom" be turned into something bad? Were there evil philosophers in the past? I was recently reading a book about the dark side of psychology, how people use psychological tricks ...
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8answers
15k views

Is it possible to be truly selfless or altruistic?

Is it possible for people to actually be selfless? It seems that in many cases where someone is being kind, they are actually performing in a manner that will benefit them. Either the recipient of the ...