Questions tagged [good-and-evil]

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23
votes
15answers
11k views

Are there any non-divine objective standards of good/evil?

This question is a step backwards because I've run into trouble with definitions on my original question: What would be the logical consequences of human will/nature being corrupt? Is there any way ...
21
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
18
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6answers
4k 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 ...
15
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9answers
21k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Does the dueling notion of good and evil exist in non-Abrahamic (Eastern) philosophies as it does in the Western tradition?

I am looking for discussions about good and evil in non-Abrahamic philosophies (meaning traditionally Eastern schools of thought, such as those from India and China). The reason being, good and evil ...
11
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2answers
3k views

How does Kant's moral philosophy define “goodness” and evaluate the moral worth?

Philosophy.SE, this is my first time being here, hence please pardon my inexperience of phrasing the question. I was discussing the moral philosophy of Kant vs the moral philosophy of the Christian ...
8
votes
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 ...
8
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
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?
7
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4answers
20k 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 ...
7
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4answers
3k 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? ...
6
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4answers
430 views

Are theological questions also philosophical, and if not what distinguishes those that are not?

There have been several questions here about good and evil and about God/gods, some of which I might more intuitively classify as theological rather than philosophical questions. However, many great ...
6
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6answers
511 views

Can any Christian action truly be morally good?

If someone does a morally good action because they fear God, which is a selfish motive, surely this means it is not a morally selfless action. In the same way, if any morally good action is not ...
5
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3answers
836 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
4
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6answers
538 views

Would an all-powerful God still be all-powerful if they can never do evil?

God is perfectly good, and so never does any evil. God is also all-powerful, so God can do anything that is logically possible. But, it's logically possible for there to be a bad world (a world with ...
4
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5answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
12answers
2k 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 ...
4
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5answers
428 views

Is evil a necessity?

I do acknowledge the fact that differentiating between good and bad is a next to impossible task due to lack of clarity in their definitions and their relative meanings. It just bothers me that the ...
4
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3answers
265 views

What is a non-circular 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 ...
4
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1answer
171 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 ...
4
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4answers
652 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 ...
4
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5answers
1k 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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
votes
6answers
694 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
votes
3answers
207 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 ...
3
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5answers
367 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 ...
3
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1answer
1k 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 ...
3
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4answers
949 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 ...
2
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2answers
391 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 ...
2
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2answers
156 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
693 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 ...
2
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4answers
1k 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 ...
2
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1answer
134 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 ...
2
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1answer
211 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 ...
2
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1answer
189 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? ...
2
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4answers
167 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 ...
2
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0answers
6k views

If Satan punishes bad people, doesn't that make him a good person? [closed]

In Christian theology, the devil is generally thought of as both being evil in himself AND as being the punisher of bad people. But isn't punishing bad people a good thing? And if so, wouldn't that ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Is it ethical to try to convince someone of something without explicitly letting them know what that is?

Is it ethical or virtuous to try to convince someone of something without telling them explicitly what that is? For example, is it ethical to try to convince someone that an art work by Picasso is ...
2
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0answers
58 views

Did Heidegger talk about malice at all?

Did Heidegger talk about malice at all? I agree and find interesting if not useful most of Nietzsche's aphorisms but felt that his analysis of malice was just weak, and obviously so. However, I liked ...
2
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
920 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
957 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 ...
1
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1answer
177 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Has any philosopher claimed that reality is a simulation, and the evil genius wants us to stay alive, in order to explain what seems like a miracle? [closed]

Has any philosopher claimed that reality is a simulation, and the evil genius wants us to stay alive, in order for that philosopher to explain what seems like a miracle? Would anyone ever admit to ...
1
vote
2answers
169 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 ...
1
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1answer
302 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
697 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
2k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
1k 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?