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  1. #1
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    Do you believe in evil?

    The question of evil is a compelling one for me. On the one hand I try to pursue nonduality in day to day life, and some would argue that evil is inherently a dualistic concept. On the other hand, I have been very impressed by Dr. M. Scott Peck's definition of evil which was first articulated in his book "People of the Lie". While it is based somewhat on a judeo christian view of the world, it's quite sophisticated because the definition rests on concepts of narcissism. Wikipedia offers a quick summary:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._Scott_Peck#Evil

    Evil is described by Peck as "militant ignorance". The original Judeo-Christian concept of "sin" is as a process that leads us to "miss the mark" and fall short of perfection.[8] Peck argues that while most people are conscious of this, at least on some level, those that are evil actively and militantly refuse this consciousness. Peck considers those he calls evil to be attempting to escape and hide from their own conscience (through self-deception), and views this as being quite distinct from the apparent absence of conscience evident in sociopathy.[8]

    According to Peck an evil person:[7][8]

    Is consistently self-deceiving, with the intent of avoiding guilt and maintaining a self-image of perfection
    Deceives others as a consequence of their own self-deception
    Projects his or her evils and sins onto very specific targets (scapegoats) while being apparently normal with everyone else ("their insensitivity toward him was selective" (Peck, 1983/1988, p 105[8]))
    Commonly hates with the pretense of love, for the purposes of self-deception as much as deception of others
    Abuses political (emotional) power ("the imposition of one's will upon others by overt or covert coercion" (Peck, 1978/1992, p298[7]))
    Maintains a high level of respectability, and lies incessantly in order to do so
    Is consistent in his or her sins. Evil persons are characterized not so much by the magnitude of their sins, but by their consistency (of destructiveness)
    Is unable to think from the viewpoint of their victim (scapegoat)
    Has a covert intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury

    Most evil people realize the evil deep within themselves but are unable to tolerate the pain of introspection, or admit to themselves that they are evil. Thus, they constantly run away from their evil by putting themselves in a position of moral superiority and putting the focus of evil on others. Evil is an extreme form of what Scott Peck, in The Road Less Traveled, calls a character and personality disorder.[7][8]

    As I reflect on the above in light of current events, many years after I had originally read "People of the Lie", I cannot deny that there are individual(s) known to us all I am sure who behave in exactly the manner described above. Do you consider this to be true evil? Does evil exist in only a few individuals or does it permeate society? What are the implications and impacts of this evil in our society today?
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  2. #2
    His heart was visible, and the dismal sack that maketh excrement of what is eaten. supporting member
    Devil's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as evil. No such thing as good or bad. No such thing as right or wrong. All of those concepts are abstract, arbitrary and subject to the whims of society. They’re meaningless, aside from the consequences to the “evil” person inflicted on them by society as a result of their behavior that society finds unacceptable.

    We’re just animals, doing what animals do. The concept of evil only exists because of made up, magical religious beliefs. Some people refuse or are unable to follow society’s norms. One guy goes and rapes ten girls. Another guy shoots him in the face for it. They’re animals doing animal ****, but nobody is evil.
    Last edited by Devil; 7/11/2019 8:20am at .

  3. #3
    Tranquil Suit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    There is no such thing as evil. No such thing as good or bad. No such thing as right or wrong. All of those concepts are abstract, arbitrary and subject to the whims of society. They’re meaningless, aside from the consequences to the “evil” person inflicted on them by society as a result of their behavior that society finds unacceptable.

    We’re just animals, doing what animals do. The concept of evil only exists because of made up, magical religious beliefs. Some people refuse or are unable to follow society’s norms. One guy goes and rapes ten girls. Another guy shoots him in the face for it. They’re animals doing animal ****, but nobody is evil.
    I consider this a defeatist attitude. It takes away the responsibility of one's actions.
    go to http://www.bullshido.net/forums/prof...do=editoptions > under Thread Display Options > Number of Posts to Show Per Page: 40

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    It's maybe too early in the morning for this deep of a discussion, so bear with me...

    Pretending that good and bad are social constructs is, in itself, a social construct.

  5. #5
    His heart was visible, and the dismal sack that maketh excrement of what is eaten. supporting member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquil Suit View Post
    I consider this a defeatist attitude. It takes away the responsibility of one's actions.
    It’s a realistic attitude. There’s nothing defeatist about it.

    An example.....Muslims. We have to kill them. Why? Because they’ve decided they need to kill us. Does that make them evil? Nope. They’re over there believing some magic that doesn’t agree with the magic we believe in here in the western world. And when I say “we,” I’m including people who aren’t Christian, because like it or not, our belief systems were strongly influenced by Christianity whether we’re Christians or not.

    So I’m not absolving Muslims of their need to be killed. I don’t have a defeatist attitude. I just refuse to use the silly concept of “evil” as the justification.

  6. #6
    His heart was visible, and the dismal sack that maketh excrement of what is eaten. supporting member
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    Quote Originally Posted by submessenger View Post
    It's maybe too early in the morning for this deep of a discussion, so bear with me...

    Pretending that good and bad are social constructs is, in itself, a social construct.
    What do you mean pretending? They’re social constructs, unless you believe in magic. And if you believe in magic, your critical thinking skills are lacking anyway and you can’t add much value to the conversation.

  7. #7
    submessenger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    What do you mean pretending? They’re social constructs, unless you believe in magic. And if you believe in magic, your critical thinking skills are lacking anyway and you can’t add much value to the conversation.
    Time is real. Our notion of time is a social construct.

    Maths and quantities are real. Our names for numbers are a social construct.

    Chemistry and Physics are real. Our names for elements and reactions and forces are social constructs.

    You saying that good and evil do or don't exist does not prove anything other than you have the ability to say that, and thus a social construct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquil Suit View Post
    I consider this a defeatist attitude. It takes away the responsibility of one's actions.
    Consequences happen...
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  9. #9
    His heart was visible, and the dismal sack that maketh excrement of what is eaten. supporting member
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    Quote Originally Posted by submessenger View Post
    Time is real. Our notion of time is a social construct.

    Maths and quantities are real. Our names for numbers are a social construct.

    Chemistry and Physics are real. Our names for elements and reactions and forces are social constructs.

    You saying that good and evil do or don't exist does not prove anything other than you have the ability to say that, and thus a social construct.
    Devising language to discuss objective scientific observations and facts is completely different from assigning language to feelings. Those feelings are not the equivalent of scientific fact.

    If someone says 2+2 = 5, they’re just wrong. They can speak it, but they’re just flat out wrong. If someone says it’s evil to have two wives and another person says it’s not, neither of them are wrong because both claims are based on absolutely nothing other than arbitrary feelings.

  10. #10
    Tranquil Suit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Consequences happen...
    A staring point for defintions of good and evil.
    go to http://www.bullshido.net/forums/prof...do=editoptions > under Thread Display Options > Number of Posts to Show Per Page: 40

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