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Thread: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

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    Default Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    "If somebody has no concept of what they are doing being evil, is it still an evil act."

    I found this question in a discussion on MAP, and it got me thinking.

    What really is Evil?

    Take for example the Mayan priest, killing sacrifices as part of their religion, or the ancient Spartan practices of removing the imperfect from their society. Today, we consider both to be evil acts, but at the time, neither society saw anything wrong. Animal sacrifice was a big part of the Christian bible's old testament, and a part of the Hebrew faith. But, set up an altar and kill a goat today, and the SPCA will show up with the sheriff.

    So, what makes something truly, "evil".
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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    The psychiatrist in the movie "Nuremberg" said it very well. Evil is the lack of "Empathy". I think that is very true.

    I am Most Respectfully,
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by sifuroy View Post
    The psychiatrist in the movie "Nuremberg" said it very well. Evil is the lack of "Empathy". I think that is very true.

    I am Most Respectfully,
    Sifuroy
    I'd have to agree. Newsweek did an excellent spread on "The Nature of Evil" a couple of years ago. It covered a lot of ground on different fronts, but what I remember most was a section on serial killers and how they shared certain traits and backgrounds that contributed to their behavior.

    The one that stuck with me was the fact that basically all of them had started as children torturing insects, gradually moving up to small animals, and finally their fellow man. They became desensatized to the suffering of others as well as suffering other emotional trauma. This lead to them commiting haneous acts in order to "feel" anything at all.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard View Post
    "If somebody has no concept of what they are doing being evil, is it still an evil act.".
    No it's NOT.

    I've got a client in 2 minutes, so I'll explain more later.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    I believe Evil requires intent.

    And I agree that the lack of empathy certainly makes it worse, but if you have no evil intent, it's not evil.

    There are other words that might more appropriately apply.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by sifuroy View Post
    The psychiatrist in the movie "Nuremberg" said it very well. Evil is the lack of "Empathy". I think that is very true.
    Sifuroy
    Well,

    Lack of empathy could also be described at dissociated.

    Dissociated does have many good uses, especially in medical doctors in a trauma ward.

    You certainly don't what they to have empathy, and to get emotionally involved during a triage.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard View Post
    "If somebody has no concept of what they are doing being evil, is it still an evil act."
    =John M. La Tourrette; No it's NOT.
    Yes, it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    I believe Evil requires intent.
    No, it doesn't.

    Some things are just evil. Whether or not they know it, or intend it that way, is irrelevant.

    Biblically they are not responsible if they didn't know or didn't intend it. Fine. If it's really evil, like murder, execute the evil jerk and let god figure it out.

    Whaty is evil? Any action that is destructive to society or an individual.

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default The EVIL Bastaxd John M. La Tourrette

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Some things are just evil. Whether or not they know it, or intend it that way, is irrelevant.

    Biblically they are not responsible if they didn't know or didn't intend it. Fine. If it's really evil, like murder, execute the evil jerk and let god figure it out.

    Whaty is evil? Any action that is destructive to society or an individual.

    Dan C
    OH.

    Then Bush must be evil.

    Then sugar must be evil.

    God must be evil.

    Then sucrose must be evil.

    Then water must be evil.

    Oh my gosh.

    Then EVERYTHING is evil.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Before, I just did NOT know what to fear. Now I can fear anything and everything.

    Dr. John (EVIL) La Tourrette
    Since I do Kenpo Karate, and I teach self-responsibility I then am evil for the good of the state. Since I teach that hitting others in certain situations is good than I am evil as per the opinion of that person that gets hit.

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    Default Re: The EVIL Bastaxd John M. La Tourrette

    Then Bush must be evil. Yes, but not as evil as Bill.

    Then sugar must be evil. OK, what action did sugar take?

    God must be evil. Yes.

    Then sucrose must be evil. See sugar.

    Then water must be evil. See sugar.

    Then EVERYTHING is evil. You're being paranoid. Or a wise guy.

    Thank you for sharing. Before, I just did NOT know what to fear. Now I can fear anything and everything. Ah, it's no. 2.

    Since I do Kenpo Karate, and I teach self-responsibility I then am evil for the good of the state. Since I teach that hitting others in certain situations is good than I am evil as per the opinion of that person that gets hit. You do like to set up the other guys argument as an extreme.

    Dan (straw man) C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Doc John,

    I wasn't thinking in terms of medical attention when I said "Lack of Empathy is probably Evil." Even a doctor should have some empathy,however not enough to cloud his judgement on medical care. That is not evil.

    The statement was "i believe i have found the meaning of evil,it is lack of Empathy.

    That statement was after the Nuremberg war crimes trials
    showing the treatment of prisoners at the concentration camps in Germany.
    It appeared that the Nazis had no empathy for those they tortured and killed. In this case doing these things without feelings for these people was certainly evil. Doc John, there are many forms of Evil. I am sure you could explain it better than I.


    I still am Most Respectfully, and hopefully your friend,
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by sifuroy View Post
    Doc John,

    I wasn't thinking in terms of medical attention when I said "Lack of Empathy is probably Evil." Even a doctor should have some empathy,however not enough to cloud his judgement on medical care. That is not evil.

    The statement was "i believe i have found the meaning of evil,it is lack of Empathy.

    That statement was after the Nuremberg war crimes trials
    showing the treatment of prisoners at the concentration camps in Germany.
    It appeared that the Nazis had no empathy for those they tortured and killed. In this case doing these things without feelings for these people was certainly evil. Doc John, there are many forms of Evil. I am sure you could explain it better than I.


    I still am Most Respectfully, and hopefully your friend,
    Sifuroy
    There were Germans that "knew" or "felt" what was being done was wrong and risked great personal injury to help who they could.

    "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing."

    A lot of doctors have empathy, or they wouldn't chose that profession. Contrary to popular belief, most of them don't make a ton of cash, especially with the cost of liability insurance these days!

    Knowingly doing something harmful to another human being without just cause is evil. "Just cause" being the preservation of yours or anothers life when in jeapordy for instance.

    Sugar is not sentient, and actually is not completelty bad for you. Carb's are sugar and we need them for our bodies to function. Perhaps excess is evil in that regard, but then doing something in excess is a personal decision made by a sentient being. Sugar doesn't rise up and force it's way down your throat. LOL
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    There were Germans that "knew" or "felt" what was being done was wrong and risked great personal injury to help who they could.
    Well,

    If they'd won that war, what they did would NOT be evil, would it?

    So is winning a form of "good" or "evil"?

    We won, so they are "evil".

    That makes perfect sense.

    Especially since "history" always matches the "winner's" version.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by sifuroy View Post
    Doc John,
    Quote Originally Posted by sifuroy View Post
    I wasn't thinking in terms of medical attention when I said "Lack of Empathy is probably Evil." Even a doctor should have some empathy, however not enough to cloud his judgment on medical care. That is not evil.
    The statement was "I believe I have found the meaning of evil, it is lack of Empathy.
    That statement was after the Nuremberg war crimes trials
    showing the treatment of prisoners at the concentration camps in Germany.
    It appeared that the Nazis had no empathy for those they tortured and killed. In this case doing these things without feelings for these people was certainly evil. Doc John, there are many forms of Evil. I am sure you could explain it better than I.
    I still am Most Respectfully, and hopefully your friend,
    Sifuroy


    Well,

    Of course Sifuroy you are my friend. Now let us define some terms.

    Empathy means "the projection of one's own personality into the personality of another in order to understand him better, and the intellectual identification of oneself with another.”

    Evil means “morally bad or wrong; wicked; depraved. 2. Causing pain or trouble; harmful; injurious. 3. Threatening or bring misfortune; unlucky; disastrous; unfortunate: as, an evil hour. 4. Resulting from or based on conduct regarded as immoral: as, an evil reputation. N. 1. Anything morally bad or wrong; wickedness; depravity; sin. 2. Anything that causes harm, pain, misery, disaster, etc. Syn bad.

    So I guess anyone can call anything evil if they so choose because all the above definitions are very subjective and are dependant upon what society, mom and pop, the church, and what your Kenpo Karate taught you is evil.

    Now the original topic was about Kenpo Karate, and the uses of it which are evil or not evil.

    And NOT about what happened in WWII in the Nazi Death Camps.

    And even that was political orders carried out mostly by loyal soldiers who were following orders. If you didn’t follow orders during war-time, you were killed. Which does put people instantly into the selfish point of “I do want to live”.

    We used to raise chickens and rabbits for food. My parents did that. And my wife and I did that. At least for the first 10 years of our 36 years together.

    When I was a kid, I’d hold the chicken by the feet, and it’s head laid sideways on the chopping block. “WHACK!”

    We had fried chicken. I’ll bet the chicken thought we were evil. Boy did it taste good.

    The same with rabbit. I’ll bet the rabbit thought we were evil. Boy did it taste good.

    This is fun is it not?

    ©Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Dr. John I was only originally Quoting from the Movie. I think the Psychiatrist Was using the term Empathy as feeliing for others. I could be wrong. You have admitted to doing away with Rabbits and Chickens. Did you feel sorry for them? I too have have done this. In the old days you didn't just go into the restaurant and order Chicken or Rabbit. I have to confess I never thought much about it. I was Evil,I guess. I guess we were both Evil. Anyway we confined our evil ways to mostly Chickens and Rabbits and the world survived our wicked ways. Enough about Evil from me. You have me out classed in the word department. I give up.

    I am most Respectfully your friend,
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Many of the examples I've seen are of things I would classify as 'wrong'.

    At what point does it cross the line between 'wrong' and 'evil'?

    I think killing someone is likely wrong. Not always though.

    I think evil is more of a vibration, which relates somewhat to intent as well.

    I'm probably in the minority, but I believe in energy and to me, evil vibrates at black. I felt it once. I saw a young man in a casino walking with a bunch of his friends. I got a shudder up my spine like I've never had and I instinctively gave that kid a very wide birth. He vibrated at black and I hope to never cross his path again.

    So to me, I guess evil is more of a feeling and a vibration than a specific act.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Well,

    If they'd won that war, what they did would NOT be evil, would it?

    So is winning a form of "good" or "evil"?

    We won, so they are "evil".

    That makes perfect sense.

    Especially since "history" always matches the "winner's" version.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    Even if they had won, what they did to all those Jews would still be considered evil, IMHO.

    I see your point though. I regards to our revolution for independence from the British, if we had lost Washington would have hung as a traitor. Some surely thought that disloyalty to the crown, regardless of reason, was surely a bad thing.

    What one considers "evil" is based largely on one's upbringing and affected by factors such as religion, laws, and accepted social values. To some, genocide is perfectly acceptable, but from my point of view it's not due in part to the way I was raised.

    Though some behaviors could be disputed, I do believe there are some that are down right "evil" regardless of social or familial influence. Even a small child will "feel" badly the first time it harms a living thing. Why is that?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Newsweek did an excellent spread on "The Nature of Evil" a couple of years ago. It covered a lot of ground on different fronts, but what I remember most was a section on serial killers and how they shared certain traits and backgrounds that contributed to their behavior.

    The one that stuck with me was the fact that basically all of them had started as children torturing insects, gradually moving up to small animals, and finally their fellow man. They became desensatized to the suffering of others as well as suffering other emotional trauma. This lead to them commiting haneous acts in order to "feel" anything at all.
    Notice that what you just said is about "certain" behaviours of "curosity", and is NOT of "evil".

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by sifuroy View Post
    Dr. John I was only originally Quoting from the Movie. I think the Psychiatrist Was using the term Empathy as feeliing for others. I could be wrong. You have admitted to doing away with Rabbits and Chickens. Did you feel sorry for them? I too have have done this. In the old days you didn't just go into the restaurant and order Chicken or Rabbit. I have to confess I never thought much about it. I was Evil,I guess. I guess we were both Evil. Anyway we confined our evil ways to mostly Chickens and Rabbits and the world survived our wicked ways. Sifuroy
    That's exactly my point, "evil" is just a subjective word to explain a feeling we get when X happens.

    It is mostly a "learned behavior".

    So what is evil to one person, is good to another person.

    Mostly based upon envirnomental conditioning as they were in their formative years.

    For example "we are known by the company we keep" is based upon that same law of conditioning.

    My entire discussion has been about that "unconscious conditioning", and until we can think BEYOND OUR CONDITIONING, we cannot use Kenpo Karate properly.

    It will be totally hindered by how we were conditioned when we were growing up.

    Both you and I are about the same age. We had similar conditions for the early years, and then then we probably diverged.

    This is fun.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    Ps. on the topic of what is okay to eat and not okay to eat morality,that might be a good topic.

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    Default Re: The EVIL Bastaxd John M. La Tourrette

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    1. Then Bush must be evil. Yes, but not as evil as Bill.

    2. Then sugar must be evil. OK, what action did sugar take?

    3. God must be evil. Yes.

    4. Then sucrose must be evil. See sugar.

    5. Then water must be evil. See sugar.

    6. Then EVERYTHING is evil. You're being paranoid. Or a wise guy.

    7. Thank you for sharing. Before, I just did NOT know what to fear. Now I can fear anything and everything. Ah, it's no. 2.

    8. Since I do Kenpo Karate, and I teach self-responsibility I then am evil for the good of the state. Since I teach that hitting others in certain situations is good than I am evil as per the opinion of that person that gets hit. You do like to set up the other guys argument as an extreme.

    Dan (straw man) C
    1. Well, Bill didn't think Monica was evil.

    2. It was there, putting inself infront of mankind so we would become gluttinous.

    3. Only if you are narrow minded.

    4. No, ask the natural food addicts.

    5. Yes, My POINT EXACTLY. Everything CAN BE reframed as evil, by those that are so narrow minded as to make judgements without proper research. Conversely, EVERYTHING can be reframed as God's Will by those programmed in that paradigm.

    6. Well, depends on what you think of Omoto, fluroid, chorine, well water, blab, blab, blab.

    7. That's right FEAR EVERYTHING, even to the fear of living a good life, because if you live a good life than you must have eaten of the forbidden apple of wisdom.

    8. That was a perfect example of a mismatching profile. Now, what could be the reasons for carring on a philosophical discuss if we all agree with each other? You are right. Oh, you are so cool. Oh gosh, I agree with you.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Philosophy: What is "Evil" anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    Many of the examples I've seen are of things I would classify as 'wrong'.

    At what point does it cross the line between 'wrong' and 'evil'?

    I think killing someone is likely wrong. Not always though.

    I think evil is more of a vibration, which relates somewhat to intent as well.

    I'm probably in the minority, but I believe in energy and to me, evil vibrates at black. I felt it once. I saw a young man in a casino walking with a bunch of his friends. I got a shudder up my spine like I've never had and I instinctively gave that kid a very wide birth. He vibrated at black and I hope to never cross his path again.

    So to me, I guess evil is more of a feeling and a vibration than a specific act.

    --Amy
    Welcome to the real land of "wacko".

    And you made my point exactly.;-)

    Sincerely,
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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