Can anyone be pure evil??

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Arwen-Jade_Kenobi, Aug 30, 2002.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. KaineDamo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
    "If a murderer is considered evil, there is a reason they have killed, wether it was an expereince that may have chnaged them, or it could be the fact that they are mentally Ill."

    Or a matter of "survival".
  2. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    What makes you think newborns are not capable of evil thoughts? We can't know with certainty what babies' psychology is like. All we can do is try to extrapolate from what we know of biology.

    If I had to guess, I would say newborns probably have most of the same primeval urges adults do (since these things seem to be hardwired into the limbic system and occur in all sorts of animals besides humans) and at least some of the same rational powers that let them keep those urges under control (since the cerebrum and other parts of the higher brain are fairly developed at birth). So, if you call primeval urges evil and rational control over them good, babies have a little bit of both.
  3. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Devilanse,

    What I wrote apparently went way over your head.

    Allow me to explain.

    I started by asking how we were defining evil, did I not?
    Yes, I did.

    The significance is fairly certain to have been missed by you as reflected by your comments.

    In a morally relativistic world, there can actually be no such concepts of evil, as what is deemed evil has no absolute standard and is subject to nothing more than ones arbitrary opinion

    Hence, to address evil is to acknowledge an absolute standard, one that can only be supported and justified rationally, philosophically, and logically by a Supreme Being. Care to take up the challenge? Ever heard of Emmanuel Kant? He's a philosopher who tried to logically adduce a materialistically based justifiable moral code devoid of Deity. Kant Kouldn't as I like to say, and I doubt if you can either.




    "You could've saved yourself from having to type all that babble by simply saying...

    "No, I'm right and you're wrong."

    I could have, but I always hated those "because I say so answers," preferring instead rationalization. I respectfully tried to reasonably explain my stance to you.
    Sorry you didn't appreciate that. Next time I'll just say,'Devilanse, you naughty boy, go to your room.' :D

    My view of your response above is that it is pure hyperbole and not at all addressing the philosophical challenges of the argument I presented, to whit, attacking the messenger instead of the message.



    "Because thats all you said in that wordy, winded statement."

    No, there was quite a weighty body presented intrinsic to my comments.

    "Provide proof?"

    Sure...

    'If thou art the Son of God turn these stones to bread.'


    "As soon as you provide proof that god IS perfect."


    I did, I presented the words of Thomas Aquinas paraphrased as evidence.
    But I don't have to prove God is perfect to logically expose the faultiness of your assertion, which I did.



    "Can you, as an imperfect being, even begin to comprehend what god truly is?

    A big fat NO. "


    A BIG FAT YOU'RE WAAAY WRONG, right back to you.;)
    Both through a personal relationship, and through the Holy Bible. You see, God condescended toward us in love in revealing His character both through life and within the Holy Bible, and most expressly and explicitly through the person of Christ Jesus, God Incarnate.


    "Can you, as an imperfect being, righteously tell me what is right, and what god is?

    Again...A big fat NO."

    Again A BIG FAT YOU'RE WAAAAY WRONG. I can tell you because I do rely on the perfection of God, as I do ask His guidance and understanding. The Holy Bible makes good and evil abundantly understandable through very clear definings, portrayels, and examples, which is from the one perfect and trustworthy God, who is infallible in His omnipotence. I rely upon the guidance of that infallibility.


    "Practice what you preach, Darth Brooks."

    I most certainly do, and further I can logically and reasonably give an explanation for my belief in God and His absolute principles, something you cannot do because you really haven't formed a clear idea of what you believe in, if anything except your personal satisfaction. That's no insult, but a true statement, which you will realize if you do some indepth personal introspection.


    "I respect anyone's choice to follow a particualr religion..."

    Well, that's A big fat lie, isn't it? (Sorry, had to say that. :) )
    The reason I wrote the response is because you made a somewhat disrespectful comment, intended to bait the religiously minded.

    Got the guts and integrity to admit it?



    "What I don't respect is someone telling me that since they call themselves Christians or Catholics, or whatever that they are experts and can say for sure what their god truly is."

    I didn't ask for your respect, but if you allow, and you have honor and integrity, it shouldn't take me long to earn it.

    Well, comparatively, I am an expert.
    I have met the Lord, and you obviously have not. That gives me a qualification you do not possess,
  4. Annoying_Gungan Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Someone on this thread thought that Hitler was probably nice to his dog. If you considering poisoning your dog and studying it as it rolls around in pain and dies to be kind, then sure, he was
  5. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    These threads have more mentions of Hitler than the History Channel! Why does he always have to be the example? How's about using someone like Vlad the Impaler? This guy is the definition of evil!











    Of course, it is just possible that he and Hitler weren't held enough as children. [face_devil]
  6. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think I've finally put my finger on what bothers me most about this thread: it doesn't seem that anyone here has defined evil yet. Is evil something you yourself judge to be bad, or is it something the majority of society does judges to be bad? I don't think individuals generally do things that are distasteful to them, so I'm not sure anyone would call themselves evil. It's just a question of some individuals deviating from societal norms and being amoral.
  7. Valiowk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
    In this context, I'm going to interpret the pure evil in the sense of thoughts, i.e. not just evil action, but even the thoughts must be evil to warrant being called completely evil.

    This is why I don't believe that anybody can be pure evil, because somewhere within them, I believe that they know what is the correct action to be taken and they know that it should be taken. They are aware of it, and I would think that it weighs on their conscience. Thus, I don't think that it's possible to be completely evil because of the knowledge of good.

    I guess, similarly, you could argue that nobody is pure good either because they could be tempted to do evil deeds, even if they never carry them out eventually. But I guess in life, we judge people more by their actions than by their thoughts, and maybe that's why we fail to see that nobody is purely evil.
  8. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    "I think I've finally put my finger on what bothers me most about this thread: it doesn't seem that anyone here has defined evil yet."

    Uh-huh, yep. I already said the samething.



    "Is evil something you yourself judge to be bad, or is it something the majority of society does judges to be bad?"

    Not too circumspect here. C'mon, you know that can't explain "evil"[eerie music plays].
    "Evil" wouldn't be "evil" if that's the case; it's just a normative subjective appraisel that has had any legitimate meaning sucked right out of the marrow of the definition.


    " I don't think individuals generally do things that are distasteful to them, so I'm not sure anyone would call themselves evil. It's just a question of some individuals deviating from societal norms and being amoral."


    That's morally relativistic hogwash.

    Are you really so presumptious as to believe that only now, at this juncture in history are individuals finally astute enough to come to such a subjective approach to life?
    If so, you're not reading enough history.




    To no one in particular;

    Aside comment: One of the Hallmarks, or actually low water marks, of the last 40 or so years is this social trend to think, or accept, it's hip and chic to be a pseudo-intellectual philosophical idiot, i.e., deny God's existence.

    A few fun thoughts:

    You can't deny God without acknowledging God.

    Without God the atheists are out of business, passe.

    If there were no God, atheists have been wasting all their time.

    In fact, without 'theos' there is no 'atheist.'

    One cannot deny God without falling into contridiction.

    "Every existing thing that has need of some other manifestly proves by it's very existence God exists."
  9. KaineDamo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
    Darth_Brooks, your very arrogant, and i would thank the mods for telling you off for being so.

    I'll try to define evil, or more specifically pure evil. Someone who is pure evil, in my opinion, would be someone who commits wrong acts, such as murder, rape, stealing, etc. And that person would have absolutely no guilt whatsover anywhere in their mind about doing those things. A person of pure evil would also take delight in bringing suffering to others, and would purposely go out of his way to never do good acts or deeds. There would be nothing anyone can do or say to change this person, or even effect his conciense over his evil ways. No matter who the parents are of this person, or the environment in which they were brought up someone who is purely evil would have to have been destined to be that way. With this definition, i would say it is impossible for someone to be pure evil.
  10. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    No Damo,

    I'm not arrogant at all, I'm trying to be just provocative enough to engage enough emotion and intellect in others for them to take as a challenge my assertions so that they will be contemplated.


    Ethics and morality are at the core of the individual and thus the soul of the corporate whole, of contemporary society and culture and spirituality, but unfortunately, many others are arrogant enough to not recognize the actual need for some very vital observations of facts and truths history provides for us, and for serious introspection. And if people don't start waking to history, there are dangerous times ahead in world equipped with nuclear and biological arsenals, and thw wrong philosophical understanding is precisely what will allow the use of weapons of mass destruction.

    I am not arrogant, but at times come across as blunt and tactless. At heart I am humble.


    Your description of characteristics of evil are adequate, but what is underlying is the approach to determing how we arrive at what is evil. If we don't understand this, we will be faced with a population of sociopaths, and increasingly more "evil" people. In America there is basically a crisis in education faced by teachers today, a moral crisis within the student body that is attributed to escalating crime rates and violence, and the educators don't seem to know why. That crisis is due to relativism, a force eroding and destroying the moral foundation and once sturdy character of the people.



    Allow me to use your statements;

    "I'll try to define evil, or more specifically pure evil. Someone who is pure evil, in my opinion, would be someone who commits wrong acts,"

    How do you determine what is a "wrong" act?



    "... such as murder, rape, stealing, etc."

    Why are those acts wrong, and who determined they are wrong?




    " And that person would have absolutely no guilt whatsover anywhere in their mind about doing those things."

    Why wouldn't they experience guilt for following their hearts desires?



    " A person of pure evil would also take delight in bringing suffering to others,..."

    Can delight experienced by an individual be wrong? Are you suggesting that pleasure is not it's own reward and 'beauty in the eye of the beholder?'


    " and would purposely go out of his way to never do good acts or deeds."

    But if he felt the deed was good for him, why is it wrong?

    Or, wouldn't a "perfectly evil" person commit "good acts" out of pleasure derived for purely selfish motives?

    Wouldn't the worst kind of evil wrap itself up in a pretty package to further goals?




    "There would be nothing anyone can do or say to change this person, or even effect his conciense over his evil ways."

    You haven't explained how to determine evil, so, if this person doesn't understand, then what is evil to you might not be evil to him.

    Is a cannibal wrong for following out his tribal customary tradition of roasting and eating those outside his tribe?

    Because it seems obviously wrong to you, is it still wrong to him?


    " No matter who the parents are of this person, or the environment in which they were brought up someone who is purely evil would have to have been destined to be that way."

    Why destined? How would they have been destined?


    "With this definition, i would say it is impossible for someone to be pure evil."

    Please explain what you meant in this last sentence.



    Understand, I'm not trying to wear you out with numerous questions, and I'm truly very interested in your responses. We have to decide why we have a definition of "evil", of moral and ethical standards, how we arrive at them, and who is capable of rendering them.

  11. KaineDamo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
    "I'll try to define evil, or more specifically pure evil. Someone who is pure evil, in my opinion, would be someone who commits wrong acts,"

    "How do you determine what is a "wrong" act?"

    Personally, i consider a "wrong" act something that is done purposfully that hurts someone in some way. Murder hurts people, rape hurts people, stealing hurts people, therefore they are wrong.

    "... such as murder, rape, stealing, etc."

    "Why are those acts wrong, and who determined they are wrong?"

    See above. Those acts hurt other people.

    " And that person would have absolutely no guilt whatsover anywhere in their mind about doing those things."

    "Why wouldn't they experience guilt for following their hearts desires?"

    Because that person must realise it is wrong to commit acts that hurt other people just to fulfil his selfish desires.

    " A person of pure evil would also take delight in bringing suffering to others,..."

    "Can delight experienced by an individual be wrong? Are you suggesting that pleasure is not it's own reward and 'beauty in the eye of the beholder?'"

    What i suggest is that delight experienced out of the pain of others is selfish. A person who knowingly commits acts that harm people simply because it brings him pleasure is on a path of evil.

    " and would purposely go out of his way to never do good acts or deeds."

    "But if he felt the deed was good for him, why is it wrong?"

    Is it just me, or am i answering the same questions over and over?

    "Or, wouldn't a "perfectly evil" person commit "good acts" out of pleasure derived for purely selfish motives?

    Wouldn't the worst kind of evil wrap itself up in a pretty package to further goals?"

    I suppose someone who is purely evil would commit good acts in order to decieve, and to raise himself up into a higher position to commit potentially more harmful and evil crimes.

    "There would be nothing anyone can do or say to change this person, or even effect his conciense over his evil ways."

    "You haven't explained how to determine evil, so, if this person doesn't understand, then what is evil to you might not be evil to him."

    Well, i've explained now. And if the person didn't understand that the acts they commit are wrong, then they aren't pure evil, are they? They are simply mentally ill.

    "Is a cannibal wrong for following out his tribal customary tradition of roasting and eating those outside his tribe?

    Because it seems obviously wrong to you, is it still wrong to him?"

    Like i said before, someone who is purely evil would turn out that way no matter what his background. Obviously, this fictional tribal person you speak of commits cannibolous acts because thats what he was raised to believe was right.

    " No matter who the parents are of this person, or the environment in which they were brought up someone who is purely evil would have to have been destined to be that way."

    "Why destined? How would they have been destined?"

    Maybe destined is the wrong word. A purely evil person would turn out evil no matter what his background and upbringing, that is what i meant.

    "With this definition, i would say it is impossible for someone to be pure evil."

    "Please explain what you meant in this last sentence."

    What i meant is what i said. I believe it is impossible for someone to be pure evil, according to my definition of pure evil. No one could commit such acts, knowing full well the effects of what he is doing and understanding they are wrong, without feeling some form of remorse or guilt over the things he's done.
  12. Darth Dradus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2000
    star 3
    Trancend the the duality
  13. Appan_Parsu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 2
    All these long winded explanations to say absoluty nothing, there is no definition of evil.

    1 man's evil is anothers good!

    4 example Captain Cook, was a hero in England when finding Australia, but native Aborigines saw him as the devil etc!!
  14. BroodMcEto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2002
    star 4
    I'll try, if that helps. (referring to topic)
  15. Southernjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 4
    Can anyone be pure evil?
    Answer=Yes!

    Let's see....There's Osama bin Laden, Hitler, Lennon, Stalin, Pol Pot....

    "People" such as these are pure evil. For no one with a trace of humanity can do what they have done. No one can truly justify mass murder, not for any reason, not for any supposed greivance. Anyone who does IS evil. Anyone who follows along is either evil or deluded.

    There are others who are/were totally evil, but not as 'accomplished' on such a vast scale. Jeffrey Dahmer, Timothy McVeigh.

    There is evil in this world. The devil does exist, for the Bible says this.
  16. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    Darth_Brooks, I've read your "refutation" of my post three times now and I still can't figure out what you're refuting and what exactly your main point is, except to use the word "hogwash" a bit. Can you lay it out a bit more simply for me, please?
  17. WormieSaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    I'm sure pure evil exists. If not here on Earth, then certainly in hell.
  18. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Dark Lady Mara,

    It really wasn't a refutation, for the most part, which bears a chance of explaining why you can't figure it out :D . Don't be mystified. Think of part of my comment as supplemental.

    It was definitely an echo of your own sentiment, which was somewhat of an echo of my own, in saying that thus far no ones rendered a tenable definition of "evil," much less a reasonably supportable definition.


    My remark under the "Is evil something you yourself judge to be bad,..." was somewhat of a bump and a nudge for you to take it a little further, a little expansively. Take the plunge.



    Hogwash with or without soap;

    "I don't think individuals generally do things that are distasteful to them, so I'm not sure anyone would call themselves evil."

    Right. That's called moral relativism. Under this there is no true or essential valid concepts of "good" or "evil," just fundamentally irrelevent conventions. Both are relegated to the trash heap of social myths. If "good" and "evil" are nothing but individual interpretation, then both are amorphous, intrinsically valueless and arbitrary terms. There becomes only the illusion of an ethical standard universally, devoid of actual authoritative gravitas. If ethics aren't universal, above mere personal whim, then they are at core a superfluous etiquette, impositioned in the final analysis. Once someone understands this 'principal,' and if one intellectually gives consent, agrees, then there are no arguably legitimate constraints on an individuals behavior, only impositions against the will to self actualization. Therefore it might be extrapolated that one should never feel remorse or guilt regardless of one's actions except only at the point of misjudgments where those actions resulted in unwanted repercussions, hindering the further agenda to self actualization of the 'culprit.'

    That's a summation of the dilemma of moral relativism.

    We see a reflection of precisely such scenario's repetitiously played out in unrepentitent, remorseless tenants within the penal system, who are only 'sorry' they were caught.

    Man believes man is innately good, but the facts of moral relativism ultimately disagree philosophically at core, proffering rather that human beings are in actuality amoral, as "good" and "evil" are only abstract social constructs of popular convention.

    If one believes in "good" and "evil" then moral relativism would certainly fall onto the side of the fence of "evil." Amorality is a word that seems to camouflage immorality under pretense.


    And ultimately there is an important distinction that must be addressed in this issue between agreeing with rules and making those rules which either justify or abrogate the imposition of those rules. Because rules/laws/ethics/morality are expressly imposed. But are those impositions justifiable?


    "It's just a question of some individuals deviating from societal norms and being amoral."

    "Amoral" is the term you chose, eschewing "evil" for something more palatable amongst the lexicon of the politically correct. Amoral seems to be a conveniently gray area, and how can any one be punished for staying in the gray? They couldn't be "evil" could they? So, how do we justify punitive measures? How does the word "justify" even have legitimate value?

    What you didn't explain or justify was your contextual choice of the word "deviating," which is significant, and ripe with all kinds of implied meaning.

    From one point, the person is 'deviating' from "societal norms," which doesn't at all suggest he's deviating from natural human behavior. The deviant is only bucking the imposition of unnatural laws hindering his/her own impulses and urges, which sets up a bit of an abstract conundrum doesn't it?



    This also asks a question, somewhat beggingly, how do human beings, who are innately amoral arrive at a moral code with which to subject themselves? This goes against the nature of human being
  19. Obi Wan Bergkamp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 1998
    star 3
    Let's see....There's Osama bin Laden, Hitler, Lennon, Stalin, Pol Pot....

    Osama Bin Laden - his companies have bben involved in doing building and roadworks with a large group of charities that were helping the poor and needy among the Afghan people.

    Hitler - gave an economy and pride to a people devastated by World war One. Plus he invented the Motorway (Freeway)

    Lennon - Wrote some excellent songs with McCartney ;)

    Stalin - refused to cooperate with Hitler during World war II - which lead to the opening of the second front, the turning point in the war which ultimately lead to Germany's defeat

    Pol Pot - was earlier in his life a teacher.

    Noone can be described as pure evil. Even these usavoury characters have done things that can be described as 'good'.
  20. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    Suprisingly, no one has started in with the Dr. Evil jokes. :)

  21. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Think about yourselves... ask yourselves if everything you do is evil, or if everything you do is good.

    There are no absolutes in this world... but there will always be people trying to convince us, for their own selfish ends, that absolutes are something we should subscribe to.

    Why? Because it's easier to win someone's allegiance if you can convince them that there's only one "right" choice... and then, ever so conveniently everyone who polarizes the world in such a way also happens to claim that it's their way that's right, and everyone else who is wrong. How convenient.

    Sales 101: Have you ever seen someone paint the world as "good" vs. "evil" and then subsequently claim they're on the wrong side?
  22. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    What makes you think newborns are not capable of evil thoughts? We can't know with certainty what babies' psychology is like. All we can do is try to extrapolate from what we know of biology.

    I dunno, all newborns seem to care about is crying, sleeping, being held, being fed, and being changed. I don't think they'd be capable of having and understanding any sort of complicated thoughts. Not to mention there's no way a baby could be physically capable of committing any sort of evil act.....
  23. Tukafo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 4
    Let me try and put a different view forward.

    There's a theory that states that all crime can be traced to one of five Human needs. Let me explain

    Level 1 - the most basic level of need for a Human is the need to eat. If you starve then no further need is important to you. Somebody who starves might think that if he only had enough to eat he would be totally happy

    Level 2 - if you have enough to eat a second level of need arises, which is basically the need for shelter, for security. It's the need to have somewhere to live and have a place to sleep

    Level 3 - Once you achieve the first two levels of need you will lust for the thrid level which is love and/or sex. Your desire now is to be loved and to have sex with somebody

    Level 4 - somebody who's fulfilled in the first three levels of need will develop a fourth level and therefore a new target - recognition and reputation. While on a lower level you might not have cared how to get your bread, on this level it now becomes important how you earn your living. You want reward and recognition in your job. You want a better car than your neighbour etc.

    Level 5 - the last level of need once again sets in once the previous needs have been fulfilled. This level is creativity. Once you have food, security, love and recognition you will then enter the quest for self-fulfillment. Whether you want to study a foreign language, write a novel or simply collect stamps doesn't matter.

    Those are the five levels of need.

    The theory is that every crime or evil deed you can commit will be out of one or more of those five needs if those needs are taken to the extreme.

    Level 1 - might result in stealing bread or you might kill somebody to get something to eat.

    Level 2 - you steal money to buy things or similar crimes

    Level 3 - might result in passion killings, crimes out of jealousy and includes rape and sexual killings

    Level 4 - Many serial killers commit their acts in order to become famous or it could simply be a case of stealing a car you can't afford.

    Level 5 - Crimes out of creativity, like the famous case of the Zodiac killer. A popular subject for movies (Seven)

    I consider this theory to be very interesting and profound because it would explain several issues

    - it explains why certain crimes are only committed in a rich industrialised environment. Is there crime of passion among the starving people of Somalia? No, because they are only on the first level of need and therefore wouldn't commit crimes for the other levels.
    - it also means that babies can't be evil as they don't have any of those needs apart from need 1.
  24. Lordban Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2000
    star 5
    A bit of data for people who think there can be people who are purely evil. Let's take a look at Hitler since he's quoted so often. Here we have a man who loved his mistress, regretting he could not marry her for political reasons (he set himself to appear as one who was devoted to his country, which by the way is not so evil of itself, and only married her the day he killed himself - or the day he left power, but let's not enter this debate).
  25. Devilanse Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2002
    star 5
    The Bible was written by a MAN, Darth Brooks..

    a MAN....

    Wake up and smell the mind control.

    Organized religion is madness.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.