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January 12, 2013
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Do good and bad exist?

:iconpez263:
Pez263 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do they? We are told what is and isnt, weather it be our parents, institutions, or even the Disney movies we watched as a kid, but what would good and bad be if we had only nature? Would they exist at all, or would everything just simply be? We live our lives then die, regardless of what we do time continues to go forward and existence to some degree continues to exist, so does it truly matter what good and bad are to us. I feel like I'm just rambling on, but what are your thoughts on this?
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:iconseth2012chaos:
seth2012chaos Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
They do, but they differ depending on variants.
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:iconstoneman123:
stoneman123 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Good" and "evil" are subjective terms, and thus, not particularly useful ones, in my opinion. That is, of course, assuming you meant "good" and "bad" on a moral axis.

I have to agree with dear old Democritus on this one, "All that exists are atoms and empty space. Everything else is just opinion." Out of ignorance, he failed to include "energy" in that model, but the sentiment is nevertheless quite accurate.
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:iconmaryyana:
MaryYana Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013   Traditional Artist
Good and bad are words that are tied to opinions. They exist, but their complete definition varies. In many cases, most people can agree on what is good and what is bad on a general level. For example, most people would say that death is a bad thing, on a general level. Then you get down to the details and people immediately disagree. For example, some are going to say that death itself is bad, but since they believe in heaven, they believe it leads to something good. Some are going to say that dying for your country is a good thing. The list goes on.

On a general level, good and bad does not matter. People die, species die, stuff changes for the better, stuff changes for the worse and the universe couldn't care less. On a human level, good and bad matters greatly. Since we are a species with a survival instinct, we will all continue to care about good and bad, as we see bad as a threat to the survival of our genes.
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
yes good and bad do exist. If you think otherwise you are retarded. Good and bad exist just as mathematics exists, so saying murder is wrong is the same as saying a triangle has three sides.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
It would depend on your definition of 'murder'.
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
killing the innocent.
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:icongreatest-i-am:
Greatest-I-am Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
Christians are always trying to absolve God of moral culpability in the fall by whipping out their favorite "free will!", or “ it’s all man’s fault”.

That is "God gave us free will and it was our free willed choices that caused our fall. Hence God is not blameworthy."

But this simply avoids God's culpability as the author of Human Nature. Free will is only the ability to choose. It is not an explanation why anyone would want to choose "A" or "B" (bad or good action). An explanation for why Eve would even have the nature of "being vulnerable to being easily swayed by a serpent" and "desiring to eat a forbidden fruit" must lie in the nature God gave Eve in the first place. Hence God is culpable for deliberately making humans with a nature-inclined-to-fall, and "free will" means nothing as a response to this problem.

If all sin by nature then, the sin nature is dominant. If not, we would have at least some who would not sin.


Having said the above for the God that I do not believe in, I am a Gnostic Christian naturalist, let me tell you that evil is all human generated. Evil is our responsibility.

Much has been written to explain what I see as a natural part of evolution.

Consider.
First, let us eliminate what some see as evil. Natural disasters. These are unthinking occurrences and are neither good nor evil. There is no intent to do evil even as victims are created.

Evil then is only human to human.
As evolving creatures, all we ever do, and ever can do, is compete or cooperate.
Cooperation we would see as good as there are no victims created. Competition would be seen as evil as it creates a victim. We all are either cooperating, doing good, or competing, doing evil at all times.

Without us doing some of both, we would likely go extinct.

This, to me, explains why there is evil in the world quite well.

Be you a believer in nature, evolution or God, we should all see that what Christians see as something to blame, evil, we should see that what we have, competition, deserves a huge thanks for being available to us.

There is no conflict between nature and God on this issue. This is how things are and should be. We all must do what some will think is evil as we compete and create losers to this competition.

Regards
DL
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:iconcatapultedcarcass:
CatapultedCarcass Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Put it this way, there was no good or bad before life arose, only chemical reaction and physcial mechanisms.
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:iconmatthewmatters:
MatthewMatters Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
Only subjectively.
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:iconmercury-crowe:
Mercury-Crowe Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yes and no.

Nothing is inherently good or bad, but something is good or bad for you.
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:iconiriastar:
Iriastar Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
Yes, they do. But as concepts. Subjective concepts.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, they exist. Just because it is something we have used, made or developed does not mean it does not exist, we made telephones, they exist. Its the same thing. Does it exist within the confinements of the animal world? Maybe, do we understand animals so well that we could define that?
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:icongreatest-i-am:
Greatest-I-am Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
Yes.

Christians are always trying to absolve God of moral culpability in the fall by whipping out their favorite "free will!", or “ it’s all man’s fault”.

That is "God gave us free will and it was our free willed choices that caused our fall. Hence God is not blameworthy."

But this simply avoids God's culpability as the author of Human Nature. Free will is only the ability to choose. It is not an explanation why anyone would want to choose "A" or "B" (bad or good action). An explanation for why Eve would even have the nature of "being vulnerable to being easily swayed by a serpent" and "desiring to eat a forbidden fruit" must lie in the nature God gave Eve in the first place. Hence God is culpable for deliberately making humans with a nature-inclined-to-fall, and "free will" means nothing as a response to this problem.

If all sin by nature then, the sin nature is dominant. If not, we would have at least some who would not sin.


Having said the above for the God that I do not believe in, I am a Gnostic Christian naturalist, let me tell you that evil is all human generated. Evil is our responsibility.

Much has been written to explain what I see as a natural part of evolution.

Consider.
First, let us eliminate what some see as evil. Natural disasters. These are unthinking occurrences and are neither good nor evil. There is no intent to do evil even as victims are created.

Evil then is only human to human.
As evolving creatures, all we ever do, and ever can do, is compete or cooperate.
Cooperation we would see as good as there are no victims created. Competition would be seen as evil as it creates a victim. We all are either cooperating, doing good, or competing, doing evil at all times.

Without us doing some of both, we would likely go extinct.

This, to me, explains why there is evil in the world quite well.

Be you a believer in nature, evolution or God, we should all see that what Christians see as something to blame, evil, we should see that what we have, competition, deserves a huge thanks for being available to us.

There is no conflict between nature and God on this issue. This is how things are and should be. We all must do what some will think is evil as we compete and create losers to this competition.

Regards
DL
Reply
:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
So, much, text! tl;dr plx? :P
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:iconskulkey:
skulkey Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Maybe, do we understand animals so well that we could define that?

we do. behavioral ecology.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
We understand them as much as, oh they get hurt, oh they're sad. We don't understand them to the depth we know humanity.
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:iconskulkey:
skulkey Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
i'm not talking about human subjective assessments. i'm talking about science. we understand animals better than we understand humans.

in behavioral ecology you look at cost-benefit analyses, some of which can be quite complex, to quantify beneficial ("good") and detrimental ("bad") behaviors.

animals are for the most part quite predictable - optimizing benefit/cost ratios. humans are much less so. from a scientific standpoint, we understand animals far better than we understand people...
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
All well and good, we still don't know how they think.
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:iconskulkey:
skulkey Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
if you're referring to the qualitative nature of their consciousness, then we don't understand that any better than we understand the qualitative nature of any other person's consciousness. the only way we think we understand that is by conjecture based on the qualitative nature of our own consciousness. but people still make such conjectures about animal consciousness all the time. ;)
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:iconnucleuzz:
nucleuzz Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
The only good is truth and the only evil is ignorance.
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:iconnucleuzz:
nucleuzz Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
Live as the force of Life and you live as Good. Live as the force of death and you live as evil.
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:icongreatest-i-am:
Greatest-I-am Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
I cannot agree.

Read my long reply above and learn that you cannot help but do evil to those you compete against and make losers of.

Regards
DL
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:iconnenril-tf:
Nenril-Tf Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Yes it exist.
But as you can see in all the philosphies it is a concept that passed trough times and it is influenced by lot of factors(as the place and the society) so it is a continued-evolved concept with no common base(if we excluded the common sense of instinct and life), also they are abstract individual concept so the edge of the one or the other isn't really defined.
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:iconoevrlord:
OEVRLORD Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As some guy said above, the concepts of right and wrong are socially determined. If humans didn't exist, there would just be creatures living in the primitive ways nature intended. Sometimes bad things would happen to creatures because of other creatures. Like a lion taking down a zebra. But that is just nature - it's not 'evil.' If mankind never existed, those concepts would never have surfaced.

Of course, people do things that disrupt social functionality. The society could call this action a 'bad deed.' But again, bad and good can only exist as ideas when there is a society sophisticated enough to label them as such.
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:iconskvattram:
Skvattram Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
Objectively speaking, no. Of course not.

From the viewpoint of any living being, yes.
But what's good for one is bad for another. There's no universal good.
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:iconenuocale:
EnuoCale Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
What is what's the best for the largest amount then?
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:iconskvattram:
Skvattram Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
How could I tell. No one can.
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:iconidjpanda:
iDJPanda Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student General Artist
Well, for there to be a bad there has to be a good. One can't exist without the other. If you don't believe in bad then you dot believe on good.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Right and wrong are social constructs, and therefore change.
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:iconhametsunocharge:
HametsuNoCharge Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If you take good to mean whatever perpetuates society/existence and keeps the peace and bad to mean whatever disrupts that order, then yes, good and bad to exist.

Intrinsically I would still say yes, only this time it's what one wants or does not want.
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:iconopiumrooster:
opiumrooster Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
it's all a matter of perspective. like in my opinion, i think hitler was great...
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:iconenuocale:
EnuoCale Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yes. Humans cannot process them as absolutes, so they first create schema which they pretend is absolute to replace it. The unintelligent think their personal version is unchanging, and the slightly smarter realize that it is not, and often are inclined to forgo realizing that it is a subset of the true completeness in general, and often make the wrong choice instead. That is, thinking that technically there is nothing which is an ACTUAL absolute.

But the words are not abstract entities. They describe very real actual things which go on in the physical world. So it's preposterous to consider them "not real." by any truly thinking creature.
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:iconklaxonlithology:
KlaxonLithology Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Though saying 'they are real' as in they have real-world value, benefits, and punishments as prescribed by society is different from saying 'they are real' in the universal, absolute sense. There is nothing inherent in the universe that says killing another member of your species, society, or kin-group is inherently wrong, and there are plenty of justifications throughout history for doing so, always dependent on the values of the society, which might be shunned today.
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:iconenuocale:
EnuoCale Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The second half is irrelevant since "reasons" imply there is a greater overall need. It's not that individual actions always have the same qualities, it's that individual states of overall positivity can be measured and whatever brings closer to that is more "good."

It's not an abstract quality. It's a literal description of an action either in accord with or opposed to utilitarian ends for the maximum benefit of people.

At absolute best, you could try to make an argument that there is nothing in the universe signifying that being "good" is the "correct" way to live. But that's not what's being asked.
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:iconklaxonlithology:
KlaxonLithology Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well, I usually take these types of topics as asking whether objective, universal morality exists or not, not if there is a construct of some origin signifying "good" and "bad" actions. The former is some object of debate, while the latter is obvious if you have a hint of societal awareness. But what you're saying is closer to my argument about convenience. "Good" is whatever provides the most convenience, either to you or others.
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:iconenuocale:
EnuoCale Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The point is that when you shift your definition of good it becomes objective. Even if difficult to measure there is an objective state where you and others all as a collective have either more or less convenience.

How this works is filtered through intermediary less meaningful things like different societal wants, but the fact that people can only see small scale does not erase that if you had infinite time and intelligence you could map out a flowchart with a staggering innumerable amount of paths that takes into account everything, cultural possibilities and individual wants for a particular place included.
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:iconklaxonlithology:
KlaxonLithology Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Objective in which perspective?

Basically you're saying that all societies have at least a few things in common that are considered 'good'. That is a given, and those are mostly basic biological needs and actions that favor the survival and expansion of the gene pool.
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:iconenuocale:
EnuoCale Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I didn't say anything about what people "consider." Objective levels of states are hypothetically measurable. (Just impractical to try to do so 100%) What people THINK gets them there is irrelevant.
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:iconklaxonlithology:
KlaxonLithology Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well, not exactly by person. By scale.
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:iconstingray970:
stingray970 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Good and bad are concepts created by your environmental and social influences during childhood development. The only reason there's a somewhat consistent idea of what is to be dictated as "good" or "bad" across cultures is due to the influence that particular countries inevitably have on other countries and each other.

If, for some reason, eating your grandfather once he came to the age of 60 became something commonly occurring and widely accepted, we would cease to see such a thing as bad or immoral.

A certain experiment was conducted (I cannot remember the exact paper I read about it) before ethical concerns were more strictly applied to scientific studies. 2 children that were left on the premises of a university were put through an experiment. Child A would grow up under entirely normal circumstances. Child B would grow in an environment where his parents would laugh when sad and cry when happy. Child A did what was expected when experiencing said emotions, but Child B exhibited the reactions that his parents displayed. This was, of course, reversed as the child learned that it wasn't the correct way to act socially. (Experiment stopped at around the age of 6)

That isn't evidently related to the topic at hand, but it shows that we have no instinct as to how we should react to things. It's only by what we learn.

Humans possess no "Good" and "Bad" identification at birth and non would develop if the concepts of good and bad were never integrated into their growth.
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:iconklaxonlithology:
KlaxonLithology Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Nope.
There are merely convenient and inconvenient actions within context.
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