Is Evil Learned or Inherent?

  • Do you think we are born with evil in us or do you think it is something we learn?

  • It's hard to disagree with anything @Berin says, and in fact, it behoves me as a communist to agree that evil comes from the ignorance of good. Howevz ...I don't really understand what good can come from discussing it. It's like reading a William Peter Blatty novel: all that'll happen is that you'll get nervous and depressed. There's just too many variables to take into consideration, whether they're in the world, luck, or our minds. A lot of stuff happens on a whim.

    An equally weighty question, I think, is whether the 'path of least resistance' always leads to evil. I'd say that it does. Normal people become politicians to replicate their super-easy bourgeois lives among the rest of population -- it's hard for a non-communist to argue that they're doing anything evil, and yet ...look how thoughtless and precarious our economies are, look at the plight of the working classes. <--and that's my sulky hobby horse getting his exercise for today.

  • @Berin said in Is Evil Learned or Inherent?:

    @Indrid-Cold You may disagree with what I said Indrid. It is always good to have the counterpoint and a pleasure to receive your notes.

    Life is ripe with suffering and tragedy, as it is, but what brings people to their knees, what brings us to desperation and contempt is suffering intentionally brought into the world, by other's and ourselves. Soldiers often experience PTSD not after having seen incredible evil in front of their eyes, but by seeing the evil they are capable of themselves.

    What hurts us most is the suffering that didn't have to be, that was caused by someone willing to hurt others. We have seen immense evil done in the past century, by the third reich, and multiplied even by all the communist empires the world has seen so far.

    If we were truly born evil, then the suffering we cause would be tragedy, it would not actually be evil, because it would not be intentional. For anything to be evil, it needs to stem from a decision. Thus all evil, without exception, is freely committed and not innate.

  • @Randy_Butternubs Yeah pretty much. It is an endless question with no definitive answer. That's why I asked it, I wanted to know opinions, thoughts, and reasonings. I like asking these questions because there are no right or wrong answers, just ideas and thought processes. Somehow that's more interesting to me than a straight answer

  • Evil is a product of survival instinct at the individual and group level. People commit atrocities when the collective mob ego possesses them, without ego there is no evil at the group level. So evil is something that one group of people agree to be contrary to the collective survival instinct. So one person's "evil" might be another's "good"

  • @SexyLexi4204ever But the same reasoning would lead you to conclude that there is no such thing as shadows, as long as we know they result from something casting them. Everything, of course, is perspective.

  • It's easy to establish that concepts such as 'good' or 'bad' are simply perspective, but that's not a very strong position to hold.
    Consider, the concept of 'truth' now; that a thing is objectively the case it presents as. Does truth fall prey to the same perspective fallacy?
    Yes, and this is concerning because by its definition truth must be singular, and self-evident. What limits our judgement here is availability of information.

    Consider the "Hubble Sphere or Volume"
    It states that the expansion of the universe is such a rate that light from a far enough distance will never reach us at the centre, therefore we will have no knowledge of what is outside of our "hubble bubble" so to speak.

    This lack of information would lead us to conclude that, say, there is only a single galaxy (if all others exist outwith our frame of reference. While this would be a form of truth, it is only so from our -limited- perspective, and simultaneously wrong and false objectively.

    Therefore, I conclude that there is only one form of evil in the world, though it takes many forms, each aspect of it involves the destruction of information, or restricting access to information.

  • @Randy_Butternubs we can see shadows, we can control them and they are clearly there. What I consider a shadow, you will also know as a shadow, as will someone from another country, background, ethnicity, etc. They might have a different word, but we all know it as a shadow.
    Evil is different. What you call evil I might call kindness. What I call evil another person might consider good. I think that's what they meant by evil being a perspective. A shadow on the other hand isn't perspective, it isn't subjective, it is real. We can see it and name it.

  • @TheGoldenMole
    That's what I was trying to say, it's not enough simply to be aware that we may be lacking information which puts perceived "truths" at risk of being found wrong. We must be aware that our very understanding of what is true, will be less effective as time goes on due to the degradation of either the information quality, or the availability of information.

    Estimates put the rate of universe expansion at ~70kilometers-per-second-per-megaparsec. That means that, with three galaxies initially within a megaparsec of one-another, we could easily measure the existence of any object in that sphere from any other object, yet after some time and some distance travelled, a galaxy could disappear, never to be heard of again.
    Consider that galaxies A and B are now within the same sphere, yet galaxy C has accelerated so that it is outside of this sphere. The acceleration (km/s) increases with distance (megaparsecs) as space appears to actually generate more of itself between objects as they move, so objects farther away from the point of reference are actually travelling faster than those which are closer. This gives the impression of the receding galaxy C having moving faster than the speed of light, which is not strictly possible, but due to spatial expansion between it and the observer, is actually the observed case.

    The implication here is that at a particular distance, no information can be gained about a thing; it cannot interact with us now in any way as nothing can travel faster than the speed of light without space itself increasing in volume between them in addition to their movements.

    So, we would be correct, provably and mathematically to conclude that "Because I can measure these objects in my galaxy being affected in certain ways due to objects in the only other galaxy available to me, there are just two galaxies." The third has ceased to be of any meaning, because it can affect no change on our now too-distant galaxies A & B.

    If we want to hold that mathetmatics is a language we discovered, inherent to the universe and not simply an idea we made up; ie, that mathematics, that numbers are objective truths (one is always a singular, for example), then I think the conclusion has to be that the only evil is an action which degrades quality or, or access to available information. As to whether it is inherent or learned, since we could never settle Nature-Nurture debate, I think that question ceases to be relevant.

    What are your thoughts?

    (Excuse the length here, I'm realising I'm not very concise!)

  • @cjko Do you then think there is also good in everyone?

  • @TheGoldenMole Often we are more sensitive to the evil they do to us than to what we do to others. Again the ego covering our responsibility, but the ego is our construction


    @TheGoldenMole nobody is born evil ,
    if someone is raised evil then yes

  • @Indrid-Cold You may disagree with what I said Indrid. It is always good to have the counterpoint and a pleasure to receive your notes.

  • @TheGoldenMole it's a pretty tough question cuz ppl might think of it in many other ways. Some say someone teaches us to be evil, while others say someone was born evil.....Some ppl might even say that it might be passed on by "bad genes" or is hard to decide what it really is, but I assume it might be due to evil influences.

  • @TheGoldenMole said in Is Evil Learned or Inherent?:

    @lego-batman If it stems from decision then does that mean everything we like and dislike is by choice?
    if I laugh at a joke is it because I chose it to be funny? or do I actually feel it is funny?
    or is this question unrelated? Is choosing to laugh different from choosing to hate?

    I believe it's quite hard to chose not to laugh when you find something funny 😂. No, I think humor just happens. And so do the things we like and dislike, they rarely happen by choice, even though it can happen, that we will like for example our career, only after we have put in quite some effort.

    Maybe this is where your question is going: You do have a choice what you spend your time with. Do you spend it playing with your friends? Or do you use it to watch videos of people being beaten up, and rob the convenience store with your friends? Point is, you grow into it, you will become what you nurture. So there is kind of a choice that influences what you like and dislike in the future. But it's not a simple choice, and it is not easy to figure out how much of it is your responsibility and how much you were influenced by others.

    My point of view is that the things you do (like laugh about something) or like, happen to you. Thus they are not evil. If you grew up to hate people of different skin color because everyone around you does it, that is a tragedy. It becomes evil the moment you encounter a real chance to question that point of view but willingly close your eyes. By real I don't mean someone starting to argue with you about racism, I mean for example starting to work with a guy of another race and realizing he's not that different. Cause let's be honest: Would you change your mind because someone called you names (racist, bigot, you name it)?

    You can have a strong aversion from something or someone. But that is not the same as hating them. Hating them means wishing something bad for them to happen, and potentially implementing it. You have the choice to think those thoughts, and follow up with actions or you could note your dislike and then simply move on to do something meaningful with your life instead.

  • There is no such thing as "evil" because it is only a perspective.

  • @Randy_Butternubs but we already know that there is nothing we know about this universe. To conclude there is only a single galaxy would be to have a theory, which is very different from truth or fact. There would be a "single galaxy theory" just as there is a "big bang theory" and "theory of gravity". We are aware we have lack of information and until we are able to completely prove something true it will fall under theory.

  • @TheGoldenMole Something we learn.

  • @TheGoldenMole acquired. Haha

  • @TheGoldenMole If we believe that evil is learned then we would be with Jean Jacques Rosseau, who says that man is pure and society corrupts him. If evil is innate then we would be in accordance with the Christian Jewish conception of original sin.
    My opinion is that evil comes from the ignorance of good. From the moment the creature develops its emotions on a higher level it does not regress to evil. If the person looked good and became evil then it was all falsehood.

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