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18123099 No.18123099 [Reply] [Original]

What literature to read to support this thesis?

The more I think about it, the more it just makes complete sense to me that from a realistic perspective, true evil is entirely fictitious. The kind of villain who's primary motive is to do other's harm for the sake of doing them harm, and that being the singular and only motive, an entirely malevolent existence.

When you look at real people, even the most heinous killers and murderers in history from Jeffrey Dahmer to Hitler to Stalin, all either had severe mental disorders impacting their judgment, and/or a misguided sense of justice and will to bring about their own subjective form of justice. I largely blame Kant for sparking this powerful delusion in us. On a purely biological level, it seems that all living creatures simply seek to proliferate the mechanisms of their survival, however incoherent some instances of this might appear to most of us.

>> No.18123106

Jungians, btfo this man

>> No.18123114

>>18123106
all Jungians can blow is each others cocks

>> No.18123115

>>18123099
MIll's "Utilitarianism," maybe?

>> No.18123132

>>18123099
>When you look at real people, even the most heinous killers and murderers in history from Jeffrey Dahmer to Hitler to Stalin, all either had severe mental disorders impacting their judgment, and/or a misguided sense of justice and will to bring about their own subjective form of justice
Plato covers this. Don't ask me which dialogue though, lol.

>> No.18123135

>>18123114
wtf, I love Jungians now

>> No.18123163

>>18123099
You can look at the appendix for part 1 of Spinoza's ethics. While arguing for a non- anthropomorphic God, he argues that the there isnno problem of evil because we humans impose values onto the natural world with the criteria of what is useful to us, rather than some transcendental evil.

>> No.18124754

>>18123099
Lol there are literally people who troll every corner of the internet, simpy because it gives them joy to make others mad and frustrated. Not even retarded children are free from the type of malevolent evil you are talking about

>> No.18126025

>>18123106
>middle-aged housewives, btfo this man
lol

>> No.18126903
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18126903

>>18123099
This is a conversation I'd like to have. It's tough because it falls into the trap which so many modern conversations fall into, which is attempts at mindreading.

For instance, if Carl Panzram or the Columbine Killers etc leave behind explicit statements saying that they experienced (and revelled in) their own overwhelming intention to hurt others as much as possible... Does this not mean that, whatever its causes (brain diseases, brain tumours, injuries etc), the state of mind that we would colloquially described as Evil was experienced by them long and consistently enough that it constitutes their effective personality?

Everything has causes. But just like Love only makes sense as a qualia, as a subjective experience like happiness or confusion, or lust... Just like all these qualities are taken to exist purely on the fact that they can be experienced, who are we to denial the existence of evil if we know that people are capable of experiencing overwhelming hatred of innocent people? What better definition could there be?

Apologies if I didn't get my thoughts out clearly btw

>> No.18126947
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18126947

>>18123099
>true evil is entirely fictitious
A. it depends on what you define as true evil. There were men in the nazi death camps (don't start some stupid ass holocaust numbers argument, it has nothing to do with what I'm saying, just substitute the nazi death camps for some random brutal PoW camps in history if it bothers you that much) who would cause pain on men for no other reason than to watch them be in pain. Is that not evil? But I assume your answer would be that they were conditioned to do this by their society / culture, or something like that, as if that excuses them because they weren't consciously thinking "I'm such an evil villain!"
B. True Evil villains in fiction aren't meant to be realistic, they like every other character is a tool for the author to communicate what they want to communicate. Fiction in the many art forms one finds it in is not always meant to be at all realistic.

>> No.18126978

>>18123099
Evil exists, but it's not what you think it is. Evil is not sadism or even violence in general. Evil is a property of memetic content that has slipped passed the king's seal.

>> No.18127003

>>18126947
Not OP, but if you have a narrative for why you are being mean to ppl, say, you believe they are parasites on your society etc, then the torture can be construed as retributive and not simply recreational. I don't endorse that interpretation, but it is there, and the line is blurred between, say, they angry grief of a bereaved father and the vengeful torturing of a camp guard - as long as they both BELIEVE they are avenging wrongs against themselves or their loved ones.

You have to know you're evil to be evil. Which is why I prefer the examples of serial killers that wrote about wanting to do evil things for the sake of it. Doubtless there were many of those in the camps as well. People who disagree with me will say that they had some brain malfunction, which is why I insist that the reality of evil depends on whether it is experienced, not what causes it.

With all that said, I still think its an important distinction to make that ppl who have a narrative justification for their horrible actions may be A) telling the truth and therefore only misguided in their political narrative and coping mechanisms OR B) lying about their beliefs in order to provide a front for their horrible actions.

Only the latter group would be truly evil in this case.

>> No.18127009

>>18123099
>It's not evil if they thought they had a reason for it
What?
>All human behavior can be explained by survival
We're on a board for literature, 99.9% of literary pursuits don't put food on the table or get you laid.
>Nobody out there simply enjoys inflicting suffering on others
Obviously false.

>> No.18127013

>>18123099
Beyond Good and Evil

>> No.18127033

>>18123132
The prof I had in University, Lloyd Gerson, who literally devoted his life to Ancient Greek Philosophy, made fun of that argument. Basically, it goes that no one can do evil because they don't conceptualize their actions that way and, therefore, all actions are directed toward the Good. I also forget what dialogue it's in and don't have them on hand. (Euthyphro maybe?)

>>18123099
As far as the problem of evil goes...you've been pretty sheltered if you don't believe malevolence exists. You can get into Free Will and such, open a whole can of worms, but breaking things down to into a strict materialist argument does away with meaningfulness and human experience. It's convenient but I'd argue there's a poverty that comes along with it. Also, you don't have to argue in terms of absolutes (something is entirely evil or evil doesn't exist)...I'd argue that simple malevolence is evidence enough (and outcomes of such on a grand scale if necessary, something like the holocaust (but it can also be smaller and more personal), can be characterized as an absolute evil).

>> No.18127043

>>18127033
FYI: I mentioned Gerson by name because he's a big deal in the field (you can look him up). He's a total asshole in real life, but he's a scholar and responsible for the translations a lot of you guys probably read in uni.

>> No.18127047

>>18127003
Yes, I see your point, though it would require a guard to truly fool themselves into believing that one specific random person in the camp has a real part in the blame for the perceived slight against the society in question. That does strain my disbelief a bit, but people do have an amazing ability to fool themselves, and I agree with your example of the serial killers who wrote of their evil.

>> No.18127118

>>18127003
>>18127047

I don't buy the argument that you have to know you're doing evil in order for what you're doing to be an evil act. You can argue that societal norms change over time, make a temporal argument, but that doesn't mean you can't use the term to describe the outcome of such actions as evil in a broader context.

Take science for example. Odds are that the methods we hold as scientific by today's standards will be overturned...that we'll build new structures of meaning with conceptualizations that aren't commensurate with scientific language as it stands today. However, I'm sure you wouldn't hold people today aren't scientists because they aren't thinking the same type of actionable thoughts that scientists in 2200 will. By this logic, you could argue that modern science isn't science.

From that, it's easy to slide into an argument that there aren't strict definitions of anything and that norms inevitably change. However, people are still going about the same actions toward similar goals. In my mind, you can't argue that there isn't a constant.

>> No.18127387
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18127387

>>18127118
Interesting argument, but the thing we haven't done in this thread yet is define evil, once you do that, everything becomes clear. It seems to me the best definition would be something like:

>Evil is a mindstate/qualia present when grossly harmful actions are attempted against an innocent victim in full and approving knowledge of both the harm and the victim's innocence.

There are plenty of semantic ways to query a draft definition like that but its pretty cleat that any workable definition of evil is going to revolve around intention. Yes this is begging the question but I have to stand by it anyway.

In historical cases where ppl thought they were doing the right thing but we now think/know they weren't, then you can either bite the bullet of subjectivity or say take the view that some actions are evil by definition. But then all actions could conceivably have justification in the right circumstances so it's difficult to defend the action-specific definition of evil. Words like 'wrath' and 'malice' etc connote evil and they are really talking about states of mind.

Science doesn't need to be defined by intention etc, but rather by the scientific method. The method can be applied improperly, and this misapplication could conceivably go unnoticed. But the fact is that science is an inferiential discipline in the first place, meaning that 'mistakes' of science are usually just best-guess assumptions that we work with heuristically in the absence of better evidence. In the second place, the inferiential nature of science means that it is only ever 'less wrong' not actually correct at any given point. The marker at which 'less wrong' meets up with pseudoscience is subject to the Sorites Paradox. The analogy of all this to Evil doesn't work, because, as stated, the standard usage of Evil revolves around it being a state of mind. Experiences are real and specific events that happen in the universe. This ironically makes them easier to define than inferiential disciplines like Science. Although not necessarily easier to detect.

>> No.18127413

>>18123099
women are definitely evil

>> No.18127455

>Evil Doesn't Exist
>Check local synagogue
Nope, I'm afraid it still does.

>> No.18127742

>>18127387

First, I'd disagree that you have to build a strict definition of evil in order to prove that it exists (let alone that it's a meaningful concept). You can meaningfully discuss sublimity without having to strictly define the sublime itself.

Second, you could classify something as being of evil intent but that doesn't necessarily restrict concepts of what evil is in-and-of-itself. Restricting the conversation to that definition (i.e. an intentional act that is known to be evil) is, as you said, begging the question. It's also in line with a materialistic conceptualization, which opens its own can of worms, and is guilty of affirming the consequent (evil is restricted to intentional cause and effect because it is an intentional outcome of an action).

Third, I used science as an example because you can make a forward argument related to the concept (I don't accept "scientific method" as the definition of science either; I'll get into that). The point is, understanding that something was evil now, and not before, doesn't mean it wasn't so back then. Again, that begs the question that evil is dependant on cultural mores and circumstances (while ignoring particular incidence and favoring grand narrative). Just because evil is a grand concept doesn't mean that it has to fit into an overall grand narrative.

There's also another point regarding that. Science works as an analogy because it encompasses the idea that growth and change can occur without undermining the validity of something's meaningfulness at a specific time. Engineers still use Newtonian physics in order to build a bridge even though the conceptualization of the universe in which it was created is no longer regarded as the best guess. The point is that fundamental changes will occur without invalidating what was valid at a given point in time.

Fourth, the scientific method is a process but that doesn't mean it doesn't have intended consequences. It's as fair to define it by intended consequences as it is to define an incident of evil as being such because it was intended to be evil--it's goal-oriented.

Now, this part is off topic but I wanted to give a brief reason why science isn't definable by affirming the scientific method. Mainly, it isn't actually how science is carried out (look up Laboratory Life by Bruno Latour). There's also a much wider zeitgeist that involves both training and cultural inputs; these define what makes something scientific or worthy of being considered as a scientific endeavor, at a given time. It isn't so much about "best guess" as it is about a given phenomenon being meaningful in terms of what is defined as acceptable according to the wider culture of scientific endeavor.

That's all I want to say about that because it's off-topic (also, look up the work of Paul Feyerabend (e.g. Against Method)). As for "less wrong," Carnap tried to retreat to that after holes were punched in his Logical Positivist program. [I'm out of space.]

>> No.18127832

This is no revolutionary thought by any means. Read CS Lewis or someone like him instead of asking for more books telling you how evil doesnt exist. It will not help your character nor your happiness.
>If Dualism is true, then the bad Power must be a being who likes badness for its own sake. But in reality we have no experience of anyone liking badness just because it is bad. The nearest we can get to it is in cruelty. But in real life people are cruel for one of two reasons—either because they are sadists, that, is because they have a sexual perversion which makes cruelty a cause of sensual pleasure to them, or else for the sake of something they are going to get out of it—money, or power, or safety. But pleasure, money, power, and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. The badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much. I do not mean, of course, that the people who do this are not desperately wicked. I do mean that wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way. You can be good for the mere sake of goodness: you cannot be bad for the mere sake of badness.
Mere Christianity is a must read. No one should reject Christianity before having read it.

>> No.18127870

This precedes the last excerpt (>>18127832):
>The problem is not simple and the answer is not going to be simple either.
>What is the problem? A universe that contains much that is obviously bad and apparently meaningless, but containing creatures like ourselves who know that it is bad and meaningless. There are only two views that face all the facts. One is the Christian view that this is a good world that has gone wrong, but still retains the memory of what it ought to have been. The other is the view called Dualism. Dualism means the belief that there are two equal and independent powers at the back of everything, one of them good and the other bad, and that this universe is the battlefield in which they fight out an endless war. I personally think that next to Christianity Dualism is the manliest and most sensible creed on the market. But it has a catch in it.
>The two powers, or spirits, or gods—the good one and the bad one—are supposed to be quite independent. They both existed from all eternity. Neither of them made the other, neither of them has any more right than the other to call itself God. Each presumably thinks it is good and thinks the other bad. One of them likes hatred and cruelty, the other likes love and mercy, and each backs its own view. Now what do we mean when we call one of them the Good Power and the other the Bad Power? Either we are merely saying that we happen to prefer the one to the other—like preferring beer to cider—or else we are saying that, whatever the two powers think about it, and whichever we humans, at the moment, happen to like, one of them is actually wrong, actually mistaken, in regarding itself as good. Now if we mean merely that we happen to prefer the first, then we must give up talking about good and evil at all. For good means what you ought to prefer quite regardless of what you happen to like at any given moment. If “being good” meant simply joining the side you happened to fancy, for no real reason, then good would not deserve to be called good. So we must mean that one of the two powers is actually wrong and the other actually right.
>But the moment you say that, you are putting into the universe a third thing in addition to the two Powers: some law or standard or rule of good which one of the powers conforms to and the other fails to conform to. But since the two powers are judged by this standard, then this standard, or the Being who made this standard, is farther back and higher up than either of them, and He will be the real God. In fact, what we meant by calling them good and bad turns out to be that one of them is in a right relation to the real ultimate God and the other in a wrong relation to Him.

>> No.18127882

>>18123099
>0 hip rotation
Ye, not even worth blocking.

>> No.18127981
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18127981

>>18123099
Literally just read Nietzsche's "Genealogy of Morality" you fucking uneducated swine. You're not the first to come with this idea, in fact, this idea is so common that it has been completely absorbed into modern philosophy and is being taken for granted.
Only retards, christcucks, and commies (redundant) believe in evil nowadays.

>> No.18128006
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18128006

>>18127387
>>18127742
>>18127118
This is so pseud it hurts. Please stop.

>> No.18128090

>>18127742
I'll try and go point by point. Liked your post though.

>no need to define evil to prove it exists
I didn't make clear enough that the evil whose existence I am advocating for is instances/qualia of subjectively experienced malice towards innocents. I don't know how to robustly defend any other account of evil so I needed to be explicit about my definition, for you and for OP.

>evil-in-itself vs evil intent
I am taking the position that the latter provably exists. The former is up to someone else to prove.

>Restricting to intent-based definition opens you up to a materialist account of mental events
I actually have no problem with that. If the phenomenological film real of mental events that makes up your life can be talked about in terms of its physical causes then that doesn't bother me. I've already addressed above the idea that phenomenological evil is not less real if it has causes outside the mind. It still occurs and is mental in nature. Metaethics depends on the existence of pleasure and of suffering and the intent of agents. Free Will is not a neccessary ingredient.

>understanding something was evil now and not before doesn't mean it wasn't so back then
I think I get what you mean here but we are going around in circles. If evil-as-such is a provable entity then it is not a burden of proof I have taken on myself. Just like with Free Will I am not operating under the assumption that its neccessary. If there is nothing internally consistent about Evil other than the intention of an agent to inflict suffering on innocents then I am fine with that. If there is nothing to evil that is intrinsically separate from the intention agents then I am not personally bothered. I am not willing to take on additional metaphysical burdens, life is complicated enough. I'm not so allergic to subjectivism that I would allow it to chase me into the thicket of essentialism. But I'm not judging either btw

>Science can change its conclusions whilst still being science and this analogises to Evil
Only if you can assign an essential identity to Evil that does not depend on intent. And really why would you want to? The subjectivism critique can only go so far, because the question of intent, while difficult to prove, is still a question that references real phenomenological events (the qualia experienced by the sinner) and so, under my definition of evil, a right or wrong answer about given historical events - albeit an elusive answer - will always exist.

>science has intentions too
Yes, there are the ones built into the method and there are the ones in the mind of the scientist. The reason I don't believe science maps to ethics is that science seems to me to be aptly defined by the method and not by the intentions of certain historical practitioners. Science as a historical movement can then be seen as the imperfect and inconsistent attempt to instantiate the method. The conceptual purity of science remains undisturbed here.

cont.

>> No.18128125
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18128125

>>18123099
Kek, there is definitely people who enjoy doing harm simply to see others suffer because they enjoy it. Humans tend to rationalise everything though but there is even people who admit that there is no real reason behind it other than personal enjoyment. There have also been people who's primary and sole motive is to cause as much harm and destruction as possible.
>They had mental disorders
helly heck, you are such a brainlet it hurts

Who cares about good and evil, there's my good and bad and that's it, glad most people agree with it, makes things easier, everything else is just playing with definitions and added unnecessary meaning trying to rationalise emotional empathy. The fact that you are only looking for literature that confirms your opinion confirms your lowwit status that your post already implied.

>> No.18128175
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18128175

>>18127742
cont.

>science can't be defined by the method because it exists within a zeitgeist.
Yes I think this connects to what I've been saying about scientific practice as an imperfect attempt at instantiating the method. A lot of other factors come into play. A great deal of interpretation etc. And to that extent science can be coopted and warped. I don't deny any of that. The reason why science can continue to be defined by the method is that the method has a strict and self-evident internal character without factoring in context or intent. It is a simple and fully abstract recipe for increasing object knowledge, albeit inferientially.

You are right to point out that intention is involved/implied, even in a simple statement of the scientific method, since there is an aim (object truth) that is being sought. But that basic level of intention would be present in any scientific discovery, it would remain valid and functional even though it was present alongside a lot of other intentions that were invalid and context dependant. The scientific method exists in a zeitgeist but can still be separated and defined in a sufficient form - the quest for object knowledge based on defeasible theories mounted on repeatable observations of physical phenomenon.
Science is nearly always being done imperfectly just as its conclusions are nearly always imperfect, but the recipe is definable, neccessary and sufficient. That is why you can be a scientist (and your work can be called science) even if your conclusions/models about the physical world are very wrong, and even if you exist in a place on the timeline which encourages you to partake in some level of contextually driven distraction from the pure scientific method.


>TLDR for above:
Science is different from Evil and historical, disproven scientists can still be called scientists precisely because it is easy to describe what is neccessary and sufficient for Science to exist. When you do away with intention-based theories of Evil, then what can be said about Science can NO LONGER be said about Evil.

What is Evil if not intentional harming of innocents? Take intent away from Evil and what is left over? Forbidden acts? The forbiddeness of harm itself? Of Wrath?

As far as I can see there is nothing universally/consistently loathsome about Evil other than its minimal intention-based form as I have described it. To say that it has a substance all of its own would rely on some outside entity, like a God. You may want to furnish that kind of a proof but its not really my bag.

>> No.18128436

>>18123099
Read Deleuze book on Spinoza

>> No.18128572

>>18127832
>But in reality we have no experience of anyone liking badness just because it is bad.

Demonstrably false. Everyone from junkies to trannies to gangsters EXPLICITLY says they do Evil for the sake of Evil. In fact, they say that they are only incidentally good in pursuit of Evil, the polar opposite of what Lewis claims. A junkie's sensuous pleasure of intoxication is only an artifact of his service to Evil itself.

>> No.18128610

>>18128572
cries for help aren't evil

>> No.18128627

>>18123099
If you think evil doesn't exist or you're intentionally promoting the idea that there is no evil, that's a pretty good indicator that you are evil.

>> No.18128747

>>18128572
>drug addicts are trying to do evil
This is your brain on religious dogma. You are fucked mate

>> No.18128886

>>18128572
>Everyone from junkies to trannies to gangsters EXPLICITLY says they do Evil for the sake of Evil.

No one says that.

>> No.18128975

>>18123099
>The kind of villain who's primary motive is to do other's harm for the sake of doing them harm
I would say there definitly are people that har people for the sake of it, everybody enjoys violence to some degree

>> No.18129468

>>18128886

Gangsters explicitly say their bad lifestyle is not a contingent means to a good end but a bad means to a bad end. They even enjoy going to prison.

>> No.18129489

>>18128627
I like this point.

>> No.18129521

>>18127033
>Basically, it goes that no one can do evil because they don't conceptualize their actions that way and, therefore, all actions are directed toward the Good.
You can't have good without evil so there's a flaw in this argument. He should have instead concluded that all actions are directed towards something beyond good and evil.

>> No.18129554

>>18127033
Meno
>“SOCRATES: Do you assume that there are people who desire bad things, and others who desire good things? Do you not think, my good man, that [c] all men desire good things?
MENO: I do not.
SOCRATES: But some desire bad things?—Yes.
SOCRATES: Do you mean that they believe the bad things to be good, or that they know they are bad and nevertheless desire them?—I think there are both kinds.
SOCRATES: Do you think, Meno, that anyone, knowing that bad things are bad, nevertheless desires them?—I certainly do.
SOCRATES: What do you mean by desiring? Is it to secure for oneself?—What else?
SOCRATES: Does he think that the bad things benefit him who possesses [d] them, or does he know they harm him?
MENO: There are some who believe that the bad things benefit them, others who know that the bad things harm them.
SOCRATES: And do you think that those who believe that bad things benefit them know that they are bad?
MENO: No, that I cannot altogether believe.
SOCRATES: It is clear then that those who do not know things to be bad do not desire what is bad, but they desire[…]”

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