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Good and Bad Explained!

  1. Aug 31, 2007 #1
    What exactly is good and bad?Are plants good and bad?Are objects good and bad? Or are men good and bad?

    'Good' and 'Bad' does not originate from any other entity other than man.If you dislike something you say it is bad and if you like it you say it is good.These are all relative terms which is applicable from only the human perspective.What we like becomes 'good' and what we don't becomes 'bad'.There is essentially no good and bad they are illusions to us.Evolution makes us look at things which are 'beneficial' to us as good and things which are not as bad.Richard Dawkins has hit the nail on the head as he explains human behaviour as the consequence of the genetic programming.Feelings of happiness and sorrow, love and hate etc. are 'humanistic' terms and we cannot apply them to other entities.

    Consider a hypothetical situation in which you are the only person on Earth with animals and plants to survive and no other humans.Will there be any good and bad? Yes, there will be.How? Food will be good for you and predators which are a threat to your survival bad. They are relative to only you.


    Since, both are relativistic terms, only reference points illusionary and non existent only to plot our existence and not our true sense.Buddha had known all of this, but we never understood the depth of his voice.Science can and will truly prove this fact and it is and will do so in the future.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2007 #2
    Science proved this fact thirty years ago.

    www.relationalframetheory.org [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  4. Aug 31, 2007 #3


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    So, you're saying
    1] good vs. bad is an entirely human creation
    2] it's relative and situational.

    This is not news.
  5. Sep 1, 2007 #4
    This concept may not be new, but you explained it very clearly, so I'd say it was worth my time. :)
  6. Sep 1, 2007 #5


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  7. Sep 1, 2007 #6
    Just the tip...

    This may not be news and certain concepts correlating to it may already have been found out or proved, but these concepts are giants on whose shoulders one can build to look even beyond what the giant can see.Good and bad was just and introduction to give a taste of the broader concepts which will be addressed on this thread.Merely reading news is not the objective, but to contemplate upon its implications and consequences.If this purpose is met then we are in the right track.

    To take the example of 'good' and 'bad' is only a minute fragment of the whole cake.This example applies to all situations of human life.Do you think any war would have broken out if everybody actually knew and understood this fact? But, it is no news to us and has been scientifically proved decades ago.yes? then why is it never applied - the knowledge that everything is illusionary, relative and situational???

    One of the remarkable feats in science has been the realisation of evolution(and hence the term evolutionary biology) and Game Theory, the two of which when conglomerated together explain a lot of things.Game Theory is widely applied in economics, but never in the wider holistic sense of humanity.The truth is that life after all is economics.Without give and take, effective survival strategies, and playing iterated games, we wouldn't be whatever we are.We are in a disillusioned shell unable to look out.Everyone has the cloth to wipe out the opaqueness of the shell, but we are just listening to the news and not actually applying it.That is news and knowledge to everybody.What I am seeking is to effectively attach all concepts together and express them in mathematical notations and develop concepts on it.These concepts are there and Game theory is there to prove it.

    We need to expand on them build on it keeping in mind that man after all is an animal and not different from them.We didn't wish to relate ourselves to chimpanzees when enlightened Darwin suggested that we originated from them, and we still don't when we casually refer to 'other animals' as animals and not to ourselves and differentiate ourselves from them.Is it not so?Intelligence was a very successful trait that developed in humans due to natural selection and we are 'winners' among all other species because of that.When competition between species decreases as the dominant species increases in population, competition within the species increases just like in humans.Wars are a result of it.Territorial conquests - animals too fight for it, for the resources and for survival...

    Things work in different orders of magnitude, you must have learnt it in elementary physics.10^2,10^3 etc.Objects of higher orders are composed of lower order objects.For example, atoms are the building blocks of compounds(higher order elements) and compounds build up for examples DNA and this DNA gives way to cells, and then the organs, then the body, and so on.These are levels of organisations.Every order of magnitude are distinct levels and not arbitrary.Every order level has certain characteristics and behaviour governed by lower orders.This has various applications of mathematical concepts for example Probablity , chaos theory etc..These order levels and their behaviour can be explained.Genetic algorithms predict only the basics nowadays, but we can apply it to all entities in different orders.The Grand Unified Theory is at the end of the path we are about to take.

    One of the striking observations on these levels is that they always follow a direction.By direction I mean they follow a particular path; to suit it various behaviours are exhibited according to the situation. There is a method and purpose in the madness and chaos of all things occurring in this universe, that is for sure, as Einstein had said that "God does not play dice".We can only understand these concepts when we detach ourselves from worldly notions and transcend to a different level.We are entities and our actions are only relative.We are purposeful and that applies to all orders.

    therefore as an entity E we follow a purpose >>p.

    An entirely new branch of mathematics can evolve out of this...is this news enough?
  8. Sep 2, 2007 #7
    That good and bad are relative concepts dependent upon the context was proven, however this does not mean they are illusory.

    No, it is not news at all. Plato is perhaps the all time favorite philosopher to propose such an idea. However, no one has proven it is true.

    Currently philosophers are attempting to create a philosophy which spans all the sciences from the cognitive to the physical. Already the cognitive and behavioral sciences have been connected using Functional Contextualism, and it is speculated that within the next fifty years Relativity and Quantum Mechanics will be reconciled. Then the arduous work of filling in all the gaps will begin.

    Without an underlying philosophy such an endeavor is impossible. Currently there are more than one kind of logic in use, each with its own particular practical applications. Unless we can find a single logic that can describe all that we observe, creating a mathematical expression is doomed to failure.
  9. Sep 2, 2007 #8
    To know that people are working towards such an end is good news! However,there are certain matters which should be cleared up regarding illusion and its kind. By the word 'illusion' I mean relative to human beings.'Good or 'bad' in essence does not exist outside our realization and is limited to only our senses. In actual reality or a world which is outside our purview of being in, good and bad are only so to say in our terms scientific factors affecting our psychology.This imaginary real world is the escape region from the 'cycle of life and death' as Buddha had said into eternal bliss.This concept is not limited to only the sciences,especially maths, but also to spirituality and religion. It would explain the purpose of existence of religion and spirituality. I can say that religion or spirituality may not hold much ground after this realisation.To understand this better one of the pioneering works have been done by Richard Dawkins in his book - The God Delusion.

    This Realisation out of science to explain everything would be so powerful that it might even explain the need for us to be finding it.
  10. Sep 2, 2007 #9
    "The good is neither an attribute of "things in themselves" nor of man's emotional state, but [the good] is an evaluation of the facts of reality by man's consciousness according to a rational standard of value" (Ayn Rand, 1966). Fundamental is the question--of value to whom and for what ? All that is proper to the life of a rational being is the goodo:); all that which destroys it is the evil :devil:(AR, 1961).
  11. Sep 2, 2007 #10
    At this critical juncture, let me bring another concept which defines the 'attribute' of being good and bad.

    I had a problem.It had been bothering me for a while and as far as I could see it had the least of all wishes to leave me.It was causing immense suffering to me;a lot of pain, struggle and strife.Then one day I thought about what this 'problem' was.Was this problem real? Was it supernatural? Was this problem central to only me?Well, I soon realised it wasn't.Every Rational Being has some or the other problem in their lives.Then what was this problem around me?No, not in the air, certainly not; not in the environment, never;people, yes, maybe.So, I isolated myself from people into a surrounding devoid of Rational Beings.Then I thought again.Was this problem around me from where it could have perhaps infected me? NO, it hadn't.If it isn't in the surrounding, not around me anywhere, then where is it? It is in me!The problem originated within me and and is influencing me in my own reality,it ain't anywhere else. That is a universal fact. Fine,accepted that this problems had its roots in me,but where is it in me?As I contemplated later it was because of my desire to get something, some material; the failure of getting which was causing a lot of depression-a psychological condition.It was desire to do something that was causing this problem.If you do this self-analysis, on any elemental action of event of your life you will realise that it ultimately boils down to 'desire'.

    I might also remind you that this knowledge is not new and certainly not news and these concepts have been expressed in spirituality and psychology, but have never been integrated together - be it spirituality, psychology or any other field of life, they all originate from one common link which is scientific and is dependent on the lower orders.Good or Evil, yes, as said by Ayn Rand, is an evaluation of the facts of reality by man's consciousness according to a "rational standard of value". What we must realize is that this Rational value is relative to man and not the the ultimate reality (a consciousness which does not include human elements and is purely rational).Emotion and rationality have been built on the universal lower orders of genes and atoms and the other lower undiscovered orders.There maybe altogether infinite orders, so there is a need to define order levels first and the concept of infinity to establish a pedestal to find Ultimate Reality.
  12. Sep 3, 2007 #11
    "Once I dreamed I was a butterfly, or am I really a butterfly dreaming I am a man"
    Chuang Tzu

    Illusion and reality, self and other, are also relative terms. Where do we begin and the environment end? I need air to breath, do I consider the air to be a part of me? Someone had to teach me how to talk, do I consider them a part of me? It doesn't really matter either way, all that matters is acceptance.
  13. Sep 3, 2007 #12
    All ambiguity would end if 'consciousness' would be understood.
  14. Sep 5, 2007 #13
    Rights and morals are social constructs. They hold no value in physical/objective reality; they're subjective. An action is simply, an action. Right, wrong, good and bad are classifications of those actions based on perspective.
  15. Sep 5, 2007 #14
    Social structures that develop rights and morals are not separate from physical reality nor objective reality. Physical objects are required to socialize and a social construct is physical. We are Human Beings and we experience subjectively, yes, as individuals if seen as so, and as togetherness if aware of such: awareness is individually subjective to minds that perceive individuality/separateness; awareness is exactly the same to the minds aware of the nature of eternity, ergo they become "one mind" or the eternal/immeasurable mind: even subjectivity is subjective. There are 2 awarenesses, the awareness of the individual only aware of individuality and separateness, and second is the individual aware of its eternal interconnectivity, thus eternal interconnectivity aware of the individual. We are not separated from any thing, ever. Rights and morals do hold value because we as Human Beings are a social creature living of a social construct that we have created and that we are as mortal conscious entities of immortal consciousness. We are simultaneously the receptor and the emmitter and alternating simultaneously reception through emission and emission through reception. Emission of one is received through an other and the reception of one is/was emitted through an other. Reception and emission are not limited to Human Beings.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2007
  16. Sep 5, 2007 #15


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    Are we supposed to follow that?
  17. Sep 5, 2007 #16
    No offense, but your post can be organized much better.

    They hold relative value to humans. In physical/objective reality (mathematics), there is no value for such. They are not verifiable, constant or an absolute existence in reality. Thus, they are subjective.
  18. Sep 5, 2007 #17
    Thank you for your kind regards. It was edited: I hope some sense of clarity ensues.

    The word relative is not the same definition of subjective awareness or differing awareness of subjectivity through experience. Relativity is a word defining relations, and yes, we are ever related.

    If mathematics is the only physical objective reality then why must we have words? Why have philosophy? Physical objective reality consists of any thing, which is everything that is physical and objective.

    Our social structure is built on mathematics, in my opinion, money currently at its core.

    Since the universe can not be measured, predicted, and the only constant about it is its constant inconsistencies contrary to our expectations of it, should we consider it subjective and non-mathematical? Is an immeasurable presence subjective? Is eternity an immeasurable presence? Is absence an immeasurable presence? Yes, and that is what I am aware of, and that is what I am, and what I am of. We are all subjective to ourselves and each other, and so is everything else, and the mind exists in the physical reality because of the object that is the brain acting as a receiver for all other objects that are emitting, thus the brain is also emitting subjectivity through reception and receiving subjectivity through emission. Reality is subjectively experienced as separate when individualized, yet experienced simultaneously synchronized when the foundation of the subject/entity is eternity.

    Never can a thing be truly separated from its immeasurable interconnectivity, but we are all entitled to our opinions and current states of awareness, and with that I will not attempt to push any of my subjective experience onto you.

    Thank you for your time.
  19. Sep 5, 2007 #18


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    Sorry, is this in response to the poster's post, or is this simply an excuse for you to open up with your own philosphies that have only a passing resemblance to what's being discussed?
  20. Sep 5, 2007 #19
    Emission of the voice can be measured in sound wave frequencies, pitches and tones. Interlocution can be measured at the distance which the sound is traveling from vocal chord to entotic receivers. Before this we can measure activity in the brain related with speech and then all other areas related with thinking about speech, articulation, movement, etc. We can study how sound is received in the ear and how the brain makes this possible. We can then study the electromagentic neurological functions that are occuring and consociate those with the environment surrounding us. We can continue to extrapolate on these social behaviors and their reaction to and with the immediate atmosphere and their effects on the individual and individuals in the vicinity and also objects in the proximity.

    All of this can be mathematically proven, but first it must be philosophically understood, and while philosophically understanding there are mathematical equations simultaneously occuring within the philosophizing brain and the surroundings thereof... and it goes on.

    Nothing is impossible and nothing is possible.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2007
  21. Oct 10, 2007 #20
    Good and bad exist for everything with a conscious goal; that's why we have both human and animal rights laws to defend them. Unlike what some theist and spiritualist believe, humans do not need God or sacred scriptures to determine morality. Basically the combination of instincts and intelligence and negotiation with others determines social good and bad. Many good and bad things have been done by atheist and religious people, but still a universe without an Eternal Justice and law giver intimidates people.
  22. Oct 11, 2007 #21
    I think good and bad are things that can't be defined. They depend on the time, the place, the setting, the person, and many such issues. Good and Bad are different for different people. For someone killing is bad, while for someone else it is good(if it serves a purpose)

    What I think is that

  23. Oct 12, 2007 #22
    objective moral law.

    if you were the only person on the earth then there wouldnt be any moral issues. moral issues only result when you have more than one person and their goals (which might be subjective and arbitrary) conflict. some fair way of resolving the conflict has to be worked out. a way that treats all involved equally. the resulting moral laws are not subjective. they are just as objective as the physical laws that govern the universe.

    some people do indeed get confused and turn moral laws into dogma which is subjective and arbitrary. but that is completely different.

    people are not naturally rational creatures. reason must be learned. left to themeselves people will do self destrutive things. not to mention things that are destructive to others.

    having said that, a distinction must be made between 'what' and 'why'. playing games may be silly and irrational but if there is a rational reason 'why' it is being done then it doesnt matter that 'what' is being done is irrational. thats probably why we call it 'reason'.

    subjective does not mean 'in ones head'. it means that something depends on how one looks at it. there is a big difference. numbers only exist in peoples head but the answer to a math problem does not depend on how you look at the problem. it is determined entirely by precise mathematical rules. objective moral laws fall into the same category.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2007
  24. Oct 12, 2007 #23
    Good and bad are real only because they are consequential labels. A good for me is something which increases my assessment of my situation. How exactly is this not real?

    Now I could be suffering from inaccurate thinking, for example thinking some particular thing is good for me may in fact be causing me harm (mmmmm French fries....) However this does not imply that there exist no good or bad things.

    Because the universe imposes consequences (results) for various types of actions, good and bad labels are useful, and real.

    Often in life the "illusions" are more important to our survival and happiness than any "reality" we may construct in opposition to them.

    That many folks conflate useful and hazardous with heavenliness and evil (a mistake in my opinion) is not an argument in support of tossing consequential morality assessment out the window.

    Morality is about conflicts of interest, if there were no such conflicts there would be no need for moral evaluation at all, and indeed no meaning to the term itself.
  25. Oct 12, 2007 #24
    Good and bad are completely subjective.
    This is clearly false. Even an Amoeba is attracted to food and repelled by things like intense heat or cold. On a basic level.... good and bad.
    They are subjective terms, if we can't apply them to other entities, then we can't apply them to other humans either. It all depends on where YOU decide to draw the line.
    If it was me, it would still not be good to kick a puppy.

    Relativism doesn't equal illusory.
  26. Oct 18, 2007 #25
    You are talking about “good” as in favorable, but in philosophy “good” is almost always meant to mean moral
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