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Good and evil

  1. Nov 20, 2003 #1
    whats good and whats evil? what are the border lines of the two if any?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2003 #2
    a good time to do evil

    i think this depends on what your view point is "like most things" , one person says "i'm doing good for the world by commint this act", but the act is evil to the person it is happening too.

    i think this question can only be answered by the moral's of the person doing this evil or this good,

    but then again "WHY" if there is a god does evil exist , an answer would be to show what good is.

    thats about as far as i can go can anyone else go on?
  4. Nov 21, 2003 #3
    Good and evil are only two opposite extremes of the same thing. The only boundaries lie in one's perception.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2003
  5. Nov 21, 2003 #4
    It depends on whether your action
    brings any positve or negative outcome
    to yourself and the others.
  6. Nov 22, 2003 #5

    Another God

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    Good/Evil = Ethics = Value Theory Forum.
  7. Nov 22, 2003 #6
    There's one thing I would like to say.
    Without good, we would not know what is bad,
    and vice versa.
  8. Nov 24, 2003 #7
    There must be a God

    In order for evil or good to exsist there must be a God. I'll explain...

    If all we have is ourselves to determine what is evil then can it really exsist? Lets say 50 years ago it was considered evil to eat pie. Anyone who did so was evil. Now time passes and pie is no longer evil - it's perfectly fine for you. If something can loose it's evilness - was it ever really evil?

    God exsists seperate from creation and His standards of evil do not change with time. What was evil - is still evil. What shifts to see evil as not being evil is simply identifing itself as agreeing with the evil and therefore evil itself.

    The argument is the same for the good side of the coin.

    So what do you think? Can there be evil or good without God. If so how?
  9. Nov 25, 2003 #8


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    This is certainly a popular position, dating from Nietzsche I suppose. Camus expressed it vividly. But I wonder.

    I have been toying with the idea that morality is an emergent property of community. As such it cannot be "seen" by logic, a feature of the individual mind, any more than temperature can be "seen" by the colliding particles in a gas.

    The idea becomes non trivial when we think of interacting with our own communities, and the fact that we may belong to more than one communitiy (church, state,class) with different moralities, and then that we as individuals and through us, our communities, can perceive and react to other communities.

    I think I can get from this idea to the fact that we have come to believe that genocide is evil. Why it wasn't perceived before, and how it is reasonable for us in one community to care about the fate of others in an alien community.
  10. Nov 25, 2003 #9
    Good and Evil is a more complex form of the animal's sense of pain and pleasure. Thus we humans needed good and evil to stop our wild and violent disputes over simple things like territory and food. So good and evil as changed along with our ever changing society. Good and evil was created by us and still grows with us. So it makes sense to think that once it was evil to eat pie or chocolate.

    It's just a simple mental invention created by us and used by most of us to make life easier like any other inventions purposes. To create something to make life easier.
  11. Nov 25, 2003 #10

    Another God

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    my last exam is tomorrow. After that I will finally get my butt into gear and write my little excerpt (it will be like 3000 words probably) on what ethics are, and how good/bad are created. (from my point of view anyway. I mean, this paper will be my theory, entirely open to debate)
  12. Nov 26, 2003 #11
    "I take what I desire, for I am THANOS"

    I'm not taking a shot at anyone here Thanos, this is a thread on good and evil and I could not help but notice your signature and it got me thinking.

    I believe something as well - evil does not start with "e" but with "I", while Good ends with "U".
  13. Nov 26, 2003 #12

    Another God

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    yeah, like "I will kill you" and "I hate you" and so forth :wink:
  14. Nov 26, 2003 #13
    Re: There must be a God

    This viewpoint assumes that Good and Evil exist as absolutes.
    That is the point.
    Good and Evil do not exist within the confines of the context you are referring to "exist" in.
    First of all, they are not two seperate qualities, they are at either ends of a single scale.

    Cause and effect:
    Every event is a cause.
    One of the many effects of that cause could be an emotional reaction within the observer(s) of said event.
    Each of the other effects also has the potential to cause an emotional reaction in the observer(s).
    Due to individuality of the observers and their past experiences that shaped who each of them are, their perspectives (therefore their emotional reactions) will widely vary.

    Where one's reaction to the original cause-event falls on that scale is nothing more than that individual's personal perspective of their surroundings and what role that cause-event and each of its effects to plays in their surroundings.

    The simple fact that the Bible says "Thou shall not kill" is not proof that killing is a universal Evil.
    It is a simple everyday fact of nature in the animal kingdom.
    Is a Lion Evil for eating a Zebra?
    Of course not.
    The fact that indescriminate killing is widely (almost universally) seen as a detriment to a productive society does not make it a universal Evil.
    The Bible also says that you shouldn't have pre-marital sex, on my personal scale, pre-marital sex is right at the very end of the good side.

    In order for Good and Evil to exist as absolutes (as opposed to abstract notions) they would have to be universally defined, which is simply not possible.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2003
  15. Nov 26, 2003 #14
    I believe something as well - evil does not start with "e" but with "I", while Good ends with "U". [/B][/QUOTE]

    Please explain beter thanks
  16. Nov 26, 2003 #15
    I am pretty sure he meant...

    Selfish = thoughts/intentions begin with "I" = Evil
    Selfless = thoughts/intentions begin with "You" = Good
  17. Nov 27, 2003 #16
    Nothing selfless about helping someone. Every action one does ultimately does for oneself. Whether one does it for money or does it because it the right thing to do. You are doing it because in some sense it's for yourself. Money is more direct and to the point when actions are done to make it. But doing it because you know it's the right thing to do, but it doesn't help you with things that you are aware of, it still serves it's purpose by satisfying your mind by the regrets you'll get later for not helping. So call me selfish for helping or for not because in some sense we all are. It's all based on our values and some value mind over body, so when faced with a "selfless" act we tend to sway towards the minds want instead of the body (materialistic) wants.
  18. Nov 28, 2003 #17
    Good and evil are not ideas that can really be defined. What's good in one culture may be evil in another culture. Good and evil are primarily based on society and the way they deem actions and thoughts as being good or being evil. It is not one general idea, but rather ideas based on your perception of the world you live in. The border line between good and evil exists but is not clear. Good and evil tend to overlap each other so no real distinction can be made. Evil spelled backwards is the word live. We, as human beings have both good and evil inside of us. To live is to be both good and evil, whatever they may be.

    I have heard this before. It may be true, perhaps it is in our subconscious and we may or may not realize that in helping someone else we are in effect helping ourselves as well.
  19. Nov 29, 2003 #18
    Good is only good so long as it remains in context with truth. Whereas evil would have you believe just about anything to maintain what it wants.

    Life is the "good" of which "truth" is the context which binds it together.
  20. Nov 29, 2003 #19
    That's good I like it,

    but I see a loop hole, what happens if your truth tells you that your boss is an idiot. Does that make keying his car or shooting his dog OK?
  21. Nov 29, 2003 #20
    Sounds to me like your boss is an egotistical maniac and would have you believe just about anything in order to get what he wants. I would have as little to do with him as possible, unless risk the possibility of becoming the very thing that I hate.

    We all get angry, which suggests we all have the capacity to do evil, but it's what we do with this anger which, is typically brought on by some injustice -- initially -- that determines whether we ultimately do good or bad. Perhaps the worst thing we could do is let it build up and fester, as resentment, in which case we may never get rid of it.
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