Eff's Rambles (Archive)

5/13/2004

Recently in the Philosophy and Absurdity chatroom in PalTalk, the notion that people are good until they are abused, in this case not being listened to, was brought up by Tiffers101. She also contended that we all have some evil in us.

It's difficult to characterize someone as evil. It is seemingly unlikely, but even some one whose level of evil is arbitrarily estimated as 80 % to his good side's 20 % could commit acts of goodness.

For the sake of the arguments, I will not debate what acts are definable as evil, nor will I argue over whether or not the label of evil is justified by the commission of a single act.

Tangible evil, that which can be witnessed, have the effects thereof seen, supports Tiffer101's notion. When committed after an abuse, there exists an apparent cause and effect. The strongest argument here is the absence of the knowledge of nefarious intent before the abuse.

But if we define evil beyond empirical examples, we delve into the notion of evil intent. Without knowing the intention of the abused man before his said abuse, we cannot know if the abuse was the cause of his evil or a coincidental occurrence in advance of the implementation of an intended evil. But this ignorance on our part also makes it impossible to disprove the notion that the abuse was the cause of the evil.

Therefore we have the conundrums of defining evil, by intent or action alone, and the question of whether evil came about regardless of, or because of, an abuse.

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