Eff's Rambles (Archive)

2/22/2005

Been Tardy

I'd planned to take a break from the groups I belong to, but personal matters and some depression over them has caused me to return, partially.

The truth is I belong to too many groups, but I can't bring myself to leave most of them.

I think what I should do is pick one group at a time and focus on it so that I feel I am at least trying to contribute, and not divide my attention, though I might neglect the others for a while.

It should be noted that I don't have an opinion and decent understanding of everything under the sun, or don't want to share my opinions on some issues.

2/14/2005

On the subject of evil and defining people as such.

Evil is a complex issue. Of consideration are myriad factors. Each act can, in theory, have its justifications. Likewise, when there exists hypocrisy in those judging what is evil, their standards for defining what is evil can be used against them in their claim of something as being evil. Some might argue the relevancy of hypocrisy when there exists necessity to justify an act. Some might argue that an act is evil regardless of the benefit or intent behind the act. And some in that debate will agree that the evil act was necessary, while others will not. Some will find that the act, though defined as evil when done by others, is not evil when they do it.

And neccesity brings me to the subject of defining someone as evil. On an individual level, for things such as murder and rape, it seems a consensus that these are evil and thus murderers and rapists are evil. But war and painful impositions by governments on their people is a harder matter to define. Acts of war and acts to prevent war can have serious hypothetical consequences. What is the greatest good, and how can it best be served? Here we have the qaundry of competing theories and the morality of what which interest is best to act in the defense of.

I thought about this for a few days, and my conclusion is this: While evil acts can find people to rationalise them, there are two things that distinguishes a good person from an evil person that commits evil acts, if that is possible; necessity and choice. To argue that an evil act is necessary there must exist no viable alternative. If the end goal can be met through less evil or non evil methods, or there can be some reasonable compromise, and this belief rests on a realistic understanding of the situation as a whole, than, though hypothetical negative consequences should be considered, commiting unecessary evil acts which are known to not be the only good option, makes one evil. Some acts are so terrible that no past history of humanitarian behavior can negate one from being called evil.


 

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