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    (Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
    I think you're overestimating humans, and maybe misinterpreting human psychology in some ways. Most of us don't grasp the concepts of good and evil. When we do act evilly, we don't do so because the act is evil, or with the philosophical idea of evil foremost on our mind - usually we do it for our own gain, at someone else's expense, on the spur of the moment, and while attempting to convince ourselves that it's not such a bad thing to do after all. Any animal will act in its own best interests.

    I disagree, if we didn't grasp the concepts of good and evil then why do we naturally have a conscious when it comes to good and evil acts? Why do we feel guilty if we do something wrong, at least initially? The fact that humans can spend years, if not decades meticulously planning out acts of evil as in the case of high scale robberies and other pre-meditated crimes shows that humans are not acting on mere instinct alone or spur of the moment decisions
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    Our feelings, emotions, intellect, our method of communicating and choice to choose between what we perceive to be right and wrong.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    yes but that doesn't mean "retard" and "imbicile" aren't legitimately descriptive nouns - if I say "retard", what do you think of? a stupid person - exactly - or rather, an excessively stupid person; behond the mere bounds of general stupidity. so we're talking about the right ideas here - just because people throw around the word "retard" to just mean "stupid person" it doesn't make it inaccurate
    But then we aren't talking about people being stupid right? It's more about people having a moral consciousness. Stupidity is a judgement I think, whereas having a moral conscious is based more on fact: good or bad, right or wrong.
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    (Original post by bxcks_)
    But then we aren't talking about people being stupid right? It's more about people having a moral consciousness. Stupidity is a judgement I think, whereas having a moral conscious is based more on fact: good or bad, right or wrong.
    I don't understand - are you saying the problem with the term "retard" is that it is "immoral"? how? I'm not trying to insult anyone, I'm just concerned with using the most descriptively appropriate terms. also, surely if somebody is retarded, they should be comfortable with their own existence enough to not take offence? shouldn't we be promoting self-confidence instead of teaching against "offence language"?
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Okay, well, from a personal/ religious perspective I would argue that all morality stems from the nature and rules made by God. Because God is all supreme and powerful He made the rules by which humanity must adhere to in order to be considered righteous in His eyes. Because God is perfect and is Love itself (not just feels Love but IS Love itself) then the rules he makes are therefore perfect and are suitable as an objective standard of behaviour and conduct, if you understand me? Because if something is defined as evil by God then logically anything that goes against Him and His nature must be contrary to perfect goodness.

    But I know that you won't accept that as an arguement as you are (presumably) an atheist. So how about the fact that most societies throughout history, even ones prior to abrahamic religion, have considered murder to be an act of evil? Some to the point where the death penalty has been prescribed as punishment for it. Murder is evil because you are taking the position that you should not be taking on. Who is one human to end the life of another? It is presumptuous and prideful.

    How do you mean that we are not unique? We are very much a unique species. What other animal on earth do you know dedicates entire lives to the pursuit of the higher things such as philosophy, wisdom, art, religion or to the studies of the natural physical world such as mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology? What other animal do you know composes exquisite musical masterpieces or breathtaking works of art or technology or medicine that improves the lives of many of its other species? Animals don't do this, they just compete with each other for resources mainly.
    Your argument only holds based on the premises that God exists, and since this has not been definitely proved either way it's a weak one to make. I'm not about to get into a big religious debate because I think we both know all of the arguments for and against God, but stating "because God says so" doesn't necessarily state why it is evil, even if it lets you identify what is evil. But yes, I dispute this anyway, as well as the idea that morality is objective.

    I have two responses to your second paragraph. Firstly, just because other societies have punished murder as an evil act that doesn't provide proof that it is. It just suggests that these societies think it is, whereas if an act was truly evil then it would be so independently and with proof as to why. Take it as a case of everyone thinking that the earth is flat; it doesn't mean it is. Secondly, murder is damaging for societal cohesion, law and order, so it is only natural that a society punishes people for committing such an act. But just because an act is damaging, that doesn't make it objectively evil.

    What I meant is that humans aren't unique with respects to having emotion, committing 'evil' acts seemingly for the sake of it, etc. Presumably any sufficiently advanced species would also be capable of the same activities, but we are the only species on this planet that is currently capable of doing so. We are unique only so far as no other advanced species evolves. This basically just puts us on a spectrum of intelligence. You have to remember, even a human won't just kill someone for the sake of it. There has to be a transaction, i.e. they must get something out of it. Be that wealth, revenge, protection or even just an emotional kick out of doing it, they're choosing to do so because they stand to gain something rather than choosing to do it because it's the 'evil thing to do'. And humans compete for resources all the time, they just take slightly different forms than that of animals (so money, oil, technology, even water in some parts of the world).
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    I don't understand - are you saying the problem with the term "retard" is that it is "immoral"? how? I'm not trying to insult anyone, I'm just concerned with using the most descriptively appropriate terms
    Nope, I'm not saying that you're being insulting, I'm just saying that the way you described a "retard" and "imbecile" as primarily to do with being excessively stupid has little to do with the point we are both trying to make (what makes us human).
    Initially, you talked about all of us having a sense of rationality, but then we said that there are still 'humans' who don't have a sense of rationality, thus bringing us onto "retards" and "imbeciles". However, I think the point primarily lies on the fact that we all have a moral consciousness, no matter if you are a criminal or a "retard", you will still have one but it would be differently aligned🤔

    Then again, I could just be talking nonsense and just waffling this whole time😂
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    (Original post by bxcks_)
    Nope, I'm not saying that you're being insulting, I'm just saying that the way you described a "retard" and "imbecile" as primarily to do with being excessively stupid has little to do with the point we are both trying to make (what makes us human).
    Initially, you talked about all of us having a sense of rationality, but then we said that there are still 'humans' who don't have a sense of rationality, thus bringing us onto "retards" and "imbeciles". However, I think the point primarily lies on the fact that we all have a moral consciousness, no matter if you are a criminal or a "retard", you will still have one but it would be differently aligned🤔

    Then again, I could just be talking nonsense and just waffling this whole time😂
    if you're telling me that I shouldn't be using these kinds of (essentially accurate) terms because I might hurt peoples feelings, all you are doing is encouraging people to lack self-confidence - "retards" should be comfortable in their own bodies, but if you're saying they shouldn't (by labelling "retard" not as a description but a pure insult), then what kind of message is that?
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    if you're telling me that I shouldn't be using these kinds of (essentially accurate) terms because I might hurt peoples feelings, all you are doing is encouraging people to lack self-confidence - "retards" should be comfortable in their own bodies, but if you're saying they shouldn't (by labelling "retard" not as a description but a pure insult), then what kind of message is that?
    I think I'm being misunderstood 😬 I'm not talking about labels or hurting people's feelings or anything like that (although I'm not condoning it). I'm just talking about how it related to 'rationality', soz if I angered you😅
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    Your argument only holds based on the premises that God exists, and since this has not been definitely proved either way it's a weak one to make. I'm not about to get into a big religious debate because I think we both know all of the arguments for and against God, but stating "because God says so" doesn't necessarily state why it is evil, even if it lets you identify what is evil. But yes, I dispute this anyway, as well as the idea that morality is objective.

    I have two responses to your second paragraph. Firstly, just because other societies have punished murder as an evil act that doesn't provide proof that it is. It just suggests that these societies think it is, whereas if an act was truly evil then it would be so independently and with proof as to why. Take it as a case of everyone thinking that the earth is flat; it doesn't mean it is. Secondly, murder is damaging for societal cohesion, law and order, so it is only natural that a society punishes people for committing such an act. But just because an act is damaging, that doesn't make it objectively evil.

    What I meant is that humans aren't unique with respects to having emotion, committing 'evil' acts seemingly for the sake of it, etc. Presumably any sufficiently advanced species would also be capable of the same activities, but we are the only species on this planet that is currently capable of doing so. We are unique only so far as no other advanced species evolves. This basically just puts us on a spectrum of intelligence. You have to remember, even a human won't just kill someone for the sake of it. There has to be a transaction, i.e. they must get something out of it. Be that wealth, revenge, protection or even just an emotional kick out of doing it, they're choosing to do so because they stand to gain something rather than choosing to do it because it's the 'evil thing to do'. And humans compete for resources all the time, they just take slightly different forms than that of animals (so money, oil, technology, even water in some parts of the world).
    Why is murder evil? It inflicts harm and pain upon another human and deprives them of living their life against their will. Nobody is murdered by their own choice, when it is we call it euthanasia. That is why murder is an objectively evil act.

    You can't compare everyone thinking the earth is flat to everyone thinking murder is evil. You can objectively prove by scientific method that the earth is round irregardless of what anyone else thinks. Murder has historically and still remains to be considered an act of great evil because the very concept disturbs our innermost consciences, an internal moral compass present in most humans beings from the moment they are born. When most people witness murder or violence they get PTSD as soldiers and even slaughterhouse workers get; thus pointing towards an instinctive aversion towards seeing and committing violence in most humans. As far as I'm aware animals don't suffer PTSD from killing other animals either for fun or prey.

    Some humans do kill things just for the sake of it, how do you explain psychopaths? Also I know that humans do compete for some resources but animals don't set up charities for each other or have complicated and large social support systems such as care homes, the NHS, benefits system etc etc
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Why is murder evil? It inflicts harm and pain upon another human and deprives them of living their life against their will. Nobody is murdered by their own choice, when it is we call it euthanasia. That is why murder is an objectively evil act.

    You can't compare everyone thinking the earth is flat to everyone thinking murder is evil. You can objectively prove by scientific method that the earth is round irregardless of what anyone else thinks. Murder has historically and still remains to be considered an act of great evil because the very concept disturbs our innermost consciences, an internal moral compass present in most humans beings from the moment they are born. When most people witness murder or violence they get PTSD as soldiers and even slaughterhouse workers get; thus pointing towards an instinctive aversion towards seeing and committing violence in most humans. As far as I'm aware animals don't suffer PTSD from killing other animals either for fun or prey.

    Some humans do kill things just for the sake of it, how do you explain psychopaths? Also I know that humans do compete for some resources but animals don't set up charities for each other or have complicated and large social support systems such as care homes, the NHS, benefits system etc etc
    But evil isn't measurable, sure it's bad for the person who gets killed but the act of actually killing someone isn't truly, objectively evil. It's just a thing that happens, nothing is necessarily good or evil. There are things that are beneficial to our immediate circumstances and things that aren't, but nothing is good or evil. I'm not condoning murder btw lol, obviously I disagree with it for the reasons you've stated, but I'm disputing the idea that 'evil' can be tangibly measured or even is really a thing outside of personal perpectives.

    No, I was saying that past societies thinking murder is evil is as invalid as saying past societies thought the earth is flat, therefore it is. The opinions of past societies are irrelevant to whether or not evil exists. And that's precisely what I'm saying - murder is considered to be "an act of great evil" due to the reasons you've stated, but that doesn't make it a real thing. Evil doesn't exist, there is only that which is beneficial and that which is damaging to any individual or society. Natural aversion is irrelevant because it just means witnessing a murder has a negative impact on us for whatever reason, so our bodies are damaged by it (such as developing PTSD).

    Psychopaths get an emotional kick out of killing, some enjoy playing games with the police or their victims. They don't just think "I'm going to murder someone because it's evil", they think "I'm going to murder someone because I get an emotional kick from breaking the rules of society". And things such as charities, NHS etc are all things that help to build a stable and prosperous society. No one wants to pay a huge medical bill when they get hurt, so we pay taxes to sustain the NHS. People feel good about giving to charity, so they give to charity. You can try and dress it up as a moral duty, but if any given individual's personal circumstances were negatiely impacted in a meaningful way from giving to a charity then they simply wouldn't do it.
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    Its a matter of intelligence.We have higher intelligence than animals but its a difference of degree, not kind.Kind of like the difference between a laptop and a 1990's computer.It still does the same thing,just ones a bit more refined at doing it.We probably notice the difference more between us and animals, because the animals most comparable to us either died off or were killed off.I speak of course of extinct humans like neanderthals and denisovans.
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    But evil isn't measurable, sure it's bad for the person who gets killed but the act of actually killing someone isn't truly, objectively evil. It's just a thing that happens, nothing is necessarily good or evil. There are things that are beneficial to our immediate circumstances and things that aren't, but nothing is good or evil. I'm not condoning murder btw lol, obviously I disagree with it for the reasons you've stated, but I'm disputing the idea that 'evil' can be tangibly measured or even is really a thing outside of personal perpectives.

    No, I was saying that past societies thinking murder is evil is as invalid as saying past societies thought the earth is flat, therefore it is. The opinions of past societies are irrelevant to whether or not evil exists. And that's precisely what I'm saying - murder is considered to be "an act of great evil" due to the reasons you've stated, but that doesn't make it a real thing. Evil doesn't exist, there is only that which is beneficial and that which is damaging to any individual or society. Natural aversion is irrelevant because it just means witnessing a murder has a negative impact on us for whatever reason, so our bodies are damaged by it (such as developing PTSD).

    Psychopaths get an emotional kick out of killing, some enjoy playing games with the police or their victims. They don't just think "I'm going to murder someone because it's evil", they think "I'm going to murder someone because I get an emotional kick from breaking the rules of society". And things such as charities, NHS etc are all things that help to build a stable and prosperous society. No one wants to pay a huge medical bill when they get hurt, so we pay taxes to sustain the NHS. People feel good about giving to charity, so they give to charity. You can try and dress it up as a moral duty, but if any given individual's personal circumstances were negatiely impacted in a meaningful way from giving to a charity then they simply wouldn't do it.
    I see your points, and you argue well, but were just going to have to agree to disagree. You're right of course, we can't measure evil on a quantitative scale like we can concentration of light intensity, for example, but we can see how some evil acts are worse than others on a scale on magnitude. To an atheist such as yourself, I guess your viewpoint works for you, but I still personally maintain that evil and good comes from God and I use his principles as a rough guidance on what is right and what is wrong for me to do

    I don't see how you can deny that evil exists as a concept when you see what humanity is capable of on a pretty much daily basis. You only need to glance over the headlines of your average daily newspaper to see what is wrong with humanity. But predatory animals don't develop PTSD from killing other animals, humans do. This is what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, which is the point I'm trying to make here.

    Okay, fair point about psychopaths but how is an individual not negatively impacted from engaging in an act of altruism? When you donate to a charity monetarily you are disadvantaging yourself for a stranger you neither know nor will probably ever meet. When you give blood you loose some of your precious vital fluid and undergo pain and risk potential infection for again, a stranger you will likely never meet.
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    The fact that we are inherently inquisitive. No other species ever encountered bares the same trait.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    I see your points, and you argue well, but were just going to have to agree to disagree. You're right of course, we can't measure evil on a quantitative scale like we can concentration of light intensity, for example, but we can see how some evil acts are worse than others on a scale on magnitude. To an atheist such as yourself, I guess your viewpoint works for you, but I still personally maintain that evil and good comes from God and I use his principles as a rough guidance on what is right and what is wrong for me to do

    I don't see how you can deny that evil exists as a concept when you see what humanity is capable of on a pretty much daily basis. You only need to glance over the headlines of your average daily newspaper to see what is wrong with humanity. But predatory animals don't develop PTSD from killing other animals, humans do. This is what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, which is the point I'm trying to make here.

    Okay, fair point about psychopaths but how is an individual not negatively impacted from engaging in an act of altruism? When you donate to a charity monetarily you are disadvantaging yourself for a stranger you neither know nor will probably ever meet. When you give blood you loose some of your precious vital fluid and undergo pain and risk potential infection for again, a stranger you will likely never meet.
    I agree about agreeing to disagree haha, I think our perspectives are irreconcilable due to the religious element. If God does make the rules then your argument holds, but it is entirely dependant on that. In a world without God then it has no tangible meaning, and even in a world with God it's only because God says it's a bad thing to do.

    Oh I agree that evil as a concept exists if we're using the word 'evil' as a synonym for the word 'bad'. There are certainly some very terrible things that happen in this world, but all of this is from a human perspective. In the grand scheme of things there are no good acts or evil acts, there is simply what happened. Person B was murdered by Person A. It was a very bad outcome for Person B, and it implies that the rest of society will be endangered so we shall imprison person A and call this an evil act. But the universe doesn't care whether or not Person A was murdered; it's simply something that happened. Because to me, the world 'evil' means more than just bad. To me it implies that there is an inherent reason why it is wrong above and beyond what each party stands to gain, and there simply isn't one. And I think the PTSD thing is because we're more developed than other animals. I imagine the evolutionary purpose is something along the lines of getting us to avoid conflict, because that may endanger our own life.

    Because the opportunity cost is lower than what they stand to gain. A person who donates to charity clearly values feeling good about themselves by helping someone less fortunate moreso than they value having that £2 coin that they just put in the collection bucket. If they had to donate £2000 I doubt they'd be as enthusiastic. Everything we do is a transaction; we don't do something for no reason.
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    I agree about agreeing to disagree haha, I think our perspectives are irreconcilable due to the religious element. If God does make the rules then your argument holds, but it is entirely dependant on that. In a world without God then it has no tangible meaning, and even in a world with God it's only because God says it's a bad thing to do.

    Oh I agree that evil as a concept exists if we're using the word 'evil' as a synonym for the word 'bad'. There are certainly some very terrible things that happen in this world, but all of this is from a human perspective. In the grand scheme of things there are no good acts or evil acts, there is simply what happened. Person B was murdered by Person A. It was a very bad outcome for Person B, and it implies that the rest of society will be endangered so we shall imprison person A and call this an evil act. But the universe doesn't care whether or not Person A was murdered; it's simply something that happened. Because to me, the world 'evil' means more than just bad. To me it implies that there is an inherent reason why it is wrong above and beyond what each party stands to gain, and there simply isn't one. And I think the PTSD thing is because we're more developed than other animals. I imagine the evolutionary purpose is something along the lines of getting us to avoid conflict, because that may endanger our own life.

    Because the opportunity cost is lower than what they stand to gain. A person who donates to charity clearly values feeling good about themselves by helping someone less fortunate moreso than they value having that £2 coin that they just put in the collection bucket. If they had to donate £2000 I doubt they'd be as enthusiastic. Everything we do is a transaction; we don't do something for no reason.
    Yeah I don't think we are going to come to any sort of meaningful agreement tbh, even your second paragraph I disagree with because whilst the universe as a whole doesn't care (mainly because it is insentient physical matter that cannot have the capacity to care) I would naturally argue that God cares quite a lot.

    Anyway this is isn't going to go anywhere further :rofl:
    I know of a person who anonymously donated his entire inheritance sum of £40,000 to a church cause so humans are capable of ridiculously large monetary donations altruistically although he probably did feel quite good about it
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    (Original post by dr_sepheroth)
    From a Philosophical point of view.
    It can be argued that Love is the only ingredient required to make us human, but this can also be debated as another view states that our desire to explore and understand is what makes us human.
    I personally think aspects from all three views are relevant.
    I would disagree with you there purely because there are some animals that mate for life, whereas apparently a third (give or take) of all marriages end in divorce.

    So if love is a prerequisite for being human than certain animals are better at being human than humans are, or so it would seem.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Yeah I don't think we are going to come to any sort of meaningful agreement tbh, even your second paragraph I disagree with because whilst the universe as a whole doesn't care (mainly because it is insentient physical matter that cannot have the capacity to care) I would naturally argue that God cares quite a lot.

    Anyway this is isn't going to go anywhere further :rofl:
    I know of a person who anonymously donated his entire inheritance sum of £40,000 to a church cause so humans are capable of ridiculously large monetary donations altruistically although he probably did feel quite good about it
    Oh I didn't literally mean the universe caring like a person lol, I just meant on the whole that everything is without purpose. It may be evil to us, but at the end of the day all that happened is that a bunch of sentient atoms rammed a sharp collection of atoms at another sentient collection of atoms, and the latter collection 'died' (i.e. one person got stabbed by another). In this sense, 'the universe' doesn't care (it has no objective meaning). And clearly his threshold for happiness is higher than most people's, but my point being that altruism is only approved of so far as the person doing it doesn't think they are going to have a net loss of 'things', whether those things are good emotions, money, possessions etc doesn't really matter.
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    Or a better analogy of the question would be would be what doesn't make us human ????(love from molly)
 
 
 
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