Does ''Good'' And ''Bad'' Matter In REALITY ? Watch

Vlad83
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Did PEOPLE invent the principles of ''wrong'' and ''right'', ''good'' and ''bad'' ? Do these principles have any REAL significance in the REAL world ? If people invented those principles - AND if no living beings existed and people did not exist - would the principles of ''good'' and ''bad'' REALLY matter in the physical fabric of the existence, in the physical, material realm of things that exist in REALITY ? Thank you.
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Vlad83
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How would you comment about this ?
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anosmianAcrimony
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The principles of good and bad operate at the level of people. People cannot be proven to exist, so good and bad have no firm physical existence.

That doesn't mean that good and bad don't matter. What matters is what people decide matters - the whole idea of ''mattering'' is also a human-invented concept. A lot of people think that morals matter, so they matter.
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Vlad83
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(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
The principles of good and bad operate at the level of people. People cannot be proven to exist, so good and bad have no firm physical existence.

That doesn't mean that good and bad don't matter. What matters is what people decide matters - the whole idea of ''mattering'' is also a human-invented concept. A lot of people think that morals matter, so they matter.
Thank you for this. But if people did NOT exist - would ''wrong'' and ''right'' , ''good'' and ''bad'' matter ? Not just exist but MATTER ?
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Vinny C
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They matter when it comes to cooperation and trust. Humans, like apes, achieve much more when working as a team so do's and don't's have to be established or we spend as much time guarding against each other as we do a common enemy. These do's and don't's change over the centuries but work as long as we're all on the same hymn sheet.
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Vlad83
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(Original post by Vinny C)
They matter when it comes to cooperation and trust. Humans, like apes, achieve much more when working as a team so do's and don't's have to be established or we spend as much time guarding against each other as we do a common enemy. These do's and don't's change over the centuries but work as long as we're all on the same hymn sheet.
Thank you. Ok. But if people did not exist, would 'right' and 'wrong', 'good' and 'bad' matter or have any significance in reality or in the material realm ?
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Vinny C
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(Original post by Vlad83)
Thank you. Ok. But if people did not exist, would 'right' and 'wrong', 'good' and 'bad' matter or have any significance in reality or in the material realm ?
They matter for any group working as an effective team, animals hunting in packs or schools for example. I'm sure examples of cooperation also exist in both insect and plant kingdoms. Nature is at root level, everything trying to kill everything else but a species gains advantage by not attacking its own.
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anosmianAcrimony
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(Original post by Vinny C)
They matter for any group working as an effective team, animals hunting in packs or schools for example. I'm sure examples of cooperation also exist in both insect and plant kingdoms. Nature is at root level, everything trying to kill everything else but a species gains advantage by not attacking its own.
Not everything tries to kill everything else. Plenty of things just try to meekly escape notice, and also plenty of things actively forge mutually beneficial partnerships with other species.

In fact I don't think there's anything that tries to kill *everything* else. That seems a little ambitious.
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Leti-
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Ethically, "good" and "bad" aren't real concepts as they differ from person to person There's no definition or definite standings it's all based on moral judgement although to humans they matter a lot, they're often defining parts of our character.
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Vinny C
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(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
Not everything tries to kill everything else. Plenty of things just try to meekly escape notice, and also plenty of things actively forge mutually beneficial partnerships with other species.

In fact I don't think there's anything that tries to kill *everything* else. That seems a little ambitious.
Look up Darwin's garden. Species unfamiliar competed unto genocide.
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QE2
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(Original post by Vlad83)
Thank you. Ok. But if people did not exist, would 'right' and 'wrong', 'good' and 'bad' matter or have any significance in reality or in the material realm ?
No.
"Good", "bad", "right", wrong" etc, are all human constructs and are entirely subjective in the context of a particular time and place.

The universe doesn't care whether we love each other or massacre each other. The process of expansion, of the birth and death of stars, the accretion of planets, the emergence of life and civilisation throughout the billions of galaxies will carry on unchanged, regardless of us and what we think.
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Vlad83
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'Wrong' and 'right', 'good' and 'bad' - do they matter in the material reality ?
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Axiomasher
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(Original post by Vlad83)
'Wrong' and 'right', 'good' and 'bad' - do they matter in the material reality ?
Yeah, we're social animals so we need there to be rules as to what is sociably acceptable and what isn't.
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Vlad83
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(Original post by Axiomasher)
Yeah, we're social animals so we need there to be rules as to what is sociably acceptable and what isn't.
Thank you. But do they matter outside of the people's society and all other living beings - in the fabric of the reality and in the existence in general ?
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Assembly
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Firstly, it is essential to unpack the meaning of 'good', 'bad', 'right' or 'wrong' as the terms are relative to individual perception. Do you mean 'good' or 'bad' in the pragmatic sense? Take, for example, a spider breaking one of its legs accidentally; this, I would argue, is not morally 'bad' but pragmatically 'bad' as the spider would have difficulty walking. The spider would likely recognize this as pragmatically 'bad' as they may suffer when trying to trap prey, so I would use this example to assert the fact that people did not 'invent the principles of good and bad'. While in the linguistic sense, people did invent the words, but we did not invent the principles.

Now, if 'no living beings existed', then I would argue that 'good' and 'bad' do not 'matter' in the 'physical, material realm'. This is because there is no being to recognize or judge the principles of 'good' or 'bad'. Earthquakes, floods, or any natural disaster - for example - could not be classed as 'bad' because there are no beings in existance for them to affect. While you could argue they might be 'good' or 'bad' for a planet - or any noun that is not a 'being' - something that is not a being could not recognize those principles because they are not cognisant. So, 'good' or 'bad' would not 'matter' because the principles would not exist.
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Last edited by Assembly; 4 months ago
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Axiomasher
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(Original post by Vlad83)
Thank you. But do they matter outside of the people's society and all other living beings - in the fabric of the reality and in the existence in general ?
No, 'right' and 'wrong' aren't forces of nature in the sense gravity and electromagnetism are, they concern us as they are a manifestation of our behavioural evolution
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Vlad83
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(Original post by Axiomasher)
No, 'right' and 'wrong' aren't forces of nature in the sense gravity and electromagnetism are, they concern us as they are a manifestation of our behavioural evolution
In other words, these principles do not really EXIST at all, they do not affect the material realm, they only matter to humans ? Because they were created by humans.
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Vlad83
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(Original post by Assembly)
floods, or any natural disaster - for example - could not be classed as 'bad' because there are no beings in existance for them to affect.
Ok. Thank you. But, for example, a flood or a natural disaster has caused DAMAGE to nature, even though there are no living beings. It has broken something etc. Is not this BAD ? Bad for a part of nature itself. There are no humans, no living beings to apply or make use of the principles 'good' or 'bad' for this damage. Do, therefore, 'good' and 'bad' not matter ? Or - maybe because there is a REALLY EXISTING DAMAGE to something - this is Bad itself ? Is, for example, DAMAGE in itself BAD in the existence, in the material realm - even though there are no people, no living beings at all, to indicate that a Damage is a Bad thing ?
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Axiomasher
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(Original post by Vlad83)
In other words, these principles do not really EXIST at all, they do not affect the material realm, they only matter to humans ? Because they were created by humans.
Humans exist in the 'material realm' and our behaviour is a part of that 'material realm', we've evolved to have social attitudes and responses towards others which we call 'right' and 'wrong' and these social attitudes, from a scientific perspective, are manifestations of physical brain-states, i.e. they exist in the material realm.
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Assembly
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(Original post by Vlad83)
Ok. Thank you. But, for example, a flood or a natural disaster has caused DAMAGE to nature, even though there are no living beings. It has broken something etc. Is not this BAD ? Bad for a part of nature itself. There are no humans, no living beings to apply or make use of the principles 'good' or 'bad' for this damage. Do, therefore, 'good' and 'bad' not matter ? Or - maybe because there is a REALLY EXISTING DAMAGE to something - this is Bad itself ? Is, for example, DAMAGE in itself BAD in the existence, in the material realm - even though there are no people, no living beings at all, to indicate that a Damage is a Bad thing ?
Hmm okay, this is getting rather interesting. So, a 'flood or natural disaster has caused damage to nature' - but has it? As you say, the premis is that there are no 'living beings'. So, that would mean there is no grass, trees, plants or any organic matter that grows. So, this alternate Earth would consist of mud, sand, rocks, snow etc - anything that is not a 'being'. Remember, by definition the state of 'being' is defined as 'being alive/living'; organic matter 'lives', plants can die. Therefore, how can any natural disaster be classed as 'bad'? There is nothing that it could harm in any way. True, the concept of damage would exist - but if there are no cognisant beings, what is to say that damage is 'good' or 'bad'?.

Let's take your example of damage a step further. Say lightning obliterates a rock; by definition, the lightning has damaged that rock - so is that good or bad? While it might be good for a nearby stream as bits of that rock fall in and mineral ions get absorbed into the water, it might also be bad for the rock because 'it has broken' (as you put it). But, with no living beings to comprehend what is good or bad (the rock can't think) - the concepts would not exist, so it could not be 'bad' because 'bad' would not be an idea.
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Last edited by Assembly; 4 months ago
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