META: The problem of "Good vs. Evil"

Jamas Enright thad at
Mon Feb 18 23:12:20 PST 2008

On Mon, 18 Feb 2008, Tom Russell wrote:

> On Feb 18, 11:22 pm, Jamas Enright <t... at> wrote:
>> "Good" and "Evil" are judgements, which are made by humans, relative to
>> the culture they know. Tom mentions "rape", but again this is considered
>> evil by us, but there are people who consider it a good thing.
> Um...
> ... who exactly?

Remember that rape is more about power than sex, and people see rape as a 
way of teaching lessons (especially during war and stuff) to "keep 'em in 
their place".

> Murder might be another tricky thing, what with self-defense, war, et
> cetera, but does any person on the earth argue that, for example,
> serial killing is a "good" thing?  Not even serial killers think that
> it's "good"-- they just could care less, which could be called
> sociopathy or evil or whatever one wants to call it.

"whatever one wants to call it" is the point. Judged evil by some, 
socially madajusted by others...
The recent series Dexter is a good fictious example of series killer doing 
something that could be interpreted as "good".

When you get down to it, "good" and "evil" is, in many ways, equal to 
"agree with us and our views" or not.

> In fact, one of C. S. Lewis's better apologies runs along the lines
> of, God created us for his own amusement, he gave us free will so that
> we can surprise him, it is because of that free will that we're able
> to hurt each other, and so that's why a just God and an unjust world
> can coexist.  (Most of Lewis's theological arguments aren't nearly so

(cf. God has a plan for us that none of us can fathom, nor presumedly 

Bah, "free will", don't buy it. Illusion thereof, yes, but actual?... no.

To go for a far less contencious example: Robin Hood, good or evil? From 
whose point of view?

Jamas Enright
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