Trying to Reconcile Good and Evil

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Trying to Reconcile Good and Evil

This is a point that I think Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and the RRS should focus on more than they do:

One of the terrible things about religion is that once we have people that believe in a kind, mercifull, benevolent god when they witness things like tsunamis killing thousands on the day after Christmas, earthquakes, tornadoes, and starvation, they are forced to basically say that these things are good in one way or another or that they will eventually turn out to be good. I think that this is really bad for society. Some theists may say stuff like, "Ah, millions dying in Africa, that's OK, it's all part of god's plan, everything will turn out OK." Don't get me wrong, obviously MANY Christians do great things in Africa and other places and some are very compassionate people that happen to be Christian. But most probobly do it to please their god. But that is a bit beside the point. My main point is that I think it is terrible for religious people to try and disguise bad events as good.

Agree/Disagree?

Thanks


wavefreak
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Reactionary rhetoric ahead

Reactionary rhetoric ahead ...

 

What makes death by tsunami bad? Why is one form of death worse than any other. We all die, and only suicides get to choose the time, place and method.

 

Rhetoric alert expires here.

 

I have trouble with your questions because the leave things too broadly defined. Your thread title uses good and evil. Evil has a different emotional context than "bad things happen". Are you saying that the destruction of a tsunami is evil?

 

Quote:

MANY Christians do great things in Africa and other places and some are very compassionate people that happen to be Christian. But most probobly do it to please their god.

 

Ask a Christian this:

If you found out that God was going to lose and Satan would turn the tables and all the righteous would end up in hell, would you still serve Him? 

 

It seems to me that service should be because you believe in what you are doing, not what you are getting by doing it. The obsession with getting to heaven is evil if you ask me.
  


MrRage
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wavefreak wrote: I have

wavefreak wrote:

I have trouble with your questions because the leave things too broadly defined. Your thread title uses good and evil. Evil has a different emotional context than "bad things happen". Are you saying that the destruction of a tsunami is evil?

Anything that causes suffering is evil/bad.


wavefreak
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MrRage wrote: Anything

MrRage wrote:

Anything that causes suffering is evil/bad.

 Again, too broad a definition for me. Is anything that doesn't cause suffering good? Is something that lessens suffering good?

A car goes off an embankment into a canal. It's sinking fast. I can save only one of the two occupants. Ironically the one I save will suffer because they have lost a loved one. Should I let them both die so that neither suffers? Obviously this is contrived, but such a abolute definition of bad leaves the door open for all kinds of weird scenarios.


MrRage
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wavefreak,

wavefreak,

That's what I get for trying to condense a complex subject to one sentence. I'll try to expand.

First, I'm not trying to claim I'm right here. I'm not expert at how to derive moral codes. This is not so because I've been negligent, but I'm just beginning to hash things out. So, any input and corrections are appreciated. Also, these are not solely my ideas. No person lives in a vacuum of thought...

First, as a living thing, living is good, and death is bad. Second, happiness and contentment are good, and suffering is bad. These, I feel, are not absolute rules. Can we measure happiness in any absolute way? Death, while bad, is necessary. They're also vague rules. I don't see good and bad as two compartments, but more of a continuum.

As to your situation, what you're asking is what I should do. The third and fourth rules would be to attempt to minimize suffering (resp. death) and maximize happiness (resp. life).

Sometimes there's no best way to apply the the third and fourth rules, but I'll try on your situation.

Minimizing death would demand an attempt to save someone, even if I couldn't save both.

For the sake of the argument, let's assume I know I can only save one. I agree, the person saved would suffer the loss of a loved one, but there is more to consider. More than likely these two people have friends and family not in the car. They would suffer more if two of their loved ones died instead of one.

I also have to consider myself. I would suffer from guilt knowing I could've saved one of them. I could also suffer socially, because people would trust me less. I might even be found guilty of a crime like manslaughter if I let them both drown.

These are not hard and fast rules. Like you said there are all sorts of weird scenarios, so I feel that it's impossible to come up with a moral code that's absolute. I hope this clears up what I meant.

{Edit: Grammar}


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wavefreak wrote: Ask a

wavefreak wrote:

Ask a Christian this:

If you found out that God was going to lose and Satan would turn the tables and all the righteous would end up in hell, would you still serve Him?

 

 

A better, and more telling question to ask would be:

 

If you found out that there was no afterlife and serving god did not mean that you won a eternal life, would you still serve him? 


wavefreak
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I wasn't expecting an

I wasn't expecting an attempt to answer a contived example of an ethical dilemma, but it was an interesting read. And I too am really just hashing things out.  No harm no foul?


MrRage
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wavefreak wrote: I wasn't

wavefreak wrote:
I wasn't expecting an attempt to answer a contived example of an ethical dilemma,

Yeah, I wasn't thinking your were trying to stump me. I just wanted to try the rules out on it so that they made some sense.

wavefreak wrote:
but it was an interesting read.

I think that's the first time someone has said that about my writing. Smiling

wavefreak wrote:
And I too am really just hashing things out. No harm no foul?

Of course.