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Pragmatic Considerations Of Evil

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Posted by Harvey on January 25, 2002 17:59:45 UTC


***So good and evil are relative, but meaningful terms.***

They are relative, but not completely relative. As Dick pointed out, some forms of morality survive better than others (e.g., the pen is mightier than the sword). Good and evil are relative in that there are pragmatic considerations in effect when we select a path of 'goodness' or when we select an 'evil' path. However, there can be no doubt that some paths are 'better' if there is a goal in mind. If there is a goal for humans to reach out to the stars in our efforts to survive into the distant future, then we might say that nuclear war appears to be contrary to that goal, so nuclear war really is evil if it keeps the goal from being obtained. Of course, the goal can be relative, in which case the evil (or good) is only as relative as the goal itself. Since humans generally possess goals of survival (etc) we can say that good and evil actually exists for us since we have goals.

***In terms of a god. If we can identify a god, even one that is intelligent rather than just being fate, that god must incorporate both good and evil. The paradox for all believers is why such a god victimizes the good and the innocent.***

Not necessarily. God may have a general goal for the universe (or greater good), and anything that tries to oppose that greater good can be considered a greater evil (which God may deal with immediately). If lesser evils exist that do not directly oppose the greater good, then they may be allowed to exist (tolerated but not immediately judged as a threat to the greater good). In this manner God may simply allow lesser evils to exist since they do not interfere with the greater good.

***So the many genocides carried out in the world in the name of religion is the central problem to one's faith in the existense of a god. My take on it is that if a GOD EXISTS, he or she is much weaker than most believers would suppose.***

I don't buy into this. If God is focused on a greater good, the lesser evils may not be a major threat. God might be in a position to end even all the lesser evils so that there are no lesser evils, but who is to say that this might interfere with the plans for a better good? This is not inconsistent with any of the world's religions of God's omnipotence that I know of. This is a consistent theme throughout.

Warm regards, Harv

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