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But, We Can Define The Taste Of Onions

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Posted by Harvey on February 15, 2002 19:52:10 UTC

Mario,

I agree that there are no formal standards if something is evil or not, but this is the case for the meaning of all words. If I asked for a definition of when the new millennium started we might have a huge controversy (as an example). The important point is that these terms are only meaningful if we understand what someone means by their use. In cases where we question the consistency of the label (e.g., she is being an evil son-of-a-gun), then this is an issue of whether the definition is consistent. The more consistent the label (both in its widespread general use and its use within one's worldview), the more we might be inclined to accept that person's definition (at least for argument's sake).

When I hear that Bush's statement about the "axis of evil" is not applicable, my question is to understand whether they have a good understanding of Bush's use of the term 'evil'. I think we both agree that 'evil' is so broadly used that it cannot be given one specific meaning, but as long as it fits within a certain context of perception, then I think it is a useful phrase (albeit an emotionally loaded one).

Warm regards, Harv

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