We usually assign a negative value to anything causing us distress or harm. The THEE term for a negative value is , and its opposite, i.e. positive value, is good.
The common view (e.g. see Catholic encyclopaedia) that evil is "the opposition to the desires and needs of individuals" is confusing and unhelpful. It leads to ascribing «evil» to things like .
Such physical, biological and emotional phenomena are indeed often, but not invariably, "in opposition to human desires". However, that simply means that we regard them as . This has nothing to do with evil in common-sense terms or as formulated in THEE.
The common equation of pain and suffering with evil is particularly inappropriate. Even calling such things « » is often mistaken and suggestive of a limited perspective.
The only reasonable position is that the good v axis is something quite different from the good v evil axis. In THEE that is reflected in the taxonomic location and formulae: good v is intrinsic to , while good v evil is intrinsic to .
To repeat: Evil is the label suitable for:
|Note:||• Violation is a special and extreme case of the first item.
• Many restrict evil to this extreme case: cf. this account.
The present analysis suggests that reducing or restraining evil is about judging what the situation calls for from you personally, while using to prevent egotistic tendencies from intruding inappropriately.
Appeals to consequences are commonly thinly disguised "ends justifies the means" rhetoric, or based in a utilitarian ideology. However, our world is too complex to know what the consequences of even simple actions are.
Any identified consequence is a function of the timescale chosen, how events are punctuated in time, and what factors are considered from which perspectives. So a complete analysis of consequences is never possible.
Theare a way for us to reach a freely chosen yet impersonal moral security that is inherently imperfect, given the enormous uncertainty that we must accept as our lot.
Each person is responsible for their own actions. Choice is part of action. So a person has an obligation to judge what is the greater good or lesser at the moment of choice. This is a ( ). Other approaches are societally driven in one way or another.
When others consider someone else's choice, they may use a different approach e.g. athat looks at anticipated consequences, or a that looks at what is acceptable. That could produce a very different conclusion. Even if they applied a , they might well reach a different conclusion.
If the matter is subjected to some formal or public appraisal, then judgements are liable to draw on cultural criteria. Societies provide three great: (usually as defined by the prevailing religion).
In the arena of humanity-as-a-whole, the relevant frame of reference must be purely personal. Applying your personal conception of being human to another is fraught with difficulties. However, if great care is taken neither to project nor to presume, then it is possible to reach reasonable conclusions. That does not mean you are right. Exactly what you do with those conclusions is another matter, and one for you alone.
"Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Power is not the issue: making power the prime good is the concern. In THEE, this is called in social interaction.
Power-centredness is a mentality (or approach) to , that has a close relation to evil because:
The paradigm assumes that life is a jungle: that virtually everyone is ready to exploit others for gain, and anyone who isn't is a fool. Its adherents reject ethical and rational constraints as foolish and inappropriate. So, even among those who reject active criminality, you will often find that the lesser good is knowingly chosen, and that others are violated in subtle or socially condoned ways.
The associated set of THEE frameworks makes it clear that are essential to function effectively in society: for cooperating, for career development, for commercial competition, for market regulation and more.
evil choices. It represents a human tendency that we each must watch out for, both in ourselves and in others. Criminality aside, the approach definitely produces good. The problem is that more good could often be attained with a little extra thought and effort using other ways of interacting.is therefore not intrinsically , but it does intrinsically tempt
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Originally posted: 7-Dec-2012