On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 4:12:38 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
>
>  On 1/2/2013 1:06 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
>
>
>
> On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 3:58:45 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote: 
>>
>>  On 1/2/2013 12:46 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 3:05:10 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote: 
>>>
>>>  On 1/2/2013 11:13 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 12:57:34 PM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote: 
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>  On 02 Jan 2013, at 02:01, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Chemotherapy Good or Evil?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>  Better than nothing for most people having some disease.
>>>> Worst than THC injection, plausibly for the same group of people.
>>>>
>>>>  Here the Evil is only in the fact that minorities hides information 
>>>> from the majority, and this for the minority's interests.
>>>> This leads to harmful consequences for the majority.
>>>>
>>>>  Bruno
>>>>  
>>>
>>> I was thinking more of how chemotherapy is ambiguous as far as it being 
>>> something which can enhance life by inevitably diminishing it, but sure, 
>>> the politics of it is an issue also.
>>>
>>> If I had to get into a definition of good and evil I would go more 
>>> toward a political direction - senseless inequality of power tends to lead 
>>> to corruption and crime. Crime and corruption tends to lead to scapegoating 
>>> or a misuse of sense. The combination of corrupt actions and distortion of 
>>> truth to cover them up is probably as close to evil as I can think of.
>>>  
>>>
>>> Anything that causes great net suffering of people can be considered 
>>> evil: cancer, small pox, AIDS, tsunamis,...  I see no reason to limit it to 
>>> social/political causes.
>>>  
>>  
>> Do you think that viruses and tsunamis are well served by the label 
>> 'Evil'?
>>  
>>
>> ?? I'm not interested in serving them.
>>
>
> Obviously. I meant 'Do you think that it serves us to label natural 
> phenomena outside of our control as Evil'?
>  
>  
>>   Values are human values and each person has his own - although there is 
>> a lot of consistency.  I think society and individuals are well served by 
>> labeling some viruses and tsunamis as 'evil' because that means we should 
>> cooperate to mitigate them.  And in fact we have: We eliminated small pox.  
>> We created a tsunami warning system.  Actions I count as good.
>>  
>
> The action of mitigating damage is good, just as the intentional neglect 
> of such actions are evil, but the non-human cause of the damage is neither 
> good nor evil. If you get an electric shock, it does not mean that voltage 
> is evil.
>  
>
> But getting a painful shock is.  A small pox virus is just a bundle of 
> molecules.  But small pox, the disease, is an evil.  
>

The confusion over the difference is the same as the symbol grounding 
problem. If we don't differentiate the actual virus from the infection 
which it causes in *our* body, or the actual voltage from the shocking 
experience which it causes in *our* system, then we project qualities onto 
objective phenomena which don't belong there - just as we do when we 
project conscious animal quality experience on an inorganic device.

To see a tsunami through a telescope on another planet is beautiful and 
good. To see one up close from beneath a collapsing bridge is a bad 
experience - it has violently unpleasant qualities for us. Because of those 
qualities, it makes sense for us to try to prevent circumstances which 
cause us terrible experiences. That really has nothing to do with Evil 
though, except in sloppy reasoning. True Evil is about intentionally 
initiating social harm. Getting smallpox is not evil, it is just 
unfortunate. Giving someone blankets known to be infected with smallpox is 
Evil (even if those doing it believe they are helping their race or nation.)

 

> Good and evil are human judgements - but that doesn't make them 
> unimportant; in fact nothing gets value except from you valuing it.  The 
> social judgements of good and bad are derivative from individual values.
>

I agree. Judgments of good and bad are inherited, taught, and modified 
personally through experience. They are important. As far as nothing 
getting value without my valuing it, I wouldn't presume to know that. 
Everything has an agenda, and we are each made of a lot of things.

Craig

 

>
> Brent
>  

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