On 1/2/2013 2:24 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
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 smallp


On the contrary it is sloppy ethics to confine 'evil' to intentional social harm. First, it implies that socially bad is bad simpliciter, but values are ultimately personal values. Second, it implies that as soon as we find a physical cause (he was drunk, he had YY chromosmes, his father beat him) for a behavior it's not longer evil. But all behavior has a physical cause. So I'm ok with just dropping the term 'evil' and just referring to good/bad for individuals and good/bad for society as derivative. But I think it's a hangover from theodicy to refer to human actions as evil but not natural events - it's part of the idea that humans are apart from nature.

Brent
Ethics is, at bottom, the art of recommending to others the
self-sacrifice necessary to cooperate with ourselves.
      --- Bertrand Russell

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