On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:11:07 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
>
>  On 1/2/2013 5:24 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
>
>
>
> On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 6:21:27 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote: 
>>
>>  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.
>>
>
> Speaking of sloppy. I'm not sure what that was intended to say.  Without 
> some explanation of why you say that evil is other than intentional social 
> harm, it sounds like you are just saying that you disagree.
>  
>  
>>   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.  
>>
>
> It implies that only to those who think that personal intention is not a 
> physical cause in its own right. Just because someone was drunk when they 
> commit an evil act doesn't mean that it wasn't an evil act.
>
>  
>
>> But all behavior has a physical cause.  
>>
>
> All physics is an experiential effect.
>  
>
>> 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.
>>  
>
> I agree that dropping the term 'evil' as a formal term is the more 
> enlightened way to go. I don't have a problem with it as an informal 
> hyperbole that is reserved for intentionally cruel behavior though. I think 
> that we can separate intentional human cruelty as a class of attitudes and 
> effects unlike any other, though I would not apply any supernatural 
> significance. 
>
> I would say that there is a hidden hypocrisy in allowing no expectation of 
> self control on the part of individuals 
>
>
> Where did anyone express that expectation?
>

I thought that by saying "it's a hangover from theodicy to refer to human 
actions as evil but not natural events" you were implying that individuals 
should be held to a standard no different from the rest of nature.

 
>  while taking it for granted that exactly that kind of moral control is  
> to be expected from a law enforcing society composed of those same 
> individuals. If it's not evil for an axe murderer to execute people at 
> random, how can it be evil for a society to call that person evil and seek 
> to execute them? 
>
>
> You don't have to call them evil, just guilty.
>

I agree, but I think that it makes people feel human to project 
super-significance above them and below them. It makes people feel secure 
that their own actions are within the normal range if transgressors are 
monsters or saints.
 

>
> Brent
>
>  If we want to be humane toward outlaws that's fine, but I don't think 
> that we should do it out of the assumption that human behaviors are under 
> no more human control than storms and earthquakes. 
>
> Craig
>
>   
>> 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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