Hi Craig Weinberg  

It doesn't matter whether you have good or bad intentions. 
The law and God judge us by what we do. You do the crime, 
you do the time. You sin, you go to Hell. Personally, I believe
that the "eternal torture" of Hell is not to be able to feel God's
love and forgiveness. That would be Hell to a Jesus. He
refers to being tossed out and undergoing a "weeping and 
gnashing of teeth".

Hindus and Buddhists believe in reincarnation, which from
what we observe, is not always a pleasant life.


[Roger Clough], [rclo...@verizon.net] 
1/3/2013  
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." - Woody Allen 
----- Receiving the following content -----  
From: Craig Weinberg  
Receiver: everything-list  
Time: 2013-01-02, 20:24:14 
Subject: Re: The evolution of good and evil 




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 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? 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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