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Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:16 am
by EireannachforGod
If there is no God how does one determine what is good and what is evil?

Re: Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:22 am
by mkaobrih
Ahh come on! Do you mean to say that unless an invisible “god” is watching you 24/7 you’d go around being “evil”.
Removed your double post.

Re: Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:14 am
by nozzferrahhtoo
EireannachforGod wrote:If there is no God how does one determine what is good and what is evil?
Simple. Good and Evil are just words we put on the concept of the actions we perform on each other in a society where we live with each other.

The best source of information on how to live with each other is.... wait for it.... each other.

So I can quite literally answer your question with one word. How do we determine what is good and what is evil?

"Together".

Thats how.

Re: Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:17 am
by EireannachforGod
Thanks for removing my double post. I'm still new to chat forums.
Can you define the word "evil" in answer to my question?

Re: Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:06 am
by Logorrhea
EireannachforGod wrote: Can you define the word "evil" in answer to my question?
Your question was already answered but in response to your inability to use a dictionary: www.dictionary.com has evil defined as "morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked"

Do you have a specific definition you work off that makes your point more relevent?

Re: Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:22 am
by nozzferrahhtoo
If it helps any the group Atheist Ireland blog has a post about this:

http://www.atheist.ie/2009/02/the-immor ... -morality/

Re: Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:08 pm
by aZerogodist
EireannachforGod wrote:If there is no God how does one determine what is good and what is evil?
I don't think 'The god' is a valued sorce to formulate/represent a base for good' mybe evil,
If someone say 'John Doe' said to his tribe to go fourth and take the land of another using whatever force required, to kill, or tourture those that oppose Mr. Doe's sacrad views, you hardly can form a value of good from Mr. Doe.
But replace Doe with God, then it's Mr. God works in mysterious ways, yeah very psychotic mysterious ways.

Re: Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:42 pm
by funkyderek
EireannachforGod wrote:If there is no God how does one determine what is good and what is evil?
I don't think I'm inferring too much if I say that your question suggests that if we remove the first five words the answer would be obvious, and moreover would be "God". Am I correct in this inference?

Assuming I am, how does that answer the question?
How do we determine which god exists and what He (or She/It/They etc.) wants?
How do we determine if He is good or evil?
Is something good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good? If the former, then what is that other than "might makes right"? If the latter, then there is obviously an independent standard of good and evil, to which an atheist can adhere as easily as a theist.

I eagerly await your reply.

Re: Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:56 pm
by Regens Küchl
EireannachforGod wrote:Thanks for removing my double post. I'm still new to chat forums.
We all were at some point of our past :D Welcome :wink:
EireannachforGod wrote: Can you define the word "evil" in answer to my question?
That is not as easy as you think, for "evil" lies in the eye of the beholder and is rather subjective than objective. But here is an example of my definition of "evil" :idea: :arrow:

In a TV documentary about Inuits an Inuit Shaman said that "Christian missionarys are evil Sorcererers" :idea:

And I am absolutely sure that this Shaman is right, I know that what he said is true :!: :idea:

Re: Good and Evil

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:56 pm
by Hemingway
EireannachforGod wrote:If there is no God how does one determine what is good and what is evil?
For me the answer is quite basic really. Good morals. These can be attained through life experience and education from a young age. This has nothing to do with religion or the existence of a divine creator.

The above statement assumes that without god(s), we cannot determine what is good and what is evil. This is clearly not the case as plenty of modern countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Norway function perfectly well with a very high proportion of the population NOT subscribing to a belief in a deity.

Many socities prospered for hundreds of years without knowledge of the mono-thestic god worshiped by christians, jews, muslims etc. They had to get along and set out ground rules of what was acceptable to survive as a group.

In general a good moral grounding teaches us to treat everyone with respect and obey the laws of the land. There is nothing religious or divinely inspirational about that. That is the way societies exist and prosper.

If we went around killing each other, the society we are members of would break down and cease to function in a very short space of time.

No doubt a theist would claim that what I have stated above the message the bible gives us, the golden rule to “Love one another”. This is absolutely true (it also tells us to kill certain members of our society but we'll ignore those bits for the moment). But “Love one another” is also the central tenet of practically every other religious belief system and also nearly all non-religious secular systems (replace the word love with a term such as peacful co-existance). It doesn’t for one second suggest that there is a divine creator.

I am not that comfortable with the term Evil. It conjures up images of supernatural beings and devils for me, all of which we have absolutely no evidence for and is a term used more used in the fields of religion and theology.

Also, defining "Evil" in a secular sense isn’t as easy as it first appears for me. I would state, however, that whatever is considered unacceptable within the legal and humanist set up of a society could (in theory) therefore be termed evil/wrong/not a benefit to society and will be rejected by that society. There is absolutely no need for god(s) to determine this conclusion.

The above question by EireannachforGod also leads to further questions such as "If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good, why is there evil?" Once again, this is a question which maybe more relevant to the fields of religion and theology and will always have apologists out in force trying to explain these things away by reference to scribblings in an Iron Age book.