Evil

The question as to what is the definition of evil arose on another thread about Scientology and the occult.

Occultism was the name of the thread in the off-topic discussion.

I think that a definition of evil is vital to clarify, or at least discuss, if we want to grasp the good or bad effects of Scientology.

So here goes.

I would say that evil can be defined in one way as something morally bad or wrong, but this definition is just about what people call a good or bad action based on their moral code.
This definition is contingent on one’s beliefs and moral codes. It’s just an adjective.

Another definition of evil is a noun and can mean any intentional or malicious act that causes harm and destruction.

But again, this definition is based on a evaluation of consequences and doesn’t really get at the nature of evil.

Probably a definition that may give the essence of it is that evil is a force, or power, or a personification of an intention to harm.

But even this can be argued to be a relative term at times.

If someone wants to harm a child molester is that evil?

Restraining a child molester with imprisonment, or rehabilitating him, if such a means exist, would not be evil.

But maybe harming him would be evil.

I don’t know how many here would consider evil to be a person, like the devil.

But sometimes it looks as though the qualities of evil, that is, cruel and harmful acts, can be personified in a person such as Hitler.

However, there were those that benefited greatly from Hitler’s actions. They would not call him evil.

So what I am getting at is that all the definitions of evil involve situations that are particular, not universal; contingent, not necessary (necessary here means logically inevitable); and probable, not certain.

So evil is a relative term.

Calling something evil is OK if you are talking about the destructive and harmful consequence of something.

It is a commonplace term. People will know what you mean.

But pure evil may not exist. For pure evil to exist it would have to be universal, logically necessary and certain.

So is the Church of Scientology evil?

Calling the Church of Scientology evil is just being emotional and trying to influence a person with emotion rather than reason.

Being precise about the destructive actions of the Church is what can bring it down.

One is name-calling and the other is seeking the truth.

Name-calling won't make a difference in the long run; precision and truth will.

There is a lot of truth about Scientology posted on this board; but there is also just a lot of name-calling too.

Personally I am on the side of those who consider those acts considered evil to be the consequences of ignorance, greed, and lack of moderation and virtue (the ancient Greek meaning of virtue—a personal quality conductive to the discovery of truth). And those folks are Plato, Aristotle, and Buddhist.

So I will say that evil really doesn’t exist as a noun, only as an adjective.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 

HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
..

Thought about what might be a good definition of evil but ran into a succession of dead ends or rules that had exceptions.

But the first light of hope came with this thought, which might lead to or be developed into a frame of reference that reflects truth.

Evil. Gain, satisfaction or pleasure derived from the knowing infliction of pain or suffering in another that could have reasonably been avoided.
 

PirateAndBum

Gold Meritorious Patron
Evil makes up one polarity of the duality: good/evil

I think one does not need to "get at the nature of evil" when discussing Hubbard's creation. I don't think you'd find many people that would disagree with the attribution when apprised of the facts.

I agree, there's no need to make emotional absolute statements. (But sometimes it just makes one feel better!)

A less emotional statement of the matter could be: "The Church of Scientology has a long and continuing history of engaging in actions that most people would consider to be evil."
 

PirateAndBum

Gold Meritorious Patron
..

Thought about what might be a good definition of evil but ran into a succession of dead ends or rules that had exceptions.

But the first light of hope came with this thought, which might lead to or be developed into a frame of reference that reflects truth.

Evil. Gain, satisfaction or pleasure derived from the knowing infliction of pain or suffering in another that could have reasonably been avoided.

Some people pay $ for that brand of evil HH. And they would argue with ya :whipped:

TAJ is right, evil is relative. :goodorbad:
 

Hatshepsut

Crusader
Sometimes an abundance of evil is necessary to bring one to see the full abundance of the Lord"s 'grace'.

click link to see the implements used to assist one in appreciating the mercy of God and understanding your soul is craved in heaven amongst the PURE.

http://all-thats-interesting.tumblr...st-painful-torture-devices-of-the-middle-ages

i3BNF.jpg


8p4uA.jpg
 

HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
Some people pay $ for that brand of evil HH. And they would argue with ya :whipped:


True. But if they pay for it, then they are WANTING that sensation of pain/suffering, which is different than someone inflicting it on another. A masochist who WANTS it is enjoying their pain and deriving pleasure (according to them) from the experience.

[video=youtube;vIFsQbM3ofY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIFsQbM3ofY[/video]
 

Hatshepsut

Crusader
"Religion is an insult to human dignity.

With or without it you would have

good people doing good things

and evil people doing evil things.

But for good people to do evil things,

that takes religion."


-–Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in physics

aufziehen20der20inquisition.jpg

Inquisition_9_Anal_Torture.jpg

Similar to the wooden horse, the Judas cradle was a pyramid shaped and sharpened device, on which a victim was lowered via ropes. As the victim was lowered, the device would slowly tear open their anus, vulva or scrotum. Though the device is often attributed to the Spanish Inquisition, there is evidence that it existed before this time as part of carnival sideshows.

This stuff is in a museum.

The-instruments-of-torture-medieval-Inquisition.jpg
 
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PirateAndBum

Gold Meritorious Patron
Here's my shot at it:

Evil is the concept that an action or intention is harmful or does harm to someone or something that is undeserving of such action or intention in the opinion of the one that holds the concept.
 

Hatshepsut

Crusader
Here's my shot at it:


Evil is the concept that an action or intention is harmful or does harm to someone or something that is undeserving of such action or intention in the opinion of the one that holds the concept.

4634908233_144919c393.jpg


I think i's just wanting to snuff out somebody's candle by making them think it is all too horrible to bother to 'exist'. That effectively cuts down on the number of future vectors you have to compete against.
 

Gadfly

Crusader
TAJ, EXACTLY:

"Evil" can only exist in any real sense as an adjective - because in THAT case it is part of an actual observable specific event. This is all very easy to grasp if one views it form the fields of linguistics or semantics. We are dealing here with ideas - very abstract ideas in the case of the term "evil".

I wrote this on another thread and will add it here, because it is pertinent:

The problem is with the use of identification. With A = B, with Hitler IS "evil".

He did certain things that were viewed as "bad" by a great majority of people.

People get all nutty about "evil" because some or many have taken the observation of "bad deeds" or "harmful deeds", and extrapolated some "force of evil" - like Satan, a devil or a demon. People have come up with this notion of "pure evil", where some total blackness exists to deceive, trick and cause Man to harm others. IN this sense MAN has created both the actions and the IDEAS that result in the word "evil". There is no separate "force of evil". There is no Satan, and there is no God, not in the sense that tangible unique forces exist out there nurturing, promoting and causing "good" or "evil".

Anthropomorphism or personification is any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to other animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities.

The concept of "evil" is the result of similar anthropomorphism. It is an abstract concept.

To me, it is quite simple. Man has free will. Man's poor and ego-driven use of free will is at the bottom of anything anybody calls "evil". He can do what he wants, and sometimes some do very nasty and destructive things to others that cause great physical, mental and emotion pain and suffering.

From General Semantics, "absolutes don't exist". I agree. Absolutes exist ONLY as ideas and do not exist "out there". There is no person anywhere who is "100% evil". Just as Leon said, if a person behaves in ways that exhibit MANY harmful acts or SEVERE harmful acts, then people MAKE THE IDENTIFICATION and call this person "evil". There is no "evil". Point to an "evil". Go ahead, and try. There are only specific examples in time and space where some person commits harmful acts that are named "evil". An ACT can be evil - such as sending people to gas chambers, or tossing the baby in the blender. One must look at specifics to fly down from the lofty heights of abstract ideas.

In truth, any determination of ANY quality involves "degree" and "frequency". The guy who slips in his marriage and has one isolated affair is viewed as someone who made a mistake, but the guy who has done so numerous times over the past 11 years, while his wife has been a devoted and loving wife (even if somewhat naive), will be called a "cheater" and "liar". His wife may "see him as evil".

Things that are done that hurt people are called "evil deeds". And the person who has done them has committed evil deeds. But, it is doubtful that there is actually any "evil in him", or that it is correct to call him by the abstract term "evil".

And especially, when a person has done "bad deeds" that are so severe and/or in such large quantity, in THAT context, people will ignore any other "good he has done", and simply call him "evil". But, such abstract labels always omit MANY details that contradict the label. That is the way linguistics and people function. That is the way any of our "thinking minds" function.

There is no "evil". Point to an "evil". There are only specific examples in time and space where some person commits harmful acts that are named "evil".

Hitler may, in many ways, have been an "evil man", because he did many harmful things to many people, but he was not (equal to) "evil". Only because there can be found at least one instance where he wasn't "evil". Yes, he was often evil, or he exhibited very evil behaviors at times. One need to include the adjectives and qualifiers when using any horrendously vague and abstract term like "evil" (or "good").

Reversely, there is no wholly "good person".

Absolutes don't exist. Really. It is not true because Hubbard happened to say that. It is true because if one takes a careful look at the world, and how language is used to define and describe that world, simply, absolutes don't exist. Not outside of your mind anyway.

Some people do bad things. Some people do very bad things. The specific "bad" actions are confused and misidentified with a larger general tendency or force or idea. That is what "evil" is. It is largely an IDEA in this sense.

Evil? Too abstract.
Evil person? Still too abstract.
A person who has done some things that many consider to be evil? Now, we are getting closer to the truth (specifics).

People confuse the realm of idea and reality all of the time (it is built into language). The general and abstract are IDEAS. To get to reality one has to look at, and observe the specifics in time and space. To connect ideas with reality, one needs to cite specifics (examples).

Also, many people seem to derive satisfaction by labeling things. Some mistakenly imagine that they "understand" just because they place a label on something. But, it is all largely subjective - this false sense of "understanding".

"Hitler is evil". That is too general. In truth it CAN'T be true, not from any sensible sense of linguistics, or a connection to all the specifics of reality.

"Hitler did a great many horrible deeds, and it is easy to thus place the label of evil upon him as some all-inclusive defining characteristic". That is a true statement.

"Hitler caused more evil deeds than many others". That is a true statement.

In many ways, he was NOT a nice person!
 

BardoThodol

Silver Meritorious Patron
Discussions of good and evil can quickly devolve into ideological hamster wheels.

Maybe both are like pornography, can't define it but know it when I see it.

However, here's my take. Goodness stems from the urge to further the well being of another or others.

The most goodest people we know radiate a sense of caring for the well being of others. (exception: sociopaths can be excellent mimics and can radiate a sense of caring for the well being of others while actually wishing nothing but harm. Go figure.)

On the opposite side, the most evilest people we know radiate a sense of not caring for the well being of others, accompanied by a willingness to exploit them for personal gain preferably without benefitting those exploited. (see exception.)

Even more most evilester are those who exploit that willingness to care for others. As occurs in Scientology: you have all these individuals trying to help others being deceived into harming those they are trying to help.

The urge to help becomes corrupted and transformed into actions that harm rather than benefit. Distorted reasoning makes that harm seem justifiable as a "greater good is at stake."

Thus, goodness becomes a tool for evil.

Which confuses the issue.

As it's done for a very long time.

Sociopaths have no conscience. What's a conscience? A sense that what one is doing brings harm--and caring.

So, what is evil? I don't know. All I know is that if everyone tried to actually tell the truth and if everyone honestly cared for the well being of others goodness abounds.

And evil would disappear.

Caring is the root of the whole issue.

Theoretically.
 

PirateAndBum

Gold Meritorious Patron
4634908233_144919c393.jpg


I think i's just wanting to snuff out somebody's candle by making them think it is all too horrible to bother to 'exist'. That effectively cuts down on the number of future vectors you have to compete against.

There are quite a few flying insects in my back yard that consider me to be the epitome of evil.
 

Gadfly

Crusader
Gadfly is an evil typist! How many words per minute can you type? iz envious :biggrin:

:hysterical:

I type with two fingers. :duh: I make MANY typos in my haste to get the ideas and observations into words. I am constantly correcting them (which adds even more time). I then also use a spell-checker.

I do best if I watch my fingers and connect visually when I am typing (I never learned how to do it "correctly"). Same with the guitar - I can play insanely fast and precisely at times, but I do best when I "watch what I am doing". I suppose I have well connected my vision (observation) with the realm of my mind (ideas). That is an example of how someone with a familiarity with General Semantics might apply the idea of connecting the "map with the terrain" in music. :coolwink:

But, at times it is a hindrance, because it seems really good typists (and guitar players) NEVER LOOK at what they are doing when they do it! :ohmy:

It is my "mind" that works fast - not my fingers. But, I suppose, I have gotten pretty fast with the two fingers . . . . :biggrin:

Oh, just for a little history. I had to learn how to type when I was a D/FR for Reports in Boston Org. I was D/FR on both the Day and Foundation orgs, and I had to do 6 reports each week to send uplines to "management". The only thing I could do was look at and type slowly with two fingers. I got better with it over time.
 

DagwoodGum

Squirreling Dervish
That's a great question to out a Scientologist from the ex's. An ex will give you an answer that relects his or her personal thoughts and values whereas a Scientologist with reach for the dictionary and tell you what someone on Merriam Websters staff wrote down about it. After all any Scientologist knows that "if it isn't written, it isn't true".
For me evil is a state of being where one's greed overides ones values and concerns as they pertain to the world around him and the well being of it's other inhabitants. The adjective form of the word extends it to the actions of the evil one that relect these lack of values and concerns.
 
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